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It was a late-April evening in 2011 when news broke that two photographers were killed by a mortar blast in the besieged city of Misurata, one of the last anti-Qaddafi rebel strongholds of the Libyan civil war.
Calls were made. Texts were exchanged. Word spread that these two seasoned conflict photographers, Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros, were killed in action, and their closest friends and colleagues were meeting to regroup and attempt to digest the tragic news together at a familiar spot: a small bar nestled just below the High Line on the corner of 23rd Street and 10th Avenue.
“We’re meeting at the Half King,” a text would read. Before long, the shocked and devastated had arrived to grieve at this impromptu meeting place by the hundreds. Friends and colleagues cried together. Acquaintances embraced in grief. And strangers shook hands, bonding over tragedy.
“It seemed like there were hundreds of people there, without exaggeration,” said Timothy Fadek, a New York-based photojournalist who was close with Mr. Hondros. “But when I think about who was there, I can’t even remember it. It was all such a blur. We were all just so enveloped in our grief. That was really telling about the Half King — how it organically developed into a locus for war photographers and photojournalists.”
A spotlighted portrait of Mr. Hetherington equipped with his camera and standing in front of armed Liberian rebels has since hung alone on a portion of the wall at the far corner of the bar.
The Half King, a bar and restaurant in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, has been for the better part of two decades a watering hole for writers, photographers and filmmakers. On a given afternoon, you might have seen journalists and their editors discussing projects over coffee at one of the pub’s wooden booths. You may have passed publicists sharing baskets of jalapeño poppers with prospective authors in the adjacent dining room. You may have overheard war-hardened combat photographers swapping violent scenes of faraway places over happy hour draft beers along the lengthy stretch of bar top.
But after Jan. 26, the Half King, along with its in-house reading series and photography exhibits, will permanently close. With the bar’s rent having nearly tripled since it opened almost two decades ago, the market value of the neighborhood’s commercial real estate had finally caught up to the owners, and the bar, according to them, had become financially unsustainable.
“For the last few years, the only reason this place still existed is because we loved it,” said Sebastian Junger, a co-owner of the Half King, longtime war journalist and author of “The Perfect Storm.” “We wanted to take one last stand against the ‘generification’ of New York City. It finally got to the point that we were actively losing money and we just couldn’t sustain that for very long. I can’t imagine opening another bar, because we’d face the same headwinds that this one is being forced closed by.”
While not the only bar in New York City that caters to the arts — KGB Bar still hosts regular readings and bars like the Arts and Crafts Beer Parlor in Greenwich Village organize art exhibits — it filled a unique niche.
Steps away from an entrance to the High Line was the Half King. Inside was a dimly lit bar and a few wooden booths. About twice a month or more, since the bar opened, an invited author would set up shop toward the back of the bar’s spacious dining room. The doors would close, and for a couple of hours, the writer would discuss his or her most recent book with a moderator and a mixed crowd of fans, colleagues, and any unaware diners that may have found themselves present and yet to finish their meal. The event, which was held about 30 times this past year alone, became an integral part of the bar’s identity: The Half King Reading Series.
“I introduced every reading by saying, ‘There’s 10,000 different things you could do in New York any single day, and we don’t take for granted that you’ve chosen to be with us,” said Glenn Raucher, who assumed the role of curating and moderating the series a year ago.
“I wanted to make sure that the experience was organic, holistic and that everyone in the room got something from it,” said Mr. Raucher, who ordered a Widow Jane whiskey, neat, before moderating each reading. “And I sweated over time trying to make that happen. Even on the nights when we only had a few people, you could say the conversation only took on more importance.”
In his early days of curating the series, Mr. Raucher remembered asking how much “carte blanche” he had in choosing the guests. “You have all the carte blanche you want,” Mr. Junger replied. “Just nothing too shiny.” The goal was, according to Mr. Raucher, to keep true to the ethos of the bar and present works that touched upon a wide-range of topics and issues, and more important, create a discussion that guests felt worthwhile being a part of.
Since the launching of the Reading Series, speakers have ranged from authors like Bill McKibben, the acclaimed environmentalist, to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston, to the writer Vegas Tenold, who wrote the book “Everything You Love Will Burn,” about his time embedded in the American far right.
But beyond the readings, the Half King was a pioneer in its photography exhibits. Every six to eight weeks, fine art photographers and world-class photojournalists would showcase their work, usually with a presentation given by one of the photographers. The exhibits, since 2010, have been curated and moderated by Anna Van Lenten, among other experts. And in its early stages, James Price, a photo editor at Newsweek, was involved.
There was a show devoted to shots of Jimi Hendrix playing at Woodstock, and one of the most popular exhibits was a showcase in 2014 of melting icebergs by the photographer Camille Seaman, which included a climate change discussion with the director of the NASA Goddard Space Institute.
“We’ve shown photographs from 1917 of Lowell Thomas following Lawrence of Arabia around the Middle East,” Ms. Van Lenten recalled. “I mean, literally from when Lowell followed him around with a big box on his back and making glass plate negatives.”
“Photographers here were just as much respected as storytellers as writers were as storytellers,” Ms. Van Lenten said. “People are drinking beer and eating sweet potato fries, while we are talking about spotlighted art. For me, that’s pushing the democratic feature of photography.”
The bar opened in 2000. Mr. Junger, who also directed the war documentary “Restrepo” with his close friend Tim Hetherington, started the Half King with Scott Anderson, an author and longtime magazine journalist who covered war extensively, and Mr. Anderson’s wife, Nanette Burstein, an award-winning filmmaker. But the bar’s conception began sometime before 2000, on a few bar stools at Sunny’s Bar on the Red Hook waterfront.
“Let’s buy a building in Red Hook,” Mr. Junger recalled thinking. “We’ll have a bar on the first floor. We each take a floor. And we’ll have a fireman’s pole that would run down into the bar from our apartments.
“Our idea wasn’t to make money, but to pay our mortgage and break even,” Mr. Junger added. “Who wants to break even anyway? We just wanted our own bar and our own fireman’s pole.”
A fourth partner, Jerome O’Connor, already an experienced bar owner, may have been the one to put the dream of a firefighter’s pole to rest. After he came on, the location on the West Side of Manhattan — a pretty derelict stretch of 10th Avenue back at the turn of the century — was chosen. It was remodeled entirely, much of it with lumber salvaged from a 200-year-old barn in Pennsylvania.
Despite its isolation, the Half King quickly picked up a following. Artists and gallery folk would dine in. Soccer players from Chelsea Piers leagues would swing by for drinks after matches. The tables were constantly occupied, and as intended, including by those friendly with the owners.
“I remember when I was in Darfur for The Times Magazine, and I realized the Half King started to hit,” Mr. Anderson said. “I ran into a Dutch photojournalist, and we were just hanging out and talking. I told him about owning a bar in New York and mentioned the Half King, and he goes, ‘Oh, I know the Half King.’ This place kind of became a mecca.”
The bar had barely been open a year when the World Trade Center was attacked on Sept. 11. In the aftermath the Half King was one of the first bars open and reachable from ground zero. It drew a crowd of emergency medical workers, firefighters and police officers who were making pit stops for lunch or drinks during the cleanup. Much of the traffic heading from ground zero to the morgue uptown passed by the Half King.
“So they would all turn right here,” Mr. Anderson recalled. “It was constant. I can remember virtually every night for weeks, there would be a long line of ambulances. Especially if they would recover a fireman or policeman’s body, there would be a long motorcade of ambulances.”
Just a couple years later, during the blackout of 2003, the Half King again kept its doors open. Inside was lit by candle, and cold food was being served before it inevitably spoiled. People stranded in the area sought respite in the bar, but rather than eating, took to drinking heavily.
While her partners were away from the city, Ms. Burstein had to manage the chaos alone. “The cash registers weren’t working and the food was going to go bad,” she said. “It could have been madness. At one point, I had to literally stand on top of the bar and shout, ‘Everybody calm down!’”
And in 2012, Hurricane Sandy ravaged Manhattan, leaving the bar to fend for itself. It was once again without power and in the declared “dark zone,” which began at about 30th street.
“We were flooded with two feet of water,” Mr. Junger said. “I got a generator from somebody. We went outside of New York, somewhere in New Jersey, and got big jugs of gasoline. It felt like ‘Mad Max,’ and the gasoline was gold. If you had two five-gallon jugs, you were king.”
After a major cleaning and overhaul, the bar survived, despite not having received any federal assistance, which the owners had applied for.
In the end, it wasn’t a disaster that changed the fortunes of the Half King; it was the High Line. The railbed turned pedestrian park opened in 2009 and was finally completed in 2014. During those years, commercial real estate prices rose exponentially based on the massive influx of tourists. Many art galleries in the area closed and local residents moved out. The Half King, the owners realized, had changed.
“I remember friends saying, ‘God, you guys are so lucky, you’re right there.’ But it really did change the clientele,” Mr. Anderson said. “And so we had a lot of out-of-town tourists coming here, but it stopped being a destination area for a lot of New Yorkers.”
Despite the changes to the neighborhood, a core group of writers, journalists, photographers and war veterans have stayed loyal to the Half King.
On Sept. 11 last year, C.J. Chivers, a Marine veteran and war correspondent for The Times, read from his book “The Fighters,” which was moderated by fellow Marine turned author, Phil Klay.
“He’s a friend of the bar, so there were many people there,” said Mr. Raucher, who noted a striking number of veterans in the crowd. “There were at least 70 or 75 people in the room, and yet when they were talking,” Mr. Raucher said, “you could hear a pin drop. You could feel the electricity of how important what he was talking about was to everybody in the room.”
For some, the bar has served as a bridge between New Yorkers and the foreign lands they visited. (The origin of the bar’s name comes from an 18th-century Seneca chief who served as an honorary spokesman between tribes and foreign armies.)
“I had a lot of friends that, in the beginning, I had never seen outside of a war zone,” said Michael Kamber, a combat photographer for The Times and now the director of the Bronx Documentary Center. “We had only seen each other in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia or wherever, and you could go to the Half King, and suddenly, they’d be there.”
Mr. Kamber said that he appreciated the simplicity of the place. “It wasn’t a precious fine art space where they were selling work for thousands of dollars; it was for working photojournalists.” He had met Mr. Junger while covering the civil war in Liberia, and later worked on assignment with him for Vanity Fair, in Nigeria. A photograph from that assignment still hangs on a wall in the bar’s private room.
For nearly two decades the original Half King sign had hung above the doorway, but over time it became weathered and worn. Some time ago, Mr. Junger thought a replacement was needed. He ordered a new sign, but weeks passed, and then more weeks passed. By the time it had arrived, the decision had already been made to close the bar for good. The new sign was hung anyway.B:
买码心得【温】【韬】【举】【锤】【立】【天】，【忽】【而】【大】【地】【惊】【雷】，【乌】【云】【密】【布】，【狂】【风】【激】【烈】，【吹】【得】【江】【川】【站】【立】【不】【稳】【起】【来】，【若】【非】【他】【功】【力】【强】【盛】，【恐】【怕】【早】【已】【被】【这】【十】【级】【大】【风】【吹】【得】【满】【天】【飞】【了】。 【然】【后】【温】【韬】【引】【紫】【雷】【锤】【入】【天】，【化】【作】【一】【道】【闪】【电】，【从】【山】【顶】【云】【间】【倾】【覆】【劈】【下】，【雷】【电】【所】【至】【之】【处】，【沙】【粉】【石】【碎】。 “【他】【这】【招】【叫】【云】【起】【惊】【雷】，【小】【川】，【千】【万】【别】【被】【他】【的】【雷】【元】【触】【到】！”【江】【怀】【玉】【在】【旁】【提】【点】【说】
（【么】【么】，【请】【晚】【一】【些】【观】【看】，【防】【盗】【章】～～） 【那】【日】【穆】【尔】【琛】【咳】【出】【的】【血】，【大】【多】【是】【陈】【年】【旧】【疾】【所】【致】。【那】【淤】【血】【一】【旦】【导】【出】，【想】【必】【对】【身】【体】【更】【有】【益】【处】。 【姬】【奈】【有】【时】【候】【想】【问】【穆】【尔】【琛】，【寒】【冬】【到】【了】，【他】【在】【外】【界】【冷】【不】【冷】，【或】【者】【想】【告】【诉】【他】【今】【日】【见】【到】【的】【新】【鲜】【事】【儿】，【或】【者】【是】【白】【玉】【灵】【猫】【又】【长】【胖】【了】，【可】【是】【他】【都】【不】【在】【身】【边】。【她】【试】【着】【给】【他】【写】【信】，【可】【不】【知】【什】【么】【缘】【故】
“【这】【里】【究】【竟】【是】【哪】【里】，【我】【究】【竟】【是】……” 【稍】【稍】【停】【顿】【一】【下】，【意】【识】【到】【自】【己】【现】【在】【的】【状】【态】【已】【经】【说】【明】【了】【很】【多】【事】【情】，【耳】【边】【极】【尽】【的】【地】【方】【平】【静】【的】【声】【音】【传】【来】： “【你】【要】【问】【自】【己】【是】【人】，【是】【神】，【亦】【或】【是】【两】【者】【都】【不】【是】，【结】【宇】【又】【是】【不】【是】【以】【前】【的】【那】【个】【结】【宇】？【我】【并】【不】【明】【白】【这】【些】【事】【情】【所】【以】【不】【好】【回】【答】，【我】【们】【边】【走】【边】【说】【吧】！” 【感】【受】【到】【身】【旁】【的】【线】【条】【向】【着】【中】【间】【光】
【奇】【瑞】【作】【为】【中】【国】【强】【大】【的】【自】【主】【品】【牌】，【旗】【下】【有】【众】【多】【优】【秀】【的】【车】【型】，【而】【瑞】【虎】8【作】【为】【奇】【瑞】【汽】【车】【旗】【下】SUV【家】【族】【旗】【舰】【车】【型】，【推】【出】【的】【全】【新】【一】【代】【瑞】【虎】8【于】【今】【年】【全】【新】【上】【市】，【一】【经】【上】【市】【便】【收】【获】【超】【高】【热】【度】，【销】【量】【持】【续】【攀】【升】【连】【续】【破】【万】。买码心得【即】【使】。 【噬】【心】【虫】【只】【是】【一】【只】【虫】【子】。 【被】【王】【小】【凡】【这】【样】【盯】【着】【看】，【他】【还】【是】【感】【到】【浑】【身】【不】【自】【在】，【甚】【至】【是】【身】【体】【的】【某】【一】【部】【位】，【似】【有】【一】【阵】【恶】【寒】【之】【感】。 【忍】【不】【了】【了】！ 【最】【终】，【不】【等】【王】【小】【凡】【开】【口】，【噬】【心】【虫】【抢】【先】【道】，“【你】【到】【底】【想】【要】【如】【何】？！” “【哟】，【还】【有】【这】【么】【大】【的】【火】【气】。” 【玩】【味】【一】【笑】，【王】【小】【凡】【道】，“【我】【的】【目】【的】，【其】【实】【很】【简】【单】。【就】【是】
【厨】【师】【的】【技】【艺】【很】【好】，【几】【个】【菜】【都】【令】【人】【食】【指】【大】【动】，【让】【周】【不】【疑】【来】【形】【容】【的】【话】，【那】【就】【是】【色】【香】【味】【俱】【全】。 【令】【狐】【青】【卿】【小】【口】【喝】【着】【红】【酒】，【才】【刚】【解】【了】【解】【油】【腻】，【又】【夹】【了】【块】【酱】【汁】【肉】【放】【进】【嘴】【里】。 【周】【不】【疑】【眼】【里】【满】【是】【宠】【溺】，【拍】【了】【拍】【令】【狐】【青】【卿】【后】【背】，“【吃】【慢】【点】，【后】【头】【还】【有】【菜】【呢】。” “【周】【不】【疑】，【你】【也】【吃】【啊】。”【令】【狐】【青】【卿】【招】【呼】【声】，【又】【往】【嘴】【里】【塞】【了】【两】【丸】【子】。
“【这】【个】【姐】【夫】，【还】【真】【是】【懦】【弱】，【竟】【然】【不】【敢】【反】【抗】”【于】【翎】【愤】【恨】【的】【说】【着】。 【于】【皓】【笑】【了】【笑】【拍】【了】【拍】【于】【翎】【的】【脑】【袋】。 “【对】【了】，【小】【皓】，【还】【没】【有】【听】【你】【介】【绍】【呢】，【这】【位】【是】”【李】【叔】【看】【向】【雪】【瑶】【惊】【艳】【道】。 【雪】【瑶】【实】【在】【是】【太】【过】【于】【漂】【亮】【了】，【对】【于】【他】【们】【这】【老】【一】【辈】【的】【人】【来】【说】【简】【直】【是】【太】【过】【惊】【艳】【了】，【甚】【至】【年】【轻】【的】【时】【候】【都】【没】【有】【见】【过】【如】【此】【美】【人】，【简】【直】【就】【是】【仙】【女】【下】
“【我】【到】【了】。”【秦】【菲】【菲】【看】【着】**，“【谢】【谢】【你】。” “【谢】【什】【么】。”**【笑】【着】【说】：“【菲】【菲】，【我】【很】【开】【心】【你】【今】【天】【陪】【我】【过】【了】【这】【么】【愉】【快】【的】【一】【天】。” “【所】【以】【我】【更】【要】【谢】【你】，【要】【不】【是】【你】，【我】【也】【不】【会】【有】【这】【么】【美】【好】【的】【回】【忆】。”【她】【是】【真】【的】【很】【感】【谢】**【带】【她】【出】【来】【有】【这】【么】【美】【的】【体】【验】，【心】【情】【确】【实】【是】【放】【松】【了】【不】【少】。 **【抿】【了】【抿】【唇】，“【那】【我】【们】【都】【不】【要】【谢】