Creativity and Ramblings from the heart of NYC and around the World

Friday, January 28, 2005

Heading to THE DOOR

After dinner at Kamii (see entry that will be below...I'll get to it tomorrow perhaps...) we went to The Door, a lounge Steven has been told is very good.
We climbed many floors of beautiful wooden stairs to the top floor. In the
"lobby" has two beautiful paintings, two carved chairs and a statue of

Upon entering, we walk thru a very Medieval looking restaurant,
thru to the back where there's a lovely lounge. Couch-cubbies line the outer
wall while wooden tables with carved stools fill the main floor.
A 1.5 story Buddha sits into the wall where we entered from...just over our

A beautifully carved staircase leads us to our table in the balcony
overlooking the stage for the show we'll see later.

3 large chandeliers hang from the peaked eves just out of reach. They're a
dusty gold with small red lampshades and red fringe handing from beneath
each light. A sort of cross between a fez and a flapper dress. We order
cocktails - Martinis for Louise and I, her first ever and Steven sticks with
his usual vodka-tonic. The waitress was kind enough to snap this photo of

Moments later a large & angry security man comes to yell at me for taking
this one. I do wish it had ATLEAST come out BETTER!

So...I turned the flash off and snapped this one of the couch for Louise - sorry it's fuzzy...

Sarah Brightman's live show is on the big screen behind where the band will
play...a dancey remix of the Gypsy Kings is piped in just loud enough to
want to make you shake-it, but not so loud that you can't hear you the
conversation at your table... Very cool!

The Shanghai youth and young at heart are pouring in... The band is about to

So far it's 2 members --
A fella playing two keyboards and singing an eerie tune, and a beautiful
woman seated playing a 2 stringed Chinese "violin" upon her lap -- both in
traditional dress. He jumps over to start wailing on two kettle drums and
she takes off on that violin -- it's piercing and beautiful at the same

Second Cosmo please. (They are tiny here!) :-)

Apparently they were the warm-up band... As the lights dim, 5 new folks get
on the stage.

They begin with the song from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon that went to
the Oscars... I don't know why, but it always cracks me up when I see
someone boogying down whilst playing the flute! :-) the band is REALLY GOOD
despite my inner flute giggle! There are two seated gals playing traditional
extremely carved Chinese stringed instruments upon their laps, a female
keyboardist, a feller playing a mini-oboe (saw-nah) that has a
husky/rough/alluring sound and the gal bamboo flute player. There's a
drum/percussion machine with the keyboardist.

They sound great...very soulful...very mystical!

The lights dim and 3 leave the stage - the flute player is now playing a
different kind of instrument...a carved string bass sounding instrument that
sits on the floor and she plays from a low seated chair. The mini-oboist
joins her and they duet to a percussion track...amazing. As they take a
break, Louise tells me she's shocked that there was the "Saw-Nah"
(mini-funky-oboe) in the band -- in Taiwan, it's usually only played for
funerals... She's pleasantly surprised!

The first duo is back -- second song is a story -- that is traditional --
but sounds like something I'd expect to play during a Chinese Punch & Judy
show. Sadly no one in my party can understand what they're singing.

Steven and I discuss where I can get a CD of this type of music... New
styling played with traditional instruments -- I wish you could hear it.

Tomorrow looks like it will be a long full day -- but fun! I planned a
little sight-seeing of Shanghai in when I figured out my trip. Mine as well
extend Shanghai one day, I thought, since the folks I'll be meeting in Tokyo
don't return to Tokyo until late Sunday! So there will be fun for all
tomorrow... A trip in the morning to the local trim market followed by a bit
of brewing in this "traditional" part of town...including a surprise which
they won't share (I love surprises!) Then it's lunch and the 1 hour journey
to the factory for real work.
It's only my second trip to this city... I like Shanghai so far!!!


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