Vampire Weekend once wrote a song. It mentioned a falafel place not too far from here. Musical anthropologist Lauren Beltrone investigated.
“Sing next year in Jerusalem/You know—the one at 103rd and Broadway…”
Ok Ezra, if you insist. Aside from being brilliant, Vampire Weekend’s newest album “Vampires of the City” also includes a local restaurant recommendation from Columbia’s hippest musical alumni. (If you don’t consider 103rd and Broadway to be local, then you should maybe reassess some things.) During a spoken-word interlude in the song “Finger Back” (skip to 2:31), Ezra tells the brief yet intriguing story of an Orthodox girl falling in love with the guy making her falafel. Bwog made the journey down to Jerusalem to get the scoop from its owner (and some schawarma).
Bwog: Do you get a lot of people coming in here asking about the song?
Jerusalem: Yes, we do.
Bwog: What do you think of the song?
Jerusalem: I don’t like it.
Bwog: Have you listened to it?
Bwog: Would you like to hear it right now?
Jerusalem: No, I’m busy making falafel. But I can answer questions.
(Right about now, a woman shouts from her table, exasperated, “MY FALAFEL JUST BROKE FOR THE THIRD TIME.” She proceeds to coerce the owner into mending the ripped pita bread.)
Bwog: Is the song referring to anything you know about?
Jerusalem: This falafel shop has been open for over 30 years. I don’t know. Things can happen, but you don’t know. The people just come in and leave.
Bwog: If you could choose a song to be written about this restaurant, what would the song be about?
Jerusalem: Peace in the world.
And with that, Bwog will leave you with the knowledge that Jerusalem delivers until 11:30 (not-so-severe insomnia Baklava, anyone?) and is open until 4am daily.