Is casual karaoke a thing? The past two months, more times than I would care to admit, even to myself, have I by some means or another, found my way into one of those back door, second floor, have to walk through the lobby of a gym just to get to, karaoke spots. There, standing around, waiting for the hostess to confirm there's a room available, because though it's only 10PM - God, can you even believe it - you are not the only one who decided to do this tonight.
This. This random, random, joke of a thing.
You see, it all starts when there's a small lull in the evening. So small - it's not even a lull really - just the hint of a lull, the faint smell of a lull maybe coming, maybe not. You're at a dinner party, out with a small group to eat, sitting around a friend's apartment. And then, just like clockwork, someone gets a bright idea.
"Wouldn't it be funny, I don't know, maybe even kind of fun, if we just went and did karaoke right now?"
One google search and four minutes transit time later, you're there. And never more was a person out of place. Dressed in your dinner party clothes, 19 drinks behind even the least drunk person there, ready to flip through the phone-book pages of songs divvied up by artist and title, and sing-read awkwardly into a microphone with your friends in, what is very often an almost too private room. Like, this is where we die and no one knows, private room.
One or two Taylor Swift songs later, a misplaced emotional tune, and at least one song everyone swears they know, until they very clearly do not, and you're saying your respectful goodbyes, off to watch Netflix as you fall asleep.
This is casual karaoke. It wasn't the plan. It wasn't on the schedule. Please - it wasn't even a smudge of an option for where things would go. You didn't get dressed for it. You certainly didn't drink yourself silly for it.
And alas, all of those unprepared reasons and more are probably why it's one of the best things that could happen to your evening.
That's the magic of living in a city like New York, no? There's pizza 24/7, the subways never really stop, and even the classiest, most residential of neighborhoods is likely never more than four minutes from a karaoke joint where you can bust out a few tracks and then call it a night.
Whether it's a hole in the wall dive on St. Marks, or a far more respectable, classier establishment like Karaoke Cave - tucked beneath Le Midi, an all too adorable French bistro - an impromptu, casual karaoke evening might just have to be your crew's new thing.
[Photo via Lost In Translation]