This holiday season, two things are certain: you'll be dragged to Midtown at least once, and immediately thereafter, you'll find yourself craving dangerous quantities of alcohol. This poses a problem, since immediately thereafter you'll still be surrounded by soulless Midtown bars and taverns. The solution is to hit Single Room Occupancy, one of the few area spots that, despite its geographic handicap, will pull you back from the brink of madness
If SRO were on your block, you'd go there more often than you bathe: a miniscule sleeve of excellence, stashed in a Hell's Kitchen basement, accessible by buzzer, and marked only by a dim green lightbulb. Though it's beer/wine only, the selection's impressive, and after five beer/wines you'll forget you just spent two hours trolling Times Square for I Heart NY shirts with your Uncle Al -- who couldn't mask his despair over the disappearance of the hookers. Best of all, because the tourist hordes can't find anything without a marquee ("Chitty Chitty Bang Bang", "Hot Tranny Peepshow"), it's exclusively populated with sweet, swinging bastards like yourself
So whether you're "sightseeing", stuck at a musical, or clawing the grimaced face of a fellow shopper clinging to the gift you saw first, suffer through it bravely, knowing that your reward is close at hand: drinking underneath a building with a handful of people just as jaded as you.