Thursday, November 15, 2007

Rhythm, Booze, Eleanor, Bill, Joe and Mailer

God rhythm is a hard word to spell, so many strangely placed h's. But never mind! Today I had the pleasure of meeting Bill Flaherty, the bartender at Rhythm and Booze in Windsor Terrace on Prospect and 1oth. A very good one to talk to if you are curious about this neighborhood's history.

I went in because I was curious about who paints their windows, I like the way the artist makes the pumpkins squarish and adds juicy highlights which I've always been a fan of. Bill told me her name is Eleanor Eick and she lives in New Jersey.

Then we spoke of my favorite subject, me, who writes a blog here in Brooklyn, but also adds graphic design, photography, illustration and other kinds of art to her CV. OK, perhaps I'm not much of a writer, well, not compared to Bill's brother Joe Flaherty, who died young in 1968, the author of the book pictured above, Managing Mailer, and a novel called Tin Wife (1986). Which I'd like to read because I want to know if a tin wife is anything like a fish wife. I know from experienc a fish wife is a very sad miserable resentful self-sabotaging sort of wife, and I'm wondering what sort of wife a tin wife is.

Bill tolerated me pretty well. When he showed me his brother's book I sort of showed too much surpirse, which offended him, made me feel like he saw me as a yuppie outsider coming in and judging him. Which...I am? Y i k e s. I summoned up my best fake outrage and told him "I have learned never to judge people, sir!" which he seemed to accept as an apology. And he said I was cute as a button.

He was cute too, and I'm a little disgusted that I didn't take his picture with his brother's book. I wonder if he would have gone for it.

Update: He said yes. While I was there I witnessed one of Bill's talents - yelling "I love you" to various people as they left the bar. A rare and precious talent to be able to shout those words with such abandon.

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