Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Thrown Out Trying For Second

Well, it must not be my fate to get to Second Avenue this week. This time I had really planned on going but there was some sort of a problem with the subway I was going to take. Thanks to the lovely speaker system they have, nobody knew just what the problem was, but the train was taken out of service and we were shunted over to another line. That one went up the west side and 2nd is on the east side. I got off at 12th and headed east but only got as far as University Place.

394) Cedar Tavern

The quintessential old New York bar, kind of. It actually moved to its current location, on University Place between 10th and 11th, in 1963, from a spot a few blocks away. In its old location such notable artists as Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Franz Kline, and Robert Motherwell hung out there. Apparently Jack Kerouac got kicked out of the place, supposedly for urinating in an ashtray. No ashtrays these days so who knows what he might have done.

There is a long wooden bar with a plain wooden top but an ornate front. It has a brass foot-rail and a wooden rail running around the top of the bar for your arms. A very elaborate set of shelves and cabinets grace the back of the bar. A large mirror sits back in a mirrored arch with stained-glass at the top that is lit from above. An antique cash register that is still in use sits on the shelf under the mirror and there is a stained-glass shaded light that hangs directly above it. The top panels of several of the cabinets are also stained glass. There is a lot of track lighting but also several wagon-wheel type light fixtures hanging from the ceiling. Nice square stained-glass shaded lights hang over booths and tables along a wall that is yellow brick with dark wood paneling that goes up about half way. There is a small stained-glass skylight and some overhead fans that hang from what looks like a dark-brown painted tin ceiling. Photographs of old New York hang on the walls.

I had a draft Boddington's.

395) Reservoir

Another old-looking bar just a block away on University Place between 10th and 11th. A nice selection of draft beers are served from taps on a nice wooden bar with a brass rail. Two large mirrors are behind the bar with a wide paneled space between them. A big boar's head wearing a tan Drill Instructor type of hat and a red kerchief hangs on the wall. A large fish tank behind the bar looks like it is well overdue for a cleaning. The large sucker-type fish hanging on the side of the tank looked happy enough, but I am not too sure about the few smaller fish swimming about. Nice stained-glass shaded lights hang over the bar. Tiered shelves in front of the mirror hold a large liquor supply. Four television sets were showing the Marlins/Phillies game to a largely disinterested crowd. A red-felt covered pool table sits not far from the bar. High round tables with bar stools sit in the front and square tables with red tablecloths covered with white paper sit in the back, accompanied by chairs. A few overhead fans hang from the ceiling.

I had a draft Red Hook IPA.

396) Cafe Spice

Almost next door on the corner of University Place and 11th is this fairly new Indian restaurant and bar. The bar is a decent sized half rectangular affair with a silver metallic finish and a tan formica front. It has a narrow silver foot-rail. The nine bar-chairs have woven fabric seats, some tan, some green, some red. Yellow mirror backed shelves behind the bar hold the liquor supply. Niches set in the pale yellow wall are painted in various bright colors and hold jars of spices and some primative spice grinding implements. Track lighting illuminates these niches. One section of the wall in the back is brick and has Indian cooking implements hanging on it. The very back wall is open to the kitchen. A lot of little tables and chairs and four, brightly painted, semi-private booths built into one wall. The floor is nicely tiled. The ceiling above the bar area is pea-soup green with inset spot lighting. The rest of the ceiing is white.

This was my last bar of the day so I treated myself to a Maker's Mark Manhattan.

A kind of a relaxing day but the three bars brought my total for the year to 396 with only 604 left to go. I am having diner with friends tomorrow so I will probably just hit the bar in the restaurant before sitting down to eat.

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