Goodbye, Living Room

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.

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