A couple weeks ago I was on the Red Line doing what many people do when they have to be on the T for an extended period of time: playing games on my phone. My destination was Davis Square where I was scheduled to meet somebody who was going to give me a ride to Wilmington. I had the iPod rocking and was deep in a game of Word Mole when I realized I had made a blunder:
I had gone too far.
I did not realize it until I got above ground and looked around and wandered where in the samhell my ride was. I was at the end of the line, Alewife, one stop too far.
It was embarrassing. I mean, it happens to a lot of people do it, they miss their stop because they were not paying attention. My problem was that I was running behind and would have to explain why I was twenty minutes later than I said I was going to be.
Anyway, I got back and we went to do our business in Wilmington.
My ride dropped me back off at Davis Square after we got from Wilmington and I figured it was a good time to take a look around.
The first round of business was food. I am more prone to wake up and smoke half a dozen cigarettes than I am to eat, so it was time for breakfast. As per usual in my eating schedule, I was just in time for lunch.
The obvious choice for lunch in Davis Square is Mike’s Food and Spirits, located on the far side of the square from the T station. There is also a Mr. Crepe, which looks a little classier than Mike’s, but I was not in the mood for a crepe.
Mike’s is your classic corner deli/cafeteria style eatery. Except it also has a bar. You walk in, order and pay at the counter then take a seat and wait for them to call your name. They do pizza, fried food and sandwiches, including, much to my delight, pastrami.
I am always on the lookout for a great pastrami sandwich. I mean, isn’t everybody?
I took a seat and pulled out my computer to do a little work (always working here at the Red Line) and discovered that Mike’s has serviceable WiFi. That is always a plus in my book. I did some correspondence and waited till my name was called, which did not take all that long. Another plus.
The sandwich itself was mediocre at best (hot pastrami on white with cheddar, dijon, mayonnaise, raw onion and lettuce). To tell you the truth, I was not really expecting much anyway. It came with a small, nondescript bag of chips that I set aside for later.
I left, mildly satisfied and went to check out what else Davis Square has to offer. There are a couple sets of what I like to call “common folk” statues strewn about the square (see slide show above), including a set of an old man and woman in a little park across from the station. A lady walking by noticed me taking a picture of them and volunteered a comment.
“Sometimes people come up and ask them for directions,” she said. “That is, until they realize they aren’t real.”
“They aren’t?” I said.
“No, they are statues. They are not real,” she said.
“Well, I can see them. They look pretty real to me,” I said.
The lady did not seem to want to play semantics with me so she continued on her way.
Down the street I found Johnny D’s Uptown Restaurant and Music Club. As I have never found a “music club” that I did not like (well, for the most part). I had to go in and see what it was all about.
It was the middle of the day which means that Johnny D’s was totally empty save for bartender/manager Jeremy Newcomer. I asked him a couple questions while he sat down and ate a large mixed green salad for lunch.
According to Newcomer, Johnny D’s is currently in its 40th year of bringing music to Davis Square. It started as a folk/country joint but through the years gained notoriety as for Jazz and Blues, including a W.D. Handy award. The walls are lined with pictures of music heroes from yesteryear while the books are filled with interesting bands of this era. When asked who was the next hot band to come to Johnny D’s was Newcomer volunteered the Funky White Honkies who rocked the place on April 18th as well as a Beatles cover band named Beatle Juice who will be coming on May 16th.
The rest of Johnny D’s calendar, including jazz brunch and world music, can be found here.
The most inspiring thing about Johnny D’s though is its longevity. Newcomer said he is consistently amazed when people come into the bar after five or ten years and say with reverence “man, I have not been here in years.”
A return trip to Johnny D’s is definitely in order. Next time I will have to go at night so as to catch the aura of this music club in its official capacity.
I mean, who doesn’t like a good Beatles cover band?