When You Stumble Upon A Speakeasy.

“I’d like to suggest that the greatest risk we face these days is that of an unlived life.” — Jeff Goins

 
It’s 10 p.m., and I get home from a full day of watching football. My apartment faces the street here in New York. I hear a marching band.

A full-on, trumpets and tubas and drums marching band. At 10 p.m. On a Sunday.

I grab a coat and go back outside. I want to see what the hell is happening.

And I get outside, and it’s suddenly quiet. I start walking toward where I’d heard the sound. It’s gone.

And then I see this crowd up ahead. They’re outside a diner.

Inside the diner, there’s a 10-piece marching band, suddenly commandeering the restaurant. (That’s them in the photo above.)

And inside, they dance and they play, for reasons that no one can quite explain to me. And that’s okay.

Just the celebration itself is kind of wonderful.

I decide to go explore a little. I walk around the corner in search of a bite. There’s a hot dog place across the street that I notice for the first time. It’s in the basement of a building.

I pop in. I order a dog.

There’s a big crowd of people near the door. They’re just waiting at some tables. They don’t appear to be waiting for food.

I’m puzzled.

And then I see them start to walk towards this hole in the wall. Must be the line for the bathroom, I think.

I get closer. It’s not a hole in the wall — it’s a phone booth. And the back wall of the booth is suddenly missing.

And on the other side of the booth, there’s a tiny, hidden bar. A speakeasy, hidden inside phone booth inside a hot dog stand.

I could have lived here for a decade and never known it was there. But tonight, by accident, I stumbled upon a little secret place.

And I think now: Sometimes, you have to chase a sound you can’t hear, or a craving you have. Sometimes, those things lead you to the most unexpected, most wonderful ends.