They Still Haven’t Carded Me

The Second Essential Scary Truth

The Sports Page Café was an early entrant into the Sports Bar segment of the saloon business. The location, 2nd Avenue and East 4th Street, appeared to be can’t miss. The joint was a block down from the police precinct featured in NYPD Blue, in the middle of the East Village, an ethnic working class neighborhood full of bohemians slowly changing into a frat boy/stock broker/NYU student enclave. The pitchers of beer were cheap, the wings and nachos good and some how, in those heady days before the NFL/MLB/College Football ticket, the Sports Page had every game one could want to see on a any given day. Yet, the place was always empty.

There were a few off duty cops hanging around the place and a swarthy dark haired guy was always sitting at the end of the bar by the phone. However, with the exception of football Sundays, opening day and the first weekend of the NCAA Basketball Tournament, you could see stage brush blowing around the tables from the large window on 2nd Ave. And, in one of the stranger things I have ever seen in a dead restaurant/bar, the staff never changed. The same waitress served my friends and I from September 1987 to the day the joint closed in the mid 1990’s. The word on the street was the joint was ‘mobbed up.’

On January 30, 1990, Eric Gulloty and Josh Machlin took me out for my first 21st birthday after we got more than a little loaded back in Brittany Hall. Our goal: get me carded by someone, anyone. The first five or six places we walked into, no joy; same with the next five or six joints. We had a beer at the International and/or the old Village Idiot on 1st Ave and then made our way to the Sports Page.

We sat in a table over looking 2nd Ave. and the same waitress who had served me beer since I was 18 with a lousy thin moustache covering my braces, came over and greeted us with her standard Brooklyn-esque boy howdy: whadda ya want?

Somehow, Josh and Eric convinced her to look at my driver’s license. She put her pad and pen back in her black apron, dropped her reading glasses from her tousled black hair to the tip of her nose and looked at my Michigan Driver’s License issued to me when I was 16. “Congratulations,” she said throwing the card back to me “you’re finally fucking legal, now whadda ya want?”

No one carded me on Sunday either. Was it because of the gray hair in my beard or because I didn’t bribe the doorman at the Drag Show to look at my ID? I wonder…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Every Friday, get 2 for 1 movie tickets when you use your Visa Signature card.

Recent Comments