Drinks at Desmonds
Mr. Surly had the pleasure of attending an impromptu blogmeet this weekend in New York City. I accompanied Jim of Parkway Rest Stop, a major nexus of the Jersey Blogosphere, into Manhattan. Fellow attendees were Zonker, Kate of Katespot, Mary of Bookblog and one of her friends. Kate and Mary I had met before at the Jersey Blogmeet, and it was fun to spend time with them at a smaller gathering. I got to hear some fairly funny stories and blog gossip, all theirs to tell, that I didn't get the chance to hear the last time we hung out. Zonker, a Georgia blogger originally from Jersey, I met for the first time. He was a truly nice fella and good company. He has definitely been away from Jersey too long because his niceness is actually a notable feature that screams "I ain't from around these parts".
The evening was a decidedly low key affair with most of the time spent talking and drinking. Zonker stayed with bloody marys since he was nursing a hangover earned at a bachelor party. I had a Brooklyn Lager for the first time, which was good, although I had to quit after one because it made me want to nap. Hey, that's just how it goes with Mr. Surly and good beer.
The real highlight of the evening for me though was the venue of our meeting, Desmond's Tavern, an eastside dive in the very best sense of the word. Its a nice little Irish bar where Irish expats can come and watch European football matches. Tending bar was a great fella who could have been Elvis Costello's cousin with a voice like an Irish Tom Waits. He was an affable guy, but he sold me on this bar when when he started playing tunes by the great Irish band the Pogues on the jukebox. I may have been the only person in our party to notice the music, but for me who listened to the Pogues in college, it was a real treat, though a little surreal, to hear Fairytale of New York in an Irish pub in New York populated with actual honest to god Irishmen standing around. Here's a sample verse:
"You scumbag, you maggot, you cheap lousy faggot!
Happy Christmas your arse, I pray God it's our last".
Trust me it's good. That song in particular features the immensely talented Kirsty MacColl, whose records I like considerably more than the Pogues' and who died tragically young. I mean really tragically, run over by a boat.
In any event, the music was the one little detail that made the night for me. And Desmonds actually has live music on the weekend. We left Desmonds at 8 p.m. just before you would expect a band to start setting up, but I wouldn't mind going back at 1:00 a.m. some weekend to see if it gets rockin there. I think it would be a good time. We Irish are god's chosen people after all.