“I’m sick of all this shoddy realism.”
The Beautiful and Damned is Fitzgerald’s second book, and is perhaps his least well-known despite having the best title. Not that that’s how you should judge a book, but still. Anyway, it’s a bit too long, maybe, but so is life, right? No! Ugh. But that is the kind of thing you start to think as you read this book which at first seems like a celebration of excess, and then devolves into a meditation on decadence and the wasting of lives. So! Fun, right? Well, yes, it is actually, because it’s beautifully written and evokes the New York of a century ago. You can feel a bit like you’re revisiting that New York if you stop by Tooker Alley, a bar whose spirit was inspired by the Prohibition-era speakeasy the Dil Pickle Club. There’s even a newly opened backyard here, so get there soon before the weather shifts into full-blown autumn.
What to drink: Knock back a few of what Tooker Alley calls the Hi Falutin’, made with whiskey and Swedish Punsch, it’ll hit you like a shot of bathtub gin
793 Washington Avenue, Prospect Heights