John Harbour

23 posts

The Meth of Mustard

"Mustard: Good only in Dijon. Ruins the stomach.” — Gustave Flaubert

If you love food then you know what it is like to be haunted by a dish, a flavor, or a specific ingredient. You know the struggle to quest after something ephemeral. That thing that sits, on the far edge of your consciousness like the gossamer fragments of last night’

America the Beautiful?

Who more than self their country loved And mercy more than life! — America the Beautiful

In 1747, there were no United States of America. There was no Statue of Liberty. There was no Ellis Island. There was only the New World with a set of colonies on their eastern lands. My Great, great, great, great grandfather, Thomas Harbour, boarded a

The Man in Seat 9 Reporting Day Special: Love is a Many-Splendored Thing

In sports you don’t always choose your side, sometimes the side chooses you.


Fraternity. Family. Fellowship.

It’s that time of year again where we tend to reflect on the ones we love and The Man in Seat 9 is not immune. Sitting in front of the warm hearth, staring into the dancing tendrils of golden light the mind

A Slice of New York

Pizza makes me think that anything is possible. — Henry Rollins

I am fortunate that I live within the delivery zone of one of the best pizza spots in the city. Nothing more than a nook on the ground floor that has only enough space for what it does and does extremely well. Wearing the patina from the flour of hundreds

Analog is Good

You probably shouldn’t be reading this.

You have better things to do, I promise.

I used to joke that I wanted to be a Director of Technology for an Amish community. Now, I’m not so certain that I don’t. Recently I have been feeling untethered. I have slipped my moorings and have been set adrift in a

Chumley’s is dead. Long live Chumley’s.

Le roi est mort, vive le roi!

Chumley’s cleared another checkpoint last night with the approval of its SLA resolution by the CB2 board. Now it goes to the final arbiters, the State Liquor Authority for the deciding vote.

“Chumley’s is gone. It’s dead and it’s not coming back,” the CB2 Chair said before allowing the

A Few Small Stones

You walk along a charcoal-grey gravel path. Vast expanses stretch in all directions. To your right, two railroad tracks parallel your journey. Grass borders your left. There is a lone boxcar, waiting for you, which contains sacred items. The grass is golden from the evening sun and a late summer breeze carries the faint smell of wood smoke from traditional

Chumley’s Not 86'd — Yet

“Fitzgerald is dead. Faulkner is dead. Steinbeck is dead,” he said. Each sentence piercing my heart a bit deeper. “The people who support Chumley’s want those writers and others like them to come back to the West Village. They won’t.”

He’s right, I thought, because writers and artists like to spend time around interesting people and places.

The Man in Seat 9: Eurosnobs and Plastic Fans

Photo courtesy of AP. Argentinian fans during the World Cup in Brazil

In our rush to catch up to the rest of the world, we risk becoming ugly.

There is a lot of hate in this world. You would think that given the age and current state of our league we would welcome any new fans to the fold with

The Man in Seat 9: Hot Child In The City

By John Harbour

The American flag melted rather than hung in the humid, stagnant air of a New York City summer’s day. Yankee Stadium was hot. So hot that you wistfully looked back at the frozen nights watching the nascent team dodge snowflakes on the pitch. So hot that water, rather than beer, was the beverage of choice. So

One In, One Out, or Two Out

On Friday of this week two momentous events took place; In the morning the General Lee or Confederate flag was removed from the State House grounds of South Carolina — yea!!!!, and in the evening it was revealed that Atticus Finch was a bigot — boo!!!

I’ve been a bit busy this week with some other gigs that you might be

The Man in Seat 9: Why New York City FC Manager Jason Kreis Was Right To Rest Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard was rested days ahead of his hyped debut with New York City FC due to a calf strain. It was the right call for the team.

It had all been going so well. New York City FC and Frank Lampard have been working hard over the past two weeks to generate excitement about Lampard’s planned debut with

The Man in Seat 9: Welcome to the Club

"Please allow me to introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth and taste. Pleased to meet you, hope you guessed my name."

“This is the city, and I am one of the citizens, whatever interests the rest interests me.” - Walt Whitman

Exciting times, these. Yours truly has joined VAVEL USA to provide some biased coverage of New York City

Why NYCFC? Or, What MLS Got Right

I love soccer. I Always have. I played as a kid, as a teen, and at higher levels when I was in the military. I get up at seven in the morning every Saturday during the EPL season to watch whichever two teams are playing. Christmas break is heaven for me…all those games! All football, all the time. My

America, The Beautiful

I, right now, am extremely proud to be an American. Some of you reading this might not agree with me. That’s fine. And I don’t agree with you. This country was founded on the freedom of religion because that was the BIG issue at the time. But we, even at that time, knew that it was something much,

Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler

I’ve always wanted to get to New Orleans but until last week, well, let’s just say that I am now sorry for that oversight. Without a doubt it is our most unique city. A blend of cultures, mores, and juive de vivre that grabs you right in the soul and doesn’t let go. It’s the heat,

Red Bulls: It's Me, Not You

Before their first meeting tomorrow, a lot of vitriol has been thrown between the supporters of Red Bull New York and those of the young upstarts, or “New Shiny Thing” as the Red Bull fans call them, NYCFC. Full disclosure: I am an NYCFC supporter. Why? I’ll get to that in a bit but what I want to highlight

Dreams of Spring

It’s again the time of year I find so difficult. It’s not quite spring, and yet, and yet? My thoughts have turned to the Catskills and the rivers which are still cold and uncomfortable to fish. I once went in March, eager for the season to begin, and stood in the Willowemoc with ice flowing around me. I

The Real Cost of Food

One of the themes of the next novel I am writing is that we, as Americans, have no idea where our food comes from. There is no connection to the food we put on our tables and the journey that food takes. We eat strawberries for $4.00 per pound every month of the year, not knowing that those strawberries

Sin Auld Lang Syne

We twa hae run about the braes
And pu'd the gowans fine;
But we've wander'd mony a weary foot
Sin auld lang syne -- Robert Burns

This is a year of major change for me; I hit one of life’s major milestones, made it to Provence for the first time, and am leaving friends and colleagues whom I love