It’s hard to believe, I have put off writing about The Spring Lounge until today.  Spring Lounge–aka The Shark Bar– is one of those places hard to put into words. It’s an experience.  It’s a place you watch the seasons change. Summer and the girls in their short Tracy Feith dresses, painted toes and the boys on lowrider bikes with gold bangles and boomboxes.  Fall brings rain, baseball and brown pints (not always in that order).  Winter, you button up the North Face, trek down the street and watch the flurries tether.  Spring arrives and the Old St Pat’s (cue the church bells).  Girls are getting their toes painted again. You just can’t wait for the nice weather and the Lounge doors to stay open.

The hard wood floors with their distinct creaks and the long wooden tables with little stools.  The old payphone and the sign which reads: Hippies use the Side Door.  The Jute Box (even though the old one’s gone) playing the Pixies, the Beatles, Bob Seager and The Beastie Boys. There’s lovely Michelle and the cast and crew of regulars like Vinnie, usually in his Yankee cap.  Ugggg… that annoying yo-yo from Pomadoro’s with the earring who speeds by for a shot before returning to the pizza scene.  The cheap Schaefer beer, my mini pints of Guinness, the Sunday Bloody Mary’s (Matt used to cut the celery).  No…no, not another shot.

The place where I met my now husband and where our wedding snap is tacked onto the mirror with other warm (and faded) memories.  A place where I met neighborhood friends who still remain friends; even though we’ve all moved away. Even though they moved; they still drop in, always.  Especially the Parks with their little brood.

Everyone in my family has been to the Lounge.  I remember my brother called and said he was in DC and walked through the bar door. My mom drank a Stella and lost her new earring.  My bro-in-law (Chris) and sister (Jax) et. all watched a fire truck hit two cars trying to make a turn on Mulberry with a full crowd rooting on.  It’s a special corner joint where if you are lucky, people still know your name, because as I know, the times have changed. Still, the firemen come (as they did after 9.11 when the Lounge opened its doors wide).  It’s a window onto the world and the walls talk.

(image: newyorkontap.com)

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