Monday, February 6, 2012

Our Favorite Bar None

The Bemelmans Bar at the Carlyle is supposed
to be lovely. After all, who wouldn't want to dine with illustrations of picknicking rabbits? And while pricey, the warmth exuded by the toyscape ceiling at the 21 Club trumps the clientele's notorious coolness any day. But as far as the Halls were concerned, on Superbowl Sunday, the only barstools they wanted to be holding down were the ones over at Digger's place, in Syracuse.
Welcomed by the glow of the huge inflatable mug o'cheer, they waddled in bearing cookies and goodies and jumped right into the fray.
"What, no Manhattan clam chowder this year??" cried Mrs. Hall. Digger himself usually prepares this delicacy, but opted instead this year for a chicken melange with elbow noodles swimming about. Mrs. Hall brought a bowl to the bar and, slopping some down, managed to pitch it around a goodish bit. "Didn't yer mother ever tell you to keep yer elbows off the table?" scolded Mr. Hall.
They were late in arriving; though while she had checked her purse for ready cash, Mrs. Hall was informed the squares were already filled and no further betting would be placed. Mr. Hall assured her he had spoken to Digger earlier that week and not to fret, they were well-represented on the boards. The ads this year were less than stellar, and when a so-so halftime show can be upstaged by an out-of-towner making an obscene gesture, well, you know the game has seen better days. Still, the second half was a nailbiter and a good deal of cheering and cajoling was going on on the sidelines at Digger's.
Mr. Hall looked up at the boards and fretted. "We are really in a pickle now," he explained. "If the score stands as it does til the end of the game, we stand to make a couple hundred sweet ones. But that means that the Pats would have to have won, and I couldn't take any scratch willingly with that sort of win on my conscience."
Mrs. Hall doubted her conscience would even notice, but while she pondered the philosophical implications, fate stepped in and handed down a verdict; the beloved Giants won handily and the prospect of any moral dilemmas (or net gains) evaporated along with the post game confetti.
"Another game on the books. Time to head home," yawned Mr. Hall. But Digger was playing with his most recent acquisition, a beautiful pinball bar version of bowling, and was demonstrating his technique. They waved to the stalwarts left in the bar and headed into the night.

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