Friday, January 14, 2005

Penn Station

Sheesh, another rainy and chilly day here in New York. I was saving Pennsylvania Station (AKA, Penn Station and Madison Square Garden) for later, but it was always a rainy day type of thing. Today was rainy so I took the subway to Penn Station.

71) Tracks

When you first get of the subway from Brooklyn, just go down the first set of steps, to the back, and you will run right into Tracks. It used to be a real dive of a bar not that long ago. And, as you can imagine, I stopped in a few times. They closed it for a couple of years and now it is a pretty nice plac.

The dinning area is outfitted somewhat like a railroad dining care. The rest of the bar is decorated with railroad oriented things and memorabilia, but not overly done to be contrived. It was a very nice place to have a drink and was fairly full, being a bit after noon so you had lunch people and the early-for-the-weekend-getaway crowd in there

They had at least eight televisions and nice overhead lights with green shades.

Either this was a very nice bar, because it was the first one and I wasn't in the bag yet, or I, after some of them I went to yesterday, anything halfway decent looked nice.

I had a Sierra Nevada

72) Fridays

Ah, another Fridays. After my experience with the one in Brooklyn I thought I would never go to another. But not all Fridays are the same. The one in Penn Station does manage to have a bit of the dive about it. It was, of course, packed, but it has a really diverse and interesting clientele. All and all, if you are going to go to a Fridays, go to this one.

I had a Bass Ale

73) Kabooz's

Ha! Ha! A place called Kabooz's (sounds like more than one caboose, the last car in a train) in a train station. So Clever. But, it was a nice bar. I think this was once an Itallian restaurant and bar and the head guy was someone that used to work at Cappucine's. Things do change fast.

Anyway, it was a very nice place. A couple of televisions showing CNN and sports, always a good combination. There was a little enclave in the front with a small settee and a couple of tables for drinks. Considering this is Penn Station, this is class.

They had a nice long bar that was separated from the eating area with a partition. They had nice pictures and posters on the wall. My favorite was from a production named "Hail Canada" with The Rockettes and The Music Hall Ballet Company. Poster may make you rethink about whether or not you would mount a mountie.

I had an Anchor Steam

74) Houlihan's

This is a great place to have a drink while you are waiting for a train because you can see the train postings from the bar, depending upon how many drinks you have had.

Another place that is better in Penn Station than its chain-name would have you believe. Order a martini there and get it in a glass you can't sit down other than in the little bucket of ice they serve it to you in (check that sentence for grammatical errors, please).

I had a Dewars and soda there. Didn't see the martini until after I had ordered, thank goodness.

75) Local West

This is a new place, replacing an old place. I don't remember the name of the old place, but we used to go there a lot after Knicks and Liberty games at Madison Square Garden. This place is right across the street so I have emerged from Penn Station. The rain has also stopped.

The place was just about empty, compared to every place in Penn Station. Just two other people in there when I arrived and only me when I left.

Looks like they replaced the bar stools and maybe either put in new sparkly mosaics behind the bar and around, or, they cleaned what was there, or, they just brightened the place up a bit.

It was nice enough and they did have a good nut selection on the bar.

I had a Dewars and soda.

76) Tir Na No

I was going to go home after I hit my 75th bar, but, then as I was leaving Local West, I saw this place above the street. I don't know why I have never gone there before, but it was a very nice place. It was an Irish pub that you might expect to find in Ireland. Not your typical Irish bar, but a real Irish pub.

The bartender was Irish, the waitstaff was Irish, half of the customers were Irish (the kitchen-help and cooks, of course, were either Puerto Rican or Mexican).

At any rate, if you get a chance stop into this place. Nicely carved woodwork, stained-glass windows, just a really nice place.

I had a Tir Na No Stout, their house blend, obviously, and it was pretty good. Tasted a bit like Guiness but with a bit more of a coffee and toffee flavor.

One over my goal, so feeling a bit pleased with myself, as well as a bit mellow. A big 76 trombones and the parade is down to 924 bars to go.