5 Bar Crawl
Out of the blue and for no reason at all other than it would give me the opportunity to see more of the city I love and live in, and also to have an excuse to drink more alcohol I decided to do a bar review. No ordinary bar review. I planned to pick five of New York's worst bars, go to each of them and review them at my own leisure. How did I define worst? I didn't. I simply wanted to visit bars that are any of the following:
1) Bars I've never been to before.
3) Unsafe or have an element of danger.
4) Unusual / Unclean and/or unfriendly.
5) In some way interesting.
Bar #3: Lucy's Bar
|No chain-smoking bike riding dogs allowed|
This bar was chosen at random. Sean and I were heading to another dive bar in the Lower East Side when we stumbled across this place at 135 Avenue A (between 9th & St. Marks Place). We took a peek inside and found it to be delightfully empty. The bartender was an elderly woman from Poland who turned out to be Lucy herself. As the only patrons we got served with particular attention.
The bar itself had a natural charm that can only be found in an ever shrinking number of genuine dive bars in the city. Beers were served with a smile, conversation was easy and Lucy herself selected several songs to get the jukebox going. The setup was typical, bar to one side, cafeteria tables and chairs to the other, a Jukebox, Deer Hunter and two pool tables at the back. I fell in love with this place as soon as I entered. We were her first customers but the crowds that followed only added to the laid back atmosphere. Being surrounded by magnet knucklehead bars meant that Lucy's reaped the reward of that filter. This was a bar for locals only.
I like to review these dive bars with Sean because he is a total nerd, which I can relate to being one myself...kinda (I like Star Trek & Zombies but I have had full sexual intercourse with a woman). Nerds never run out of stuff to talk about and as a matter of fact Sean never shuts up. During this bar review he droned on and on about how many drinks he had at my recent wedding.
Sean is a great deterrent for people who might want to talk with us due to him looking like a cross between a clown without make-up and a baby dressed up like a grown man. This means that I can do my bar reviews undisturbed by fellow patrons. He is also a budding musician* and released an album of original heartfelt cowboy songs called "Waiting For A Dream". If you wanna hear the sound of a grown man crying without shedding tears this is the album for you.
|Available on iTunes|
The first single is called "She Sent Me A Text" which is a true story about Sean getting a text from a girl he liked. Nothing ever happened. My favorite track on the album is "Since you left me you're not around anymore" because it's the shortest.
The wood paneling, low ceiling and dim lights make for a cozy atmosphere. This made beating Sean twice at pool to win the "all time world's best pool player in the universe ever, forever" all that more intimate. I could almost feel his pain.
|Pool Table/Sean's Table O' Shame|
|The bar when people turned up|
|I made this shot.|
|Sean in shock at my superior pool playing|
|My new headshot.|
|I don't even know what this is.|
|I seen the light|
|Double the horror with a mirror.|
|The Pissing Scenery|
The exterior facade of the bar has an inviting quality. Neon lights and the red glow from the bar lights inside should attract even the most stubborn alco-moth.
|Someone can't sleep in the apartments above.|
|Outside is cab heavy, no problem hailing.|
On a trip to the restroom I got cornered by a giant who was downing beers in a cubicle alone. He told me his life tales of crime, drunken debauchery, violence and his attempts at being a writer when not providing security at local dive bars and performance spaces. I asked for his name but he refused to tell me. I pushed him on it in case I would ever see him again but he was reluctant. Eventually he relented and said he performed under the name 'Gerber'.
|Has anyone seen this woman's son?|
Nice. Maybe the Lower East Side still has a little mystery left in it yet.
Opens daily from 6pm-4am. Cash bar only. Pool tables work. The jukebox has a good classic rock selection. Lucy pours her drinks heavy. Regulars bar, no meatheads. Close to the L Train. Bursting with charm. Pretty good beer selection. The bar has been used for many film shoots and their posters line the walls - find out which ones yourself by paying this little gem a visit.
* I lost a game of bowling and had to promote Sean's album on my blog. I'm sorry to anyone who bought it before reading this. I feel your pain.