When people get sad some turn to eating or drinking or smoking, playing video games all day and night, or shopping and buying lots of shoes or gadgets … I turn to music. Music of all kinds, from instrumental to vocal, traditional to experimental, jazz to electronic, Classical to blues, rock to country – especially to be able hear music live soothes my soul and uplifts my spirit like no other.
I feel blessed to live above a place where I can always hear good music. For years in Alphabet City of East Village on the corner of Avenue C and 9th Street is a music bar. My family moved into the neighborhood back in 1992 when the neighborhood was still in transition but there was always a bar on the corner. It used to be called a different name - I always have heard the music from upstairs but never went in. In 1998 I left the neighborhood, and the city to go away to college and after graduation moved to Europe. I came back to New York City almost a decade later and settled again on Ave C & 9 St. By then that bar had been sold and since 2005 was called Banjo Jim.
Banjo Jim is one of the rare gems in an ever-gentrified neighborhood of pricy restaurants and high-end bars and clubs. In a sea of homogeneity, there is uniqueness and distinct character to this bar. No cover, a friendly environment, one can have a beer in a wooden setting listening to music on a small stage. Whether it's bluegrass or blues or jazz, the music is guaranteed to be good. Known to be the best music venue in the East Village and the coziest dive on the East side, Banjo Jim’s slogan is “Feel the Love” – come and listen and judge for yourself.