Monday, February 29, 2016

10th St VFW Post is Back!

Good news from 10th Street.  A few days ago I was passing the VFW Post 9485, right by the subway entrance on Fourth, when I noticed that the door to the Post was open.  Peering inside, I saw a figure in the shadows, behind the bar.  He was waving enthusiastically.  I had to go inside.

After a long unofficial closure dating back to 2012 or so, - partly due to declining membership and partly (you would think) due to the dragged out viaduct & station work that kept the Post jammed in by scaffold - and a more formal shuttering in '14, it looks like 9485 is back.  The vet on duty in the otherwise empty Post informed me that the place would be open again soon.  He emphasized that it would by no means be a man cave - veterans of both sexes would be very welcome.  He also disclosed that a spruce-up was likely for the outside of the premises. As is normal in veteran halls, regular civilians will only be able to visit the post as sponsored guests, but the freshly painted party room will still be available to the general public.

Members of my family are all-too aware of my long-standing wish to rent the party room.  I've talked about having a party here so often that now the grown-up kids have started to share my dream.  The room lies right below the F tracks as they make their way from the viaduct down, down to Seventh. It's a rumbling location that's perfect for a celebration.

I stayed for a little while chatting to my host, who spun out a complicated tale of a journey down South to a party at a veterans' hall in Alabama.  When he got there, dressed to the nines in formal clothes, he found that the hall was all locked up, and no other guests were around.  He waited for a while across the street, outside of a Wendy's, where the presence of a loitering man in a tuxedo soon drew a visit from the cops.  "But I'm from Brooklyn!" he finally cried, as he tried to explain his situation.  It all got sorted out somehow or other, but the party itself was a washout.

Here on 10th, the party prospects are more hopeful. It's great to know that 9485 - which operated here on 10th for fifty years - will be soon be ready to welcome veterans & their guests again.  To the future!

Further reading: A Eulogy for the Ultimate Dive Bar (Narratively)

Homeland Blues: inside the Shuttered Park Slope VFW Hall Underneath the F Train (Observer)

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