Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Soggy Stroll

It has been a bit nasty in New York the past couple of days due to the aftermath of Wilma. I just stayed in on Monday but even though it was still nasty I figured I better get out and hit at least a couple of bars, and so I did.

892) Chango

Well, even though it was nasty outside I could at least tuck into a place and feel like I was somewhere a bit warmer. Chango fit the bill being a fairly fancy Mexican restaurant at 239 Park Avenue South. The glassed-in front is decorated with small, multi-colored silhouettes of monkeys, probably to keep you from walking into the windows. I will have to check to see if there are any monkeys in Mexico.

The bar has a nice light wood top and a brick front and foot rest. The bar chairs are light wood with pink cushions. The wall behind the bar is brick painted a deep pink. Three wooden shelves mounted on the wall hold a large selection of tequilas and mescals. There is also a small tiered shelf that holds more standard liquors but tequila is obviously their thing. Above the tiered shelves is a mirror and above that a small flat screen television showing CNN. To the far left on the wall by the windows is a collection of Mexican wrestler’s masks, each with a name plate identifying the wrestler that wears it.

I thought it would be neat if the television showed films of Mexican wrestling matches.

Above the television is a shelf of clay pots. To the right of this is a set of three curved shelves with electric candles and below that is a few more bottles of liquor. A large, dramatic driftwood lamp sits on a counter just off the right end of the bar. The deep blue wall opposite the bar is lined with booths and fancy sombreros, mostly black with silver trim, hang above them. A row of tables and chairs runs down the center of the room. The back area has orange walls and there is a small balcony dining area as well. The ceiling is yellow with a wavy, cloud-like recessed pink area. The floor is wood planking.

I had a margarita, up with a salted rim.

893) L’Express

A great French bistro on the corner of 20th and 3rd that I used to frequent when I lived and worked in this neighborhood. It still smells great in here and is bustling but, alas, I am not here to eat today. The bar has a shiny metallic top with a light and dark wood patterned front. There is a foot rest and the dark wood bar stools have black seats affixed with brass-headed tacks. A large bouquet of flowers sits on one end of the bar.

The bar back is mirrored with glass shelves holding liquor and glasses. Shades of Spain, there is a large espresso machine and, underneath that, a large selection of wines in an old wine rack. Two refrigeration units with glass doors hold a decent selection of beers (only one French beer though) and wines and champagnes.

The lights above the bar have old fashioned looking clear, but rippled glass shades. They hang from a tin ceiling that looks old and distressed but is probably much newer than it looks. A few tin French advertising signs hang on the vanilla colored walls. The dining area is quite large and has that bistro clattering and chattering going on that lends an air of authenticity. No sidewalk seating where you can spend an hour or two sipping your drink and watching the passing traffic though. On the other hand, on a day like today you wouldn’t want to.

I had a bottle of Chimay. I was hoping for a French beer but the only one they had came in a bottle much too large for Bar Man today.

Not too bad for a miserable day. Two bars hit making 893 for the year and leaving but 107 to go.


weeg said...

I may have to steal that mexican wrestling mask thing. Dan I'm now blaming you for my excessive drinking AND a life of crime.

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