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The Fée Verte Absinthe Forum - The Oldest, Largest, Most Authoritative Absinthe Forum. > Absinthe & Absinthiana > Absinthe in the News & in the Media
pierreverte
Really?
Provenance
When was there connoisseurship?
Donnie Darko
While I normally am not interested in having absinthe at bars, as it is both too expensive and rarely done correctly, I REALLY want to check this place out soon:
http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/201…mier&st=cse

They seem to be doing it right.
Provenance
Um…. Assuming by "doing it right" you mean paying much attention to the design of fountain without mentioning the absinthe they will be louching.
Grim
Damn.

So absinthe is bunk, was bunk, will be bunk?
Provenance
There is no authentic absinthe since the chop.gif was removed.
Tibro
All the real connoisseurs were crazy to begin with. And douchebags to a large degree.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(Provenance @ Mar 4 2011, 12:06 PM) *

Um…. Assuming by "doing it right" you mean paying much attention to the design of fountain without mentioning the absinthe they will be louching.


From what I've read they have a very large selection, so I don't think they're louching only bad absinthe. If they were that fanatical about getting the fountain right, then perhaps they'll be fanatical about what they have available to drink also. Or maybe they're douchebags (Williamsburg is a douchebag petri dish, but still has some good restaurants and bars). I'll have to find out via a visit.
sbmac
I'm only an hour or so from Brooklyn by car, if anyone wants to check this out, I'm game.
It might be a good chance to check things out, and get to know each other in the real world.
thegreenimp
The funny thing is, the Napoleon fountains were later non-working replicas for the tourists, because they didn't have the originals at the O.A.H. in NOLA for many years.
pierreverte
Well, the little Napoleons seemed to have been added later:
1906

BTW, the bar in Brooklyn should definitely be worth the detour as the owners apparently want to do it right…anyone that wants to create a bar that specializes in oysters and absinthe can't be all bad in my book…
sardonix
QUOTE(pierreverte @ Mar 4 2011, 11:04 AM) *

Man, LA is so fuckin' cool…Unsophisticated hicks like me are still waiting for the "connoisseur" phase in the backwater burg I live in, let alone getting to "douchebag" and "flameout" status. I can hardly wait.
Kirk
The 2 fountains shown are still there, in the restaurant with the lady muses on top. The Napoleon fountain is a third fountain, it's on the bar out front of T.O.A.H., all 3 look to be made around the same time, by the same maker. The green stone body of the fountains do not hold water, rather it houses the plumbing pipe, if it drips today it drips straight tap water, back in the day the water was piped through a cooling barrel first.
Patlow
I like the idea of a cooling barrel. I can see many uses for this in life. And it's fun to say, "Cooooooling barrel…"
thegreenimp
QUOTE(pierreverte @ Mar 5 2011, 08:26 AM) *

Well, the little Napoleons seemed to have been added later:
1906

BTW, the bar in Brooklyn should definitely be worth the detour as the owners apparently want to do it right…anyone that wants to create a bar that specializes in oysters and absinthe can't be all bad in my book…


QUOTE(Kirk @ Mar 5 2011, 10:43 AM) *

The 2 fountains shown are still there, in the restaurant with the lady muses on top. The Napoleon fountain is a third fountain, it's on the bar out front of T.O.A.H., all 3 look to be made around the same time, by the same maker. The green stone body of the fountains do not hold water, rather it houses the plumbing pipe, if it drips today it drips straight tap water, back in the day the water was piped through a cooling barrel first.


The Napoleon fountains were always non working props, (They have solid non working spigots) they date from the time post prohibition when the O.A. H. re-opened.

The Old Absinthe Bar had the original Fountains, and Bar, post prohibition for many years.

The Original Bar and fountains were sold after the the Old Absinthe House was closed during Prohibition. (The story about the Feds busting up the O. A. H. are not true)

The prop fountain was added because the O. A. H. had no fountain to display for the tourists.
Donnie Darko
It's a simulacrum!
Artemis
Interesting that this comes up - a couple of days ago I saw on TV a promotion for a show about (two? - I don't know) people with apparently nothing better to do than go around and look at (antique? - I don't care) things and (speculate? - I guess - before a camera - about something in relation to these things). Apparently the focus for an upcoming show is New Orleans, and on the screen in the promo was a trumpet. Just when I started to care less than not at all, the picture changed to what I immediately recognized as a goddess (at least that's what I've always called them - Kirk above calls it a muse) on the top of one of THE absinthe fountains. And then the scene cut to some guy talking about the fountain, and that guy was Ted.
The show is on tonight, on the Discovery channel. The TV guide mentions the trumpet, but not the fountain. The last time I saw the fountain, it wasn't functional, but maybe they will louche a glass of something through the trumpet.
Tibro
You think the trumpet might be Ted's? That he may use it on TV?
Artemis
Doesn't he always? On a different subject, the brass thing turned out to be a cornet, not a trumpet.

I promised Green Imp a report, since he was not able to access the show. I may as well share it here for the further education of our membership.

The show featured one guy who looks sort of like Brad Pitt and one who doesn't, and both are (they said) archaeology professors who, when school is out, take calls from people who want mysteries solved. I'm not sure whether they said they solve them.

As to the horn:

A local woman owned it and thought maybe it was given to a member of her family by Louis Armstrong.
She called the professors to put them on the case, not to mention I-57 or some other path from the frozen tundra to the Big Sleazy. To solve the mystery, the professors suggested archaeological techniques that would put Zahi Hawass and first-year pawn shop operators to shame, such as considering patina, reading documentation, and researching sales receipts. But it being only a thirty-minute show (around 17 if you fast forward through commercial "messages"), they put the conundrum into the hands of a local music historian and went off to Lafitte (named after Jean Lafitte - that's pronounced Jean like in blue jeans by the way) to look at an alligator.
Wait, I'm getting ahead of the story. Before that they said they never place a value on objects such as the cornet, and in the same breath said it was "absolutely priceless". "Absolutely priceless" is ancient Egyptian for $108,000, which Sotheby's got for a horn actually owned by Louis Armstrong. The music historian later said the cornet was made in 1964-67. Louis apparently didn't play cornet much if any after the 1920s. The woman who owned the horn cried. The archaeologists said the same facts that had made her cry gave her "permission to cherish it as a family heirloom" as opposed to putting it into a museum ... I came to tears myself at this point as I remembered one "Stroller" and a certain bottle of historically significant absinthe ... but I digress. Less sensitive types will cry only over the "plan" that paid two archaeologists from out of state and a TV crew to deliver a horn the size of a miniature poodle across town for an appraisal.

As to the fountains:

The scholars got a call from one Ted Breaux, who issued a "challenge" to come to the Old Absinthe House and participate in a little show and tell about the famous fountains. It wasn't clear if Ted knew something himself and playing a game of truth or dare at that point, or what. Apparently the fountains are now in the Old Absinthe House and no longer in the daiquiri hooch across the street in which I last saw them, so that's where the scholars went. And Ted was waiting for them in there, along with a man named Ray Bordelon. But wait, I also learned some things about absinthe, from the narration and from some footnotes on the screen (not from Ted - what he said was what you've heard him say before - reverse engineered, now made legal, yadda yadda):
It is a liqueur that was "invented" in Switzerland in the early 19th century.
It was the favorite drink of the French aristocracy.
and so on.
Then Mr. Bordelon showed some pictures of the fountains, one of which was taken in 1902. So they are at least that old, and were in the O.A.H from at least that time. But the question put to the scholars was, how old are they and from where did they come. It was suggested that the fountains were too fancy to be in a corner bar, and it was implied that the bases were too corroded by dripping water to be (I'm not sure what - not prehistoric?).
Howard Carter had Lord Carnarvon and thousands of sweating coolies. These archaeologists had an appraiser from an auction house, and free drinks (their first of absinthe) from Ted.
The appraiser said that circa 1800 Napoleon decreed free water for the people of France. He showed a picture of what he said was a water fountain in France (not on a bar, but a public fountain, a big ole thing, the sort to which people come to fill buckets). It looked pretty much a stucco version of the obelisk portion of the absinthe fountains - four sides with a spout on each side. The year the photo was taken or the year the fountain was built was not specified that I discerned, nor was the relevance of Napoleon (the French had no public fountains before Napoleon?). But the appraiser's opinion was that the absinthe fountains were built (surprise!) in France, in the period from 1850 to 1870, during a revival of the "Empire Style". The conclusion drawn from this by Ted (shamelessly cutting out the archaeologist middle men he had dialed up to solve the problem - and STRANGE that he couldn't find that appraiser in the NOLA telephone book, now that I think of it!) was seemingly that the absinthe fountains are water fountains, but not absinthe fountains, or at least they weren't always absinthe fountains. Or maybe it was that they were always MEANT to be absinthe fountains that resemble French horse troughs. I hit rewind several times, but this never became quite clear to me.
Then I believe it was Mister Bordelon who stated that a bartender who once worked at the Old Opera House in New Orleans later became bartender at the Old Absinthe House during a time the former was being renovated.
So, maybe the fountains were brought to the O.A.H. from the Old Opera House, was the conclusion apparently reached in or around the TV show. Or the bar. And because of the elegance of the things, compared to the rest of the Old Absinthe House (which even in old photos reminds me of a place in which I used to shoot pool - you could keep an eye on your car through the cracks in the walls, while lining up a bank shot on the eight ball) and what I've read about the elegance of the Old Opera House (built in 1859, burned down in 1919), that part makes sense to me.
But why did the fountains have to be only water fountains at the Old Opera House (this is me asking, not the TV show)? Was absinthe not served there? I don't know. I bet Green Imp could find out, without an archaeologist.
To conclude, because it's late and I'm tired, Ted asked what he could expect to pay for such a fountain if he encountered one "waltzing around France" (why Ted would do such a thing we can only imagine).
The appraiser said maybe $20,000.
And then the scholars pronounced absinthe "good" and concluded that in the end their job was to "observe and participate", to meet the "people".
So I hope to see them at a Louchefest soon.
I want them to meet Jack Batemaster.
Aggelos
Such a good summary :) I love your prose sir.

QUOTE
But the appraiser's opinion was that the absinthe fountains were built (surprise!) in France, in the period from 1850 to 1870, during a revival of the "Empire Style". The conclusion drawn from this by Ted (shamelessly cutting out the archaeologist middle men he had dialed up to solve the problem - and STRANGE that he couldn't find that appraiser in the NOLA telephone book, now that I think of it!) was seemingly that the absinthe fountains are water fountains, but not absinthe fountains, or at least they weren't always absinthe fountains


Fountains and spoon are late gizmos afaik. By late, I mean after 1880
Jaded Prole
I would always rather hear his summary than waste my time watching the show. Far more truth and certainly more entertaining.

Too bad Ted was a no xhow at the last fest. He (and his pals) missed a grate time.
Donnie Darko
Thanks for the distilled version Artemis.
Kirk
Thanks Artemis, much better than the show.
I forgot the two large fountains had black and white marble. They are huge, bigger than an absinthe fountain needs to be. The green speckled fountain in the bar out front, with Napoleon on it is a bit smaller I think, I wonder where it came from. On all 3 the limestone base is heavily eroded by dripping water, some of the drip spots are where there is no tap.
Absomphe
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Mar 9 2011, 07:34 AM) *

Thanks for the distilled version Artemis.


Indeed.

Thick as walrus snot, and nowhere near 53%.

You certainly have a way with the keyboard, Artemis.
Artemis
Thanks, all.

QUOTE
I forgot the two large fountains had black and white marble


I would have said they were dark green and white. Here's how I remember them - see the pictures titled "fountain, second fountain, craters" ... :

http://www.oocities.org/melinelly/absinthe.html

They didn't have big ugly warning signs on them at the time.

This was the lobby of the Old Opera House:

Click to view attachment


Artemis
This was the exterior:

Click to view attachment


Steve
Great stuff as usual, Artemis!
thegreenimp
Speak of the devil, as it were…

http://www.shorpy.com/node/10027
Grim
Red Raven Splits… never heard of it before that image.
Tibro
"Ask the man"

Not me, apparently that was a logo they used on a lot of their advertising merchandise. Anyway, you piqued my curiosity (I had been focusing on the heating appliance), and Red Raven is not exactly what I assumed it was. This is from an auction site:
QUOTE

Have you ever heard of Aperient Water? Well, is century-old "beer"-type tray used to served this fine mineral water concoction, especially to those who--drank too much regular booze. The writing on the side of the tray says "RED RAVEN- FOR HIGH LIVERS' LIVERS". Aperient water was made by a number of manufacturers around 1900. It was carbonated, with mystery ingredients. One was sodium phosphate, the others…???. It sounds a bit like an alka-seltzer type things, used to relieve stomach distress after too much drinking (probably was served at bars). The label of the Red Raven bottles, which looked much like a standard beer bottle, says it relieves or cures dyspepsia, chronic liver problems, gout, and even obesity. I am not sure of the date on this, but since it sounds very close to a patent medicine, it most likely predates the new strict "patent medicine" laws which I recall were passed around 1906. The printing on the bottle (as seen in the tray) looks of early 1900 vintage.
Red Raven was produced by the Red Raven Company of … Red Raven, Pennsylvania.

And that bird is a bright, vivid red.
Artemis
I ran across that page when looking for pictures of the opera house, but didn't enlarge it. The plantation store where I grew up looked a lot like that bar. It had a wood floor and on busy days (every two weeks, when people got paid) saw dust was spread on the floor. It served a dual purpose. Apart from absorbing spit, etc. it was treated with some sort of oil that treated and polished the floor with the help of all the feet crushing it. It came in two colors, red and green, and it smelled good.
thegreenimp
The Library of Congress has the photo online, in their digital collection.

In case the chumps buying a copy off of eBay are unaware , the image is on the L.O.C. website, along with a lot of other images. all you get on eBay is a print from someone's home inkjet printer frusty.gif


I remember the red and green floor sweeping material, we used it in our shop in my model maker daze.
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