Weird Art In Bars: The Page


Sometimes it's tough to tell if that dusty square behind the Wild Turkey is really swirling or if that third gin and tonic is altering your reality perception censors - i.e., you're so hammered you can't tell a Pissaro from an exit sign. Instead of leaving you to your own drunken devices, we're staking out the city's finest watering holes for the newly instated Weird Art in Bars series. This is clear-eyed, hard-hitting investigative journalism at its finest, folks - at least until the bartender finishes filling my pint glass.

For our inaugural post, we bring you The Page, a nice spot on Divis where the beer is blessedly cheap and the décor is Urban Hunting Lodge with a splash of nautical. And not just schooners tossed on stormy seas or ships passing forlornly in the night - though that's not a bad metaphor for a bar. Near the front door is a more esoteric nod to seafaring, the kind of studied subtlety you find in the best curated collections: namely, a portrait of a dude who looks like a cross between The Old Man and the Sea and Saint Francis of Assisi.

All the sailboats are relatively innocuous. What you really notice is that scattered throughout the galleons are a selection of stuffed animals that would make any wide-eyed PETA devotee shriek and spill her shiraz. Majestic large game taxidermy heads are tacked to almost every wall. Walk past the pool table and into the last room and you'll find a moth-eaten bobcat watching a laminated pink-bellied marlin (or whatever that fish is - I'm no ichthyologist, people) with a frenzied glint in his glass eye. But the crowning glory of The Page is the portrait of a gouty King Henry VIII flanked by antlered deer noggins.

I was going to try to snag some super official photographs (or dubious iPhone shots), but that's totally cheating. You have to go see for yourself. And watch out for that ratty bobcat. He looks pissed and those teeth are no joke.

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