It was a shakedown for a good cause

It was 1993, I was waitressing at McManus, and trying to find sponsors for the AIDS walk. I remember looking down the bar at the line of ironworkers, cops, electricians, firefighters and union members, and I started to lose my nerve. (It’s never easy asking for money, and this was a tough crowd…!) Then my boss, Jamo McManus, (who was the first to sign my pledge sheet) went down the bar and asked every single man to pledge money to sponsor me, and they all did. It was a shakedown for a good cause.
Happy Pride everyone!! And McManus will be opening at 10:00 am tomorrow – stop in on your way to the parade!

~ Eileen, Cranky Waitress

Eileen O'Connor
Stickball Sundays

Every summer McManus gives back to the city by hosting a day of stickball. In the 1950's, the game was a national pastime for urban kids who improvised a baseball game with a broom handle bat, rubber ball, and (if you were lucky) chalk to draw the strike zone on an empty lot wall. Most often kids would play in the middle of the street, dodging passing cars and using whatever marker they could as bases. Back in the day, NY Giants' slugger Willie Mays was a three-sewer hitter!

On "Stickball Sunday", the street is closed to traffic, free beer flows from a keg on the sidewalk, and hot dogs, chicken, and ribs are given away from the kitchen. (Although everything's free, voluntary donations go to pediatric cancer research.)

Players of all ages "swing for the fences", or in this case, apartment buildings towards the 8th Avenue end. Sightseers atop 7th Avenue double decker tour buses can be seen snapping photos of locals enjoying this quintessential NYC tradition. A good time is had by all—PLAY BALL!

Eileen O'ConnorComment