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Struggling Brooklyn bartenders sell ‘sexy’ $20.21 pinup calendar
This calendar pairs well with a stiff drink on the rocks.
Eager to turn the page on 2020, these Bushwick bars joined forces to make a pinup calendar in celebration of the fresh year ahead for the nightlife industry.
The idea to create the calendar was spawned, of course, while sitting in a bar.
“One of the other bartenders and I were spitballing at the end of a shift and it came up as a joke: What if we did a sexy bartender calendar like the firemen do?” Leslie Hong, floor manager at Bushwick’s Our Wicked Lady, told The Post of the mid-December conversation. “When we were sober the next morning it still seemed like a good idea.”
Hong recruited 13 neighborhood bars, brought on Fernet as a sponsor and put together the “Bushwick Bar Babes of 2021” calendar, which is being printed locally this week and is available for pre-order. It costs $20.21, and the bars have also created a joint GoFundMe for anyone down to give a bit more.
Should they sell out, each bar involved will make about $1,000, but the project was more about bringing joy to uniquely hard-hit service industry workers in the middle of a bleak winter.
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“After so many months in lockdown, any time you see a person in their entirety — how hot is that? How beautiful is everybody, after being alone for so long?” Hong said of the calendar’s coronavirus-safe photo shoots. “Everyone was so ready to smolder for the camera.”
The extremely Bushwick-energy images include shots of tenders snuggling behind “glory hole” protective shield cutouts, sexualizing power supply strips while lying mostly naked across the bar, and helping a prone patron guzzle booze straight from the bottle.
For Pine Box Rock Shop owner Heather Rush and her staff, helping create the calendar offered a moment of reprieve — and a brief return to pre-coronavirus normalcy.
“[Usually] it’s like, masks up, gloves on, don’t breathe on anybody,” Rush said of tending through the pandemic. But at the shoot, for a moment, it became “put on a sexy robe together and get your picture taken.”
The nearly decade-old bar’s staff got COVID tested ahead of the shoot, despite already having podded together to protect a pregnant bartender. Local lingerie shop the Rack Shack donated undergarments.
“It was just a really fun thing to do,” said Old Timers owner Skyler Insler. “For the hour we were in there, being together, it was so nice to pretend everything was normal again.”