FROM THIS PUBLICAN'S PERCH
small acqua logo
JANUARY 2008
Chris Poh, Editor of American Public House Review

What are you doing New Years Eve? Like many well seasoned tavern dwellers I mostly cringe when I am subjected to that incessant annual inquiry; but there was one particular juncture in my youth when that question became a watershed moment.


During the early 1970s, I spent many a day and evening at a nondescript Greenwich Village bar called the Mushroom. There were no tales of bohemia attached to this place, no beat poet or literary legend had ever fallen off its black vinyl covered stainless steel barstools. But for me it was part of the awakening process and the epicenter of my New York City experience.

I attribute this to the owner who would patiently listen to the formative philosophical and political ramblings of an eighteen year old kid from Jersey. This wise and worldly publican was generous with his time, his counsel and his liquor. Those qualities would provide me with a coveted position from which I could experience the revelry and ritual associated with the passing of the last day of the Gregorian calendar.

Sometime in early December of 1973, I was invited to reserve a barstool for the evening of the 31st. I was informed that the Mushroom was closed to the general public on New Years Eve, and that only a few close friends would be raising a glass there at midnight. That simple gesture of recognition and inclusion did much to help dispel the insecurities of someone in the early stages of their travels through life.

That night of thirty four years ago helped to foster a greater knowledge of the nature of time. I came to understand that it is not the marking of time with others, but instead the making of time for others that determines the value of our journey through time and space.

The staff and management of American Public House Review wish all of our readers’ peace and prosperity for the New Year!

Chris Poh,   Publisher

Memories of the Mushroom may prompt me to assign the staff to the Greenwich Village beat for next months issue.