26 October 2010

25 Years Ago Today

Remembering Fall of 1985

Still smells funny inside


16th Street Bar & Grill - White Pizza, Rolling Rock and killer jukebox


Around the corner

Painful

$500 a month


PNB from my bedroom window


$1 a shirt


Samson Street Oyster House & Black Cat Cigars - Gone


Still there but Opera barber is gone

Aetna C&S - $19,500 a year and a Ford Tempo - 6th Floor

From Broad Street

Always loved this font

and this building.

It was different then but isn't it always? Philadelphia seemed to work. There were reasons to live in the city. Diversity and youth at every party, bar, restaurant and good time. Timbuk 3, Oingo Boingo, The Feelies, The Hooters, The Motels, Fine Young Cannibals, Jimmy Cliff...The new CD provided a soundtrack to dinner at endless happy hours and endless girls. All the better for a poor batting average. "Oh, God I fell for you."

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

I lived in Center City Philly for many years. Actually lived around the corner from Monks on Smedley Street between Spruce & Pine and 16th & 17th Street. My favorite place to live "in city". Every picture I was deeply familiar with. Where happened the Sansom Street Oyster House?

tintin said...

The original Sansom Street Oyster House (since 1947) closed a year or so ago. Another has opened in its place. Haven't tried it yet but peeked in the window. Looks they gutted the old place and tried to give it a modern look. A shame because the original had so much charm. Especially the oyster bar itself.

Anonymous said...

the barber shop is now called Groom, its where i go - by far the best in the city. I work on the top floor of the Wanamaker building which is by far my favorite building in the city. A view of city hall and the stadiums all from the same office and getting to hear the world's largest operational pipe organ (in what is now macy's) every day is definitely unique.

Jim T. said...

Sansom Street Oyster House is back... It's now just called "Oyster House". It's actually owned once again by the Mink family who used to own it, then sold it, then bought it back again a couple of years ago. Definitely a newer look (I preferred the old one myself) but you can still sit at the bar and have a beer with your southern frieds and chicken salad. The best part is that it's next door to Sherman Brothers, the Alden Cordovan Mecca of Philly. 1500 block of Sansom is a great stretch - very Old School Philly although it gets a little less so every year. Sigh.

James Brown said...

No nod to the beautiful Horace Trumbauer Racquet Club across the street??? I'm sure you spent some time at the lunch counter there...

egadfly said...

Yes, the Oyster House is back and frankly a lot better than it was under the management of the Restaurateur Who Shall Not Be Named. (Some of the oyster plates that decorate the walls date back to the old Kelly's: not as good as it was, et cetera).

The Happy Rooster remains, as does Joseph Fox, one of the few surviving independent bookstores, and Monk's is still there, reopened after a SEPTA bus crashed through the facade a few months back. Only a philistine would drink Rock there, though.

EGF

tintin said...

egad- I'm talking 16th Street Bar and Grill 25 years ago. When Rock was still made in PA and Belgian Beer was as hard to find as Southern Baptists in the NY Time's wedding section.

Main Line Sportsman said...

You must have just taken these shots as that "1518 Bar & Grill" is just under construction where Black Cat used to be...and not open yet. That is one block up from my old Jazz Club "Chris' Jazz Cafe"
The worst thing about Black Cat being gone is now you have no place in walking distance except the over-priced Holt's.
Happy Rooster still is a good call...and "Oyster House" is fairly good now that Mink family back at the helm...but I agree with all about the new decor..You should have reached out to me...and I would have bought you a drink at Chris'.....wait...you owe me a drink for the Schweppes.

HJB said...

TinTin,

Thanks for a nice trip in the ol' time machine this morning. Spruce Street Market (flowers for a real date) and 16th Street Bar & Grill (an unofficial annex to my apartment, with a better music selection). Great stuff! You could add Harry's, The Fish Market, Houlihans, Friday, Saturday, Sunday (upstairs Tank bar with the flower recipient), Happy Rooster, The Back Room at La Panetiere (where you could just afford a burger and still drink in a target-rich environment). Ironically, I discovered your blog about a year or so ago (since addicted) when I was searching for Murray the bartender from Harry's. My brother and I wanted to do a reunion over his martinis non pareil that used to either begin or end a night out in those, the best of days.

egadfly said...

Touché. I had almost forgotten Latrobe's finest -- now as debased as everything else in our non-iron world -- but I haven't forgotten the jukebox. I wish that I could push a button...

Main Line Sportsman said...

Did you ever go into Oscar's...a serious dive...and what do you think about the Brooks store since move to Walnut...physical plant wise?

Rittenhouse Custom Clothiers said...

I live right across the street from the Spruce Street Market and work on Walnut Street. Have been to Monk's many times! It is fun to see Philadelphia from another persons view!

Next time you are in town let me know and we can hit The UL for some serious beverages!!!

tintin said...

Main Line-
The new Brooks is something of a let down compared to the old place. But I like it better than Boyds.

Rittenhouse- That's a great bldg. I wrote a screenplay where the bad guy goes off the terrace on top of your bldg and lands in the flowers of the Spruce Street Market. 'Four Strings and a Red Head.' The option just expired if anyone's interested.

brohammas said...

What the... I drove up and down Sansom three times today and didn't see you once.

Yer skeered arent ya?
Let me know next time, I need to see if you are a better lunch companion than Chris (I call him Easy E). Gotta tell ya, he would be tough to beat.

Richard M said...

Loved La Panitiere! Love the Racquet Club-permanent member. "Chase better than half a yard"!

Marsha said...

When I was but a blithe young thing attending a Philadelphia college and given to dating graduate students, I developed an enduring fondness for Monk's. One of those young men picked right up on it and took me down to celebrate the end of a term. He gulped a bit at the prices but smiled (all the way to his eyes) at my order - including a decent beer - and subsequently took me back every time a new TA stipend check cleared. We're married now. I did good, yes?

John said...

Used to live on 18th and Spruce in late 90s. The market made great hamburgers and hotdogs on weekend; I think they stopped doing that now; recognized all the photos;

Anonymous said...

Have to say this is the first time I have commented but I really love this blog - probably the best written thing on the web. However, my earnest gushing is at odds with the tone of the blog however, so please forgive.