More Men In Kilts

Men in Kilts at Porters Pub in Easton, PA

Men in Kilts at Porters Pub in Easton, PA

There are so many wonderful customs attached to the Celtic season, that period before Saint Patrick’s Day in which we actually choose to honor and celebrate March 17th,  (a  number normally somewhere between 30 and 363 days, not including March 18th, as it is recognized as the national day of recovery for the hardiest of celebrants). But of all that is sacred to the Celtic tradition, there is nothing more beautiful than the wearing of the kilt.

The history of the garment dates back to at least 16th century Scotland. The original tartan weaves and colors signified regional associations. The practice of identifying individual clans by way of a registered design only began in the 19th century. Also during that period the donning of the kilt was taken up by the rest of the Celtic enclave. The Cornish, Irish, Welsh and Manx put on the plaid.

The kilt allows one to get in touch with the more sensitive aspects of manhood, while still being able to maintain our barbaric tendencies. As a species we are always caught between the skirt and the Sgian Dubh (pronounced Skean Du). Literally translated, it refers to the Black Knife tucked into the sock of a kilt wearer.

Matt DeBlass - Musician, Writer, Sensitive Soul, Celtic Warrior

Matt DeBlass - Musician, Writer, Sensitive Soul, Celtic Warrior

When he is not performing at a local Ceili, musician and contributing editor to American Public House Review, Matt Deblass loves to sport his kilt at Porter’s Pub in Easton, Pennsylvania. You can enjoy him and other Celtic artists by clicking onto the jukebox section of our magazine.

Here is one of my favorites by the lad. “Bartender I’ll Have  What the Man on the Floor Has Been Drinkin

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Posted by: Chris Poh

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An Off Kilter take on Celtic

I can’t think of any place on earth with more things for you to do on your vacation than Walt Disney World.  You can spend a week getting to one of the four theme parks when the gates open and keep moving until closing and still not see everything there is to see.  Unfortunately, when most people think of Disney World they think the whole experience consists of oversized mice and robotic pirates.  But beneath the pixie dust there is a huge collection of delicious restaurants, more than a few terrific bars, and a collection of great live music.

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When you make it to Epcot, check your timesheet and see when Off Kilter is next scheduled to play.  Then have a seat on a bench in front of the stage you’ll find next to the Canada pavilion.  Oh, but before you do that, just take a short stroll to the Rose and Crown Pub in the neighboring United Kingdom pavilion for a pint.  Then you and your beer can sit and enjoy a performance from one of the best Celtic-Rock bands you will ever hear.

This week on the American Public House Review Jukebox, we have a little sampler of what Off Kilter can do.  The Green Fields of France is a gorgeous song, and the boys do an incredible job with it.  But check out their website for more great stuff.  They bring Celtic to a new rocked-out level of fun.  But honestly, you must seem them live.  After seeing them once, you’ll find yourself going back again and again.  Who needs mice when you got great beer and rollicking music?

by Dave McBride

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In praise of Manhattan’s Molly’s Shebeen

There is a certain something about Manhattan’s historic pubs that makes them so great.  There is an energy, or some kind of mysterious feel, that seems to come through the perfectly worn wood of the bar or from off the scuffed brass of the toe rail.  You can’t find it anywhere else in the world of taverns, and only the really good Manhattan bars possess it.

One of those truly great and historic pubs can be found on the lower eastside of the Island.  It is an Irish tavern called Molly’s Shebeen.  You can check out the story on the American Public House Review by clicking here.

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As you will read, this is one of my very favorite places in Manhattan.  It holds a special and nostalgic place in my memory as one of the taverns that initially sent me on the road towards an addiction to great pubs.  You won’t find a better Irish pub than Molly’s Shebeen anywhere this side of the Atlantic.

by Dave McBride

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Published in: on February 18, 2009 at 1:02 pm  Comments (1)  
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Celebrating Lincoln’s 200th birthday

Like many Americans, I have always held Abraham Lincoln in the highest regard.  Like everyone else who grew up in learning history in this country, Lincoln was regarded by me as the man who freed the slaves, saved the union, and died a martyr for all that is good about our country.  Perhaps those views can now be seen as somewhat naive, but there is no denying the reverence our country still feels for our 16th president.  And to be sure, that reverence is well deserved, even if the probing light of history has changed the view a bit.

Gettysburg Eternal Light Peace Memorial

Yesterday, as we celebrated Lincoln’s 200th birthday, I wanted to write a little something about the man I admire so much.  But what was I to say?  Do I really have the authority or skill to write eloquently enough about someone who defined the art of eloquent writing?  So I resigned myself to skipping this project of a post on Lincoln.  That was until I watched President Obama’s speech in Springfield, Illinois last night.

So rather than try and write something, I thought I would simply leave you today with a bit of the President’s speech.  Not surprisingly, he did a far better job than I could have hoped to do…

He understood that strain of personal liberty and self-reliance at the heart of the American experience.

But he also understood something else. He recognized that while each of us must do our part, work as hard as we can, and be as responsible as we can -– in the end, there are certain things we cannot do on our own. There are certain things we can only do together. There are certain things only a Union can do.

Only a Union could harness the courage of our pioneers to settle the American west, which is why he passed a Homestead Act giving a tract of land to anyone seeking a stake in our growing economy.

Only a Union could foster the ingenuity of our farmers, which is why he set up land-grant colleges that taught them how to make the most of their land while giving their children an education that let them dream the American dream.

Only a union could speed our expansion and connect our coasts with a transcontinental railroad, and so, even in the midst of civil war, he built one. He fueled new enterprises with a national currency, spurred innovation, and ignited America’s imagination with a national academy of sciences, believing we must, as he put it, add “the fuel of interest to the fire of genius in the discovery…of new and useful things.”

The “fuel of interest to the fire of genius”!  What a beautiful sentence.  So how about we raise a glass to Mr. Lincoln?  Who wouldn’t have loved to sit at a pub and listen to him spin a yarn? 

by Dave McBride

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The Good Dogs, the Bad Dogs and the Best in Show

Uno - Last Year's Big Dog

Uno - Last Year's Big Dog

I found myself last evening in one of those unfocused stream of consciousness modes. Perhaps it was the direct result of my decision to split my television viewing between the Westminster Kennel Club Show, (Lots of top dogs on their best behavior) and President  (The top dog…behavioral attributes yet to be determined) Obama’s first official news conference. I scanned the crowd at Madison Square Garden looking for our  associate editor and photographer, Kathleen Connally, (A well bred lassie) who was collecting images for her upcoming photoblog in  American Public House Review.

Sea DogAs I watched the handlers reward their canine charges with goodies from their pockets after each successful turn around the green carpet, I decided that I also was in need of a treat in keeping with the occasion. The question before mChocolate Labe now was would I open a bottle of  Sea Dog Old East India Pale Ale from Topsham, Maine or would I pour myself a glass of  Chocolate Lab Red Wine from the Finger Lakes region of New York State. As is most often the case, I chose the  grain over the grape; but the consideration of the wine did trigger a recent memory.

On this past Sunday afternoon while keeping watch over my patrons at the Barking Dog Saloon at the Indian Rock Inn  I met one George McGonigal, (An extremely kind and well mannered dog) from Ithaca, New York. We spoke at length about our favorite places to imbibe while traveling the Finger Lakes. It was a great  pleasure speaking with someone that also appreciated the beer from Roosterfish Brewing in Watkins Glen, dockside cocktails at the Showboat on Seneca Lake, and the tubular delights (A very good hot dog) served from the cart outside of Maloney’s Pub in Hammondsport.

At some point during this bit of recollecting I switched back to our Commander-in-Chief  just in time to hear his opininion on steroids and  Alex Rodriquez, (A very bad hot dog). While I appreciated Mr. Obama’s thought provoking  gravitas on all sorts of matters, when all was said and done his performance  did not garner a best in show for the evening. That honor would go to the Ukulele  Orchestra of Great Britain for their rendition of  The Good the Bad and the Ugly. I thank our creative director, Ed Petersen, (A really fine dog) for sending me the late night You Tube that rescued this dog from the proceedings at Westminster and Washington.

This just in…Stump, the ten year old Sussex spaniel has been named Best In Show at Westminster. 

 Photo by Barton Silverman/New York Times

Photo by Barton Silverman/New York Times

I love this dog; but  personally I would have picked either Lilly, the Airedale that protected our marketing director, David McBride, ( A very loving and loyal dog) during his Gettysburg campaign, or Fancy, the Himalayan that is presently asleep on my couch.

Lilly at Gettysburg
Lilly at Gettysburg
Fancy Actually Awake
Fancy Actually Awake

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Posted by: Chris Poh

Looking for the heart of Sergeantsville

Really, it was inevitable that the Sergeantsville Inn would wind up on the American Public House Review sooner or later.  In fact, I am stunned it has taken this long.  After all, bellying up to the Sergeantsville’s bar is a weekly ritual for Editor Chris Poh and Creative Director Ed Petersen.  Though I am certain this isn’t the only pub that falls into a “weekly ritual” category for these guys, the Sergeantsville is probably the longest occupant of said category as these two have been going there for years.

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And for good reason, I might add.  The Sergeantsville Inn is an amazing building, built in the first part of the 18th century.  Its warm atmosphere and even warmer hospitality makes it a perfect place for a romantic dinner, or even just a late afternoon snort.

Kathleen Connally, our renowned photographer, provides some beautiful images of the Inn and mostly of the people that make this place so great.  So, a toast to the staff at the Sergeantsville Inn as well as the thousands of others who make our favorite pubs such great places to enjoy.  Cheers!

by David McBride

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Every Picture Tells a Story

The Alleged Hooligans

The Alleged Hooligans

In a move that mirrors the potential arrest and prosecution of Olympic Gold Medalist, Michael Phelps after the publishing of the now infamous bong photo in a British tabloid, Carbon County officials in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania are  considering  charges against the publisher and marketing director of the on-line magazine American Public House Review. State and local law enforcement were put on high alert after a series of damning photographs appeared on the Internet.

According to one  high ranking source, who wished to remain anonymous, these images expose  the kind of monkeyshines and shenanigans that the decent citizens of Jim Thorpe can not and will not tolerate. He went on to say, “I will doggedly pursue these recalcitrant rascals…and these hooligans will be brought to justice.”

Secret court documents found in a briefcase under the third bar stool at the Molly Maguire’s Pub allege that after consuming copious amounts of Irish Whiskey at an undisclosed location in Jim Thorpe during last year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the two gentleman targeted in this investigation, Chris Poh and David McBride attempted to disrupt and lay seige to the grand procession down Broadway. The photographic evidence indicates that there were efforts made to sabotage a pipe band which led to the eventual armed conflit.

Try Playing "Scotland the Brave" Now

Try Playing "Scotland the Brave" Now

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We'll Get Those Two Rascals

We'll Get Those Two Rascals

Sponsors for these two giants of the fourth estate, (several distilleries and a couple of breweries) said that they would stand behind their men… or wherever necessary in order to hold them up. When reached for comment, neither had much to say other than vowing to return for this year’s parade.

See you in Jim Thorpe on March 15th!

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Posted by: Dunmore Throop

A sincere “thank you” from this sports fan goes to the Cardinals and Steelers for a job well done

The Super Bowl is one of the few sporting events that I grudgingly watch every year.  I am not one who is at all interested in commercials, halftime shows or what former American Idol contestant is singing the national anthem this year.  I am a sports fan, and the fact that most people who watch the game go to the bathroom or get a beer during the actual game itself so they don’t miss the advertisements drives me nuts.

I like football and often times the Super Bowl is a bore, and not only because it usually doesn’t involve my team.  But there I sit with my cocktail weenies, nachos and beer hoping against hope for at least an exciting game so my memories of the event are not reduced to throwing a snowglobe at some poor guy’s crotch or dancing 3-D lizards.

For most of last evening, I was bored.  It was certainly a strange game.  For 3 quarters it was marred by silly penalties and chippy play, and with the exception of an interception return for a touchdown, there wasn’t much to be excited about.  But then all of a sudden, when Larry Fitzgerald broke downfield to cap a terrific comeback by the Arizona Cardinals and give them a very late lead, my attention was captured again and I knew we were in for a wild and fun finish.  As he released the pass headed towards the end zone for victory; Ben Roethlisberger must have thought he was surely going to be the MYP.  That was until Holmes made an acrobatic catch to give the Steelers the championship.

So in the end, after two weeks of hearing about how the Steelers were going to win this easily, we got a nail biter filled some real football heroics.  It may not have been the best played game, as it was certainly filled with a lot of lousy and cheap penalties.  But in the end it was a classic nonetheless.  This may be the one time people remember who lost the Super Bowl as much as they remember who won.  I was rooting for the Steelers at the get-go, but the Cardinals almost turned me around.  It was a tough way to lose, but those guys deserves some serious credit.

Oh, and while we are at it, let us talk about those famous commercials.  I don’t fine people get hit in the groin with heavy objects or going through near death skiing accidents to be at all humorous.  Usually the Budweiser Clydesdales are at the top of my list, and they had a solid showing this year.  But the one that stuck in my mind was this one from Pedigree.blog_banner2

by Dave McBride

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