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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Mickey McTague

Today I was walking down Ninth Street when I ran into someone who was eager to tell me something about the Ninth Street Garage, the jaundiced hulk that is finally nearing completion.

"Look at that new building. I hear it's called the Century Building," he said

"Is that a fact? I swear that the Century Building would be marble clad. This appears to be a concrete buidling -- perhaps they upgraded the plans," I replied.

"And that nice archway there that leads to the Century Theater," pointed out the guide with a case of gallows humor.

This guide was none other than Mickey McTague, a resilient wit and storyteller who is always a welcome surprise on the downtown streets. His family ran a basement restaurant -- McTague's Cafe -- in the fallen Century Building, so he's understandably upset by its demolition. Yet he's quick to find something amusing and poignant in all of the terrible decisions he's seen in his years watching city politics, and he's perhaps even quicker to point that out to a friend.

I walked away from seeing with a smile when before I had a scowl as I examined the garage's hideous interplay with the graceful Frisco Building across Olive. If I could turn that thought into a good joke, I'd have life made.


Anonymous said...

Glad someone can see the humor... Do you think the McTague's would ever want to reopen in the basement of an old Baptist church in Old North?

Anonymous said...

When was the century building demolished? 2 years ago?

Michael R. Allen said...

The demolition of the Century Building began in October 2004 and lasted through may 2005.