Friday, April 11, 2008

Tonight's party excuse

Damn, it's getting to be a busy month for events.

Tonight, there is a new bar opening.... and I rather think just about everyone I know in Beijing is going to be there.

It's called The Boat - and it is, unsurprisingly, on a boat. I assume it is the boat; as far as I can recall, there is only one it could be - a rusting old hulk that has been mysteriously moored for years on the Liangmahe canal, just by the northern outcrop of the Sanlitun bar zone (the Schindler's strip). It was for a while an Italian restaurant, but I don't think anyone ever went there (except for special occasions: it made a good party venue). I've enjoyed a few bakingly hot summer afternoons downing frosty beers on the deck, but I suspect the seedily rundown ambience of the place and the total lack of advertising (and the owner's unfortunate habit of sunbathing on the upper deck all day in only a pair of shorts, and occasionally a string vest - he was a great hairy walrus of a man) discouraged anyone from trying it out as a dining venue. Beijing is full of such curious white elephants.

As a bar/nightclub, I think it stands a much greater chance of success. They're certainly pulling out all the stops tonight: there's a live band on the upper deck, and just about every Beijing DJ of any note playing downstairs.

No, it's not really going to be my kind of place, I can tell. They're chasing a younger, hipper crowd.

In general, I hate DJs. However, I make an exception for the wonderful BB, who was the best thing about the much-missed old Nanjie bar; she's a very foxy lady, and her musical tastes are uncannily similar to my own (I mean, when was the last time you heard a DJ play Pink Floyd or Tom Waits?!). I recall I first met her 3 or 4 years ago, when she was still a student at the Beijing Film Academy, and we fell to discussing her dissertation topic - the films of Jim Jarmusch! I think I've been a little in love with her since that moment.

So, there should definitely be some good music. And lots of people. The big question is..... how expensive are the drinks going to be?

10 comments:

Paul Karl Lukacs said...

Love the blog, especially the Beijing dating scene posts.

Tulsa said...

*That* boat? yuck. I remember back in the days when I lived off of the Liangmahe in 2001 and would spend hot summer evenings cooling off with post-work/pre-dinner walks under the wispy shade of the weeping willows that lined that river/canal, then I would see the lights pop on at the Boat and Eastern European suited slicked-back hair types meandering in and out. I'd reach the plank leading aboard and quicken my step to get past the venue of questionable character as quickly as possible, and back to my lovers holding hands under dancing willows as the sunset reflected off the (even then! not so clean) river waters -- some poor blind abandoned child providing heart-twisting musical backdrop on a two string Asian fiddle.

whatever happened to that blind child?

The British Cowboy said...

Walked into the river I would imagine, Tulsa.

1minutefilmreview said...

Which films from Jim Jarmusch you guys discussed that night? We love him.

Froog said...

Well, it's hard to remember now, film review guys. I'm pretty sure BB had seen more of them than I had, and knew them in more detail. I have a sneaking affection for Dead Man, although Stranger Than Paradise is hard to top (that really turned me on to Screamin' Jay Hawkins). And of course everyone loves Down By Law: I could watch that opening montage of travelling shots of New Orleans over and over again. In fact, I think I might go and take a look at it right now (a friend gave me the DVD for my last birthday, and I haven't got around to watching it yet).

I just took a look at your site, film guys - quite interesting. Although I had to take you to task a bit for only giving Reservoir Dogs 4 out of 5.

Here's a talking point for everyone. I was teaching some film studies classes in Beijing's Communications University last month. I gave the kids a handout of the American Film Institute's '100 Most Influential Films' - it's a fine list, but compiled about 10 years or so ago; I don't think it includes anything from the '90s, and of course it's American films only. So, after some discussion of what was on the list, how many of them they'd seen (I could boast 85; not many of these students were into double figures), I put them in pairs to discuss films they had most enjoyed recently, and to try to come up with a joint list of 5 or 6 films they would recommend for inclusion in this all-time greatest list. One pair nominated Pirates of the Caribbean (actually, several pairs; Chinese 'taste' tends to be naive, bordering on puerile). I asked them why. They didn't have an answer ready. Eventually one of them offered, "Because I like Johnny Depp." "Great," I said. "So do I. So why don't you choose a good Johnny Depp film? It's not as though there's a shortage of possibilities to choose from!"

So, all you film buffs out there, which is Johnny's best film?

I think I tend to agree with The Choirboy's choice of Donnie Brasco; although I also really like Edward Scissorhands, and...... oh, so many to choose from.....

Froog said...

And welcome, Mr Lukacs.

I wish more of my 'lurkers' would reveal themselves.

What brought you here? Why did you particularly like the dating posts? Have you visited Beijing.... and tried to find a date here??

The British Cowboy said...

If it is films he has already done, I would have to go with Donnie Darko too. If we are allowed future films, and the rumors are true, then Sin City 2 might be the one...

Froog said...

Bizarre slip of the mind there, Cowboy. Depp wasn't in Donnie Darko! But we know what you mean.

Sin City 2. I can hardly wait.

I haven't seen either of the Pirates sequels yet, but I recently read that in one of them Capt Jack utters the line: "And then they made me their chief. Which was nice." A fellow Fast Show fan. Sound chap.

The British Cowboy said...

If you know the books, he is supposedly playing Wallace, the drifter/artist/ex-navy seal from Book 7.

Oddly enough, it is listed as Sin City 3, but is further along in development than Sin City 2... So we shall see which comes first.

Please tell me you weren't being sarcastic about Sin City.

Froog said...

No sarcasm from me. Really looking forward to the next one.

It is slightly worrying to me, though, about films that haven't been made yet.....