I gave in and clicked on a Facebook ad recently. It was totally in service of this blog, and of having fun and offbeat things to do in the city, because it was an ad for a service called UpOut. At its most basic, UpOut seems to be a list of activities in the city, but it also boasts an Insiders Club subscription service. For $20 a month, you receive a list of events in the city and choose one which you’d like to attend with a guest. If you don’t (or can’t) pick one that month, you’ll instead receive a pair of movie tickets in the mail.
I’ve only just signed up, and the first month is free, so I haven’t had to pay yet, but on Monday night I went to my first event. It was a show at Le Poisson Rouge on Bleecker Street featuring a singer/violinist named Jenny Scheinman, with Brian Blade on drums. I got in line about ten minutes before doors opened and discovered that my tickets only entitled me and my friend to standing room, not seats at a table. I was a little annoyed, since that hadn’t been mentioned anywhere, but it meant that there wouldn’t be a minimum purchase requirement, so that was a plus. My friend had to stay later at work, so when I got in I ordered some food and planted myself at the bar with a book.
At first there weren’t many of us in the standing room space, but as it got closer to the show’s starting time the place started to fill up. The space at Le Poisson Rouge is interesting – lots of tables, a long bar, and an elevated space at the back with more tables. My friend arrived with ten minutes to spare and we chatted until the music started. The best thing about our spots at the bar was that we could lean against it. Unfortunately, though, a couple tall men stood directly in front of us at the beginning of the show, and though one eventually moved elsewhere, I didn’t have a great view of the stage for most of it. It was a little frustrating, but I was tired enough that I’d rather lean than be able to see perfectly. Also, being at the bar had its advantages: We ordered warm chocolate chip cookies with milk for dessert.
The music was really neat – a little bit folk and country, a little bit jazz, a lot a bit weird in its lyrics (“The Littlest Soldier” is a pregnant woman in prison singing about her unborn child). I’d listened to some of it on Spotify the week before, so some of the songs were familiar, but even the ones that weren’t were interesting. I’d definitely recommend checking it out! The show ran a little over an hour and a half, which was about how much I could handle on a Monday night. I was tired afterward, but glad I went!
Considering all the evening cost me was dinner, I was pretty pleased. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s on offer for next month – and if I can’t find anything I want to check out, two movie tickets for $20 sounds like a great deal. I’ll have to see how UpOut works going forward (and figure out how to get fewer emails from them), but for now, I like it enough to suggest you check it out! If you use my link, I get a free month.
Has anyone else tried UpOut, or been to a show at Le Poisson Rouge?