The Post has an article looking at the lunchtime habits of some World Trade Center construction workers—specifically the liquid preferences the workers have: "Dozens of workers belly up to the bar at gin mills on Murray Street -- two blocks from the sacred soil of Ground Zero and America's most scrutinized construction project -- shortly before noon every day." At one bar, "three pals plus a fourth worker gulped three beers and two shots of whiskey each during the lunch hour, when the bar was packed with construction workers...openly discuss[ing] their drinking, their Ground Zero work -- and DWI arrests."
Biddy Early's seems to be one popular venue: The Post's reporters noticed the bartender knew the names of a group of workers who came in on Thursday—the workers "sucked down four beers and four shots of hard liquor each in about 50 minutes. That much booze would likely result in a blood-alcohol content of 0.14 to 0.16 percent -- twice the state's definition of drunk." They said they were working on the 1 train station at the PATH hub—and then they went to work at Ground Zero.
Another favorite watering hole: Uncle Mike's. Here's how the Post describes the welcome one reporter got last Wednesday from workers enjoying a few drinks:
At 12:15, a female Post reporter walked in. The customers approached her, asking who she was. She said she was from out of town. One spotted her camera and said, "Take a picture of us!" They posed, and she took a single photo.
The grinning gang told her they were all ironworkers helping build a waterfall that is part of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.
When the reporter went to the bathroom, the bartender yelled, "Why would you let her take your picture? What the f- - - were you guys thinking?" She said the reporter could have been a labor investigator.
The bartender reached over the top of the bar and rifled through the reporter's shopping bag, saying she was looking for the camera.
"Delete the picture," one of the workers said.
They didn't find the camera.
The Port Authority told the Post, "The Port Authority does not tolerate this behavior and has a very strict no-alcohol, no-smoking policy," adding that its inspector general's offices does weekly sweeps. Maybe the sweeps need to take place at bars?
Last year, WCBS 2 did an investigation of on-the-job drinking by construction workers: "At an Upper West Side watering hole, it seems like it's happy hour, with patrons clinking glasses and guzzling booze -- except it's noon, and the construction workers having some drinks still have to go back to work building a high-rise condo complex nearby."