This time, featuring BEER! WINE! SPIRITS! 

Day Four, I think, of the temporary SoPo district of New York City; South of the Power.

It hasn’t been that bad now that I’ve come to recognize the fact that there are so many others like me with just a dollar and twenty-five cents in their wallet. Not that a single dollar has any value anymore. Currently, many establishments have felt the need to raise the prices on typically cheaper items. For whatever reason, I imagine the mass exodus of the powerless crowding their checkout counters for supplies or hot food just isn’t enough. They feel the need to raise prices, too. Now, a Crif Dog hot dog is six dollars instead of four, and a pack of double A batteries is fifteen instead of five. it’s fucked. Whatever. ‘It’s New York City’. 

Granted, if a place just happens to be blasting Phoenix out of a radio and consistently serving cold cans of beer, I suppose the overpriced cans of Tecate and Modelo ($5)can be overlooked. Such was the case over at Bua Bar on a Thursday night. Unscented and scented candles alike keep the wooden and brick alcove illuminated in vanilla, amber glow. Cool cans crunch as patrons and the migratory flock gulp down their first or twentieth beer since the storm left them in the dark. Others bounce their heads to the live band as they roll and light up the excess paper that was just before scavenged for in their pockets.

Candles in the cups I used to drink out of.

Bua Bar impressed me in that it brought about a fighting, retaliating force to the power outage. Namely, they were totally cool with putting candles into the beer glasses I was drinking out of a couple weeks before. At first, I was worried when thinking about how the hell they were gonna get all the wax out. But then I figured, they probably don’t care at this point, why should I?

After Bua Bar, it came to some Maker’s Mark, and a couple smokes on the fire escape overlooking Tompkins Square Park. Just over the shadowed canopy of its trees, the penthouse suites of The Edge over in Williamsburg illuminated brightly in red and blue neon. Here though, in the East Village, the darkness is overwhelming and the cherry of my American Spirit redefines romanticism.

The next morning, after a boiled pot of coffee, I set to the West Village. A little over halfway there, around Astor Place and Lafayette, I came across the famous Waffles and Dinges Cart serving free waffles, thanks to JetBlue. My phone had died, so I couldn’t take any pictures, but, my God. That was beyond delicious. Gooey and moist waffle topped with sticky, oozing gingerbread spread. Mountains of Whipped Cream coated in powered sugar snow. After my third bite, I laughed in overwhelming glee. It was beyond words. Well, at least, the words I just used to describe it just now. 

Finally, heading back towards my powerless apartment to fulfill some RA duties, I came across a modern marvel of the New World.

Bottom words read, ‘OR CREDIT.’ Lord.

ladies and gentlemen, that’s the Casa Oliveira Wines and Liquors, and they are open every day until six P.M. Yeah, they take cash. But oh, by the way, THEY TAKE CREDIT. 

Bless this mess.

I squealed and embraced the air in between me and the front doors as I rushed in. I bought my bottle of red. I purchased my bottle of white. I wish I could smack the shit out of the five-day-ago version of me who figured that people were joking when they said that liquor was essential in times of a blackout. Smack. The. Shit. 

New York City never ceases to amaze me. It could be miserable. People can be cheap. Hurricanes can blow all the leaves off all the trees and rid us of an entire season. But if you give it time, the City will ultimately show you that there are some places still taking debit cards. It’s a materialistic kind of optimism, absolutely, and probably an offsetting parable. But for now, for today, that’s cool. I’ve figured it’s better off to be called out on romanticizing materialistic tendencies, or realize it, rather than to go on, powerful and powered, blissfully unaware of how so goddamned dependent we are on an infrastructure built and monitored by those who probably couldn’t stand to afford a $5 can of beer or $6 hot dog. All in all, I suppose, it’s humbling.



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