Tuesday, May 27, 2014

New York: Japanese Karaoke in Midtown

You'll have to excuse my lack of good photos for this post. I normally hate to post anything without good images to supplement, but this story I'm about to tell was one of those unique, bizarre, memorable experiences I really wanted to write about.

This past March I was in New York for work. That may sound a little glamorous, but I promise you it really wasn't. We were working long (hard) hours, sometimes up to sixteen hours a day. and by the time we were done it was too dark and too cold to go see anything.

One night some coworkers-turned-friends were out to dinner, and as we were wrapping up someone suggested we went out to Karaoke. In my head, "going out to Karaoke," means going to some dive bar with a karaoke machine and lots of bar-goers either laughing or side-eyeing you as you make a fool of yourself on stage. Though that's not typically my idea of a bumpin-good-time, I decided I should go along anyway, if only for the sake of actually DOING something on this trip to New York City besides work.

Anyway, what we discovered when arriving was not some local PBR-hovel with a microphone setup...it was a traditional Japanese karaoke house.  Each party that arrives is assigned their own private room, like the one you see in that photo above. There's a telephone on the wall in which you can call the front and have food and drinks brought to you. Mounted on one wall is a flat-screen TV that was playing clips of anime when we walked in.

At first....our whole group was kind of baffled. We didn't know what to do exactly and wondered if it would even be fun to sing without anybody else there to watch (and laugh) at us.  Thankfully and hilariously enough, it turned out to be a million times more fun than I ever would have predicted.

Because you're just alone with your friends, any social anxiety you would feel when getting up to sing in front of strangers completely evaporates. We were crazy. There was dancing, jumping, sing-screaming (there comes a point when your karaoke is just going to sound ridiculous no matter what, so why try?) and so much laughter that my abs were sore.

I wish I had more to show than this low-quality video (shot vertically on an iPhone, of course) from early on in the night. I REALLY wish we had video/photos from later....but I suppose we'll just have the memories.


Karaoke Duet 35 (We were at this one.) 
53 W 35th St. 
2nd Floor 
New York, NY 10001

Karaoke Duet 48 
304 E 48th St
New YorkNY 10017

Karaoke Duet 53
900 8th Ave 
New York, NY 10019 

1 comment:

Maria said...

Oh my gosh, I had never seen anything like this before. This makes me love NYC a little bit more.


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