I'm giving away five copies of two different books from the Alcademics A-Plus email list. Sign up now if you haven't already!
Unlike most booze books reviewed on this website, this one has no recipes and barely any words. This makes sense as it's a photo book by bartender-turned-photographer Stolfa. These portraits were taken at the bar McGlinchey's in Philadelphia as she transitioned careers.
Stolfa's says of the regulars she photographed, "There is a visible conflict within an individual alone at a bar- they appear confident and assured yet vulnerable and naked, trying to look engaged yet open at the same time... I wanted to reveal the isolation of the individual even when surrounded by the chaos of the bar."
When I look at the photos I don't see the vulnerability at all- though I certainly know what she's talking about. The portrait lighting shows each individual as fully formed; not tentative, like most of them wanted to be photographed in just that way (though dirty ashtrays and outfit choices tell a different story). To me, this is a little eerie, as if in the bartender's eye (or lens) each person sitting at the bar is not a social animal but a loner. They're not beautiful and not ugly, but highlighted for no reason other than they were sitting at the bar. They feel like an interruption of personal moment rather than the social ones they really are.
Anyway, pretty pictures. There is a whole gallery of the pictures from the book at this website.
And sign up to Alcademics A-Plus for your chance to win one of five copies.
Fine print: Giveaway offer only good for Alcademics A-Plus subscribers of legal drinking age residing in the US.