Saturday, April 09, 2005

A Blurry Saturday

I don't know why, but my note-taking was really bad today. Maybe it was because I spent too much time chatting, or maybe it was my selection of bars. Who knows? I will do my best though.

378) Blind Tiger Ale House

This is a great old bar on the corner of Hudson and West 4th. It is a fairly small, neighborhood type of place with a small wooden bar and about a dozen stools. A half-dozen tables with chairs and a little fireplace. Chalk boards list the decent selection of beer that they have on draft.

The place was fairly crowded and it turned out that there was a group of people from Scranton, Pennsylvania had come down for a pub-crawl, something they do on a fairly regular basis. They rent a small bus (and, I hope, a driver) and then come to Manhattan for the day. The always start their crawl at the Blind Tiger Ale House and then head out from there. One of the guys gave me a list of bars they were going to be hitting and I am going to be hitting many of the same ones in the near future.

Anyway, I spent most of my time talking to these guys and swapping bar stories. A bunch of them had spent some time in Iceland and said they had a great time drinking in the bars there. A friend of mine, one of the people that was with me in Mexico, had also been to Iceland but I think he wasted too much time hiking and sight-seeing.

I had a Rogue Brutal Bitter.

379) Barrow's Pub

This is what I would call a dive bar on Hudson and Barrow. It had an old wood bar with a black linoleum top and a ledge for your foot. Plane wooden cabinets behind the bar cluttered with liquor and beer bottles, cash registers, bug spray, and other assorted junk. Red light-bulbs are recessed in holes cut in the black drop-ceiling. The Yankees game was on the television set in the corner. There is a pool table that didn't look too beat up. The walls are knotty pine, mostly, with kind of a dark-mauve wall above the knotty pine benches on one side.

Kind of a dark place. It was mid-afternoon and the three patrons all seemed to be in their cups. When the guy at one end of the bar started singing the blues I dumped down my beer and left.

I had a Guinness.

380) Henrietta Hudson Bar and Girl

Located on the corner of Hudson and Morton, I should have paid a bit more attention to the name of this place before wandering in. Not that it would make any difference to a man on a quest. The door was locked when I tried it but one of two hefty guys sitting at the bar opened it for me. When I sat down the female bartender asked me if I knew this was a lesbian bar. I said no (the two guys at the bar worked at the place, probably as bouncers) but asked if I could get a cocktail anyway. No problem, except she didn't seem to know how to make any except for the ones on the menu. I didn't really feel up to a Gasolina (one part Red Bull, two parts Jaeggermeister)) and the Tempted-to-touch and Like-a-Virgin didn't sound to hot either so I ordered a beer.

This is quite a large place, three rooms in all and a second bar in the back. Kind of a pale-purple back-lit plexiglass behind the bar I was drinking at. There is a nice red felt covered pool table in the middle room. Interesting seating lines the walls in all of the rooms that are kind of like built in nestling areas. They had draft-pulls on the bar but I was informed they were not working.

I had a Yuengling Lager.

381) Alexandra

A fancy restaurant/bar across the street from Henrietta Bar and Girl. This place is more of a French bistro with a nice little bar in the back. Candles light the place and you it is crowded with small tables. The bar is a circular affair with nice glasses hanging from racks above it. This bartender knew how to make a cocktail.

I ordered a Maker's Mark Manhattan and then, because it was so good, I had another.

382) The Blue Mill

This seems to keep changing its name. It used to be The Blue Mill, then it was Grange for awhile, and now it is back to The Blue Mill again. Actually, it was The Blue Mill for almost fifty years and was just Grange for a relatively short time. It is on 20 Commerce Street, between Hudson and 7th Avenue. The place has a decidedly 40's look to it. The lighting is soft, there are ceiling fans, and a lot of polished wood in Art Deco shapes. Tiny lamps are on each dining table.

The bar had those mysterious black-handled taps so I opted for a bottle of beer.

I just had a Budweiser to quench my thirst after the Manhattans and then, feeling somewhat looped, made my way home. Thank goodness for subways (the transportation, not the sandwich).

A nice sunny Saturday afternoon that netted me five bars and some pleasant conversations. I talked to the bartender at Alexandra quite a bit as well. I hit five bars for a year-to-date total of 382 leaving 618 to go.