Swing 46, Big Band Dancing On The West Side

It’s funny how happenstance can be such a great thing. This couldn’t be more true when traveling, which is perhaps one of the most exciting and fun aspects of travel.

Back in December, when we stepped off the Queen Mary 2 into New York after 6 months in Europe, we had just one day to enjoy the Big Apple before we set off to rendezvous with family in Maryland. We took a cab from the cruise terminal in Brooklyn to our hotel. Despite clear directions to the cabbie, including showing him the address of the hotel from the reservation confirmation email, he turned right off 10th Avenue onto West 46th Street.

The thing is…the address of our hotel was on West 48th Street.

Lori and I spotted the error right away, watching the street sign as we passed by. Assuming the cabbie knew of some construction, or some other traffic obstacle, further along 10th Avenue or two blocks up at 48th Street, we didn’t say anything. At least until he pulled up in front of an apartment building–obviously not a hotel–and announced we were at our hotel. It was then that I informed him we were on 46th, not 48th.

“No, no, we’re on 48th,” he insisted in the most annoying this is my town sort of voice.

Well, had our luggage not swollen to the size of steamer trunks the last few weeks of our travels, we would’ve just paid the guy and hoofed it two blocks over to where our hotel actually was. Instead, we debated with him a few minutes, and all the time he insisted we were at our hotel. Then, as two of New York’s finest strolled by, I asked them, “Hey guys, what street are we on?”

“You’re on the 400 block of West 46th Street,” one of them replied with delightful precision. New York’s finest indeed!

Suddenly proven wrong, our cabbie sulkily climbed back into the driver’s seat and set out to get us to our intended destination. But just as we were pulling away from what he had been insisting was our hotel, we passed an intriguing little establishment. The sign over the door said, “Swing 46 Jazz and Supper Club”.

Regular readers know that we’re dancers. They might also know that this Swing 46 place appeared to offer two of our favorite things in the world: music and food. We didn’t get to visit then in December, but it went onto our to-see list on our next visit to NYC, which came about as we returned from our winter road trip.

We went that Friday night, just as our friends Scott and Angela were boarding a plan in Atlanta, so we went by ourselves. We had eaten at another place around the corner, so for us the visit was about dancing and drinks. The band that night was Ron Sunshine and his Orchestra, who served up a nice mix of Dorsey- and Miller-esque big band jazz, the kind of stuff we crave for some swing dancing and a bit of fox trot, with the occasional Latin cha-cha thrown in for a little spice.


Chuck and Lori's Travel Blog - Swing 46 Jazz and Supper Club, New York, NY
A Good Crowd on the Dance Floor

The dance floor isn’t large, not much more area than a typical American living room. We had planned to be there on a Friday night expecting (and hoping) that there’d be a decent crowd. It just doesn’t seem as much fun when we’re the only people dancing. Our Friday night, the crowd was “just right”: there were enough people up and dancing to make it fun, without so many that everyone was constantly bumping into one another.

Even if you don’t dance, Swing 46 would be worth a visit. The music was great, the atmosphere–like a throwback 1940’s club–fun, and the drinks strong. While we didn’t eat, the plates we saw looked (and smelled) great; next time, we’ll be dining with them. If you’re interested in dancing, but don’t know how, show up a little early for a lesson. Check their website, swing46.com, for a calendar of events, to check up on dance lessons, to see their dinner menu, and more.



Chuck and Lori's Travel Blog - Swing 46 Jazz and Supper Club, New York, NY



Leave a Reply