Here are my top 5 reasons why lists are generally terrible.
#5 Lists are an incredibly lazy way to write. Why waste word count giving a thoughtful and thorough examination of why you like or dislike a place when you can just arbitrarily rank them? You don’t have to be James Joyce, but if you have to rely on formatting gimmicks to convey your point then maybe you need to keep revising and editing whatever your writing. For example, I haven’t published anything in over a month. I’m lazy, I don’t know what to say, I don’t publish.
#4 The rankings are often arbitrary. I’m not saying the best isn’t intended to be the best, or the worst isn’t intended to be the worst, but why is #23 better than #26? Where is the methodology? What’s your logic? Are you just listing them based on your gut reaction? Probably.
#3 They are inconsistent. How do you define a bar? If Talde and Miss Wongs are separate entities, then why is PS Wine Bar not decoupled from Pet Shop. Maybe a good thing to consider if you’re telling someone it’s the best bar
#2 Redundancy. As a rule, round numbers are fishy. Anyone who has claimed a few extra itemized deductions on their tax returns has had that deceptive revision of $100 to $98.54. If you only have 9 noteworthy items, then you’re probably just going to throw in a dispassionate 10th to round it out.
#1 Redundancy. Because most of what I just wrote could be summarized in about 50 words and 2 bullets.
This list from NJ.com (notorious click bait) isn’t entirely terrible, but is just partially terrible. As I’m writing all of this horse shit I cant help but feel like a goddamn mark. Like this is the whole point of these stupid fucking lists, to send people into a tizzy and generate content.
WHERE THE FUCK IS HARRY’S DAUGHTER????? This place is not only a great bar, but has gathered a lot of hype over the last year. This is a pretty glaring omission. Reggae Sundays, rum punches, a total lack of pretentiousness. Definitely doesn’t deserve to get snubbed for the basement of a shitty pasta restaurant. This is a top 20 bar.
Ringside The place is pretty much a shrine to Mike Tyson and you can drink quart containers filled with booze. Definitely mid 30’s.
Third & Vine Say what you want about diminishing quality of Third and Vine, but its still a serviceable wine bar that you can place above plenty of these old dives. Low 40’s seems right given the recent decline.
Dullyboy My Dullboy melancholy has been previously documented. If this was a few years ago, Dullboy would be the undisputed #1 champ. Now, its probably more at home in the 15-20 range. Fuck me, I feel like I’m doing Fantasy Football rankings.
Groveboken This is my cheeky nickname for the shitty amalgam of bars you’re facefucked with when immediately exiting the PATH station. 5 uniquely shit bars have conglomerated to form the Bristol Stool Chart of shit bars. It’s like the fecal Megazord to the diarrheic Power Rangers. Off the list.
Zeppelin Hall I will never understand why places like this get the hype they do. Having a bar that has the ability to hold 500 people is not a selling point for me. Great, I get to drink in a high school gymnasium, now what? This place attracts as many douchebags as it does strollers. Solid mid 30’s
Luna You know my thoughts on this. I like the big moon. I don’t like the endless promotions for full moon parties. Happy hour deals put this in the low 30’s for me.
The Hotel Roof Bar This is a sin. Should be #50.
Taphaus This place is clearly run by people who don’t know how to run a bar or restaurant. They have Sunday Ticket though. Also, fuck the Steelers. This has potential to be in the 20’s but right now deserves a solid 40.
Gringo’s LOLz. Just get it off the list.
McGinley Square Pub C’mon. All the reasons they say you shouldn’t go to this bar are the reasons you should. Because this place isn’t on the beaten path it’s gets infrequent visits from the type of people who make lists of the 50 best bars. If you’re putting New Park Tavern as high as it is, there’s no reason why MSP should be in the 40s. This warrants the mid 20’s.
Wurstbar I feel like this list was designed to trigger me in the most snowflakiest of ways. My beloved Wurstbar at 23 is just behind South House at 22. How is this allowed to happen? Wurstbar is a top 5 bar.
O’Leary’s I’m glad O’Leary’s isn’t within walking distance from the cohort of Chuds that made this list. If you’re baking in location to your list then you’re not going to represent many of the bars that “matter”. Outside of LoFi, this is the best neighborhood bar in Jersey City and should be in the 15-20 range.
Barge Inn If you appreciate the kitschy nature of Golden Cicada at #3 and every shitty JC bar established before the Volstead Act, then you should be putting the Barge Inn way higher. At least give it bonus points for being raided by the FBI. 49 or lower, just anywhere but dead last.
If you don’t agree with anything you read on this list, or the shit list that is germane to my ramblings, then allow me to propose a solution. Go to the bar you feel was snubbed or underrated and buy something. Buy literally anything. The best way to voice your opinion is not through comments on social media, its not by generating clickbait. It’s by walking in to your establishment of choice, putting your money down on the bar, and slowly killing yourself for the profit of others.
I’ll be having a drink at Harry’s tonight.
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