Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Paper City Pub Crawl (Summer '11 Edition): A Reflection

(Editor's Note: About twenty of us Brookies and a handful of adopted Brookies participated in the summer 2011 edition of the Paper City Pub Crawl on Saturday, June 25. Sponsored by the Paper City Junto, a fledgling social civic club I'm organizing, the pub crawl began at Thatcher's at 6p, and continued to Stockhouse (7p), Skybox (8p), The Frog and Turtle (9p), and Profenno's (10p). Below are three thoughts.)

Yes, a Burnt Trailer tastes as awful as it sounds.

The night's gimmick was a poker crawl of sorts, complete with designated drinks and playing cards for a poker hand at the end of the night. At Thatcher's, for example, the drink was Shipyard's Summer Ale, ditto Gritty's Vacationland Summer Ale at Stockhouse. Skybox was home to the Remember the Maine, and The Frog and Turtle whipped up more Rudy Vallee (page 3) cocktails in one hour than they had in a year. The headliner of the night, though, was the Burnt Trailer nightcap served by Profenno's.

Now, I'm a big fan of Moxie, and I think it's every Mainers' duty to have at least one of the numerous best-selling bottles of Allen's Coffee-Flavored Brandy stashed in a cupboard for special occasions. After experiencing the awful splendor of a Burnt Trailer (equal parts Moxie and Allen's) at Profenno's, though, I recommend keeping those two beverages at least 25 feet from each other, per the One Percent Doctrine. Think liquified coffee grounds, and you'll have a good idea of what the cocktail tastes like.

Hey, at least we survived to tell the grandkids.

We were a mobile economic stimulus package.

When I wrote the high-minded mission statement for the Paper City Junto, I noted the loosely-organized group's effort "to enrich the cultural, economic, intellectual, political, and social landscapes" of Westbrook. I'm still figuring out how to live up to that sentence, but I am comfortable the crawl improved the economy of Westbrook--for at least one night.

When about 15 of us kicked off the crawl at Thatcher's at 6p, no one else was in the restaurant. When we left an hour later for Stockhouse, the place was still empty. The economic impact of our group wasn't as drastic at the other four stops, but we did our part in injecting money into the Westbrook economy that would've otherwise been absent.

"I'm doing snow angels in front of the church."

Ask some of the old-timers, and they'll spin stories about that character or this incident that mostly came about because that section of town was a place people hung around in long enough to marinate in its surroundings and its people. It seems today, though, Westbrook's downtown is a destination spot for small, private happenings, whether it's a solo walk on the Riverwalk or a meal with family at a restaurant.

Maybe I'm reading too much into it (I do after all need to tease something out of a bunch of us walking--and imbibing--from bar to bar), but the pub crawl was a uniquely collective happening, an event downtown that has a common narrative among 20 or so loosely-joined people.

And the fact that one of those narratives may involve a lost crawler, snow angels in the middle of the summer, and St. Anthony's church makes it that much richer.

- John C.L. Morgan

No comments: