Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The End










     So I guess this is really it.  Set for closure by New Year's Day, Timboo's managed a few more weeks. People wanted to believe that the place would at least make it to the Super Bowl, but no.  A last (championship) pool game, & a lot of talk about where the regulars would end up next.  Would it be McFadden's?  Or Joe's?  No one seemed to be sure. What's interesting is how far some people came to drink at Timboo's: from Sheepshead Bay, or up in the Bronx, & what's beautiful about it was the real sense of community you found there. On some of the chattering, snider Brooklyn blogs it got derided as a last resort dive bar, which is the stupidest shit out there.  It was a last remnant of a decent, blue-collar, South Slope bar scene, and patronized by people you'd never get the chance to meet in any of the newer places on the avenue.  With far better stories. People who were ready to talk to whoever came through the door, provided they came in with the right attitude. You could go in there alone, or with friends, & be welcomed, even as a casual visitor.  You'd be fed, and treated well.  Some of the best people around.  And while it had plenty of older customers, there was a fair number of younger drinkers too, especially on pool and football nights.  Originally Loftus's, in the 40s, the bar became Steve's in the 50s, and then Timboo's in '69.  On the walls, an array from the past: collages of drinkers past and present, of Dodgers & Mets, of Elvis, Seargent Pepper, of crooners (Sinatra, Carmichael et al.), & a fading wallpaper of Empire diners.  A paneled den of memories, but not maudlin or depressed in any way, like Jackie's down at 7th Street could feel.  Timboo's kept your spirits up, rather than sapping them completely.
     So what've we got coming in on this block now?  You couldn't call it a lovely stretch, but until recently it seemed to have resisted the forces of gentrification quite nicely, & that was a comfort.  Comfort no more.  A new pub will replace the closed jazz bar Puppets (a sad, short-lived venture), & an upscale baby store with Urban & Classic clothing lines is set to open shortly.  A French restaurant will take the spot where the Park Slope diner lasted for forty years.  Thrifty Liquidators & 99c Bazar (sic) are shuttered, & though they weren't the most exciting of places, they were cheap, & I fear their successors.  The Key Food (replacing the OTB) will be open soon, & that at least is a handy sort of change.  Not the rest though.  A couple of people tonight said that that the Timboo's name would stay on with its replacement bar, but I don't see the point of that.  None of the old customers will be back.  Hair Designs by Julie is still around, & it's just about my last hope for the older feel of the block.  The tattoo-faced mannequins there in the window  - ladies of uncertain age - are all ready for Valentine's Day.  Surrounded by blooming paper hearts, they stare with contempt at a changing world.  My sullen heroines.


7 comments:

Goggla said...

This is so sad. We seem to be losing that sense of community in so many places - bars, shops, apartment buildings, on the street...places where people know your name (or at least your face) and are eager to chat and hang out. I really don't get it.

Marty Wombacher said...

Great but sad post and the perfect images to accompany it. I'll drink a toast or ten to Timbos tonight.

Anonymous said...

i don't even live in NYC, and i hate to see this kinda stuff happening.....sad to see the personality and individual style be stripped slowly from our culture in the unholy need for the same stores and shops EVERYWHERE...here in Boston, its the same thing going on...UGH! jim

onemorefoldedsunset said...

Thanks for reading, Jim. You're right ...

Anonymous said...

While I can say that as a resident of Park Slope I hate to see older, established places close I've never been a big fan of these older bars. Walking by with my groceries I am constantly seeing several people mulling around outside smoking and on occasional sneaking their beer bottles outside too. The 99cent stores can all close in my opinion. I am happy to see a lot of the changes taking place south of 9th street. It has held on to that edgy feeling for too long while rental and sale prices for properties continues to grow. Why pay significantly higher rent but be surrounded by bars and 99 cent stores?? Progress continues.

Carl Douglas said...

You suck anonymous!

onemorefoldedsunset said...

Carl, Carl, a little more restraint please! Anonymous: I beg to disagree. Most of the bars on Fifth these days are newer ones, & there are just as many knots of people hanging around outside them. That's the way of bars in the Bloomberg era. Most of these bars are rather lacking in character, though, & a good deal less friendly than the older ones. I'm not sure why Fifth below 9th is characterized as "edgy" (whatever that means) or having little other than 99c stores. Simply not true. It's a relief to be down this end rather than with the chattering crowds further north. It's where I feel most at home around here. But I guess progress will drive older residents out, & change all that.