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Frank Bruni Settles It

September 17th, 2010  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  2 Comments

Heavily Photoshopped photo credit: Eatmedaily.com

Heavily Photoshopped photo credit: Eatmedaily.com

Listen, I know that we didn’t win everyone over when we went public with our desire to drag our children to bars. In fact, we made quite a few enemies among the hipsters, the hipster-haters, the Koran-burners and presumably some Koran-lovers.

But if there’s one figure, one quest, that can unite the theocrats and the hatemongers with the pleasure-seekers and child-bashers, it is Frank Bruni on his Infusapallooza mission to get drunk everywhere in New York.

Therefore we found the opening to his story today about drinking in Harlem to be, well, a bit of intoxicating validation:

So long as there’s not a soundtrack of screeching to go with it, I kind of like seeing a stroller in a drinking establishment — and not, I should add, because I’m cavalier about child welfare. Diligent parenting can surely accommodate a glass of wine or stein of beer at happy hour, and procreation shouldn’t prevent the new moms and dads of the world from hanging with the rest of us, who appreciate reinforcements and some diversity around the bar.

Around 6:30 p.m. at Bier International recently I spotted not one stroller but two, babies snug inside, their (moderately) tippling caretakers close at hand. I also spotted two open laptops, attended by tap-tapping patrons who looked to be about 15 years younger than the strollers’ stewards. To scan the crowd was to behold the kind of mosaic New York so often promises but doesn’t always deliver, at least not within four walls: younger people, older people, flip-flops, neckties, black skin, white skin and skin of various shades in between. I found it — along with a polyglot collection of Belgian, Czech, Turkish and Kenyan brews — in a freshly bustling corridor of Harlem, which is where Bier International makes its home.

Did you hear that, haters? “Procreation shouldn’t prevent the new moms and dads of the world from hanging with the rest of us, who appreciate reinforcements and some diversity around the bar,” said Bruni, a man who, due to being gay and utterly devoted to tippling and gourmanding, is perhaps unlikely to do any procreating himself soon.

Bravo, Bruni. Thank you for settling our long disputation. We will see you, drunk and babied-up, in Harlem.

[Update: Bruni apparently suffered a taste of the backlash that came around these parts. He blogs about it, and backtracks a bit on his position, here]


  1. Fred Lea says:

    September 27th, 2010at 10:54 am(#)

    OK so you go to a nice bar with a view…quietly talking about old Friends Episodes…not real friends…and a couple with two kids sits down right beside you in the bar…nevermind that there is actually out-door seating and other spots around the reastaurant they could sit at…they like the view too…from the bar…now you get to smell stale rotted milk, maybe an extra heavy diaper as the parents put the kids in high chairs and sip martinis..the one kid wants macaroni…the other a hot dog…then wander around the bar as if it is an opportunity to network…this is without the screaming and oh is it ok if I change a diaper right here in front of you…how’s your nachos now…

  2. Nathan says:

    September 27th, 2010at 11:34 am(#)

    Yes, that would suck (though don’t think there aren’t nastier things than infant poop in your nachos). But really, what you’re describing is a worst case scenario of thoughtless parents who practice poor child hygiene and utter disregard for their surroundings. It’s akin to saying you don’t want adults in the bar with you because they could pull their pants down and crap on the floor or at least piss on their hands in the bathroom and not wash afterwards. Anyone at any age–child or adult–can be foul-smelling and disrespectful of your ambient Friends conversations.

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