There are few moments more perfect than walking into a dimly lit old bar late at night and hearing a Billie Holiday song. “These Foolish Things” is practically custom made for sliding onto a stool and ordering an Old Fashioned as you prop your elbows up on the bar and think about lost loves and life’s regrets.Few American artists seem to have captured the melancholy of 2am quite like the woman who would become known as Lady Day.
On 52nd Street, New York's one-time Swing Street, is a Russian restaurant that once served as a meeting place for political exiles and dissidents from the Soviet Union, one of whom was a famous poet, another the most famous ballet dancer in the world. But before that, the place was owned by a guy named Jilly Rizzo, and it was Frank Sinatra's home away from home.
It’s night, when the city is at its best. To the brassy, aggressive strains of a jazz anthem composed by Elmer Bernstein, our point of view drifts through the glorious, desperate chaos of New York at night. Men in suits, women in cocktail dresses, stumbling into and out of nightclubs, into and out of cabs. Those who want to be seen, those who want to see. Movers, shakers, power players, hustlers, hyenas. The kings and queens, the wannabes, the has-beens, the never-will-bes.