Sitting at the bar instead of a table once again paid off. We had a nice chat with the bartender while he made simple syrup about what constitutes a legitimate dive bar, and what a rare and precious thing they can be. He told us his fiancé is a native New Yorker who basically grew in various bars around South Brooklyn. So, I had high hopes when he sent us to a spot I’d never heard of, that has apparently been around for years.
Nope, not going to tell you.
Here are two true things: 1) the place he sent us to was my favorite bar of the night, and 2) I will probably never go back. An important thing to know about bars, and what makes bartenders singularly good at recommending them, is that it has nothing at all to do with drink menus or decor. A bar is people, resisting all the ways the world tells us we are alone and choosing the spend time near other people. On a good night, the right bar feels like a clemency, and a way to find joy with each other. This particular bar was joyful in a way I was probably fucking up by being there. In the same way, a group of straight girls should think long and hard about making a gay bar their regular hangout, or extremely white recent transplants like myself should think about walking into any old spot like they own the place. I sincerely hope it never closes.