Yesterday brought word that, come July, New York City will join the ranks of such eco-conscious cities as Berkeley, Portland, and Washington DC, and ban all single-use styrofoam products. And while I absolutely approve of this measure (styrofoam is not recyclable, doesn’t biodegrade for hundreds of years, clogs landfills, and—perhaps most importantly—makes a noise akin to fingernails scraping a chalkboard when two piece of it rub together ~shudder~), I do recognize that the end of styrofoam isn’t just the end of me flinching whenever someone near me unlatches a foam container of a General Tso’s lunch special. No, the end of styrofoam is also the end of an era, namely: The Era of Foam Cup Dive Bar Drinking.
If you’re not familiar with the type of bar that doles out everything from Bud to frozen margaritas in large styrofoam cups, well, then, good for you? You live a much fancier lifestyle than anyone I know or care much about? Congrats. But for the rest of us, even those of us who know that styrofoam is kind of gross conceptually (and even, sort of, practically) but still enjoy the singular experience of drinking cheap booze out of a cheap vessel—especially when that drinking is being done right outside the cigarette smoke-wraithed door of a semi-seedy establishment—this is a sad day. It feels like yet another step toward a fully sanitized city, where it’s almost impossible to hurt yourself, even when you want to. I mean, I get that this type of nostalgia is just one degree shy of being fully idiotic, but that doesn’t make it any less real. So, you know, at some point in the next few months, make sure to pay a visit to Turkey’s Nest Tavern (get the margarita), Rosemary’s (Bud), or Farrell’s (Bud), and raise a
glass cup to the end of a dive bar era. Cheers.
Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen