Tuesday, September 6, 2005


I opened the bar early in the afternoon on Monday, hoping to catch some of the crowd attending the street fair (turned out the street fair was on Lexington Avenue, not 3rd). When I realized that there was no street fair, I hunkered down for a nice, easy, casual afternoon at the bar. I ended up getting a slow but steady flow of traffic, mostly older types interested in the dollar drafts and the U.S. Open.

During the course of the afternoon I had the pleasure of meeting quite a few out-of-towners. There were the group of ladies from North Carolina, who came into town for weekend to catch the U.S. Open. They were in their late thirties and very pleasant types. They talked about how nice the people were here, but were a bit disappointed that they couldn't find places to mingle with people "their age" during the weekend.

Then there was the couple from San Francisco who just arrived for a week's vacation. They picked my brain for information on places to go, restaurants to eat from, how to get tickets for Broadway and David Letterman. We also bantered a bit about football (they were big Oakland Raiders fans). Very nice folks. I'm sure we'll see them again during the course of the week.

Finally, there was the second group of ladies. Three of them in total. Two were probably in their forties-very nice looking, yet you got the sense that they were a bit tired. They were accompanied by a much younger lady, probably in her mid-twenties. She had a bit of an Irish brogue to her. One of the ladies ordered a shot- a combination of Jagermeister/Rumple Mintz called a "Wolverine". I asked her where she'd heard of that drink and she said that it's popular in New Orleans. I asked if that's where she was from (I detected a southern twang in her voice); She indicated that she was from Jefferson Parish (outside of New Orleans) and that she had to evacuate with her son during Hurricane Katrina. Her travels carried her from Jefferson Parish, LA, to Baton Rouge, LA, to Memphis, TN. and finally to NYC when it was determined that they would have run out of money had they stayed in their $140-a-night hotel room in Memphis for more than a couple of nights. A kind-hearted family friend of the family (the young girl) offered to put them up here in Queens and so they jumped at the offer and came north. To make matters worse, they arrived in NYC with literally the clothes on their backs and a few meager posessions. On Sunday, they stopped at Earl's to get a bite to eat. They decided that they would get a table outside because the weather was nice. As luck would have it, as they walked outside to get a table, a police emergency truck jumped the curb and ran into the side of restaurant, inches from where they would have been sitting. If that isn't a sign that someone is looking out for them, I don't know what is. In any case, with everything that's happened to them over the course of a week, their spirits remained relatively high. They have come to terms with the fact that they will probably go home to nothing, but everyone is safe and they can rebuild their lives again. It was touching to see. I took their address information with the thought of possibly doing something to help them out while they are here. Very nice people.

Around this time, FIRE MARSHALL ED arrived, tools and supplies in tow. During the next hour or so, the distinct sounds of sawing and hammering took over the bar as MR. ED set out to fix and nail down anything that was loose-fitting in the bar. I have to say, I was impressed with the little guy. Once he got started, there was no stopping him. By the time the dust cleared, he had practically built a brand new bar! (just kidding). Who am I to stand in the way of progress?

I actually went to bed early last night as I wasn't feeling well and wanted to feel better for today's activities/ventures. It's Dollar Draft Madness again and yours truly has yet another Fantasy Football Draft to attend to. So if you don't see me around tonight, don't fret. I'll be back tomorrow.


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