Just when I thought it MIGHT be safe to go to work at the pub again.
Nawp. Sure every other pub in town is sighing with relief at the death of England in the World Cup, but not in this neighborhood. Things are just getting HOT here, and when I say HOT, we aren’t joking.
I took this photo across from the Warrington Friday night, just before I entered to start an evening of work. This is just ONE side of the pub. Around the corner, which you can’t see, is the ACTUAL outdoor area, where there are about 15 huge picnic tables under umbrellas and lofty maples, and about twice as many people as you can see here.
Also, there are 14 cases of Magner’s Cider bottles, 22 cases of Corona bottles, about 100 pint glasses, about 50 half-pint glasses with mint and limes and lemon stuck inside, about a dozen wine buckets with bottles floating in the former-ice, and, everywhere, the shiny silver lining of crisp packets shoved between the cracks of the picnic tables. Oh, and the shiny, clear shards of broken glass. Empty glasses are everywhere: stacked, strewn, shoved aside, toppled, hidden, tucked against table legs and pillars, cast aside, even lining the curbs on the street. And, of course, kicked, stepped on, tripped over, and smashed.
You see, if you head down Randolph Avenue a block and then up the hill a few more blocks, you arrive at Lord’s Cricket Ground, where England, this past weekend, took on Palestine. I think. For me, it doesn’t matter. It only matters that, combine that with lovely sunny weather, and that equals the biggest occasion for drinking in Maida Vale’s most popular pub. Every pub in the area will be busy, but not every pub has such a vast outdoor area, and such charming staff. (-;
Yes, the pub does get filled during football matches, but it isn’t really that busy. People are there to watch the match: that’s their main goal. Drinking is something to keeping your palm cold.
But cricket… well, the after-party at the pub for cricket is almost identical– in reverse– to tailgating. The goal is to drink. The purpose is to be outside, enjoying the weather, to wear ridiculous clothes, get wasted, and, eventually, stumble home. Game first (drink then too… you know that drill) then drink after too.
Remember… these people are BRITISH. You think you know how to drink? HA! You’ve got NOTHING on this lot.