WBEZ | drinking http://www.wbez.org/tags/drinking Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en The Rosie Schaap Interview http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-12/rosie-schaap-interview-104518 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Rosie.jpg" style="float: right; height: 200px; width: 300px;" title="Photo by M. Sharkey" />After all the Christmas posts this week, I know you expected me to interview a snowperson (why always a man? Or a woman? Snow gender need not be so definitive!) but instead today I&rsquo;m chatting with someone who will (I hope) not melt away. Cheerful spirits are a key part of the holiday season, so today I&rsquo;m interviewing the author of the upcoming memoir <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Drinking-Men-Memoir-Rosie-Schaap/dp/1594487111">Drinking With Men</a>, </em>a love letter to the bars, pubs, and taverns. She is also contributor to <em>This American Life</em> and npr.org, and writes the monthly <a href="http://query.nytimes.com/search/sitesearch/#/Schaap%2C+Rosie/since1851/allresults/1/allauthors/newest/">&quot;Drink&quot; column for The New York Times Magazine.</a> You can learn a lot more about her <a href="http://rosieschaap.com/">here</a>.</div><br /><p><strong>Drinking and writing: do they go together? </strong><br />For some, perhaps, but not for me. A glass of wine to calm my poor nerves and loosen me up a little is fine, but that&rsquo;s about all I can manage and still get work done. I tend to keep the writing and the drinking separate. Conveniently, my best writing hours are between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., so there&rsquo;s no conflict with my best drinking hours.</p><p><strong>What&rsquo;s your favorite thing to eat while you drink? I&rsquo;m not talking about wine/food pairings, I mean happy hour snacks.</strong><br />Pretzels. Macadamia nuts. Charcuterie of many kinds. <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/alain-ducasses-gougeres">Gougères</a>, if I&rsquo;m drinking at the sort of place that has them, which seldom happens. And Cheez Doodles&mdash;that very, very distant cousin of gougères &mdash;are delicious with beer.</p><p><strong>When you travel, do you investigate good drinking establishments ahead of time (and if so, what are your resources) or do you prefer to wing it?</strong><br />Mostly I wing it, and follow leads from locals and my own instincts. I&rsquo;d never heard of Else&rsquo;s, a terrific neighborhood bar, before I visited Montreal in 2006 or so. I just happened upon it when I was walking to a restaurant and fell in bar-love at first sight. In Belfast a few years ago, I got into a conversation with an off-duty constable at a bar across the street from my hotel. When I told her I was a writer, she said, &ldquo;Oh, well then you have to go to the <a href="http://www.thejohnhewitt.com/">John Hewitt</a>.&rdquo; She and her friends walked me over there, and it remains one of my favorite pubs in Belfast&mdash;a city with no shortage of great places to drink.</p><p><strong>Where would you like to drink in Chicago? </strong><br />Anywhere lively and local, with a good mix of regulars who like to talk to strangers. Wherever you want to take me. I trust you, Claire.</p><p><strong>Babies in bars. Your thoughts. </strong><br />As long as they&rsquo;re snugly strapped to a parent&mdash;and the sort of parent who will remove them from the bar the second they start crying&mdash;I think babies in bars are fine. Once they start getting really squirmy and learning how to walk, all bets are off. A neighborhood friend&mdash;an English expat&mdash;used to take his daughter to our local soccer bar so he could have a pint or two (no more than that) and watch a match. She was the best bar baby ever, until she started toddling. There are just too many sharp edges, drunk people&rsquo;s feet, tall barstools, and loud noises in a bar for a mobile baby to be safe and comfortable&mdash;and not annoying to grown ups.</p><p><strong>I am starting a new job in January and haven&rsquo;t had time to properly celebrate yet. What would you toast to a new beginning like that with (taking into consideration the time of year).</strong><br />First, congratulations! Assuming you&rsquo;ll have a bit of Champagne on New Year&rsquo;s Eve, I believe the martini&mdash;made with gin, not too dry&mdash; is the drink for new beginnings (even though I&rsquo;m usually a brown liquor girl in the winter). Better yet if that martini is accompanied by a pile of oysters.</p><p><strong>What&rsquo;s a drink that everyone else seems to adore (either of the moment or a classic) that you just can&rsquo;t get into? </strong><br />The current craze for <em><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amaro_%28liqueur%29">amari</a></em> &ndash;a family of bitter Italian digestifs&mdash;in cocktail-making has gone too far. I like many amari just fine, but when deployed with too heavy a hand or too little thought, they make for drinks that taste suspiciously like cough syrup, but without the expectorating benefits.</p><p>Oh, and <a href="http://cocktails.about.com/od/whiskeyrecipes/a/pickleback_cocktail.htm">pickle-backs</a>. Has Chicago been stricken by this scourge yet? [<em>Editor&rsquo;s note: not that I am aware of, but if I am wrong, please let me know where pickle-backs are happening in the city</em>.] I like whiskey. And I like pickles. I like bars. And I like delicatessens. But pickle juice makes a bar smell like a deli, which just isn&rsquo;t right.</p><p><strong>What&rsquo;s your advice to women who like to have a drink alone in a bar but who aren&rsquo;t looking to be picked up on how to be polite to &#39;friendly&#39; men?</strong><br />If a woman can claim a barstool in a corner, that&rsquo;s the first step; that way, she limits access because she can&rsquo;t be surrounded on both sides. Beyond that: absorbing reading material helps (and an actual book or newspaper is more effective than an iPhone or eReader as a PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM ME signifier). If a &ldquo;friendly&rdquo; man is too persistently friendly, I find that saying something like, &ldquo;Nice meeting you. But I&rsquo;ve had a long day and need to spend a little quiet time with my book and my drink&rdquo; usually works fine.</p><p><strong>What&rsquo;s your favorite film version of <em>The Secret Garden</em>? (Mine is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Garden-Hallmark-Hall-Fame/dp/B0000639G3">the Hallmark movie classics one with Derek Jacobi</a>.)</strong><br />Nothing can come close to the splendor of the book. But I&rsquo;ll have to go with <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSQKt1klbrQ">Agnieszka Holland&rsquo;s 1993 adaptation</a>, mostly because I think John Lynch is such a brilliant and underappreciated actor. Still, even he is no match for the Archibald Craven I&rsquo;ve imagined since I first read the book more than 30 years ago, and no one can ever approach the Dickon of my dreams, who really is the perfect person.</p><p><strong>Which soccer teams have the best uniforms?</strong><br />KNVB&mdash;the Dutch National Football Team&mdash;obviously. <a href="http://shinguardian.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/johan.jpg?w=225&amp;h=300">ORANJE</a>! Although the font they used on their kit during EuroCup was <a href="http://speakingchic.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/dutch-uniform-euro-2012_thumb.jpg">weird and sort of space-age</a>. Alas, that was the least of their problems during that tournament. But anyway: ORANJE!</p><p><strong>If you could pick just one person to have a drink with right this very second, who would it be and why? </strong><br />In <em>Drinking With Men,</em> I devote one chapter to the late, much-missed <a href="http://nymag.com/listings/bar/liquor_store_bar/">Liquor Store bar in TriBeCa</a>. It was my favorite New York bar, and there, I met the finest drinking companion of all time&mdash;a brilliant, funny, soulful artist who was also a great listener and true friend. He is no longer with us either. What I wouldn&rsquo;t give to be able to meet up with him at Liquor Store for a few more rounds.</p><p><strong>How does it feel to be the 335th person interviewed for Zulkey.com/WBEZ?</strong><br />Seriously? <em>I </em>am #335?! That is huge; a gratifying rebuke to everyone who said I&rsquo;d never do anything of value.</p></p> Fri, 21 Dec 2012 08:55:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-12/rosie-schaap-interview-104518 Worldview 12.23.11 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-122311 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/episode/images/2011-december/2011-12-15/russianbb-pic.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>For a lot of people, New Year's Eve is an excuse to get highly intoxicated<span style="font-style: italic;">. </span>For <span style="font-style: italic;"> </span><em>Worldview, </em>it's a reason to <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/1073/2010-12-30" target="_self">discuss how and why we drink</a>. <a href="http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Anthropology/people/facultypage.php?id=10189" target="_blank">Dwight Heath</a>, a professor of anthropology at Brown University and author of <a href="http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9781583910474/" target="_blank"><em>Drinking Occasions: Comparative Perspectives on Alcohol and Culture</em></a>, describes how culture shapes drinking habits. Northwestern University professor <a href="http://www.history.northwestern.edu/people/petrovskyshtern.html" target="_blank">Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern</a> says history explains why alcoholism is so pervasive in Russia.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 23 Dec 2011 15:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-122311 Prohibition’s doctor-sanctioned drunkenness http://www.wbez.org/story/alcohol/prohibition%E2%80%99s-doctor-sanctioned-drunkenness <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/champagne 2.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>As you raise your glass of champagne tonight, toast the fact that you&rsquo;re not celebrating New Year&rsquo;s Eve between 1919 and 1933. The &ldquo;Noble Experiment&rdquo; better known as Prohibition caused drinking rates to drop precipitously and made it a lot harder to get that precious glass of bubbly.&nbsp;</p> <div>Harder that is, but not impossible. Drinking didn&rsquo;t stop in the U.S. during Prohibition, nor was it technically illegal. (Only selling, making or transporting alcohol was.) We all know the legends of the speakeasies, those password-protected watering holes lousy with dolled-up dames and their mobster dates. But writer <a href="http://www.danielokrent.com/">Daniel Okrent</a> traces a less glamorous set of work-arounds in his book <em>Last Call: the Rise and Fall of Prohibition</em>. According to Okrent, you were just as likely to end up in the doctor&rsquo;s office or the pharmacy as the speakeasy. For $3, or about $37 in today&rsquo;s money, you could get a weekly prescription to keep the taps running.</div><div>&nbsp;</div> <div>In the audio excerpt above, Okrent describes how the medical establishment was in cahoots with the liquor biz, underground as it was. As you&rsquo;re listening, just be glad you can go to a bar this weekend. So much less romantic to steal a boozy New Year&rsquo;s kiss under the cold, unflattering fluorescent lights of a CVS. &nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><a href="../../../../../../series/dynamic-range"><em>Dynamic Range</em></a><em> showcases hidden gems unearthed from Chicago Amplified&rsquo;s vast archive of public events and appears on weekends. David Okrent&rsquo;s talk was presented by the </em><a href="http://www.chicagohs.org/"><em>Chicago History Museum</em></a><em> in May of 2010, and was recorded by </em><a href="../../../../../../amplified"><em>Chicago Amplified</em></a><em>. Click </em><a href="../../../../../../episode-segments/prohibition-seminar-way-we-drank"><em>here</em></a><em> to hear Okrent&rsquo;s talk in its entirety, and click </em><a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/wbez/id364380278"><em>here</em></a><em> to subscribe to the Dynamic Range podcast.</em></div></p> Fri, 31 Dec 2010 18:22:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/alcohol/prohibition%E2%80%99s-doctor-sanctioned-drunkenness Russia’s alcoholism a result of years of oppression, state control of vodka industry http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/here-there-russia%E2%80%99s-alcoholism-result-years-oppression-state-control-vodka-industry <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/russian drinking 2.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>The National Institute of Health estimates that the average Russian consumes the equivalent of roughly 4.8 gallons of rubbing alcohol per year. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev calls his nation's staggering rates of alcoholism a &ldquo;national calamity.&quot;</p><p>According to Northwestern University professor <a href="http://www.history.northwestern.edu/people/petrovskyshtern.html" target="_blank">Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern</a>, things used to be different. Petrovsky-Shtern grew up in the Soviet Union and wrote a chapter about Russia&rsquo;s drinking culture in a forthcoming book.</p><p>He says that in the 19th century, when Jews ran the taverns and largely oversaw the distillation of alcohol, drinking in Russia involved a lot more than vodka.&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 30 Dec 2010 15:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/here-there-russia%E2%80%99s-alcoholism-result-years-oppression-state-control-vodka-industry