Farewell Tavern on the Green

tavern on the green
Tavern on the Green 1934

I am saddened that Tavern on the Green will be closing. I was a founding member of a Tavern house band that performed jazz there regularly in 1998 – 2001. They were sometimes brutal gigs but they paid the rent and kept my fingers warm while I was in grad school. I was fortunate to work with excellent musicians who couldn’t help but make serious music even when nobody else seemed to be listening.  Tavern was no longer exactly cool nor was it a haven for foodie hipsters but that is what made ultra special – one of those vanishing old New York places that had so much history that it did not give a damn. Like a proud old silent movie actor, Tavern loudly (and sometimes drunkenly) reminded you of it’s heyday and ignored its obvious decline and increasing irrelevance.  There was soul underneath all of those layers of kitsch that made it not at all embarrassing to be overtaken by the in-your-face romance of all of those ridiculous lights and mirrors. No matter how mediocre the food and unglamorous the clientele, somehow Tavern was still a place Grace Kelly might pull up to in a horse drawn carriage at any minute. We played some mean Cole Porter for her on those nights I can assure you.

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