Give me a drink and I’ll shut up

Just another Tuesday in the city....

Last week was a rough one.  There’s nothing like a cocktail to ease the stress and pain of life in the big city — on a Tuesday.  Happy hour is not the norm for me. Usually, I am content with a glass or two of red wine in my New York apartment. But today, I needed a different scene. I texted my husband and we met at 6 pm.
 
Reif’s Tavern, established 1942 was the place.  It was a warm day for the end of February and the drink of choice was an ice-cold beer. PBRs are only $2 until 7 p.m., every day. That’s the New York deal of the century.
 
We grabbed our glasses and headed for the backyard. We came to this bar when we explored the Yorkville neighborhood, even before we lived in Manhattan. I loved it then, and I love it now. The fire escapes from surrounding buildings hover over the outdoor cement space, and in the summer months, clotheslines hang between the tenements. It takes me back in time.
 
Today, there was a surprise visitor crawling up one of the garbage cans. It was approximately 12″ long, not including the tail. No need to elaborate. I felt the immediate desire to drink my beer inside the bar.
 
We snatched two seats. There were only a few regulars. The bartender was Ray, and he was just as sweet as they come.  The song playing was “New York, New York” by Sinatra. “I Love New York, and I’ll never leave,” Ray commented as he sang the lyrics.  “I’ve lived here my whole life and I still love it.” He was born and raised in Spanish Harlem and now lives near the tavern at 92nd and 2nd Avenue. He is a full-timer at Reif’s.
 
There were a couple of women too. Lynne, who works for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, had consumed a few before we arrived. She’s proud of her $1,100 per month rent for an apartment a few blocks away. I get a charge out of rent-stabilization stories in Manhattan, especially considering the price I pay (as a newbie) for 900 square feet. Why didn’t I move here in 1990?
 
The character of the night was a gentleman named “Too Tall.” I’ll guess that he was awarded the nickname because he’s just that — too tall.  Never did get his real name. He was about 6 feet 4 inches with messy white hair, a mustache, and a rather rough looking face, but a gentle demeanor. He sat quietly, drinking his poison, as the ruckus went on around him.
 
This was a wild and colorful bunch. They went to breakfast the previous weekend, then partied for hours but had no bar tab.  Or maybe they just didn’t remember.
 
From Sinatra to Axel Rose to Springsteen, the music ranges like the ages. All are welcome at Reif’s.
 
Ray started mixing kamikazes on the house and we had a few, but we just can’t handle them like we used to. We guzzled the last sips by 8, and our heads were still throbbing on Wednesday morning. What happened to the days of closing the bar and waking up at 7?
 
Our next visit to this 70-year-old establishment, or another divey drinking post in Manhattan should not be on a school night. But then again, Tuesdays can be rough in the big city.

For more, follow me on Twitter or on Tracy’s New York Life.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Deron Williams leads Nets over Raptors in Game…

The Nets traveled to a raucous Air Canada Centre but came out with an important Game 1 victory over the Raptors.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.