Monday, January 10, 2005

The Old Stretch

Today I thought I would take a trip up memory lane, and in my case that meant 3rd Avenue. At one time I lived on 22nd Street between 2nd Avenue and 3rd Avenue and worked on 17th and Park Avenue South. I also spent a bit of time in the Gramercy Park Hotel. About ten months, in fact. So anyway, today I took the subway to 14th street and began my journey.

41) Barfly

This is an old haunt of mine on the corner of 3rd Avenue and 20th Street. We used to have some fun company parties here in the old days. This is a nice bar, suitably dark for 11:15 A.M. and, best of all open. A pool table in the back and 4 nice televisions above the bar that were all showing, for some reason, a fashion show. There were another 6 televisions strewn around the place that began to click on one by one while I was there, and they mostly featured sports.

Lots of blue and white Chirstmas tree lights and lots of white, somethings that looked like trees with no leaves. All and all though it was kind of pretty.

I had a Bloody Mary.

42) Paddy McGuires

Across the street and back a bit was another Irish bar that had the same type of white tree-like things and was also strung up with the same kind of lights. Also a Christmas tree in the front window that was in the process of being dismantled.

No tables or booths in this place but stools and chairs along the walls which had little shelves so you had a place to put down your drink.

They had a total of 9 televisions that I could count and 2 pool tables in the back.

They had 16 draft taps but a few duplicates. The standard Irish bar beers on draft but Tetley's English Ale was a nice departure.

I had a Newcastle Brown Ale.

43) Rolf's

Now this was kind of close to home. In fact it is only half a block from where I used to live. You have to see this place to believe it this time of year. The Christmas decorations look like something you should have to pay to see, if you could even find a place. It truly is like being inside a story-book.

This time of year in addition to their usual German fare they have goose on the menu and it is fabulous. I may end up going back before the end of the month, when they change the decor and the menu, just to have it.

I had a Dab Dark Dortmunder and toddled on down the road.

44) Molly's

This place, on 3rd between 22nd and 23rd, back when I lived in the neighborhood, was once Molly Malone. New owner's but the place has pretty much remained the same. A sawdust on the floor Irish bar with the best Irish coffee and hamburger in the city, as far as I am concerned at least. As a plus The Pogues popped up on their sound system while I was there. If you don't know who The Pogues are I would suggest that they may be the best Irish rock-band ever.

Anyway, I had a Guiness and headed out.

45) Andrea's

Just across 23rd at 307 3rd Avenue is this good sized Italian restaurant that specializes in pizzas. It is fairly fancy with a shiny wood bar with a brass rail. The two round brass beer stations had plastic replicas of the Venus de Milo on top and a few more of them were on the shelves behind the bar. There were mirrors behing the shelves and opposite the bar the wall had mirrors that looked like wooden framed windows. That wall is brick but the walls in the rest of the place are wood paneling.

I had a glass of red wine.

46) Bulls Head Tavern

Back across the street from Molly's was the Bull's Head Tavern and it had finally opened up.

Another fairly large place with a couple of pool tables and a dartboard. They had some interesting, somewhat religious, paintings on the wall and 3 televisons that I saw and a bowling and a golf machine.

I would have stayed longer but interviews for staff were being conducted and the person that was conducting the interviews had, for me at least, a very unpleasant voice. Something off-putting about conducting interviews within earshot of the customers, both for the customer and, I would think, for the person being interviewed. The bartender, however, was a very pleasant person.

I had a draft Boddington's Pub Ale.

47) Plug Uglies

Down the block a bit, and I was getting lazy and let the bartender write the entire review:

"Plug Uglies, hot bartenders, titillating personalities, shuffleboard, pool table, free spankings. Ask for Elizibeth, she is so charming you will stay all day."

Well, that about sums it up except that I couldn't stay all day, places to go.

I had a Dewars and soda.

48) Mumbles

There are a few of these around town and this is another one. Most notable thing about this place is that it used to be the Old Forge back in the day when I used to hang out in the neighborhood and have a drink or two. Very nice bartender though who, when he heard about my quest, bought me a free one.

The quote from the bartender was "Mumbles - where the elite meet to drink! From young to old, laid-back to bold - the spirits are always first class."

Two Dewars and sodas.

49) Shades of Green

This place is on 15th and, as long as I was heading back this way to the subway, I had to stop in. For some reason it wasn't open when I walked down the stret earlier. It is your typical Irish pub and, by this time, I wasn't really able to notice anything that would differentiate it from any other Irish bar I have been in. Might have something to do with the number of drinks I had in me. It is a friendly local bar.

I had a Guiness.

50) 119 Bar

Another bar on 15th that you could almost miss if you didn't know it was there. Kind of looks like a basement rec-room, if your basement had a pool table and a bar in it. Kind of dingy, but hey, it was open this time around. I believe this used to be a Polish-American club of some type and, if I am not mistaken, it still operates upstairs.

I had a Dewars and soda.

51) Belmont Lounge

Just down the block on 15th, a bit of a dark place that wasn't quite open yet so I just downed a quick one and left. I used to go to this place once in awhile long ago and it was a dark place then, but it did have a little open area in the back that was nice when the weather was warm. They also had a pool table back there, but I didn't actually look this time around.

I had a Dewars and soda.

I was just going to go to six bars today but because so many memories came bubbling to the fore I just decided to go with the flow and almost doubled that. I am glad that I did, but I do not expect there will be many days like this.

Well this makes 51 bars down and 949 to go. I feel like I have passed a milestone of sorts and am begining to think that I am making real progress. I cannot afford to let down, however, so I will be back in the neighborhood again tomorrow.


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