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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Tuesdays with Pauly

Pauly takes notes. His life is a yet-unproduced or written off-Broadway play about drug-addled strippers and strung-out stockbrokers. At first glance someone might think his notepad is some affectation to make him look serious about his craft. It's not that. It's that too much happens in his presence to remember it fully. What's more, life around Pauly is awash in carefully controlled but occasionally wild abandon intoxication. Failure to properly document the activities risks losing them completely.

Pauly takes notes. He takes pictures. He takes video. And I've appeared in a few too many recently.

It's good that Pauly keeps track of things. Much of last night is firmly etched in my memory. I had a night to kill in New York and Pauly was there for me. We talked on all subjects from family to future to fucking. Not necessarily in that order. I won't forget the conversations. I might have forgotten where I was, but as I said, Pauly takes notes.


1-Ray's Pizza: Not the orignal Ray's as I understand it. What I don't understand is how everybody came to think that ripping off a name was going to make them more successful in the pizza business. I had a Guinness and a slice of mushroom and black olive. Pauly had two slices and a water. I was concerned that he wasn't up for drinking booze. I was quite wrong.

2--McSorely's (7th and 3rd Ave.): A decades old Irish pub with bathroom urinals to prove the bar's age. Pauly bought me two mugs of McSorley's Dark which spent precious little time on the old slab-wood bar. Pauly had the Light and told me the bar was used in the film "Rounders" and that made me happy.

3--Blue and Gold (7th and 2nd): I had the Boddingtons and Pauly switched over to his now standard Soco on the rocks. Pauly told me how on most weekend nights the bar would be overrun with hipsters. This night, the bar was nearly empty. That was fine with me. It's been a long time since I had long conversations in empty bars with a good buddy. This also began the long run of "Dial-A-Shots" that would take place throughout the evening.

4--Big Bar (7th and 3rd): Calling this place "Big" is like calling a fat guy "Slim." The bar is about as big as my living room. A Russian girl served me a beer and Pauly a Soco. I started to wonder if we had passed what Pauly initially described as "a couple of cocktails."

5--Telephone (2nd and 8th): The front of this bar looks like a telephone booth. Inside, it is much bigger. Pauly made me choose if I wanted to go in this bar or the one beside it. When I picked "Telephone," Pauly looked at me and said, "Fuck it, we'll go to both." And so we did.

6--Ryan's Pub (2nd and 8th): Next door to Telephone and the beginning of my quick descent into forgetting which bar was which. As such, the remaining stops are sadly void of details, but still etched in my memory.

7--Detour (13th and 1st): It took us a little longer to walk to this one. The rain started to pick up and Pauly told me stories about listening to jazz in the bar. This night, if I have the bar right, the band had just broken for the night.

8--Kingshead (14th and 3rd): It was late.

9--Shades of Green: Named after my face.

Yes, Pauly takes notes. And I'm glad he does. If I ever get wealthy, I may hire Pauly to follow me whenever I go barhopping.

Thanks for a great night, buddy.


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