Sunday, September 23, 2012

AUTUMN IN NEW YORK: CAMERAS, GUINNESS AND OYSTERS GALORE

   The first days of autumn, a sunny weekend in New York, and tourists and locals alike head out to explore and enjoy the city.
    The tourists flocked to the South Street Seaport where Asian visitors loaded with cameras packed onto the cruise boats that circle the Statue of Liberty. They may not have understood the running commentary from crew member Steve but they put their cameras to good use, ceaselessly snapping each other, the Statue of Liberty and the sights of New York's East River. When they disembarked, Steve's hopefully-held tip bucket went mainly unheeded.   
  But there were plenty of tips for the hard-working waitresses and bar staff in Pearl Street in the downtown area where pubs like the Dog and Bean, the Grouler and the Dubliner had taken over the street with stalls selling Guinness, Harp lager and oysters galore as part or the area's annual Oyster Festival. Hundreds of gallons of Guinness and thousands of oysters were consumed during the daylong festival which transformed into a nighttime party as festival-goers danced from bar to bar, clutching plastic cups of booze.
  But the festivities had to end at 4am because of a little-known New York law which, a note on my hotel mini-bar informs me, forbids drinking alcohol between 4am and 8am Monday-Saturday and  4am and 12pm on Sundays.
 So it seems that most times I have been in New York I have broken the law. But I don't think I'm the only one.

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