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Defender Picks


Drinking Culture

Taking A Shot At Ms. Mae's

The following is a work of historical fiction. Mostly. 

O for a Muse of firewater, that would preserve some aspect of apprehension! A dive bar for a stage, drunkards to act, and dirtbags to behold the swelling scene! But pardon, gentle readers all, our cheap and rotgut spirits. For our favorite New Orleans Sommelier had sent me a challenge; after the balance of our lives had been spent building the worthy scaffold of our tolerances. Shot for shot, beer for beer; turning the accomplishment of many years drinking into an hourglass. Admit me then chorus to this history, who here upon your humble patience pray; gently to hear, kindly to judge, The Club Ms. Mae’s.

Drinking Culture

Passing Time at the Maple Leaf

Gentle reader, it is said that Time keeps everything from happening all at once. Apart from that, I find it a nuisance. My free ride to Uptown came well before Rebirth Brass Band was to play. And I was bound to sit upon a barstool and wait. Day bled out to night as the patrons traded faces, and I struggled to remain coherent in a bar that alters by hours as a year through the seasons. Come, my friends, and keep the watch with me at The Maple Leaf Bar.

Drinking Culture

La Vie Erin Rose

Gentle reader, a full glass of liquor can sometimes do the office of a shew stone. Sit quietly upon the bar edge and run a thoughtful hand along the crystal curvature. Peer within. And with enough drink, the soothsayer’s gift will be yours. So it was I found myself gazing into deep distances of gin. Images of the past week of Tales of the Cocktail emerged. Mysteries of the present summer lull. Auguries of days yet to come. All these I saw in a tumbler made cloudy and uncertain with ice at the Erin Rose. 

Drinking Culture

A Taste of Finn McCool's

Gentle reader, the “Irish Pub” no longer belongs to Ireland – just as the English language has grown beyond the dominion of the British realm. They are the ubiquitous possessions of the world, fated to indigenous inflection. In all your travels, the Irish Pub will find you. Climb the furthest reaches of the Five Sacred Mountains of China. Hack through the deepest jungles of Northern Bolivia. You will stumble upon an Irishman waiting there, polishing a glass behind a sturdy bar. Let us then look into one of our own – one of the finest in the world, according to the list-scribes of modern fancy. We’re off to hear a New Orleans accent over an Irish lilt at Finn McCool’s. Or try, a least.

Drinking Culture

Playing the Dive Game at Chuck's Sports Bar

Gentle reader, I found myself in a tavern as black and tattered as a footpad’s soul. The décor looked familiar, but the world had grown uncertain. I closed one eye to get my bearings. The bartender turned over a bottle of Jim Beam and let fall a glistening, caramel stream. One second. Two seconds. Three… Four? Gentle reader, not five! Six goddamned seconds?! And then, like a fire marshal with a tally counter, the barkeep clicked a milliliter of soda atop the stagnant liquor. Oh no, my friends! I was in Chuck’s!

Drinking Culture

Christmas Season at the Sazerac Bar

Gentle reader, certain rites must be observed if we are to continue calling ourselves "civilized." Send the wine-stained suit to the cleaners. Finagle some tickets to a holiday show. Pass through the lobby of the Roosevelt Hotel en route to a few pregame drinks that you almost certainly cannot afford. It’s Christmas time, my friends, and we’re dropping by the Sazerac Bar!

Drinking Culture

On Thanksgiving, NoDef's Columnist is Off to the Races

Gentle reader, draw breath and wind the bugle! Before we sit paralyzed with feasting and blinking like owls at our television screens, button up the vintage suit, don the fancy hat, and wrap the bankroll tight for The Thanksgiving Handicap at The Fairgrounds Race Course.  ‘Cause we’re all gonna be rich!

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Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Naimonu James, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Nina Luckman, Dead Huey Long, Alexis Manrodt, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via, Austin Yde


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