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.