Barred: The Astor Room


When: 6:32pm, Saturday

I’ve been to The Astor Room a surprising amount of times for someone who doesn’t live in Astoria (and used to live in Carroll Gardens). I’ve brought my mom and grandma there for happy hour when they’ve visited and I think we ended up drunk and teary. I honestly don’t remember–two-for-ones will do that–but I have a photo of my grandma and one of the bartenders

This Saturday I took the only open seat and happened to sit next to the only other woman who was solo and appeared to be over 40. She read as a regular, drinking white wine and eating hummus, and ordering another glass declaring, “I’m not feeling it. It’s weak.” I thought she might be Middle Eastern, long chestnut hair, dark features, shades of Amal Clooney, but turned out to be French.

This was her break from her husband and kids. She was supposed to be detoxing and not drinking wine or eating hummus. Her husband is on her about her weight. She used to cry about being a size 6 and now she is trying to get back there. We were both 5′8″. I am on a size 14/16 cusp, she was no more than a 10. I told her about when I was an exchange student for a month in France my host family said, “We knew you were an American at the train station because you were so big.” I weighed 50 pounds less than I do now at 17. And how I’m about to head to Seoul where clothing sizes are one size because it’s assumed all women are like 0-4. 

I couldn’t help but ask how old she was. 45. I told her my age in exchange. She said, “You don’t look 44. Never tell anyone that you are.” So French. 

Was I carded? There is no gatekeeper, and I can’t imagine any yahoos wandering into this basement.

Age appropriate? Definitely.

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