The Greening of Manayunk

Once, the Indians came here to drink. Now, the yuppies do. And ex-mayor Bill Green is right in the middle of it all, merrily ringing up the register

"I tried to get a six-pack in Green’s a couple weeks back and they threw me out."

"Well, you have to know how to act…"

"I know how to effin’ act! I just wanted a six-pack. They said they got no takeout. Then they asked me to leave cause they had people coming in."

"You need a suit jacket to go there."

"It don’t matter. They know you ain’t part of their crowd. And you know what? It’s getting to be that way all over Manayunk."

A woman wearing a kelly-green "England out of Ireland" windbreaker says what she thinks in a pay-attention voice.

"Well, for one thing," she proclaims, "no old-timer knew it as a hotel. Green says it was some kind of hotel, but none of us knew about it. Come in here calling it a hotel…"
She pauses, but does not give up her turn.

"Bill Green’s not common people. No way. For one thing he charges an arm and a leg. Six-fifty for two drafts and a highball? No way!"

Modres protests that you have to pay a price for progress. It was that way in California during the gold rush and it’s also that way in Alaska — another place where bartenders are getting rich. Why, you have to pay $6 for a hamburger up there. It’s just that way when the economy gets good They should be happy. But they’re not.

"Progress my ass!"

Modres decides this would be a good time for the basket of cheer drawing.

They’ve been selling tickets all week and damn if there aren’t a couple hundred dollars’ worth in there. There is a big deal over mixing the tickets just right so the whole thing is on the up and up. The bucket seems heavy, sitting there filled with little pieces of the future. For a moment this snug little joint stands still and quiet. All of them just sitting there hoping that things will fall their way.