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Sunday, May 14, 2017

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Samantha Melamed at Jack's Famous Bar--Kensington








With Samantha Melamed at Jack's Famous Bar. Samantha writes a fantastic series of articles on bars for the Philadelphia Inquirer.



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3 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Great photos, Linh! Thank you.

Samantha's "Bar Code: Why Scotty's is the best-decorated bar in Philadelphia" reminded me about a bar up the street called the Razzle Dazzle; I wrote about it in a story called "Look into my Eyes"--I sent it to you some years ago. People drink very hard there, and if you want to talk to ignorant racist misogynists, that's the place to go. The music's always country, the TVs are tuned to Fox, and there have been some really vicious fights in there. The patrons couldn't care less what the joint looks like, so I always found it strange that the joint was redecorated once a year. It turned out that this was the owner's wife's hobby. On average, about four Dazzle patrons die of alcoholism a year.

Until he died of cancer, Jack was the owner. For a long time I thought he was an absolute asshole, and was confused as to why he was always bringing in free food. On Thanksgiving and Christmas he'd always make a turkey with all the fixings so the drunks without families would have some holiday cheer.

I can't remember what Jack said to make me change my mind about him, but he and I became breakfast buddies. He opened at eight, and if I wasn't teaching in the morning, I'd go have my morning coffee with Jack. Sometimes he'd fix me bacon and eggs.

Linh Dinh said...

Hi Elizabeth,

Samantha gets to sample swankier places like Writer's Block Rehab. Even if I had the cash, I would likely be spotted immediately as gatecrashing trash. Oh, well. I cover the low end.


Linh

Elizabeth said...

The Razzle Dazzle was reviewed by one of the local papers about ten years ago. The patrons were miffed that the reviewer said the place is a hideous pit.

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About Me

Born in Vietnam in 1963, I came to the US in 1975, and have also lived in Italy, England and Germany. I'm the author of a non-fiction book, Postcards from the End of America (2017), two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), six of poems, All Around What Empties Out (2003), American Tatts (2005), Borderless Bodies (2006), Jam Alerts (2007), Some Kind of Cheese Orgy (2009) and A Mere Rica (2017), and a novel, Love Like Hate (2010). I've been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, 2004, 2007, Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology (vol. 2) and Flash Fiction International: Very Short Stories From Around the World, etc. I'm also editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996) and The Deluge: New Vietnamese Poetry (2013). My writing has been translated into Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Icelandic and Finnish, and I've been invited to read in London, Cambridge, Brighton, Paris, Berlin, Leipzig, Halle, Reykjavik, Toronto, Singapore and all over the US. I've also published widely in Vietnamese.