My first visit to The Living Room was because Eric DeArmon was the bookkeeper at the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas. He came to the office periodically to manage QuickBooks while I compiled press kits and researched opera instrumentations. As a fellow musician, he invited me to The Living Room to hear his band, The Truthseekers.
Without the chalkboard listing the night’s sets, I probably would have walked past the door, mistaking the venue for merely a bar. The way the curtain revealed a cozy performance space felt cinematic. I sidled into a classy wooden chair near the artists, one of the throng gathered to partake of The Truthseekers’ bluesy, groovy concoction of Wurlitzer, djembe, and raw vocals.
Tonight, I returned to The Living Room, familiar with the neighborhood from a year of working at The Bowery Mission and a few weeks of showing my collaborative work at Spectrum. Spark & Echo, a songwriting duo I discovered through Parables, warned me that their concert was part of The Living Room’s swan song for this location. I relished the candlelight from all the tables and savored the whimsical yet crisp interpretations of Ezekiel’s visions. I lamented that The Living Room is leaving a neighborhood where a one-family mansion replaced forty tenants and repeated my prayer for the goodwill of the sleek but bland million-dollar condominiums constructed across the street from the YMCA.