Flicking through Penelope Brandage’s recent biography of Robert Frost (‘Frost on the Lobelias’, Random House, 2017) was surprised to discover the seminal poem ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’, previously considered ‘finished’ in 1922 (and published in the volume New Hampshire, 1923), was actually the product of an earlier draft composed during a visit to Woodchuck Lodge, the summer residence of John Burroughs, shortly before the conservationist’s death in 1921.
Exhaustive research by Ms Brandage within the archives of the Burroughs Foundation has turned up a previously unrecorded letter from the poet to Burroughs’ young wife Clara Barrus, composed shortly after his stay at their Catskills home. Whilst primarily focussed on a number of rambles undertaken together in the hills above Roxbury, during which Robert and Clara ‘delved headwaters of the Beaverkill, through slavering crack and crevice furred’, the latter portion reflects upon the arduous journey Frost was compelled to endure following his weekend sojourn; to New York City, and a reading by the Dymock Poets (Ezra Pound, Edward Thomas, T.E. Hulme) at The Town Hall on 43rd Street. The deflating effect of several hours on the road stands in stark contrast to the poet’s eulogizing of his hostess’s ‘dumpling bosom, fresh briar-baked’, and the letter finishes with a short poem in postscript, clearly a draft of Frost’s later masterpiece. Once again, it seems, the life of the Catskill Mountains reveals itself to be the wellspring of creative genius.
Whose Subaru is this, we sing,
Parked up here by the Burger King?
He will not see us stopping here
For Whopper Meal and Poland Spring.
We’re driving with some prancing queer
From Williamsburg or somewhere near
Who didn’t want to take the bus
And drank our farmhouse dry of beer.
The dog found something in the grass
Which now is belching from its ass.
The kids are bored to fucking tears
Of Sarah Vowell and Ira Glass.
The car smells like a cheese fondue.
But I have loads of shit to do,
And miles to go before I poo,
And miles to go before I poo.
The new Table on Ten Autogrill t-shirt. Designed by Mark Ohe, made by Val Dudley. On pre-washed Hanes ComfortSoft in four sizes. $20 while stocks last.
… because believe us, beer ain’t beer. But don’t feel bad if you thought it was. We did too. Until our new manager Andy Acker arrived.
See, Inez had just finished up an afternoon whittling the testicles off guinea-fowl, and had slipped out to the picnic table, having spotted a shard of sunshine refracted through a giant icicle dangling like the Sword of Damocles from the roof. On her way, she grabs a beer and shouts for Andy to join her. Which, shortly thereafter, he does:
Inez: Hey, I think Spring might actually be here …
Andy: What’s that?
Andy: I said, what’s that? (He points to can of Narragansett on the table)
Inez: Umm … it’s a beer.
Andy: Hmm. Domestic lager. So soon after the vernal equinox?
Inez: Oh, er … I dunno, is it? (smiles) They’re all the same, right?
Andy: May I? (gestures towards it. She nods. He picks it up by his fingertips. Holds it aloft against the sun. Presses it to his cheek, closes his eyes, emits a low hum. Finally, wafting his fingers like a thrush’s wing over the opening, takes a long sniff followed by several staccato snifflets. Silence)
Inez: You okay?
Andy: Oxidized. Because you drank the first third rapidly, the remaining liquid has reacted with pocketed air within the vessel, throwing off the pH and initiating the first stages of a reverse Haber process.
Andy: Whereby the surface of the lager is gradually becoming low molarity aluminium hydroxide in solution. Leave this can in the sun for fifteen years and you’ll be drinking bauxite.
Andy: Would you like me to titrate you an IPA?
Remember when beer was just the short and glittering road to being shit-arsed? The longer the road, the shittier the arse? When a word like ale was as snort-inducing as mead, flagon or i’faith, draw me a tankard of sack, buxom serving wench? The provenance of short, pudgy hermaphrodites who dressed in plastic armour to beat each other with nerf-swords in fields outside Leicester? Or pockmarked university drama lecturers playing the celtic drum in Wiltshire pubs, singing about bonny shoals of herring with fingers in their ears? Well not any more. These days an otherwise unretarded-seeming Williamsburger in his thirties will barely blush when referring to beer by its mouthfeel or quaffability: behaviour which (in days of yore) would have got you a firm dart in the middle of the forehead, if not a golden baptism down the toilet-bowl in the Gents whilst involuntarily munching on a slice of moist urinal cake. Being a hophead meant somebody was actually hopping up and down on your head. In the car park. Amongst the discarded rubber johnnies.
Not at Table on Ten though, by golly! There’s no prophylactics in our car park. Hell, we don’t even have a car park!
But we do have beer, and we also have Andy – our new Virgil, fated to lead us by the sweaty paw through the labyrinth of the Craft Beer Inferno. Where all names begin with DOG or end in WHALE. And where half a gallon of last-summer’s paddling-pool water, fermented up a cow’s uterus with a handful of Polish zlotys and stirred with a limp celery stick constitutes a fine idea for an after-hours Spring brewski.
First up in the artisanal small-batch wet t-shirt contest: Southern Tier ‘Nu Skool’ IPA, from Lakewood NY, a short ambulance ride from Buffalo.
This one is characterized by middle-school spelling, bringing to mind notes of sweaty snowboard boot, overnight-wetsuit-in-the-trunk-of-mom’s-Subaru and jockstrap. Originally in the category of awesome, it soon became rad before settling into lit with shades of amazeballs. The perfect beer if you’re planning on free-climbing the pizza oven, base-jumping from the garbage cans or wingsuiting over to Sal’s for a breakfast sandwich. Have two or three. Go cray-cray.
Burial Beer Billows Hoppy Kölsch out of Asheville, NC.
This one combines heavy alliteration (Bradley burnished Bobby’s biggest bollock) with implied European exotica, crowned with an umlaut. Kölsch was apparently a serious mover-and-shaker in the Dusseldorf bondage scene; combined with the name Burial, we’re looking at some serious goth undertones here. Sleeve-tattoos, ear-gauges and two semesters at SUNY Oneonta. For more insight, look no further than Burial’s own product description: ‘it is our smoke signal to all brewers, our brethren in craft, and all who enjoy a light quaffable ale with hearty aroma: this is your beer.’ Yes, they said brethren in craft and quaffable ale. Two tugs on the nipplering-o-meter …
Von Trapp Vienna Lager comes yodeling down the Vermont berghang in tight lederhosen, honking its alpenhorn with eidelweiss in its underpants.
No, you’re not hearing voices from your secret show-tunes days. That’s von Trapp, as in Maria von Trapp. As in Captain von Trapp, seven children and a mess of funny Nazis. Yup. This one features high-notes of raindrops on roses with back-end whiskers on kittens. Four Vienna’s shotgunned in succession will make you lay-ee-odl-lay-ee-odl-lay-hee-hoo like Julie Andrews getting a Jägermeister enema high on a hill from a lonely goatherd; the aftereffects of which include brown paper packages tied up with string and a dream that will need all the love you can give every day of your life for as long as you live.
That’s it. Our first litter of craft beer triplets, all meanly wrapped in swaddling bands. They’re here now, gurgling away in a refrigerated manger, awaiting the plump ministrations of your immaculate nipples. Come on down to Bloomville and express yourselves.
On December 31st 2016 the staff of Table on Ten were cryogenically frozen in hermetically sealed pods and shot into outer space. By bending the time-space continuum, each was afforded a full-life on Planet H2T in the phlebotic region of the Crab Nebula, where society is organized according to tenets culled from the lyrics of Barry Manilow. Laura learned to sauté protoplotids in the ink of the flabberjubulus, while Inez had triplets with a blob of slime before inaugurating the Disco revival and taking holy orders. She walked out, tentacle in hand.
All in the space of two months.
But we’re back. Two gallons of green semi-gloss, a spanking new doorknob, some postcards from the kids (Qblib is teaching Slime as a Foreign Language on Gammaglobulin4) and we’re in the kitchen ready to go.
Right now, that is. Even as we write. Hours are as usual. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday daytimes. Pizza Night Friday and Saturday. And every Friday and Saturday ’til the sun peels the paint and the seat covers fade and the water moccasin dies.
Thursday – 9 to 3
Friday – 9 to 3 then 6 to 9
Saturday 4th March – 9 to 3 then 6 to 9
Sunday 5th March – 9 to 3
Come on down. The price is right. What’s your name?
It’s that time of year. And it came like some an arctic lemur, with a scalpel of ice in its tail.
Hours for the holiday season are as follows:
Thursday 22nd – 9 to 3
Friday 23rd – 9 to 3 and 6 to 9 (pizza night)
Saturday 24th (Christmas Eve) – 9 to 3 but NO PIZZA NIGHT
Sunday 25th (Christmas Day) – CLOSED
Monday 26th to Wednesday 28th – closed as usual
Thursday 29th – 9 to 3
Friday 30th – 9 to 3 and 6 to 9 (final pizza night of 2016)
Saturday 31st (New Year’s Eve) – 9 to 3 but NO PIZZA NIGHT
From 1st January 2017 till March 2nd, Table on Ten will be closed while the staff scour the cosmos for good stuff and inspiration. We’ll be back for show-and-tell at the first hint of thaw, tails quivering like bunnies.
Brrr. Put a second pair of socks on. And The Clash’s Sandinista! or Wire’s Pink Flag. That’ll do it.
Hand-made by Gowanus Elves
• salted caramel apple
• black bottom pumpkin
• buttermilk chess
• chocolate pecan
• salty honey
• black bottom oat
607 832 4538 or firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve
We”ll be open specially from 6 to 7 on Wednesday evening (23rd) for pickup of reserved pies and maybe a glass of wine.
English polemicist Hobbes,
Took to bigamy in between jobs,
“I’d do less perspiring
And much more inspiring
If I had me four balls and two knobs.”
We’ve reached that bloodshot, coke-addled point in the political polemic when the Carnival of Assholes has become functionally unbearable. Last night the hours between 2.30 and 4.15 were spent gazing at the ceiling like Munch’s The Scream, sleeplessly contemplating the horror of being governed by a giant, bloated incubus muppet: whatever happened to the old chestnuts of financial destitution, lovelessness, cancer, infant mortality and the bomb?
We all need a break.
Friday night we register our protest at #peakdrivel by running screaming from our houses in pantyhose and fishermen’s cable-knits, wrapping the entire interior of the Table on Ten in newspaper and inviting Nate Smith and Sophie Kamin (from Bar Bolinas and Allswell) and Emily Elsen (from Four and Twenty Blackbirds) to man the existential barricades alongside Inez in a steadfast one-night cookathon which will employ every last scrap of vegetation remaining in Delaware County. Star Route, Berry Brook, Burnetts and Hellers will be rendered desolate wastelands. Further supplies will be pillaged from Key Training Farm, Cowbella, Bovina Valley, Greenane and Marguerite, along with the rude knobbly bits from fridges, shelves, sides of the road, Ollie’s matted flanks and the trunk of the Subaru. Scorched earth harvesting. What’ll remain when we’re done is rocks, stumps and grubby-handled toddler’s pull-toys, each missing a wheel.
No tickets, no invitations, tastings or pairings. No french linen sheets repurposed as tablecloths or backwoods banjo-string-quartets. You don’t have to simper like a poodle or prance like a dressage-pony.
No need to hashtag, like, follow, lie, cheat, namaste or lol. Neither to choreograph kittens or petals, crush persimmons, nor scatter ground-cherries onto beds of milkweed fluff. Leave your prohibition-era assless chaps, pomade and rolled-up cap-sleeves at home, there’ll be no biblical ram-slaughter. Hell, you could even contrive to forget your iPhone.
Call us up to tell us you’re coming, then come. Or swing by. Like any other pizza night.
The only difference is the whole damn menu.
And no pizza.
Chewin’ the Cud with Nate, Emily, Sophie and Inez
Friday 4th November, Table on Ten, 6 to 9
Menu will Quite Probably Include
SOFT BOILED EGG – $5
spruce aioli, garlic chives, tarragon
URSULA KALE AND APPLE SALAD – $12
Alderney cheese, armagnac prunes
WINTER CHOPPED SALAD – $10
beets, cabbage, celeriac, cumin koji maple dressing, cilantro, mint
CAST IRON SOURDOUGH WITH PRESERVED TOMATOES – $10
ROASTED VEGETABLES WITH RED MOLE (the sauce, not the insectivore) – $12
potatoes, cardoons, turnips
SPICED LENTILS AND NETTLES – $10
tomatoes, yogurt, mint
ROASTED BROCCOLI RABE – $12
TAMARIND PORK – $18
Cortland onions, pickled peppers
SALTED CARAMEL APPLE MINI-PIES – $7
maple syrup, fresh frozen yogurt, bee pollen
bring your own children and cigarettes
Sunday 23rd of October, 1 till 3 at Table on Ten
UPDATE ON LYME with MARGUERITE UHLMANN-BOWER
PREPARE FOR NEXT YEAR
HOW ABOUT THIS WINTER?
The following questions may or may not be addressed;
• what is it?
• why’s it here?
• as if I didn’t have enough to worry about?
• I feel like an over-caffeinated zombie, blundering through life embalmed in kleenex wearing oven-mitts. I can hardly form words. Have I got it?
• or is that just Delaware County on a Tuesday afternoon?
• if I’ve got it, what can I do about it?
• if I haven’t got it, what can I do to keep not having it?
• if I have a fear of not missing out, what can I do to get it?
• my dog looks like an over-caffeinated zombie and she’s wearing oven-mitts. Has she got it?
• same with my kids.
• does it look good on Instagram?
• was it dropped by the government to eat the flies that ate the tent caterpillars?
• what the fuck?
• is it just some upstate Brooklyn badge-of-honor thing, like looking maybe to build a cabin on some land?
• or burying a pig?
• if I found it crawling in my butt-crack, which friend would I call to come take it out?
• if I drink colloidal silver will I be able to join Blue Man Group?
• is it married?
• is it one of the 207 Greatest Insects in the World?
• is it allergic to cheap brandy in large quantities?
• can I use this as a defense against a DUI?
• can it be pickled to garnish a salad of shiso-fermented turnip greens?
• would it help if my pants were tighter? I’m not sure that’s possible, just asking.
• did the immigrants do it?
• I haven’t seen my genitals in half a decade, how am I supposed to spot a comma crawling across the folds of my back under six layers of Spanx?
• if we opened on a Sunday night, would it come and eat pizza?
• is this the first time it’s been kind of useful that I’m bald?
• will it make America great again?
• if I set up a long table in a field on an evening with candles and wine and crucified sheep, would everybody who attends get it?
• there’s an insect in Africa whose life-cycle involves burrowing into the eyes of children and blinding them by eating its way out. Explain this in terms of a benign, omniscient God.
• is it allergic to pomade?
• did you just fart?
• Jesus, at the dinner table?