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Posts Tagged ‘Welcome to the Johnsons’

In order to avoid misunderstandings among friends, I recently went back to Royale to perform some scientific inquiry on its ass. In a previous post, I had professed its awesomeness – with due qualifications – and was brutally shut down. Admittedly, I had visited the bar on the worst possible time to go out in New York, Saturday night. This time, I went to Happy Hour – the best light in which to see a drinking establishment – with the express purpose of collecting numerical data, which I would like to share with you.

The basic assertion that I am challenging is that Welcome to the Johnson’s has the best Happy Hour in the five boroughs of New York City. On a ten point scale, I hearby prove that Royale is a strong contender, if not the unquestionable winner. Please find definitions and measurements below the chart.

bar-graph.jpg

DP: Drink Price
As a percentage of hourly pay

DFW: Distance from Work
As a percentage of an hour

C: Crowdedness
As a percentage of the total seats filled in the bar

S: Smell
As a percentage of stink molecules in the air

MV: Music volume
100% = the volume of regular human conversation

AoB: Adorableness of Bartender
As a percentage of ooogie-smoogie-boogums

PoB: Personableness of Bartender
As a percentage of time filled with witty banter

K: Kitchiness
As a percentage of ridiculous things in the bar, like Jenga or family photographs

BS: Bathroom Scariness
As a percentage of bathroom-related nightmares following the drinking session during regular sleeping hours (normally about 13%)

F: Formalness
As a percentage of men present wearing non-ironic ties

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If there’s a lovlier bar than Flatbush Farm, I don’t want to know about it. It’s so classy, it makes Union Hall look like Welcome to the Johnsons. It’s so charming, it makes George Clooney blush. It’s so pretty, it makes sunsets turn to ash and fall out of the sky. It’s so expensive, it makes me perspire.

Flatbush Farm is decorated with perfectly shabby barnyard equipment, has hippie hand soap in the bathrooms and sells organic beer. I think the concept of organic beer is both horrifying and life-affirming. It’s horrifying in that it’s a pussified version of an essentially tough beverage. But it’s kind of life-affirming in that I am an alcoholic vegetarian with a thing for farmers’ markets. It’s like they don’t even pretend that place is not exactly for people like me – except older and with more money.

Last night, they had a fund raiser for some sort of animal shelter and were auctioning kitty-pleasuring gift baskets to insane people who actually try to stuff pets into their tiny New York apartments. Attendees were literally yelping with delight as they bought hundreds of dollars worth of scratching posts and tiny plush mice. “Mr. Muffins is going to be so spoiled,” squealed one woman. Really, that money would be better spent on anti-depressants and a good lint roller.

Aside from how insane rich people in Brooklyn are, this bar is really lovely. You should go check it out. But don’t stay too long because the organic beer will probably melt your brains.

Flatbush Farm
76 St. Marks Ave. at 6th Ave. and Flatbush Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11217

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j-train.gifz-train.gifm-train.gif You pretty much know what you’re getting with the JZM Condom. It’s mostly in Brooklyn, but there’s a quick in and out through Manhattan.

4-train.gif5-train.gif The 4/5 Condom is smooth and efficient. It’ll get you there fast and it hardly ever breaks.

airtrain.gif  The AirTrain Condom is just like all the other condoms, but more expensive, modern and confusing. Give yourself at least two hours per use.

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I’ve recently adopted a Tuesday evening tradition. Well, it’s only been two times now, so maybe it’s more of a Tuesday evening coincidence. It’s something in the spirit of Mardi Gras – revolting hedonism on a Tuesday. This event, which I like to call “Shotdogs,” has everything but the girls gone wild.

The evening starts out at Welcome to the Johnsons, a perfectly divey bar in the Lower East Side in Manhattan (yuck, I know). I’ve been going to this bar for several years now and was something of a regular when I lived in that hood. I was there for the summer when fruit flies had infested the limes and so there was always a fine film of bugs and bug-parts on every drink you ordered. That was when I developed an irrational fear of bar fruit. I’ve witnessed the replacement of the toilet that was once so covered in band stickers, you could hardly tell what you were supposed to do with it. The new one is collecting its own piss stained collection. I’ve been there for brawls between guys who look like they fell out of a Ramones show thirty years ago – replete with blood trickling from their self-pierced safety pin earring holes. Anyway, as pleasant as all that sounds, there is one reason above all that I have been a Welcome to the Johnsons fan for so long: $2 drinks during happy hour (from when you wake up till 9 PM). You must not tell anyone about this. It’s a secret.

At Welcome to the Johnsons, the drinking begins. First, $2 whiskey and gingers. Then the shots. Last night we did a Red Headed Slut, followed by the bartender’s own concoction, Dr. Nut. Then we continue on with the regular drinks. All the while, the conversation gracefully flits from one topic to the other, weaving in nearby patrons and their opinions of The Flaming Lips, March Madness, olive juice, etc.

cupcackeeIn order for the Shotdog participants to remain reasonable, we all have to eat dinner. Dinner is hotdogs from Dash. In my case, vegetarian chili dogs. In other cases, processed meat monstrosities, choked with bacon, Fritos and other wonderful things. But that’s not all. Then come the chips and salsa from Festival Mexican Restaurant (outside of which, some guy drunkenly peed behind a Pathfinder while everyone in the bar watched with horror and glee) and then cupcakes (including one for the bartender) from Sugar Sweet Sunshine. Please keep in mind, I skipped the gym to partake in this madness.

By 9:00, we are all sufficiently bloated and return home to watch American Idol while we mainline salad and try to rehydrate.

Now, I don’t know if this particular evening’s activities can be approximated in our borough. I have a feeling that it is possible, but only in Williamsburg, where girls in leggings and guys in hoodies are a dime a dozen. The real issue here is that while the people at Johnsons and the people in Williamsburg are all disgusting hipsters, the ones at Johnsons are much skeezier. In my mind, this goes a long way. So, until an absurdly underpriced dive bar and an absurdly overpriced hot dog vendor move into my current hood, I think I’ll just keep hitting up the L.E.S for my shotdog fix.

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nyccondom1.jpgAlarmed that some people didn’t know about this, I decided it is essential I throw down a little FYI for the good people of New York City.

NYC is distributing a projected 18 million free, NYC-branded condoms, available all over the place. Right now, the locations look a little Manhattan-heavy, but the other boroughs are well represented. I found some at Welcome to the Johnsons. My roommate found some at those crazy Manhattan clubs.

So, as the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene says, “Get Some.” You know you want New York City all up on your gear.

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