Illustrations by Kiersten Essenpreis
Private School Teacher
It’s hard to read 30 breathless, chatty papers about The Grapes of Wrath sober — and, as she’s found, much, much more difficult drunk. Oops! Haha. Hahahaha. It’s hard to keep up with the kids, with their new slang and their tiny technologies. It’s hard to keep up with a lot of things. Like wearing clean clothes.
Gets up, makes coffee, pours into thermos. Adds generous slug of Jameson. It’s like a regular Irish Coffee (get one at the Henry Street Ale House
, 62 Henry St, Bklyn), except gargantuan, and now she’s spilled some on her instructional transparencies.
Lunchtime. There’s a vodka-filled water bottle she keeps in a bag in the teachers’ refrigerator. Adds some to a $0.50 skim milk carton for a [woefully] poor man’s White Russian. She turns out the lights and puts her head down. (Get a better White Russian at Brooklyn Social
, 335 Smith St., Bklyn.)
Happy Hour, wheee! She proceeds with the math teachers to The Brazen Head
(228 Atlantic Ave, Bklyn) for their Back-to-School specials: $4 for a PBR and a shot, or $3 for a Yuengling or Chelsea Checker Cab. Or both, a few times!
Meets friend for dinner (at the newly expanded Trout
, 102 Smith St, Bklyn) and a Maker’s, neat. Feels briefly like an adult before discovering she has dry-erase marker around her mouth. Another Maker’s.
The cruel reality of being a stay-at-home mother is that while no other line of work could possibly drive you to drink as quickly and as heavily, there’s also no other line of work wherein boozing it up is more frowned upon. With a little bit of creativity, though, you can make it work. We promise, those shit-bag kids (and parents) at the playground will be far more tolerable.
Not so fast. Have a cup of coffee, missy. It’s going to be a long day. (Gorilla Coffee
in Park Slope, tons of by-the-pound options.)
Fuck that. The kid won’t stop screaming, so you’re starting early today. Pour yourself some O.J., spike with 1 oz. of the vodka left over from last night’s Penne à la Vodka.
It’s off to the park, where another mother begins to regale you with stories of little Connor’s highly advanced musical taste. Ask her to watch your kid for a minute. Head home. One more screwdriver. Maybe two.
Grab some pizza, a 40 of Olde English and head back home. You’ll want to pour it into a glass, though. You’re a lady, and a mother
, fer chrissakes! Finish it off during the kid’s afternoon nap.
Take the kid out for a walk, head over to the local wine shop and pick up a couple (three) bottles to drink over dinner with your husband. (Chambers Street Wines
, 160 Chambers St)
The kid and the husband are asleep. Finally. Now you’re free to finish off the last bottle-and-a-half of wine, all by your lonesome. Watch reruns of Friends
. Get ready to do it all again in the morning.
It’s dark and lonely work, but someone’s gotta do it: that is, forgo a social life in favor of evening screenings, lost weekends banging out freelance gigs and assloads of Netflix. No wonder you and your colleagues only ever talk about movies or just pretend to not see each other at screenings — Jesus, have a drink and loosen up.
The first thing you see when you open your eyes is the slice-and-a-half of pizza and quarter-bottle of deli wine left over from when you fell asleep on the couch watching Under the Volcano
on TCM last night. Breakfast!
Writing criticism is, as you always find yourself insisting, a creative process, and you’ve always nursed your muse with swigs from the bottle of Old Grandad you keep by your desk as you type, just like James Agee — hey, it’s Scarlett Johansson on last night’s Daily Show
! (East Village Wines and Liquor
, 183 Stanton St. They deliver, so no need to leave the house.)
Time for a screening in Midtown: your editor is having you sit through two hours of Mongolian nature footage so he can run a 75-word capsule to placate the film’s publicist. Better pack your flask. (Get yours at Village Cigars
, Christopher St and Seventh Ave.)
The first thing you see when you open your eyes is the upscroll of closing credits. Luckily, a friend is just leaving; you intercept him and offer to buy a round at Playwright Tavern
(202 W 49th St), knowing that the first thing he’ll ask is, “So, what’d you think,” to which you’ll reply, “I had… mixed feelings — you?” and surreptitiously jot down highlights of his response.
People come to New York City from all over the country in hopes of making it as a musician. She’s no different — except she is, actually, because she’s just a bassist. She doesn’t write songs, she doesn’t sing... she’s just waiting around for the perfect band. She needs a new hobby. Might we suggest developing a serious drinking problem?
She grabs a smoke and finishes off the glass of wine she left on her nightstand last night. Listens to Sonic Youth’s Washing Machine
and thinks, “This is why I’m here.”
Practicing bass-guitar poses in the mirror does not pay the bills, so she’s off to her part-time job as a dog-walker. On her way, she stops at her local dive and shakes the cobwebs loose with a quick beer. (If you’re in the ‘hood, consider making Commonwealth
in Park Slope your new go-to. They’re quick with the Jäger — more on that later.)
Done with work for the day (phew!), she thinks about going home to post Craigslist ads for the band she wants to start. And she does, but not before picking up a six-pack of Stella. (Bierkraft
in Park Slope offers Stella and lots, lots more.)
Totally boring. She mopes her way over to Pianos
. Drinks four gin-and-tonics and waits for the cool people to show up. They don’t. She goes back to her local and drinks lots and lots of Jäger.
No booze in the apartment at all. But wait! When her parents last visited, she cooked them Chicken Marsala. It occurs to her that she never finished the wine, and so she begins to do just that. She puts on Daydream Nation
and thinks, “Who’d want to do this, anyway? They fucking sold out to Starbucks.” Places half-full glass of wine on nightstand, passes out. (Uva
, at N.5th and Bedford in Williamsburg.)
You and your fellow seminarians used to stay up all night debating doctrinal arcana, fueled by nothing but the fires of your own belief. Now, after decades of indifferent attendance and backsliding communities, you pull all-nighters questioning how God could possibly allow the things you’ve heard confessed to you. Luckily, Catholic guilt is why the Irish invented whiskey. Whatever gets you through the dark night of the soul, right?
Jumpin’ Jesus H. Christ on a crutch, you’re supposed to give a mass in a matter of hours, and you’re pissed six ways from Sunday. You need to get your groggy mind working, and no time for breakfast — better mix yourself a Bloody Mary. (The Noho Star
, 330 Lafayette St. Their Marys’re like a second meal to go with your meal.)
Two words: Communion. Wine. Hey, either this stuff really is transubstantiating into the blood of Christ, or you’re getting a buuuuuzz on. (Astor Wines & Spirits
, 399 Lafayette St.)
It’s nice inside the confessional: it’s cozy, dark, smells good, no one ever comes in any more and you’ve recently installed a mini-fridge. So chill a sixer, crank your iPod, and periodically intone “Five Hail Marys and ten Our Fathers,” just in case.
A priest walks into a bar. “The usual, father?” says the barmaid. “Yes, my child,” you say, as she reaches for the tap to pull you your pint of La Trappe, a Belgian white beer brewed by monks. (The Swift Hibernian Lounge
, 34 E 4th St)
Freelance IT Guy
Sure, one of the holsters on his belt holds a 27-way pager. The other one does too, probably, right? No. It holds a ergonomically designed flask, embossed with his platinum avatar.
He accompanies his wheatgrass-and-raw-egg shake with a flaming sambuca shot. Why? It’s fun to have an exciting secret to start the day. It’s like wearing sexy underwear, he assumes. (He does not wear underwear.)
In a Times Square office elevator en route to remove a firewall: checks for security cameras, finds none, angles his palm at the upper corner of the elevator anyway and drinks deeply from his flask of Absolut Ruby Grapefruit.
He arranged his de-bugging appointment in the East Village such that he’d be first to “tap into” the beginning of an early happy hour. Like “tapping into” a keg of beer. “Ha ha,” he thinks to himself. (La Linea
, 15 First Ave: Half off all drinks from 3 to 9 pm.)
He puts on the black blazer that he’s kept folded in his backpack for a round of $9 cosmopolitans, believing that to attract a female one must follow the adage, “a wolf in sheep’s clothing something something something.” He likes cosmos because they taste like sugar. He has three. (The Randolph at Broome
, 349 Broome St.)
Alone, he removes his clothes, fills a tumbler with absinthe, eats a fruit leather, and turns on Halo. (Absinthe from Park Avenue Liquor Shop
, 292 Madison Ave.)
Halo and absinthe.
Halo and absinthe and Red Bull.
Children’s Book Writer
For fifteen years he’s been putting off finishing (ok, starting) that roman à clef about lust and Asperger’s at a Rhode Island boarding school… and for what? Talking squirrels and wise old oak trees. And dear god, the readings: those mewling, entitled bipeds crawling this way and that as heedless parents look on in contemptuous boredom. Can you blame him for rinsing and swallowing every morning?
It takes discipline to be a successful writer. First of all, you need to sleep in late every day and start each one with a very dry Greyhound. That’s not easy, friend, not easy at all. Second of all… not sure. Did somebody say “morning cocktail”? For brunch, Sweetwater
(105 N 6th St, Bklyn) understands your hangover better than you do.
Have you ever tried writing dialogue between a zany talking bagel and an arch butter knife that sounds like David Niven with a cold? Gin-and-tonics are always seasonally appropriate when you’re indoors.
The 63-step journey downstairs to check for royalties is no easy feat, and will require precious nutrients… Hey! They say Guinness has B12! So shotgunning a Tecate is kind of the same thing, right? Spuyten Duyvil
(359 Metropolitan Ave) has some of the most nutritious beers in the city. Also, cheese.
One minute till the reading begins… seats are filling… “This, again?” he asks himself, “Alright, papa needs a new bottle of Goldschläger.” Papa also a needs a nip of courage from said bottle of Goldschläger (actually, Vermouth), taken surreptitiously in the Gender Studies aisle. Hi kids
! For all things Teutonic, Zum Schneider
(107 Ave. C) is uber alles.
Nothing says “time to Google yourself again” like a schnapps-gingerale-Coors-Riesling cocktail. Also, nothing says “suicide watch” like all those emails to ex-girlfriends. Goodnight moon!