There are moments where I wish some stereotypes were true, for example I would like to be one of those rich Jews controlling all the world’s money. I think the Irish-Catholic half of me (thanks Dad) is keeping me in abject poverty preventing my Jewish half from being the rich and powerful man my people create. Though it does help with one stereotype that is currently keeping me alive, and that is I am really cheap and miserly. So as an Irish Jew, I like to get drunk, but I like to get drunk in an economically responsible way.
Like most Jews growing up, my first drinking experience involved Manischewitz, an extremely sweet wine that if it weren’t so weak, would have been used by Michael Jackson as “Jesus Juice”. This was then followed by various mixed drinks we could trick the bartender at our friend’s bar/bat mitzvahs into giving us. Though if you do go this route, make sure you know what is in a Bloody Mary because lord knows you’re destined to puke all over the carpet of Haimi’s country club.
But that was a long time ago in a land far, far, away (10 hours by train). Nowadays getting drunk in New York, while being poor, begs for a certain Jewish tenacity. The good news: there are ways to get drunk in New York, or any big city with high costs of living, for little to no money.
Although Jewing your booze requires a cunning measure of charm, quick thinking, and a touch of douchebaggery to properly pull it off, free libations are readily available. Where, you ask, kind reader? At art openings, promo bar nights and the adult version of the bar mitzvah party, the wedding.
My preferred method is to do a friend a favor, keep in mind the more degrading the favor, the more drinks s/he owes you. For instance, I did a friend’s short film where I had to make out with a dead fat man with crusty shit on his lips for several takes. I may have herpes now, but that earned me a nice hangover the next day.
The day I become a real Jew (i.e, rich and/or famous) I won’t need to go through all of this to get a drink — though, I probably still will.
By: Kevin Gilligan