The New York Times has offered up a rather fascinating exploration of what commuters drink while traveling on New York’s various booze-serving transport options. And while we can only assume these stats on the $9 million bar car industry pertain to the commute home and not to work, we won’t judge either way. Anyway, you might guess that both Metro-North and LIRR-riders go for beer…but would you be able to guess which kind?
Apparently it’s Foster’s on MetroNorth; Bud Light and Heineken on the LIRR. Sound like you?
The preferred booze on both trains is vodka, which about half of the hard-liquor drinkers in both instances suck down. After that comes gin, scotch, bourbon, and rum.
Of the wine drinkers, most drank white (safer for spills, maybe), but more people drank beer than wine. One train bartender generalized that stockbrokers “all drink vodka,” while construction workers “are all about the beer.” But that’s dangerous stereotyping we wouldn’t want to place any bets on. Unless we were drinking.
The Times points out that those who brown-bag weren’t included in the survey, and that not everyone drinks, despite how sad and boring that must be for them. But drinking bonds those who do it. Of course it does.
Those who opt to quaff describe themselves as a close-knit group upholding a longstanding tradition on the local rails, regulars who gather each day on the same bar car or rearrange schedules for a rendezvous with a preferred bartender.
“They are a very loyal patronage,” said Tom Celli, who has managed the Metro-North commissary for a quarter century. “I have the same people day in and day out.”
A customer by any other name…
[via New York Times]
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 27, 2010