Late at night in a dark, drab bar in Williamsburg, patrons were sipping beers and playing skee ball over hot pretzels and other carnival foods. If any of them were looking forward to the impending Fourth of July weekend, they did not outwardly show it.
Kerry Lacy, 28, is the bartender. She wears blue tie-dye and moves around the restaurant with the agility of a person who knows what she’s doing. She’s not too chatty at first, but she kindly agrees discuss the most American thing she will be doing this Fourth of July.
“I’ll be working,” she muses. “I will be working at Union Pool, which is a very large, very popular bar off the Lorimer stop. We have cheap cans of beer, which is pretty American, and a taco truck.”
Lacy explains that she came to New York ten years ago. At the time, she was 18 and wanted to be an actress. She enrolled in school at NYU, but later had to drop out for reasons she did not specify. Today, she studies art and Spanish at Pratt University. “Every good American should learn Spanish since it’s the second most spoken language in the country,” she says. “America is a melting pot, and it’s sad that we’ve forgotten that.”
Lacy is proud of the way that she’s been able to support herself in the Big Apple. As she prepares to close the bar, she says, “Working two jobs might be very American, but I think it’s more New York.”
When it is time to take her picture, Lacy gamely stands next to the Red Bull refrigerator– the brightest spot in the bar– and strikes a wry smile.