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Sunny's Nights: Lost and Found at a Bar…
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Sunny's Nights: Lost and Found at a Bar on the Edge of the World

by Tim Sultan

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Really interesting book, about a man, with a gypsy soul who stumbles upon a bar in Red Hook New York, and it become like a second home for him. The bar is run by a real character named Sunny, and the bar has been in his family for decades. When Tim- the author- first goes there, the bar is only open on Fridays, and Red Hook is a no mans land most of the time, but especially after dark.
The story goes from the late 90's through about 2 years after Hurricane Sandy hits. And the bar goes from being a secret place, to being like the rest of New York gentrified, and all over social media. There is a great passage where Tim discusses how Nee Yorkers love to debate when did New York stop being what it used to be, and the author claims- erroneously that this is unique to NYC. It's not. Some much of America looks the same, has the same stores, formally run down or no mans land areas that have been over run by money, hipsters and millennials that there are so precious few places left that are unique or undiscovered.
This was a great quick read. ( )
  zmagic69 | Aug 10, 2016 |
SUNNY’S NIGHTS is mainly homage to the late Sunny Balzano, the proprietor of an ancient bar that purposefully maintained a low profile in the relatively isolated Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook. Sultan was taken with Sunny’s amiable character first as his customer and later as his bartender. This book is an engaging history of this isolated former working-class neighborhood, but the reader also learns about Sunny. He was a character in the truest sense of the word. His most endearing quality is his ability to tell a good story based on his colorful past. The book is filled with his stories. Sunny was an autodidact who knew his Shakespeare and art and readily engaged with everyone who frequented his bar. He wasn’t particularly concerned about marketing his bar, or even making it profitable. Instead he focused on his regulars, who included all types of characters, even a few mobsters. His stories, acceptance of all types of people and tendency to overlook minor details—“fuhhgeddabouddit”—endeared him to Sultan and his regulars. Sultan’s narrative brings Sunny alive for those of us who were not fortunate enough to be one of those regulars. ( )
  ozzer | Apr 6, 2016 |
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