Madam Geneva

Wow. What a weekend. With tornadoes from Missouri to Pennsylvania, snow in Oregon, and torrential rains in Dominican Republic, I have to say I’m pretty grateful for the mild weather we’re having here in New York. Something about the change in seasons, though, pulls those germs from hibernation — and I wind up with a cold for a week. I Sudafed (and psuedo-fed — feed a fever, starve a cold, right?) my way through last week, hoping I would be well enough by the weekend to partake in some more fun-in-the-sun activities. As luck would have it, I couldn’t pry myself from my bed for most of Saturday. The cold, and I suspect some stress from the week, took its toll and so I spent most of the day recuperating, hydrating, and catching up on House and Harry Potter.

Social butterfly that I am, I can scarce go an entire day without engaging with someone. I had previously made plans to meet up with D and some of the guys from his group at Boiler Room for some very affordable (read: $3.75 well) beverages, and then move over to a new club, Drom for some dancing. This was all well and good, but Boiler Room tends to get fairly crowded, presumably due to its unrivaled low prices, and I wasn’t sure I would be up for it. As I lay there in bed, surrounded by tissues and takeout containers contemplating just how much energy I would be able to muster for a few hours out on the town, my phone blipped with a text from Bberg. Want to grab a drink at Madam Geneva? I have a gift certificate. How cute, a gift certificate, but yes, I thought, I would love to. It sounded like a good starting point from which to segue into the rest of the night.

Madam Geneva, on Bleecker and Bowery, is the height of the bohemian chic underworld. Red leather chairs with riveted borders, honeycomb tiled floors, and large framed mirrors to reflect the understated glam create an atmosphere of — understated glam. (It’s not really one of those places that flash photography happens, as you may have noticed. Flash tends to ruin the ambience.) Did I mention that they lock the Bleecker St. entrance after 9? Patrons make their exit through a “secret” door in the back of the Double Crown restaurant next door. Through the restaurant, past its (still dining) patrons and the bar, to the front doors on Bowery.

The specialty gin cocktail list is a little daunting — overly grand titles with long descriptions that seem very similar in some cases (The Ellison is, according to the description and to experience, the very close brother to the Pimm’s No. 1 Cup) make it difficult to choose. Luckily I happen to love gin, so I sort of closed my eyes and planted my finger on the list. The Orange Blossom Special it is. Sounds a little fruity, yes? I enjoy fruity, from time to time, and as I watched the bartender singe a piece of orange peel on the candle at the bar, and then garnish my drink with it, I thought it would be a nice complement of sweet (fruity) and savory (…fire?). Unfortunately, it was closer to a lemon-scented cleaner — pine-sol, or something to that effect. Bberg had been a little more discerning in his method, and chosen the Ellison, which I opted for on the next round. The Ellison, in spite of (or perhaps because of?) its haughty sounding title, turned out to be the perfect summery beverage. Lime liqueur, gin, something else, with a cucumber garnish to tie it all together. I could go for one right now, actually.

Madam Geneva and a couple of gin cocktails w/Bberg did serve as a nice, low-key starting point to the evening. Given my lingering ailment, I left the dance floor to arrive home by 2:00, to get a good 8 hours of sleep before Sunday’s activities came due.

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