Long before the trendiness and the updated interiors, there were a few places in the hood.  The Lotus Cafe, the Jamaican hairstylists with the concrete parking polls in full Rasta colours, a couple Latino hardware stores and Wylie Dufresne on his way.  Caught between the lettered avenues and the (future) new world sat (and still sits) the Parkside Lounge.

There was a little hole on the wall on the corner of whatever and whatever. Literally, you may find someone from just about any part of the city.  You are at the corner of everything. When you walk inside you have a pool table and lots of 1980s legit retro gear.  But once inside, the back music room; the jewel of the crown inside the lounge. You just may be transported into another world. I would say the music runs from reggae, rock steady sca to new age jazz.  Let the Jamieson flow. Definitely a place you can light up a spliff mate…even in today’s world.


Rasta J is old New Yorker, an East Village legend, and LES spliff master.