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
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.
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