A friend of mine recently quoted the movie, now old (circa 1989) "Parenthood" when the grandmother talks to the leads, Steve Martin (Gil) and Mary Steenbergen (Karen) giving them a metaphor on life after Mary's character finds out she's preggers later in life (with three kids already in tow).
Grandma: You know, when I was nineteen, Grandpa took me on a roller coaster.
Grandma: Up, down, up, down. Oh, what a ride!
Gil: What a great story.
Grandma: I always wanted to go again. You know, it was just so interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled all together! Some didn't like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. I like the roller coaster. You get more out of it.
It's a great quote from a great vintage flick. But what about the swing? Back ‘n forth, back ‘n forth. It's boring. It sucks. I hate the swing. I like the coaster; at least I think I like the coaster. I did in my twenties. Luckily, tonight I got to forgo the swing and enjoy the ride with great imports from Williamsburg and dinner with a side of burlesque.
Duane Park, located nowhere other than the land of Triburbia, is a cute little spot for a three course meal, comedy and some burlesque. There are ten tables in the cozy white-tableclothed space with an unmistakable black shiny grand (probably a Steinway) piano, with some bar stools for other musical talents. On this very evening, the crowd was a mix of dates, hen parties, butches (that's how the host referred to the lesbo firefighters in the corner) and a huge party of Asian Americans celebrating an occasion I know nothing about. The menu provides a variety of options for even the most selective of eaters, ranging from pork to salmon to hake to the always safe and boring chicken. It's a $75 prefix, which doesn't include drinks or gratuity… it adds up - don't kid yourself. As we waited for our 7:30 show to begin, we grazed on shrimp over cheese grits (me), scallops over a bed of some wilted greens (female import from Bklyn), tuna tartare (HeView) and a fried octopus salad (male spouse/other import). Surprisingly, as we thought we were just there for the tits and arse, the food was pleasantly good and served nicely, neat and composed. I had a salmon special for my main, which was dry but the mushrooms and mystery mush underneath were a bit of a turnoff. HeView finished his plate of red wine braised beef short ribs, which he later said were fatty. Our really cool kat imports dined on the grilled loin of pork with grilled peaches, mustard greens & vidalia onion purée and surprisingly, the least boring person at our table got the most boring entree, the chicken! (Served over an olive oil Parmesan purée and chicken jus.) The main attraction was "Murray Hill," the comedian and host of the evening who shmoozed around cracking jokes on the diners and poking fun of her hedo/shedo self. Actually quite entertaining. An outrageous jazz singer belted out classics in between two burlesque dancers shaking their assets, exposing their ink and twirling their pasties. Not a job I'm applying for, but good for them. Tonight the only swinging would be of drinks, laughs and raw skin. I don't mind that kind of back and forth. That sort of swing is good is for any age and doesn't bore but sizzle. Duane Park is a total blast and definitely mixes up the commonalities of day-to-day life. It's the right kind of park! 157 Duane Street | Between West Broadway and Hudson (212) 732-5555