I don’t know when I’ll feel safe enough to go back to a bar. But this morning I discovered the website I Miss My Bar. It’s the creation of Maverick, a bar in Monterrey, Mexico. It contains a menu of ambient sounds like “Bartender Working,” “Street Ambience,” “People Talking,” and “Rain on Window” that you can mix up and adjust until you create the sound of the bar of your dreams. (There’s also a curated music playlist, which this week is all David Bowie.)
Right now I have it tuned to “Bartender Working,” “Serving Drinks,” and “Street Ambience,” which features the sounds of cars honking and someone singing in Spanish. This makes me feel as though I am on vacation somewhere warm enough that they keep the windows open. There is nary a mask nor obnoxious spring break tourist in sight. I am sipping something light and sweet, maybe a daiquiri? The bartender is chopping something that I will imagine are limes because I like the way they smell. Someone nearby is taking the first sip of beer from the bottle and sighing happily. Now the bartender is shaking something and pouring it into a glass over ice. There’s a slight breeze, and because this is my fantasy, it smells like flowers instead of car exhaust. Outside, the street is narrow and cobblestoned (just the way we Americans like it when we go on vacation), and the bar is positioned just off the plaza, which is where the singing is coming from. Naturally there is a fountain, and people sit on the ledge to feel the spray and watch the action. (I’m not sure what, exactly, that is, but I am sure it involves a great deal of flirting and bad dancing.) The singers are drunk and happy, and I have just decided they are members of an ensemble who hit the bar after rehearsal, which is why they have no instrumental backup and why they are on-key.
I am trying desperately not to return to my real world, where outside it is snowing and the only drink close at hand is the cold dregs of my morning coffee. So please, cheer me (and everyone else) up by telling us about your favorite bar, real or imagined.