Tuesday, September 06, 2005

A Place Revisited, Kind Of

I took the subway up to 33rd because I wanted to visit a bar that I had heard about but had somehow missed, Joshua Tree. As I headed over there I saw, to my surprise, a new Caliente Cab Co. It was located where the Back Porch had been. This is now the second time on my trek that the same location has changed hands and I have been able to count it twice. As you may gather, if you recall my write-up on the Back Porch, I was not too disappointed to see it go:

“What I was not impressed by was paying $10.00 for their house margarita straight-up. Not worth it at all. Can't even imagine what they charge for their 42 ounce frozen margaritas. Anyway, not a place that I would ever return. Couldn't even taste the tequila.”

I feel somehow justified in my review and, obviously, I never will return.

773) Caliente Cab Co.

This is the newer “midtown” (corner of 33rd Street and 3rd Avenue) location of the Village establishment. Smaller, louder, and a bit classier looking. It has only been around for a month (see above). The bar has a shiny red top and a black, kind of bamboo-like front. The square bar stools have black cloth seats and there is a square dark metal bar rail. The bar back is quite colorful with interlocking I-shaped shelves that have alternating orange and yellow plastic backing that is lit from behind. The shelf below them matches the bar top and six wavy glass cylinders holding brightly colored liquids sit on top. The cylinders have spigots on the bottom but the bartender said they were for decorative purposes only. If this was a Russian bar there would be some kind of vodka in them, I am sure of that. A small overhang above half of the area behind the bar has a narrow bamboo look to it. Small candles sit on the bar.

The two walls that don’t have large windows have small blue and turquoise tiles arranged in a nice pattern. The other two walls have large windows that look out on a nice seating area behind low brick planters. One of the nicer sidewalk seating areas. There are nice orange benches with orange striped backs along the 3rd Avenue side and in front of them are small low black tables and woven, basket-like stools with dark purple seats. This area is up a few steps and somewhat separated from the bar by black ironwork. Above this area are bare clear bulbs hanging from the ceiling above what looks like limbless tree branches also suspended from the ceiling.

Immediately opposite the bar are three booths with bright red tables and benches with deep blue seats and backs with the same orange striped pattern as the ones by the window. The tree branch motif is carried through by what looks like a little fence-like “thing” that separates the booths from the tables on the other side. The tables over there have dark blue tops. Against the 33rd Street windows and up a few step is another row of tables and above them are square tin lights with punched out designs. The internal walls and columns are a soft yellow and the ceiling is a combination of yellow plaster, dark wood, and narrow bamboo that is the same as the overhang above the bar. A nicely designed place worth a look.

I had a Negro Modelo with a slice of lime stuffed into it.

774) Joshua Tree

Just across the street and up a block at 513 3rd Avenue is this fairly large place. It is somewhat narrow, as are most bars in New York City, but fairly deep. In fact there is a second bar in the back room that looks like an only somewhat smaller version of the one up front. The one in front is dark wood with beat-up wooden chairs and a brass rail. A large silver beer station with 24 spigots sits on top. Two large projection television screens separated by a large mirror with a large etched Joshua Tree long in gold is behind the bar. Tiered shelve below hold a large assortment of liquor. Over the bar hang swollen glass tube lights in assorted pastel colors; blue, green, yellow, and red. The ceiling they hang from is a silver, ornately patterned tin or faux-tin tile.

I chatted with the bartender, Melissa, a bit and told her that I forgot to put the card in my cameral so I would come back tomorrow to take here picture. She assured me that she would be there, and she was. She even bought me a beer and gave me a Beck's promotional tee-shirt. My kind of bartender.

Melissa The Gracious And Generous Bartender

The wall on the side of the bar is brick with the rest of the walls being a deep red. Immediately opposite the end of the bar where I sat (closest to the window) was a large mural of a desert landscape featuring a vibrant red and orange sky with dark Joshua trees in the foreground.

Along the wall and against the large window next to the door are round and square tables with wooden stools. A couple of the tables spill out onto the sidewalk.

There are a few more decent sized flat-screened televisions mounted on the walls up front and a very large rear projection television screen in the back along with more tables and chairs. This looks like it would be an excellent place to take in a game because you could easily see it from anywhere.

I had a Magic Hat #9 and headed on home.

Two for the day bringing my total for the year to 774 for the year and leaving 226 to go.