TWIN CITIES BARFLY

"Harvey and I sit in the bars… have a drink or two… play the jukebox. And soon the faces of all the other people turn toward mine and they smile. And they’re saying, "We don’t know your name, mister, but you’re a very nice fella." Harvey and I warm ourselves in all these golden moments. We’ve entered as strangers - soon we have friends. And they come over… and they sit with us… and they drink with us… and they talk to us. They tell about the big terrible things they’ve done and the big wonderful things they’ll do. Their hopes, and their regrets, and their loves, and their hates. All very large, because nobody ever brings anything small into a bar."

James Stewart as Elwood P. Dowd

"Harvey"

1950

The Muddy Pig
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Fall 2008

The Muddy Pig

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Fall 2008

bad ass.

I can always tell if I’m going to like a local booze establishment by their music choices. Common Roots. Tuesday evening. Two Radiohead songs, followed by The Pretenders, followed by Death Cab for Cutie, followed by more Radiohead, followed by The Beatles. Your reaction? Don’t care. My reaction? In. Love.

The Joynt
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Summer 2007


The Joynt

Eau Claire, Wisconsin

Summer 2007

I love bars. And I love going to them alone.

I’m not a drunk. I’m not trying to pick up men. I’m not bat shit crazy. I’m not lonely.

I just love bars.

Of course, there is stigma attached to going to a bar alone. A 28 year-old woman sitting at the bar by herself? Instant reaction: “WTF?! What a LOSER!” Over the years, a lot of assumptions have been made about me. The above gives you an abridged list of “the labels.” Is there something so wrong about loving bars?

They are loud. Social. Awake. Fascinating. Spirited. Perhaps a little comforting. They are all different. They can be a place to socialize, a place to sit back and observe, or a place to be quiet and think over a Guinness. Life there can be both familiar and ever changing. Walking into my favorite bar, there are the ever constants: a favorite bartender, Grey Goose with olives, the familiar face of another barfly. There are also the transient moments, like a brief conversation with a newcomer. Just by chance you sit next to each other, share your thoughts, and then they are gone. Sometimes the conversation is deep, sometimes superficial. Sometimes, you never see them again, sometimes they show up the next week. Either way, it doesn’t really matter. At the end of the night, the bar turns out its lights, and you can always come back again tomorrow… for both the expected and the unexpected.

Sounds just like ordinary life, right? That’s really all it is.  Bars aren’t just a place where people go to hang out with their friends, or to try and find their next hot date. They can be a place to experience life…. But in an up close, intentional, and humble manner.

Judge me if you will…. But I love bars. And I’m not bat shit crazy.