Time for a refueling in Wilkes-Barre and a minute to size up the NYC situation. Yes, I blew through roughly $600 (counting rent!) since I’ve been here. No, I still do not have a job. I went to the AES (Audio Engineering Society) headquarters yesterday to get some contact info, so hopefully next week will involve a job offer of a high-paying audio engineering job. Either that or I keep biking the city and blowing all my money on PBR.
That said, I’m going to do a little write-up on some bars we’ve been to in both Williamsburg and the Lower East Side. Pretty different scenes, financially and socially, but both great in their own way.
Union Pool (484 Union Ave):
The bar everyone loves to hate but can’t stop going back to. We went here New Year’s Eve and saw a brass band play on the bar. There’s a taco truck in the back and a bonfire outside. I’ve been to this bar every time I visited NYC since I’ve been 21. Everyone is looking to get laid, and they’re not afraid of rejection. Union Pool is an experience, and I think everyone that visits should go at least once.
The Lazy Catfish (593 Lorimer St):
Brooklyn is known for brunch. Pay $15-$20 for a humongous breakfast accompanied by free Bloody Marys or Mimosas. The Lazy Catfish will give you THREE free drinks with your brunch, ensuring your Sunday morning hangover is cancelled out with Sunday afternoon drunkenness. Oh did I mention FREE PBR’s on Tuesdays? No cover? Yeah, Tuesday is the new Saturday. How many beers can you drink between 8:30-10? The answer: You never remember.
Matchless (557 Manhattan Ave):
Oh yeah, Matchless has a great two-for-one deal on Tuesday nights as well, and it’s as many blocks from the Lazy Catfish as the number of beers you had. Everyone is pretty social in the patio too. I had a great time here. Although we tried to walk home after these two bars and failed, despite being roughly 5 blocks from home.
Harefield Road (769 Metropolitan Ave):
This is a relaxing atmosphere. Great brunch, but only one free drink. I suspect this place will be nicer in the summertime, when more people will utilize the enormous outdoor seating area. Not too busy, but very close to our place.
Legion (790 Metropolitan Ave):
Legion is your friendly neighborhood Brooklyn bar. It’s right around the corner, affordable, and I’ve already danced the night away here. Did I mention that former Wilkes-Barre residents seem to just roll into this joint as if it’s Donahue’s?
The Levee (212 Berry St):
The Levee might be the best Williamsburg bar. Let’s review. $5 for a beer and a shot. $1-$4 for veggie sloppy joes, veggie burgers, hot dogs, you-name-it amazing drunk food. Since all bars are open til 4 am, so is the food. There seem to also be endless cheese puffs and an amazing selection of board games including Sorry and Jenga. It’s kind of a hike (or a hop on the L) but well worth it.
Rosemary’s Greenpoint Tavern (188 Bedford Ave):
Oh. Man. Cheap. $3.50 for a 32 oz styrofoam cup full of beer. Smack dab in the middle of Bedford Ave, this place was the hip joint for the jobless. We pretty much drank at Rosemary’s for 3 hours before our night at the Levee.
Bushwick Country Club (618 Grand St):
The bike bar. I don’t remember much about this bar, but I had a great time here. There may have been some good drink special. I really don’t know. Lots of intense bikers around.
There’s a bunch of other places we’ve been meaning to hit in Brooklyn. The Alligator Lounge gives you a free personal pizza with EVERY DRINK! We also want to explore Bedford Ave a bit more, when we get some cash. There’s a hoppin scene down there. Anyway, on to Manhattan! The main reason for my lack of cash.
The Lower East Side
The Lit Lounge (93 2nd Ave):
One of the best bars I’ve ever been to in my life. Two separate bars, upstairs and downstairs. The dance floor was hoppin all night, and although the Buds were $4 (which is standard LES rate), people somehow managed to smoke inside. Maybe it’s all the incense stuck to the walls. Maybe it’s that people just don’t give a fuck and are dancing to Grizzly Bear remixes followed by Nirvana. Just, whatever you do, remember there’s a $20 minimum for opening a tab. So don’t open one at 3 am.
Fat Baby (112 Rivington St):
Drew, Nick Casaldi, and I were sitting at a table here when some girls just threw a napkin at us with their phone number on it. This place, although we went here on a Wednesday, is set up to be an amazing dancing bar. Want to get loaded and dance? This is the place. Bouncer was a riot as well. All I remember is that beers were $1 after Nick kissed the bartender (who was a dude).
Pianos (158 Ludlow St):
Pianos is a classy establishment. That said, we probably won’t be going back here much. I’ve heard it’s a great place to see bands. We heard some good music while we were there (new Animal Collective album is fantastic, if you haven’t heard it by now), but it was expensive. If there’s a band I want to see, I’ll check it out. Otherwise, probably not.
Mars Bar (25 E 1st St):
YES! Imagine the oldest bar you’ve ever been in, covered completely in graffiti and stickers, with a mixture of young and old sitting around the bar. This is the dirtiest, cheapest dive bar in Manhattan (so far). I can see myself frequenting this place a lot.
Cake Shop (152 Ludlow St):
Not really counting this as a bar, but seeing as there IS a bar inside, I guess I’ll have to count it. Upstairs: record store, vegan cafe, coffee shop, wi-fi. Downstairs: bands playing, full bar, etc. Coffee shop is open til 2 am, which means if you need a break from your night out to grab a coffee, the Cake Shop is right in the middle of everything. I’ll be hitting this place often, but probably mostly during the day.
So that does it. We didn’t eat out much. Went to Kate’s Joint (58 Avenue B) in LES for some vegan sandwiches. They have an all vegan menu with things like Turkey Clubs, Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches, and Meatloaf. Got some falafel from a vendor on Broadway. Biked Manhattan a lot. Went to brunch twice. Trembler came up last night and her parents took us out to dinner at Patsy’s (236 W 5th St – amazing Italian food) and to see Jersey Boys, the play about the Four Seasons.
I am currently back in the ‘barre, dropping my heap of a car off and getting some more food and money to make it at least another 2 weeks in New York. Wish me luck!