Friday, April 01, 2005

Home Again

Well, I made it back to New York safe and sound and took a few days off from my trek. I did pop in to one of my local favorites, Pete's Waterfront, and had a couple of beers, including one nice cask-conditioned ale. However, having already included Pete's in my trek it was just recreational drinking.

All four bars that I hit today were on a single block, 7th Avenue between Grove and Barrow.

351) Jekyll & Hyde

This is a bit of a touristy place, but having been away for so long I was begining to feel like a bit of a tourist myself. This place is kind of a cross between Disneyland and a chamber of horrors. It has a great, old, dark-wood bar with a brass rail. The bar-stools have padded vinyl seats and some of them are rigged up to move up and down very slowly. So slowly, in fact, that you don't really notice it until all of a sudden your eyes are at bar level. Quite weird. There are all kinds of things, including shrunken heads, behind the bar and above the bar is what looks like a large speciman cabinet with, well, specimans in it. Skeletons of who knows what, mounted spiders and insects, an alligator, various body parts in jars. Actually, the whole bar looks like it was built in a mad-scientist's laboratory Quite cheerful.

There is a mounted T-Rex head on the wall that periodically lets out a roar and three television that show black-and-white trailers for horror movies. The whole place is quite dark, even on a sunny mid-afternoon, and there are small candles on the bar to add to the eerie atmosphere. Even more weird goings on in the large eating area in the back.

I had a Brooklyn Brewery Black Chocolate Stout.

352) Garage

A very nice, large, irregularly shaped six-sided polygon bar. Black and gray marble top with a light and dark wood patterned front and a ledge for your foot. There is a large, inverted partial copper pyramid affair hanging over the interior of the bar with racks for glasses, wine racks, and more shelves for wine. The center islands hold more liquor as well as oysters on ice. Large, orange globe lights hang from the ceiling and there is is also a rather large and quite ornate chandelier. A few large black and white pictures of musicians and singers hang from the wall as well as a couple of large sculptures made up primarily of automobile parts.

The walls are a combination of brick and mauve paint. There is an upstairs area with small green-glass shaded lights hanging overhead. Live music starts in the early evening.

I had a Guiness.

353) Penny Feathers

A smallish, half-rectangular bar with a light-wood, dark-grained, top. The front of the bar has decorative wooden panels. There is a dark linoleum ledge for your foot. About seven bar-chairs, wooden with padded maroonish seats. Little aluminum lamps with small tan shades sit on the bar. Behind the bar are shelves with a mirror back holding glasses, liquor, and wine. Below the shelf that holds the wine is a string of little multi-colored Japanese-style lanterns. Hanging immediately above the bar is a large set of shelves holding more bottles of liquor and wine and below that are racks from which glasses are hung. According to the mysterious Chinese woman who appears now and then, the place has a country French decor. She is eating French onion soup, so she should know.

Mostly brick walls with small tables with green and white checked table-cloths and lights with large, cylindrical shades hanging above them. A nice glassed in area on the sidewalk offers a great view of the passing scene while insulating you from the sounds and smells of the traffic.

I had a Maker's Mark Manhattan.

354) Sushi Samba

This is a large, ultra-modern place that is really nicely done, in my opinion at least. The top of the bar is fairly plain, about the only thing in the place that is. The front of the bar is a back-lite yellow lucite. The bar-chairs look like pale-green half-egg shells mounted on tubular aluminum. The back of the bar is molded orange and red plastic ahelving loaded with glasses and bottles and glowingly lite from behind. The overhead lights are round, luminous, yellowish disks. There is a very large polygon sushi-bar in a large area to the side and in front of the bar. There is a sunken area with sofas and small tables. Lime-green and lemon-yellow are the primary colors decorating the place.

This is an uber sake bar. The bartender, who was quite knowledgeable, said the had 165 different kinds. The mysterious Chinese woman declared herself to be sultry and ordered a Sultry Sake Cocktail and then proceeded to remove some of her outer garments. She then commented upon how her drink was served by a handsome, muscular bartender.

I broke my rule and had two sakes, a Kori and a Dewazakura Oka. They were both very good. We then headed back to the Garage for dinner.

Plodding onward, 354 for the year and 646 left to go. I plan on making more progress starting Monday when I get back to a more regular routine.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Star Coverage In Toronto - Kind Of

For any of you that may be interested, I had a brief mention in the Toronto Star as a resulut of this blog. You can access it by going to the address below. I am not sure how long they keep these articles online so if it is a bad link, let me know and I will revise this post.

I still haven't hit any bars since I got back from Mexico. Taking a bit of a breather but will be back at it no later than Monday. I might hit a few earlier, I am getting a bit antsy and the weather is nice. Perhaps a stroll in Greewich Village might be in order.