Saturday, February 13, 2010


The National Hotel is bursting at its seams with musicians who have shown up to support our efforts to feature local talent. Not only were we treated to an absolutely wonderful Thursday Open Mike Night (a.k.a. open mic night), two days ago, where participants enjoyed jamming with each other, supporters showed up throughout the night to encourage, listen, enjoy, and share in their friends' passion, but moreover, we were honored to have been chosen to be the hosts of this musical night. And this Sunday, we have yet another treat: Teri Rambo. She'll perform at The Rathskeller Pub Lounge from 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. (note the time change, please). As I've written about before, Teri is an Indie/Folk musician, and we will have the opportunity to listen to some of her own work, as she performs this Sunday. We are so excited!

Please do come out and support our local talent. We've been so fortunate these last few Sundays when we hosted our past musical acts. They've been absolutely enchanting--drawing people from our upstairs Restaurant & Bar, downstairs, to hear them, to listen to their songs, to watch first-hand a performer sharing his/her talent.

Some things happen because one works so hard at making sure all the little details are taken care of. But life is funny in how it presents you with opportunities that are unexpected, sometimes opening doors that you thought you'd end up having to spend hours, days, months just knocking endlessly to see if your efforts produced any results. Such is the case of our Thursday Open Mike Nights at The Rathskeller Pub Lounge.

Pete and I envisioned this very early in the process, built it into our website, knowing that one day, the building would be able to feature musicians, poets, writers, and numerous other creative artists that bring that extra depth into our lives. There's never been a performance, a musical revue, an artistic endeavor, that we regret seeing or in which we participated. On a very personal level, the arts have always been an important part of our lives.

We used to live in Hell's Kitchen (renamed "Clinton" when we lived there, and now finding better branding opportunities being re-renamed to "Hell's Kitchen" yet again for the residential properties, and "Midtown West" for the commercial real estate). Well, just a short stroll away was Lincoln Center. Every summer they open their doors to have free musical and artistic events, featuring international dance companies, musicians, and artists that cater to the young and the old. They even have ballroom dancing evenings, with an hour of instruction before the night starts if anyone wants to join in. Completely open to the public, Pete and I shared these days with joy and enthusiasm, later on including our munchkins, Shiara and Laina too. But New York City is full of these opportunities, even walking through Central Park, which in the summer offers free productions performed at their Delacorte Theater (Shakespearean productions with a hit list of performers that span the NY Broadway scene to Hollywood), Summerstage, a series of concerts, opera productions, and numerous other opportunities for the citizens trapped in high rises, to meander through that beautifully planned and maintained park.

And so much more, from museums, to the World Financial Center's ongoing performing arts programming, again, free and open to the public, from art installations to live performances. Wherever you look, there's always something that one can enjoy.

And then having the opportunity to reopen The National Hotel's doors, Pete and I knew that we would like to be able to share this passion, this amazing dimension to our lives, by being able to reach out to our local artists to see if anyone would be interested. And boy, how pleasantly this has come full circle--without sending out a media blitz to inform people about our desires, our goal to fill our building with artists. It's our local talent that makes this area so wonderful, so rich, and such a community.

Alex Wolfson and I started talking about Open Mike Nights at The Rathskeller Pub early on after opening the doors to The National Hotel. He definitely made me feel as though this was something doable, something that Frenchtown needed--a place to feel like you can express yourself in the way that only an open forum where you are surrounded by fellow artists and friends, can allow you to feel.

So it started. Very organically. No press releases, no advertisements. Just word of mouth and viral emails. And you came. You shared your love of music, your love of the building, your love of spending an easy night with old friends and new.

And to our wonderful surprise, again organically, others have stepped in to help organize these nights, encourage fellow musicians, many with other day jobs, careers, families, and homes that keep them busy during the hours the sun is out--but they came. We are so fortunate to have so many other wonderful Hunterdon County and Bucks County residents who are dropping by, listening--some came on our first night to listen, and actually took the mike this past Thursday to perform--and some perhaps planning on just what they can do to share their talent with those around them. These nights are for them; these nights are for you.


  1. Hotels which provide an avenue for local talent to flourish also benefit from having various kinds of music play within their establishment so that they cater to their diverse audience as well.

    1. You are so right!! Moreover, The National Hotel is fortunate to "sit" in an area of the US that is filled with artists, from musicians to painters to poets, and more. These artists continue to help us bring the arts to all of our patrons, and we are very grateful.