Twilight of the Ring
Patti Smith Mother's Day Show at City Winery

Barbès 10th Anniversary Celebration


"Music is always in motion. You can't catch it, like matter. Matter is dead. Music is life." - Stephane Wrembel

The week after I moved to Park Slope 10 years ago, a little French bar called Barbes opened on the corner of 6th Ave and 9th St., just a few blocks from my house. It was small, dark, and somewhat mysterious. Eventually, I got up the courage to take a peek inside, and soon discovered a whole world hiding out in the back room: a red-tiled speakeasy of world music, free jazz, and other eclectic sounds too niche or too strange to fit anywhere else. Immediately, I was hooked.

At this point, I can't even count the number of times I've been back to Barbès over the past ten years. It's become my Local: the place I'll go for a beer (or maybe a Sazerac) when I don't feel like traveling back from somewhere late at night. The place I'll go to hang out with friends from the neighborhood. The place I'll stop by on a quiet Sunday to get out of the house. Whenever I go, I know that there will be music, and that it will be good. Really good. 

A couple of weeks ago, Barbès celebrated it's 10th anniversary in style with a string of five-a-night shows, ranging from classical, to jazz, to Romanian folk singing (and everywhere in-between.) Pride of place went to the regulars: Slavic Soul Party (Tuesday), the Mandingo Ambassadors (Wednesday), Chicha Libre (Thursday/Monday) - and, of course, Stephane Wrembel, whose been lighting up Sunday nights for almost as long as Barbès has been open.

During the festival, Olivier and Vincent announced that they re-upped their lease for another 10 years. Who knows how long I'll be in Park Slope, but I'm happy to know that Barbès will still be here whenever I want to visit. And, I bet it won't have changed a bit.

DSC09097More pics on the photo page.