Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Talisman Chill Out at the Southwest Cookout

Talisman plays at the Southwest Porch at Bryant Park

Last night, I took a trip to Spain, the south of France and stopped over in Italy.

I was at the Cookout at the Southwest Porch at Bryant Park located in the southwest corner of the park (40th and 6th for those of you who need specifics). The cookout was sponsored by Southwest Airlines and they served fancier but still tasty versions of burgers, hot dogs, pork belly sandwiches and drinks from ’wichcraft.

I opted for a burger served on chiabatta bread. My guest's burger was a bit too rare for her tastes and she requested a new one, well done. On the second go-round, she was more than satisfied. They also served cookout staples, coleslaw and potato salad. We also munched on ancho chile and lime popcorn. Southwest Airlines will be hosting a weekly cookout at the Porch all season long! Will I be back? Oui. Care to join me?

I sat facing a couple sitting on one of the porch swings, my mind going over my day, thinking about the tomorrows to come and plotting my next endeavor. I chatted with a friend, received a phone call from a would-be suitor and did the usual people-watching and eavesdropping. 

Southwest Porch is a great oasis. I can envision the business lunches and pre-dinner drinks. There was a sizable crowd, but I never felt like I was being crowded. Staff checked in on guests regularly; taking drink orders, clearing the tables and refilling the buckets of airline snacks (pretzels and honey roasted peanuts). They were attentive without being pushy. Their goal was to make sure everyone was comfortable, that their needs were met and that they were enjoy themselves.

Southwest also held two drawings last night for airline tickets. That could've been my ticket (literally) outta here! But alas, my bon voyage has been postponed. We all know my travel is inevitable. If the service at the Southwest porch is any indication, I'll definitely fly that airline! They now operate out of NY/NJ airports and recently acquired AirTran Airways. That's the airline I use to visit my Mommy so I know service will remain great or improve.

OK, so I didn't win airline tickets and I was in midtown Manhattan last night. How'd I take a trip to Europe last night you ask? It was the music. ::::swoon::::

The band playing last night was amazing. Talisman--they provided perfect ambiance with flamenco guitar, trumpet, double bass and saxophone. I swear they played "Crepuscolo Sul Mare" by Peiro Umiliani at one point during the evening. Of course, that could just be me projecting my European jewel caper dreams. In an attempt to articulate what I was feeling, I text a friend that the group was playing this very jazzy, Mediterranean, Bossa Nova, flamenco style music. You'd think being a writer, I'd be better with words but emotions move faster than my fingers can transcribe at times. 

They truly live up to their name; their sound had a magical effect on me. I was so far away in my thoughts that I only took a few photos. One or two to test the lighting and set the camera accordingly and then two or three more of Talisman from where I was sitting. My apologies for cheating you out of the visuals of these men strumming and blowing their ladies. I'll make it up to you, and myself, and catch Talisman again so I can capture some proper performance photos of Diego Campo (guitar), Omar Little (trumpet) and Phil Rowan (bassist). 

I'm ashamed to admit this, but the last live music performance that I've been to, that wasn't hip-hop, was in February! The plan was to see Johnny B. later on that night as well, but my friend and I sat and talked longer than expected brainstorming the garden party I want to host this summer. Talisman's music sparked the idea. At one point during the evening, I was able to catch Campo's eye and get their info. Diego Campo is also a producer and founder of the Noble Society. I'm definitely hiring them, that is if they're not touring Europe or South America. It'll be an invite only, RSVP required affair, full of social butterflies but please leave The Real Housewives of New York drama home. Talisman is a Fort Greene, Brooklyn-based gem. Definitely check these guys out when you have the chance!

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