The Phenomenon: Holiday party madness.
At first glance, you might think that bars are unnecessary during the holidays. With all the free booze from office parties, friends’ parties, and dinner parties being poured down your gullet, only a madman would choose to pay for drinks, right? Wrong, you poor dummy. You’ve clearly forgotten about the annual horror that is party fatigue.
Every year, it happens around the same time. You’re at some second-tier, Wednesday night Christmas thing, eating a cutesy cookie forced on you by the host’s girlfriend. You’re fat from eating the sweets continually available at the office, your face is alcohol-puffy and up-too-late saggy. Everyone around you looks equally unappetizing: an unnatural combination of gaunt and fat that’s only exaggerated by their ludicrous biz cazh work-to-play outfits. You go to the drinks table and ask for a beer, but they don’t have beer. They only have spiced cider, hot toddies, or Rachael Ray’s special eggnog. It is the thought of putting eggnog on top of the already-sickening amount of sugar you’ve eaten that puts you over the edge. You realize that you hate everyone at the party, you hate parties in general, and you just want to go sit in a dark bar, alone, with a cold Yuengling and no Christmas music.
The funny thing is that your brain always manages to forget this moment over the course of the year. Paying too much for drinks in July, you wish that you could get free party stuff every night. Inside, though, you know the truth: it only takes two weeks of forced merriment to break you. Don’t worry — freaking out is a natural response to holiday over-exposure. The ability to say fuck it and go home is what separates us from the foie gras geese.
When you’ve had one adorable brownie bite too many, you must escape. You need to find a homey place, preferably wood-paneled, where you can sit in a corner and read quietly. An old favorite. Here’s a starter list, in case you’re too reindeered-out to think for yourself:
Kettle of Fish (59 Christopher St)
Cedar Tavern (82 University Pl)
Hanger Bar (217 E 3rd St)
The Brooklyn Inn (138 Bergen St)
Brooklyn Social (335 Smith St)
Grand Press (284 Grand St)
Lotus Lounge (35 Clinton St)
Happy Holidays, kids, and go easy on the sugar.