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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2005 * Archive through June 27, 2005 * Big Brother is coming to your watering hole < Previous Next >

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Michael
Advanced Member
Username: Hoppop

Post Number: 663
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Monday, June 20, 2005 - 05:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050620/ap_on_re_us/chicago_taverns

Yuk...Thoughts?

I call it gentrification. And, it seems to be happening everywhere. Pretty soon, it will be a choice of some chain controlled by (fill in the blank), or yuppie fern bars with $6 Mich Ultra. Not only taverns, but food, etc.

My first job out of college in 1985 was as an auditor...I traveled 48 weeks a year all over the country...lived on the road. Very cool life for a young dude out of school.

The coolest times were going to our Corporate HQ outside of Chicago in Kankakee...there were "taverns" everywhere...neighborhood places...to watch a Bears game on a Monday night, soak down some suds with guys that had been regulars for 30 years....yeah....that was cool.

Now, it's listening to "best practice consultants" discussing how they are going to pay for their new B'mer and guest house in Florida, while treating the minimum wage earning waitress like a doormat.

Rant mode off...time for a $6 cup of coffee.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 3196
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Monday, June 20, 2005 - 05:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I was about to post a link to the same article. To me it's a sign of the slowly growing income disparity and the return of social class distinctions that have been ongoing for about 25 years now.

One of my favorite books is The View from Nowhere by Jim Atkinson, a Dallas newspaper reporter from the 1970s and '80s. More than 20 years ago he penned this saga of his search for "bar bars" across America, those ordinary, decidedly anti-trendy establishments where people went just to drink and not to be noticed.

In my younger days I, too, did a lot of traveling, although most of it on my own thin dime rather than the company expense account, and I would seek out places like that, where the beer was honest and cheap and you did more listening than anything else. When I read Atkinson's book I was a little taken aback at how many of the bars he mentioned where I actually had drunk.

The book also has a lot of simple wisdom and rules for living, as well as observations about characters we all know.

I'm reminded of writers like Charles Bukowski and Harvey Pekar, who made me feel I wasn't alone. I suspect they (Bukowski has been dead for awhile now) and Atkinson would not speak kindly of most brewpubs, though.
 

Brandon Dachel
Senior Member
Username: Brandon

Post Number: 1557
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Monday, June 20, 2005 - 06:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

As is with all things Daley...follow the money
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 3295
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Monday, June 20, 2005 - 07:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Man, Mike Royko must be rolling over in his grave...

Bill, the View From Nowhere is an excellent book! I am an afficionado of dive bars, and that book certainly made the right call for Montana's dive bars, the M&M in Butte and the Oxford in Missoula. Indeed, Butte is probably the capital of dive bar cities, and the M&M is one of the finest dive bars in the country, if not the world.

I am a big fan of my hometown microbewery, Blackfoot River. Most of my friends frequent their taproom, which is non-smoking and kid-friendly. I prefer the bar next door, however, where most of the locals smoke and drink budlight and hard liquor just because of the atmosphere (and the fact that they have 5 standard Blackfoot River tapsm whereas the taproom has only three and those are whatever the brewery has available). But on Wednesdays, when a pint and a growler costs only $5, its hard to beat the taproom.
 

Paul Hayslett
Advanced Member
Username: Paulhayslett

Post Number: 776
Registered: 02-2002
Posted on Monday, June 20, 2005 - 07:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

In some ways, it's like a lot of other social trends. TV and A/C and little houses in the suburbs took all the blue-collar families off the urban stoops and out of the local watering holes. Everyone stayed home instead. So lots of community-oriented stuff just died.

Another example: My grandfather played shortstop for his union's baseball team for 25 years. Every game was well-attended. His old league was shut down for lack of interest decades ago. Everyone would rather stay in and watch the Yankees on the tube.

Around here, there are almost no "bar bars" left. Most anything that isn't attached to a restaurant is either an ear-splitting sports bar or a filthy dump. Both types scare and anger the neighbors and draw constant threats of closure. When I ask why there isn't a decent bar to go to, I'm told that working- and middle-class people just don't go to bars anymore, only drunks and young male yahoos. So only the only viable establishments are the ones which cater to them. I think that's an exaggeration, but it's true enough to help explain why "bars" have become so unwanted in residential neighborhoods.
 

George Schmidt
Advanced Member
Username: Gschmidt

Post Number: 541
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, June 20, 2005 - 08:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Has Daley been mayor of Chicago for 16 freaking years? Really?
Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors -- and miss. ~~Robert A. Heinlein: The Notebooks of Lazarus Long
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 3197
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Monday, June 20, 2005 - 10:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm reminded of the summer of 1969, which I spent as a student in Buffalo. (Curiously, nine states and two countries later I'm once again living about 60 miles from there.) There was a "bar bar" (the name long since has passed from my memory) on Main St. between the university and downtown that had 10 oz. glasses of Koch's (a passable American lager brewed in Dunkirk, NY and later bought and killed off by Genesee) for a dime until 4 PM on weekdays. There was a black and white TV over the bar, and a couple of fans to move the stale air around on hot days. The regulars were old farts who cashed their social security checks and a few of us young punks who wanted a cheap buzz, which could be obtained for about a dollar, give or take a dime or two.

Let me tell you, those were the days.
 

Jim Smith
Junior Member
Username: Hey_newt

Post Number: 29
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Monday, June 20, 2005 - 10:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Searching out local "dives" is a favorite pastime for the wife and I. Fortunately downstate Illinois is still fairly rural with an abundance of small towns and Main St. local bars. Most times stopping into these types of establishments is like going to a class reunion. There may not be any recognizable faces in the place but they all treat you like a best friend. Daley's 'subtle' attack on neighborhood bars is just another case in the ever increasing neo-prohibitionist thinking that seems to be sweeping this country. Daley is one of the reasons why Downstaters stay downstate. I say we all stop into the nearest 'dive', raise a glass of cheap swill and leave a good tip for the barkeep. They probably deserve it.
 

Wayne Faris
Member
Username: Bugeaterbrewing

Post Number: 175
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 02:12 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Amen! I live in a little town of about 2,000 people with 4 dive bars, a Legion Club and a VFW hall (plus 8 churches to balance that out). Any of those bars will make you feel like a long lost friend come home even though you have never been there before. You can't find that in the city anymore. These bars are social institutions more than they are a business. We need to do what we can to keep them alive.
 

michael atkins
Member
Username: Mga

Post Number: 198
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 02:29 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I visited Chicago back in 1973. There were signs all over the city which said "Mayor Daley's Citizen Committee Welcomes You."

That SOB of a Dem -- political machine has been screwing up Chicago for over 30 years. Can you imagine, no neighborhood bars to go to after the union meeting to re-elect another "Daley"?

Michael -- When is the last time you saw the word "tavern" in the name of a drinking establishment?
Love This Hobby!
 

Joe DiBenedetti
Member
Username: Docwino

Post Number: 206
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 09:44 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Who put the Ken in Kennedy and the Day in Daley, the booze industry. Now that these familys have power and prestiege they have turned and bitten the hand that fed them.

In the town I grew up in we had about 10 or 11 local taverns in a 10 sq. mile area. We were pretty split between Italian, Irish and Polish. The Italian bars usually had a little Bocci court in the back. In the Irish bars you could do some hard drinking and argue who was smarter Da Vince or the guy that invented Irish whisky. The Polish bars usully had a little combo on the weekends where you could polka till your feet looked like Donald Ducks. Many years later I'm still living in the same town, and now we have two sports bars. One serving the north side and one the south. Several trendy restruants and three yuppie discos where you can get your senses overwhelmed by neon and loud music. Oh yes and then there's always the $6 BMC.
 

Richard Nye
Advanced Member
Username: Yeasty_boy

Post Number: 766
Registered: 01-2004
Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 02:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A few months ago my wife and I went to London for a vacation. A friend gave me a CAMRA book on pubs in England. I picked out a pub near our hotel called "Victoria's". Rumor was Queen Victoria went there, along with Churchill, etc... I can't remember how many hundred years old it was. The word "pub" is short for "public house" and it's basically a place for people in the neighborhood to congregate and talk. There were all types of people there...people reading books, couples, groups of friends, etc. It was a great environment.

We met a man there that went to college not far from Victoria's some 30 years ago. He said the place hasn't changed a bit, right down to the hole in the ceiling, the loose tiles on the floor, the smoke stained paint, everything.

Imagine what would happen to places like Victoria's if Daley "ruled" in London.

(Message edited by yeasty_boy on June 21, 2005)
 

Michael
Advanced Member
Username: Hoppop

Post Number: 664
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 03:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

>>>Michael -- When is the last time you saw the word "tavern" in the name of a drinking establishment?>>>

When I last lived in the NW (up until 4 years ago). Particulary N and S of Seattle (Everett, Renton, etc.)

Those were fast disappearing due to gentrification ($300k condos, etc). Some lost stories and lives got buried by the bulldozer...
 

Joseph Listan
Advanced Member
Username: Poonstab

Post Number: 714
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 04:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

One of the things that puzzles me about gentrification (the prohibition aspect is NO surprise) is this:

Where the is all this money coming from? How is it that what seems like half the population can now afford a $350,000 house?
 

Paul Edwards
Advanced Member
Username: Pedwards

Post Number: 726
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 04:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

40 or even 50 year mortgages are now the norm in some parts of the country.

People are extending themselves way beyond what they'll ever payback. There's a bit of a bubble occrring in some parts of the country in the real estate market. When the bubble breaks, the mortgage companies will be left holding the bag in many cases.

I'm living in the only house I've ever owned. Bought it 28 years ago and paid it off in less than 15 years, so I've been saving up for my old age, which is rapidly approaching
 

HEU Brewer
Member
Username: Heu_brewer

Post Number: 138
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 05:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The article states..."Daley also dusted off a largely unknown law that allows residents to vote their precincts dry."

If the majority of the residents want to vote their precints dry then isn't that what democracy is all about.
 

Michael
Advanced Member
Username: Hoppop

Post Number: 665
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 05:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Paul, I was good friends with a mortgage broker in Seattle when I lived there. He worked on the eastside where $600k starter homes were the norm.

In any case, he said that over half of his business was refinance. Of that, most were couples refinancing and rolling over debt into their new mortgage. More amazing is that even with dual incomes over $200k, most would be bankrupt within 4 months if they became unemployed... $1,200 a month car payments, no real savings to speak of, and spiraling credit card debt. As homes appreciated, the cycle would continue....of course, this guy was part of the whole circus ride.

>>>Where the is all this money coming from? How is it that what seems like half the population can now afford a $350,000 house?>>>>

Joe, to your point, some cannot afford it, but have it......

I like my 100 year old house that will be paid off in 8 years...my paid off cars...no debt....heh, heh...

To keep this brew related....if a precinct was voted dry, that would be good for the hobby, eh?


I should have originally started this thread under world views...sorry folks...

(Message edited by hoppop on June 21, 2005)

(Message edited by hoppop on June 21, 2005)
 

Brandon Dachel
Senior Member
Username: Brandon

Post Number: 1559
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 06:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

> How is it that what seems like half the
> population can now afford a $350,000 house?

Isn't that the truth. How many of those homes have no furniture in them?
 

Joe DiBenedetti
Member
Username: Docwino

Post Number: 209
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 09:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Where the is all this money coming from? How is it that what seems like half the population can now afford a $350,000 house?

The new gimic is a no pay principal on your morgage, you just pay the intrest. Problem with that is the lender will always own the house and you could be paying the going intrest rates forever with nothing to show for it. Sounds like renting with prepritorship to me.
 

don price
Advanced Member
Username: Donzoid

Post Number: 671
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 10:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Interest only mortgages are great! You can get the house you can't aford now due to unsustainable low interest rates. Then you can refinance in 7-12 years when the house needs a new roof, new floors, new appliances, and more paint....and you get further into debt because, for many, the bubble will burst, interest rates will rise, demand and housing values will fall....wiping out the 10%/year gains of recent years.

Time for a homebrew...

Don
 

Richard Nye
Advanced Member
Username: Yeasty_boy

Post Number: 767
Registered: 01-2004
Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - 01:25 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"If the majority of the residents want to vote their precints dry then isn't that what democracy is all about."

No, I don't think that's what democracy is all about. What if the majority of people want to make motorcycles illegal, should it be up to a simple majority? I think it depends on how the activity affects others. I think we should all be able to enjoy a beer or three at our homes or at the pubs. I don't want to loose that priviledge because the majority thinks I shouldn't.
 

Graham Cox
Member
Username: T2driver

Post Number: 171
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - 02:53 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

With regards to the points made in the article regarding neighborhood bars being sources of noise, crime, litter, etc., I think it's a perfect example of the arrogant, ill-mannered and disrespectful society we have become. A sizable percentage of people seem to care about nothing but themselves and what happens within a 5-foot bubble of them.

I travel the country for a living, so I see a wide cross-section of the population at work and play. Whether it be in airports, restaurants, shops, uptown, downtown, etc., unfortunately it's all the same. People too damned lazy to take their shopping cart 10 feet to the corral in the parking lot, too absent-minded/self-centered/just-plain-stupid to use their turn signal, too self-absorbed to realize that their neo-disco cell phone ringing in the restaurant and the shouted catch-up-with-your-college-buddy conversation is not the background that other diners want. Litterers. Noise polluters. Vandals. People with no respect whatsoever for the property of others.

If a neighborhood dive is attracting lots of this kind of people, and the alcohol they serve only exacerbates their basic anti-social character, I don't blame the locals for getting upset about it.

That said, I have found absolutely no dearth of good drinking establishments in Chicago. Goose Island is a particular highlight, IMHO.
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 3303
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - 02:58 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Richard is dead on. Plus we live in a republic, not a democracy, that has this little thing called the bill of rights attached to our constitution. I believe one of the amendments reads:

A well-lubricated Populace, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and drink beer, shall not be infringed.
 

HEU Brewer
Member
Username: Heu_brewer

Post Number: 139
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - 01:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"I think it depends on how the activity affects others."

Apparently "the activity" was affecting the residents of some precincts so much so that they decided enough was enough and voted those precincts dry. Still don't see the problem with that.
 

Joseph Listan
Advanced Member
Username: Poonstab

Post Number: 716
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - 02:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A-holes don't piss in the alley, beer does, right?

I believe Graham wins the cookie in this thread. All I can say is: "yeah, what he said!" As a society, we should be ashamed of what we've become.