Frank and I decided to spend Halloween weekend in NYC this year, so last Friday we packed up his car with our costumes and Lady and hit the road. I had made 10pm dinner reservations at a Korean BBQ joint, Do Hwa, in the West Village. Little did I know we would be having a total Korean themed night.
Laura Gail and our friend Erik joined us for dinner, which was delish, and then we made our way around a few bars before settling temporarily on a party at Soho Grande. Wasn’t really feelin’ the fancy smancy party, so I convinced people to head up to 34th street, aka, “Koreatown” to sing Karaoke. Now, by this time it was 2am or later, and normally I would be past ready to head home. But the promise of Karaoke is sure to keep me up and lively. We got out of the cab, I asked the nearest Korean where the best Karaoke bar was, and off we went, through a creepy hallway, up a few flights of stairs and into the Karaoke lounge.
Allow me to pause briefly to describe the difference between Asian and American style Karaoke. As you know, American Karaoke is all about making a fool of yourself in front of a room full of complete strangers. Of course there are exceptions, those people who take it way too seriously: come in every week, practice at home and add choreographed movements and lyrics like “searching for myyyy lost shaker of salt, salt, salt…” Those people are trying to be discovered… it’s obvious. But honestly, most of us don’t give a damn and enjoy singing like idiots and being completely out of tune or pitch or whatever it’s called.
Asian Karaoke is different. They divide into small private rooms with only their friends and sing for accuracy. It’s not about making a fool of yourself, it’s about showing off how well you can sing songs in English even though you don’t know the meaning of the words. Asians LOVE karaoke. But their style is not as much fun, in my opinion, because you’re only singing in front of your friends.
On Friday night, we went to an Asian style karaoke lounge. Erik, LG, Frank and I, after buying one sixpack of beer at the front desk, entered our own private room and sang song after song. Michael Jackson, Dolly Parton and Kid Rock were a few favorites.
Nonstop singing and that sixpack took us into the wee hours of the morning… Totally losing track of time in our isolated little room, we walked out at 6 in the morning. Apparently Koreatown doesn’t close. As long as people are paying, they’re staying open. I can’t remember the last time I was up til 6 am… but I’d venture to guess it hasn’t been since college. On our way out, we decided to try to join in on the fun going on in the room down the hall. Yes, there was actually another party still hoppin’. But before we could prove to them that we were cool enough to be included, we were awfully offended by their racism!
Asians: “What are yoouuuu allll doing here?”
Us: “Um, whatta you mean?”
Asians: “This is a Korean bar….”
Can you believe that?! Needless to say we didn’t join their party, not that we were ever invited… We jokingly complained at the front desk, and, as Frank was karate chopping and kicking the invisible enemy, they hastily ushered us to the elevator. And that was it for our night/morning.
We dressed up for Halloween the following evening. My friend Jenifer did my Black Swan makeup and it looked wonderfully authentic. She’s amazing. Even though it was a totally unoriginal costume and there were Black Swans everywhere, I looked awesome with my professional makeup! Frank and I decided to coordinate our costumes this year: Black Swan and an Astronaut, they go together like Oreos and milk! A typical Saturday night in NYC is crowded enough, but throw in a holiday and a bunch of costume clad drunk adults, and you get a pretty frustrating night…
Oh, and here are a few past pictures of Frank and I in costumes