Some people are on the FBI Watchlist. Well, this is the RNC Watchlist, where you can settle down at a bar, event space, or Republican haunt (if you’re nasty) and bear witness to the great and terrible orange man, as he drips words and possibly froth from his mouth, instilling fear into impressionable folk about how no one can save our country but him. Though the news has painted a fairly grim picture of the US recently, I’m pretty sure Donald and I have different definitions of what “saving” something means.
If the reality of this week’s Republican National Convention is too wretched to behold as truth, you can pretend you’re watching a movie. But let’s hope it’s a movie that compels you to educate yourself and vote in all of your state and local elections, in addition to the big one in November. You can be the change you want to see in the world… If your vote manages to be counted, that is. Yikes.
IF YOU WANT CHEAP BOOZE…
Pine Box Rock Shop
12 Grattan Street, East Williamsburg. 8pm. No cover.
Pine Box, a vegan-friendly bar and show space, has been broadcasting the convention all week but will be playing the big speech tonight with sound, and invites all to join in the madness. The bar also used to be a casket factory, which is pretty badass and also some pretty spooky symbolism. Are we all screwed when November approaches? Drink up and hope for the best—they’re serving $4 pints of Anchor Liberty all night.
143 Troutman Street, Bushwick. 8pm. No cover.
The convention will also be playing at this newer Bushwick bar, which is owned by the same folks at Pine Box, and is a little sleeker and more industrial. Plus, it didn’t used to churn out caskets, if that weirds you out. However, it is the former site of beloved yoga studio/DIY space Body Actualized Center, in case you needed one more thing to feel bummed about. At least there’ll be beer?
50 Wyckoff Ave, Bushwick. 7:30pm.
Here, you can munch on tasty Southern food like fried Catfish and chicken biscuits, but you might not have much of an appetite with the goings-on. In any case, Heavy Woods is showing the convention’s “Fun-ale” in full glory on its backroom big-screen projector, but to make sure you’re nice and drunky before the madness reaches a peak, they’re offering what they call “Pre-Wall Specials,” like $3 Pacificos, $5 margaritas, and $6 Vida Mezcal. Get it while you can.
64 3rd Ave, East Village.
AM New York recommends this place as one of the prime spots to plaster your eyes and ears with GOP drivel (and unlike Melania and her speechwriter, we cite our sources). Luckily for you, you’re also able to plaster yourself with alcohol aplenty, as they’re serving $1 beers all summer until 7pm in celebration of the bar’s tenth anniversary, and after 7pm they’re only $2. Unfortunately, Pourhouse is known for the semi-frequent presence of frat bro types, so let’s just say we don’t formally endorse this option and you should do whatever your conscience tells you. To distract yourself from the depressing reality all around you (they have a LOT of TVs), maybe you can play a game where you try all the beers and find which one is closest in color to Donald Trump’s skin!
IF YOU WANT DISCOURSE…
Political Watch Party with Kelli Goff, WNYC’s Greene Space
44 Charlton Street, Soho. 7:30pm. $15, includes one complimentary cocktail. More info here.
At WNYC’s Political Watch Party, hosted by award-winning journalist and television writer Kelli Goff, you can watch the speeches alongside a panel of folk sure to be much more articulate than anyone speaking at the convention tonight, such as political analyst Amy Holmes, executive director of the NY State Democratic Party Basil Smikle, and Brooke Gladstone, host of WNYC’s On the Media, among others. They’ll be providing live analysis, but the fun doesn’t stop there. They’ve also got “politically inspired” bingo, Republican trivia, moments of “Convention Couture,” and camaraderie that might instill some hope in you that despite some people in power being truly awful, there are smart and nice folks out there still.
AND FOR AN ADVENTURE…
The Metropolitan Republican Club
122 East 83rd Street, Upper East Side. $10 for members (lol), $20 for non-members. 7:30pm doors. More info here.
Pretty much every place on this list is a place where everyone will most likely be on the same page as you. This place? Not so much. Just look at the name. If you have $20 to spare and a hearty dose of bravery, this very well may be the place for you. In what truly echoes a middle school classroom party, they will have pizza and “soft drinks,” in addition to some wine and beer, because they’re classy(?). Maybe you’ll find some of those elusive sane Republicans there to try and bond with, but at this point I’m unsure if they exist anymore. Bonus points if you dress up in your best Republican disguise and strip into something wacky as soon as you get through the doors…