a piece in the NYDrinker which takes me back to my college days. My friends and I used to spend our leisure time at a watering hole called the Blarney Stone. Founded by a man named Daniel Flanagan, the Blarney Stone was a chain of dive bars which catered mainly to the lunchtime construction worker crowd. By some accounts, there were more than 30 Blarneys at one time in New York, plus similarly named imitators that did not want to kick up to Mr. Flanagan. Based on my knowledge of the four that I have been to, I am sure that each location was more dingy than the last. Alas, there are now only five Blarney Stone pubs left, including the one from my college days (though that's not entirely true, as even that one closed and reopened around the corner when I was a senior). The NYDrinker piece documents a daytime pub crawl they went on of the remaining five. Hat tip and photo credit to NYDrinker. I will be sure to take a closer look at their site.
In other food news, I just read on the NY Eater blog that T'Poutine has shuttered it's doors. Poutine is sort of the national food of Canada. It is essentially french fries smothered in brown gravy and topped with cheese curds. Sort of similar to what those of us who grew up with local diners and luncheonettes would call "Disco fries" or "Elvis fries." I first heard of T'Poutine because of actor Michael J. Fox. During his presentation in the closing ceremonies of the Olympics a few months back, Fox mentioned poutine. It sounded delicious, so I searched for a place which serves it in New York. T'Poutine did, at least for a nine month period, but is apparently no more. For what it's worth, the Mrs. and I very much enjoyed our poutine when we made our one visit the weekend following the Olympics.
Here's some news that made me go "Nooooooooooooooooo!" The 80s Nordic synthpop band A-ha, best known in the states for their infectious 1986 hit "Take on Me." While that song promised "I'll be gone in a day or two," A-ha was around for about 30 years. Apparently they were a huge act in other countries, despite only having two U.S. hits. Sort of like David Hasselhoff. A-ha's lesser known song to chart in the states was "The Sun Always Shines on TV," which is a favorite of mine, although I have been advised by at least one friend that it is an incredibly effeminate song. Speaking of effeminate, here's a piece of trivia: I auditioned for high school show choir with "Take on Me." A-ha, you will be missed. I have embedded below their biggest hit, as well as Family Guy's take on the same, and the "literal video" version, which is always good for a laugh.