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Brews You Can Use

Incredibly busy week. I unwound last night with my favorite simple concoction (tonic and New Amsterdam gin) for two hours, giving me a mild hangover this morning, but it's alright. I needed to blow the dust off (a client's term for getting rip-roaring drunk), but I settled for just wiping down the counter a bit.

My mint is in. The stuff is nearly invasive, but I like it. It makes my backyard smell great, and I can easily hoe it back, and it makes my Mojitos excellent. I'll probably get the rum out tomorrow night and have a few with my eldest, Alex, who is coming home for Mother's Day.

I've long been a fan of dive bars and the jukebox.

I probably take after my father, who once camped out in a quiet northern Michigan bar for hours on a weekday afternoon with his brother-in-law, repeatedly playing "Seven Spanish Angels," until the barmaid threatened to unplug the damn thing. So I was greatly interested when I saw this essay at The Atlantic: Digital Jukeboxes Are Eroding the Dive-Bar Experience. It's a lengthy piece, and I haven't had a chance to read all of it but it looks good. Excerpt:

On either side of economic crisis, dive bars traffic in fantasy. The supposed relic of Americana purity still exists in solidly ethnic neighborhoods and across the massive rural swaths of this country. Dive bars are romantic like pickup trucks are romantic, cherished as a symbol for a certain national way of life presumed to be fading. The fakes capitalize on this rosy vision, trotting out yellowed baseball memorabilia and putting American lagers front and center (never mind that that lager will run you $6). In turn, these icons have begun to suggest something different than what they previously stood for. The distinct blue and yellow of an Old Style sign, for example, was once a beacon for a certain kind of chill, affordable, neighborhood establishment, and sometimes still is. But now, it might also hang outside the type of bar where one would only order Old Style ironically, but more likely not at all.