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Bygone Era Of Bars Gone By

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Places long synonymous with aging US soldiers, spooks and drug agents are making way for a changing expat scene and newly Thai-dominated, Instagram-friendly nightlife

 

 

http://www.bangkokpost.com/lifestyle/family/383728/bygone-era-of-bars-gone-by

 

 

p.s. WTF is wrong with a "geriatric enclave"? F*ck you, Bourbon Street. :(

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Jenny from Madrid bar husband is a regular pilot on the Bangkok / Hanoi route for Vietnam Airways.

 

Spent many an afternoon sat outside Madrid with fellow BM's nibbling on a Pizza and watching Patpong market going up.

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Some years ago I wrote about the Washington Square something like this; I have revised and expanded the text somewhat.

 

The Washington Square is not a normal place like the many others in Bkk. This place breathes history. The interior of the bars flavours of bygone times.

The Silver Dollar, The Texas Lone Staar (yes, Staar), The Wild Country Bar, The Prince of Wales etc.

We are sitting on the stools of history and we are feeling salvaged and indulging in reminiscences. In one word: The Washington Square is a restaging.

And especially I like the girls. Some of them are real gems: excellent attitude, some are very nice, and they are all not expensive.

 

Some say that the bars are dull and boring; that they are literally dead. But in my opinion that is nonsense. You can meet the “Squaronians†there like “Mekhong Kurtâ€,

the master of the Squaronians and webmaster of the bangkokatoz.com website. And Richard, the painter and author, and all the others, mostly older Americans drinking away their pensions.

And sometimes you can meet Mr. Moore himself – author of the Vincent Calvino Private Eye series and other novels like the famous "A killing smile". Or Dean Barrett, author and pensioner.

 

And then there are the girls: Oh, I start dreaming and indulging in reminiscences.

So, when there are not so many guests you have the girls for yourself!

That is another reason, why I love Washington Square.

 

I feel reminded of an old classical immortal song by the one and only Harry Belafonte. My farewell song for the Washington Square:

 

"Try to remember the kind of September

When life was slow and oh so mellow.

Try to remember when life was so tender

When noone wept except the willow."

 

I love Washington Square. Most bars died and the houses are demolished. They all must give way to a new era.

The death of "Mekhong Kurt", Kurt Francis, who checked out at the right time is as a warning sign, like a signal, for the dawn of modern times, of other times.

 

Charly alias Bakwahn

Hamburg Bangkok Duesseldorf

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It was funny how Mekong Kurt got his name and he told me one afternoon.

 

Texas Lone Star in Washington Square he always used to drink Mekong Coke but one day the waitress said "Mekong Kurt Coke?" and from that moment on he was always known as Mekong Kurt.

 

He was a great character and sadly missed by many, as you state Nasiadai when a guy one has known for over 20 years checks out it makes one consider ones own mortality.

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I only experienced the Square in its final years - most of the bars were still there, but you could walk past many of them at night and not hear a peep from out in the street. I had some contact with various bar owners at the Soi 22 end, but that was about it. Ate at the Square's most famous restaurant a couple of times but I'd have to say I thought it was somewhat overrated based on my experiences, although the staff were friendly and the place was very well maintained. Initially, I was sad when I saw Munchies photos a year or so back but now I just accept that it's gone.

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Bourbon Street on the Square was good, but I was disappointed in the gumbo after Josh left them. Sort of like the Mexican food you find in Bangkok, close but not the same as the real thing.

 

Silver Dollar had great barbecue. I was sorry to see it close for that reason. :(

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The Square was unique.

 

From Friday to Sunday, there was usually a crowd.

 

It was a magnet in that it attracted such a variety of people from around the world.

 

Once George (Texas) died, it started its decline. Then the bars started to close and the end was in sight.

 

Soi 22, Queens Park Plaza, is trying but not the same. Many Squaronians have moved down to Soi 4.

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George was a WWII vet, landed at Normandy as a young GI in 1944. He made the Lone Staar a veterans' hangout, though everyone was more than welcome. Quite a few folks in the video above are US military vets. There is no such place to gather anymore. Also, he hosted a lot of the Bangkok writers' book signings. With the Staar gone, they seem to have stopped.

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