The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

haughty hermit

with 5 comments

It’s National Chips and Dip Day, in these United States.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

An acquaintance of mine, an immigrant frenchman that works at Delmonicos as a butcher (that’s him, all blurred up in the long exposure above) whom I know from the local saloon asked me just the other night “do you always hold meetings in the bar”? The answer is “yes.” If I have to sit down and chat with someone about work and there’s an opportunity to do it over a pint rather than in some banal office, I take it. One has always favored the “Irish Bar” variant of watering hole. One of the first times that I reveled in the glorious and often forgotten history of NYC was back in college whilst wondering about why Third Avenue in Manhattan seemed to host a group of Irish bars at seemingly regular geographic intervals (14th, 23rd, 34th etc.), and that’s when I learned about the former existence of the Third Avenue Elevated. The Irish bars agglutinate do around its no longer extant exit stairwells, and provided a clue as to “what used to be.”

Back when I was still doing comics, and doing promotional appearances at conventions around the country, I’d often find myself in some strange city or town all by myself after the show and would wander into the local licensed establishments for diversion. That’s when I discovered that there were ethnic influences in the set up of various regions – the “Slavic” style bars of the Midwest (a central island with low slung counters built around it, where shots of clear liquor are favored over tap beer) or the restaurant style setups of the American Southeast – where the bar itself is not meant for sitting at, and the patrons gather around tables and chairs set up in the manner of a coffee shop or diner. Further, you can tie the presence of the Northeastern style Irish bar, in say… Pittsburgh or Nashville, directly to the presence of a railroad line that connected to New England or New York City.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

In political circles, they’ll call a working guy “Joe Six Pack,” which was distinctly the sort of drinking that was favored in my old neighborhood back in Canarsie. Going to a bar was largely precluded for my cohort, as the law kept on changing and the level for legal drinking age was constantly being raised as I approached it. When I was 17 turning 18, they made it 19, and then again it was raised to 21 just as I was turning 19. Never stopped us from buying a bottle of suds at some bodega, but the bodega owners would only sell us the crap that no one else wanted like Meister Brau Light (shudders). There were bars in my neighborhood that looked the other way at your fake ID, of course. Famously, one of them in nearby Sheepshead Bay employed a bouncer who was a young Andrew Dice Clay. Dice didn’t care about ID if your face was familiar to him, and his parents lived a block away from mine, so…

The cool thing about my old neighborhood, right on the edge of an increasingly Caribbean Flatbush, was that the beers that nobody else in my social circle wanted to drink but were abundantly available included Red Stripe and Mackeson’s Triple Stout. Back in the 80’s, everyone was still salivating for Bud, Heineken, or Corona, and Coors was still a newly introduced brand in NYC, so… more of the “off the radar” stuff for me. I still like keeping a six pack of Red Stripe in the fridge during the summer, as the Jamaicans really have something going with their national lager as far as hot weather is concerned.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One has never embraced the high end beers which began to proliferate in recent years as part of the “microbrew” revolution. IPA just causes heartburn to blossom in my skinvelope, and a “flight of beers” as pictured above is just such a  “fancy shmancy” and “hoitie toitie” way to suck back a cold one that my inner “Joe Six Pack” just can’t help going all sarcastic.

The thing one finds disturbing about the Irish Bars which I love hanging out at – these days – are the sudden proliferation of the “sore winner” Trump guys who get angry when they overhear a humble narrator, or anyone else for that matter, using multi syllabic words whilst discussing the news of the day with the other “alta cockers.” Whatcha want from me, bro, you’re the one who voted for a walking trash fire to become President. Can’t we just argue about the relative valuations of the Rangers or the Mets like the good old days?

Just last week, a drunk gym teacher from some charter school comes up behind me and… well, that’s another story.


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

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Written by Mitch Waxman

March 23, 2017 at 11:30 am

5 Responses

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  1. Maybe I can be of some assistance in offering a debate stratagem with these prole dullards that vex you so?

    Now having listened to you on the subject of the Orange God Emperor, President Trump, I can understand how those of deplorables lesser intelligence (being one of these myself) would mistake your points as the mere hissy-fit of a drama queen choking on sour grapes.
    They, these lower creatures, would understand this to be the nominal reaction of what they would perceive to be a denied nerdling in regards to a successful alpha male such as President Trump. Such perceptions by the lower grades of simians most often invite their further reprisals and japes in the hope of seeing our Humble Narrator have a meltdown.

    So they’re just jealous of you, really. Just keep telling yourself that and remain patient. Keep the faith. Keep mindlessly believing all that The Democrat Godlings of the One True Political Belief System tell you to be true.

    How to win the debate with and convert to The One True Progressive Truth those right-wing nazi knuckle draggers at the bar.
    Well, instead of high falutin’ pontification from a soapbox which goes sailing over our low-browed heads, why not take a more simple approach such as offering facts with empirical evidence framed in a well thought out logical argument.

    Well poor benighted former gendarme that I am, my meager ape’s brain cannot conceive of a single thing that unspeakable reprobate President Trump has actually done that was detrimental except cause bad feelz for leftie progs, nor can I think of a single achievement of Mrs. Clinton’s career nor a resume of her’s worth any note rather just abject failure. You must save me from the cruel grip of cold fact and reality !

    So please state how exactly President Trump has actually caused irreparable harm to this country and her people. And go further specifically highlighting Secretary Clinton’s unforgettably ground-breaking legislative (and utterly outstanding work on important senate committees she chaired) and historic diplomatic achievements in the U.S. senate and as Secretary of State respectively. Or perhaps her brilliant legal work (which was so bright ya gotta wear shades) as staff counsel for the House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate investigation. Wow us with the true, party approved properly revised facts.

    Of course you should be obliged to compose all this in short sentences using words of two syllables or less. Keep it in short chapters like parables in the form of an elevator speech- totally worked for Jesus.
    We got short attention spans, you know. A herculean task to be sure but one I am certain you can accomplish.

    Pray Humble Narrator, next time enlighten us simpletons more simply for we cannot understand your more lofty rhetoric as any more than shrill sore loser bitching to our caveman ears. It would be such a good deed for you, good sir. The Pope may even make you a saint for it ! Cool, eh?

    Then perhaps, someday, we proles might even evolve an educated palate to appreciate more advanced and civilized libations.

    Best Regards
    Your Most Obiedent Servant
    Don Cavaioli

    Cav

    March 23, 2017 at 5:53 pm

  2. I’d appreciate more insightful commentary on the merits of Mister Brau (light). Thank you.

    georgetheatheist . . . here's mud in your eye

    March 24, 2017 at 9:05 am

    • And Mesiter Brau too.

      georgetheatheist . . . here's mud in your eye

      March 24, 2017 at 9:05 am

      • And Meister Brua [hick] too.

        georgetheatheist . . . here's mud in your eye

        March 24, 2017 at 9:10 am

    • Meisisters Bra?…Light.

      georgetheatheist. . .here's mud in your eye

      March 24, 2017 at 5:16 pm


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