Drinking Alone Doesn’t Have to be Sad

New School Free Press
Written by me, Lilly O’Donnell, and Aidan Gardiner
Monday, February 14th, 2011

A lot of people are under the unfortunate impression that if you’re alone it can’t possibly be by choice.
You see this logic applied on a large scale in every rom-com ever made, but all too many people also apply it to daily activities as basic as having a drink. Drinking isn’t a tango; it doesn’t take two (I can lift a glass to my face on my own, thank you), but nonetheless, if you go to a bar alone there’s an automatic assumption that you don’t intend to leave alone.
That means that if you actually do just want to enjoy a beverage and aren’t looking to be picked up, you have to find somewhere where everyone else around has given up on pairing up; somewhere where everyone’s too busy wallowing to notice you.
Odessa Bar: 119 Avenue A
Dingy and attached to a Polish diner, Odessa Bar is the perfect place to go to be left alone. The grandma’s house decor and faint kielbasa smell create an atmosphere so blatantly un-sexy  that hooking up is far from the forefront of anyone’s mind.
The clientele consists mostly of neighborhood people and rif raf from Tompkins Square, all too happy to completely ignore a young person wandering in, seemingly by mistake.
Flannery’s: 205 W. 14th St.
Flannery’s is an Irish bar in the sense that you are likely to end up with your arm around someone you’ve never met singing songs loudly while other drunks cheer you on. It’s very open, with a long bar and booths lining the walls of the open floor at the farther end. It’s the kind of place where you can be alone and stare into the unblinking eye of an empty glass, if that’s your thing, or make a new friend if your crippling loneliness has finally driven you to unexplored social pursuits.
The bartenders are surly until you get to know them. The clien
tele ranges from bitter old men to young Ugg-wearing college girls looking for a local bar with a little Journey in it. Flannery’s mixes grimy sadness with jovial sociability into what defines the Irish spirit.
Lady Jay’s 633 Grand St., Brooklyn
Lady Jay’s is the type of bar that you can only really go to during the week. On those nights it’s pretty calm and you can chat with the bartenders or sit there listening to the jukebox (which is great).
The wooden, warm interior with awkward street sign decoration feels as if it could be your friend’s basement and something about that makes it okay for you to be sitting there contemplating your day and sipping whiskey. Though, on Thursdays it transforms into a mess of people who want to get laid and the air of desperation is disheartening.

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