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Profound Thoughts On a Few Things

May 21, 2012

–This McHale’s business is the real Disneyfication of NYC, not what’s taken place in Times Square. Times Square is back to what it traditionally was, a district for mass market entertainment; you (me) may not like what they’re selling, but lots and lots of people do. The time when it was a crime ridden center with XXX movies as its most notable calling card was really an interlude from it’s much longer life as an entertainment locale. However ‘charming’ it was in the 70s and 80s, a thriving city can’t have a shit-hole area like that right at its center. The crossroads of the world wasn’t going to stay like that for long. As for the new McHale’s and it being “more of a tribute to the old neighborhood and a number of the old bars” as a reader at Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York described the new place, that’s your Disney right there.

It’s nostalgia for a world that is gone, sitting around remembering the good old days and pining for a neighborhood that was slowly ground out of existence. It’s not impossible to find slightly more rough-hewned bars, less wealthy, maybe even seedier, neighborhoods. But the neighborhood, and the people who remain in it have changed. Putting on a leather jacket and buying a Harley Davidson doesn’t make you a Hell’s Angel, and sitting in a bar called McHale’s doesn’t make you an old timer. You want a McHale’s like experience? You’re not going to get it in a place called McHale’s anymore, but, instead, in some place that doesn’t have a famous name, and probably in another part of town.

–The pound cake I bought this morning had several spots of mold on it. And, because it was raining, I couldn’t return it. Unusually, I took the bus to work today and got the pound cake from a different, more distant crappy deli.

–I’ve given a lot of thought to what is behind the the stunning number of injuries my fantasy baseball team has suffered and can only conclude that dark forces are arrayed against me.

–The Power Broker, by Robert Caro is the best book I’ve read about New York City. If anyone visiting this mess has another title they would suggest on the subject I’d love to hear about it. Also, Robert Caro and I have the same dentist.

–I think the Yankees are in real trouble.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 21, 2012 6:30 pm

    I don’t know. It’s very different from McHale’s but Jimmy’s Corner gives a pretty real experience and it’s practically in the middle of Times Square. Spend some time there before it’s gone.

  2. May 21, 2012 11:03 pm

    Jimmy’s is great. But it’s not trying to be anything but what it is, it is not a tribute, or a tip of the hat to something that came before, And, someday, when it’s gone–hopefully this won’t be for many, many years–the new “Jimmy’s Corner” will be nothing like, nothing at all, like the original.

  3. jco permalink
    May 22, 2012 9:53 am

    I had the real pleasure of having a drink at The Palace in Fernandino Beach, Florida this past weekend. It’s been there since the 1890s and the bar is still original. It is seedy and full of weirdos with the occasional tourist wandering in. It has an old-style cigarette machine, and you can smoke in there so it smells a little like smoke. The restroom is built out into the bar. That I had one of the best old-time bar experiences of late in a Florida beach town, given that I live in NYC, was disconcerting and depressing.

    The Yankees are in real trouble for sure.

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