Differences Between Canton and Brooklyn: The Bar Scene

The trap I've set outside my local Brooklyn bar.

By Zach

Volume One of My New Series, Differences Between Canton and Brooklyn

If you’re not familiar, Canton is a small town in upstate New York. It’s a real salt-of-the earth hamlet, the kind of town that has more hardware stores than restaurants, more methamphetamine than cocaine, and more Confederate flags than Obama bumper stickers. In Canton, babies are born early and frequently.

Canton is also where I went to college for four years. And besides a three-month ziplining stint in New Hampshire, it’s the last place I lived before I moved to New York. I thought it might be a useful exercise to compare Canton and my new home, Brooklyn, if only for purely selfish contemplative purposes. I plan on doing this in a series of posts; stay tuned (shouldn’t we replace this antiquated radio-themed cliche with a more modern one, like “keep refreshing”?) for future analysis of Canton’s nightclub scene and Brooklyn’s dairy farms.

Considering the content and presumed readership of this blog, I believe alcohol is a reasonable place to start this breakdown. I’ve discovered, through methodical weekly research, that Brooklyn has more bars than Canton. I haven’t visited every bar in Brooklyn, because four dollar PBRs are a completely unsustainable means of inebriation, but I’ve certainly been to more than three, which is Canton’s grand total. Let’s run down the slate of Canton bars, shall we?

First, there’s Dave’s. I think that’s the name of it; I’ve never been inside. It was one of those typical small college-town locals’ bars where, if a student, say a dude on the lacrosse team, were to enter wearing, say, a Ralph Lauren polo under a vest, a backwards trucker hat, and boat shoes, he would soon find himself outside the premises, shaking shards of plate glass out of his hair. Dave’s was frequented by men with high cholesterol who snowmobile on weekends; the WASPs of St. Lawrence were not welcome there.

Then there was the Hoot Owl, a hockey-themed dive bar. The Hoot was a good place. It had cheap beer and was just hygienic enough that you didn’t have to shower after spending an hour there. The Hoot met my minimum requirements for an alcohol-dispersing establishment.

And then there was the glory that was the Tick Tock. The Tick Tock had it all — a dance floor populated by kids sweating like they were in the Sahara, an old speaker system blasting out top-40 hits and cheesy 80s music, a popcorn machine. The lighting consisted solely of flashing disco balls; the refreshments, of overflowing beers that inevitably ended up in the nearest girl’s hair. And the urination! People urinated everywhere. In the sinks, on the walls, on the bar itself. It was a great place.

Brooklyn’s bars are different, and by that I mean there are approximately six more horn-rimmed glasses to be found per cubic meter of bar space, and about four times as many winter hats unnecessarily sported in moderate or warm indoor temperatures. I believe that the average Brooklyn pub has approximately eight hundred beers on tap, and each bartender can tell you the precise number of hops that went into each one. For bartenders in Brooklyn need to know these things; all white borough residents require intimate knowledge of their beer’s distilling process prior to its consumption. This has been my experience, at least.

I also noticed, to my dismay, that in Brooklyn bars there is significantly less making out. Also, the girls look French (how the fuck are berets back in style?) and the guys look less masculine than me. If you don’t know me personally, just picture a slightly better looking (I’d like to think) but more shamefully endowed Klitz from The Girl Next Door. I’ve also been compared, very charitably my girlfriend tells me, to Ashton Kutcher — by both the lady who used to cut my hair in New Hampshire and by a woman selling me a hot dog at Madison Square Garden. So yeah, I’m not exactly a Neesonian hulk of masculinity. But I’m still looking forward to my first bar fight against the next wool-pantsed, non-prescription glasses-wearing, porter-sipping indie musician who steps up on me while I’m waiting on my Genesee Cream Ale.*

Keep refreshing for the next part in this series.



*I’m just kidding. I drink microbrews like everyone else.

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