Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Spice Brothers

This week, spiceboy’s older brother is in town visiting us. For the purposes of this blog, we’ll call him spicebrother.

The Spice Brothers have an interesting relationship. They don't always see eye to eye on things, and unlike my own family, they aren't overly demonstrative. But if you watch them closely enough, you can see the bond between them.

Displayed in their mother’s living room is a photo of the the Spice Brothers from about 30 years ago—when they were still living in China. spicebrother is holding spiceboy—just a chubby toddler--up for the camera, their heads leaning close together in an impossibly cute pose.

I love looking at this photo. I seriously think it was the last time the Spice Brothers hugged.

Despite their differences, there are two things the Spice Brothers agree on unequivocally: food and silly jokes.

Last night, we met up with spicebrother for a casual dinner. Iwasn't expecting a highly exciting evening, so I threw on a white ribbed tank top, a dumpy cardigan sweater, my ridiculous pink flowered galoshes, and ran out the door. It was pouring, I was tired, and the chances of us ending up anywhere remotely fashionable were slim to none, right?


Halfway through dinner, we got a call from spiceboy’s fabulous cousin--a well-known Manhattan caterer who is always doing something extremely interesting, stylish, and grown up with people who are interesting, stylish, and grown up. I like hanging out with her, b/c I always feel like a secret, nerdy imposter who has somehow stepped into someone else’s fabulous life for a couple of hours.

Last night, the fabulous cousin was hanging out at Pegu Club—supposedly one of New York’s latest hot spots and a veritable cocktail mecca. It’s based on a British Officer’s club that originated in Burma in the 1800’s.

As the entire Spice Family is originally from Burma, this club interests them greatly.

We agreed to meet there after dinner, and I suddenly wished I had taken more care with my outfit.

Once the plans were made, spicboy looked across the table at his brother and said, “Pegu Club,” under his breath. Then they both burst out laughing.

“What?” I asked.

“Nothing,” they answered together, and we headed out into the rainy night.

As we trudged through the puddles along West Houston, an unmarked door swung open, releasing a gaggle of beautiful women onto the sidewalk.

“That must be Pegu Club,” I said to the Spice Brothers, who snickered into their collars.

The bouncer held the door for us, casting a wary glance at my pink flowered galoshes, which squeaked as I walked up the stairs. At home, the boots seemed cute and irreverent. But among the LBD crowd at Pegu Club, the boots seemed pedestrian and childish.

Pegu Club is all of the things you would expect a new hipper-than-thou club in Manhattan to be—dark, sleek, and sexy. But it’s also thoughtful, tasteful, and very well put together. Soon we were settled in around a table, surrounded by fanciful finger food and classic cocktails with names like the Fitty Fitty, Whiskey Smash and Pegu Club Cocktail. I sipped my mineral water and coveted every cocktail on the menu. Ever since my puke-o-rama, I’ve not been able to drink. Sad.

The waitresses looked like they stepped straight out of a 1930’s film. The hostess looked like a statue, all sleek limbs and high cheekbones. The owner—a friend of spiceboy’s cousin-- stopped by to chat and kiss-kiss with our group. Again, I had the feeling of stepping into someone else’s fabulous life. Despite my inadequate footwear, it was a fun time.

In the cab on the way home, I asked the Spice Brothers what Pegu meant.

“Well,” said spiceboy, “Pegu is a region in Northern Burma.”

“But in Chinese,” added spicebrother, “Pegu means ass.”

“So we just had drinks at Ass Club?” I asked.

The brothers dissolved in laughter, and I stole a glance at them across the backseat of the cab. Their heads were leaning close together, and their devilish smiles were boyish and nearly identical—not unlike the photo in their mother’s living room.

They looked happy, and that makes me happy.

Maybe some day,if I keep watching them closely enough, I’ll get to see them hug.


Anonymous mhibiscus said...

The Pegu Club!!! I LOVE the Pegu Club! Did anyone try the Earl Grey MarTEAni because I adored them so much I had three in one sitting! I'm so glad you went, even if you were wearing your pink flowered galoshes. Plus I now have the pleasure of knowing I was at The Ass Club! Yippee!

5:58 PM  
Blogger Amie said...

spice brother spice boy? hmmm makes me wonder the reason for these names.

btw thanks for dropping by my blog. haven't had a chance to update it for a few days now but i appreciate the visit. see you around :)

2:33 AM  

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