You won't find this card proudly presented at Daniel's in New York City. Or LeCirque.
I'm a bartender in some hard core local bars here in Nashville. The local watering holes. Oh, but first before I went to work at the local hangs, I went to work downtown Nashville to service the tourists, and the more polished suits, the college kids.
But they don't tip.
And they're not personable.
And they don't care what your name is.
So, I decided to go work in the local hangs. When I first started working at the one bar, here in Nashville, well, Antioch, I was definately in a new landscape. I was amongst proud rednecks. And they were proud to declare the title.
I was a Yankee. Damn Yankee at that. And still am to them, but now called THIER yam dankee, instead. There is a difference between North and South. And here I thought we were all one and .... I felt like a stranger. And that's strange because I'm not a stranger anywhere. I can walk in all kinds of circles and environments and feel a kinship.
I thought that maybe I would never fit in here. I'm an artsy fartsy New York City biker hippie chick singing southern rock style music. What the?
But Who Said A City Girl Can't Be Country?
At the bars where I work, I've met the nicest, most loving kind folks. They care. They want to commune at the bars because they love to socialize. And at these bars, it's like a party. Maybe like being in your best friend's basement at your mom's house growing up, like on That 70's Show.
And the first thing they want to know is your name and will repeat it all night long so that it is in their hearts and rolls off their tongues as if you're a lifelong cousin.The customers call me baby, sweetheart, honey, darlin'. And in New York, well, poop thumbtacks, some girl bartenders would think that was deroggatory. Not me! Because these folks say it with care and an invitation for friendship. They say it differently. Very differently. They speak these endearments, endearingly. It's part of the culture here in the south. They also like to stand in that "personal space" area that us New Yorkers vehmently protect. We northerners keep folks at arms length unless we really know someone. But here in the South, well, these beautiful people, you know, completely stand INSIDE arms reach right when they meet you. Warm welcome. Indeed.
My one boss, David, is what I call, my "Hillbilly Hero" and I've written a song for him. He and I are like brother and sister. He is so Southern and I'm so Northern, but we work well together. He adores me and I adore him. He's my Hillbilly Hero because he cares so much and is concerned about my wellbeing as one of his employees and friends. He came to visit me at the other bar last night and brought me a token from Vegas, a Harley-Davison purse featuring a chick on a motorcycle dated in the '50s. With rhinestones splashed across the design.
Well, I stopped sweeping, opened this gift and was just bubbling and fountaining with gratitude. He's the best. What a beautiful and caring move, eh?
These are real, down-to-earth, honest AMAZING folks here in the good ol' south. They are FUN and they are loving and kind. Not that New Yorkers aren't! I miss home SOOOO bad alot of times. I'm a city girl forever and I long to be home.
And someday I hope and pray that I will be able to afford to return home because my beloved hometown of NYC has become so expensive.
Oh, Northern friends say, move to Queens, Brooklyn, and I've lived there before. I know the boroughs are there and available as choice locations to reside. But those places are the alternatives to where I really want to be, at home. And that is right in the heart of Manhattan. With it's bustling streets and fantastic neighborhoods, and ART! ALL THINGS ART!
For now, however, it's like I left the barstool for a moment, that New York City barstool, and for the moment:
GONE SOUTH, DON'T F(*K WITH MY NORTH.
I am relieving myself in the South. Stress relieving, that is. Enjoying the solitude and simple pleasures of a beautifully tepid pace... and learning what it means to be quiet and think. To breathe very deeply and become totally aware and to act carefully and with thought.
And being around people who take the time. Alot of time to make sure you're doing alright. : )