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Best Bar in America--Jones does it again

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by JR, Sep 21, 2006.

  1. JR

    JR Active Member

    I posted this on the Rachel Ray thread and I suppose it could go over on the journalism board but our buddy, fellow Canuck and great beer drinker has his piece in October's Esquire:


    Everybody says that stepping into Nye's Polonaise is like stepping back in time, and, for once, it's true—to a time before even electricity, and, what's more important, to a time before bars and neighborhoods and cities became things they were never meant to be. Somewhere along the way, instead of remaining places for people to come together, to share the familiar courses of their everyday lives, they became places where people stopped smiling and locked every door, where peo¬ple lived in fear and anger, where people wanted not to celebrate but to be left alone, to live out their days behind shutters.

    Great piece
  2. OnTheRiver

    OnTheRiver Active Member

    I remember reading it when I got it in the mail a week or two ago, and thinking about what a fine job of writing atmosphere and personality.

    For such a short piece (relatively), you get to where you have an idea of what all the people look like, what the place looks like, and what it even smells like, from Our Man Jones' words.

    Good job, Chris.

    Now be honest (and I ask this only out of curiousity): How heavily does Esquire edit you? Do they let you have as much fun with your work as you like, or is what we see in the magazine somehow dialed back?
  3. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    fun? were you around when jones live blogged his weekend at the nye's?

    i've been to nye's. don't eat the frog legs. they're nasty.
  4. kokane_muthashed

    kokane_muthashed Active Member

  5. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    Who's Chris ???
  6. kokane_muthashed

    kokane_muthashed Active Member

  7. Jones

    Jones Active Member

    That Drinking Partners thread brings back some good memories... Mostly of when I had a gallbladder.

    Thanks JR, for the kind words, and OTR, just to answer your question, I don't get edited heavily -- and not because of any clause or anything, just because Esquire likes each of their writers to have a "voice," if that makes any sense.

    But before I wrote the Nye's piece, I talked to my editor about tone, because you could go a bunch of different ways with this thing... Did he want a Lost Weekend kind of thing, or did he want more of a straight-up story, almost like a profile? He wanted a profile. So I went with that. The one major change is that what is now the opening graf -- the Irish thing -- was buried nearly at the end of the story in my first version. What is now the second graf (road to perdition) was my lede. But my editor suggested pulling up the Irish graf, and in the end, I agreed with him... It kind of takes a larger view of the bar and then narrows its focus as you go along, from the abstract down to that corner of Minneapolis. Sort of like Google Earth, I guess.

    I've said it before on here... I have a tremendous editor. He has flat-out salvaged some of my stuff, and he makes every story better in some way. But he's never re-written anything I've done. We always talk things out, and edit by edit, things improve.

    Anyway, I'm rambling. That story was good times.
  8. Bubba Fett

    Bubba Fett Active Member

    The story of the best bar in America was written by one of the best writers in America. Seems fitting.
  9. Del_B_Vista

    Del_B_Vista Active Member

  10. JR

    JR Active Member

    Jones is another one of the many fine Canadians we've sent your way to infiltrate and take over your culture. :)
    Jones is another one of the many fine Canadians we've sent your way to infiltrate and take over your culture. :)
  11. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    And we thank you for Jonesy and Alan Thicke...
  12. Bubba Fett

    Bubba Fett Active Member

    Sorry, I was mainly thinking of Esquire and it being an American publication.

    God bless Canada for Pamela Anderson, Bob and Doug McKenzie, John Candy and Jones.
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