As the days become shorter and the air cools down, I find myself nostalgic for the rural western Massachusetts town I once called home. Especially now that I live on the Greenpoint/Williamsburg border, constantly surrounded by trucker-hatted hipsters, I long for authenticity. Luckily, there’s the R Bar, with its backwoods drink prices ($3 Buds and $2 pints of Molson Canadian all the time), a group of regulars who have little in common but a desire to knock a few back, and no-bullshit decor—a couple of TVs, pool table, dartboard, and the greatest video game ever invented, Big Buck Hunter II. I’ve never cared much for real animal killing, despite my hick upbringing, but I do miss the sound of shotguns fired in the woods during deer hunting season. So it’s comforting to take a few out on the giant screen (without having to hack up a carcass) while Ozzy, Metallica, and old Van Halen blast through the jukebox. But the biggest draw here is bartender-owner Greg, who has a cool, older-brother quality about him—the kind of guy who cranked Iron Maiden from his Camaro, showed you your first porn mag, and reluctantly bought you and your 15-year-old friends beer, but always said, “Just don’t be fuckin’ stupid about it!” Yeah, fuck the four-hour bus ride—I know where I’m going for Thanksgiving this year.