Showing posts with label drinking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label drinking. Show all posts

Friday, April 2, 2010

Why is this East Village resident attempting to visit all 193 (or so!) LES bars this year?

EV Grieve reader Alex Oliver has set out on an ambitious adventure: to visit the majority of bars (currently 193, but the number fluctuates) of bars in the East Village/Lower East Side by the end of this year.

He'll make brief notes on each bar while onsite. He calls it the Downtown NYC Bar Project (and there's a Web site), and he plans to continue until his OCD goes into remission or his liver explodes...or until he hits them all.

I asked Alex a few questions about this project. Such as:


"First, I'd become pretty comfortable in my regular places. And even with a dozen of those, I'd spend my usual after-work drink time at one of those dozen places, rather than expanding my territory. With such a wealth of bars, I guess I needed some inspiration to try new ones.

Second, I work in online media, and I'm fascinated and/or obsessed with local, mobile, location-based content. I wanted to experiment with the technology to report on events or places without having to do it at a later time, on a computer. I built the blog of places initially, and mapped them all, and now am visiting each to add content to that list of places but doing it using an iPhone and a WordPress app; none of the reporting happens unless it's in the field.

Third, in a past life I wrote similar capsule reviews for the Time Out New Orleans travel guide, and wrote critical reviews (mostly music) for a monthly magazine there and for regional alternative weeklies. It always bothered me that the reviews were after the fact, and invariably you'd use other external input -- friend's opinions, other critic's reviews, press releases, etc. -- to inform what you were writing. This is an experiment in complete immediacy, with no influence other than my own observations at that time. They are not comprehensive reviews, by any means, but they are also exactly what I'm witnessing at the time of my visit."

And the goal of all this?

"Apart from proving out the above goals, I guess to provide a resource -- yet another resource -- for people looking to enjoy some of the better bars in our neighborhood, and hopefully appreciate them as community gathering places rather than places to get drunk. I think we have a great tradition of 'locals,' or neighborhood pubs here, despite the places that cater to the B&Ts, and I hope that by accurately describing the atmosphere of each people get a sense of which ones to frequent and feel welcome at."

He sets the ground rules on his site... As of Wednesday, he had been to 35 different bars since March 11... and only 3.9 bars per week to visit to reach his goal!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Because you're going to need a drink tomorrow

Jesus, why did your sister move there? A work-in-progress list of bars that will be open on Thanksgiving:

7B -- Noon to 4 a.m.

Mona's -- 6 p.m. to 4 a.m.

Parkside Lounge -- 4 p.m. to 4 a.m.

Mars Bar -- Noon to 4 a.m.

The Library -- 2 p.m. to 4 a.m. (potluck Thanksgiving feast at 6 p.m.)

Doc Holliday's -- 2 p.m. to close. Featuring an Orphans Thanksgiving with Miss Li.

The Pyramid -- Open per usual with '80s night Odessa...

Friday, December 19, 2008

749,250 bottles of beer on the wall....

So, you're planning a holiday party. And don't now how much booze to buy. (Oh, and don't invite Susan Cheever!) Evite has the handiest of handy-dandy calculators to help you figure this out! So, say the party will last 999 hours...with 999 heavy drinkers into liquor and beer. So what will you need? Well, you can see for yourself -- roughly 750,000 cans of beer! Off for the liquor now. See you in the emergency room!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Perhaps Susan Cheever is just running with the wrong crowd

Susan Cheever writing in the Times:

The New York apartments and lofts which were once the scenes of old-fashioned drunken carnage — slurred speech, broken crockery, broken legs and arms, broken marriages and broken dreams — are now the scene of parties where both friendships and glassware survive intact. Everyone comes on time, behaves well, drinks a little wine, eats a few tiny canapés, and leaves on time. They all still drink, but no one gets drunk anymore. Neither do they smoke. What on earth has happened?


In the old days, drunkenness was as much part of New York City society as evening clothes. This is the city where Zelda Fitzgerald jumped wildly in the fountain in front of the Plaza, the city of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” written by another fabulous alcoholic, Truman Capote. It’s the city of late nights with sloshed celebrities at the Stork Club. It’s the city that gave its name to Manhattans and Bronx Cocktails, the city of John O’Hara and Frank O’Hara, of drunken brilliance and brilliant drunks.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

That sinking feeling

The Post gets into the dive bar spirit today, offering up its listicle of the city's top-10 dives. I can't say there are any surprises on the list. Or let's say shockers. Was glad to see the International get some love. Co-owner Shawn Dahl is also quoted. In any event, I always find such lists pointless, except when I make them. (Joking!)

Uh, here's the list:

MARS BAR, 25 E. First St.

RUDY'S BAR & GRILL, 627 Ninth Ave.

BLARNEY COVE, 510 E. 14th St.

TURKEY'S NEST, 94 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn


MILANO'S BAR, 51 E. Houston St.

SUBWAY INN, 143 E. 60th St.

JOHNNY'S, 90 Greenwich Ave.

O'CONNOR'S, 39 Fifth Ave, Brooklyn


Guess there are no dive bars in Queens or the Bronx or Staten Island. Anyway! Quibble away.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Condo bender

Where oh where to begin. From the Times today:

Here’s one mistake that stressed out financial workers may want to avoid right now: Don’t get so drunk over the bear market that you dial up your broker and buy a luxury Manhattan condo on a boozy whim.

But Kipton Davis, a Prudential Douglas Elliman broker from Virginia, thinks a little bourbon could be good for sales.

Just as a few drinks may coax timid traders onto a dance floor, it could help them muster the courage to buy multimillion-dollar apartments.

That’s why on Wednesday night, Ms. Davis lured a half-dozen bankers, traders and friends on a condo tour of four TriBeCa buildings by offering wine and whiskey at every stop.

Alcohol brings everyone together,” said Ms. Davis, after showing the group a $9.9 million penthouse at 16 Warren Street with an eight-seat hot tub. As the crowd debated whether they valued the hot tub over the layout of the $2.25 million unit downstairs, they sipped Chardonnay and a Chinon.

But they did not deliberate for long. There was tippling to be done. The pack headed to a $3.3 million bachelor loft at 132 Duane Street, where they were greeted by another Elliman broker, Francine Hunter McGivern, and a small spread.

“Have some food. Don’t be shy,” Ms. McGivern said.

They helped themselves to chicken satay and samosas and washed the snacks down with Sancerre wine, and Lagavulin ($77 a bottle) and Talisker ($60 a bottle) whiskeys. They sipped and listened while Ms. McGivern stressed that her client, a banker, did not need to sell. He will hold out for a buyer willing to pay for his meticulous renovation featuring Miele fixtures and wood floors imported from Austria. The crowd seemed pleased.

“The thing I dig is the bar across from the powder room,” said Patrick Nichols. Twenty-seven and newly married, Mr. Nichols, a trader with Jane Street Capital, scribbled in a leather-bound notebook and snapped photos. He is looking to spend $2 million to $3 million on a two- or three-bedroom apartment. He said he did not know many people hurt by the slowdown, and he was not worried about losing his job.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Those who grease the wheels in Manhattan without (shudder) alcohol; and what's the booziest borough of them all?

Page Six Magazine covers an alarming trend: People who don't drink to wretched excess! No!

Meet the Wagonistas
There was a time when the fashion and media industries were known for their bacchanalian ways. Not anymore: The truly ambitious are giving up booze to boost their careers.

But while tastemakers often justify getting loaded as a way to grease the networking wheels, a growing number of ambitious New Yorkers in creative fields like fashion, media and entertainment say they are passing on the cocktails this year. It's not to lose weight and it's not a post-rehab regime. Instead, the impetus is much more mercenary: They're hoping that not nursing a hangover at work will give them a competitive edge in a tight job market.

And here's a stat from the piece:

According to the city's health department, about 16.8 percent of New Yorkers drink excessively, which is defined as imbibing more than two drinks a day for men and more than one drink a day for women, or consuming more than five drinks on any one occasion. Manhattan is the booziest borough of all, with about 23 percent of the population drinking excessively.

More than two drinks a day for a man is excessive? Good lord. What does three drinks an hour for, say, most of Thursday night and the weekend translate to?

Uh, any help here? Someone? Anyone? Jay McInerney?

"These people are probably giving themselves an unfair advantage by not drinking," says Bright Lights, Big City author Jay McInerney. "My friends still drink happily and copiously—except for the ones who went to rehab. These [ambitious teetotalers] are probably missing out on a certain amount of fun."

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Appreciating NYC's drinking past (and present)

I enjoyed Off the Presses author Robert Simonson's article in the Sun yesterday titled "Looking at New York's Liquid Past." Here's his look at Times Square:

Walk to Broadway and down two blocks south to the Crossroads of the World. Unsurprisingly, a lot of drinking history occurred at this intersection. On the southeast corner of Seventh Avenue and 42nd Street, you can still see the Mansard-roofed beauty that once was the Knickerbocker Hotel. The bar was so favored a watering hole of uptown swells in the first two decades of the 20th century that it was called the 42nd Street Country Club. (It was also the original home of Parrish's "Old King Cole" oil painting.) Its main importance in cocktail history, though, lies in the once-prevalent claim that its head bartender, Martini di Arma di Taggia, invented the martini in 1912. This is balderdash, since mentions of the drink had been appearing in print for decades prior to that. But give ol' di Taggia a quick salute, anyway.

Directly opposite Broadway was the Hotel Metropole, another popular way station for actors, politicians, and the like. Its house cocktail was the Metropolitan, which is basically a Manhattan, but with brandy standing in for the rye. It hasn't retained the fame the Manhattan has but is still a damned decent drink.

He also provides some nice details about current haunts such as the Algonquin and King Cole Bar.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Bar Show hopping

Unfortunately, I'm away this weekend. Otherwise, I'd be hitting the Javits Center for The Bar Show 08. As the site says, "The Bar Show is the Only Trade Show specifically for Professionals representing the Bar, Nightclub, Restaurant, and Liquor Store Industry. The Bar Show means business!"

Well, I'm not in the bar business. But! I love going to bars! I'm certain the ownership from all my favorite neighborhood places will be learn the latest ways to dazzle me with laser-light shows, interactive ads and Port-O-Pong! It will make getting drunk even more delicious! And entertaining!

So what will be going on during the convention?

Big Apple Showdown-Flair Bartending Competition - This show will be presented both days on the Main Stage and will feature participants from all over the world who will demonstrate the wildest bottle flipping, shaker spinning and glass tossing on the planet.

DJ CHEF Spinnin' the Beats While Cookin' the Treats. DJ CHEF is the only entertainer who simultaneously cooks & dejays for special events around the globe.


Port-O-Pong Tournaments!

Plus, there's the exhibit hall. This caught my attention:

FogScreen is currently working with bars and nightclubs to help them promote and advertise brands in a never before seen way. Consumers can now interact and walk through ads, providing advertisers with endless possibilities for engaging audiences.

Hmm, interesting! I don't understand this whatsoever!

Meanwhile, to get in the proper mood: