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PEOPLE

Sobriety trending

H

Is Kristen Jongen ahead of the curve? Sober bars are making headlines … but she’s conflicted

IMAGE: JULIO NUNYO

old up! Did you guys see the recent article in the NY Post claiming: ”NYC’s sober bar scene is a ‘hip’ oasis for booze-free fun.” Did you? I have been writing Sober in the City for nearly two years. Are we finally trending? Before I get too excited, I need to be precise. I am not ascribing to Mollyinfused raves in lieu of sloppy bar brawls. I am referencing legitimately lucid entertainment. You know, venues created for drink and drug-free humans to speak to other drink and drug-free humans ... on purpose.  New Yorkers at large have the best recovery-related options in America but, strangely, there is still a lot of static around the subject of abstinence. I have approached several venues in Hell’s Kitchen and Chelsea about hosting of a Sober in the City event and been met with concern that it wouldn’t make enough money for it to be worthwhile. Do establishments legitimately not know that nondrinkers who have spent years being treated

like the awkward stepchildren of the social elite, would eagerly spend $13 on a Thai coconut elixir infused with vitamin B12? Are they not aware that sobes from around the city would relish being taken into consideration? Tsk, tsk, tsk. Well now they are. The doubters shall claim their booby prize. This, my friends, is my ego’s “A-ha!” moment in the sun. The NY Post’s verified, hard-hitting piece proves what sober New Yorkers already knew. We rule this town.  Now that that’s settled, um, I have a tiny confession to make. Erm, I must backtrack and admit that I might have itty bitty mixed feelings about the sober night club trend.  There, I said it.  While I am ecstatic that sobriety is becoming less freakish and more acceptable, I secretly wonder if trendy alcohol-free night clubs will be too hip for me, the same way regular bars are. I mean, honestly, at the end of the day, I’m not that cool. I’m awkward in both scenarios. What if it’s dull? What if the hipsters are cliquey? What if everyone is clear-eyed and lucid?  I love my co-lifestyle mates and was

Below: There is still some static around the subject of abstinence, but for now, Kristen feels vindicated.

recently thrilled to order a dear friend a drink called “Please Stop Talking” last week. She appreciated the gesture. Have I, too, come to rely upon the social lubrication of others? I will rally on her behalf. After all, why should she be robbed of the opportunity to buy me a special alcohol-free number called “Down The Rabbit Hole” if she were so inclined?  Trending or not, every night is a sober night out for me. When this fad moves along, I am not confused about the fact that I’ll still be sober in the city. I will be sober in the suburbs too. Heck, if I continue to stalk myself, I will be sober everywhere I go. By the grace of God, I have been spared. I am lucky enough to be an alcoholic in recovery. I will buck up and check out some of the places supporting our people. Will you join me? Will you say hi if you see me? Will you buy me a drink? It’s been a long time coming.  Enjoy Pride, you have so much to be proud of. Your friend,

“What if it’s dull? What if the hipsters are cliquey? What if everyone is clear-eyed and lucid? “

Kristen

About KRISTEN

An internationally recognized author, artist, and motivational speaker, Kristen has written and published two books and is the voice behind Soul Soup books, prints, and greeting cards. Listen to her weekly Sober in the City podcast. If you’re having a hard time with drugs and alcohol, find support meetings at nyintergroup.org

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W42ST Issue 54 - The Pride Issue  

Inside: How to be a true ally, understanding intersectionality; the facts about PrEP, the podcasting exes, The Cher Show, God's Love We Deli...

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