Galore Darlings Au Revoir Simone’s Official Guide To NYC
When the girls from Au Revoir Simone aren’t tirelessly touring the songs from their latest record, Move In Spectrums, they are home in the greatest city in the world – New York City. Take an inside look at the best NYC brunch spots, where to stock up your record collection and the perfect karaoke bars to belt your favorite TLC songs.
by: Shannon Kurlander
What’s your first stop in the city after returning from a long tour? (after hibernation)
Heather: Juvenex Spa in Koreatown. There’s nothing like a long soak in a hot tub, a steam, and a scrub to wash away the tour grime.
Erika: I like to visit my friend Tennessee Thomas at her shop in the East Village, The Deep End Club, to have a cup of tea, get caught up on what’s going on that week and what projects there are to get involved in, basically brainstorming sessions about how to change the world along the lines of Russel Brand’s book Revolution.
Annie: I like to visit my friends and relax. But after I get all the homebodiness out, I love Baby’s All Right for music, and across the street, Motorino has some of my favorite Italian food. On Bedford Ave, I just adore El Beit’s iced coffee in summer, and I swear, their mocha tastes like a little bit of heaven.
[The Deep End Club]
Pick a favorite record shop. What was your last great find?
Erika:I love Academy Records in Greenpoint. They have so many records coming in and out so you can always find something good. I’m starting to collect some Italo post punk and disco records for DJing and have found some cool things there.
Annie: Annie: I really like the new Rough Trade shop, but they have been leaving their door open in the summer with the A/C blasting, which really gets my goat…I last bought Kendrick Lamar’s latest, and for older stuff, I just discovered Moondog, a real New York character who made (mostly) wonderful experimental music.
It’s brunch time. Where do you stumble out of bed to and what do you order?
Heather: My favorite weekend brunch is getting dim sum in Chinatown. I spend an unhealthy amount of time thinking about dumplings.
Erika: My boyfriend doesn’t like the whole NYC brunch thing, I was skeptical at first but have probably saved a lot of money and become a better cook because of it, so we usually ride bikes to the farmers market for supplies and make eggs with seasonal veggies and listen to this reggae radio show all morning. I do really enjoy going to coffee shops during the week to work and my favorite place for that is Propeller in Greenpoint, it’s a great space with big windows and nice people.
Annie: Truth be told, I love cooking at home. But if I go out, I really like bagels, and the best bagels, in my opinion, are at Ess-a-Bagel on First Ave near 21st Street in Manhattan. You can’t get them toasted, but crazy hot out of the oven and dripping with butter, it’s like a chewy, carbohydrate-filled cloud has landed in your mouth. Wash is down with a tropicana in a box.
What’s your favorite spot to catch a concert?
Heather: I’ve always loved Bowery Ballroom. Bands sound great in there.
Erika: My favorite venue is Baby’s All Right in Williamsburg. It’s the closest thing I have to a community gathering spot left in the neighborhood which is now so full of tourists. It’s the perfect hybrid of intimate venue but professional. They have different shows every night, a really wonderful group of people run the place and I accomplished my dream there of doing lights for a band.
[Baby’s All Right]
It’s time for a night out on the town. Which bar do you go to and what’s your drink of choice?
Erika: There’s a beautiful bar in Williamsburg called Donna. Great cocktails and decor.
Annie:I, fortunately or unfortunately, tend to go to a lot of different bars, but I tend to gravitate towards ones with fancy cocktails, although I prefer the ambiance of more punk rock places like Pearl’s Social and Billy Club on Saint Nicholas in Bushwick. For a tasty drink, it’s hard to beat Nights and Weekends.
The night leads to karaoke…where do you karaoke and what song is a must-sing?
Heather: Sade’s “Smooth Operator” is a must. I like Karaoke Duet 48 in midtown because the drinks are strong and the songs are cheap.
Erika: Korea-town is probably the most fun for Karaoke because you can get private rooms and really get lost in the music. I like going for Blondie, Mariah Carey, am working my way up to TLC “What About Your Friends”. Actually Lorde’s “Royals” is really fun.
Lastly, when it’s too cold to do anything else…what do you recommend?
Heather: Building a fort out of sofa cushions and blankets, ordering in, and watching movies on Netflix.
Erika: Stay home and play/record music!
Annie: First answer is too naughty to say in polite company, second answer is make popcorn and watch an old movie with someone fun to snuggle with.
What’s next for Au Revoir Simone?
Heather: More magical adventures.
Annie: I wish I had a crystal ball! Who knows? But I am still working on music almost every day. I am looking forward to seeing what happens to the songs.