Redeye April 29 2004

Bouncing about: As canary yellow is the new pink, teasing is the new pleasing. On Wed., April 21, the Cheetah presented "Battle of the Cheetah Girls," and on Thurs., April 22, eleven50 hosted Playboy's 50th Anniversary Club Tour.

Have no fear — no Cheetah girls were harmed in the staging of the event. Unfortunately, my schoolgirl-food-fight fantasy involving baked beans and salad shooters was also not actualized. It wasn't all about humping, pumping and pole dancing. It wasn't even always about full nudity. Girls at the Cheetah belted out cabaret tunes, and there was a performance in an oversized champagne glass at eleven50. Is burlesque the new strip aerobics? The way these girls do it, I'm all for more being left to the imagination.

Do you know Jack?: Comedy Central celebrated its 13th year over the April 23-25 weekend by throwing a bar mitzvah. So did my cousin, Samuel, which is how I ended up in Northport, Long Island, that weekend. Sure, no prop dancers vogued like at a friend's early '90s bat mitzvah, but there were also no teased bangs, sweater dresses and "fashionable" shoulder pads. Fair trade, I say.

Anyway, after getting my kosher on, I decided I needed to keep my drink on at one of downtown Northport's two bars, Gunther's Tap Room, est. 1962. Apparently, Jack Kerouac spent much quality time exploring alcoholism amid Northport's three city blocks circa 1958-1964, and Gunther's chestnut management/clientele could probably share firsthand stories about his benders. That is, if they extended a hand of welcome not clenched in a fist.

I spoke to exactly one person at Gunther's over the blasting Allman Bros. and CCR tunes, and the conversation went like this: "Is your name Neil?" "No." "Do you want it to be?" "No." "Good, because that would have caused a fight." Can't argue with that logic. In all honesty, Long Island along Hwy. 25-A is quite charming, and Gunther's reminded me of the brusque neighborhood watering holes increasingly being swallowed up by development. Cherish thine Highlander ... with your back to the wall, of course. Mazeltov.

What's brewing: I honestly never imagined extolling how much I can't get enough of something containing the words "nut" and "brown" in my mouth, but having recently tried Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale, it appears I must give in and admit my appreciation. A toffee/caramel-infused coffee roast of a beer, Tadcaster Brewery's malted British-tinged-with-Belgian-style marvel can make for a properly toasted afternoon on the deck at Midtown's Twisted Taco or L5P's Vortex, among other places where it's available. Never better weather to sit outdoors and stew, er, brew over the topic of a creamy mouthful.

Keep one RedEye open. And send all comments, questions, observations and invitations to redeye@creativeloafing.com.