The thing that did me in, that thing that did me completely in, is really not surprising, considering that the suggestion on the table was to go to a bar where we were to be served shots with pickle juice. Not every original idea is a good idea, right? Only in the land where the Deli is King can this even draw a crowd. I should have responded with at least some hesitance, perhaps even outright refusal, but you see, I hadn’t been out for a while and guess I forgot to bring my already poorly honed risk management techniques as well as my unflappable thesaurus, which would have surely signaled a response with the word â€œyuck,â€ â€œthat’s bound to get ugly,â€ or â€œwow kid, bad idea,â€ because my head simply didn’t register too much negative press upon hearing the offer. Instead, I hurried our tiny group of three along, falling into character as provided by the narrative on the human condition where the protagonist unwittingly rushes to his or her own demise.
There are a few bars that come to mind tapering in this form of witchery, e.g., The Rusty Knot in the West Village, but we arrived to The Randolph in the East Village. It was crowded, so I couldn’t tell what the inside space looked like except that it was big, yet sort of intimate, with a long bar. I felt like a quasi-dive-ish, energetic atmosphere, or maybe that just comes with me. Should I call it a hipster scene? I should really provide a disclaimer when writing about New York because I don’t want to offend real hipsters or people who or not hipsters that only appear like hipsters to me, but, you know, people were wearing flannel, and I was wearing flannel, and people were responding positively to that choice, so it was like that, but a bit more swanky, e.g., some leather jackets. Another thing to note about the place was that if you went downstairs to the bathroom you saw what appeared to be something like a boiler room that had been converted into a cigarette-smoking hangout with couches and the like, nearly a carbon print of the layout to your friend’s boyfriend’s basement in college. I nearly sat down and played a game of caps.
Back up the stairs and to the kryptonite that had been ordered on my behalf. I was hesitant upon seeing the Pickle Back, or a shot of Jameson Irish Whiskey accompanied by a second filled with a light greenish juice. Randolph’s boasts a whole menu featuring a variety of such juices. My hesitance was silenced by the chant of the popular peer pressure slogan: â€œWhen in Wherever!â€ First shot went down as expected, grossly, and so I could not resist the possibility that the pickle juice might help me get over it faster. And to my solid surprise it did fairly well in cleaning up the previous shot’s rampage. So I took another, and another for good measure, and then even took one that was offered to me by another group grappling with their own hesitant lady friends. I am telling you, it really mixed quite well together at the time, salt covers burning alcohol, a negative times a negative equals a positive, etc.
I didn’t think much more of the shots, or of much else, until the next day. The next day, as it would normally have it, did not forget me. I was in the Hurt Locker. Ghostland surrounded me. My hearing was muted, all senses shocked. I wrestled with phantom demons. Slimers burst from the cage of my diaphragm as I compressed muscles that were much better for talking, typing, drinking coffee, or sleeping. We all know the only true Ghostbusters in the case of a Hangover is Time, the most poorly managed reserve troops of them all.
Still, I think Randolph’s is a fairly cool place, and I’ll go again, but I hear they have a good drink selection outside the Pickle Back, and this time I am only taking a green shot if its Yerba or Green Tea. Oh, hold on, wait a minute, yup, now that’s an idea for a bar, Whiskey Smoothieâ€¦! Put it on the board.
349 Broome Street (Between Bowery and Elizabeth Street)
New York, NY 10013