Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Time For Another Reminder

I headed out with D.B.A. specifically in mind but overshot it a bit and hit another bar first and then another bar after and somewhere along the line forgot about my reminder to lay off the Manhattans. Oh well, what is a poor boy to do.

522) One And One

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A bit of a barren looking bar but the effervescence of the bartender, Allegra, more than made up for it. What a sweet deal she has, she lives right above the bar. I suggested that they install a fireman’s pole and she could just slide down whenever a customer rang a bell for a drink. They have a fairly decent selection of draft beers and just plain shelving behind the bar. The bar has a tin-like tile surface and the front is plain wood. The bar chairs are also either metal or plastic that looks like metal, I couldn’t really tell. Maybe a combination of the two. The rest of the chairs in the front part are the same, only taller. They sit around high round tables mounted on tall iron poles. The walls are a dark mauve and the flooring, except for the black tile around the bar is shiny varnished wood. The ceiling is cream colored and recessed lights giving off an orangish glow illuminate the place.

There are fairly large windows on two sides, the bar is located on the corner of 1st Avenue and 1st Street, and, given that the day was kind of grey, this probably contributed to the aforementioned barren ambience. Also, the place is quite wide and because there weren’t many people it felt empty. There aren’t enough tables to fill the space either. There is an area in the back with one large black booth and several small black tables surrounded by short wooden stools. There is a large picture of fishermen painted on the wall and a smaller picture of geezers drinking next to it. The back seems cozier that the front.

Me Drinking With Some Friends

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I had a draft Guinness.

523) D.B.A.

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Just up 1st Avenue a couple of blocks, between 2nd and 3rd Streets is this narrow, dark bar that is a bit more to my taste. The bar is not overly long and is dark wood with the top covered in copper. It has a brass rail. A soccer game was playing on the one television tucked away high in the corner. There are several small wooden tables and chairs in front of a wooden bench along the wall behind the bar chairs. There is also a wooden ledge in a corner with bar chairs in front of it. They have a nice sized outdoor area with tables and chairs for having a drink, when the weather turns nicer. All and all it is kind of a scruffy place with peeling muddy brown paint on most of the walls. Even the brick wall behind the bar, that looked like it could be quite nice, was painted the same muddy brown. You come here for the beer and Scotch and Whiskey, and of that they have a lot. The back of the bar is dominated by numerous blackboards that list their considerable selection of beers, Scotches, Bourbons, Vodka,…well, you get the picture.

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Despite the playing of the soundtrack from Sound Of Music in the background I felt right at home.

Bar Man Hard At Work

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They had two cask conditioned ales and I had one of each, a French Heather Ale that tasted a bit sour to me but may very well be the style, and a Dark Star IPA that was very good indeed. The mysterious Chinese woman tagged along and had a Framboise Boon, a Belgian beer that is raspberry flavored. Not bad at all though.

524) La Linea Bar and Lounge

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Heading back toward One and One at 15 First Avenue is this very dark, but dark in a nice way, bar. And here is where my resolve began to slip. There was a metal iguana on the wall and red-and reddish-orange patterned teardrop shaped glass lights hung over the dark wooden bar. More of the same type of lights, but a few blue ones too, hang in the back. The lights on the wall are ornate metal. There is a good sized back area and an even more remote private area further back. With the Gipsy Kings playing in the background this place had a very Mexican feel to it, from my perspective.

I asked the bartender if she made margaritas with fresh lime juice she said no, with a mix. When I expressed my disappointment she offered to squeeze a few limes to make one for me. Because the day was so dreary I opted for a Manhattan instead and, even though the bar stocks no bitters, a key ingredient to a good Manhattan, it still tasted pretty good. I like mine made with Maker’s Mark and a traditional Manhattan calls for Rye whiskey, so I guess I shouldn’t quibble about the lack of bitters. Well, here is where I lost focus. I was chatting with the bartender, Emily and then started talking to the owner, Charlie. It turned out he is related to one of the waiters at Capucine’s (I visited that place for dinner last Saturday). Well, one thing led to another and I had a second Manhattan, stopped taking notes, and this is where the day ended.

Well, two Maker’s Mark Manhattans, three bars for the day, 523 for the year and 477 left to go. The mysterious Chinese lady got me a cab.

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