Pardon My Meltdown

Okay, so I wrote this Saturday, during the big Blizzard of 2016. Of course, then I went out into the big blizzard and got blind drunk! Oh my. Anyway, while writing, I was also emailing with one of the other employees from the bar in question and he told me not to post anything about it. He thought it would get the staff in trouble and be negative press, both of which would be bad for him. So I didn’t post it. But I’m torn. I have some pretty strong feelings about this. To solve the problem of bad PR I took out all the names. Some people will know who (and where) I’m referring to. But at least it won’t be as obvious. And hopefully no one will get in trouble.

Last night I experienced a serious meltdown.

I sat down for happy hour at XXX, my favorite bar, a bar I’ve been drinking in since 1986. (No, not steadily. SHUTUP!) The friendly barmaid had my Stella in front of me in moments. But when my date arrived he almost died of thirst. Our barmaid was on the  phone with tech support, struggling with the new POS computer. Eventually his thirst was slaked. Crisis averted. But only temporarily.

When the shift changed, instead of welcoming the acerbic XXX, who would spin vinyl and serve attitude, a willowy young woman wearing an off-the-shoulder shirt asked how we were doing. “You’re not XXX,” I stammered. “No, I’m not,” she smiled. Sensing my distress (and probably picking up on my panic, which evidenced itself as a string of expletives) she offered to buy us a round. Ordinarily that might’ve mollified me. But when she was joined by her co-bartender — A co-bartender? But WHY? The bar isn’t so big it requires two! — I blew my remaining gaskets. The man was wearing a belly shirt. And he had a man bun. A MOTHERFUCKING MAN BUN!

Ladies and gentlemen, I cannot express to you the direness of this situation. Yes, I know the East Village has been changing for years. I’ve watched as the drug dealers and junkies were replaced by bankers and “basics.” I’ve witnessed the high-rises go up on the Lower East Side and waved goodbye as my friends were priced out of their rental apartments. And I’ve mourned every closed dive bar as my property value went up. But this? THIS?

I should’ve seen the writing on the wall. When a “cocktail menu” appeared on the bar, touting muddled drinks. When the number of barstools doubled. When the tablet appeared beside the cash register, glowing annoyingly in our faces. But is NOTHING sacred? I mean, a MAN BUN? So here is my Open Letter to XXX.

Dear XXX,
I’ve been enjoying the ambience of XXX for 30 years. Last night I was sad to see that instead of XXX there were two shiny new faces behind the bar. This upgrade was a painful one. I can sympathize that changes need to be made. I understand that rents go up. But you own half the bars in the neighborhood. I was told you want to make XXX “more like XXX.” Why? Why on earth do you need to make bar A more like bar B? Especially when bar B is only blocks away? Couldn’t you leave just one bar the same? You’ve upgraded upstairs. You’ve created XXX out of a basement. Has XXX been losing money? Those hip, young drinkers you’re making these changes for are fickle. I’ve watched as they pause on the sidewalk, decide to come in, order one Appletini and then move along to the next hot spot. Are the few dollars you make on their one, fleeting transaction that much more valuable than the dozens (and dozens) of dollars I’ve been spending at your bar for the last three decades?
Yes, I know. I can take my business elsewhere. Yes, there are still a few other establishments that remain, like flies captured in amber, unchanged. But your bar is my favorite. Perhaps I’m being overly sensitive (or overly nostalgic) but the message I’m receiving is this: “Fuck off, old people. I don’t want you in my bar.” If that isn’t the intention, perhaps you can tell me why, with all the bars you run, it was necessary to “youthify” the only “neighborhood bar” you had left.
a cranky old broad from the neighborhood <shakes fist>



41 responses to “Pardon My Meltdown

  1. The problem is man buns, vapid liberals who follow trends and the like. They destroy unique and true spots that can keep up with the changing crowds without loosing integrity. I>E> I eat gluten, soy, and peanut free (it sucks) bc I suffer severe consequences with hives and pain if I ingest those things. I eat at Bareburger which caters to this fickle type you mention. Found a bun I could eat and ketchup after years of doing without. Then to make things tangy they changed it ..I stopped spending my money there…..I messaged the owner on instagram……months later …….they brought back the bun not the ketchup………..sometimes the best thing to do is be a patron somewhere else so when their pocket hurts (and it will) they go back to what worked for so long and only modify slightly to be modern without sacrificing dignity and swagger.

  2. We are allowed to have meltdowns sometimes

  3. the employee of the bar in question was wise to advise you not to post anything (as were any of your friends to whom you no doubt lamented this egregious lapse in style and fashion.)

    i believe you missed the “Good Taste” Express, and all credibility, the moment you permanently inked “cunt” on your body. “classy as fuck,” a lovely (washable?) decal, merits honorable mention.

    and before you accuse me of being a troll, or worse, what you opine (or blog), hardly legitimizes it, mister trump.

  4. so you’ll be banning man buns in your bar? puhleeeeze!

  5. so you’ll be paying back Sister Dearest by august.

    at least you got to drink, for a while, at wholesale prices.

    • Well, since you seem to know far more about me than I do about you, anonymous trolling “dude,” I’d like to invite you to out yourself. Which you won’t do, because, well, being an anonymous chickenshit is pretty much the definition of troll. But if you’re that knowledgeable, you should be privy to the amount and terms of the loan. No? Then keep your yap shut.

  6. i only know what i read, abby, and you’ve put everything out there (here.) as such, since you offer your voice–however drunken, and your opinions, however skewed and self-serving–you’ll get back what you give out, even if you don’t like the comment.

    i wish you nothing but success with the bar.

  7. What the heck is a man bun?

    • A bun (hairdo?) on a man.

      • I looked it up, and while its kind of a dopey look, I still wish I had hair enough to do it.
        On the bright side Abby, while the bars you love are changing at least you still have them. Up here in hudson valley they just kind of close.

      • A lot of them here have closed, which is why the changes being implemented here are so upsetting. If the bar were on its last legs, I could better understand. But the owner is very successful (or appears to be) and so many of his/her other bars already cater to the…ummm…more style-conscious.

  8. and this is the end of western civilization as we know it?; the cause of a serious meltdown. oh yeah, you’re tolerant alright.

  9. just doing my part, madam provocateur

  10. I think that anyone who calls themselves “dude” should probably refrain from lecturing other people on their personal choices. That, combined with your lack of capitalization and sporadic punctuation makes you seem unintelligent. If you want your opinions to be taken seriously, you might reconsider your approach.

  11. i shan’t get into the merits of lowercase and grammar with you, melissa, nor my name.

    more silliness.

  12. nope, i’m rather silly myself. i simply choose to call you on your hypocrisy.

  13. see the beginning of the thread.

    • I’m sorry. I am trying to follow you but still don’t understand. I’ve said it wasn’t about style or fashion (or being accepted or acceptable) and it isn’t about me being tolerant or intolerant. The post is about the loss of an era, the changing of a bar that has remained largely unchanged for three decades. It is really, truly not about the man bun. So what hypocrisy are you accusing me of?

  14. you made it about the man bun, i.e.: “The man was wearing a belly shirt. And he had a man bun. A MOTHERFUCKING MAN BUN!” you railed and ranted throughout about the man bun.

    the implied message–your implied message–was about comportment and what was (or wasn’t) acceptable, according to your taste. i brought up your tattoo(s) which some may find equally questionable. therein the hypocrisy.

    you were also, by your own admission, “blind drunk.” you appeared (though i could be wrong) irritated (“…a string of expletives…”) by the shift-change and the two-person bar staff. neighborhoods change, clientele change, new york bars change…. on something as simple as the owner’s whim. they need to pay the rent.

    when you own your bar you can do whatever you please. when you can’t pay your rent you’ll change as well. if you don’t you’ll be out of business…quicker than you can say “man bun.”

    • The “blind drunk” happened the day of the blizzard. Read the post again to see that. The change was between the acerbic XXX and man with man bun. Go on with you bad selves, man bun wearers. Just don’t wear them bartending at my favorite bar. Not because of fashion, style or taste (I’m repeating myself here) or “comportment.” I’m all about bad taste! Tacky, cunty, bitchy, overdone and all that. My tattoo has NOTHING to do with this conversation. I don’t understand why you would even bring it up. I am talking about a shift in demographics, NOT STYLE OR TASTE! Sheesh. And as for this particular bar owner needing to change with the times, they don’t. They are making money hand over fist.

  15. who gives a rat’s ass what anyone is wearing! (apparently you do which is why i brought up your tattoos.)

    unless i’m mistaken, you’ll be in the bar business to make money. how you do this you’ll figure out, just as the bar you cite has done. why begrudge him his success? i strongly doubt he needs you to tell him about his business, especially if he is making money hand over fist.

    it should happen to you.

  16. Abby, whether you choose to see it or not, “Dude” has a point just as you have a point. Your initial post is not as clear as you may think given that you refer to the bar as “XXX” as well as the bartender as “XXX” and you go on at length about the dreaded “man bun.” It is not clear when you were “blind drunk,” and how that impacted your perception of the bar, bartender, or changing bar scene. In fact the secondary theme–part of your continued rant– seemed to be about the demographics and the changing bar scene.

    I think “Dude” gets it quite well. I’m not so sure you do.

    • Laura, ol’ buddy, ol’ pal! I was wondering when you’d be weighing in!
      Firstly, let me quote, again, for both you and “dude,” the reference to being “blind drunk” (which, by the way, is NEVER the state I blog in…just a quick FYI):
      “Okay, so I wrote this Saturday, during the big Blizzard of 2016. Of course, then I went out into the big blizzard and got blind drunk!”
      Get that? I wrote the blog post BEFORE I went out into the blizzard, during which I got blind drunk. I was NOT “blind drunk” at the bar with the man bun man. Read it again for clarity. M’kay?
      You are correct. I was not totally clear in my post that the “rant” was less about the perceived fashion faux pas that is the “man bun” (a matter of opinion, obviously, and one I hold…the fashion irks me, but I digress) as it was about the (now numerous) changes made to a bar that has been — and continues to be — a successful establishment. Upgrades are nice. Not necessary (as is evident by the many still-successful bars that haven’t changed a thing, i.e. Milano’s) but nice. When they alienate their loyal customers, they grate. Especially in a neighborhood that has been experiencing so many, many changes, most of which seem geared to please the fickle, fleeting customers I mention.
      “dude” (small “d”) doesn’t seem to grasp that I am more concerned with the continual “youthification” and alienation than I am with fashion, style or taste. His referencing my “cunt” tattoo (twice) shows me that he feels the need to point out how tasteless and unfashionable (or whatever) I am in order to make his point. I AM tasteless. I couldn’t care less about fashion! (I’m more interested in style. If you haven’t seen the documentary “Advanced Style,” check it out. It’s really great.)
      As for whether or not I “get it,” um, I most definitely get it. We’re talking about MY blog post. I get it because I write it.
      Which leads me to a question my friends and I have been asking each other that perhaps you can help answer, Laura:
      Why would someone who doesn’t know me, or even appear to like me, keep wasting their time reading my blog? We are baffled.

  17. That’s an easy answer. You have followers of all stripes–people who pay attention to your writing for whatever reason (take it as flattery). If Dude chooses to respond positively or negatively it is merely in response to some thing you’ve said. He seems to be polite and hasn’t engaged in name-calling. It appears to these eyes that he merely wants to call you on your shit–that nobody else seems to do. You don’t have to agree (you obviously don’t) but you’ve made concessions here that you didn’t do with him.

    • Really? Concessions? I guess I just spent a few more minutes explaining myself. (I am now behind an actual keyboard as opposed to my phone.) I’d pointed out that he had the “blind drunk” moment wrong and that I was talking about change and not fashion.
      Anyway, thank you for your patience with me. I still don’t quite understand why ANYONE follows me…most especially people who don’t know me. But I guess I’ll be grateful for the attention! Hah!

  18. The bar is 2A! Obviouslee!

  19. 2A?! my god!, this is the biggest revelation since mark felt came out as “deep throat!” but you knew that, right melissa? (abby too?) how will any of you be able to show your faces!

  20. Give it a rest. Abby, you hardly have a monopoly on sarcasm. Write on, and ignore him.

  21. Pingback: Tinder…But No Sparks | Welcome to My Words!

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