Almanac Travel: In a bar on Broadway


I’m sitting in the bar of the Beacon Hotel on Broadway at 7.30 after a day trekking the sites of the Big Apple including a rooftop pop up restaurant that’s been there five years so there’s a first. I thought Pop up meant here today gone tomorrow – reckon they’ve got the idea from those Persian rug closing down sales.


Anyway the joint had about 20 beers on tap but only one that sounded like beer – bet you guessed I’m not into fancy stuff, they have IPA with mango, an amber with licorice and the list goes-on – great food and a happening joint accompanied by an Italian prosseco at $US48  – I know they get it for about $4 and there’s hardly any alcohol taxes so they re doin ok.


Back to the beacon where Old Mule are playing again just after Cyndi Lauper  closed – and there’s a fight on the TV – the duck , not Wayne Carey, and the ranger , and that’s not Harmsy the Lone Ranger – it’s the Anaheim Ducks who according to my new mates Pete and barman Phil are pretty high rated against the NY Rangers.


Now that I look more closely it’s a game of ice hockey at the House of Stoush – Madison Square Gardens and having walked past an hour ago the joint’s rocking.


The scores 1-1 at the first quarter and 8 minutes into the 2nd the score hasn’t changed – but at least three blokes have – they’ve ripped  each other’s jerseys to shreds , several mouth guards have gone missing – and a coupla blokes flung their funny looking bike helmets in disgust into the ice as they took of their gloves and almost gentlemanly slap each other signifying a duel. Everyone seems to agree including the refs who back pedal if that’s what you call skating backwards to a safe distance along the jousting rail – then the two guys dance about each other as only Torvill and Dean could before launching into a shirt punching roustabout – no one is felled because they hold each other up , very sporting but probably because you can land a few extra punches on the bloke who se gunna go down

Now I can see a stack of claret on the ice and  not sure if it’s the markings of sponsors or the players donating blood.


The frenetic pace continues and there’s still 3 minutes left in the first half


My bar comrades only get enthused as the Rangers look like scoring or knocking the bejesus outta a duck , the rest of the time it’s Manhattans on the up,


The half has just finished and a bloke who is  Don Rickles double is about to interview a player – Derrick Brasssrd – he’s got a mouse under his left eye and needs a good cuts man to ensure he sees out the second half


So the boys are on the up and a jazz trio have taken the gloss off the fight as the crowd changes – the evening suits from work head home and s few night cats start coming out and even a few hotel staff hover in the darkened recesses to watch the game – I talk about Brunswick St being eclectic but upper west side Manhattan plays it on a break.


The game plays out as fast and furious as it started but we re all waning and the Jazz songstress has taken everyone’s fancy so no one’s quite sure of the end result – so look it up in the Times – as Pete says ” it’s more interesting than basketball but in the end who gives a damn”.


I’ll keep watching or as Scotty Poamer says “keep on punching”


  1. Peter Flynn says

    You’ve got me excited.

    Been to see the Rangers at MSG once before.

    A real highlight. You must a see a game if you haven’t already.

    Heading to NYC again in Feb and looking to going to Red Wings v Rangers.

    I could live at the Garden.


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