July 8

What a difference a day makes! More like what a difference no RAIN makes! Yesterday was busy and bustling, with deliveries of Monday’s orders, visits from beer reps, much bleaching and scrubbing, but most importantly, friends and regulars out in the yard all ten hours of my shift! Plus our newest regular, Aaron. I’ve gotta admit, having anyone enjoy Lucky enough to become a regular when the full Lucky experience isn’t really available is extremely gratifying. The fact that about 80% of our business is from people with whom we’re familiar is why I feel so much safer than many others in the hospitality industry. After reading — with horror — about the woman in Canada who attended a party and then visited a bar AFTER being diagnosed with COVID-19, I console myself with the safety of that familiarity. When a human being can be so thoughtless, it really doesn’t matter what we shut down. She could just as easily have gone to work at a retail shop and infected all of her coworkers. Instead, 20 of her peers have now tested positive. What can we do in the face of such stupidity? I’m speechless.

Oops. Sorry. I started on such a positive note and quickly slipped down that damn rabbit hole again. It is so difficult to navigate the ship around the dangerous shoals of depression. Even amidst yesterday’s commerce, I found myself in tears, realizing that this virus is cleaving my community. While some of us are busy saving our businesses, easing back into some sort of rhythm outside the four walls of our tiny apartments, many others are not. I am not out here engaging in careless capitalism, my health — and that of those I care about — be damned. I am also doing what I need to do to maintain my sanity. Yes, I am under stress, more exhausted than I can ever remember being, and making the best of what can only be described as terrifying circumstances. That I am watching friendships disintegrate only adds to the sadness. Everyone is so sensitive — myself included — and words matter. Communication breakdown is real. I’ve been commiserating with people who feel, as I do, that we are being shunned because of where we fall on the “safety spectrum.” It has been insulting and disappointing and heartbreaking.

And if I have to read one more article about how drunk people show shitty judgement, I’m gonna lose it. Yes, it’s true. And it is up to the staff to assist those drunk people in behaving safely. We wouldn’t let anyone swing from the proverbial chandeliers or engage in other dangerous antics. If your crowd is so large that you can’t control them, kick out half. I mean, how hard is it? Tell people to stay seated. Tell people to wear masks when ordering. No, I never expected this job to be literally life-threatening, but it shouldn’t be impossible to mitigate the perils. And of course, if being responsible for that mitigation isn’t your cup of tea — or pint of IPA — then by all means, stay home. But babysitting bumbling drunks has always been part of the job description. Thank heavens I’m blessed with intelligent, thoughtful and well-behaved bumbling drunks! Come be one of them! Burning Man Happy Hour starts at 6pm! Cheers!

Photo of me bartending yesterday by Karen Heimann


July 7


Well. Yesterday was definitely one of the slowest on record. When all your seating is outdoors and it pours pretty much all day, you can’t really expect much. I cleaned a lot. Set up one of my new umbrellas, which Dylan thoroughly enjoyed. I ordered beers and paid bills and played Sudoku. After the rain stopped it was a wonderfully cool and breezy summer evening I wish more people had been able to take advantage of! But there’s always tomorrow. Oh! And today! With no rain in the forecast, hopefully I’ll have more company! I’m there noon till 10.
I apologize for being so whiny yesterday. I realize I have much to be thankful for. I just wish every little thing didn’t require so much effort. Shit is topsy turvy. I’m finally getting a keg of PBR but now Guinness is out of stock. Things that should’ve arrived yesterday might or might not show up tomorrow. Being on the verge of tears 24/7 ain’t easy. I’m snippier and stabbier than usual, which results in feeling guilty about how cranky I am with people. And it’s embarrassing to admit that, after three months of sitting on my ass, I feel like I could use a vacation. At least I was able to unplug this past weekend, thanks to my skeleton crew. I’ve stopped posting news articles because, well, frankly, there simply isn’t anything uplifting or informative enough to share. It’s still a guessing game with even the experts sending mixed signals. You’re all seeing the same shit. And even though NYC continues to experience super low, satisfactory stats, it seems like everyone is still freaking out, waiting for things to get worse. I’m hoping it isn’t a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Nope. It sure isn’t a good time to be an optimist. Or even a realist, really. I mean, what’s even real these days anyway? For me, it’s what I can see with my own eyes. Touch with my own fingers. And feel with my own heart. Everything else is overwhelmingly over there…somewhere. If you’re one of those “over there,” know that I miss you. I’m worried about my people in places seeing spikes. And I’m holding out hope that a year from now, this will all be a horrible memory. Love to you, friends. 

July 6

I am pissed. PISSED! It is mostly a survival mechanism because if I wasn’t pissed I’d likely be in the depths of depression. It is so fucking hard to not slip down the rabbit hole of doom these days. To say we’re in the midst of a dumpster fire is an unfair jab at dumpsters. And fire. Both of which are not only useful but “essential” in my world. And probably yours. No, dumpster fire is a gross understatement. I don’t care where you fall on the political spectrum or what your “danger level” is but I am DONE. I have “snoozed” or “unfollowed” quite a few of you over the past few days because I just can’t take the doom and gloom or any bullshit about not voting for Biden or the finger-wagging shaming or the fucking whining. (And yes, I realize that I am engaging in both doom and gloom and whining right now, but, hey, you’ve got a snooze button too, friend.) Woo-hoo! Kanye for president!
Today we enter Phase Three, which should have included indoor business for bars and restaurants. Instead, you are free to get a fucking fake tan. ‘Cause that shit is totally essential. I mean, who can’t live without a fucking spray on tan? Murika. Land of the free and fucking orange. At least the damn dog run is open again. 
No, indoor business for bars and restaurants is out for the foreseeable future. And why? Not because of anything any NYC businesses have done. Nope, it’s because of rising numbers in states that have travel advisories in place so they don’t bring their idiocy and virus here, where we’ve worked so fucking hard to keep our numbers down. Where every bar and restaurant has pivoted. (Wow, doesn’t the world love that word right now? Aren’t you proud of your stiff-upper-lip resiliency and ability to pivot your business from whateverthehell you were doing, successfully, before this shit hit the fan, to something different and new and harder and, more than likely, less profitable? So proud! And who’s surprised that someone was injured while dining in the goddamn street?) Because of other states that opened too quickly. Never closed at all. Led with their wallets instead of their concern for the health of their citizens. Opened WRONG. Are doing it wrong. FUCKING. WRONG. Or, you know, their bars and restaurants have done it wrong. No mention of any other possibility. Nope. Must’ve been the bars that made everyone sick. That made the numbers go up. Alcohol is the devil. If that is actually true, then why are any bars open? Why are they allowing us to give you to-go booze? If we are the root of all illness, then let’s reinstate prohibition. No? Why not? Explain.
Sigh. I know. I’m not being very coherent. Where was I? Oh, that’s right. Because other states are screwing up. Because of the “optics” displayed by some asshole bar owner on the Jersey Shore who thought it was smart to let in 1000 customers and seat them inches from each other. Because our governor and our mayor are in a “whose dick is bigger” competition. We are suffering. Oh. And let’s add to the irritation the accompanying “graph.” Don’t get me started.
Actually. Do. Do get me started. Everyfuckingone from Anthony Fauci down to my close friends believes that the MOST DANGEROUS THING IN the WHOLE WORLD RIGHT NOW would be to have a drink in a bar. Hey, thanks! Thanks for calling US out as the most dangerous thing. ‘Cause, you know, our diabolic vice president at a church gathering jam packed full of people without masks, listening to a choir — you know, those singing religious people that are represented in one of the top three examples of “super spreader events” — of 100 spitting, spewing, projecting people singing….but no, having a pint of PBR in a bar is far more deadly. Don’t do it! Of course, what they mean is a drink inside a bar. Outside is totally fine. No middle ground for bars with good ventilation and great airflow. Nope. We’re all subterranean, super-spreading cesspools. I have now seen so many photos of businesses doing it wrong but instead of helping those owners course-correct, and maybe, oh, I dunno, encourage them to save a few lives, we all get painted with the same brush. It is so infuriating that I am having trouble forming coherent sentences.
LOOK AT THAT GRAPH! I mean, is opening the mail even at all dangerous? Why would you put that on there? Why are half the things on there even on there? There are no sports stadium events. You can’t go to a movie theater. Why include them? Are funerals really that dangerous? Or is it just that someone might hug you? How about a hugless funeral? Where everyone stands six feet apart and wears a mask? And it’s held outdoors? And where are the things people are actually doing? Like riding a train or a bus? Having a picnic with their friends? Amusement parks? Well, there are open amusement parks. And casinos. Seems like the world has decided they’d rather ride Magic Mountain or play a slot machine and, quite possibly, die as a result. Totes worth it. Any idea why that is? Do you think it is at all based in reality? Based in anything resembling safety? Oh HELL NO! It’s because Disney has more money than I do. It’s because the casinos have lobbyists. It has absolutely nothing to do with safety. Nothing. But wow. With their budgets, they sure do have a whole fuckton of reassuring signage and hand sanitizer to make you feel safe!
Hugging or shaking hands is at the top of “Level 7 Moderate-High Risk.” Really? I shake hands with you, or 100 of you, and that’s dangerous? Maybe. If you’ve all recently picked your collective noses, are sick or asymptomatic, and instead of washing my hands soon afterward I stick my filthy monkey paws right into my eyes. Maybe that would be dangerous. Friends, I’ll let you in on a secret: people who haven’t left the house for anything other than groceries that they still wash have gotten this virus. People who haven’t done anything on this damn graph at all have gotten it. There isn’t anything that’s actually safe.
Om shanti, eh?
What it will all come down to, as I have been repeating over and over since the beginning of this, is each of us making the determination of what we believe to be safe for ourselves. A friend just posted that her place of business is being so unsafe that she has decided not to go back into work. She got a doctor’s note and is staying safely at home. She is not alone in her fear. There are, apparently, many businesses — including but not at all limited to bars and restaurants — who are not taking precautions. Who are not taking this virus seriously. Who are not protecting their staffs or, for that matter, the public. So it is up to US. We walk up to or into a business, take one look and need to decide if we feel safe. Is the business enforcing mask wearing for their customers? No? Then HELL NO. Is the staff wearing masks? No? Okay, again, HELL NO. Is there enough space between shoppers or sippers or whatever people are doing? Or is the store packed with people, making social distancing impossible? I almost had a stroke at Key Food a few days ago because, mask wearing aside, it felt like a year ago, with no pandemic, because people were cheek-by-jowl, checking out and pushing their carts and crowding the damn aisles. It was crazy. But I forged on because, well, what the hell, right? My copy shop? Packed full of idiots, the guy behind the counter apparently believing more in his God than masks because, yup, his mask is around his chin. Let’s hope he’s already had it and believes himself to be immune. Bottom line: Your safety is in the hands of each individual business owner (and their staff). So you need to decide if you trust them.
Folks, it isn’t even worth whining about who’s wearing a mask and who isn’t these days. If you aren’t willing to roll the dice, then stay at home. From the looks of our national propensity for stupidity, you’ll be there for quite some time. And all our friends who work in theater or concert venues or nightlife will be out of work for an even longer time because humans are fucking dumb. But, by all means, let’s blame bars. Those of us who are being careful, who are taking precautions, who are worrying every goddamn second that we could be killing people merely by being in business, we are being punished. Our government has more or less abdicated responsibility. They need to do that completely. Admit that they have zero control. Since they are not, actually, keeping us safe, then let us take personal responsibility for ourselves. We might as well descend into the fucking wild west. Everyone for themselves. Because no one can look out for you but you. RANT OFF!

July 5


My holiday weekend, mostly horizontal. San Pellegrino Limone y Menta & Ketel. Super summery!


July 4


Happy 4th of July! We won’t have the usual bombast but there is still cause to celebrate. We may need to look a little harder for it and experience joy wherever we can find it. Smaller gatherings, closer friends, quieter reveling, yes; be sure to savor every moment.

You’ll find Alex behind the stick today, shepherding folks into the yard and blending up the frozen beverages. We’re opening at 2:00 today so you can enjoy your al fresco drinks till 10:00 or 11:00, weather and patience permitting. You can grab and go and savor your cocktail aa you stroll or spend some time out back in our garden. It will be a steamy one, for sure!

Wear your mask. Wash your hands. And don’t blow up anything you’ll need tomorrow. Stay safe out there, friends!

July 3

We’re heading into a holiday weekend. What does that even mean anymore? There won’t be any fireworks — well, not the traditional Macy’s display, anyway — and there won’t be any big celebrations. With the numbers rising almost everywhere other than here in the Northeast, the mood is mostly grim. Places that opened up too quickly or too soon — or never really closed down at all — are shifting back to lockdown, which doesn’t exactly feel like freedom. And whose freedom have we been celebrating anyway? That of the hordes of idiots clamoring for manicures or the ability to pump iron at their local gym? Or maybe “breathe as God intended,” sans mask? I dunno. It’s difficult to feel celebratory. Which, you know, for me, sorta sucks, since I am all about the party. Sigh.
Maybe you’ve seen that little paragraph online about returning grocery carts. How there isn’t a law requiring you to return them, it’s just the “right” thing to do. So much of what keeps our civilized society civilized is our social contract. Without it, we descend into…well, if not anarchy, at least a society I don’t want to be a part of. The social contract means we stop at stop signs and generally respect each other. Lately it seems as though that social contract is broken. People aren’t picking up their dogs’ shit. They’re tossing trash on the ground. And yes, they’re no longer stopping at stop signs. Or red lights, even. It seems, as I’ve said, that all bets are off. Wearing a mask falls under the “greater good” social contract category, don’tcha think? Many people in this country have decided that THEIR personal “good” is better, preferable, MORE FREE and more important than the greater good. And that is NOT good. It is an unnerving unraveling that leads to a very UN-civilized society. I’m not talking about law and order. I’m talking about giving a shit about your fellow humans. Why, oh WHY don’t more people give a shit? It is SO disappointing. And is likely contributing to the national malaise and depression that has replaced anything resembling “pride.” I don’t think it’s hyperbolic to say that we are experiencing national shame, something this country is not familiar with. So. Uh. Yeah. Happy fucking 4th of July.
Sorry to sound so dismal. It isn’t my ordinary MO. On a brighter note, Avenue B is shaping up to look like Oktoberfest. If you’d like to enjoy some outdoor drinking, do stop by! Lucky’s seating is out back in our yard and, thankfully, didn’t require any construction. We’re even getting umbrellas, so you’ll be protected during the expected summer squalls. It’s kind of weird offering the al fresco experience now that pretty much everyone is doing the same. There’s really nothing to differentiate between one bar and the next and you know I’m not one for complicated cocktails. (Well, I am. But my staff isn’t. And for the most part our clientele hasn’t been either.) We DO have three different frozen drinks now: our pink lemonade with your choice of flavored vodka, margaritas and now strawberry daiquiris. ‘Cause who doesn’t love a frozen drink on a steamy summer day? Of course, you’re welcome to order anything at all, really, since we have everything in stock. Just ask for it to-stay or to-go! Today it’s either me on the early side or Zero afternoon into evening and you know we’d love to see you! Let’s do our best to celebrate safely, despite all the bullshit, shall we?
Oh! And yesterday, Suzanne and I ventured to Astoria Park so we could hang out with Pinky. It was the hottest day of the summer so far, but the breeze off the river made was lovely and the Italian ices were delicious and it was GREAT to be able to see her in person! Grab the joy wherever you can find it, my friends! Sometimes it’s just a ferry ride away!

July 2

Guess what I did yesterday? I went into a shop and bought something! I am SUCH a happy little consumer! Don’t lose your shit, friends, it wasn’t WalMart! I supported a local small business, my friends Alex and Maegan’s East Village Vintage Collective (East 12th between A & B). I got a cute little black skirt with white embroidery. And yes, I have about a dozen but SOMETHING NEW! Actually, something new to ME! Try it! It feels pretty great. I admitted to my mom that this pandemic has truly taught me just how shallow I am. All I care about is drinking with my friends, shopping and being waited on at restaurants. Looks like that last bit won’t be happening indoors for the foreseeable future, since, apparently, the rest of the damn country can’t keep their numbers down. Seems like 3,000 participant protests are safer than more than one table of people eating pasta. This virus is a wily one! I guess we’ll be enjoying our meals al fresco, with the additional bonus of torrential rains! Yippeeeee!


None of it makes any sense to me. The world has gone bonkers. Mask wearing could save millions of lives — and millions of dollars, according to Goldman Sachs — yet so many are refusing. Who would’ve thought something so simple and easy would become so politicized? I’m going to go about my day today as though humanity isn’t a damn dumpster fire. I’m going to venture to Queens to see Pinky, riding a CitiBike and a city ferry, and enjoy the summer sunshine and hope we don’t get caught in a downpour. I’m entrusting Lucky to Tracie, who will be there to serve you whatever you need, including our now THREE different frozen beverages! Our back yard is available for your safely socially distanced drinking pleasure! Have a wonderful Thursday, friends.

July 1

Rabbit Rabbit! How is it July? Someone said yesterday that aside from the heat they still felt stuck in February. Yes. Time is a construct….

My nose is pressed so hard against the proverbial grindstone that two different anniversaries slipped right past me. One, the 20th anniversary of Mother closing, June 30 2000. Mother was the Meatpacking District nightclub, home to Jackie 60, Click + Drag, Heroes, Clit Club, Long Black Veil and Cheez Whiz as well as the birthplace of Motherfucker. It was a home to witches, wizards and weirdos of many stripes and shades and it is missed most when times are difficult. There were to be multiple events to commemorate this slice of nightlife heaven that sadly will have to be rescheduled. A more recent overlooked celebration is Lucky’s Four Year Anniversary. In “normal” times, I would’ve been hosting an open bar with catered food to thank my army of loyal regulars. But since we aren’t really gathering like that, I suppose I can offer a free shot or beer to those who stop by. If you see me — let’s say over the next week or so — I’d be happy to hook you up! Maybe a PBR or a shot of Jameson?


It’s me setting up and bleaching down today, noon till 2, when Zero shows up to take over. It’s also Burning Man Happy Hour, returning for the second “in person” non-Zoom Wednesday. Last week was super chill, with 100% protocol adherence and reservation making. It’s an easy crew since they really understand both safety AND danger. Get in touch if you’d like to book a table out back! There’s a chance of thunderstorms and rain again, so be sure to bring your umbrella. I ordered a couple big ones for the yard and they should arrive by the weekend, just FYI.

Not like I need to tell you but the news of the world continues to be severely depressing. NYC seems properly poised to enter Phase Three but the surges around the country have influenced our progress, so we are stuck in Phase Two. Politics has become more like The Onion — or a sci-fi flick — than reality. And now the US is a global pariah in a global pandemic. It tends to make every day more of a chore than it would be otherwise. And the stress that hovers just below the surface of every interaction, every decision, every move we make, contributes to everyone’s hair-trigger lack of patience. It’s like being in The Stand, Do the Right Thing and The Manchurian Candidate simultaneously. And probably some movie about the Russians, as well, but I can’t think of one off-hand. Love and hugs to everyone who’s going through it — and who isn’t? We ARE going to get through this. We need to stay SMART! It really might wind up being Survival of the Smartest (TM). Use your noodle and love each other! Enjoy your Wednesday, friends!

June 30

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s Summer! High temperatures + high humidity = afternoon thunderstorms. And yesterday that included the most amazing marble-sized hail! Fortunately there weren’t too many people out in the back yard so it was easy to let the three of them shelter for a few minutes while the storm moved on. Today’s weather looks to be a repeat of yesterday’s, so keep that in mind. Get your drink on early — between noon and 3 — or hold off until after 5 or 6 and maybe bring a big umbrella. I’ll be spending the rainy hours continuing my cleaning tear. It’s incredible how quickly city dust accumulates. I’ve been practically drowning in bleach and yesterday I added glass cleaner to my list of inhalants. Yippee!!
Tomorrow our governor will have his say on NYC opening for Phase Three. The general consensus — even without Mr. Nipple Piercings weighing in — is that no one is really ready to dine indoors. The surges in states that reopened, possibly too quickly, are being blamed on bars and restaurants. Cuomo is recommending everyone install a HEPA filter but that assumes people will be using their AC or that their venues are hermetically sealed. The bummer for me is that Lucky has an amazing cross breeze — perfect ventilation — with doors in front and back and fans to move the air even more. I hate using the AC anyway, partly because it costs a fortune but also because we cut our business in half (during normal times) when our doors are closed. The jukebox more easily lures customers in when they’re open. So even though I was planning on limiting my indoor capacity to six customers max, it’s looking like that can’t happen on July 6, as originally planned. I’m fine with it if it keeps people safe, though it seems some people don’t really give a shit about safety. So many seem willing to crowd themselves into bars, cheek by jowl, virus be damned. And some bars don’t seem to care either, packing customers in like livestock. I’d blame stupidity before I’d single out any specific industry. I mean, have a look at this “knucklehead” establishment.
Anyway, it’s been a rollercoaster ride every day since March 15 and it’s showing no signs of slowing. Politics and protests, armchair shrinks and Monday morning epidemiologists battle with the scolders, shamers and scare tacticians. It’s fucking exhausting! And anyone who might’ve considered venturing out now has to face not only this tsunami of stupidity but the culture shock of maskless mobs after not having seen anyone at all for four months. None of this is easy, friends. Sending you love regardless of where you are on the scale of crazy safe to just crazy. Enjoy your Tuesday!
A quick PS: Go check out today’s Google doodle, an adorable Marsha P. Johnson!

June 29

Hello and Happy Monday! That was a fun weekend, with our Carnival and Pride. We had a LOT of balloons! (Thanks to Kitty Dashiell! So festive!) And I think we sold about a thousand frozen pink lemonades! The sound of the blender is an irresistible siren song!
Yesterday, Suzanne and I rode bikes all over the place, running into the March, touring the West Village, and enjoying some outdoor dining. Fortunately our adventures were mostly over prior to the deluge. And what a deluge it was! WOW! The thunder and lightning were RIGHT over Lucky! The smell of rain on hot pavement was deliciously summery. I thoroughly enjoyed it all.
All my gratitude to Z Ero, Alex and Tracie for rockin’ it under less than ideal conditions. Wearing a mask in this humidity isn’t fun. An additional layer of circumstantial stress contributes to the difficulty. I thank my customers, as well, for their patience with our prices, with $1 per drink going to staff for “hazard pay.”
I’m so proud of NY for being smart. Now that the rest of the country (mostly) is being dumb (mostly) and they’re experiencing the surges we saw back in March and April, it is difficult not to savor a bit of schadenfreude. It may have been our density on subways and our streets. It may have been that we were exposed so early, before we knew what was happening or how afraid (or careful) to be. I may have merely been our sheer numbers. But at least when we found out we ACTED. Now the rest of the damn country KNOWS. They SAW what happened here. Yet still they are stubbornly and stupidly forging on ahead, not requiring social distancing or masks be worn indoors, letting people fight it out in the aisles of Trader Joe’s or Starbucks…I just…can’t. It is all so, so disappointing. Bars are bearing the brunt of the blame, too, for the surges, since the optics of people gathering, drinks in hand, makes for better LOOK AT THE STUPID photos, when, in fact, it is so much more. I’m having trouble articulating my level of disillusion. I don’t want to have to close down again. I don’t want to have to be locked down again. I don’t want anyone I love to die. Please, can’t we all work together to make living life both enjoyable AND safe? Hopes and prayers aren’t gonna do it, folks. We need to use our common sense AND our craniums. Cheers to being SMART!