NYCH3 #1121

NYCH3 #1121

Date: Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Start: South Street and Fulton

Hares: Crazy Bob

On-in: MacMenamin’s

Scribe: DBB


Arseholes (sic), Bastards, Fucking Cunts and Pricks

Ah, more gentle times. I have recently been revisiting some of my early record collection, which abruptly stopped growing with the apocalyptic arrival of punk in the mid-Seventies. Before I gave up on music for many years, the classic “New Boots and Panties” by Ian Dury, from which the title of this write up was taken, found its way into my consciousness and has never really left. Sadly, Ian Dury passed on a number of years ago, but many of the musicians from the area are still insisting upon producing records and touring. Personally, I find Mick Jagger’s refusal to lie down and die slightly pathetic, just as there is something slightly pathetic about middle-aged men running the streets of Manhattan and hanging out in bars with fifty or so people who are mostly young enough to be their children.


But enough about Burke. Last week’s start took us down to the South Street Seaport, once an exciting and invigorating area to hang out it and now somewhat on its last legs. In the good old days, there was the only English pub in New York City, an emporium known as the North Star, where we all used to gather on Boxing Day and enjoy bangers and mash, surrounded by our countrymen and sing off-key Christmas carols. This place closed and has been replaced by a branch of the ubiquitous Heartland Brewery, purveyors of half-decent food and indifferent beer. This was to be the site of an event known as a Prelube, a tradition which has grown from nothing since the last time I did a write-up and of which, needless to say, I thoroughly disapprove. The fact that the last time I went running after drinking beer led to a $20,000 dental bill has nothing to do with my objections; the regulars on the pre-lube have running as the farthest thing from their minds, and appear intent just on bridging the gap between a late lunch and an evening’s drinking. Ironically, though, the Heartland Brewery was closed for a private function, obliging the pre-lubers to wander the streets in search of an alternative. This at least gave rise to some form of exercise.


And so to the trail. A fellow Old Fart whispered to me as we set off “Of course we’re going to that fookin’ bar in the Seaport – of course he wouldn’t have got us all the fookin’ way down here if it hadn’t been to take us in there” an interesting use of the subjunctive mood, I thought. With this opinion in mind, I quickly realized that the trail was a fairly standard amble around Lower Manhattan, with particular reference to Battery Park City. Despite the stunning improvements my body has made over the last year or so in terms of litheness and fleetness, I succeeded as always in ending up at the back of the pack. Oddly, despite the fact that there is a severely finite number of ways to go in solving a check downtown, the number of pack marks gradually declined to zero, and I gave up in frustration. Fortunately, I found myself standing outside the Blarney Stone near the Battery Tunnel, my absolute favorite bar in the area, and nipped in for what I can only describe as an intra-lube, an experience that I did not expect to have until my fiftieth birthday, at the earliest. There I treated myself to a pint of Bud and a couple of innings of the Mets (on these grounds alone this behavior is entirely exempt from the moral opprobrium that attends the pre-lube). Thus I gave myself the courage to face the seething mass of post-adolescent hormones that is the modern On-In.


MacMenamin’s inside the Seaport was the venue, as correctly predicted by the aforementioned never-wrong Old Fart. It is actually one of the few reasons to go into the faded shopping complex, which is inexplicably swamped with tourists, presumably carrying out-of-date guidebooks. It has enough room and is not monstrously loud, which is all I demand from a bar. The beer was plentiful and the food almost non-existent, which is exactly correct. The Down-Downs were conducted to the current standard. The highlight of this part was the increasing levels of discomfiture exhibited by a virgin, who was annoyed at the prospect of having to chug a beer, disturbed at the bad words in the accompanying song and utterly horrified when a visitor from Texas stood on a chair and sang a song of praise to the female genitalia. I guess she doesn’t listen to much Ian Dury, either.


All in all, it was quite a pleasant gathering. I managed to find several people over 30 to talk to, including (and I realize I might be making assumptions here) two senior officers of the Committee, on whose conversation I eavesdropped in the hope of gaining some insight into current Hash politics. Unfortunately, they seemed interested in talking only about boys. Conversely, it was not possible to have any intelligent conversation at all with Peter, as his sobs of grief at the prospect that Lesley might not be able to make it rendered him incomprehensible. Other notable attendees were Nanny Rebecca and Nanny-by-Marriage Steve, the aforementioned Texas visitor, a fellow from Chicago who looked just like Ron Perlman and the venerable Rudy Klein. Magoo was also present.