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Avant jazz, nature films, and sweet cocktails at Station North’s new bar, The Crown

June 26, 2013

vintageeffectWhen my friend Robbie Horwitz (of MICA admissions) drove me to see her friend’s band Jazz Lunch play at the brand new bar and music venue The Crown (1910 N. Charles St.), I never expected so many strange coincidences (nor all the hoopla) in one spot.

I’d had an idea to ride my bike but scrapped that after a thunderstorm alert appeared on my iPhone. After catching a ride with Robbie and parking around the corner from the Windup Space, we instantly had to make a run for the door to avoid a spontaneous “Baltimore Dust Cloud” of street pebbles, amphetamine crumbs, and sex-disease particles. We ran right inside the entrance, which we wouldn’t have known except for a couple of dudes who were holding the door, and a flyer (with the logo I’d seen on the Facebook page) pasted to one of the inside walls of the building–what seemed like an abandoned indoor mini-mini-mall.

Up the stairs and past an acrylic case with a large golden crown inside, we found a red-painted lounge with big plump couches. The band, a four-piece, played an avant-jazz improvisation along with scenes from a nature documentary, which was being projected onto a screen and the drummer’s face. In the foreground was Andy Abelow of The Snails and Small Sur playing guest saxophonist; and the girl serving drinks I recognized as having been at Video Americain in Roland Park (where I work) earlier that day to rent the very set of Planet Earth DVDs (I believe, she said, for a “home screening”) that was being projected and performed to. Between their improvised sets, Jazz Lunch played selections of their own rehearsed material in more of a fusion style, and I ate some fries with Sriracha ketchup.

I was just ordering one (my 3rd?) of the establishment’s sweet Supermoon cocktails, and GUESS WHO I ran into, but Baynard Woods of the City Paper, who saw the drink in my hand and suggested I write something about it, if I like it so danged much.

“OK I WILL,” I said. I set my drink down to take a photo of it with my iPhone (See photo) (The drink, by the way, is Gin, Chilled Korean Sweet Yogurt–available at your local asian grocery; comes in little bitty plastic bottles; soO yummy!–Lime Juice, Triple Sec, and an Orange Slice. Tastes like a Creamsicle!) and a girl who was watching me said “Yeah, I know you got to Instagram that shit!” I don’t know what that is, so I went back home to my darkroom and immersed my iPhone in a tub of developer fluid and other chemicals, hoping to give it a hip vintage look.