Metropolitan Room

We pick up where we left off last year on the jazz/cabaret scene heading downtown to Metropolitan Room. Excited to finally get to see Annie Ross of Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, a vocalist I had idolized in my teens, and shivering from the biting cold, I rushed inside and was seated at a small table a week ago from today. Red velvet cake with tea seemed appetizing but I ended up ordering two drinks instead after the waitress clarified that the two beverage minimum excluded desserts and literally meant beverages only.

My worry that I would have to bother parties on either side of me during the show to go to the restroom after taking in so much liquid was unfounded; the slim glass cup for tea didn’t hold much water and the other drink, which had a curious taste of having been juiced from oranges about to go bad, was filled with mostly ice. Though outfitted with elaborate chandelier lamp shades and glittering decorations, it became apparent that the venue was penny-pinching in other areas. It’s the difference between thick, soft toilet paper and the kind you have to roll double the usual amount; all things being equal, the quality of paper is the real indicator of luxury in a place.

Follow the signs downstairs to visit the men’s and women’s restrooms. I try to avoid going on the heels of the show for fear of a long line out of the women’s room but I was relieved to find it empty. Take note that there are three toilets in a row, even though with the handleless door closed it can look as though the middle stall is bolted shut. There are two sinks clearly visible and well-illuminated by a row of dressing room light bulbs.

To the Metropolitan Room restroomsThere exists a middle stall.

Metropolitan Room women's toiletMetropolitan Room women's

Jimmy Wormworth (drums), Neal Miner (bass), Warren Vaché (cornet), and Tardo Hammer (piano) accompanied Ms. Ross through an entertaining set of classic standards. She charmed and spoke her way through songs, able to engage me more than singers with accurate pitch but little character. Maybe that kind of charisma is just something that comes with experience, age, and legendary status. I wonder what it would have been like to hear her in her youth, back when she had the limber voice that made “Twisted” a hit.

I had been meaning to go see Annie Ross at Metropolitan Room since I moved to New York. Now that I’ve crossed that off my bucket list, all that remains is Monday night at the Village Vanguard and the Gilroy Garlic Festival. I’ll think about making a longer list.

Ali from Lahore in Pakistan tells us how to say “Where’s the bathroom?” in Urdu —

Bathroom kahan hai?