The New York Log – No. 4: About American Bars

Our German guest-editor, writing about his experiences in New York City, returns with this Log about what makes bars special. Well, read more after the jump. As always: it’s more than entertaining…

If there’s one thing that’s makes living in NYC worthwhile it’s the bar scene. A bar that includes a mechanical bull and seems like out of a cartoon version of Texas? Check. A bar including an indoor miniature golf course? Check. A bar that has no sign outside, but is just laid and chill on the inside? Check. A bar where an elder eastern European woman is bartending and sometimes telling people off, if they drink too much? Check. A bar that has as much arcade games as a small 80’s arcade? Check.

Sitcoms aren’t wrong. Bars are the center of life in NYC. Sometimes I miss Germany where I can just leave my apartment, a bottle of beer in my hand, and hang out with friends in the park, drinking. In the US this would be illegal. At first I thought this was just horrible. But now I see the advantages of it. Since people aren’t allowed to drink pretty much anywhere else, they meet up at bars. You can walk into a bar at 4pm and people will be there.

In Germany a bar is pretty much a place where you and your friends drink. New York’s bars are more like a playground for people 21 and up. You can have unhealthy but really tasty bar food, there are board games, TV sets with (mostly) sports on them, skee-ball, beer pong tables, jukeboxes and significantly fewer seats than in German bars. Pretty much everything is made in a way that facilitates meeting new people. What Europeans know as clubs and discos are not as common in New York as people think. People like to go to bars that are a cheaper and more down to earth alternative to clubs. Plus there’s music, sometimes even live and people can dance if they want to in the middle of a bar.

I even learned to appreciate 4AM curfew. While in Germany people stay in their apartments pre-gaming til almost midnight (I heard that in the hipster central called Berlin people even wait until 8AM to go out, which sounds like a children’s party to me), New Yorker’s go out at a time where in the summer it’s still nice out, friends can have dinner together and all the trains are running regularly. And since you go home at 4AM the latest you lose significantly less days being hungover and feeling sorry for yourself since you got enough sleep and day left to breathe some fresh air.

All parts of our series here


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