One night in December 1953, the air is layered with small drops of rain, the snow will probably fall soon. I take a drag on my cigarette, exhale some white smoke, unfold the collar of my jacket, to cover the back of my neck numbed by the cold. I can see the crowd outside Birdland from far, a scene that takes place here everyday. Everyone wants to squeeze in and the crowd persists even after midnight. My steps speed up with the rhythm of Jazz music, my shiny lace-up shoe intrude into the water and disturbs the image of Manhattan floating on its surface. The doorman sees me and gestures the crowd to make space and let me in. Once I step inside, Gary Cooper gives me a hug like an old friend would. Art Blakey, John Coltrane and Miles Davis are on the stage, bursting with musical genius. Taking a glimpse at the watch, I know it is going to be a long night. I adjust the position of my hat and rose corsage, just when I catch the sight of Marilyn Monroe and her entourage walking in from the front door.
Text: BEBOP | Translation: dilettante
Photo: Chan Kin Wai
Update: 8 Dec 2008
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