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An article from yesterday’s NY Times titled Comfort From the Cold Winds about the one and only McSorley’s brought a little tear to my eye. It also reminded me that I need to get back there soon. It has been way way too long, my old Irish friend.
Beyond the greatness of the bar, it’s beer, and it’s unrivaled atmosphere, McSorley’s great little secret has always been it’s food. After several lights or darks with your oldest drinking buddies (or the newest ones you just met after being thrust down at one of those scarred wooden tables), bellying up for the McSorley’s burger & steak fries would make the same meal at Five Guys or Smashburger seem downright partisan. I’m not saying it’s the greatest meal you will ever have, but paired with the atmosphere, it is tough to beat.
Whenever I knew there was a “McSorley’s Virgin” in the mix, I would always push the Mustard and Saltines hard. The presentation of the Mustard was always something to behold. It was just slopped into a extra beer mug, filled halfway, with a flat wooden spoon and crusted mustard on the lip of the mug. Hardly sanitary but it just fits so well sitting there in the middle of the ancient, spilled upon wooden table. Having the mustard for the first time was a true initiation into the wonder and old time history of the bar, as the article so eloquently puts it:
Go easy with that tub of yellow mustard. It’s full of Colman’s, and a heaping spoonful of this British staple can unleash a saloon brawl on your tongue.
One last McSorley’s memory to share: I was there many moons ago with several friends from my undergraduate days at Syracuse. I think that visit to McSorley’s was part of a bachelor party. As can only be done at McSorley’s, we ended up sharing a table with some intimidating looking, leather clad bikers. Several fists full of lights and darks later, one friend of mine was going toe to toe in a drinking contest with the biker dude introduced to us as “Porkchop”. It was just a beautiful scene.
NOTE: I have started to contribute posts and articles to the Syracuse fan site Inside the Loudhouse. My first article published today and is titled “Syracuse Orange Hoopsters In the NBA“. An excerpt from it is below.
Through all the years that Jim Boeheim has been coaching men’s basketball at Syracuse University, he has never had a problem attracting basketball talent to the program. Many ‘talking heads’ have said that Boeheim has not done enough with the talent that has come through the program, but that is a discussion for another day. When a program like Syracuse attracts such basketball talent, the inevitable question becomes how many of it’s players make it to ‘The Show’ (aka: the NBA) and how well prepared are those players for all the demands at the professional level?…
Saw this bit in the NY Times today about how the remaining members of Monty Python are planning a reunion tour of some sort. Seems it has been in some form of discussion for a few months now.
While I think this is interesting news, something tells me it won’t be nearly as funny as the originals when they were much much younger.
But it’s not about the art. It’s about the money.
You will not find a bigger Python fan than yours truly. However, I am skeptical that revisiting their classic bits as ~70 year old men will enhance their legacy. How will they be able to top the comic timing of The Dead Parrot Sketch, Ministry of Silly Walks, Spam Spam Spam Eggs and Spam, and numerous others? And not to mention their masterpiece Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail.
I hope they prove me wrong. I really believe that comedy and movies from folks like Python should be left to let live based on the brilliance of their original work. Because as time goes by, you may see something in everyday life that reminds you of one of their skits (Like when you meet a person named Arthur Wilson. Or you see a postcard with Mount Kilimanjaro on it. Or you see a can of Spam.) and all you can do is smile.
I love projects like this. A very cool exploration of logo design titled “Football As Football“, where some designers have styled several NFL logos as if they were European Football (soccer) clubs. A few for your viewing pleasure:
New England Patriots
Yes, they even did a really nice job with the logo of the NY Jets