afterword on the last page of the menu at library lounge These reads, We
like to think that getting to know books is just as important as getting to know
people. Indeed, the opportunity to get to know books abounded. Old copies
of Egoiste, one with a naked Gerard Depardieu on the cover, sat on
mahogany bookshelves near the entrance, and a Macintosh desktop was planted on
a solid hardwood table next to stacks of books about the Rolling Stones, the designs
of Leonardo da Vinci and other works of architecture, photography and pop culture.
Solitary wooden chairs sat in between shelves for those who wanted to immerse
themselves in all the literature, but we decided to relive our college-day antics
and found a table in a room full of books where we could chat instead of study.
Classical jazz and chansons francaises set a studious mood, and a petite brass
lamp cast a soft, golden glow our way, allowing us to glance through a copy of
Beat GenerationGlory Days in Greenwich Village before the waiter
arrived carrying a bowl of fruit. Smiling at the perplexed look on our faces,
he explained that we were to make a selection, and then the bartender would shake
up a cocktail (¥1,200) using our picks. The blackcurrant and kiwi fruit drinks
that arrived shortly afterwards were an excellent blend of Caribbean rum, fresh
juice and chunks of our choices that had us eating our tangy potions rather than
fruity concoctions seemed to be for first timers, since we were the only patrons
using spoons. Everyone else was sipping whiskey from the bars extensive
list of wines and spirits(all ¥1,200), and just as in any library, all seemed
to come from different walks of life. Some were middle-aged and suited, others
younger and shabbily dressed, but all seemed to enjoy languishing in this artsy,
arboreal hole in Nishi-Azabu. Black and white photos and a Calvados (¥900)
and Paul Giraud Tradition Cognac (¥1,200) fueled our conversation late into
the night, and we were delighted to catch a glimpse of a tropical fish aquarium
on our way to the rest room, and discover a bookshelf that magically opened revealing
another, cobble stone-floored room beyond.
When the crowds began to thin,
we returned our pile of publications back to their places and made a mental bookmark
to return for another chapter.
Open noon-4am Mon-Sat,
closed Sun. 2F, 2-13-19 Nishi-Azabu, Minato-ku. Tel: 5466-7331. Nearest stn: Nogizaka.
credit: Nobby Kealy