The new Washington Avenue scene is advancing eastward, and I went to issue a front-line report at Sawyer Park Sports Bar (2412 Washington Ave., 713-398-8442). Upon entering the brightly lit, sterile downstairs area, I began to miss the dirty old days when the Pig Stand used to, uh, stand where this new bar is now located. Too young to be nostalgic, I decided to burn away those memories with booze. Bartender Courtney obliged my request for a shot, mixing a grape-vodka-based drink that we promptly gave the worst name in the world. After downing my Courtney Cox, I headed to the second-floor patio in search of a little character. The expansive porch was nicer than I expected. I ended up discussing the striking skyline view with a group of gregarious Irishmen on the tail end of a road trip across the South. Paul, a navigator in the "small but feisty" Irish navy, and James, a Galway dairy product salesman, also lamented Houston's lack of respect for history. But the Bayou City's certainly not without its upside. "There are huge knockers here," says James, gesturing toward my writing pad. "Put that in yer booook." Duly noted, mate.

1 ounce Three Olives grape vodka

Splash sweet and sour

Splash Red Bull

Splash 7 Up

Mix with ice in a shaker and strain into a shot glass.

Smooth, but feisty.

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Glenn Livet