Welcome to How to Be Social Again: The No-Stress Guide to Returning to Society. In this mini-series, you'll get a brush-up on everything from invitation etiquette to navigating bars again—plus, a drinks menu-planner for any party size and an ode the most underrated of gatherings, the coffee date.
I knew I wanted to go to Sharlene’s for my first drink inside a bar in over a year. The Flatbush Avenue mainstay has been my local spot for nearly a decade—a place where I’d spent a lot of good times, a few bad ones, and a handful of very odd moments. So when I walked in, I felt a mix of joy and trepidation. I was happy to be back, but I was also maskless. I’d received my second dose of Moderna three weeks earlier, but still, it felt strange. It also felt off since the bartender was wearing a mask and I’d taken mine off. I made sure to ask him if it was cool with me not wearing a mask. “Of course,” he said. “I got my vaccine. I’m just still wearing this for now.”