A funny thing happened on the way to the tour the other Sunday. There was quite a crowd across the street from Christopher Park, the kick off point for the Save The Village tour. But as we quickly learned, they were not there for an entertaining two hours learning about the Village or why there needs to be a real balance between progress and preservation.
They had not heard of the Village Voice, and while most were not from New York, they were not tourists. More like interlopers. From Wisconsin, of all places.
Fans of most out of town football teams - college and pro (as if there is a difference!) have an adopted New York bar where they gather to watch and root for their old school team, or their hometown NFL team.
The Kettle of Fish, which has a proprietor who used to be a Wisconsin Badger, is where Green Bay Packers fans come to watch their team play. (Badger college football fans gather there too, apparently.) And they gather before 10 am for a 1 pm game. Or even for a 4 pm game. Anything to get a good seat by the TV.
Idiotic, I thought. Then I realized it was not much different from our old game plan of being in the Lincoln Tunnel by 9 am to get a nice parking spot in the swamps of the Jersey Meadowlands to tailgate before we'd root for Richard Todd to finally beat Dan Marino.
All the Packers fans were offered a Greenwich Village walking tour sometime to learn more about the significance of the Kettle of Fish, and the Lions Head bar that preceded it, and the Stonewall Inn a few doors down, and all the other historic spots within, well, walking distance.
Nah. To a man (and woman), each and every one of them passed on a golden opportunity to learn something.
Hence the reason they are called Cheeseheads.