REQUIEM FOR ELEPHANT AND CASTLE

-“I didn’t know how to break the news to you. I knew you’d want to go there, and I was thinking, oh dear. Thenewcomer really loves the Elephant and Castle. Apparently they went bankrupt. So where do you wanna go?”

I stared with horror and shock at my friend. What? What? how? Why?

We discussed the  E&C situation seriously, as befits haligonians on the prowl for a nice spot to sit and relax after a hard day sitting behind a computer. We ended up at Pogue Fado. Ah! After seating ourselves in one of the quiet dingy booths, I began missing the lively rowdy pub that was E&C  even more.  The booths at E&C were placed so that on one hand, you got a great street view, and on the, a wide open view of the bar itself, with all the comings and goings. In Pogue Fado, the booths are enclosed and look onto drab brown walls.

Apart from the fond memories of E&C, the news of its bankruptcy is one of those news items which add a little to the already extreme uncertainly and insecurity of the Times We Live In. I mean, E&C was always busy. Always. Saturday afternoon at 3? Busy. Weekday night at 8? Busy. Always busy, but always with a couple of empty seats for you. If E&C goes bankrupt, what hope is there for the rest of us?

But let’s relive  the fond memories.

September  2010. Just got back from Iran, reeling and dizzy from jetlag and separation emotion. Friday night at E&C. Girlfriend competing in Stella Artois beer-pouring contest. Didn’t know there was a Stella Artois beer-pouring contest. Two Guiness down. Wearing short black layered miniskirt (sale from benetton) and purple knit top. Purple earrings, purple leather bracelet, purple eyeshadow. My babysitter persuaded me to remove the purple socks before I left. Cheering for girlfriend pouring Stella Artois. Beautiful golden beer foaming in beautiful chalises. Iran recedes to the background. Good times.

August 2011. Saturday afternoon. Hot downtown. Back from the beach- actually, can’t remember what we were doing in downtown anyway. Somebody needs the washroom. Oh- now I remember- we needed the bank on George street. Nearest washroom in E&C. We go in. Cool and shaded. Live music playing. We sit down. Beer. Ice cream for the kids. The server, true to Halifax, is incredibly tall, handsome and friendly. He chats and promises to buy the beer he recommends back from us if we don’t like it.  We love it. After one beer, I walk up to the band.  Can they play any Dire Straits? Yes! Yes they can! They play Sultans of Swing! Oh My God! A local band playing Dire Straits! Amazing!

Is nothing safe? Astronomyyyyy! The stars!!!!

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