1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Last Call at Elaine's

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by typefitter, May 26, 2011.

  1. typefitter

    typefitter Well-Known Member

    Elaine's, that venerable NYC writer's institution, is closing tonight (well, technically, tomorrow morning).

    My friend Kevin Van Valkenburg wrote about the end of Elaine's, and a memorable night we spent there—for W.C. Heinz's wake, where we read "Death of a Racehorse" out loud to guys like Roger Kahn—over at my blog. I've never posted an entry here—there are no scoops at Son of Bold Venture—but I thought some people here might enjoy reading this.


  2. Harry Doyle

    Harry Doyle Member

    I do very much hope that my friend, the author, realizes some of us lament the fact we will never be Kevin Van Valkenburg. Beautifully done, as usual. Frankly, it was a lovely defense of writing as romance.
  3. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Subtle. Love it.

    Are you there? I think you said on twitter that you were going to try to make it.
  4. gingerbread

    gingerbread Well-Known Member

    Went the other night for a last drink. As expected, the place was packed with writers, actors, and people who love writers and actors.
    Even though Elaine was often incredibly rude to female patrons -- you needed to be vetted by regulars before she'd even acknowledge you (thanks Bill Madden!) -- she and the place shall be missed.
  5. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    She liked Bill Madden?

    Glad now I never stopped there.
  6. typefitter

    typefitter Well-Known Member

    Alas, I didn't make it, YF. The boys got together for a reunion on Monday night, but I was on the road for work. And then last night... More work.

    My first time at Elaine's, I remember Elaine pointed at me and asking somebody who I was. He told her, she looked at me for a while longer—I was sure she was going to kick me out for some reason—and she just kind of nodded her assent, and I could stay.

    I don't know why, it's stupid, probably, but I felt like I'd passed some sort of test that night, like a rite of passage.

    That, or she just decided that my money was good.

    Anyway. P.J. Clarke's, from now on.
  7. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    That's how I felt when I went to Seinfeld's "Soup Nazi". Eventually I became a regular & would get bread, fruit, and chocolate with my soup. (Though I think it was mostly because I went at the end of the day.)

    As for P.J. Clarke's, it's a good place and will probably have a more literary crowd, but I've always preferred JG Melon. Just thinking about it makes me miss NYC.

    They tried opening a P.J. Clarke's in Chicago. I don't think it lasted a year. They put it in Lincoln Park and it just had no soul.
  8. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    Clarke's, like Elaine's, revolved around the original proprietor.

    YGBFKM Guest

    Lincoln Park seems like the perfect place for such an establishment. Bunch of dumb-ass yuppies wishing they were New Yorkers. :)
  10. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Amen. KVV is a very talented writer. It's a shame that his talents are essentially buried in a blog at the Baltimore Sun.

    I come and go on PJ Clarkes. It has become somewhat of a NYC tourist spot, which I despise.
    I do like their burgers though and sometimes I have to swallow my pride to have one.
  11. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    Was terribly disappointed with the burger, last time I was there.
  12. swenk

    swenk Member

    PJ's has been in Chicago since the late 80s, still there in the Gold Coast, right off State and Division. Great bar, good food, decent local crowd, nothing like the cliche Rush Street crowd around the corner.

    I bet most people there don't even know about the original joint in NY.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page