Along the lines of things we didn't know we needed but we're going to pay for anyway, Mayor de Blasio has appointed Ariel Palitz, the former owner of what was once called the city's noisiest bar, as the first director of the city's new Office of Nightlife.
The concept is based on a model first launched in Amsterdam in 2014. Night mayoral positions have since been created in other cities, including Paris and Toulouse, France, and Zurich, Switzerland. "It is exciting to learn that NYC's first Nightlife Mayor is a female with a strong background in nightlife and community advocacy," NYC Council Member Rafael Espinal, Chair of the Committee on Consumer Affairs and Business Contracts, said. Espinal added, "I believe the nightlife community will have a well-rounded voice in Ariel Palitz and the administration will have a unique perspective on nightlife issues."
All of that is well and fine but our good mayor has essentially thumbed his nose at those of us whose circadian rhythm finds us safely asleep in our beds while the executive director of de Blasio's Office of Night Life will be out and about on her duties. What about an Office of Daytime Life?
After all, it was our own Kevin Boyle, publisher of The Rockaway Times, who redefined the term "early birding" and in doing so penned a classic homage to afternoon tippling, replete with a celebration of that most respected, yet under-appreciated, daily neighborhood event — "Happy Hour."
"The early bird special is ridiculed only by the clueless; only by those stuck in stodgy tradition,” Kevin wrote. “Forget the old saying, nothing good happens after 2 a.m. It’s more like 9 p.m. Regular drinkers like to call New Year’s Eve ‘amateur hour’ but anybody belting back cocktails after nine is only doing what kids do. And by kids, I mean 15-year-olds. You want to be doing what a 15-year-old is doing? Get enlightened. Go early.
“There’s a reason they call it Happy Hour. Senior citizens and some of my Jewish friends have it right. They get home before sundown. You can get all your craziness done and still read The Rockaway Times.
“The thing is, afternoon dining with a side of drinking can give you the wild and crazy reputation you want. You can look really decadent and devil-may-care and no one has to know you’re planning to be in bed by nine.
“‘Wow, others would say, they’re drinking at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. How do they do it?’"
And Irish Goodbyes? Thanks to Kevin, we can forget about them. "When you’re early-birding you don’t have to pull a disappearing act. You take pride in calling it quits. You’ve got yoga, golf, or some BS kid’s thing you gotta do the next day."
Kevin emboldened us when he proudly stated for the record, "You, you, early birds are a social genius. You are cutting edge and hip—because you are ahead of the curve."
His new definition of "early birding" served to blaze a trail for those of us who are asleep well before the 10 p.m. news and allowed us to unashamedly embrace the concept that now, 65 can be the new 30 with daylight! At the time, I was so impressed with Kevin's take on this issue that I made several copies of his column for my family so that they would understand why I might sometimes return to the old homestead with a smile on my face loudly singing, “Deep Purple” by Nino Tempo and April Stevens just in time for dinner!
By the way, you should all know that I have sent a copy of this column to both Mayor de Blasio and the City Council, recommending that they afford serious consideration to naming our very own Kevin Boyle as New York City's new Executive Director of "Day Time Early Birding!" I did so because I firmly believe that Kevin would serve as a well-rounded voice for our daytime early birding community and will provide Mayor DB a unique perspective on nightlife issues that is sorely needed.
In closing, as I was penning this column my daughter and some of her friends were sitting around the house trying to decide where they were going that evening, when someone reading aloud from The Rockaway Times' Facts You Probably Don't Need column (by factologist Sean McVeigh) shouted out: "Hey, did you know the Trans-Siberian Railway crosses approximately 3,901 bridges?" Almost immediately another friend replied, "They're probably still on their winter tour. What a great band. I saw them in concert once and their Carol of the Bells was off the hook!"
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