Time Traveling Through Blue Eyes

This past Saturday night I was thrown into a time warp of epic proportions. The place was Manhattan… New York City…the Big Apple… you’ve heard of it, I’m sure. I started the afternoon hooking up with my friend Denny, who was visiting from the left coast. We met at Club Macanudo on East 63rd for lunch, cigars, and a major-league round of throwing the bull. Ah, the food was great, but now we’re off to midtown to a cigar shop for more smoking and hanging with the locals. Seven o’clock the place closes and we kill an hour at a ritzy hotel bar on 6th Avenue. But then the clock strikes eight, and we are magically teleported to a time when life was a bit simpler and men were truly men.

Picture 1Denny has set up our evening for some classic New York cool at the Carnegie Club on 57th Street. I’ve wanted to go there forever though I just never seemed to make it, but my buddy makes it his stomping ground each time into the city, so I tagged along for the night… and wow am I so glad that I did.

up_in_smoke_web_art.71bwl8m9uigw4swo0c4wskgwc.b3zbl1rskl4w04oso8wk4s88o.thFor you cigar lovers in the audience, the Carnegie Club is a swank throwback to the forties and fifties, a time when men were kings of the castle… a time when you could groove on music of the era, enjoy a nice pour of whisky, good conversation, and of course, your favorite cigar. Thank God that the tyrannical Mayor Bloomberg has somehow grandfathered this place, allowing cigar smoking to continue in the tradition of old New York.

NYcigarbar1The club itself is elegant, stylish, with a nostalgic feel that transports you to a time and place of decades past. The look and feel is plush – small couches and leather chairs, along with a well stocked bar and humidor. There are 18th century hand-carved wooden bookcases filled with leather-bound classics, a stone fireplace, funky art deco wall covering, and a more private mezzanine mag+backabove. And best of all, the patrons are wonderfully friendly, well dressed, and all there for the same reason – to enjoy life the way it was truly meant to be.

While the club was just what I needed, the best part was yet to come. Denny happens to be good friends with Mr. Steven Maglio – and Steven Maglio just happens to sing the world’s finest renditions of Frank Sinatra – a performance so fabulous that even old blue eyes himself does a double take from the great beyond each time Stevie sings. And the best part is that Maglio does two Sinatra sets each and every Saturday night at the Carnegie Club.

Frank-Sinatra-Cool-Hat-Cigar-224x300Now admittedly, I’ve grown up on a steady diet of Zepplin, Queen, Judas Priest, Metallica and Alice In Chains – and Sinatra was never really my bag. It’s not that I didn’t like him or appreciate what he did, I just never really got into that scene. But I have to tell you, Steve Maglio blew my doors off with his voice and style and I have walked into a new world of cool and sophistication that I never, ever thought I would embrace. Now he’s not an impersonator – to me impersonators are so karaoke.  Steve’s voice is flawless and his charisma lights up the room, and in his own words, “I do it my way.” Hey plays in front of a live eleven-piece band, the Stan Rubin Orchestra and goddamn, they get Art_Shamskythe place jumping, starting with some classic swing era faves, then straight into the Frankie serenade. Steve does two completely different sets at 8:30 and 11:30 pm, and the place is packed (or shall I say, Rat Packed) with old fans, and new fans, just like myself.

So picture hanging at the swanky bar with a group of ultra cool cats – including boxing legend, Renaldo Snipes (what a gentleman) singing, smoking premium hand-rolds, sipping single malt, and listening to music that was from a time when the politically correct weren’t trying to protect us all from ourselves (and least I not forget – enough fine tail to get any man just a little bit crazy.) The term “It don’t get any better than this” certainly applies, my friends. I had such an amazing time and simply can’t wait to go back. Hopefully, I’m hooking up with Denny and Steve later in the week, and fun will continue on! It’s up to you. New York, New York.

So there you go – a pretty wild ride in the Big Apple this weekend and I’m game for another round. I think a MaCallans 12 and a Montecristo Certified Vintage for lunch is certainly in order.

Tommy Z

JR CIGARS Blog With the Zman

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