Tuesday, November 27, 2007
We've been hearing about the P&G Bar's impending doom for a while now. Recently, The Observer observed that the storefront is being torn apart. And yesterday, the Metro had a story on the old neighborhood saloon and its probable closing. This is sad news for the Upper West Side.
I went into the bar not too long ago, had a few drinks, and took a few pictures of what owner Tom Chahalis calls the "ambiance." It's the ambiance of old bars, places like McHale's and Corner Bistro. It's soft, worn wood, walls turned brown by tobacco smoke, the ocher glow of dim lamps. It's the smell of beer and the silence of solemn drinkers. It's an old-shoe feeling, a broken-in comfort you can't get from the new. And it's going fast from every corner of our city.
At the P&G, they've got a petition you can sign, but as we know, petitions do little in the face of 80% rent increases. Still, it's worth going in and adding your name to the list of people who want to save a place filled with history and meaning, a place that provides free turkey on Thanksgiving, a place its patrons call "my church."
“I’m kind of hurt," Mr. Chahalis told the Metro, "after all these years, to feel like you’re not wanted anymore." Sadly, in today's New York, Mr. Chahalis is not alone in that feeling.
photos from my flickr