Drinking Alone: Why You Should Scope Out Your Local Night Scene, Solo

“What do you mean you went to a bar alone?”

The question came from a friend while I was living in Los Angeles. We were catching up over the phone, and as she was still in Buffalo with a plethora of friends and going out buddies, it didn’t occur to her that I didn’t know someone 3,000 miles from home after being in Southern California for less than two weeks.

“I had a few drinks. I walked to a bar. Then I entered. Alone,” I replied.

Sure, I felt a little weird doing it. We all know those seemingly creepy people that seem to lurk around bars and pubs by themselves, but I suppose like anything, it is just a stereotype. I did it a few times and not surprisingly, I made a few friends. My second time going out, I met a bunch of kids from the University of Southern California, and the week after that, a few more people. While those relationships didn’t really evolve into much, it did lead to meeting others that ultimately lead to friendships. But, it had me wonder; why is there such a stigma of doing things by ourselves?

Now, I’m not just talking about going to bars, because yes, it is slightly awkward; especially in cities like Los Angeles and New York. It seems as if our generation was raised with the mentality of doing things as a group, such as going to the mall, getting dinner in the dining hall, attending dances in high school, and going to extra circular activities.  I recall various conversations while growing up, such as, “can you please go with me to the mall? I don’t want to go alone. Pleeeeeeeeease?”

Of course, I believe it’s stemmed in not only our upbringing, but our use of technology, various “friends” on social networks, and the interconnected myths that a lot of friends make you popular and if you are constantly on the phone or texting, you must be something important. Please note that I said "myths."

This past Wednesday, I met up with friends after work for an event near New York's Union Square. After, I walked down to the East Village to see an ex-boyfriend's band play, which was a cool experience. While dating, the only time I got to hear him play was when I was running late in the morning getting ready for work, but that’s neither here nor there. While walking to the subway, I heard one of my favorite songs, “Good,” by Better Than Ezra, coming from inside of a bar on the corner. I poked my head in and walked over to the bartender.

“Awesome. I love 90’s music.” I said.

“Then I guess it’s your lucky day. He just started and he’s playing until around 11:30.” He replied.

I glanced around the bar.  Everyone was in pairs or with groups of people.

“I’ll have a crown and coke, please.”

I stayed for the next two hours, and although I’ve been in New York for a little over two months, I can honestly say that it was one of the best nights I had in the city. 

We all know that I love bars, so make sure to check out Reasons You Should Go To A Dive Bar.

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Jeffrey Hartinger

Jeffrey is a graduate of Canisius College. He works at a nonprofit organization in Manhattan and writes freelance. You can visit his website at www.thewhygenerationusa.blogspot.com. He has a strong interest in politics, comedy, and music, in addition to using his writing to educate and entertain.

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