Friday, April 22, 2005

Times Square

Today was a chillier day than the past couple that we had so I threw on a jacket and planned on making a visit to the East side of town. As I stood waiting on the crowded subway platform I spotted an East side train pulling into the station just down a tunnel from me so, being an opportunist, I jogged over and hopped on. Got to get in some exercise every once in awhile.

428) Bar 41

A small hotel bar on 41st Street between 7th and 8th Avenues. There was a decent lunch crowd, mostly construction workers from the construction sites on the block sitting at the bar and white collar types at the little green glass topped tables with plush gray chairs. I always get a bit concerned when I see a bunch of constructions workers dumping down beers at lunch and then heading back to the job, but hey, not my problem. The bar is black marble with a green glass front that matches the table tops. The bar chairs are plush gray, just like the ones at the tables, only higher. Spot lights recessed in the ceiling manage to light the tables and the bar while still keeping the place looking dark. Behind the bar are glass shelves in front of a back lit frosted glass panel. There is a television mounted in the wall behind the small dining area and a bank of six small televisions above a curved ledge with chairs where you can sit with a drink. Wood paneled walls and a wooden floor. There are pictures of nudes on one wall.

I had an Old Speckled Hen, in a bottle, no glass offered.

429) Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

There is no depth to which one will not sink in the restless quest for 1000 bars. This is an unabashedly touristy restaurant and bar located at 1501 Broadway, right in the heart of Times Square. You know it is touristy when you are offered your beer in either a pint glass or a 22 ounce souvenir glass that you can keep. On the bright side, they did have women’s 9 ball on two of the televisions above the bar. On the downside they also had Forrest Gump on the bigger one in the middle. A nice enough wooden topped bar with a metal front and metal bar chairs with red vinyl cushions and backs. There is really nothing wrong with the place other than how contrived it is, kind of like a T.G.I. Friday’s on steroids. Plenty of “country” memorabilia on the walls and an impressive displays of hot sauces on shelves. Quite a lunch crowd waiting in line to be seated in this upstairs dining and eating area.

I had a draft Brooklyn Lager and, no, I did not get the souvenir glass.

430) Manhattan Chili

Across the street at 1500 Broadway, but actually more on 43rd Street, is this colorful restaurant and bar. In fact, the place is a bit of an explosion of colors. The bar has a somewhat Southwestern design but with a wide wavy strip going down the middle that is supposed to represent Broadway. Behind the bar is a large kind of three dimensional, wildly colored, cartoon-like representation of Times Square. It looks like it could have been designed by Red Grooms. It is all lit up with multi-colored Christmas lights. There are a couple of similar types of hangings on two other walls. Lot’s of framed Broadway show posters on the walls as well. Overhead stage lights illuminate the walls and, along with overhead spot lights, the bar. Wooden bar chairs with ox-blood colored leather padded seats. Sea green, light orange, and yellow walls. The dining is down a few steps from the bar. Looks like it could be a touristy place, but doesn’t really seem to be. At least not in comparison to Bubba’s. It would be worth stopping in here if you are in the neighborhood, just for a look see. Ah hell, you might as well go over to Bubba’s and take a peak too then.

I had a draft Sam Adam’s Summer Ale and headed for the subway home.

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