Drinking Liberally

Rudy's Bar & Grill - - Hell's Kitchen - New York Magazine Bar Guide

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Drinking Liberally

Last night I showed up for my first Drinking Liberally event. I meant to go to the one in Williamsburg - the East Village of Brooklyn - a week or so back, but I was instead on Google Talk for longer than anticipated, and that was passe.

Rudy's is a Times Square location. It is so close you can hear the lights, as in Times Square is so much light, it is actually sound.

I have been a little unfocused recently not having this one presidential candidate to think about. But then that also means you focus more on 2006. I am going to read up on it more. Nancy Pelosi is enough homework. (Nancy Pelosi, Speaker)

People in my hometown in Nepal would know George Bush or Bill Clinton, but noone has heard of Charles Schumer. That explains why my primary interest is presidential politics, that is the first layer you encounter coming from outside. Plus, of the three branches of government, I am most at home thinking of the executive branch. I used to get suggestions to go to law school at college. I felt misunderstood. I get hints to maybe run for Congress. That is not me either. Pet branch: executive. Pet project: spreading democracy. That's me. And I have been plotting to turn this blog into a major political tool.

I showed up dressed up. I figured maybe everyone else will, they will probably stream in right after work. But I should have known better. Most people, most everyone was comfortably dressed like dot com millionaires. I liked the vibe of it. Plus it is the same place every Thursday, and there are other locations. It is so good to know. Otherwise I do most of my work online. I wish there were something like this walking distance from where I live in Brooklyn, but there isn't. And that's fine. That's why they run the subway. But my hood does have Desi grocery stores and even a paan stall.

It was almost three by the time I got back. I missed my train station by one and had to take a return train. Catnap, catnap.

Funny how I left the MidWest - push factor - to come into the diversity of New York City to claim home, but I will inadvertently meet some new guy from that part of the world, and they learn I have spent some time there, and suddenly they are comfortable. I am homeboy. I guess I do have a ton of visuals in my mind from being there. Like Adam from Cincinnati. His shirt said Steve, he said it was on purpose. He does campaign work. He is in Hoboken, NJ. Adam mentioned "rocket surgery" at one point. I guess that would be something more complicated than rocket science and brain surgery.

And there was this guy who had just finished his doctorate in literature in Tallahassee, Florida. He was dressed like he was from Nashville, a country singer look. But he was originally from Arizona. The South can do that to you. He drove cross country along interstate 10 and wrote a book about it, Travelling With Ridlin, Ridlin being the name of his car.

Eric has a fancy chemical engineering degree from Berkeley and was a few days in town, he will get a job locally. He was saying how Berkeley is so liberal it is just like the Bible Belt. Either you are with us, or you are wrong. Open mindedness enclosed.

John is doing postdoc in maths.

"What specifically do you do?"

"Numbers. They pay you good for not doing much."

"Where you from?"


Justin runs this thing. And this group has now spread to tens of cities by now, but it all started at Rudy's. There is a huge poster on the wall that says that.

Stephanie, artist and teacher, Stephanie, into theater, from Seattle. She knew about the royal massacre in Nepal in 2001. Bill from Detroit, Josh, Kristina Hoke, runs Manhattan Young Dems. She is a medical science student, I think postdoc.

"Politics takes as much time as medicine."

"Think Howard Dean and Bill Frist."

Joshua Wojcik, a Cornell guy like Abhishek. He has a Nepali friend. He had a glass in one hand, and a pitcher in another, and I don't think he shared. Josh was one person who walked specifically over to me to say bye before he left after we had introduced, talked some and then moved around the backyard. He was with Catherine. Catherine introduced herself a "personal assistant." I am sure that is some kind of a corporate term, but I kept thinking martial arts. She did look slim and perhaps quick on her feet, like she can chop the air with quick arm movements.

I was thinking, DFNYC is like the Dean 2004 alumni association. And the LinkUps are so structured, as they should be. And even the Mixers end up being more political, less social, which is fine, noone forces it that way. But Drinking Liberally was primarily social, although there is no avoiding political talk, by definition. There was this loose feeling. I liked that. If you want hard core political work and talk, you go into the blogosphere.

And a few hours into the evening, I spotted guess who. Abhishek Mistry (Abhishek Mistry). I hollered across the yard, wildly shaking the beer bottle in my hand. I was not expecting to see him, but there he was. He bought a pitcher. Very predictably his girlfriend called. I think I have seen that happen at every Mixer. She is in DC, medical student, she is the one who spices up their joint blog. He lives in the neighborhood. The Hood. I guess I will see him at the DFNYC Mixer.

Hot dog and popcorn are free at Rudy's. There just is something about free food. A few evenings back at a Nepal event, I had so much popcorn, grab, grab, grab, the person sitting opposite me said she had had dinner. (Chiran Thapa: Snafu)

Around midnight when the backyard part had been ended out of consideration for the neighbors and to avoid tickets, and we were back indoors, sitting around a table, a few of us, I walked over to get three hot dogs. I figured I will eat one, and have two grateful people around the table. But I ended up having to eat all three. Beer had not got me drunk, but three hot dogs did. Suddenly I was really paying attention to the music.

"These people who stay up until three on a Friday morning, don't they have jobs?" I asked Abhishek. He passed on it.

Somebody ordered pizza, like a bunch of it. The first Stephanie asked if I wanted some. I passed. I can't believe. I was drunk on hot dogs.


Busiest day so far5 March 2006

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Anonymous said…
i thought you said you wrote something about me being the life of the party....