The Carousel Bar at the Monteleone is a hub (figuratively and literally) of activity during Tales of the Cocktail. During the day it’s both a convenient meeting place and a handy spot for a quick drink to fortify yourself before venturing out to other watering holes. This makes it a very busy place during the day, and finding a spot to sit or even stand takes a little effort and patience.
But after 5, things change a bit. Everything slows down a little and the crowd thins out. Some no doubt head for dinner. Some probably look to take things uptempo and head to a livelier bar. Some take a nap and/or a shower before considering their next move.
This is when I like the Carousel best. The lights seem a little dimmer, the music a little softer, and the drinks a little smoother.
This is also when I’m more aware that the Carousel moves. Not just moves, but turns, slowly revolving and treating me to a gentle magic carpet ride that always brings me back to where I started. It makes me feel slightly sorry for the folks in the chairs around the edge of the room…they’re missing out on the fun.
I also have a theory that a moving bar helps keep things civilized. It’s hard to get rowdy when you’re on a slo-mo merry-go-round. It likely has something to do with being rocked as a baby, but I’m not going to question it too deeply. All I know is that bars come in many shapes and configurations, but I’m coming to the conclusion that round is ideal. And if your round bar also revolves and is decorated in an old-time amusement park motif, then all the better.
The one other thing I like about the Carousel is the array of unobtrusive mirrors placed behind the bar. You can easily ignore them if you like, but I happen to think occasionally seeing your reflection aids in self-reflection. Plus, you can tell if someone is sneaking up behind you. Genius, as far as I’m concerned.
So I think I’ll have one more round. And one more go ‘round.