Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Get out of town

Sometimes I think the posts here are like tiny little babies, born prematurely, and suffering from fetal alcohol syndrome. Or maybe they are crack babies, abandoned on the doorstep of an orphanage run by old Polish immigrants. Not really sure where this analogy is going, so let's leave it there try and just create something that actually makes some modicum of sense.

This may have limited appeal, but it would be a shame not to mention the closing of that venerable West Chester institution, 15 North. Before the borough's explosion of college bars, not to mention "hip" city-type bars like the abortion that is Landmark: Americana there was one(1) place where the kids would go to get cheap drinks, and probably VD. That place was 15 North.

It's easy to forget how hot that spot once was. There was a time when the goats went there on average 3 nights a week, for an indeterminate length of time. A year? The bar didn't have the history of the Rat, or even Rex's, but it didn't suck either. There was a time when it was the place to be seen, I guess. At this point it's not really clear why, given it was a complete hole. The clientele was shiftless, and there was a mechanical bull on Tuesdays. Did I mention the cheap drinks?

I guess there's just no place for that bar's rough and tumble, cover-band aesthetic in today's town of popped collars and hot chicks with douchebags. It's a shame. People would rather go to a "nice" "classy" establishment where there is no constant implied threat of violence, with dress codes.

In memoriam, two anecdotes that sum it up all too well:

1)St. Patrick's Day, some 5 years ago. The "I Can't See" incident of which some of you may be aware. At the time it seemed like it would be a good idea to celebrate the Irish holiday by taking vicodin and smoking trees before hitting the bar on an empty stomach. Going for my second drink, my vision suddenly diminished by a frightening degree. No periphery visible, and only by extreme determination could I focus on what was directly in front of my face. Apparently that warning on the pill bottle about alcohol isn't complete BS. Long story short, I puked on a friends girlfriend (now his wife) and my eyesight was instantly restored.

2)The Turnpike. This is something I have no direct experience with, but a friend has assured me that it is true. A hazing ritual for employees of this establishment, supposedly secret, the Turnpike is a drink that resurrects the wounded soldiers that the bartender collects during the night. It also includes all other forms of gross terribleness such as wrung out bar rags, spit, cigarette butts and who knows what else, possibly ass hair. It depends on the employee. NUKE alums, think "The Vat" except slightly more drinkable. Anyway, this was a badge of honor, an eternal brotherhood for those who drank it, and not just because of the inevitable reverse drink that follows.

Huh, both those stories involve vomit, probably a lesson in there.


Anonymous said...

"The clientele was shiftless, and there was a mechanical bull on Tuesdays."

Sounds like Jimmy Rollins' type of place (also because of the implied violence).

The vat was real. That's all I have to say about that.