Archive for the ‘Misc.’ Category

July 20th, 2009

70+ bars of the world


That World’s Biggest Bar Crawl seminar I talked about in my previous post about Tales ’09? It just dawned on me: why not offer up the whole list? I know there are more than a few globetrotters among you drinkbostonians, and, hey, if you find yourself in Barcelona or Hong Kong looking for a serious, historic, plush, legendary or otherwise kick-ass bar, just keep this list in your phone or tattoo it on your thigh or something. Here they are, in order of mention, and with a few sparse notes I took:

Carousel Bar (New Orleans); Florida Room (Miami); La Floridita (Cuba); Merchant Hotel bar (Belfast); Quaich Bar — 1,000 single malts (Speyside, Scotland ); Bramble — built for just £16,000 (Edinburgh ); Bar 50 — home to the world-famous Peter Sellers lookalike and Breakfast Martini inventor Salvatore Calabrese, Dukes Hotel, Quo Vadis, Milk & Honey, the LAB (London); Blackfriars Distillery Bar — shameless plug from brand ambassador Simon Ford (Plymouth, England); Apoteke (Tromso, Norway); Ruby (Copenhagen); Hemingway Bar, Harry’s New York Bar (Paris); Widder Bar (Zurich); Barfly’s Club — 60 different ryes! (Vienna); Dry Martini — over 1 million served, Boadas  — here they “throw” drinks between giant shakers like in Jerry Thomas’ day (Barcelona); Paparazzi, UFO (Bratislava, Slovakia); Le Lion de Paris (Hamburg); Schumann’s (Munich); Becketskoff (Berlin); Nottingham Forest — molecular mixology pioneer (Milan); Door 74 (Amsterdam); Burj al Arab — world’s priciest cocktail (Dubai); Sky Bar (Moscow); Felix, Captain’s Bar, China Club (Hong Kong); Olives (Mumbai); Rick’s (Delhi); Raffles — originator of Singapore Sling but a depressing tourist trap, Tippling Club (Singapore); Constellation (Shanghai); High Five — jaw-dropping technique, Tender Bar — six different shaking techniques, carved ice cubes (Tokyo); Bayswater Brasserie (Sydney); Der Raum, Tiki Bar, 1806 (Melbourne); Motel, Matterhorn (Wellington, NZ); Cafe Tortoni (Buenos Aires); Andres Carne de Res — filled with junk (Bogota, Colombia); Westin Hotel bar — home of the Caesar (Calgary); Zig Zag, Vessel (Seattle); Bel Ami (Portland); Bix, Tommy’s, Bourbon & Branch (San Francisco); Doheny, the Edison (L.A.); Downtown Hotel (Dawson City, Yukon Territory); Churchill Downs (Kentucky); Pegu Club, King Cole bar in the St. Regis Hotel, P.J. Clarke’s, PDT, Death & Co., Randall (NYC); Drink (Boston); the Gibson, Bourbon (Washington D.C.); Absinthe House, Alibi (New Orleans). Extra credit: Vodka & Shotguns (Lithuania).

I have only been to a handful of these places. Got some travelin’ to do.

I guess it would have been a lot easier to link to the New York Times’ version of this list, complete with links. D’oh.

Posted in Misc. | 1 Comment »

April 9th, 2009

Blog rally to help the Boston Globe

[The text below is taken verbatim from Paul Levy’s Running a Hospital blog. Levy started this blog rally, and I’m joining in. I may have worded the call to arms differently, but I’m adhering to protocol this one time.]

We have all read recently about the threat of possible closure faced by the Boston Globe. A number of Boston-based bloggers who care about the continued existence of the Globe have banded together in conducting a blog rally. We are simultaneously posting this paragraph to solicit your ideas of steps the Globe could take to improve its financial picture:

We view the Globe as an important community resource, and we think that lots of people in the region agree and might have creative ideas that might help in this situation. So, here’s your chance. Please don’t write with nasty comments and sarcasm: Use this forum for thoughtful and interesting steps you would recommend to the management that would improve readership, enhance the Globe’s community presence, and make money. Who knows, someone here might come up with an idea that will work, or at least help. Thank you.

(P.S. If you have a blog, please feel free to reprint this item and post it. Likewise, if you have a Twitter or Facebook account, please add this url as an update or to your status bar to help us reach more people.)

Also, here’s the Globe’s story about the rally.

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Posted in Misc. | 4 Comments »

July 29th, 2008

Of age

A valid ID?By Scott N. Howe

Like you, turning 21 was a big deal for me. It was big because I was finally an adult, and, as such, I could enjoy the most awesome right, privilege and responsibility available to an adult: I could walk into a proper bar and order a proper drink.

This is not to say that there was anything especially “adult” about me at age 21. Nor is it to say that the places I frequented were in any way proper, or that I was ordering proper drinks. Still, I had officially passed from the world of drinking warm cans of whatever in the woods to a wider world, a world where I could walk into the neighborhood watering hole with my head held high, grab a stool next to a 50-something plumber, and down a cold Busch while watching a ball game. Or, I could plop down in a shiny fern bar and sling back frozen mudslides with secretaries and salesmen (Note: I turned 21 in the 1980s. Substitute your own silly drinks.)

Did I always drink like an adult when I turned 21? Of course not. But I could, and that felt good.

And what felt most good was the “adultness” of it all. Drinking legally meant that I could go to bars and socialize with people my own age or older — not teenagers, not children. Drinking legally meant adult conversation on adult topics, accompanied by adult music. It also meant adult dating (with, one hoped, adult results). Drinking legally meant dropping into a bar after work, or in the middle of the day, or after a movie, or … well, whenever I felt like it and for whatever reason or no reason at all. Because I was an adult.

Which brings me to a major problem in the adult drinking world: children in bars. Argue all you want about the hypocrisy of the drinking age or our Puritanical mindset. Hit me, if you’d like, with your fond memories of pubs in the British Isles where generations upon generations gather ’round to sing the songs of olde. I’m not interested. What interests me is preserving our bars, lounges and cocktail conclaves for the people they were built for — the adult drinking public.

Mom and dad, if you want to go out and down a few, please hire a sitter. Don’t slam your stroller into my stool, elaborately set up a mini-day care center in a nearby booth, and then spend the rest of the evening pestering the barkeep for apple juice. And you, alterna-couple, if you’re going to bring little Jake or Lola into my local, show a little courtesy. Propping your spiky-haired, ironic-T-shirt clad offspring on the bar and plying him/her with Shirley Temples is fun for a while. But it gets old. Fast.

Look, like most of you, I love the pat-pat-pat of little feet and the cute cooing of the cunning and the cuddly. Kids are OK by me. In fact, I believe that children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way. Just keep them out of my bar.

Unless they’ve got a valid ID.

Posted in Misc. | 9 Comments »

October 13th, 2007

The high-rise blues

Glowing toilet seatIt’s time to broach an unpleasant subject: public toilet seats sprinkled with pee. This is caused by women who refuse to sit while urinating and instead hover above the toilet, thus soiling the seat and forcing successive users to adopt the same uncomfortable high-rise position. It’s a problem in all public ladies’ rooms, but particularly those in bars, where trips to the toilet are more frequent. Rock clubs, where I go to see contributor Scott Howe’s band the Hammond Group, are especially notorious; their bathrooms are heavily trafficked and dimly lit — a bad combo for anyone hoping to keep her bum dry.

We can’t chalk up the annoying behavior of high-risers to alcohol and darkness alone, however. It really stems from an old-fashioned, entrenched, completely unfounded belief that toilet seats are breeding grounds for infectious diseases. To all you dainty dolls afraid to park your precious derrieres on a toilet seat that others’ backsides have touched, I say this: you want to see a breeding ground for infectious disease? Look at your desk. Microbiologists have found four hundred times more illness-causing bacteria on the typical office desktop, with its germ-filled computer keyboard, mouse and phone receiver, than on most toilet seats. Hands, which are out in the world touching everything, and not bums, which are covered by clothing all day, pass the vast majority of bacteria that make people sick. So worry more about the faucet handle in the bathroom than the toilet seat, princess.

Howard Heller, an M.D. and infectious disease specialist at MIT Medical, says, “It’s very difficult to get sick from a toilet seat. A little extra caution might be warranted if one is traveling in an area where enteric infections like cholera are more common.”

In other words, if you find yourself in a public restroom in Angola, you may want to play it safe and hover. Otherwise, sit down on the damn toilet. Please. I mean it. My thighs are killing me.

Posted in Boston bars, Misc. | 9 Comments »

October 10th, 2007

Talk to your kids about drinking

Are you a parent? If so, you may recognize this situation. A friend of mine has taken to barhopping vicariously through, given that she has a toddler and an infant and just moved to the ‘burbs. She wrote me an email recently with the subject, “You know you spend too much time at when…” and a message that continued, “…your 3-year-old organizes a cocktail party in the play kitchen on his second day of pre-school and serves his classmates and teachers lemonade cocktails.”

Isn’t that cute?

Posted in Misc. | 2 Comments »