Drinking on the Internets 

an opinionated guide to drinking in the city

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Drinkdeal.com
Unthirsty.com

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Drinking has come a long way in the last century. In 1906, JELL-O shots hadn’t even been invented and the Hawaiian Tropic Zone was just a twinkle in your grandpappy’s eye. In those days, if you wanted a beer funnel, you had to whittle one yourself out of a newly felled tree.
Today, we take for granted all of the wonderful inventions that help us to drink more efficiently — soda guns, beer pong tables, tiny umbrellas, shot glasses shaped like test tubes. But I worry that some people out there are ignoring the alcohol-abetting possibilities of modern man’s greatest invention: the internet. No, friend, it’s not just for self-loathing and pornography. There are many ways the internet can help you drink.
Now obviously there are sites like Citysearch, which are fine for looking up addresses but other than that are pretty much just user reviews from jrzeedood69 saying “YO DIS PLLASE TEH BOMBZZ!!!11!!” Then you’ve got your mailing lists like myopenbar.com or the bazillions of promoter email lists that tell you about free stuff going on that week. (If you aren’t already getting about sixteen of those I’m not sure why you’re reading this right now.) Plus, unless you get to those events the moment they open and septuple-fist drinks for all your friends, you’re just going to be standing in line the whole time.
What I’ve found really useful lately are the new crop of Gmap-based sites for locating happy hours. Because finding a nice bar is one thing, but who’s going to cruise around from 6pm to 8pm asking a bunch of bartenders what their specials are and then actually remember them for the next time they want to go out? Besides the people who made these maps? My two favorites are Drinkdeal.com and Unthirsty.com. They’re not always totally and completely accurate, but you can search by location and a bunch of other variables like day, drink type, patio seating, whatever. Let’s see you do that with a telegraph. Psych, you can’t, because telegraphs don’t exist anymore.
My point is simply this: don’t drink in the past. Booze ludditism is nothing to be proud of. Use all the tools at your disposal to ensure that you are imbibing on the bleeding edge of technology, getting as much free and discounted liquor as the state of the art will allow. But don’t get a Blackberry. Those are annoying.

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