Monday, February 14, 2005

Valentine's Day Stroll

Today was a really nasty day to be taking a stroll, but take one I did. I was originally going to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge to the waterfront area in Manhattan, but it was actually snowing when I left the house, although it quickly turned to a light rain that became heavier as the day progressed. Instead of walking across the bridge I took the subway to Wall Street and walked from there.

197) Jeremy's Ale House

On 230 Front Street, on a block that is being totally redeveloped, and as close to the water as you can be without yet being in a tourist trap, is Jeremy's. It is now in its third location in the same general area, but still retains most of the trappings from its original place, including all of the brassieres that willing patrons have contributed to decorate the place. It used to feature cut-off neckties as well. If you wore a necktie in the place the owner would cut it off and hang it on the wall. I guess the price of neckties made that no longer doable. I hit this place shortly after it opened and the only person in there having a drink, other than me, was Jeremy himself. He was decked out in a dress shirt, black dress pants with bracers, and a natty black hat. Turned out that Monday's, after the football season is over, are given over to films and tonight they were featuring Casablanca. Everyone was supposed to come dressed as a character, or at least as a character might be dressed. Great place, I chatted with the owner and the bartender about places we all knew and loved. Jeremy's has recently opened a new place in Freeport, Long Island, a lovely little area, although a bit touristy, on the water that is always fun to visit. I will certainly be popping in later in the year.

I had a Murphy's Stout and a Tullamore's Irish Whisky (the latter on Jeremy himself).

198) Bridge Cafe

Almost under the Brooklyn Bridge, on 279 Water Street Manhattan, is this venerable establishment. Along with a slew of others it claims to be the oldest bar in New York. The building is supposedly the oldest wood-frame building in Manhattan, but who knows. It has been a lot of things over the years, and being a waterfront place you can guess at some of them. Now it is almost respectable. Nice bar, photographs and paintings of waterfront scenes on the walls. Quite pleasant and friendly manager and bartender. The little tables in the place were very attractively set and it looks like it would be a very pleasant place for a bite to eat.

I had a Samuel Adams Winter Lager.

199) MJs (aka Mark Joseph's)

Well, the building is old, the bar (imported from upstate Connecticut) is old, but the place is fairly new. The place had a nice, albeit contrived, ambience to it. It is located at 261 Water Street between Dover Street and Peck Slip (I threw in the cross streets just because Peck Slip sounds cool). Supposedly a really nice steak place. It was still early but there were a few suit and tie guys in there downing there early afternoon libations. When you consider how the neighborhood is a developers paradise right now, one can only imagine the deals being cut. I really liked the little blue lights hung low over the bar. The bartender was the classic Irish bartender and therefore a good conversationalist.

I had a really tall and hefty Dewars and soda. No complaints about the drink. A man's drink in a man's steakhouse (I am awaiting the feedback from my female readers on this sexist comment, however there were no women in the place while I was there).

200) Heartland Brewery

Well, sadly, but not too sadly, my two-century mark was hit in this new spin-off of the original Heartland Brewery that I have written about previously. It is located at 93 South Street and is hard-by the South Street Sea Port, a bit of a tourist trap but with a few decent places in it. I visited Red the other day and wrote it up and that place was fine. But, I digress. It was these spin-offs of the original Heartland Brewery at Union Square (see earlier post) that made it no longer practical for them to brew on premise so although they sometimes advertise themselves as a brewpub, they really are not. Still, the bartender was friendly, the customers were great, and I stayed longer than I should have drinking beer and chatting. This time the beer was top-notch, although they were out of the Apricot Ale that I wanted to try.

I had an Indiana Pale Ale, then another.

201) Radio Mexico

Another waterfront place and a really neat, I would venture to say great, Mexican bar. It is right by the Brooklyn Bridge at 259 Front Street. Not the oldest of bars, but it has been around since 1991 so it was here before all the redevelopment began. It has a nice, old feel to it. It has a pool table, and great margarittas and an outdoor area that would be nice in the summer. I wish I could remember more about it, but I was getting a bit blasted at this time. Must remember to maintain focus. The bartender was Mexican and because I am leaving for Puerto Vallarta on Wednesday we chatted a bit about Mexico.

I had two margaritas and then went home.

202) Magnetic Field

Well, I was going to take the wife out for a Valentine's Day dinner but she disapproved of my days travels, rightfull so I might add, and decided she didn't want to go anymore. Not missing an opportunity I headed for this neighborhood establishment. It is at 97 Atlantic Avenue and is a cross between Shane, the western, and some science-fiction movie, with a customer base that kind of resembled the Pet Shop Boys. It is relatively new, having taken over the space of another bar, but has become a great neighborhood fixture. The lamp-shades were made by the owner's wife (a co-owner, I presume) who also makes dynamite classic drinks. A pool table in the back and pretty good music with DJs most of the time and live bands as well. They have karoke with a live band twice a month but haven't made it to that yet.

I had a $2 can of Shaefer's beer and went home to face the music.

Well, this is it until I get to Mexico. Tomorrow I pack and organize my place for a six week stay in Puerto Vallarta. On Wednesday I depart and will probably hit three bars at the most before I arrive. Two at JFK and, if time permits, one in the Mexico City airport where I switch planes. I don't actually get to Puerto Vallarta until almost midnight so no posts until Thursday at the earliest and maybe not until Friday.

Until then just remember, una cerveza fria, and only 798 bars to go.


Chip said...

bon voyage! keep em coming.

Pedro Gatz said...

Have fun in Vallarta. Along the Malecon there are TONS of open air bars for you to visit. I'm looking forward to hearing about them. Looking forward also to the summer when I imagine you'll do reviews of all those fine establishements along Vince Lombardi Avenue in Freeport. You should check out Long Beach too, lots of great places.

Anonymous said...

After that kind of Valentine's the wifie still going with you to Mexico???? I'd be hung, drawn and quartered by Mrs McSomething.

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