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Tag: Personal Reflections on the Culture of Bars

The singer of the hardcore band I liked back in high school flipped his phone shut. “Dimebag’s dead,” he said as I was about to throw back my fourth shot of Jameson. I looked down at the glass in my hand. It was my third shift as a bartender and I was drunk, probably too drunk to be serving anybody else. Possibly near the point of intoxication where another bartender would say, “You’re cut...
If you're not looking for it, there amid the swift, monochrome rustle of long-legged, wan hipsters and waifish bearded men in old-timey hats rushing here and there into bánh mì shops and bodegas, you won't find it. But if you know what you're looking for—that particular configuration of Christmas lights strewn in that haphazard zigzag arrangement across the tiny, unassuming bar front—you find yourself standing in the doorway seconds after you emerge from the...
It was after my sophomore year of college that my mother gave me a copy of The Tender Bar, journalist J.R. Moehringer’s sprawling memoir of growing up among the drunks, kooks, and crazies of his neighborhood bar in Manhasset, New York. Moehringer, a Pulitzer-winning reporter who started out as a meek kid in a destitute home with an absent father, found paternal guidance in the rogues' gallery of patrons who attend his beloved Publicans....
When I got to Brooklyn the typical fantasies of Regular Status began. At some point, I thought, I'd find my bar and I'd feel comfortable going there alone to read or write or chat and also to drink. It seemed like a rite of passage for independent city-dwelling adults who liked to have a drink or three. The idea only grew brighter and more alluring the longer I stayed. My beautiful dark drunken fantasies. A...

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