< topography - Flatiron

  

Méli-Mélo
Madison, 29/30
Flatiron
Manhattan
[I see from my trusty Larousse that  méli-mélo approximates jumble, or rather,  hodgepodge, and I'd be tempted to encircle my memory of the restaurant so tightly in this observation that nothing remains, except that in the first place, a barely legible page of my journal's still extant, and secondly, there's always irony, which is to say: Wednesday I met a hodgepodge of peops for post-work cocktails, then on an empty stomach drank three straight bourbons in forty-five minutes, and without so much as a glance at the room surrounding the bar, cruised out, congratulating myself on having dodged the check. Heading north I wrote while walking, "Meli-Melo—Bon! Ah ha ha hahahaha." We hit Little Korea for a snack before I charged up a significant tab at Jimmy's, as things (mainly,  me) just, well, fell: apart...and I've heard it said that The Manhattan Law of Gravity is hooey. Ha!]

Alva
22, 5/Park
Flatiron
Manhattan
{ Vigour 3/7/00: Until something better transgresses, adventurers into the dry west 20s are left with slim pickings such as this. Warning: American Bistro. Bar: small & pricey. The Brooklyns, Sierra Nevada, and Anchor Steam on tap: $5. Most of the clientele are 2nd and 3rd-order clones of adexec and modeling agency heroes, and did we mention beer: $5? No juke, but an inoffensive hermetic bar stereo. The Edison theme (Thomas Alva verging on Con) is a less strident chic, the bartop is zinc with free 'eggelabras,' the walls horse and buggy black lacquer, there is a collection of vintage lightbulbs (Byron the Bulb?) by the ladies' loo, and somewhere a magical lightsucking device which renders the place preternaturally dim as if to play up the drama of electric light. This nostalgia for scientific revolution in the age of robber barons and coal oil lanthorns has almost enough charm to forgive the place for its overweening ambition to be a place. Vintage prices would have lessened the sting. Quaff (one presumably must quaff in such places) 2 or 3 with friends & accomplices on a nonweekend when pressed by vacuous Necessity. This is not an endorsement, rather an act of desperation. Think of this as a farflung landing stage on some last ditch drinking itinerary—the intrepid Pony Express alcoholic gallop between Union and Times Squares.}

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