Prohibition.

New York is a wonderful city.  All the rumors, good and bad, are true.  You can find anything at any time.  The cost of living is completely insane.  The worlds best music and food are readily available.  Along with this, comes alcohol.  There are fantastic bars.  Known both for atmosphere and unique and/or delicious drinks.  Sure, you can drink Miller Light if you want, but even the fratty bros have caught on.  The sports bars probably have more taps than those guys have roofies in their pockets.

By far, my favorite New York beverage is the Old Fashioned at Fedora in the West Village.  They make their bitters in house, and use some type of maple syrup/pecan concoction along with the citrus.  I would place it up against any beverage in history.  Much like the city itself, it is ridiculously expensive, but completely worth it. There are many establishments that have their own version of a signature cocktail, many of them incredible.  Its not just mixing some ingredients together, its the care put into the preparation, the quality of those ingredients, and the setting, it all plays into it.

But in the last month, I have been put on the bench for the game of drinking.  Once in a while, I experience cluster headaches, which can be triggered by alcohol.  Any amount of alcohol…even 1 drink can cause hours of pain.  As good as the Fedora Old Fashioned is….its not THAT good.  So for a month or two, I must remain stone cold sober.  And that is in fact quite a cold stone to remain on.  I experienced great relief when watching an old episode of Parks and Recreation, April says she’s getting a cluster headache because of Ron Swanson’s antique typewriter.  Pawnee knows my troubles!

Drinking in New York is such a big part of everyone’s lives.  We don’t have to drive anywhere, and most people don’t have a home big enough to entertain in, so we meet up in bars by default.  After work happy hours, birthday parties, Wednesdays, all good occasions to visit a drinking establishment.  Got to the restaurant first?  Have a drink.  Being the dude that just asks for water and hangs out for a bit, not so cool.

But while I’m waiting to return to the game, here are a few observations from the land of sobriety:

1.  You save a TON of money.

Lets just do some simple math.  Your average beer is about $7 at a bar.  A fancy cocktail will be around $13.  On Friday you go to dinner and have 2 cocktails, on Saturday you go out to a friends party and have 3 beers.  That’s around $50 with tip.  Those also may be conservative estimates for many…not counting weeknights.  That’s a few hundred dollars we spend on booze every month.  In most cases, completely worth it (something needs to numb the pain over how much you spend to live in such a tiny space) but expensive nonetheless.

2.  You look ridiculous and smell terrible when drunk.

I have decided not to function as a hermit, but actually venture out into the public completely sober.  While this may be a mistake, it has also lead to some observations on human behavior.   Man, people look fucking ridiculous when drunk.  I apologize to all of my friends who do not drink for any past events.  When you’re taking part, it makes no difference.  But if you’re not…all the drunk stereotypes are true.  People slur words, talk super loud, yell the dumbest shit possible…oh how I miss it.  Also, dude, you better hope that girl you’re talking to is fucking hammered, because you smell like death.

3. Not drinking is probably great for your health.

Yes, doctors have said this for a while, but it really has to be true.  I’ve lost a bunch of weight, and my physical activity has remained just about the same.  The liquid calories do make a difference.  I also sleep amazingly on weekends.  Not that I was constantly hung over, but if you go out late and have a few, you don’t wake up feeling like a spring flower.  I don’t feel like a spring flower, but maybe like a dandelion – still a weed, but looks kind of nice in the right lighting.

4.  There is nothing to do and you have no fun.

Those 3 positives?  Pretty much forget them.  Being the sober guy is zero fun.  I have 2 rules in life.  1, never be the most sober person at any gathering.  And 2, never wait more than 5 minutes at a restaurant serving breakfast.  This period has put me in stark opposition to rule #1, and I don’t like it at all.  People don’t need to go out and get hammered all the time, but we do need some form of intoxication now and then.  The lowering of inhibitions is very important to life in such close proximity to others.  Just imagine being in a small dimly lit room with 100 other people talking loudly.  No one wants to be in that situation.  This is every bar or restaurant.  Why do we do such things?? I really have no idea.

And there you have it, just some non musical thoughts for mid October.  Yes, Sober October is a phrase some use.  And when in doubt, rely on the rhyme.

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