Wow how time flies! Part of me feels like we are “gearing up” for summer, though in fact here it is! The Dog-Days are upon us and it is going to be in the mid-nineties today. When I was a much younger Working Stiff growing up at the Jersey Shore, it was understood that the unofficial beginning of summer was Memorial Day weekend. I guess that had to do with businesses opening up and rental rates increasing, but didn’t really make much sense, to me anyway, as a marker for the start of the summer season in part because the kids were still in school at that point. Living in Cape May and working at a busy restaurant it always seemed to me that the season really kicked into gear with the Fourth of July weekend. That’s when things really took off. That was the point at which the Monday morning following any weekend was NOT substantially quieter.
In any case, it most certainly is here and it is HOT. It should be noted that The Working Stiff likes the heat and enjoys a good heat wave. It is part of summer! Mrs. Working Stiff – not so much. Fortunately there is air conditioning. We have a big fan to make the deck more pleasant and an ice maker to keep the drinks cold.
Over the past few weeks I had occasion to make a road trip, accompanied part of the way by my brother. I drove to Raleigh, spent a few days there with my brother, and then we continued southward to visit our sister in Palm Coast, Florida. (We drove the 520 miles from Raleigh to Palm Coast on the Saturday of Fourth of July weekend – I know – smart, right?) We stayed a few days in Florida and then reversed the trip.
On one evening during each of the Raleigh interludes, both southbound and northbound, we visited a down-town Raleigh bar that my brother had heard about and had been wanting to check out.
The Green Light is a small, plush, cocktail-centric bar that is nestled within, while separate from, a larger establishment called The Architect, which bills itself as a “Bar and Social House”. The larger Architect itself is a really cool looking place that would be great for a drink, a party, or to host any size event. But here is the thing about the “other bar” – The Green Light: It is a secret. Don’t tell anyone. Or at least not the Hoi-Polloi! Well, come to think of it, they let my brother and me in and served us, so maybe that idea is shot all to heck! No doubt you could go upstairs from the street entrance and just have a good time at The Architect, but if you notice that the special green light is on over the secret door….
In a corner of the Architect is a large and rustic bookcase that reminded me of one of those understated displays of white things for sale in a Restoration Hardware store. Pulling on one side though opened the secret door, allowing entrance to the cozy Green Light Bar. It was an intimate place with several cocktail tables along windows looking down at the street below. The bar had perhaps five or six seats. There was lots of dark wood. They did offer a few beers, no wine as I recall, but the place was really all about cocktails. If you really needed a glass of chardonnay, then you needed to up your game and let the highly skilled and knowledgeable bartenders make you something delicious. The two guys we met on our two visits were real pros. They both knew their whiskeys and other booze, varieties of bitters, and what went with what and did what to this or that. They were true mixologists.
My brother and I both decided to honor our late mother with several different constructions of her two favorite cocktails – the Manhattan and the Old Fashioned. Everything was prepared with great care and was delicious. I look forward to taking Mrs. Working Stiff there when next we visit Raleigh together. For her, no doubt it will be some sort of dry Martini! Cheers, salut, a votre sante – enjoy the pictures.
Oh – by the way, in case all of this brought back foggy memories for you of the oath the superhero Green Lantern frequently recited, here it is:
In brightest day, in darkest night,
No evil shall escape my sight,
Let those who worship Evil’s might,
Beware my power – Green Lantern’s Light!
The Working Stiff