The Thanksgiving Bar Crawl: A Crotchety Old Grouch’s Tale

From Hari L Rata, Flickr Creative Commons

To most people between the ages of 19- and 30-years-old and under, Thanksgiving is the holiday when everyone you went to high school with comes home and make it absolutely impossible to get into the local bars. In my day, we went to Hartford and stood in line outside the Pig’s Eye, and froze our asses off until we gave up and started moving down the line of bars until one had room for us. Now, at least in Glastonbury, you go to one of the 4 bars in town. I know this because just as I was finally sitting down on Thanksgiving Eve after a long day in the office and then prepping with my mom for the next day’s big meal, I got a phone call. It was already 10 o’clock, and because I’m 30 I now don’t like to do anything other than watch Murder She Wrote after 9 o’clock.

But I was informed that a couple of old friends who aren’t around much were out and about in Glastonbury and so I showered and waited for David to arrive. We headed off to Plan B which is a big enough shit show on your average weekend night to keep me away. In my experience, unless you’re going to eat and get a table, going to Plan B will result in standing should to shoulder with people you’ve never met, occasionally getting someone else’s hair in your mouth as they try to move past you in the crowd, and you elbowing a dude-bro in the ribs in a quest to get a beer at the bar. Luckily, Plan B seems to know this and so they set up a makeshift bar right at the entrance where you could get beer and shots. I was in more of a whiskey mood but I settled for a Bud Light in the interest of my sanity. Of course, the Bud Light didn’t help because the music was so loud (there was an actual DJ because apparently that’s necessary on a Thursday night in a  restaurant) I found myself griping like 90-year-old.

And to top it all off, our friends had moved upstairs to the new bar which I think is called Rooftop 120. David and I, having climbed and descended 7 flights of stairs multiple times a day for a month while we lived in a shithole apartment in Brooklyn when we were much younger, have give up on stairs. So instead we waited for the world’s slowest elevator which also happens to let you off in front of the most God-awful mural I have ever seen in my life. I don’t know who the five or six people depicted in the mural are, but I can only assume they are the owners as they appear to be dressed in GAP clothing while lounging around in tromp’loi Hell.

Be prepared, this bar is a labyrinth and a lot like my last two apartments in that its buried in the eves and overhangs with tables nestled in the corners and a very long bar. The bar’s most redeeming feature is the huge deck with fire pits. Everyone loves a good firepit. But our friends were once again getting ready to move on, so we didn’t get a drink. Instead we headed to Hannafin’s, the new Irish pub in the old Parma. This time, because we were now with a group, we didn’t have much choice but to descend the stairs and a flight in front of us I saw the only two people I recognized from high school (other than my friends) all night. I assume this means we are now too old to be doing this shit, and next Thanksgiving I’ll be drinking at a deserted dive bar with all the old cool kids.

Hannafin’s was, as expected, also packed. But instead of a DJ there was a band playing Dave Matthew’s Band and Garth Brooks covers. Normally I love “I Got Friends in Low Places” as much, if not more, than the next person but Dave Matthews Band in the presence of anyone I knew in high school sends me into a blind rage.

Luckily no one else wanted to be there either and so we went to the Diamond. This is where our generation has gotten drunk before and after high school reunions for years. It was busy but not packed. I walked right up to the bar, ordered a couple of beers, and then sat down at a table–and we all know that after the age of 28, tables are important. This, though, is where our bar crawl ended. And frankly, I’m grateful for that because I can’t sleep much past 9 a.m. anymore, and staying out too late really make my life miserable. And my mother had warned me that she’d be over at 10 a.m. to stuff the turkey and put that sucker in the roasting pan.