February 28, 2008

Tonight was a special DNO! We postponed a week because everyone seemed to be taking the kids somewhere for Winter Vacation. Fourth Thursday was the charm: We got the best turnout in recent memory!

  • David
  • Jim
  • Kevin
  • "P"
  • Steve
  • Wally
  • William

By the time I arrived, Kevin and "P" (not his real name—honest!) had already started working on the Eighty-Eights™, that is, eight mugs each of everything on tap—McSorley's Light and McSorley's Dark.

P and Kev working on the Eighty-Eights™

Tonight we had a task: we were on a pubcrawl through the heart of the beer district of New York City, namely East 7th Street, between Third and Second Avenues. McSorley's was only to be the launching point, but when I saw the sixteen mugs, I was concerned we'd get bogged down trying to finish them. I needn't have worried. David soon arrived, then Wally, and William; we made short work of them.

If you've never been to this joint, picture the cheese and crackers platter: a heap of Cheddar slices, some raw onions and a sleeve of Saltines™ on a plate. That about sums it up. It's a 1854 dive. Abe Lincoln drank here after his Cooper Union speech. They didn't let women into the place until 1970, and then only after the Supreme Court and the City Council said so. There actually is sawdust on the floor. As you can see from the photo, the table at which we sat was an old wire spool. Kevin told an interesting story that during WWII, soldiers would eat a chicken dinner before going overseas. They'd hang a wishbone on the light over the bar. When the soldier returned from the war, they would take the wishbone down. Sadly, some remain unclaimed...

I had two light and two dark, as is my custom here. (The mugs are small...) The beer's not bad. Rumor has it that it's made by F.X. Matt's Brewery (Saranac) in Utica... [continues]