One of my favorite dive bars closed last night. This doesn’t differentiate me much from any other New Yorker; these days, everyone’s favorite dive just closed, or will close soon enough, strangled by velvet ropes and trampled on by fratty dopes who drink only to misplace their sobriety in the least interesting ways. But mine was a very good bar -- a dim sleeve buzzing with stories about fencing, prostitutes, and deflowered cowboy boots -- and I’d stack it up against the best of the city’s tragically departed.
I can’t tell you the name of the bar -- the owner asked me not to, because he wants to “go quietly” -- so I’ll just say the place would’ve been just old enough to drink itself, if Reagan had never been president. The moment I walked out its door for the very last time, leaving behind a cluster of one-time regulars that stretched back to the 1990s, a little army of feelings marched over me; the troops were so inspired, they maintained formation even as they were forced to wade through a swamp of domestic beer and bourbon. Here’s everything that went through my head and heart on my walk home: