“Motion 1” (2008), Photoshop transfer to TIFF, 20″ x 16″
I finally noticed today that Grandview Billiards (or Grandview Recreations) at 1816 Commercial has closed. Nothing unusual in that, I guess. Except that business started in 1926 and, until a couple of weeks ago, it stood as the longest serving business on the Drive. (Magnet Hardware and Blue Bird Beauty Shop were also founded in 1926, but they have changed location between then and now).
I’m not sure that Grandview Billiards was ever more than a working-class hangout, with a few tables in back and a lounge/snack area in the storefront. It was popular with Italians when I first came here, but in the 90s I noticed a lot more East Europeans, Serbs and such, looking surly and unapproachable in the front room. Recently it had become a genuine anachronism, becoming ever more rundown as the businesses around it were upgraded. It’ll be another restaurant, I bet.
So, that leaves Magnet Hardware (now known as Home Hardware) and Blue Bird Beauty Shop as finalists in the “last business standing” contest. Blue Bird has been at its current location since 1936, well before Magnet moved to the corner of Graveley, and therefore seems to own seniority right now.
One of the most popular articles in the New York Times this week was Eric Asimov’s excellent “Wine’s pleasures: Are They All In Your Head?” It is a well-written piece looking at recent work that seems to suggest wine drinkers are conned by price and status, but which, when looked at more closely, simply reveals differences between novice drinkers and experts. Well worth the read. Moreover, it got me thinking about suggestability and how it works in my own case.
From the early 1980s through to the spring and summer of 2000, my guess is that on average I drank one bottle of red wine every day — and much of it at lunch. It would not be uncommon for me to drink a full bottle at lunch, work through the afternoon, and then drink some more in the evening. It was one of my particular pleasures. But when my wife entered my life, she was concerned about how much I drank and so I consciously made an effort to cut down.
Now, less than 10 years later, I will enjoy the occasional glass of wine with lunch or dinner and feel fine about it. But if I have a second glass of wine, I will inevitably fall asleep and wake up with a thrashing headache. Obviously, I now avoid having a second glass on most occasions. But these effects show an amazing turnaround in my physiology in a relatively short period of time. Either my mind’s desire to please my wife has had a direct affect on the way my body processes certain chemicals, or the timing is just an astronomical coincidence. I’ll pick the power of the wife anytime!
According to the experts at the US Census Bureau, sometime earlier this morning, the world’s population was 6,666,666,666. I wonder how many of them will be on the Drive today?