Friday, March 28, 2008

lion café

Up on Love Hotel Hill there's a little café tucked away. It has a funny façade, and you wouldn't really know what lies within from looking at the outside.

What lies within is a queer little place, done up in a gothicky style, all red velvet and dark wood. The quarters are close, and the air's a little smoky. This is the Lion Classical Music Lounge.

Enter and find a seat. Downstairs has better acoustics, but upstairs it's fun to look over the balcony. All the seats face forward and are carved like church pews.

Every seat faces what amounts to an altar: a huge, floor to ceiling alcove holding enormous speakers, a record player, and a bust of what looks like Beethoven.

Order a coffee or a matcha latte from the waitress. Please whisper! Otherwise you'll get dirty looks. Most of the other patrons are alone, and there's no talking in loud voices. If you must speak, whispering is essential.

The waitress will make your drink and send it upstairs in a tiny dumbwaiter. Sit back, sip, and relax, awash in the musical stylings complete with scratchy record noises, at this shrine to classical music in the midst of sexed-up Dogenzaka.

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