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In Defense of Joba Chamberlain, Cornhusker

Say you’re a famous New York Yankee pitcher, pulled over for suspected DWI in fucking Nebraska. While it helps that you’re actually from Nebraska, you haven’t been around much in recent years, and maybe the troopers will think you’ve gotten a little big for your britches and may decide you were so drunk that you fell down a flight of stairs despite their best efforts… so you play the native son: you joke with the cornhuskers about how people in New York don’t believe in “opening a door and saying please and thank you.” Maybe you know it’s bullshit; maybe you have no idea, having been insulated from anyone but teammates and groupies since you got here. Doesn’t matter, that shit always goes down a treat with the locals. And if you can tell them that in real life Yogi’s really short, so much the better. Yogi will understand. Sign some autographs, and maybe the troopers will even smoke you up later. As for the charges, like you, they’re in the bag, bro. When you come back for the alcohol education classes, don’t forget to say hi to the guys at the barracks!

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Assemblyman Proposes Taxes on Booze, Adding $1.08 to Cost of Our Lunch

Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, having proposed a tax on strip clubs, now wants to tax alcoholic beverages. As the “pole tax” was meant to fund the state’s anti-human-trafficking efforts, so this tax is supposed to fund “alcoholism and substance abuse prevention and treatment.” Politicker describes Ortiz’ tax as ten cents per drink, but for serious drinkers, the hard figures in his bill tell the story more realistically: $1.08 per gallon of beer (that’s just 128 ounces, or eight tall boys) and $2.63.092 per gallon on wines, $1.23 per liter (!) on “liquors containing not more than twenty-four per centum of alcohol by volume” (?) and $2.26 per liter on other liquors. A Blog for All crunches the numbers: “This would add $1.50 to the cost of a six-pack of beer, including Saranac, Genesee, Blue Point, and Brooklyn Brewing Co (among others) all of which are brewed and distributed in the state (and for which the state already provides tax breaks at NYS Tax Law Sec. 424(6). How many lost sales will occur because of this, along with the loss of revenues to those companies?” Yeah, that’s it — we’re trying to protect businesses here. Now go tax spring water and leave us normal people the hell alone.

 

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Give Blood, Get Beer in “Pint for a Pint” Program

NYC Guys informs us that the deal still stands: if you donate a pint of blood during March, you are eligible for a free pint of beer from one of twelve Manhattan and Brooklyn bars participating in the “Pint for a Pint” program. The New York Blood Center withdrew its support from the program (or, as Kelso’s brewmaster Kelly Taylor put it, “went all PC on us”) a few weeks ago, but the bars are alleged to be all in, so long as you offer proof of donation and the coupon available at the website. We think this beats hell out of the “Pint for a Pint” programs in other jurisdictions which offer you ice cream instead. Photo (cc) a4gpa.

 

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Rabbi Warns Against Purim Drunkenness

Hey, look at the calendar — Purim’s almost here! We hope you have arranged for delivery of your Gourmet Kosher Baskets, or made plans to attend the New York Synagogue’s Slumdog Megillah. But however you celebrate, please kvell responsibly: Voz is Neias says “Staying Sober on Purim Has the OU’s Seal of Approval,” and illustrates with a picture of a passed-out Hasid. “We hear so many stories of the tragic results of Purim drinking,” says the Orthodox Union’s Rabbi Weinreb. “Purim is a time for fun and celebration, not for drunkenness and its tragic consequences.” Jesus, if we knew it was that kind of holiday, we would have converted years ago.

 

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Mickey Mantle’s Touching “F*** Yogi” Ball Is Auctioned

This video of Joaquin Phoenix getting booed for not signing autographs may explain why he was so crazed and morose on the Letterman show. Phoenix should learn that it helps to cultivate a favorable impression with fans; then you can do whatever you want. For example, Mickey Mantle always found time for his followers, especially if they were buying the drinks, so now that’s it’s revealed that The Mick signed a baseball “Fuck Yogi,” everyone just thinks it’s funny instead of a terrible shame requiring another horrific, healing performance by Roy Clark. CNBC’s Darren Rovell found the item at the Grey Flannel auction website, which averred the signature authentic and currently has the priceat $2,750. Well worth it, we say, as a keepsake for one’s children. Photo via Grey Flannel.

 

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Stoop Drinker Wins in Court

Kimber VanRy was ticketed in August for drinking a beer on his own stoop in Brooklyn, and decided a man’s stoop is his castle and that he would fight the charge. Earlier this month the judge in the case, Jerome Kay, recused himself, saying “I know that building, I know that stoop, so remaining on the case would give the appearance that I could not be fair.” (We suspect Kay was sympathetic to the drinker, as he had been dissed by quality-of-life freak Mayor Giuliani in 1996.)

VanRy must have sensed the tide turning in his favor, and it has: the Brooklyn Paper tells us his case was dismissed yesterday by Judge Eugene Schwartzwald, on the grounds that VanRy didn’t get a constitutionally speedy trial. Still, VanRy is displeased, as are all sane New Yorkers, that he didn’t get a ruling on the right to stoop-drink. Clearly this calls for massive acts of civil disobedience as soon as the weather turns nice. Photo via Facebook.

Update: In comments, Sarah Ferguson tells how she won a similar case way back in 1998.

 

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Dan Ackroyd Signs Crystal Skulls in New York Today

Do you want a bottle of wine or a crystal skull full of vodka signed by Dan Ackroyd? Then you’re in luck! Ackroyd will be at Astor Wines and Spirits at Lafayette and East 4th Street from noon till 2 today to sign bottles of his Crystal Head Vodka, and tomorrow he’ll be at Garnet Wines & Liquors at Lexington Avenue and East 68th Street to sign bottles of his Discovery Series wines from DeLoach Vineyards. In this video Ackroyd explains at confusing length the spiritual and spirituous meaning of the Crystal Skull (“Healing, miracles, the presences of spirits and beings once living, now gone into another life, but who continue to intrude into our waking consciousness by, for instance, haunting people or places”). If you hurry you can go ask him what the hell he’s talking about.

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Holland Bar Re-Opens For Real

After a celebrated reprieve, then an ominously long wait for resumption of operations, the Holland Bar has begun serving customers again. The Times says they started pouring last night. The place is still a mess, and “the cash register was perched on several cases of Bud Light,” but it’s open. “Gentlemen, start your livers!” says Grub Street.

Next wave: declaring the Holland is already over. “The last time I stopped by the Holland was about a year ago,” an erstwhile habitue writes to us. “It was about 9 a.m. and of course there were customers. Billy wasn’t bartending, though he still works odd mornings, but the place had already changed hands… Ernie was no longer even a secret shareholder, having long since retired to Florida. It just wasn’t the same.”

 

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Gentrification Watch: Navy Yard Lounge

Is the neighborhood known as Wallabout finally getting so upscale that it can’t sustain the tatty Navy Yard Cocktail Lounge? New York‘s Grub Street says the building in which the favorite of local thrillseekers is housed has been placed on the market as part of a $3 million offering, which sounds a little steep to us, but Curbed has been calling the gritty Brooklyn nabe the “new Dumbo” since 2007, and it’s got condos and a nice new Italian restaurant, so who knows. Certainly if the building does go, the new owners won’t want such a scruffy flagship representing it on Flushing Avenue.

 

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Holland Bar Not Quite Open Yet

Like all bibulous New Yorkers, we hailed the return of the venerable Holland Bar to Ninth Avenue. But EV Grieve tells us today that, despite the New York Times‘ assurance that the place could be serving cold beer and hot sliders by mid-week, the Holland is still not open. EV says from the state of the place he observed earlier, he doubts it’ll be serving for a while. Ah well: there’s always the Holiday.