World Tour: My Most Surreal NYC Moment. Till Now.

On the corner of Madison Avenue and 76th Street, in Manhattan's Upper East Side, is what I believe to be the most "NYC" experience anyone can have.

It's the location of the Carlyle Hotel. A charming establishment, with marble floors in the lobby, a "Masters of the Universe" type of bar called "Bemelmens", and the Cafe Carlyle.

When I lived in NYC, I had drinks a few times at Bemelmens. After work, sipping on a Manhattan or Old Fashioned. Watching quietly stylish gentlemen and gentlewomen trade words about venture capital deals, book publishing deals, society gossip...

But it's the Cafe Carlyle where the real NYC magic can and does happen. If you're lucky enough to get a seat.

Two years ago I saw Elaine Stritch perform there. Friends had booked a table, we had dinner and champagne and watched Elaine perform show tunes. And after that, being in the small room, crowded with tables and dreamy murals painted on the walls, I knew I had to come back again.

But for whom?

Looking at the schedule of performers, I knew exactly who I wanted to see... Woody Allen and the Eddy Davis New Orleans Band.

So on my Bucket List this went! But trying to actually make it happen? Not easy!

While living in NYC, it was impossible for me to get up to the Carlyle to score a seat at the bar. Tables sell out well in advance whenever Woody and Eddy are added to the schedule. So often, the only hope is to score a seat at the bar. And in order to score one of these "first come, first served" seats, you have to be committed.  Really committed.

You have to be willing to show up three hours before the doors to the Cafe open. And then sit at the bar for another two hours before Woody and Eddy even go on the small stage.

Work just made it impossible to do this while I lived in NYC. But as part of my World Tour, I committed to coming to NYC for the last performance of Woody and Eddy of 2013. And yesterday, I was at the Carlyle at 3:45pm. And I was not the first person in line. (I was the third!)

The line quickly grew to 10 people within the hour. And there are only 10 bar seats.  Each of us in line were incredibly excited. We all became fast friends, and got to know each other quite well in such a short time period.

I sat down and ordered a Manhattan to celebrate our success...


Energy buzzed all around us, excited to be sitting down and only 20 feet away from the stage. Small tables were between us and that stage. But we were perched high on our bar stools, that there was nothing that was going to block us from the saucy sounds that would be dancing our way later that evening.

Courses of food... More drinks of wine... (A half bottle of an Oregon Pinot Noir for me!) And discussions of TV shows and the future of data driving content... (Really, I can't escape my enthusiasm for that conversation!)

Eventually, the magic befell us. It was the most wonderfully NYC thing to ever happen to everyone in that cafe at that moment.


They played for just over an hour and a half. The venue was such an intimate space that the instruments played were invading the personal space of those sitting at the front table. Notes bounced across tables and into ears in a smooth stream.

And the fact that Eddy Davis plays the banjo made the whole experience even more magical for me...


I am so happy I added NYC to the tour. And I am so happy I decided to plan a whole half day to score the experience.

No regrets.