Editor's Note: Obamacare trudges on and Harry Reid has detonated the nuclear option. What better time for a drink? Pull up a bar stool and listen as the late Christopher Hitchens explains -- as he did in our May 2001 issue, using his favorite New York City establishment -- just the kind of place required to properly enjoy one.
What does one seek in a place of refreshment? Or what qualities, once found, make one think of a bar as in some way one's own? I would list in no special order the following features. The place should be open early and late and in between. In line with this, it should be a setting of moods: a slow start in the mid-morning, a bit of a bulge around lunchtime, a languorous afternoon and then a gradual quickening of pace after 6 p.m., culminating in a commitment to some sort of late-night or after-dinner or post-theater crowd. (It's not absolutely necessary to experience all of these things in the same 24-hour cycle, but you should be able to say that you have experienced them all and can in some way count on them.)