Boozy Gatorade At Neely’s Barbecue Parlor

Talk about a real sports drink.

NFL season is kicking off on September 5 at 8:30 p.m., and Neely’s Barbecue Parlor on First Avenue will be serving grown-up Gatorade for the occasion.

The drink, orange-flavored Gatorade spiked with Stoli Orange and Cointreau, is going for $8.

Other bar snacks include pigskins (4 for $6), pulled-pork-stuffed potato skins with chipotle sour cream and scallions, and barbecue-spiced chips with caramelized-onion dip ($5).

Along with airing the season opener, this Upper East Side restaurant and bar will screen games every Sunday and Monday.


Scene from a Sex Conference

October 1, 1974

SCENE ONE: Saturday morning. The Women’s Speak-Out. Thirteen women take the stage, one by one, in a darkened auditorium, and discuss their sexuality. They range from a Viv, a slim, dark-haired woman in her 30s, who describes herself as a heterosexual monogamist (“I am a token, here to let you know we still exist.”), to Pauline, an earthy, forceful woman who says she has tried everything, including sadomasochism (her description of taking a bullwhip to a man in his suite at the Plaza brings cheers from the audience) and urolania. An urolaniac, according to Pauline, is someone who likes to be pissed on, preferably about the face and in the mouth. She says she met one last year and obliged him. Later, out of curiosity, she took a swig from her urine sample the next time she was at her doctor’s. (“It tasted like Gatorade, but then I know a lot of people who say that Gatorade tastes just like piss.”) Urolaniacs call being pissed on “golden showers,” for which they should get Euphemism of the Year Prize.

The audience at the Speak-Out, several hundred women, is extremely enthusiastic. They cheer Viv, for example, but they also cheer Pauline and everyone else in between. Everyone else in between covers a wide range. There is Robin, who has an open marriage, has taken Betty Dodson’s Advanced Workshop in masturbation, is currently working on a series of photographs of erections for Viva, and has recently participated in an orgy, which, she said, didn’t turn her on bit was “an interesting experience.” And Margaret, black, lesbian, and amused, who remarks that “everyone thinks lesbians know what they’re doing” and adds that they don’t always, pointing out that she didn’t learn to masturbate successful until eight months ago. And Madeleine, who tells a scarifying tale of incest with her father, whose insistent fondling frightened and pleased her as a child, who tried to fuck her when she was nine years old and who finally left the house when she was 12. The audience applauds at this point. “Well, you can applaud,” says Margaret in a strained voice, “but in some mixed-up way, I felt a great sense of loss.” And for one moment the audience is still, confronted with the unanswerable complexity of sex.

As the Women’s Speak-Out goes on, men gather at the entrance to the auditorium. Two men, then three, then 10, cluster in the hall like curious, solemn locusts. Some angry women chase them away. “Go to your own speak-out,” one woman says to a middle-aged long-haired man who keeps coming into the hall. “This is for women only.” “I’m for women only,” he says, irritably, and finally leaves.

Just as well. He misses the conclusion of the Speak-Out, which features Andrea Dworkin, the author of a new book called “Woman Hating.” Dworkin begins her talk with dictionary definitions of quality, freedom, and justice. she argues that for women to achieve quality with men is this society “is to become the richer instead of the poor, the raper instead of the rapee, the murderer instead of the murdered.” She then says men must give up “the phallocentric” mentality,” must give up erections, in fact, learn to “make love as women do” and abandon everything they think of as distinctly male. And the audience, which has cheered heterosexual monogamy, lesbianism, celibacy, controlled open marriage, uncontrolled open marriage, group sex, group masturbation, individual masturbation with or without mechanical aids, and autourolania, now cheers Dworkin’s call for what sounds to this boggled mind, at least, like a severe case of self-imposed blue balls on the part of the male populace. My only conclusion is that large groups pf people who are being talked to about sex tend to cheer a lot.

SCENE TWO. Saturday afternoon. A women’s workshop entitled “Intimacy, Friendship, and Sexuality,” which includes the following trialogue:

First woman: A woman wanted to sleep with me. I didn’t want to.

Second woman: Are you sure you weren’t sending her double messages?

First woman: I wasn’t attracted to her.

Third woman: How do you know? Maybe you were.

First woman: I wasn’t.

Second woman: Well, what do you want?

First woman: A friend.

SCENE THREE. A women’s workshop entitled “The Double Standard and Romantic Love,” in which the following remark is made: “I feel more alive when I’m in love.”

SCENE FOUR. A women’s workshop entitled “Rape and Child Molestation.” All but two of the 30 women in the room have been raped, or molested as children, or both. The other two are mothers concerned about their children. We exchange horror stories, while a men’s workshop goes on boisterously in a room above our heads. This creates some weird effects, as when one young woman is describing a gang rape in Mexico, and her story is punctuated by loud bursts of male laughter.


“I went to this house where there was supposed to be a party; these men locked me in a room” . . . HA HA HA! “They individually came in and raped me” . . . HOOO!

I tell my story, startled to discover that, after years of women’s-group intimacy, I feel self-conscious because, I realize, it is a story I have told almost no one. Five years old. My grandmother’s kitchen. Alone with the family friend who babysat for me that night. A sweet, quiet man, who usually took me to the park. Not that day. That day, the red face, the stertorous breath, the hands lifting me up. Hands suddenly huge and strong and inexorable as I chattered like a parakeet. “Please don’t. This isn’t any fun, please. Put me down, please, down, please . . . And then screamed, so loud it didn’t seem to come from me. It seemed the walls of my grandmother’s kitchen screamed, filling the room. He dropped me, and I ran out into the front yard, where I waited in the cold all afternoon until my grandmother came home. I didn’t tell her, told no one, in fact, until I was 15 and told my mother, who went quite pale with shock.

We discuss the effects of our experiences, we raped and molested liberated women. They vary. One woman, a 20-year old virgin when she was raped while on holiday in Europe, found it was several years before she could be alone with a man again. Another says she feels an instant rage at street hasslers that startles her with its ferocity. There is one feeling we all share. “When I’m with a guy. and he comes on too strong, I just flip,” says one woman, and eyes meet around the room. For the first time, I understand why I’ve never had a rape fantasy, why the whole notion of the female rape fantasy, supposedly so common, has always seemed alien and absurd to me. There’s nothing like being raped or mauled to give you a taste for gentle men.

SCENE FIVE. Sunday morning. Sex movies. Mixed audience. I get there late, rush in to see two men on the screen making love while romantic music plays in the background. Birds twitter, flutes wail softly, and the two men, who are lean and young and curly-haired, gambol about in a woods, smiling and kissing and patting each other’s bare chests. Somehow, from one shot to the next, their jeans come off, and as the screen grows misty, one man lovingly pulls down the other man’s jockey shorts. My mind boggles again. Jockey shorts?

SCENE SIX. The lobby, where everything from Billie Jean King t-shirts to bumper stickers that say Castrate Rapists is on sale. I go to the Eve’s garden table (“We grow pleasurable things for women”) where a pleasant-looking woman is selling vibrators. Several times the day before. women have mentioned vibrators in laudatory terms. Furthermore, several of my friends have vibrators; they also speak of them laudatory terms. At last, a chance to buy a vibrator without having to go into a drugstore and get leered at. The following dialogue ensues between me and the pleasant-looking woman:

Me: Where is the part you put inside you? (I can’t figure it out. This vibrator looks like a small portable hairdryer with a small blue knob on the end, a very small blue knob. There are other attachments beside the knob, but none of them looks like a penis.)

Pleasant-looking woman: Oh, you don’t put this inside. This is for clitorial massage. Best to use a towel – the vibrations get a little heavy. (She demonstrates the vibrator on my hand, and I understand she’s not talking like a hippie; the vibrations are a little heavy.)

Me: You don’t sell penis-shaped vibrators? (I say this with some trepidation, wondering if she will tell me I’m phallocentric.)

PLW: Frankly, they don’t work very well. The vibrations are too weak for vaginal use, and the battery’s always conking out when you need it most.

The woman is extremely nice. So I take an order form and say I’ll think about it. I don’t know; the vibrator, which has attachments for use on scalp, back, and feet, as well as the small blue knob, nevertheless costs $17.95, and for $17.95, I think I want a vibrator that does everything.

SCENE SEVEN. Sunday afternoon. A mixed workshop on intimacy, friendship, and sexuality. The turn-out is high; perhaps 70 people are crowded into the room, sitting on chairs and desks and tabletops. There are more women than men (a conference gatekeeper later estimated attendance for the weekend at about 1600, with 300 men). There are two black women in the room, a black man, an Oriental woman; everyone else is white. Ages range from late teens to mid-50’s. The atmosphere is relaxed, the conversation surprisingly unconstrained. A woman says, “It’s nice to hear men’s voices.” “We’ll see,” another adds. and everyone laughs. A gray-haired man says that friendships with women are new to him, that they never seemed possible before. The conversation has a slight Esalen flavor; people talk about “working through relationships.” Still, it all feels friendly and pleasant.


As I leave, a handsome woman with graying hair comes up and peers at the handwritten sign posted on the workshop door.


“Ah,” she says in a Middle-European accent, “zat’s vot I vant.”



David Wondrich is a little ticked. An expert mixologist and the author of Esquire Drinks, Wondrich is relating a Maxim article from last year suggesting that lads “retire” the manhattan cocktail and replace it with a bourbon drink mixed with Gatorade Ice Orange and grape jelly. We enjoy a collective gag: Gatorade? Lucky for Liquid City, Wondrich has agreed to take manhattans with us, discussing the pros and cons of their various incarnations (the standard is two parts rye whiskey, one part sweet vermouth, and two dashes of bitters, topped with a maraschino cherry or orange twist), and why he calls it “a more affectionate cocktail than the stand-offish gin martini.”

The tasting begins at the WHISKEY WARD (121 Essex Street, 212-477-2998), the inexpensive but handsome Lower East Side drinking hall specializing in bourbon and brew. According to Wondrich, rye whiskey is the most important factor in making a good manhattan. The problem is, rye can be incredibly difficult to find: It was traditionally made in the Northeast until the industry virtually vanished during the last century, although a few boutique distilleries have recently sprung up. Good thing Van Winkle rye is on offer at the Ward, so we forgo the bar’s manhattan made with Maker’s Mark bourbon and spiked cherries ($8)—a frivolous confection that’s as laughable to a hardcore manhattanite as a cosmopolitan is to a martini man. But Van Winkle is such good rye, it’s almost a shame to dilute it with vermouth and such. We do so anyway, and the drink ($9.50) is like a prizefighter who’s taken one too many punches—the mellowed toughness betraying a sweetness that leaves you just a little sad.

A younger and therefore less concentrated and syrupy rye would have yielded a preferably spicy potion, says Wondrich, so it’s off to the tony BEMELMANS BAR (Carlyle Hotel, 35 East 76th Street, 212-744-1600), famous for its fanciful murals and for shaking some of the stiffest (and most expensive) cocktails in town. Audrey Saunders, the Carlyle’s new beverage director, who’s helping the classic bar shed its stodgy image, is on hand to greet us. A self-professed “cocktail geek” with boundless energy, Saunders informs us she’s out of Sazerac rye, and after some heated discussion, it’s decided we’ll have Booker’s bourbon, bottled straight from the barrel by Jim Beam’s grandson. The benefit of hanging out with cocktail geeks is that you get to try out all sorts of inventions: Saunders happens to have Gary Regan’s Orange Bitters behind the bar; Regan, a noted cocktail writer, has convinced a distillery to bottle the defunct recipe. The resulting manhattan ($18.75)—its dividends (the extra that’s left in the shaker) poured in a glass and set to ice—seems more grown-up than the one at the Ward, and at 125 proof, it’s got plenty of bite, not to mention manly orange zest.

Having sampled the work of whiskey experts and high-end cocktail specialists, we were eager to check out what was shaking at the local dive. We set off for Park Slope’s fabled O’CONNOR’S (39 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-783-9721), where the hipsters enjoy drinking beer, not martinis. Like most bars, O’Connor’s doesn’t have rye on its shelves, so we asked Bart the bartender to make our manhattans with John Powers Irish whiskey, occasionally referred to as an Angelo & Mike (from the pairing of Italian vermouth and Irish whiskey). It seems an appropriate outer-borough cocktail, and Bart stirs us up a batch, pouring the light, smooth potion ($6) into old-fashioned parfait glasses. “A pleasant tipple,” declares Wondrich. Agreed.