By Seth Fera-Schanes
“Give me the microphone first so I can bust like a bubble,
Compton Manhattan and Long Beach Korean Town together now you know you in trouble.”
My apologies to Snoop but I couldn’t help myself.
If you have lived in New York City for any length of time, chances are you have done karaoke more than a handful of times. Karaoke bars and clubs are ubiquitous in the city with a disproportionately high concentration in Manhattan’s Korean town.
A favorite activity among just about every 20 and 30 something, Karaoke offers a chance to bond with coworkers, have a low cost high energy birthday party or just to impress that special someone (that last one being highly debatable.)
I was heading to a karaoke birthday party last Saturday. As I walked east on 32nd street in K-Town, I tried to decipher the building numbers through all the neon signs. I found my stop and took a right down a short, narrow and not overly clean hallway. I knew I was in for a treat. I stood at the elevator and waited for it to descend and it too was narrow and not very clean. My excitement grew. Just know that I firmly believe the more difficult (or dingy) the path the greater the reward is at the end. And in this case I was rewarded handsomely.
I stood in the entrance of Gagopa Karaoke. Christmas lights were blinking and the sounds of slightly to very inebriated patrons belting out Living on a Prayer enveloped me. After I took it all in, I went to my party’s private booth. For $7 an hour, BYOB (bring your own beer) and complementary bottle openers attached to the table with long chains for that added homey touch, Gagopa is a winner. They have a great song selection and the system even rates your performance. Although I feel like the 86 my friend and I received for a stellar version of a Tenacious D song was severely underrated.
If you are looking for a new karaoke spot, then definitely check out Gagopa, it is one rocking good time.
Gagopa is located at 28 W. 32nd Street New York, NY 10001