In the Times of London today, writer Stephen Bleach takes a tour of the "underbelly bars of New York." La Esquina. Angel's Share. PDT. The Box. Milk & Honey. Village Pourhouse. (Heh. OK, just seeing if you're still paying attention...)
Anyway! Here's his impression of Milk & Honey at 134 Eldridge St. Once he finally gets in and what not.
The address was a sleazily ungentrified street of bins and boarded-up tailors’ shops on the Lower East Side. If La Esquina looked like the place where people get shot on NYPD Blue, this was where they’d dump the body. By the cracked plastic bell push was a dirty sign: “Alterations”. Not promising — but a buzz, a word on the intercom, and we were in.
It took a while for our eyes to adjust to the light. About 10 minutes, in fact. You can tell how cool a place is by the degree of gloom, and if Milk & Honey were any cooler, you’d have to order your drinks in Braille.
In fact, there’s no list. You tell the waitress what mood you’re in and the barman rustles up what he deems appropriate. He sent me a cherry daiquiri. I hate cherries. As Dexter Gordon sax tunes floated lazily in the darkness, we peered at the people around us. From what we could see, they were all very beautiful, which was nice, and appeared to know it, which wasn’t.
“So, here we are,” I said to Jaqui. “This is the coolest place in New York. What do you think?”
She sipped her eggy concoction thoughtfully. “It’s a good bar, and I like the fact we got in,” she said. “But can we go and be tourists now?”
She had a point. Digging into Gotham’s hidden underbelly was fun, but there’s a limit to how cool you really need to be.
“Up the Empire State tomorrow, then a carriage through Central Park?”
“I’ll drink to that,” Jaqui said.