Because we like to party!
A taxi up to Adam Clayton Powell between 133rd and 134th, please! That’s the address to a good (dancing) time in Harlem. During the summer I would walk, but it’s close enough that I can cab it with some friends without breaking the bank. When it comes to dancing all night to great music, Shrine World Music Venue never disappoints.
The small, quaint party box caters to all crowds, specifically those who appreciate Jazz, Caribbean, and African music. The ceiling and walls are covered with record covers of some of the best artists around the world. There is a stage all the way in the back that is almost never empty. Disco lights rotate around the dark space making it easy for patrons to break it down and dip it, dip it low. Yes, this place has definitely seen my robot moves, shimmies, and back bends.
Abby called me ranting Saturday night that she needed to leave her apartment. She had been stuck in her apartment all week due to Hurricane Sandy. She claimed she needed to stretch her legs, and more importantly, see people. Since Abby is her own boss, she works from home, which means she didn’t have to endure the transportation hell that most New Yorkers, including me, had to go through. The plan was to do the usual- hang out at my place, share a bottle of wine, and talk about the facts of life. This time that didn’t really happen. As soon as she came over, we knew we wanted to go out. After all, I had my dancing hat on…
We walked up Harlem Food bar to share a bottle of wine and some appetizers with Shrine on our mind. I’ve been to Shrine numerous times, and I’ve always had a great time. I’ve got to watch the sensational Perle Larma perform live there along with many other amazing talents from around the world. The drinks are well-priced. You can get a pint of lager at $4 there. There’s a decent beer list, and I’ve heard they have amazing happy hour specials for cocktails.
There’s nothing chic, trendy, or “swanky” about the venue. People come to have a good time, and it’s not about the décor or how many tall and lean girls you can fit in one table like most dance spots in the city. The crowd is mixed, but the majority is of African descent. Aissata, my fabulous Senegalese/French friend, introduced me to Shrine in the summer. We went right after the Mafrica Music Festival, and I fell in love. When it comes to dance-hall and live music, this place is the best!