Where the Beers and the Jeers Flow Freely

Neighborhood Joint

A series of articles profiling favorite local haunts.
What’s your neighborhood joint?

New Year’s Eve 2008. My boyfriend and I are at our local bar in Brooklyn. He is drinking a pint of Smithwick’s, and I am nursing a Jameson, neat. I take small sips, and the bartender eyes me. Cheap date, I am.

We are exhausted from the holidays, so the only celebration we can muster is the two-block walk to Shenanigans on Caton Avenue, where a weathered Irish flag flutters at full staff.

This being the New Year’s Eve, some of the regulars are sparkled up. Glasses clink, and someone yells epithets at Ryan Seacrest’s pretty-boy visage on the television. This is not a pretty-boy crowd; it is middle-aged, leathery, wise in the ways of a Brooklyn separate from the preciousness of Park Slope. Its welcome is not to shake your hand, but to bust your chops. It looks askance at the young people who trickle in, newcomers to the neighborhood who are eager for cheap beer. So we stay at our end of the bar.
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