Drier Run

11 08 2009

City: New York
Bar: KGB (www.kgbbar.com)
Book: My trusty eReader, with a sci-fi manuscript

The first group effort didn’t exactly go as planned. Two other ladies ventured out with me, but the timing may have been a little off. I think we now recommend you don’t wait till too late in the evening to go, especially after a long day at work. Because then the one or two glasses of whatever put you to sleep, and it’s a little hard to attract lively conversation if you find your left eye drooping. I went to KGB, a bar in the East Village I’ve gone to before; it tends to attract a literary-type crowd since it hosts various readings on a regular basis. But upon arrival, I was one of three people, the other two belonging to a couple engaged in awkwardly intimate conversation. When the couple left, another young female type showed up and sat down to read a magazine on the other side of the room. Then a young male type showed up and stormed to the bar at top speed to order a G&T. The three of us sat there, all facing different directions, not talking. Eventually friends arrived up to keep the girl company, commenting on how solemn it seemed in there. Like a library mayhaps? And the fellow rushed out at an awkward tilt (it was quite odd how aggressive he was about his drink, when he just sat there alone sipping it for twenty minutes). Perhaps he was late for a rabbit hole. I just stayed to finish my one drink, then met up with my lady friend. The other lady friend called it a night and went home before meeting up; she fell victim to wine’s soporific effects. We rendez-vous’ed at Donnybrook, a nice little place that I recommend for the post-Read debrief (aside: make sure to avoid kissing drunken Irishmen there because you’ll have to hole up in the bathroom for twenty minutes). Fortunately my friend’s bar had been much livelier than mine, but her report should be up soon, so I won’t go into details.

Parts of my problem for me were the bar (too dark library vibe), the season (summer, bartender said everybody’s gone), and the time (post happy-hour, pre-binge Thursday night). I won’t be venturing to KGB to read again, and may in fact revisit Revival next time to reinvigorate my conversing hopes. And because the men there seemed to walk at normal speeds.

Readability: 2
Beer on tap: 0
Conversation possibilities: 1
Cute bartender: not of my persuasion


Dry Run

2 08 2009

Though the first official Bar Read is set for next week, I found myself with some time to kill and figured I should take this on a test drive. I’d feel a little guilty if I led troops to slaughter without realizing. I chose Revival, a casual bar with a pub-like atmosphere and an upstairs seating area that has decent lighting and lots of comfy couches. I grabbed a beer, slipped off my shoes, and curled up with my book. It was a little tricky, trying to pay attention to the book, meanwhile tracking every guy within twenty feet who wasn’t paired up with a girl. You really must turn down the guydar if you’re going to be satisfied with just reading. Otherwise you may find yourself quite verklempt if no attention is granted.

I did discover something helpful. Some guys don’t think to make that first move toward conversation unless you make yourself known to them. So should you ladies find yourself seated near a fellow who strikes your fancy and hasn’t made eye contact, ask him to watch your valuables while you go to the bathroom. Make sure to place your book prominently! If he’s at all sociable or interested, when you return it’ll go like this:

Girl – Thanks for watching my stuff.
Boy – No problem. What’re you reading?

Simple, no? If he doesn’t give a permutation of that response, he’s probably a little too self-absorbed or a little too distant, and not at all what you’re looking for. But attempted in the proper circumstances, this method has great potential. I found myself in a lovely tete-a-tetes with the Brothers Adorable. Admittedly, the one I felt a connection with (he teaches Greek and Latin to junior high kids, *sigh*) said something about a girlfriend at one point. And no contact info was exchanged when they headed out, though Bro 2 gave me a copy of the literary journal he works on (close but no cigar, son). Perhaps too awkward to ask for a number in front of your brother? Perhaps Bro 2 is attached, too? At any rate, Reminder To Self #1 — not every Read will end with a phone number and a date. Reminder #2 — you can offer your info, too. All things considered, a fairly successful foray.

Results, scale of 1-5:
Readability (lighting, noise level, seating): 5
Beer on tap: 4
Conversation possibilities: 4
Cute bartender: 5

*Note: results vary depending on day of the week and time of day.