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Robert Abrams
Dance Events
Various Partner Dances
United States
New York City
New York
New York, NY

The Harvard Club

by Robert Abrams
September 15, 2000
New York, NY

Where: New York City, New York

Place: The Harvard Club

Address: 27 West 44th Street

Phone: 212-840-6600

Reviewer: Robert Abrams

Date: 9/15/2000

The Harvard Club has offered dinner and dancing on Friday nights for several years now. Dinner costs $42.50 per person including wine. One person in your party probably needs to be a member of the Harvard Club, or a member of a club with reciprocal privileges in order to make a reservation. On the other hand, there were empty tables so they might take your business anyway if you promise to behave.

We arrived promptly at 7 pm. The four person band, the Alan Logan Trio plus a guest vocalist, played with short breaks until 10:30 pm. The band was very good. They were all the more remarkable because they capably played Swing at various tempi, Foxtrot, some Tango, and a couple of Cha-chas.

The food was quite good. The Harvard Club is known for their food, and tonight was no exception. They have a prix fixe menu with three or four options for appetizer and main course. The main criticism of the food was that they had no real vegetarian option or fish option. They were willing to make up a vegetable plate on request, but that isn't the same.

So good there was nothing left.

The men's room was no "Prego" (a restaurant in San Francisco whose men's room is so clean and stylish that it sets the standard for all others), but I have it on good authority that the women's room was extraordinary.

For those of you who have never been to old line New York clubs before, be warned: the style of the place is very old-fashioned. A coat and tie is required. If you don't want to be chastised in a disapproving tone of voice, don't take off your jacket to dance, and don't even think about using your cell phone. Also, this is a club, so tipping is not allowed.

The floor was a "tea dance" floor. In other words, it consisted of polished paving tile, not a wooden floor. Not the worst sort of floor to dance on, but one that requires a little care to avoid mishaps. The atmosphere is very dark. Gravitas rhymes with Veritas. That's just the Harvard Club's style. They are the embodiment of that historical moment when it was okay to hunt big game and mount the heads on your wall. On the other hand, they now let women in the place, in pants no less. Change comes slowly, but come it does.

Dancing - with flash

The event drew a mixed-age crowd with a sizable late 20s to early 30s contingent. This, combined with the old-fashioned grounded elegance of the Harvard Club, make for a unique and fun evening. I can not vouch for what the event would have been like had I not been there as part of a group, but as part of a group it was worth attending. Considering what you can spend on a decent meal in New York City, the evening was a fine bargain.

Dancing - no flash

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