People call me an old soul. I prefer the rustic and comfortable over the new and cutting edge. If we have an issue to discuss, I’d rather meet over a beer to talk about it than shoot emails and texts at each other.
Maybe this is why, in Astoria, NY, where I lived for two years amidst the melting pot, my favorite Sunday afternoon haunt after a weekend of flipping bottles was the the old Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden, not the new Garden at Studio Square. Sure, the newer joint was cleaner, more modernized and de rigeur with the young throngs who flocked to it for a weekend afternoon of beer guzzling. And yet, something about the gravel floor, the beat up wooden picnic tables, the traditional Czech fare, the roistering authenticity of the crowd at the old garden kept me coming back for more.
In a similar vein, on a recent visit to my native New York City, I felt an deep comfort in going back to Le Cheile, the same bar I always go to when I return to my family’s neighborhood, Washington Heights. I ordered the same Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA from the same bartender, and it still tasted kind of off, like it did when I went there with my mom and sister the previous December. This time, however, I didn’t care. I just enjoyed being at a local bar on a Tuesday night in The Heights, watching the bartender take sips from his pint of ale whenever he turned to his cash register to close out checks, and the taste of beer from a possibly less than pristine draft system.
We are, indeed, creatures of habit. We find comfort in the familiar, be it a beer garden, bar, or the type of beer itself. Somehow, despite my unquenchable curiosity and all the craft brews popping up in LA, when in doubt, I always stick to my guns and grab a six-pack of good ole’ Lagunitas IPA.
Following the advice of successful entrepreneurs and moguls on LinkedIn, I seek to embrace change, break my routine, take risks. But if the decision concerns beer or drinking location, I’d rather not gamble. I jump on the wagon that always brings me to where I want to go, and ride ’til the wheels fall off.