Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Around the Town
There are arguments you can make for posh places of leisure. You feel important as you lean into the marble topped bar to request a manhattan with sazurac. You surmise you look good as you glance in the mirror and notice the finacially stable inhabitants( you do not count yourself) of this swank place also looking good. You feign relaxation. You laugh and sip your fine cocktail and when the tab comes, you behave like everything is normal and you won't have to pawn your guitar in the morning before the bank opens. I have enjoyed a couple of drinks in the Chateau Marmont or the Standard rooftop because we all love to feel glamorous even if we know its a sucker's paradise.
Then there are the inspired spots in your neighborhood that feel like mother's milk. Comfortable as oatmeal and real as a BLT. We came across a couple of these nooks as we ran around Berkeley and Oakland this weekend. The first place aptly titled "The Pub" was a converted house filled with odds and ends of furniture that served inspired draft beer from around the area along with a couple of English classics to justify the pub thing. Common enough for a bar to serve beer, I know. However, they also sold antique, carved smoking pipes, cigarettte holders, cases, and other smoking ephemera from finer times-all under an old jewelry store counter. The kicker is you can buy single cigarettes that you roll yourself with a choice from several glass jars full of loose leaf tobacco ranging from turkey,england, amsterdam, and us. Say what you will about not smoking in a bar and I will agree with you most of the time, but being able to buy good tobacco and smoke it outside with your pint is part of a tradition I will not interfer with...
Mama Buzz is a lived- in, lightfilled 2 room cafe withmismatched tables and good art on the walls. There is a back covered patio and a counter with swivel stools, which goes a long way in my book, squeezed into the room opening to the street. The barkeep had a showing of quiet, sexy drawings of women from the soft glow seventies,which we loved. It's located amongst the slew of galleries that make up the downtown oakland scene so ya know it's jammin with sweaty beauties and freaky street people just following the crowd on certain evenings. We had passionfruit iced tea. What will you have?
Posted by BoMo at 10:17 PM