On The Avenue

A Rocking Good Time at Parktoberfest

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Last night, AVENUE didn’t have to travel far from its NoMad offices for a party. Just a few blocks south, the Madison Square Park Conservancy was celebrating “Parktoberfest,” an evening of music, food and more.  “This is all about community,” said Keats Myer, the executive director of the Madison Square Park Conservancy.  “It’s a relaxed, fun night with people who live in the neighborhood.” Local restaurants, among them Park Avenue Autumn, Tarallucci e Vino and Aldea, gave guests tastes off their acclaimed menus, while the Drop Wine and Belgian Beer Cafe kept the proceedings extra saucy.

Although some neighborhood wags call MSP “the prison yard” (because of the way that every day, at noon exactly, workers file out of surrounding buildings like inmates enjoying their one allotted hour of outdoor time), it’s hard not to have a soft spot for the park. It’s a home for innovative sculptural installations like Martin Puryear’s elephantine Big Bling, an open-air yoga studio and, yes, a great place for office workers to eat lunch. Nearly everybody present last night had their own story. “We have these things called Madison Square moments,” Myer said. “For me, it’s when a thunderstorm is blowing in, and all the leaves turn upside down, and everything’s silvery.”

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer had her own story. “My husband’s a veteran, and I’ve been coming to the wreath-laying ceremony on veterans’ day for four or five years,” she said with pride.

Anybody who didn’t have their own Madison Square moment had one by the end of the evening, when one of NoMad’s biggest celebrities regaled the crowd in song. Was it J.Lo? Nope! It was NBC News Anchor Lester Holt, playing the bass with his backing band the Rough Cuts! And here’s some breaking news: it rocked!




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