Spartos loves to go for an after-work drink. And a second. And a third. OK. Let’s try this again: Spartos really loves to drink after work. See her sidle up to the bar and she’ll tell you there’s nothing quite like knocking back a few following a day’s toil. “I’ve uhhrrned my drink,” slurs Spartos. “What’s your excuse?”
She also loves the deals that accompany pre-sunset swilling. Good for her the happy hour at VILLAGE MA (107 MacDougal Street, 529-3808) requires only a few bucks and a short walk to Washington Square. You see, the only people who like cheap beer more than Spartos are poor NYU grad students (just don’t tell Spartos—she insists that survey was statistically flawed), and they flock to the breezy bamboo-hut bar for $3 pints of Sierra, Sam, and Bass. Spartos goads her new pals, Grad Student No. 1 (Thesis: Body Alteration in Mall Culture) and GS No. 2 (Thesis: Post-Humanist Forestry Methods), into a rollicking round of quarters, with the ulterior motive of defending her own dissertation (Thesis: Correlations Between Alcoholism and SUNY Bachelor’s Degree Holders). But before she can claim victory, the bartender interrupts with a five-minute warning that happy hour’s almost up. “7:30!” exclaims Spartos, rushing for the door. The bartender tries to lure her with another free round (he’s already comped one off the bill), but she declines, adding she’d like a rain check.
It’s no wonder then that Spartos arrives slightly staggering and full-on tardy for dinner and drinks at Mediterranean bistro JULIAN’S (802 Ninth Avenue, 262-4800). Dinner’s almost done, so Spartos opts for just, uh, drinks. And since she never tires of celebrating a day at the office or a night at the bar, she convinces her cronies to split a fizzy bottle of Moët ($55). Unfortunately, the large, airy tent and ample sidewalk seating don’t make up for the half-assed service: The waiter—definitely drunk and possibly cracked out on Special K and/or Rohypnol—mangles the pour, spilling precious drops with an “Oops! I did it again!” attitude. “To drinking on the job when it is your job!” toasts Spartos. They send him off with the request that he amp up the barely audible house music, only to have him return confused and confessing that it’d already been maxed to 10.
Now it’s Spartos’s turn to shrug, so when she receives a call from her trusty Liquid City editor, she is quick to her feet. “What? You need me to do some research at SLIVER (337B West Broadway, 226-6644)?” barks Spartos. “An alcohol emergency, you say?” She dips out on her friends—and the tab—and into a taxi headed downtown. The yearling buppie lounge—replete with white-leather sectional furniture, built-in fishbowls, and soft, red lighting—is known for its Sunday-afternoon block parties, when the neighborhood joints get so packed they overflow onto the street. But tonight there’s Trusty Editor at the bar, only on her second wet-and-wild South Beach Cooler ($9, rum, triple sec, lime juice, champagne) and already tanked to the sounds of Tweet. “What the hell happened to you?” she asks. “Yull ridall about it in thuhmornining,” replies Spartos before ordering a knockout Taboo Punch ($9, vodka, SoCo, Chambord, pineapple, cranberry), her last of the night.