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A Shot and a Beer with Statler and Waldorf

May 10, 2012

While there are a myriad of moments where ordering a shot and a beer are appropriate, there is nothing like the solo stop off at the bar. It may sound weird to some, but one of the things I was most excited about when I hit the working world years ago, was dining alone on travel. I used to work at a French Restaurant connected to a boutique hotel in Wayne, PA and was always so intrigued by the solo guests, sitting at the bar, digging into a martini and a rib-eye. I’m not much of a martini drinker, but I certainly don’t mind a good rib-eye.

But as a replacement for the vodka or gin, a shot and a beer has always been my go-to. The back and forth, sip by sip, experience that the shot and a beer provides is like no other. Plus, when you are dining or drinking alone, there is something kind of inviting about the combination. Some of the most interesting (sure, and also some of the most bizarre) conversations can occur when you are the bar by yourself. So whether with the bartender, or with some other patrons, you’ll want to give off a vibe of normalcy. I’ve always found that the shot and the beer provides this.

This past Friday, for example, I hit up Tracks in Penn Station, before heading out to Long Island to prepare for our Derby party. Tracks is one of my favorite NY spots because it is always filled with characters. The extremely long bar is packed with folks waiting for their trains, and I’ve starting making a point to arrive about 25 minutes early for my take-off to make just enough time for one round. After my Guinness and Jameson arrived, almost immediately on cue, the two old ladies next to me got me engaged. While I’m sure my ridiculous good looks had something to do with it, they were more interested in chatting about their day visiting the big city. It may have only been 15 minutes or so but they were pretty hysterical. Like Statler and Waldorf, they had a great back and forth rapport that I couldn’t help but get a kick out of. As I sipped my drinks, timing my departure perfectly with six minutes to spare, I hoped that there was another shot and a beer waiting for me on that train. There wouldn’t be. So with one final slug of the Jameson and one final crack by Statler (or maybe it was Waldorf), I made a point to appreciate yet another great solo experience with a shot and a beer. It was a good train ride.

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