Thought I’d take a break from the mass of vacation photos to share a little in-town stuff. Always nice to take the occasional drinking holiday somewhere out of the norm.
In this case we rode through the Broadway tunnel to Chinatown.
For some reason we always enter off the back alley, this way you have to go through a weird storefront, past the old men playing Mah Jong or dice and it lends an added air of mystery, like you’re going to a speakeasy or something. Plus there’s all sorts of plaques and commemorations hidden around the city and you just might stumble upon something interesting.
Up the elevator to the Empress of China.
Strong drinks and a mighty fine view.
I especially like the roof top fish tanks.
And the Mai Tai’s.
And of course Franklin.
I’ve never eaten there, but apparently Mick Jagger vouches for it. There’s also a ballroom and various other locked doors hiding what I can only assume are banquet halls and broom closets. Near the elevator you can ogle fading photos of the politicians and movie stars who used to frequent the place in its heyday which I gather from the hairstyles was sometime in the early 80′s.
One of my favorite parts of a trip to the Empress is taking the stairs back down and tipsily wondering how in the hell they got that ladder in there. Chinatown mysteries are the best.
Need a drink with a view? Can’t say I’d make it a regular watering hole, but every once in a while a trip to the Empress fits in nicely. Drink prices aren’t terrible (and you definitely get what you pay for) and there’s a nice selection of oddball potsticker and bbq-ed pork snacks you can order in the bar. Timing, though is everything, as it can go from oasis-from-everything-we-usually-do to ungodly-tourist-cacaphony in a heartbeat. Try weekdays or afternoons or maybe right before they close at 10. Or just pop on up the next time you’re in Chinatown, you can’t miss the front entrance on Grant between Clay and Washington.