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

Finally they catch Green’s eye and are greeted with a broad smile and an excited stomp of the foot.

"I’m so glad you made it. I thought God almighty, here it is opening night and I never called the DiGiovannis."

It was 7 p.m. and the D.G.s were at home watching television when the call came. It’s finally getting off the ground. Don’t be silly. You’re always welcome.

So Marge tried to think of the best clean stories from 40 years of bartending and John put on a sport jacket and his white christening tie, and they headed to the new joint.

Now Green takes them around campaign-style, introducing Marge as "Mrs. Manayunk" and John as "the original owner."

"The local people were afraid of Manayunk turning into another New Hope," Marge says after a while. "I see a lot of what they call yuppies. But, you know, they really care about making things nice."

John is quiet for a while. Chesty. Sizing things up. Conducting one of his bullshit weigh-ins. Has a few beers. Checks out the menu.

"It’s not D.G.’s chili and meatballs," he says.

He looks at the seafood spread.

"We had shrimp for a while. Until the price went through the roof. I guess now they have more money to spend…"

Green returns to the DiGiovannis, beaming.

”I’ll bet you’ve never seen it this crowded."

"Oh, sure. Are you kidding? Sure."

"When? Come on, when was it ever this crowded?"

"After a softball game we’d get a crowd like this."

John asks about the jukebox and television and bowling machine. He is told there was no room. Some of it is in the basement, some of it is gone.
"Well, that was a good TV, I’ll tell you that.”

Marge agrees.

"It’s hard to imagine a bar without soap operas."

"That was a good air conditioner, too."

They talk a while longer, uncomfortably, searching for the right steps to a verbal dance, with John speaking over Green’s dramatic pauses the way you step on Someone’s toes.

Finally John takes a slow, showy look around the room and hands down the verdict.
"You’ll be okay here. You’ll make it."

A drink on the house.

"The owner buys, Green proclaims.

“The old owner buys!" John snaps back.

“The new owner buys!"

John turns away and talks into the wall. "

“Aw, what the hell, it’s his money anyway."