Friday, March 11, 2011

Don't Be A Shitty Bartender

Bitter Drinks by D'Abate

            I’m sitting with my flagrant gay friend Roland on the patio of Verb CafĂ© smoking rolled cigarettes last Tuesday afternoon. He’s a little flustered. Roland is notoriously cool as a cucumber, with his hair slightly parted to the side, a little devious mustache above his lips, he smokes the rolled tobacco with fervor, flicking the last of the snub across the sidewalk, barely missing two short, equally sexually ambiguous youths walking daintily arm an arm down Bedford Avenue.  
            “What is wrong with these fucking bartenders, Matthew? Who the fuck do they think they are”
            “What?” I say, not listening.
            I’m lost staring a woman in black tights and a tee-shirt. The tights wrap firmly up her legs and fully form around a cherubic ass. These tights leave nothing to hide. I literally can see mons pubis. And that's from the back. Normally these girls wear long Alexander Wang white shirts to at least cover their asses, but some of these girls have completely ignored this, creating a new revealing fashion faux pas. I’d like to personally thank who ever decided this be the winter style in Williamsburg. I feel American Apparel has something to do with it.
            Just another pervert.  
            “Matthew!”
            I snap back to Roland, his generally serene face taut with frustration. He begins to roll another Danish Export.
            “Pay attention. You’re a bartender. What’s wrong with these other people? They act like aristocrats! Like asking for a drink is somehow fucking with their day! What is with these people? I’m sick of it. Jesus. I live here. I don’t have to drink at your particularly speak easy styled, heavily cocktailed, cheery wood paneled, zinc bar. Aren’t there about a billion of those with ‘signature’ cocktails in this neighborhood?”
            Roland is correct.
            I’ve seen this silliness before.
            How many of you have ever walked into a bar and got attitude from the bartender? All you want is a goddamn 2 for 1 beer special and the bartender acts like he’s getting a hernia just reaching into that ice to uncap it for you. Oh, what a strain!   
            Or the frustrated, slightly annoyed look you get from your service staff when you ask for a Mojito? And it’s on the fucking menu!!!! (don’t ask for a Mojito at a dive bar, people, that look you get is totally justified)
            Let me give you a couple of facts about the bar world.
            There are at least 87 bars in the neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. That’s just in the 11211. There is absolutely no reason anyone should give you attitude when you walk into a place. There's just too much competition. I remember walking into a bar in Greenpoint (which we’ll just call Lulu’s for short), and asking the guy if he was open. It was dark and early so the question was valid. His response, staring up from his newspaper, looking around sarcastically, and shrugging his shoulders:
            “What do you think?”
            I pause, look to my friend, and said:
            “I think we’ll go across the street.”
            Or you when walk in and the girl's face behind the bar looks as sour as if she's been sucking on lemons all day and gives you attitude when ask her how her day went. Look, honey, we're not trying to hit on you, so take that self-indulgent ice pick out of your ass and fix me a Vodka Tonic.
            Now I‘ve been bartending for thousands of years.
            I believe in the bar.
            It is a place to forget.
            It is a place to hide.
            It is a place to meet people. It is a place to avoid others.
            There is something magical and special about a place where, legally, people can take drugs with each other and act crazy. You can’t do that on the sidewalks outside. You can’t do that in your cubicle. If you can’t go to your nearest watering hole and get fucking wasted, or feel as if you’re being judged by some high school graduate (or worse, a college graduate not using their English degree), then the world is truly a sad and terrible place.
            You have a right to get wasted with impunity.
            There are options. A real bartender knows the truth. They know what you want. They will help you get laid. They will answer any questions you may have about life, love, philosophy, politics, and the stars up above.
            Don’t let some of these horrible bartenders ruin your day. It’s not your fault they hate their lives. It’s not your fault they have shitty bosses. It's not your fault they are pathologically single. It’s not your fault they would rather be writing the next Great American Novel, but instead, have to explain the difference between PBR and High Life to a tourist from Oklahoma.
            So the next time you get some unwarranted attitude (we’ll go into how to be a good customer in future blogs) from one of these self-important, highly intoxicated, drug addled, clinically depressed bartenders, just walk the fuck out and hit up the next 86 bars in your general area.
            A cordial finger usually adds the right garnish to your cocktail of fuck off.
            Till next time, cheers to black spandex!          

(Ladies, you do look in the mirror before you leave the house, right? But thank you, anyways.)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Why Dating Sucks In New York City? (Part 3)

            “Just because my sense of humor is ahead of its time, doesn’t mean it’s not funny,” says my now Travis Bickle-looking roommate Tony after a jarring and thoroughly abusive haircut by an angry Russian barber (at the barber shop over by the Sunac off Union. You know the place).
            The scary thing is he actually thinks he’s funny. In truth, I half expect to see him loading a rifle on a rooftop targeting hipsters on Havenmeyer tonight.  
            So, ladies and gents, it is here we end our three week installment of “Why Dating Sucks in New York City?” at the start of the weekend.
            Friday Night.
            Shit.  
            This is one of the most unholy nights in my weeks’ repertoire. I know to my working friends Friday night signifies the beginning of their weekend, their time to enjoy the direct deposited pay check, and perhaps participate with another willing nine to fiver in some casual and forgettable sex you can laugh about with your friends when you’re brunching it at Teddy’s the next Saturday afternoon.   
            To the bartender, it is a most dreaded evening. Suddenly, packed into our favorite dives are all of these new people we’ve never seen. You can’t get a seat at the bar. There’s those douche bags in Oxford shirts that have been mysterious appearing in large numbers lately around the scene. We’re used to drinking heavily on a Monday night at the Subway Bar. Friday night is a cursed night.
            A night when you are supposed to have a good time.
            And it never works.
            Just like you’re supposed to enjoy New Years Eve. It never works when you know you are supposed to do anything. The human animal is not programmed for repression like that. Ask Freud.
            But we single folk still relentlessly attempt to find some kind of connection (either with our souls or genitalia) by dating.
            This must be closely connected to that American myth of Optimism we are instilled with from birth. The lie that tells us we can make something of ourselves, no matter what.
            That we deserve it.  
            In all actuality, we only deserve what we work for. When we earn it. Now I know I’m starting to sound like my grandfather here (he did build two houses with his bare hands, father 10 children, and was an expert marksman), but in the end, we are entitled to nothing.
            This includes lovers. We gotta to hunt for that shit. Fight tooth and nail to trick that special someone that they can’t live without us.
            Here, in summation, are some of the final barriers preventing us from dueting “Purple Rain” together drunk at Karaoke in Koreatown:

            1.
            YOU KNOW WHO THEY’VE SLEPT WITH.
            This is a real deal-breaker.
            New York is a small town! You can’t get away with shit in this town. Everybody knows everybody. Especially here in Williamsburg. It cracks me up when new-comers try to be sneaky with their nefarious activities. I’ve worked at every bar in this neighborhood. And if I haven’t worked there, then I get drunk in them. Which means I know the bartender. And they know me. There is a Rolodex of information at our fingertips as bartenders.
            We are your shit-faced Google search engines.
            You want to know who your new crush has slept with?
            Ask us!
            We know.
            And sometimes the truth is just Wrong. I recently was going to sleep with a particular young lady (who also does not live here, hence her flagrant sexual activity in a 3 block radius of Bedford) until I received some scary information about some of her previous beaus.
            I know them.
            Just gross.
            I mean, if they were a little bright and maybe actual artists I might of considered it. I’m no puritan. But thinking about these particular rivals slipping their erect members into this woman makes me gag. It says more about her than it does about them. If she’s willing to sleep with me right afterward, that means I’m somehow a apart of them, and my psychotically large ego would never allow that.
            And it’s not just the men who have to watch out. Come on girls, would you really go knees high for a guy you knew full well just slept with a stripper, a Union Pool Super Slut, and an NYU undergraduate, in that order? That shit dry up faster than support for Obama did.      
            I know we are all living in a sexual liberated time, but you are who you sleep with. It is a direct reflection of who you are as a person. And once other people find out who you’ve been fucking, they will judge you accordingly.
            You are what you eat.
             So next time you’re feeling a little horny/high-on-cocaine and want to fuck that dirty scenester, just remember, the bartender is watching.
            Just take ‘em to the Upper West Side.
            Nobody gives a shit what’s happening up there.

            2.
            YOU KEEP PICKING THE SAME TYPE.
            Feel me on this one people?
            Each date slowly begins to resemble the next. They all have the same dull tattoos. They all have bangs. They all have beards. They are all furniture designers or work in advertising. They have a Zip Car account. They were not born here.  
            I am victim to this as well. As any of my friends will tell you, I have a sorry and repetitious penchant for younger women. This is no fault of mine. Really, people. I’m not trying to work out a Lolita fetish here. It’s just the type of person that find me attractive.
            You got men who go to hair stylists. You got girls who love the Twilight series. I’ve got that hard-drinking, father hating, Kundera-loving, recent college graduate who thinks writers with no money are still attractive. It’s when they’re over 30 they realize you’re just a loser without a 5 year plan.
            I’m a bartender. Y’all know this. Who do you think waits for me to get off shift at 4 in the morning on a Thursday night? What type of girl does that? I’ll tell you. The ones that don’t have to work a real job because their fathers pay for everything. Or if they do have a job, it’s cause they’re waitresses. And we all know of that holy and true bond of the waitress/bartender relationship. Nobody has to get up in the morning. You can fuck all day, drinking Prosecco and listening to Prince, ordering take-out, never leaving the bed.
            We are responsible for attracting the same type over and over again.
            To really break this horrible cycle of repeated defeat, you have to change what you do, and more importantly, where you do it.
            If this means you can’t keep picking up girls at Savalas on Saturday nights, so be it. If it means you’ll finally stop dating musicians because you know they will always cheat on you, then God Bless (cause it’s true).
            We are in charge of our own happiness, damn it, and don’t let anyone tell you different. Join a yoga class. Stop hanging out at the Abbey Bar looking for love.               
            Thanks again to Anonymous for your question that lasted three weeks. It’s a helluva topic.
            Be safe out there tonight, kids.
            Tony is out there.
            And he’s watching.

("You blogging about me?" He just asked, looking at this picture. I'm not kidding)

To see what the bartender REALLY knows, send a topic to lechatnoir.us@gmail.com