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Monday, July 22 – Saturday, July 27
Enjoy some good summer reading.
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“But my attraction to bars is less governed by the laws of physics than it is by the rules of romance: I prefer one bar at a time. When it comes to where I drink, I’m a serial monogamist. Still, although loyalty is upheld as a virtue, bar regularhood—the practice of drinking in a particular establishment so often that you become known by, and bond with, both the bartenders and your fellow patrons—is often looked down upon in a culture obsessed with health and work. But despite what we are often told, being a regular isn’t synonymous with being a drunk; regularhood is much more about the camaraderie than the alcohol. Sharing the joys of drink and conversation with friends old and new, in a comfortable and familiar setting, is one of life’s most unheralded pleasures.”
– Rosie Schaap, Drinking with Men: A Memoir
I want to nip any and all erroneous assumptions in the bud. This is not the memoir of an alcoholic. Drinking with Men, Rosie Schaap pays homage to all the bars, pubs, and taverns that she ever frequented, the interesting characters who sat with her around the bar, and all the stories (joyous and tragic) that they’ve shared. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, partly because Schaap is an engaging storyteller who has clearly collected a treasure trove of humorous and poignant anecdotes in her years as a barfly… and also because I can identify with much of what she has experienced. To this day, when faced with the choice of having my meal in a restaurant’s main dining room or eating at the bar, I always choose the latter. It’s all about the people and listening to their stories, some of which can be quite compelling. The wine and spirits are secondary. It should be noted that many a barfly has been known to sip non-alcoholic drinks like San Pellegrino or Perrier, with a slice of lemon or lime.
Kudos to Rosie Schaap, who incidentally writes the “Drinks” column for The New York Times Magazine, for she has written a memoir that is as thoughtful as it is witty. It’s the perfect summer read to enjoy, while relaxing by the pool or on the beach, and sipping your favorite libation… whether it be regular iced tea or a Long Island Iced Tea. Cheers!