Paying tribute to John Lennon

Each of us has certain dates on the calendar that we just can’t forget.  Whether it is a birthday or anniversary, sometimes just seeing the date pop up on our cell phone or calendar brings back to us a rush of memories.  Now I have never been one who could be described as good with dates, but today’s date is one that will always conjure up a feeling of sadness for me no matter how many years go by.  December 8th was the day John Lennon was killed.

Last year I had the opportunity to return to one of Manhattan’s great pubs, the Ear Inn on Spring Street.  Besides centuries of history, the Ear was also reported to be a regular haunt for my boyhood hero John Lennon.  Each time I go, it’s almost like a pilgrimage to find something about Lennon that perhaps I could relate more closely to.  Even though I am too young to recall Beatlemania, Lennon and the Beatles hold a special place in my memory.  They were my first “favorite band” and Lennon was one of the reasons I wanted to become a musician.  His murder was perhaps the first such event to awaken me to the world outside my suburban home.

Thanks to something called “Rockband”, which has been described to me by kids I coach in soccer as something of a video game involving famous musicians, the Beatles have moved back to their rightful place atop the collective consciousness of popular music.  Sure I may have to settle for watching a digitized cartoon version of the boys from Liverpool, but the music is the same.  And to have a 15 year old ask me what Beatles album I think they should get for Christmas warms my heart and gives me hope that their influence upon Rock and Roll will never fade.

by Dave McBride

The ongoing thirst for the perfect public house leads to Manhattan’s PJ Clarke’s

In this week’s article on the American Public House Review, Chris Poh takes us to a true Manhattan institution.  It is a place with a somewhat murky history and an incredibly inviting atmosphere called PJ Clarke’s.

pj-clarkes-5

Take a stroll around the place.  See Frank Sinatra’s regular table, and the photos of all the luminaries who have graced these very same barstools you are about to occupy.  You may be impressed with all the famous people, but you will be even more impressed with the overwhelming sense of history and belonging this little brick tavern possesses amidst the shadows of the steel giants surrounding PJ Clarke’s in midtown Manhattan.

pj-clarkes-1

In my posting about Molly’s Shebeen, I mention that certain indescribable feeling that old Manhattan bars have.  It is an atmospheric element that is unique to taverns on this island and PJ Clarke’s defines it.  It is Francis Ford Coppola and Woody Allen at the same time.  It is all together colonial and roaring twenties.  It is warm and inviting, while also feeling like the scene of a Vito Corleone style hit.  If none of that makes sense, please remember that I started the paragraph by calling it indescribable.

by Dave McBride

blog_banner2

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.

mollys-interior

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

blog_banner2

Published in: on February 18, 2009 at 1:02 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: ,
%d bloggers like this: