The dive bar distills all that is right and good about alcohol, that one hit that every seasoned drinker forever seeks to replicate, and serves it up bathed in the etherial glow of neon.
Nowhere else gets it. The rest of civilisation appears inexplicably confused as to what booze is, and the purpose it serves. Not here. Those of us who frequent dives, we the initiates of immaterial drinking… we know exactly what we’re doing.
Dive bars strip away the ego, they bare the soul. An accountant, a road sweeper, a priest, and a cab driver all walk through that door, and in the process shed their mental baggage, suspend their lives, and submit to just being themselves. The cover charge is, checking the armour at the door. What transpires in the bar, evaporates in the bar. It’s like a dream that nobody can quite recall the next day, just beautiful thrilling snatches here and there.
This blog is about what it means to work, drink, live, dance, love, and occasionally lose, in a dive bar. Few have evoked this spirit better than Sam Cooke, when he sang:
“Let me tell you ’bout a place
Somewhere up-a New York way
Where the people are so gay
Twistin’ the night away
Here they have a lot of fun
Puttin’ trouble on the run
Man, you find the old and young
Twistin’ the night away”