Last week we had a discussion of underrated places to visit, things to do, shows to binge, and even one very underrated Christmas album (that I hope you’ve all sampled). We’re going to turn the tables today and discuss places, things, shows, and assorted other I feel are overrated. Now, mind you, overrated does not mean bad. It doesn’t mean I hate the thing, or even dislike it all. Hell, I love a lot of overrated things. It’s just something that maybe isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I like going into something knowing it’s overrated. It helps tamper expectations. Please keep in mind that this list is not my personal opinions, but rather cold, hard facts. Here we go:
NYC- I feel like I’m going to catch the most heat from this right off the bat, so let me say that I do not hate New York. YES, I think it’s too crowded. YES, i think it’s too big to easily navigate. YES, I get annoyed when people use “I’m a New Yorker” as carte blanche to be rude, and YES, Manhattan has a pervading piss smell in the air, but I also will argue with anyone that NYC is without a doubt the most important, and relevant city in the US (and quite possibly, the world). If you haven’t been to NYC, I will bother you to do so, because I think it’s somewhere everyone needs to experience, and I do not begrudge, but rather respect, the NYC pride that people have. The whole “city that doesn’t sleep” adage is also something which can’t be mocked-the vibrancy a NYC street has at 4am is truly unmatched; just this Halloween while trying to get from the Village to midtown around 2am a group of friends and I casually commandeered an off duty limo–where else does stuff like that happen? You can’t argue with the power of NYC, and I’m not here to do that, I just sometimes feel like it’s not the end all-be all of cities. I happen to prefer my metropolitan areas a little smaller, a bit more green, and a little more neighborhood centric. I like cities that have the capacity to feel like big towns, which is probably why I’m such a fan of Philly and Pittsburgh.
Also, when I was just in New York for Halloween, I spent a grand total of an hour and a half in a cab to go less than four miles.
Plymouth Rock– That fabled rock which the pilgrims landed at back before the first Thanksgiving? It’s literally that, just a rock (and not the first place they landed). If you happen to be in Plymouth, by all means, take a stroll by, but do not plan a trip around this (similarly the Mayflower is much more a boat then a ship). This was the most underwhelmed I’ve ever been at a tourist attraction.
Golf– I really like to go to the driving range. I find it incredibly relaxing. Similarly, I’m a big fan of mini-golf, especially courses built-in bar parking lots. You know what makes me want to claw my face off? Playing 18 holes of golf (and to be honest, I’ve only ever done this once…nine is typically more than long enough for me), and it bugs me that as a middle class white guy, I’m almost expected the want to “hit the links” on the weekend. I think it’s over complicated, unnecessarily long, and golf etiquette is ridiculous. Why would you not be allowed to wear sweats or gym shorts for a sport that can take up to 4 hours to complete? I’m not going to get into the whole whether golf is a sport or not, because I do respect that it takes skill, but I do find it confusing that there are people who can show off their athletic prowess on the greens, but can’t for the life of them run a mile. And I find nothing more mind numbingly boring than hearing people talk about golf, or worse yet, watching it on television. I don’t mind playing 9 holes now and then. Once in a while, I even suggest it. I guess I really just wish more people wanted to spend Saturday afternoons hiking, playing tennis, kayaking, or paddle boarding. Also, I feel like we’re at the age that we don’t “need an excuse to have a couple of beers.” I have no qualms about spending Saturday afternoons at a bar. If it’s the fresh air that you’re looking for, then that’s what patios and porches are for.
Beer Pong– Beer pong is fun for the 2 or 4 people playing. It sucks for everyone else at the party who now is forced to watch and care about your “technique.” Also, it goes on for too long, and the whole trend now to fill the cups with water sort of renders the entire point moot, no? Flip cup is much more inclusive, takes up less room, is over quicker, and causes more beer to be drank.
Making a Murderer– I actually read about this show before it aired, and thought, that sounds like something right up my alley. Then, everyone on Facebook was talking about it. Then, I tried to watch it, and could not make it through the first episode.
IPA’s– Some of my favorite beers are IPA’s. I love Lagunitas. I do not think Dogfish Head is overrated, and Romantic Chemistry was one of my 2016 beers of summer, as was New Belgium’s Citradelic, and just this morning, on my way to work, I bought a six pack of Yard’s IPA for later. It took me a bit to come around, but I enjoy IPA’s. I also enjoy lagers, stouts, ales, and ice cold Coors Light in a frosted mug. Somewhere along the line IPA became synonymous with both good beer, and being a good beer drinker, which is really a disservice to all the other great styles of beer out there. I hate when I visit a new brewery and they have 6 IPA’s, and one other option. It shows lack of creativity, and double hopping every beer, does not make one a good brewer. Maybe it’s also because I like a good long session, and IPA’s generally just aren’t conducive to this.
Craft Beer In General?– I’m putting the questions mark here, because I’m all in for the craft beer craze. I love visiting breweries. I love trying new beer. I like supporting local emerging businesses. I like drinking good beers, and am at the point where I do sometimes get disappointed if a place doesn’t have a good tap list. However, I get annoyed when the beer overshines the reason we’re drinking it in the first place, which is, generally to have a good time. Let’s put it this way. After a recent wedding, a bunch of my friends ended up in the back of a dingy charter bus traveling back to our hotel drinking warm Budweisers. No one cared that the beer was grotesque or warm. This is why I am friends with these people.
Waiting in Line– We might be venturing into “Dude, you’re old territory,” but I can’t with waiting in lines anymore. I refuse to wait in line for brunch, I will not wait in line to get into a bar, and you will never find me waiting in line for any new release, of any kind. Now, I don’t mind once in a while waiting for say, 10 minutes for a beer at a concert, or 15 for the next pizza to come out, but it’s the long hour-long waits to get into places I just can’t abide with anymore. There’s been too many times it seems in the past year that I see a line, and immediately just go tot he place next door. That being said, I would absolutely wait in line for 4-6 hours for a picture Bruce Springsteen, and do it with a smile on my face.
Putting Bacon In Everything- There’s no disputing that bacon is great. But putting it everywhere is getting tired. It’s fine for breakfast, club sandwiches, chicken/ranch combos, wrapped around seafood, on burgers, and sparingly in pasta. It has no place in desserts, drinks (except for the breakfast shots at The Brick Haus in Harrisburg, those are legit), or beer. It just doesn’t. See also: lobster.
Small Plates– I am a growing man, and I need large portions.