Saturday, July 16, 2005

City Island And The Bronx

Some friends took the Mysterious Chinese Woman and me out to City Island. I had never been there before and it was really an interesting place. A bit like being in a small fishing community (with a lot of restaurants) right in The Bronx. Hard to believe that you can get there from Brooklyn by taking a subway and a bus. It really is a bit like stepping back in time. Very nice and I may head out there again one day soon while the weather is still nice. Beautiful water views from a lot of the restaurants that have decks.

659) Tito Puente's

Yep, this restaurant was once owned by Tito Puente. The barstools are conga drums.

There are bright murals on the walls.

Lots of pictures of Tito and his friends on the walls as well. The food was really good too.

I had a Tanqueray and Tonic.

660) Step In

After dinner at Tito Puente's my friends took me back to see their new place that they are staying in while preparing for a move to Florida. I will miss them when they leave but they are building a four bedroom home so I plan on visiting, if they will have me. Anyway, at 1309 Metropolitan Avenue in The Bronx was this darkened lounge. I was on the way to the subway home and it was going to be a long ride so I decided to make a quick pit stop in here. About all I can tell you is that it was quite dark because I dumped down my drink in a hurry. Not that I felt rushed, I just wanted to catch my subway because it was getting late.

I had a Dewar's and Soda.

Just two for the day bringing my total to 660 and leaving 340 to go. Just 89 to go before number 750 at Duff's in Williamsburg on August 20th. Mark down that date.

Friday, July 15, 2005


Well, I know that I said I would be revisiting yesterday's bars and embellishing my descriptive narrative, but life does not always proceed as planned. The Mysterious Chinese Woman had a hankering for dim sum and invited me to join her. Well, what choice did I have? After feasting on such delicacies as duck's foot, spicy tripe, and curried squid she wiped her chin and disappeared in what looked to be a cloud of pink smoke, sticking me with the bill. I figured as long as I was in Chinatown anyway I would hit a few bars in the area.

655) Good World Bar & Grill

If you missed the sign, and it is easy to do, here is a closer look.

This isn't the easiest place to find, but well worth the effort. It is in the part of Chinatown not as popular, on the east side of the Bowery. Canal Street, the main drag through Chinatown, takes a bit of a hook under the Manhattan Bridge and if you just follow it for about six blocks you come to Orchard. Take a right and go to Number 3 and there you are. This is the perfect place if drinking under the baleful eye of a dead caribou is what you crave. I know, I know, originally I said this was a moose but I was wrong, as many people pointed out to me.

Anna, The Live Bartender, And The Dead Caribou

A black stone topped bar with unusually high, and I do mean high, black metal barstools with black cloth seats. I would hate to fall of one of these babies, but the bartender said it has happened. Light yellow and green painted plaster walls with significant chippage. An old dark pea-soup green painted tin ceiling with exposed pipes for the sprinklers and wiring conduits. Gives the place kind of a funky look. Old greenish white globe lights hang over the bar and the flooring is old wood. There is just a minimal setup behind the bar but they have a surprisingly large beer selection written in fading chalk on the green wall behind the bar. How about a Harvistouns Old Engine Oil from Scotland? Sounds yummy, doesn't it?

They also have a very extensive wine selection and interesting items on the menu such as a rabbit and fois gras terrine with blueberry pickled bok choy as an appetizer. The place is owned by Swedes so they have four kinds of aquavit available and you can buy it by the bottle for only ninety-five bucks. No lutefisk though. Thank goodness for little things. Anna said they would have it but it just smelled up the place to badly. I know for a fact that is true. My father loved lutefisk and I would flee the house on the few occasions my mother prepared it.

Little round tables with orange and yellow chrome and plastic chairs are strewn about the place. Low blank benches with black cushions line the wall opposite the bar and small square tables sit in front of it. There are floor to ceiling windows in the front and a neat little back yard with picnic tables for outdoor eating.

I had a draft Bolleke. This is an everyday beer in Antwerp, easy to drink, and not too bitter, the red-brown ale has almost a cinnamon spice hint to its flavor. Actually, a bolleke is a bell-shaped high-stemmed glass that is used in Antwerp to serve any highly-fermented beer but generally means the beer that I had, which is actually a De Koninck. And, yes, it was served in the appropriate glass.

656) Les Enfants Terribles

Not too far away at 37 Canal is this African/Morocan, Brazilian, French restaurant and bar with a kind of ugly and beat-up tan awning hanging out front. It has a small rectangular bar with a plastic top and a beat-up wooden front and a black foot rest. The barstools here of of the normal height and are black metal with black wooden seats. There are no fancy displays of liquor. In fact almost no display at all. Just a sink and a couple of ice-bins behind the bar and the liquor is in shelves out of sight below the bar. Eight bottles sit out next to a bucket holding half-a-dozen opened bottles of wine. Strange cylindrical lights that look like metal-clad illuminated hummingbird feeders hang above the bar. A little metal butterfly hung below one of the lights so that added to the affect.

The ambience did seem to capture a bit of the essenced of a colonial French bar somewhere well off the beaten path, enhanced by the interesting stuff sitting about.

There were little tables and a corner booth like table. There was sidewalk seating and door to window French-door like windows that were open wide to let in a cool breeze. Refreshingly cool after a brief shower.

I had a Pastis, similar to Pernod, on the rocks.

657) Winnie's

Back to the other side of the Bowery at 104 Bayard Street, between Baxter and Mulberry Streets. A great dive bar with a Chinese flavor to it. The bar top looks like simulated wood-grained Formica and there is a plywood front. Black and red tile foot rest and black metal bar chairs with red vinyl seats and backs. The booths lining the wall opposite the bar are covered with red vinyl as well. Stained glass lamps hang over the booths. The floor is red and black tiles.

Above the bar are red paper balls decorated with protruding gold Chinese characters. Behind these are illuminated stained glass panels. They have a decent liquor and wine selection behind the bar in front of mirrors decorated with pictures of regular customers. There are interesting curved rippled lights at each end of the shelves behind the bar and they give off a soft pink glow. There is a little Buddhist shrine with lights and unlit incense hanging on the wall opposite the bar.

They have a strange assortment of drinks, listed on a chalkboard behind the bar, for a dive. They include cocktails such as Crazy Devil and Farm Boy and shooters like Flamin' Dragon and Flatliner. Woo Woo, not for me. They have karaoke in the evening so I suspect the crowd changes dramatically from the old-timers that were nursing their drinks while I was in there.

I had a bottle of Tsing Tao.

658) Asia Roma

At 40 Mulberry in what used to be a part of Little Italy, is this fusion bar and restaurant. This place used to be named Antica Roma and was strictly Italian. Now it offers an Italian/Asian menu and there is a karaoke lounge in what used to be the Fireside Lounge. It is still a place worth visiting and it has the same old wood bar and, from the looks of it, the same old green vinyl covered chairs and stools. Old wood cabinets behind the bar frame mirrors. The mirrors at each end have glass shelves holding liquor and tiered shelves in front of the larger middle mirror hold more. A pig with flowers and two bobble-head geisha girls sit on top of the cabinets. Rippled globe lights hang over the bar. Yellowish tan wallpaper with a bamboo design on the walls.

There are interesting paintings of women in flapper era attire on the walls and a somewhat secluded back room. Track lighting over the tables against the wall opposite the bar. The tables sit in front of a green covered banquette.

The co-owner of the bar, Mei, was very pleasant and introduced me to the real brains of the operation, Angel.



I guess the fact that Angel plays such an important role in the operation it is not too surprising that most of the customers depicted in the pictures are, shall we say, dogs.

I had a Tanqueray and tonic and headed home.

A pleasant day and some interesting bars found, a few that I shall return to when time permits. Four bars for the day making 658 for the year and leaving 342 to go.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

A G4 Day

Today was a fun day and interesting as well. I had camera crew from G4 follow me around. Two of them actually flew in from California, that would be Brendan and Brendan. I didn't have much of a chance to take notes so my writing is a bit scant. Too busy chatting with one of the Brendans. I plan on revisiting these places tomorrow (I will skip the drinking though) to take better notes and I will then add more details. I think that the segment they shot is going to run next Thursday on G4 (a cable station that was formerly TechTV) on Attack Of The Show!

Bar Man And The G4 Team

652) Murphy's

977 2nd Avenue

I had a draft Harp Lager.

653) Jameson's

975 2nd Avenue

I had a draft Tetley's English Ale.

654) Thady Con's

One Of The Brendans and Caitriona, The Bartender

Bar Man And Some Regulars

I had a draft Paulaner Munich Bier, very refreshing.

Three bars for the day making 654 for the year and leaving 346 to go.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Cocktail(s), Cruise, And Me

I decided to just head to midtown and then east to see what I could see. Another fertile area.

648) O’Flanagan’s

Over on 1st Avenue between 65th and 66th at 1215 1st Avenue is this Irish bar. It has a good sized dark wood bar, pretty well chipped up, with a paneled wood front and a ledge for your feet. Wood bar chairs, some with dark green vinyl seats but most with black vinyl. Cute little stained glass lights hang over the bar and small ornate stained glass lights hang from the ceiling up front. The tables in the back seem to be lit mostly by the candles that sit on top of them and two good-sized plasma televisions. I counted nine televisions in the bar side of this place, four behind the bar and another three on the front wall. The section of the wall between the French doors that look out onto 1st Avenue has a large, sepia-toned painting of Cassius Clay (he didn’t change his name until later) glowering at the fallen Sonny Liston. Not much else decorating the light yellow walls with paneling going up about waist high. There is a bit of a ledge at the top of the paneling.

There is a good sized dining room with more televisions on the other side of the wall opposite the bar. There is also a back room with a couple of pool tables and a bowling machine but it almost looked like they were just being stored there. Maybe the rearrange the room for private parties because there was a small, unstocked bar back there.

I had a pint of Guinness, breakfast or, in this case, lunch of champions.

649) Becky’s

Between 63rd and 64th Street at 1156 1st Avenue is this very friendly, and very cluttered little bar with walls as covered with stuff as the O’Flannagan’s were bare. The place is actually bigger than it looks initially because it is quite deep, just narrow. A wooden cigar store Indian guards the narrow entrance to the back where there are booths and an area for live music, including karaoke.

The bar is decent sized with a bar rail and light colored wood bar chairs. Eight televisions in front and more in the back The televised just about anything sports related including, while I was there, the left-handed world arm wrestling championships. Whew, doesn’t get much better than that. They have two dozen draft beers and an impressive selection of liquor. A jolly old Santa sits on top of one of the shelves of liquor.

Opposite the bar and up a step or two are interesting tables with pipe legs and a pipe “handle” on one end that made them look, to me at least, like TV trays. Paneled walls give the place a bit of a rec-room look, if you could spend a fortune on decorations. Great framed beer advertisements on the wall and a cool one for Opal cigars. The ceiling is covered with Irish and American flags, soccer posters, and beer and whiskey posters.

A very friendly bar and a very friendly bartender that gave me some suggestions for other bars to visit.

Maeve The Friendly And Accomodating Bartender

She also said I should plug the $5.50 lunch specials and the two-bit chicken wings on Monday’s. Hey, she let me stand behind the bar and have my picture taken with her so I am plugging.

I had a Magic Hat #9.

650) Baker Street Pub

Just down a couple of doors at 1152 1st Avenue on the corner of 63rd Street is this small bar. I was told that it was the original T.G.I. Fridays. If it was I am glad it has reverted back to form. This is also the bar where the opening scenes of Cocktail were filmed with, you guessed it, Tom Cruise. It has a great, dark wood bar and a bar rail. Wood chairs with black vinyl seats. Large stained glass lamps hang from the ornately patterned green tinged tin ceiling. Kind of an interesting décor with wood paneling going part way up the walls, then green tiles with mirrors then yellow paint above that. A partition opposite the bar has a similar design but with ornate metal work with knurled glass. The partition separates the bar from the tables along the wall. There is also a small raised dining area in the back. There are neat tubular shaped lights mounted on the walls.

Pictures of old Ireland decorate the walls. There are also a couple of televisions. Confusingly jumbled but well stocked tiered shelves of liquor in front of mirrors covered with pictures, currency, soccer posters and just stuff. Round drum-tops with Gaelic designs and Guinness ads line the tops of the walls. Narrow blackboards above the mirrors behind the bar announce upcoming soccer and rugby games, brunch specials, and current events. There are blackboards on the wall opposite the bar as well and a large model sits on a window sill. The bartender was very friendly.

Rachel, Another Very Friendly Bartender

It is hard to believe that the evil empire actually got its start here.

I had a pint of Guinness and a generous shot of Jameson’s Irish Whiskey.

651) Brassiere 360

Heading back to the subway I spotted this very nice restaurant and bar. It is at 200 3rd Avenue, right on the corner of 60th Street. It is quite large. I think it was formerly two separate places that were then joined. A curving marble staircase joins the two levels. Nice zinc bar and great globe lights hanging over it as well as throughout the place. Large overhead fans but they were turned off and unnecessary because it was more than adequately air-conditioned. White ceramic looking brick walls and wrap-around windows. I can peer out at the subway entrance so I know I can make it home even if I over indulge a bit. There are also some ceramic like replicas of champagne posters on the walls. There is a good liquor selection and two televisions behind the bar. Another very pleasant bartender and she also gave me some suggestions for bars to try.

Because this place had such a French feel to it I decided to have something a bit more exotic than usual. I ordered a Negroni and, although the bartender didn’t know how to make one she followed my instructions perfectly and it was delicious, and beautiful as well. I fact it was so delicious, and so beautiful, and the bartender was so friendly, that I ended up having three of them.

Michele, The Bartender That Led Me Astray

All and all a really great day with very friendly bartenders. That was four bars for the day bringing the year-to-date total to 651 and leaving 349 to go. Tomorrow I am supposed to be hooking up with a television crew from GTV so I will let you know how that goes.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Williamsburg Redux

I figured I would head back to Williamsburg again because I keep hearing about new places. I am still going to go back later in the day pretty soon because I saw two places that were just opening up as I was leaving today and I know of even more that don’t open until later.

642) Jr. & Son

The first open bar that I got to while wandering up Metropolitan Avenue was this bar that looks like it might have been open forever. Its address is 575 Metropolitan Avenue and is a small place. There were three elderly gentlemen intently watching horseracing on the OTB channel and loudly encouraging their horses while disparaging all the others in the field. That and discussing the regulars who used to show up but don’t anymore provided most of the entertainment. There is a long wood bar with a tile footrest and black bar chairs. Mirrors behind the bar with black silhouettes of champagne bottles, top hats, and martini glasses and dangling white Christmas lights gave this bit of a dive bar somewhat of a festive look. There was also a very large illuminated plastic Budweiser bottle at each end of the bar. Pictures of regulars on the wall opposite the bar and pictures of what looked to be neighborhood boxers on a side wall. Also several pictures of Frank Sinatra and various movie gangsters such as Bogart, Cagney, Raft, and Robinson. Overhead fans with white globe lights hung from the ceiling.

I has a small bottle of Budweiser and headed down the street.

643) Los Prinos

A few bars that I was looking for on Metroplitan Avenue were still not open so I took a bit of a detour to Grand Street. There, at 704 Grand Street was a narrow Spanish restaurant on a wide commercial street. It was so colorful it would have been hard to miss. A small eight-chair L shaped bar with foreign currencies and a single one dollar bill were varnished onto the top. A surprisingly large menu, and not a real cheap place either. They had six octopus dishes plus one octopus appetizer. Bar Man loves octopus and eats it quite often when in Mexico. They also had a small lobster tank that held a couple of good-sized lobsters.

There were just a plain set of shelves behind the bar with a small selection of liquor. A carved wood statue of an old man sits on the bar and a small wooden carrying case for some kind of birds. It was too small for a fighting cock, I think, but maybe it was just a model. Or maybe they just stuff the cock in there.

The décor in here is really interesting. Kind of 3D papier-mâché walls that convey the sense of being in a jungle up front and more like being in a small village in the mountains in the back. There is another room further back that has a large round table suitable for a family get-together or a gathering of friends. The ceiling is divided into three-foot square panels separated by wood frames. Each panel has a colorful, somewhat primitive style painting with subject matter ranging from conga drums to fighting cocks to a horse drawn carriage. Above the bar was an overhang that had carved leaves underneath but gave the bar area the look that it was inside a little cabin.

Mostly Spanish and Mexican artists on the jukebox. It was a very interesting and pleasant place. I couldn’t really engage in a conversation because nobody in there seemed to speak much English. That was why I couldn’t really find out what that little carrying case was for. This is another place that I would like to return to and try the food.

I had a bottle of Corona served in a little wine glass.

644) Blue Lady Lounge

At 769 Metropolitan Avenue is this bar that kind of looks like it is closed even when it is open. The lower half of the windows are covered with red curtains as is the door. There is a large light wood topped bar with a dark red front to it. The bar encloses the serving area. The shelves behind the bar look kind of like they are homemade. They have a decent selection of liquor though. There is also a toaster oven, an espresso machine, and a microwave back there. A sign said that you could get a free pizza or a hotdog with your drink. Nobody else seemed to be having one though so I too decided to pass.

Multi-colored Christmas lights are strong somewhat haphazardly from the silver-gray ceiling and there are also a lot of ceiling fans with lights. A decent jukebox and a plain wooden floor. Nothing pretentious about the place, just a good hanging out joint. Good prices, $2 shots and $1.50 cans of Pabst should keep those on a budget happy. There are a few PCs up front but you could hardly call this an internet café.

I had a Tanqueray and tonic.

645) The Pour House

There is a nice old wooden bar but nothing fancy. They also offered free hotdogs with your drinks if you want them. There is a pool table in the black that has a blue felt top and a Sopranos pinball machine in the corner. They also have a table version of a Ms. Pac-Man machine. There were a couple of neat little lamps behind the bar that reminded me of miniature versions of the one the Old Man won in the movie A Christmas Story.

Kelly Rae, The Bartender, And The Little Lamps

Red plastic star lights hung over the bar. Kind of mustard colored walls with wood paneling going about half-way up. Overhead fans with somewhat scary lights underneath hang from the slate blue ceiling. There is a lounge in the back that looks like the basement of a fraternity house, or like my place would look if it wasn’t for the Mysterious Chinese Woman. There was a nice eclectic mix on the jukebox ranging from Bobby Darin to The Pretenders. There are pictures of what I take to be regulars on the wall but they are done in an artistic, almost surrealistic style. A couple of bizarre looking sculptures in the front window give you pause when first entering but all in all it is just a friendly neighborhood place that draws somewhat of an arty crowd.

646) The Subway

This was one of the places that I specifically wanted to visit today and now it was open. It is on 527 Metropolitan Avenue and you can’t get more convenient to public transportation. Several people recommended this place to me and I am glad they did, although I would probably have found it anyway. It would be hard to miss because this is the subway stop I usually use. This place actually does manage to look a bit like a subway station with dark green plastered walls. The wood bar has a chipped varnish finish and there are chrome bar chairs with black vinyl seats and backs. As you might imagine the walls are plastered with subway signs. The wall opposite the bar has a painting of two subways, mysteriously above ground, snaking out of the city.

Glass shelves in front of mirrors behind the bar hold the liquor selection. They have six draft beers but this looks to be more of a Budweiser and shot kind of place. There is paneling going about a third of the way up the walls and underneath the picture of the subways is a ledge to set down your drinks. Overhead fans keep the air moving but they seemed to have a bit of a problem with their air-conditioner. It was being looked into though.

If you head to the bathrooms and just keep going through the narrow passageway you enter another narrow room with red brick walls and a large subway map on the window. There are some booths, a couple of couches, and a pool table with nice looking red lights hanging over it.

This place is definitely convenient to public transportation. The bartender said they draw a neighborhood crowd and lot’s of friendly people. She was friendly enough and even let me get behind the bar to get a better picture of the subways on the wall.

Crystal, The Accomodating Bartender

I had a draft Brooklyn Pilsner.

647) El Moderno

It was a bit too warm in The Subway and I felt like cooling down a little before hoping on the subway so I stopped next door to this Mexican restaurant with a bar. It was a halfway good idea. It was cool in there but the salsa that I got with my chips was hot enough to cause me to break a sweat. I ate it all up though. Maybe I should have had a hotdog earlier. There is a light wood bar with a footrest of the appropriate height and width. People sometimes ask me why I feel compelled to talk about brass rails and footrests. Believe me, if you spend as much time in bars as I do they can be very important. They had wooden bar chairs with interestingly patterned fabric seats that feature, for some reason, fruits, fruit syrups, jams, and marmalades. Nothing special behind the bar but they did have one whole shelf of tequilas, at least 20 different kinds. Not too shabby for just a corner Mexican restaurant.

The walls were white and there were aqua, pale green, and white drapes that closed off another area with a few tables but a fair amount of floor space. Windows look out on the busy Metropolitan Avenue and a pocket park across the street. They had a pretty standard Mexican restaurant menu but this was a good place to end the day and it was also right next to the subway.

I had a margarita, straight up with salt, and it was very good. Much better than the syrupy things you get in a lot of much more upscale bars.

A good day today, hitting six bars making 647 for the year and leaving 353 to go.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Wobbly in Williamsburg

Well, I headed back to Williamsburg and made another minor dent in the numerous bars over there. I need to go a bit later in the day next time though because many of them don’t open until then. Although I didn’t make much of a dent in the bars, they made a dent in me. Once again, Bar Man failed to show the proper restraint.

637) Teddy’s Bar And Grill

I wandered down Bedford but didn’t see any bars that were open other than the ones I had been to yesterday. I stopped back into Spike Hill and the bartender said I should check out Berry Avenue, just a block away. I did and the first place that I came across was Teddy’s on the corner of 8th Street. It is an old bar with a mix of Williamsburg’s old-timers and younger, newer arrivals. Good sized wooden bar with a foot rest that is too narrow to be useful. Black metal bar chairs with black vinyl seats and backs. Two brass beer stations with nine draft beers sit on the bar. A large, ornate wood back to the bar replete with large mirrors and, for some reason, a large clock mounted dead center. A decent liquor selection and racks from which hang stemware under wooden shelves on each side. Televisions at each end of the bar and signs invite you to watch Monday night baseball games and drink discounted Brooklyn Brewery beverages. Sounds like a mighty fine idea to me.

Large windows look out onto Berry Avenue and there is a stained glass band at the top with “Peter Doelger’s Extra Beer” spelled out in gray on a pale green background. I am not sure what it means though.

Translucent white lights of varying shapes hang over the bar from the silver tin ceiling. One shelf behind the bar holds a bunch of stuff including a bust of an Indian maiden decked out in Mardi Gras gear and a colorful Mexican style box holding a few plastic skull. A big sculpted bear head glowers out over the front half of the bar. A large blackboard colorfully displays the wine selections. Lots of tables and chairs line the walls and a few pictures on the back wall round out the décor. The clock was ticking, or at least running, so I moved along.

I had a draft Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

638) Oznot’s

A block away, still on Berry Avenue and on the corner of 9th Street was this somewhat innocent looking place. Looks can be deceiving. It is a neat little Moroccan restaurant with a small, elaborate mosaic covered bar up front. It kind of looks like there should be incense burning in here but, thankfully, there wasn’t.

Large windows and a widowed entryway look out on Berry and smaller windows look out on 9th Street. Colorful patterned tiles behind the bar with clear shelves holding a decent liquor selection. Too decent, it turns out. An array of tea boxes decorated with colorfully gowned Asian women add to the décor. Kind of Swedish modern bar chairs and smaller ones sit at the tables in this fairly small place. The floors are kind of a plain, grayish looking plywood and the wall opposite the bar is gray is well with a couple of mirrors with interesting looking figurine lights mounted on top of them.

The back wall is yellow with an oval mirror. The ceiling is yellow painted tin with a couple of arches, one brown up front and a wavy blue one in back. White globe lights hang over the bar and a few lights in differing styles hang elsewhere. A couple of interesting looking lights sit on the bar including one that looked a bit like a cross between a fan and an electric heater.

I had a bottle of Argang 2004 Stark Porter. This is from D. Carnegie & Co., a Swedish brewery. It is supposedly made from the original 1836 recipe and was very good indeed, dark, heavy, a bit of coffee and chocolate flavor. It wasn’t too strong, 5.5%, but it was big. One pint, 9 ounces. I believe. Enough to keep me there long enough to get into even more trouble. I spotted a nearly empty bottle of Metaxa, a Greek brandy that is one of my favorites. The same company also makes a good ouzo. I asked the bartender if that was all they had and she said she thought so. Well, I figured it couldn’t do me too much damage so I ordered a glass. Turns out they did have more so after I drained about half of what I was served she brought out the new bottle and topped it off. And then I had another one. The bartender, Katharine, turned out to be from Minneapolis, Bar Man’s home town.

Katharine, The Generous Bartender

Whew. It was a good combination, the beer and the brandy, but not the smartest thing to do in only your second bar of the day. The Neil Young playing on the sound system didn’t encourage me to leave either, he is one of my favorites.

639) Fada

This place was a couple of blocks away on Driggs Avenue (another good avenue for bars) and 8th Street, a French bistro with kind of a simulated tin ceramic top with a wood front but nowhere to but your feet. The walls were kind of a simulated tobacco-stained yellow, giving it that authentic look, with a bit of exposed brick. I felt like I should be smoking a cigarette. It was a nice enough place with barstools with green vinyl seats. A low partition topped with glass with etched floral designs opposite the bar separates it from the little tables against the walls.

Lily, The Charming Bartender

I couldn’t have a cigarette so I did the next best thing, I had a glass of Pernod with a bit of water.

640) Blu Lounge

Just diagonally across the street was this bar. I tried to pawn of the writing of the review to a woman sitting at the bar and was somewhat successful. What follows is what I can decipher from her notes:

The best thing about Blu is the feel (well, after the delicious flavored martinis that is). You feel like you are in a cool place. Does feel a bit like Whiskey A Go Go, love it, love it, love it.”

She wrote more but I cannot decipher it. I wonder how many flavors of martinis she had tried. We had a long rambling conversation so it was a fun stay.

My New Friends - Send Me Your Names

However my powers of observation, to say nothing of my concentration, was fading fast about this time. There is a big back room with a lounge-like look to it. Lot’s of 1950’s style pinups on the walls. There were candles on the bar and an industrial pipe sized bar rail.

Angela (Her Name I Remembered) The Bartender

I had a Tanqueray and tonic.

641) The Abbey

Well, never being one to say enough, I headed to The Abbey at 536 Driggs Avenue between 7th and 8th Streets. Several people had mentioned this place so I felt compelled to drop in. I am glad I did. This is a deep, dark place with bright red lights hanging over the bar. There is a pool table and a pinball machine in the back. It does have a medieval feeling to it. Again, I passed off my writing duties to the heavily tattooed and a work in progress bartender Nicole, aka Miss Pie.

Miss Pie, Front

Miss Pie, Back

“Good Music, Good Pool, Good People. ‘It ain’t no church.’ The oldest bar in Williamsburg reflected by the old charm and ambience. Stained glass reflects the red lights as the core of regulars and Williamsburg tourists knock back a few and chat about whatever. Late night crowd and happy hours that keep you there well into your bedtime. Come by for one and you’ll stay for one too many."

Well, I can see how it would be easy to stay for one too many, but Bar Man was already at that point when he walked in. I had a Tanqueray and tonic and just wobbled out of Williamsburg and back on home to Brooklyn. Thank goodness the subway was close.