For some reason the question of “babies in bars” really puts a burr in some people’s knickers, so when the Fort Greene beirgarten Der Schwarze Kölner, started offering playgroups for parents with kids, the NYTimes wrote a piece in “The Local” blog called “The Dos and Don’ts of Babies and Bars.”
After the obligatory barrage of comments saying children don’t belong in bars, I thought, “Why do they care?” What ever happened to live and let live? Is a mothers’ group chatting with their infants really interfering with the hardcore alcoholics slowly killing themselves? My general attitude is if an establishment wants to be friendly to parents (usually during the dead Noon to 5pm doldrums) it is their prerogative, and would behoove them financially in bedroom communities like Fort Greene and Park Slope.
But since The New York Times brought it up, in their incredibly offensive and condescending way, here is my
Dos and Don’ts of the Young and Childless in Bars.
Try to find an establishment that caters to you: If you are gay or a minority or young or old, make sure you only go to an establishment that caters to your “kind.” Going to a bar that doesn’t might offend the clientelle.
Choose carefully: You do not want to find yourself at a bar that is playing Bryan Adams in a non-ironic way, or find yourself in Jackie’s 5th Amendment a very uncomfortable conversation with a gentleman demanding to know what elementary school you went to, in order to derive your Brooklyn pedigree.
When in doubt, call ahead: While some bars are filled with bitter, bigoted alcoholics, some are local meeting places were people can have a drink and a conversation and you want to avoid those at all costs.
Find your niche: Try not to mix with people who aren’t like you, maybe find a nice
ghetto corner set apart from everyone else.
Don’t bring your giant backpack or rolling luggage that you think is appropriate to carry with you all times: Bars are small enough as it is without having to navigate a baggage carousel to get to the bar. Here’s a hint, if you aren’t at an airport bar, leave the luggage at home.
Plan an exit strategy: Please imbibe as much as you wish, pull a Dylan Thomas for all I care, but if you can’t puke or can’t stand, its time to take it outside.
Any other suggestions? Or do you think the childless should simply keep out of the bars? Please weigh in below.
BTW- I’m guessing its just youth hubris when people write “I work at a bar…and we are all secretly hating you and your kids.” Well, I don’t hate you, because I was you, and in all reality, you will be the one at least considering bringing you child to a bar in 10 years. Here’s the thing, most people will become parents, and we were all once children, so I don’t know where all the hate comes from. But when you are 25, you think that is the way life is, and it will always be.