Thursday, October 17, 2013
I hadn't been by since Monday, when I dropped by for an afternoon drink. The place was almost empty, with just a couple of guys sitting alone at the bar. Apparently there'd been endless phone calls, all about the real closing date, and it was too much. As were the cheap sarcastic online snarks about the place. And what about the mothers who had come by recently, wanting to bring their strollers inside and sip sodas? There was talk of old and new drinkers on the avenue, of older drunks quieter in their stupors, calling it a day early, and the newer ones out on the streets in the early hours, in loud and screaming clusters.
I wasn't an old or a new drinker. I wasn't a regular, but had reached the age where Jackie's, like Timboo's, was a far more comforting perch than most of the newer places here, where I might be a parent to the customers. The talk was always better, the ladies at the bar - young or old- friendly and no-nonsense, and you felt the warmth of community. These were the places that put me in mind of the English pubs I grew up with. Toughness & tenderness and no bullshit. I'm sorry another one's gone.
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