The city that usually sleeps

Apologies to the blogger, but Matthew Yglesias is absolutely right here and I’m going to quote his entire post:

My friendly neighborhood Mount Vernon Triangle blog points out that the DC City Council has passed a law allowing bars and clubs to stay open 24 hours a day during inauguration week. I recall from over the summer that St Paul did something similar for the Republican Convention.

The thinking behind this sort of thing escapes me. The basic idea seems to be that we should allow extended hours during these kind of “special” weeks because demand is high. But if during normal weeks the demand for late-night bars would be low, then why the need to prevent the bars from staying open? And if bars should be allowed to stay open longer when demand is high, why not let bars stay open as long as they want all the time and let market demand determine closing hours? I grew up in New York where things are open all the time, and miss that kind of 24 hour service. I imagine that a place like DC (or St. Paul) wouldn’t be much of a 24 hour city no matter how you regulated it. But why not give it a shot and see what happens?

The fact that Boston closes down at midnight/one/two is a huge frustration to me. There are 7-Elevens in this city THAT ACTUALLY CLOSE AT ELEVEN. I still can’t get over that. But at least that’s a corporate decision due to the wackness of certain neighborhoods and not a puritanical government edict.

If a college town proves anything, it’s that drunken stupidity can happen at noon just as easily as it can happen at 4 a.m. To try to limit the sinfulness of a populace through legislation is stupid and offensive.

Also, much scorn to whatever Harvard Square group stopped IHOP from getting a license to stay open all night in its thoroughly non-residential location. The current (soulless, consumerist, bland) character of the square would have been thoroughly defiled if waffles were available 24/7.


8 Responses to “The city that usually sleeps”

  1. indeedindeed Says:

    also, Yglesias is obviously coming to this from Manhattan v. DC, whereas I’m coming from Traverse City v. Boston. But the fact that there were as many (one) 24 hour eateries in TC (population: 25k or so) as in Boston (600,000) is crazy.

  2. zachary Says:

    and tc has the best 7-11 in the nation, and that place is open 24/7. need chef boyardee at 3 am? see the guy with long gray hair at the 7-11 on 14th street.

  3. zachary Says:

    also, jerry, the clock is closed. its a pizza place now, g’s pizza. so i dont think tc has any 24/7 places anymore.

  4. Kenny Says:

    Bars need to have closing times for people like me’s safety. In East Lansing, bars stay open till 2 and I stay out until 2. In Chicago its 4 or 5, and I stay out till 4 or 5. I think dan is in the same boat. If the bars in Chicago never closed it’s entirely possible that Dan would never go home between Friday after work and sunday morning.

  5. indeedindeed Says:

    yeah, i know, i took a little liberty there by saying “there were as many.” hid the past tense on ya. the clock, RIP. i’ll pour a little maple syrup out for you.

  6. PenaltyBOXXX Says:

    I say to hell with closing times!

    In Warwick, RI there was 1 thing open all night. It was a Denny’s. When I was in High School, there were a few Summers I spent almost every night there. Somehow I weighed less then than I do now.

    It was just where people went at 12-5 a.m. And it made perfect sense.

    The fact that Warwick, RI, still has a better 2-5 a.m. scene than Boston infuriates me to no end.

    Every time I go to New York and it’s like 3:35 a.m. and I can still go to a Taco Bell or buy a Sabret hot dog, I mentally start packing my shit…

    I can’t wait to spend $900 a month to live in a bottle cap!

  7. indeedindeed Says:

    I thought you had already permanently retired to the suburbs.

  8. Shim Iree Says:

    Wrong. I’ll be back in Sommerville/Cambridge in April/May.

    Hey, Camrbidge has the Falafel Palace. That’s open til 3.

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