It was the cool dim-lit time just before one in the morning when, on the way to a nightcap at Cafe Select, The Observer happened upon Joe Jonas. He stood with a few bystanders, perhaps some friends, on that island by the mouth of Lafayette, the soft glow of low-level florescent bulbs hovering behind them. They had appeared to have eaten some late-night La Esquina.
Yet something was off. Why here, Joe? Why now? And why, Joe, do you need a huge hulking bodyguard to accompany you to pick up tacos in Nolita? Mean streets, those.
Alongside a gossip reporter from the New York Daily News, who had been with us, we approached the middle one of the Jonas Brothers.
“Hey, Joe,” we said.
“How’s it going?” he said.
We told him what newspaper we wrote for.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah.”
“What are you doing at La Esquina?” we asked. “Do you come here a lot?”
“Are you recording this?” he said.
“What?” we said. He was looking at our iPhone.
The bodyguard took over from there.
“Let me see your phone, please,” the bodyguard said.
“He’s not going to have a conversation with you,” the bodyguard said.
“Give me the phone,” the bodyguard said.
“Let me see it,” the bodyguard said, swiping at my phone.
We pulled our arm back.
“Thank you,” we said to Mr. Jonas.
The pop star and his companions stood there silent, backlit by the wet glistening Kenmare Street pavement. They all had blank expressions on their faces, non-reactions, nothing. Then they went off in a big dark car, somewhere, anywhere. It didn’t matter — he’s a Jonas Brother, after all.
We went to have a drink at Cafe Select. Then we had another and went off. As of now, there’s no word on whether Joe Jonas escaped New York before the earthquake.