The Pleasure of Pouring-Your-Own

Tuesday, January 5, 2010 | 1 Comment(s)

Since this blog is a place of honesty and whatnot, I feel the need to tell you all that I am in St. John, USVI.  I am, essentially, in paradise.  And the reason I am here is because I am lucky.  Simple as that.  This is one of the superb upsides of having an oncologist father (i would, however, trade my debilitating fear of death [also a result of an oncologist father] for less time on the island. 

This entry is not actually about the extent of my privilege.  This entry is about Larry's Landing.  Or as it is referred to on the island, simply Larry's.  If I were putting together a travel brochure for this island (not that I want more people to come, but if I did) Larry's would be front and center.  It is island perfection.  Let's look at the facts.

You order a drink.  Say, a jack and coke.  You get the following: a plastic cup of ice, a bottle of Jack Daniels, and a can of Coke.  Larry's is what you call a "pour-your-own."  I have never seen this anywhere else in my somewhat extensive travels, but you are asked to pour your drink however strong or weak as you'd like.  So, essentially, for the thrifty (i.e. all the locals), you can just rock out with a cup of jack on the rocks and be walking sideways up and down the streets in no time.  And this isn't just crap alcohol.  Kettle 1 to Absolut Vanilla--they've got selection.  But this is only the beginning. 

The owner's of Larry's are Red Sox/Boston fans.  I once watched the Red Sox comeback playoff victory against the Devil Rays down here, and the place was like a Southie bar in summer on game-day.  Hollering superfans, Yankee fan's getting made fun of (they didn't make the playoffs that year), and general bar camaraderie.  As a fairly avid New England sports fan, having this passion for my "teams" at my vacation destination is priceless (especially with the Patriots game coming up).  And another point of superiority for Larry's in general.

There are two pool tables and a dart board by the back bar (also pour-your-own).  This allows for a hang out area.  A chill space.  And to compliment this zen garden of loitering, there is a small performance space for bands.  You know.  Chill bands.  The range of which goes from Bob Marley chill to Jack Johnson chill.  It's mellow man.   Actually, next to the performance space, behind the dartboard wall, is a small one-person area consisting of just a plastic chair and a lighter.  I would say that this space is primarily for "eating sandwiches."  I actually also saw a piece of a mirror back there.  But that shit is crazy.  Don't do drugs.  You know, the dangerous ones.  What I like most about this space is that instead of just being an alcove for smoking drugs, they've outfitted it with a chair.  Cause no one should have to suffer the indignity of standing while smoking.  How simply drool.

I know that you're thinking that things couldn't get muct more exciting.  But that's when you find yourself completely wrong (you silly gooses).  Larry's also has electronic slot machines.  And while I'm not completely sure how the system works, I believe if you win it prints out a receipt which you can redeem for cash at the bar.  Having low maintenance gambling around is like "just going for it" after 2 a.m., nothing good comes of it.  It adds that seediness that makes you feel like you are all in this together.  Like being in this moment, at this bar, is an experience to be treasured and recognized for its specialness.  It's like a drugged out version of the Wonder Years (can you believe that Winnie Cooper is still so dreamy! [though no longer in a G-rated fantasy kinda way]).  You are just waiting for Daniel Stern's voice-over to point out how, in retrospect, you probably knew that hitting on that perky girl with the slurred speech and the sniffles who was going on and on about all of the different breeds of horses was not a smart idea.

Larry's is the community coffee shop for a community that runs on booze and good times.  If you want to see "that crazy thing" that happened on the island last night, you shoulda been at Larry's.  I've seen large women fall and old people dance.  I've smelled hippie odorant and put up with douchey pool sharks trying to hoodwink tourists.  How could a well cooked steak at a schmancy fine dining establishment ever match the exhilaration of being felt up by a random tourist between parked car out back.  *Cue Daniel Stern:*  In a word, I would have to say that Larry's is "incomparable."  And, in the end, I can't think of any higher compliment.

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