Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Playing Pool at Doc Holliday's

Interior shot of Doc Holliday's and pool table

Doc Holliday's

Avenue A & 10th street

Doc Holliday's benefited greatly from the demise of the Village Idiot, which had it beat in every category of the ironic country-and-western bar awards -- i.e. more bras above the bar instead of cowboy boots nailed to the ceiling, more space, better pool table, actual Bettie Page bondage movies instead of Bettie Page murals on the wall, genuinely insane old men who would eagerly discuss said movies with you instead of a few moody forty-year-olds, and, in a nod to this site's editor, slightly fewer NYU freshmen (although I really don't see the problem there).

But the Idiot is gone, and Doc's is still one of the better places in the Tompkins Square Park area, especially since it usually doesn't get quite as crowded as Niagara or some of its other neighbors.

Decor -- 3.5/5 ... all I will add to my above commentary is that the last time I was there someone looked at me, looked at Bettie Page, looked at me again and said "watch out ... that's a man" and then disappeared into the bathroom. Oh, and there's a pool table.

Crowd -- 3.5/5 ... sometimes one or two hell's angel types, but usually pretty typical for the neighborhood

Drinks -- 3/5 ... normal selection, reasonable prices

Jukebox (i just added this category) -- 2/5 ... 3.5 for the selection, but i'm not sure it's hooked up to the speakers. let's put it this way: if you really, REALLY like "a boy named sue," "folsom prison blues," "the devil went down to georgia," and really that's about it, you'll be in heaven

Dive factor -- 3.5/5 ... something about hipsters, etc.

Overall -- 3.5/5 ... all the above comments may sound kind of grouchy but I actually spend a fair amount of time here. A consistent and somewhat relaxed stop in a fairly keyed-up neighborhood. As usual it can get a little mobbed on Friday or Saturday night, but even then only for an hour or two. Worth a trip if you're in the neighborhood.

Holiday Cocktail Lounge

Holiday Cocktail Lounge
75 St Marks Pl
New York, NY 10003-7944
(212) 777-9637
St Marks btw. 1st and 2nd ave (close to 1st)

The Holiday Cocktail Lounge is another bar in NY that you wish has a 30+ year lease and won't get kicked out by the next hot Tapas-Sushi-Boutique Burger fusion bistro / sake bar. Walk inside and the walls are a mix of liquor ads from the 70's and 80's, faded yellow newspaper articles about US soccer teams from the 70's, and Christmas lights. The TV uses an antennae, and doesn't really work (the bartender will give it a loving tap every so often). The drinks are cheap, $2-5 for beer and $3-7 for drinks. The place is spacious (even more so since its really never that crowded). Faux leather booths held with duct tape and faux wood plastic tables bring to mind the Simpsons quote re: Moe's "This place isn't a Faux-Dive; this place is a dive!"

Decor (5/5) - Great. Nothing past 1993 here. Looks like a dive out of a 1980s Rodney Dangerfield movie. Ample seating with rooms for groups, and also good smaller booths. Plenty of standing room if you are so inclined.

Crowd (5/5) - Bikers, old alcoholics, young alcoholics, cheap hipsters. Not an NYU freshman in sight.

Drinks (5/5) - Cheap, not too stingy a pour, cheap

Dive Factor (5/5) - The first 5/5 for a dive!

It beats its close-by dive neighbor, International Bar, as there is no interesting jukebox (I don't recall one at all). This is just a dingy place to hide and drink away. Perfect to spend an evening in, or at least to start out on the cheap. Nobody checking Crackberrys here.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Outside the Holiday Cocktail Lounge

Holiday Cocktail Lounge - St Marks btw 1st & 2nd Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Dark Bar (name forgotten) near Rothko Posted by Hello

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Botanica Well Drink Bar

Botanica Well Drink Bar
Originally uploaded by NYC Tom.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Hotel Metro Rooftop Bar

Hotel Metro Rooftop Bar (take far right elevator)
45 W. 35th St. (Midtown West)
between Fifth and Sixth Aves.

Dives are relative I suppose. In NY, a rooftop bar that is anything but overpriced and trendy could, streching the definition, be called a dive. This is that rooftop bar. Stepping onto it, it seems like the roof of your friend's apartment, or, for suburban types, a porch. Some tables, a central standing area and lounge chairs are the furniture here. There is a happy hour from 6-7:30 with cheapish beer ($3). My non-happy hour Jack and Coke (a glass of Jack with a shot of Coke) was $7. Steep, but compared to the Pen-Top's $20, cheap for a rooftop bar. The music was a nice laid back mix of southern and classic rock, though other reviews note some sort of DJ (maybe this happens when the weather gets warmer in June/July).

Decor (3/5) - Like a porch. Not divey, not nice.

Crowd (3/5) - After work/hotel guests, almost all. No real other reason to travel to that area.

Drinks (3/5) - $7 is not cheap, but it was well poured. Beers are more reasonable

Dive Factor (2/5) - Compared to other hotel rooftop bars, this place is a hole, but, compared to other normal bars, its kinda nice

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

2 Years after the Ban - Smoking Bars

While many bars look the other way (we don't post those little factoids for obvious reasons) there are some "legit" bars where you can smoke. The site NewYorkology does a great service in providing a list of who is left. While none on the list would ever make it in here (some are pretty swank), Circa Tabac is a great bar, dark, comfortable and with strong drinks, all sans a cigar store/hotel flavor.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Smith Street Pub Crawl

Another good article from New York Metro outlining a Smith Street Pub Crawl.


393 2ND Ave
New York, NY 10010-4627
(212) 725-8740

NOTE: There is an all you can drink special on Wed. nights till midnight. $10 a cup. The hidden cost is in tolerating youngsters spilling drinks on you and general crowdedness. Curmudgeons beware, socials delight, Wed is a different night.

McSwiggans is one of the better bars in the far east Gramercy area, and it happens to be one of the diviest. On any given night there will be a smattering of people at the bar, and maybe a couple playing pool or darts (though never a line for these things really). Booze isn't expensive, and the Jukebox has classic rock. If you want the deerhunter game, its here too, along with one of those LCD consols with note the difference pictures, seemingly taken from soft core porn. All in all a good place to spend a relaxed evening if you are in the neighborhood.

Decor (4/5) - More dingy than others (hence the higher rating). Pool table and darts nice add, plenty of things to do at the bar involving pointy metal things and big sticks (what better things to use drunk?)

Crowd (4/5) - Some mellow neighborhood people, some hard core winos. Good mix.

Drinks (3/5) - Normal price, good strength

Dive Factor (4/5) - Sans Wed., this is a pretty grimy and half empty place. High scores here.