My First McSorley's Moment

 Two for five time!

And Pepe delivers!

Cheers! Coming here today made me think of my first McSorley's moment. So I wrote it up and here it is.

My First McSorley's Moment

I moved to New York in the summer of 1993. I lived in the Beacon Hotel at 75th and Broadway and the first bar I started hanging out at was the P&G bar at 73rd and Amsterdam. The P&G was a great old school New York tavern. The bar was divided into two groups, the regulars sat up front at the bar and college kids and tourists sat in the booths in the back section. About the only time there was intermingling was when somebody from the bar would venture to the back to put some tunes on the jukebox, or when one of the kids would come up for a pitcher of beer. I immediately gravitated towards the bar and the regulars.

My first visit to the bar I bought a round for everyone and was immediately welcomed in as a regular, despite my newbie status. Just as quickly as the drinks were downed, suggestions and advice were being poured out along with the booze of places to go and things I should see. One of the places I was told I had to visit was McSorley’s Old Ale House. So the following Saturday afternoon I headed downtown in an eastwardly fashion and found my way to McSorley's.

I walked in to the tavern and the clock spun itself backwards to a place that time hadn’t really touched. There was sawdust on the floor, faded photos on the wall and a gaggle of men holding the bar up. I sauntered up like I owned the place, a gruff, bearded bartender who looked like he was born in the joint approached me and I said the following fatal words: “I’ll take a bottle of Budweiser please.”

The bartender looked at me like I was Linda Blair simultaneously puking out lime green vomit while uttering, “Your mother sucks cocks in hell.” After staring daggers at me for seven or eight seconds, he turned sharply on his heels and walked pointedly to the opposite end of the bar.

The pudgy bald man leaning on the bar next to me laughed and said, “Wow, you just made the worst mistake someone can make in this place!”

“What, ordering a beer?” I shot back defensively.

“Baldy leaned near to me and said in somewhat hushed tones, “This is McSorley’s Ale House. They only sell two kinds of things to drink in here, McSorley’s light and dark ale. You just revealed yourself as someone who’s never been in the place.”

“Well, I just moved here,” I said shrugging my shoulders.

“Oh yeah, where’d you move from?” Baldy asked, raising his eyebrows.

“Peoria,” I answered back.

I don’t know if I’ve ever heard someone laugh as loud as Baldy did. I quickly learned that’s the typical response from New Yorkers when you tell them you're from Peoria, Illinois. He ended up buying me a beer when the bartender finally made his way back. When two mugs were set in front of me, I waited for the bartender to walk out of earshot and I asked Baldy, “Why did he give me two mugs?”

“You didn’t ask the bartender, you asked me,” Baldy said while slapping me on the back. “You’re a quick learner pal, you might make it in this town after all!”

We clicked glasses and I had my first sip of McSorley’s Light Ale. I never have found out why they serve two mugs at a time, one of the lessons I’ve learned at McSorley’s is just to shut up and enjoy the place.



And We're Off!

It's a little cloudy out here, but still bright for me. I'm used to maneuvering at night. I need to get some sunglasses!

Okay, we're in the East Village and we're almost there!

I thought it only fitting to start this whole adventure at a familiar spot, McSorley's Ale House! The oldest bar in New York City, a real iconic spot.

They were here before you were born!

Wow, this is a sight I've never seen, the bar is empty! This is the right time to be here!

It's still too early to be serving in here, but here's the moring crew having coffee and shooting the shit. That's Pepe the bartender on the right in the white shirt. He told me these guys have never spent a nickel in here.

Pepe is stoking the fire and still setting stuff up. I decided to get out of the way and wait till they start serving beer.

Gumby and I settled in to this corner table. I'll be back in a bit with beer! See you in about an hour!


TWM—AM • Feb. 2, 2012

Okay, I thought everyday around 10 AM, I’d put up a good morning post and let you know what time the live posts are going to start. But first...some random headlines to start the day off:

It’s...Lady Gaga?
Mitt Romney’s Very Poor Quote.
Punxsutawney Phil: Six More Weeks!
Hey HufPo: The 13th Step Sucks Monkey Lungs!
McDonald’s Drops the Pink Slime.
Wow, Spelled Backwards is...Wow.

Okay, to start off the live adventures on TWM,
I thought I’d start out at an iconic New York institution and live blog from there today. Can you guess where I’m going? Will there be beer? Will Doris finally get her oats? Check back between 12 and 12:30 PM to find out the answers to those questions and more, more, much!
TWM reader and former co-worker, James Mollo took this photo of me on my last day of work. Thanks, James, how do you like your job?