Wednesday, November 02, 2005

 
I was out to dinner with friends in the Government Center area last night, one of those faux Irish Pubs that are sprouting like mushrooms all around the city. As L said, they're the Disney version of a real pub, even if some of them are actual pubs that have been dismantled and shipped over here. Somehow they all wind up looking plastic and a bit cheesy.

Well, the Kinsale is a transplant and it does look fake because it was built in Ireland for the export market but never used as a bar there. L and J chose it for the menu which looked good and reasonable. They're here from New London, Connecticut for a conference L had to attend and were paying a stiff price for a tiny room at the Parker House hotel, so reasonable meals were appealing. There was a total of one--one--dish on the menu that was even remotely Irish and that was Shepherd's Pie. L and I both ordered it and weren't sorry that we did. J opted for the trout special. I know the Irish have trout but I suspect that crusting it in crushed macadamia nuts and blackening it isn't quite what they used to enjoy in "the auld sod."

If the menu featured the current fusion chic, the beer was pretty authentic. All beer was on draft and came in 16, 20 and 24 ounce glasses. New England microbreweries were featured along with champs like Guinness and excellent regional breweries like Ommegang just outside Cooperstown, New York where the beer is brewed like champagne with a secondary fermentation in the bottle. J and I bring cases of the stuff home when we hit Cooperstown in the summer for out annual trips to the Glimmerglass summer opera festival.

L is special collections librarian at the Connecticut College Library and has curated my late father's extensive collection of memorabilia from his time as a bombardier over Nazi Europe during the Second World War. I inventoried and prepared the collection when I learned that the College accepted a similar grouping of photos, documents and equipment from New London native Lt. Frederick Irwin. My father, who spent every summer with his family just outside New London, had saved EVERYTHING--all of a bombardier's equipment, extensive correspondence and his fully annotated flight log, making it an extremely valuable subject for research purposes. More after Veterans Day when the two collections are placed on exhibit, and a small ceremony and dinner mark their availability to the scholarly community.

My friend Karl from "Adventures in Gastronomy" tagged me for a meme (Karl got it from Thom on "Thoughts Made Bald") that involves
1) Delve into your blog archive.
2) Find your 23rd post.
3) Find the fifth sentence.
4) Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
OK, boys, here it is: "All this works well for me and I intend to keep at it until I get to an age when taking the train and a hotel room for the night is the best and safest way."

I love it. It sounds like I'm planning sexual encounters in far-off cities far into the future. As if. In fact, the subject of the post was my frequent travel to New York City for theater and opera performances. I'll drive down in the morning, see a performance and then drive right back. If it's an evening performance, I'll drive an hour or so and then either stay the night with a friend or take a motel room somewhere along Interstate 95. I'm becoming pretty familiar with all the reasonably priced motels in southwestern Connecticut. Fritz, who is very indulgent of my opera-going, thinks I'm nuts and others of my friends just shake their heads.

The men's room in the Sofitel hotel in Queenstown, South Africa

I wonder if the interior designer who came up with this scheme has an alternate version with giant photos of men checking out the packages at the urinals.


Comments:
There's even a fake Irish pub here in Salvador now...what's up with that?????
 
As usual, informative and entertaining. I shake my head and smile at your obsessions with good food and good music and art. Even as a musician, I doubt I'd go to all the trouble.
 
Leave it to me to want to comment on the men's room photo, but... I really really like those urinals!
 
Love the urinal!

I was once is a club in Taiwan where every surface was a mirror, including inside the urinal.

I must have when to pee 20 times that night.

Thanks for the encouraging words!

Great to be back!
 
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