05 June 2009

Friday Belts - Cheap Buckles & Beer

The Growler and the Belt

The back of the buckle

There are times when being cheap really pays off. Sterling buckles and cask beer are just two examples. Dinner at a Ft Bragg NCO club and living in a National Park are a couple of others but lets focus on beer and buckles today.

First, the beer. I had heard about Growlers years ago. Didn't pay much attention. Shame on me. I was the "buy a case" kind'a guy. Couple of weeks ago I pulled up a stool at The Pony Bar on 10th Avenue at 45th St. In the sticks but well worth the walk. They had cask beer made by the Chelsea Brewery called, Angel IPA. Not a draft but pulled up from the cask just like a London pub. The beer was not cold and far from warm. Not fizzy but certainly not flat.

It was a Bitter in the truest sense of a Bitter drawn up in Lamb's Tavern in Leadenhall Market next to Lloyd's of London. One of my favorite drinking places in the world. From the first sip I flashed back to the Lamb on a late Friday afternoon where Lloyd's brokers spilled out of the pub and onto the street holding pint glasses and Silk Cut cigarettes while this broker tried to convince an underwriter to insure a vacant factory in Cleveland. Those were the days. And then I looked up and saw the sign for Growlers.

A Growler is a take away bottle of 64 ounces or four pints. As I sip this amazing beer and figure I may stay here all night...the Growler begins to make sense. For a lousy $19.00 -- I can take four pints, me and a brown jug home. Makes sense. Give the Pony a try when next in NYC. The folks there are doing some amazing things with beer and ale and their passion can be your affordable joy.

I'm doing some amazing things with buckles. That's a sterling buckle with the initials, JDJ, in a beautiful diamond monogram. I found it in a consignment shop far from Manhattan. I paid $5.00 for it. Probably what it's worth but I like it. I already have two of my own but it's a kick in the butt to find something with so much soul for so little money. The back of the buckle reads, "Sterling Pat March 30, 1915" and there's the number '8' or is it '9'? Who knows. Who cares...as I pour another pint from the Growler and wonder who in the hell Sterling Pat was.


Paul said...

Great belts. Although you have a patina on the photo - could the buckle be sterling silver and for some reason patented? Just a wild guess - great belts? I need to pay more attention to details like this - handsome belts though.

longwing said...

Nice. Good beer, good buckle. The Pony Bar sounds like it's on the bus route between the Jav Center and the Times Square hotels. I may have seen it. Is that the sticks? Last time I was in that area I got stuck with a huge bill at Esca for some of the strangest food I've ever eaten.

Anonymous said...

I guess you know by now that sterling = silver
pat = patented.

Love the blog by the way!

M.Lane said...

Fantastic buckle! I will have to try a growler too.

Say, did they write the coverage on the empty factory?


james at 10engines said...

Lamb tavern?/ have to put that on the list. a fave of mine is The lamb and flag on edge of Covent Garden, another "stand in the street" type place. love it.

BSG said...

New York is surprisingly poor for microbrew and good beer bars.
That 'heartland' brewery chain serves absolute crap.

There's a longshoremen's bar (though all primped up now) around there too, old place..forget the name.

Anonymous said...

lamb and flag is where dryden was having a pint before getting assualted by paid thugs by one of his political enemeis.

Paul said...

Forgot to add - I think that is a silvermith's mark on the far right end of the back side of the buckel. Truly a custom-made item. Fantastic find for only $5

Josh R said...

I'll have to get to the Pony Bar at some point (not too far from where I work.

Worlds away from there in every respect, uh, Park Slope, Bierkraft has a big revolving selection of weirdbeers that they can growlerize for you: http://www.bierkraft.com/index.asp?PageAction=Custom&ID=5

Long live the Friday Belt!

longwing said...

Stumbled into a place called Blind Tiger on Bleeker St. once. It was packed. No one was terribly friendly but I was twice everyone's age.

Ms. P and C said...

I just love your writing...never mind the belts.

Ben said...

Ah spilling out of a pub onto the sidewalk. I learned to do that at my "local" when I was in school for a year in London. The Goat Tavern, Stafford street I think, near Green Park tube stop and off Piccadilly. That's also where I learned the English way of buying rounds. Made for neverending visits to the Goat. We'd go home just legless!

That was so long ago I can't recall who supplied their bitter. But it'll come back to me.

Anonymous said...

I would suggest Radegast Hall & Biergarten in Williamsburg, perhaps a hike, but you could spend a whole afternoon there enjoying the beer of Mitteleuropa.

Anonymous said...

Do the right thing. Don't hoard the silver.
Get the original monogram buffed out, have your girl's initials engraved on it and give it to her with a nice strap.
Trust me on this one.

tintin said...

Paul- Yes, it's sterling. No idea as to the history of it but it helps to shop for this kinda stuff with a loop.

longwing- 10th Ave is the sticks for me. You need to start doing some restaurant reviews in NY.

anon- Yes, I knew it was Patent date but I thought I would be a comedian--Sterling Hayden -- Sterling Pat. Like most things on this blog it didn't work but I'm glad you like it.

M Lane- Give me a growler and a straw. You dare question whether moi was able to broke a vacant factory?

james- The Lamb is a Lloyd's of London hangout. You may find it--without a underwriter to BS--a thumping bore. But give it a shot and report back here.

BSG- I agree. Went to Sam's Waterfront on 2nd and 30th. While the web site promised cask I was told that was only on weekends. The blue cheese burger wasn't bad though. I do like the Ginger Man for the free samples. All in all, these places beat drinking a Miller Lite in Hooters.

Anon- Where is the Lamb and Flag?

Paul- Thanks for the heads up on the hallmark. It may be in a book of US silver marks.

Josh R- I envy you if the Pony is close. I do need to get to Brooklyn soon. It's been a while.

longwing- I've noticed the same thing about these places. Younger types are terribly aloof but I bet the girls were calling you a DILF behind your back.

Ms P&C- You're too kind. And I really like that San Fran blog of yours.

Ben- You were lucky (as was I) in that we were able to experience Pub life. I was in a tiny pub in Cornwall a couple years ago eating pork rinds and drinking bitter with the Gul Foxtrot and an old friend. The tiny local pub is heaven to me and I hope they stay around for a very long time.

Anon 15:26- Like I said, I gotta break out the passport and make my way across the river soon. Thanks for the tip.

Anon 17:00- A great idea. And a cheap one too.

Anonymous said...

Floral Street meets Garrick Lane, Rose Street cuts between the two; here you'll find the Lamb & Flag, a small wooden fronted pub. At over 300 years, it's the oldest in Covent Garden, and possibly one of the oldest in London if claims of a Tudor past are true.
Today the only fight you'll see is the one to get to the busy bar. In 1679, the poet John Dryden is said to have been attacked by hired thugs in the alleyway at the side of the pub and was nearly killed. The upstairs bar is called the Dryden Room, presumably in honour of the man, rather than his beating.

tintin said...

Anon- Cheers, yeah. Many thanks for the pub hunter web site. My other favorite is the Red Lion in St James:


Brilliant, yeah?

Anonymous said...

Tintin: I believe the pubs.com site lifted quite a bit from a guide that I exetensively edited some years ago. No big deal, as with travel writing all pub/rest. editors read another's stuff. In fact, I am a bit flattered.

Anyway, the Anglesea Arms is another good bet if you're in London. The Fuller's London Pride is the best I have had anywhere.

But the best pubs are in the country. Give me a long English summer sunset and a cool cellar temperature pint after a long hard day and I am a happy man.

Allie in G'town said...

Love the buckle and for $5 you would have been nutz to pass it up. I treasure the two I have, one from Tiffany's (many more bucks than $5) and my late grandfathers which is currently attached to a needlepoint belt. Fantastic heirlooms but pill's to polish.

tintin said...

Allie- I polished a lotta brass in the Army. Silver is nothing. Noootthingggg.

King Sunny Adé said...

Good stuff!

growler said...

Go to the Whole Foods beer store on Houston. They sell growlers of various microbrews.

And I should know -- "growler" is my handle!

Alex Hornsby said...

great typeface!