Saturday, December 18, 2004

Something new

I had a meeting the other day with Jason Hutto, Jason Triefenbach and his fiance. We were over at the Jade room. After the meeting the Jasons were lamenting the tiredness of the different hangout bars on the southside. Now I have been to just a ton of different taverns, saloons, lounges and bars all across the town. You can get a real flavor of the neighborhood if you hit the local watering hole. The personality of an area, of people really comes across. It often can transcend time which is really interesting. Often there are people in a bar that can be stuck in time. Sometimes for the better and interesting, and sometimes for the worse and dull, but it is still real.

We discussed the many different places around town. These guys have been to a lot of the out of the way places on the southside. I suggested that we go north. Very few young white southsiders ever go north of Delmar, much less to a bar on the north side. They all seemed a bit uneasy, but very intrigued. Triefenbach thought that we might appear to be slumming. That is a funny thing to come out of Triefenbach's mouth if you have ever met him. I told Jason not to worry about it. I know what he speaks, but people are going to think something and there is nothing you can do about it, and then you give it clout by not going. And that is just dumb.

The barrier is only as real as you let it to be. It essentially doesn't matter unless you let it. We all know that barrier is a load of shit, so I do not let it bother me none. I just don't have time for it.

So we jumped in the Merc, popped in some Nugent and headed north. I let the crew smoke in my car, something that I rarely allow. But I had three smokers, and about six ashtrays in the car. I kind of felt I really needed to let the car be fully used for its purposes. Now my car has a faint odor of ash. I don't think I will let them do that again.

We first stopped at the Cloverleaf. It is up at Taylor at Lewis Place. It is an old bar, really old. The bar was recently sold from Ethel who was in the original family that opened up the place. The bar is in the shape of half a clover leaf and was owned by the family since about 1949, about the same year the Shelley vs. Kraemer case went to the Supreme Court knocking out the restrictive covenants based on race. The case just happened on Lewis Place, the street the Clover Leaf is on. I could go on about the place, but we went and it was closed. So we headed up Taylor to MLK and went over to J's Hideout over near Pendleton. JD is the owner of the place and I go in about every few months. J has a tight relationship with his customers and neighborhood. JD is kind of the connected guy around town. He is a commander for one of the suburban munis just on the other side of the city border. It is a comfy little joint that feels more like a living room than a bar. J sits at the end of the bar in a suit with a short jet black afro, perhaps a wig but I am not saying it is. He is very friendly, always shaking hands in a cool reserved way. He speaks softly but with certainty and respect. I remember when I took the Metropolis Walk there. JD stood at the door, shaking everyone's hand as they entered. He put up a banner welcoming the crew. He had some free food. He had a DJ. That was just way too cool. It went very very well.

We all went in that night and were welcomed, of course. It was a nice quiet comfortable drink. It was exactly what we were looking for. The picture is of Hutto sipping on a Strohs. There was a little action, for there was an accident outside and one of the patrons had their new Cady Deville hit. I almost parked in that space. Youch. JD kept his cool, of course. We talked about the new gym down the street, for the Panda is just at the end of Cass which branches off of MLK. JD told me one of the Sansones comes into his place during the holidays and he was going to mention it to him.

The crew enjoyed themselves and plans on going back. They keep thanking me each time they see me. It really isn't that big of a deal. Hopefully it won't continue to be. It is just fun.


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