Wednesday, August 18, 2010

One of Us

East Coasters have a reputation for being inhospitable. I have no idea why.

Our waiter at Otto’s—clearly a local—treated us like we were his kid brother and sister. He gave us tons of info on brewpubs along our route, gave us an extra sample when he wasn’t 100% sure if our beer flight was right, and ran our brewer’s newsletter out to us in the parking lot after we left it on our table.

When we got into Bethlehem, wet and without our umbrellas, Donna didn't simply let us borrow hers. She walked us down the block, umbrella in hand, and escorted us back to her studio like we were VIPs. Then she let us have the umbrella for the entire weekend.

And don't get me started about the inhuman (but very humane) hospitality of George Hrab and his ilk. After George gave us the grand tour of his apartment, and we were ready to join the Musikfest fray, he says “please don’t use the port-a-johns. Come to my apartment if you need to use the bathroom. The door’s open.”

Then, right before the big concert, the icepicks (Bruce, Julie, Allie and Ben) show up with literally a car full of snacks for the after party.

Perhaps it’s because East Coasters are brusque, even blunt at times, and may be it's perceived as rudeness. But this isn’t the same as inhospitable. In fact, there’s something very genuine about the vibe. It’s “come on in, have a beer, join the party.” You’re just assumed to be one of the gang. These are true friends: People who will call you out on bullshit but also go to bat for you without a second thought.

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