Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Bartender Knows

Bitter Drinks by D’Abate


            I know you don’t live in Williamsburg. I know you discovered the accessibility of the neighborhood, one quick subway jump from Manhattan on the L train, and decided (only on Friday and Saturday nights) to pop on over the ole East River.I know you probably just bought a condo on Kent Ave.
You’ve heard the crack heads are gone. The hookers that twirled under the BQE like fruits flies over a bottle of crusty booze have fled to whatever crusty godforsaken place suits their nefarious business model (Bedstuy).
            I can tell by what you’re wearing.
            Khaki’s for fuck sake!?! You have a collared shirt from Banana Republic on. I'm not hating. I'm just saying you did not find that at Beacon's Closet.
            Uggs! Are you fucking kidding me! Please stop. This is shining example your zip code is not 11211.
I know you don’t live here because you are overweight and walk too slow on the sidewalk.
Look around you.
These kids are rail thin from a long adolescent training in anorexia and a parent supported drug habit of Adderall.
These kids drink colonics and Pedialyte.
You eat fast food regularly and watch 3.7 hours of television a night when you finish your fucking nine-to-five.
            If you come into my bar and ask me to put on the sports game, you do not live in Williamsburg. The only sporty activities of any interest here are kick-ball, some drunken bad mitten games in McCarren Park, and the occasional cocaine fueled rock and roll spaz out at Union Pool (the last World Cup aside).
If you ask me how it feels to live in a gentrified neighborhood, you do not live here. In fact, the only reason why people come here, or want to live here now, is exactly because so many of you heard about the ‘scene’ here.
            You know you secretly want to fit in here.
            We all do too.
            Don’t get me wrong,
            Human beings are designed to resemble each other for safety reasons. All members of a tribe wear the same war paint. You have ball caps, baggy jeans, and goatees (1993 anyone?). We got the Chuck's and pork pie hats. We feel safer looking like each other.
            And so do you. I’ve been to the Upper East Side.
Now you’re here, fresh from dining at Sea, and had the misfortune of stumbling into my bar asking for Hennessey and Cranberry juice (re: vomit).
We will not be friendly to you. We are not even friendly to each other. We are your Disneyland of uber-sheik, a Six Flags for adults.
You are the customer humming 'here we are now, entertain us'.
The other day one of you who does not live here asked me with the gleaming smile of someone with health insurance:
“So [insert affirming head bob], what’s cool to do around here?”
I, wrecked from heavy drinking the night before and three hours of sleep, stare coldly back across the bar.
They say: “I heard this is a happening place...”
Choking back all desire to bludgeon the tourist with a church key, I tell them:
“You want to know the truth? Drink too much, do a bunch of blow, and have lots of unprotected sex.”
Said tourists gleaming smile fades upon discovery of nuanced sense of mockery.
The thing is:
I’m not lying.
That’s the only form of tourism we got.
Now go out there and get HPV.

Welcome to the neighborhood motherfucker. 

            To see what the bartender REALLY knows, email 1 DIRECT QUESTION to  and find your answer in our next installment.

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