Friday, May 05, 2006

Drink Sticker Shock and Why The M86 Can Eat a Dick

Having lived in Miami for several years, and what with it being the town where I turned 21 and learned everything I know about nightlife, Drink Sticker Shock is not something I get much. I always do enjoy, though, when I take a visitor from St. Louis or Seattle or some dumb freshman from Pittsburgh to a bar in South Florida and they get their first tab for a $4.50 domestic beer. The response is usually something along the lines of “Fuck that shit. Back in (fill in 2nd or 3rd tier city here) we get beers for $2. Let’s get a 12-pack of Natty Light and go home.” Or, even better, the guy who just transferred from some big state school and is used to going to Nickel Pitcher night at the local “get shit faced and hook up with a sorority girl” bar who is all of a sudden faced with a $45 bar tab. I just laugh and say “Welcome to Miami.” Of course, in South Beach, a beer will run you about $6 and a mixed drink in the $8-10 range. For rot-gut vodka and Mexican piss tequila. But this is only in a select few places, and generally I’m drinking water when I am in such establishments anyway ($5 a bottle). But I accept it as a cost of going to a high-end place.

So last night I was taken to Luna Bar in Union Square. Seemed like a nice, jovial outdoor bar atmosphere full of young professionals and surprisingly approachable females. Reminded me of some of the more laid back bars I’ve been to in the Grove or less-trendy parts of Miami. So I go and order a Corona and a Budweiser for me and my friend. I get a 10 out of my wallet and am looking for a couple of singles for tips when I hear the bartender go “$13.” Excuse me? Did Crobar move north and remove it’s roof? Did Lotus stop serving food and fire their DJ? $13 for two beers? Here? You’ve got plastic fucking chairs. You don’t even have a goddam bathroom attendant. $13? I immediately felt like a dumb tourist again, and, somehow, Karmically, all the grief I gave to Miami Tourists shocked by $4.50 Bud Lights was coming back to haunt me. I sent a text to a friend of mine in Miami saying “Let’s play ‘Guess the NY Drink Prices.' A Bud and a Coronoa?” He texted back “$11.” Oh, I wish. I think you could start a new game on Price is Right called “New York Price is Right.” Guess what you think something should cost, then double it and add two dollars. There you go. Fuck. It’s going to be an expensive week.

Whoever the fuck said New York has great public transportation was out of their goddam mind. The Subway is fine. Yeah, there’s all the traditional complaining about it (smells, bums, graffiti, muggings), but all in all it does its job. But today I was forced to travel form 9th Ave. to York Ave, along 86th street and, surprise surprise, New York doesn’t feature any East-West subways. Me, being the dumb hick tourist that I am, decide to attempt to take this bus that called itself the M86. I think in The Marines an M86 was some sort of grenade launcher, and I’m sure there are a ton of jokes that could be made here, but suffice to say I have seen armadillos that move faster than the M86.

Again, being the dumb tourist that I am, I assumed that the M86 took cash. Because since such minor-league, un-hip cities like Oakland and Tacoma take cash on their busses, I was certain that Uber-cool New York would too. No, no. Apparently New York is SO cool, that they are too good for cash and give you a choice of either using an MTA card or coins. Yes, coins, Because lord knows we all have two dollars in coins sitting in our pockets. Since I had nothing but cash, the driver informed me I would have to leave his bus. I began the long trek East along 86th street. About three blocks into my walk I noticed something interesting; I was a good distance ahead of the M86. Every couple of blocks, it would catch me, but then I would pull ahead. It became a race. Yeah, fucker, I’ll show you who doesn’t have correct change. I don’t need your stupid bus anyway. And as I got to Central Park and looked back at the Bus driver letting on the 100 or so passengers, all I could think was “Wow, my New Balances move faster than a crosstown bus. That is pathetic.” So, unless it is raining or really cold, why the fuck would anyone take a bus? And better still, why aren’t New Yorkers in better shape? Like, Orange County, where people drive to the next door neighbor’s house, is perpetually rated one of the healthiest places in the country. Why not a city where walking is the most efficient mode of transportation? Perhaps it is the 98 hot dog carts you pass on the way, or perhaps bitterness and anger make you fat. Either way, I have come to the conclusion that busses in this city are completely useless. And my shoes are extremely comfortable.

22 Comments:

At 11:34 AM, Blogger jenjen said...

Swwweeeet. Drank Natty Light this morning in fact, no lie! Guess it was cheaper than PBR this week. I rated it my #2 choice at about 3am. Martini at Mastros Ocean Club = $17.

 
At 12:04 PM, Anonymous Keith said...

For $6.50 a drink there had better be some russian women in clear heels and a brass pole involved.

thats all i'm sayin

 
At 1:20 PM, Blogger MonkeyPants said...

I had a 12 dollar jack & coke last night that came in a thimble. 'Course it had a topless woman with it as well. Win some, lose some.

 
At 1:36 PM, Blogger DrunkBrunch said...

The only, and I stress only, time buses are useful are when you're desperately in need of above-ground transportation home while fervently drunk texting. Otherwise, hoof it! Welcome to New Yawk :)

 
At 2:05 PM, Blogger White Dade said...

JJ - $17?! Shit, that's lke a 30-pack of Strohs

Keith - If that were the case I wouldn't have been there in the first place

Mpants - Didn't know you were into those sorts of places,. Perhaps oyu and Keith can go together.

DB - Thank you for your welcome.

 
At 2:17 PM, Blogger angel, jr. said...

I think I drank at that bar when I was in New York for a medical review. I was shocked at the 25 dollar tab for a Martini and Bud Light.

 
At 2:17 PM, Anonymous Cliff said...

Try taking the bus from JFK to Columbia...wait, better yet, don't...unless you don't mind getting there the next day...Is it really necessary to have a stop every fucking block in that city?

 
At 2:38 PM, Anonymous Johnson said...

A 30 pack of Strohs used to cost me $10 at the Food Lion in Gordonsville, Va. Speaking of Strohs, I'm currently in possession of more than 65 Strohs and Strohs Lights. And that doesn't count the 4 Mexican Strohs that Bushey smuggled across the border for me 3 years ago. Truly, this is a grand and glorious time to be Johnson

 
At 2:44 PM, Blogger e.v.jose said...

To Cliff:

Dude, you are batshit crazy to have taken a bus all the way from fuckin' JFK in Queens up to Columbia.

For future, the A train will get you there in two hours as opposed to four.

To WD:
Y'all should hit the bars in Williamsburg and save some cash. Beers are generally $5 in those parts, and some place is always offering a special on Pabst Blue Ribbon for $2 or $3. And I like the Sunday morning specials at Superfine down in DUMBO ($3, $6 black'n'tans).

I've learned to appreciate the Happy Hour in New York, though.: Those $7 beers are aeasier to drink when they're 2-for-1.
New York prices are so sad. I remember going to San Francisco to visit friends and being dumbfounded at hearing a drink cost $3. "I was like, drinks are so cheap here!" My friends were looking at me like I had three heads.

Anyway, welcome to this overpriced hellhole. I am consistently entertained by the writing in your blog entries and am looking forward for waht more you have to report to us.

 
At 2:48 PM, Anonymous rumandpopcorn said...

Excellent point about the buses in this town taking taking cash, WD, that shit has annoyed me for, well, forever. The Atlanta buses took dollar bills, and there did not seem to be any problems.

But, the overall point here is that no matter whether it's a Greyhound back to your hometown, the "$15 in free coins" bus to/from Atlantaic City or wherever you gamble, or your local crosstown bus in whatever burg you are in, the bus is without a doubt, the absolute worst form of public transportation known to man and should be avoided at all costs.

Oh, by the way, welcome. You'll be happy to know I come with an extra layer of bitter today, as I had to do time at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Another place to avoided at all costs...

 
At 3:43 PM, Anonymous Cliff said...

To E.V.:

Thank you. I realize that now.

 
At 3:49 PM, Blogger The Assimilated Negro said...

I like the bus. gives me time to think. and it's still outside, so better scenery than the train ...

 
At 4:15 PM, Blogger jenjen said...

Sheeeit Johnson. That's sic! I am officially on a search for a Strohs buz, the last time I had one of those was at age 10 in San Diego when you were allowed to drink on the boardwalk at Mission Beach, even at 10.

 
At 6:17 PM, Anonymous Joe said...

Next time you're back in the 206 we'll have to go to Dantes $3 pitcher night, WD. That, and I think I've mentioned I can get half off on that as well. Cheers ... well I guess not too much at those prices.

 
At 6:32 PM, Blogger AlienCG said...

and people wonder why I don't drink. I'm too damn cheap and the prices in Cleveland are (from what I know) much cheaper than Miami or New York.

 
At 5:27 AM, Blogger Miamista said...

Dude you are really a tourist!
1. The 86 cross town is okay. It is a great way to get cross town if you want a fast scenic route through Central Park. If you have to go to York Avenue and the far east side just take a cab. There is a reason why rents are cheaper over there... If at all possible just use the L train or a midtown/ cross town train and go up or down when you get to the other side (East or West).
2. There are express buses. Yeah, I know if you're from out of town that is way too hard to get up on. People who lived here for years can't quite figure it out I think so def not your fault...
3. Who but an effing tourist goes to bars in Union Square? Did you also walk around with a Japanese tour group? Take your ass to the East Ville or the Lower East Side. You can also run up to Morningside Heights if you wanna pick up on some grade b Columbia girls (the cute ones go downtown to party. Williamsburg is a good option too. There are lots of clubs in midtown and Soho at night but you have to now where they are and what the vibe is.
4. All that walking doesn't make you sexy; it makes you strong. That's why the girls all look like they play field hockey and the guys look like mechanics. It also explains the legendary funky casualness and the backpacks. What it REALLY is, is a style becoming to hikers, athletes and youth hostel trekkers...
5. Holla at me if you need help or assistance! Love the blogging

 
At 10:00 PM, Blogger Andy said...

Dude, I don't know WHO you are staying with, but I can't believe they took you to a bar on Union Square, and then didn't warn you about how completely lame the buses are (unless its freezing cold outside).

If you go anywhere in the East Village or LES, you'll find plenty of drinks for right around $6, and beers around $5 (good, draft beers). Lots of similar places in Murray Hill too...but the Hill is for jerks!

 
At 12:04 AM, Anonymous nicole said...

Oh, just READING the words "Luna Bar" makes me WEEP!

I've definitely been there before and have to say that it's not the most expensive drink I've ever had in NY. That honor belongs to Whisky Blue in Midtown. Guh!!!

 
At 1:27 PM, Blogger Ashburnite said...

What's this- you're in NY for less than a week, and already your head is too big to reply to comments or comment on your friend's blogs??!

just kidding- hope you're having fun.

Oh, and some DC bars are the same...I had two $30 Mojito at the St. Regis.

 
At 2:37 PM, Blogger Bad at Life said...

I do not know NY very well at all, but my favorite bar in the whole city is Doc Holiday's. $2 PBR is a find in ny. Plus, the place just kicks ass.

 
At 7:41 PM, Anonymous J said...

sheesh! as far as normal life goes (outside of culture, good theater, and interesting things that i'd do once a month to spice it up), what are the upsides to this city?

 
At 12:04 AM, Blogger Dabbler said...

WD - Promise me. Promise. You MUST go check out Vol de Nuit on W. 6th Street while you're in town. Most delicious beers I've ever tasted, and the best fries in the City.

 

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