Photo by myself in Koreatown, on 32nd Street and Sixth Avenue.
There is always an assembly of smokers outside this building. Mostly Korean businessmen while away their stress, regardless of the weather.
After a long week of quiet dinners and drinks relaxing with Mark, last night we went a little nuts (hence the delayed post).
An old coworker friend was leaving her job, and a group of us went out for drinks, followed by a few hours in a karaoke booth. A couple of martinis, beer and sake later, I was giggling uncontrollably, watching Mark belt out 'Hotel California'.
If you're interested in a surreal, 'Lost in Translation'-like experience, karaoke is the solution. Every city with a strong Korean or Japanese population has these places - small karaoke booths where you can sing and celebrate and embarrass yourself.
Each booth is individually climate controlled. There are unlimited drinks and food. People pay a set fee per hour to have free reign over the karaoke machine. Meanwhile, cheesy dated images of couples and sunsets play on the video screen with subtitles.
In New York, there are some random bars that have Karaoke night, but the individual booths in Koreatown are the real deal. Walking down the hall to the ladies room, hearing the various parties around me, I felt like I was in another land.
Even though the experience was tame, the place felt seedy and transient. Everyone was engaged in pure excess - food, drink, enjoyment.
I'm not sure Mark and I would ever do it again. We'll have to recover from last night first.
Here's the trailer of 'Lost in Translation':