Wednesday, October 5, 2011

NYC Faves: Bars

Beer makes me happy. So does tequila. So does socializing. And dancing like a fool.  Where, oh where does one find ALL of these things?! Only the most magical place in the whole wide world- A BAR!!!! Although there are many, many different kinds of bars across the globe, some of the best are located in New York City. How do I know this, you ask? BECAUSE I KNOW EVERYTHING AND AM THE ULTIMATE AUTHORITY ON DRINKING!!!! If you don't get that by now.... you're really missing the point here.
I'd venture to guess that I spent at least 75% of my time in New York tipsy and/or drunk, conservatively. I could lie and pretend I only drank like twice on weekends, but my pastor when I was little told me that liars go to hell, and even though I'm Mexican, I don't think my hair would do well in the heat. So the truth is, I drank. I drank a lot. In my time in New York, it's safe to say that I tested out a lion's share of the bars. Most of them were horrible, and that's what I like about them.So here are my favorite bars in Manhattan- (Brooklyn is a totally different beast...)

If you're anything like me and determine the kick-ass-ness of a bar based on the people in it, Iggy's is probably going to be your jam. I thoroughly enjoy just about every human that enters that bar- sometimes in an ironic way, and sometimes completely seriously. The bartenders are total bitches, but if you get on their good side, it will pay off big time. Just make fun of some of the drunk dicks ordering jagerbombs and they'll love you. It's nothing fancy, but Iggy's is my perfect dive bar in the city. Primetime lower east side location doesn't hurt either... Iggy's is located at 132 Ludlow, near Rivington.

Iggy's is consistently where I used to start every night off... I miss it so. From there, my other go-to is half a block away- Motor City. Yes, that's right, the bar is named after the city of Detroit. Of course I would go all the way to New York to find a bar modeled after the 313. I honestly love everything about the bar. There are Ford signs all over the place, along with Michigan and Ohio highway signs. It's like a flashback to home. The crowd is hipster leaning, and I've legit never seen a biddy in the bar. It's a collection of cool people, MYSELF INCLUDED. I love that the bartenders feel straight out of Detroit, too. So brash and weathered, just like Mama makes 'em. As a bonus, on some nights they even have go-go dancing girls in the window. The vacant look in their eyes totally reads as Detroit desperation. Motor City is at 127 Ludlow, between Rivington and Delancey.

Another go-to, just a couple of blocks away is The Dark Room. There's no sign out front, but it's marked by a sketchy red light. I don't know about you guys, but the second tequila touches my lips, I can't stop saying stuff like "Hey guys... I just wanna dance. Can we make that a reality?" or "GOD THIS MUSIC SUCKS! PLAY US THE HITS!!!!" and everyone's favorite, "DO YOU GUYS HAVE POISON? THE SONG, NOT THE BAND. DUH! WELL... OR THE BAND. EITHER. NEITHER?!?!?!!?!?!?!? LET'S LEAVE." I'm really charming when I drink. The Dark Room pretty consistently plays me the hits, or at least music that sounds like it might have been a hit, but leaves me questioning why I've never heard it. It's the kind of place that only gets going after midnight, if not later, which is ideal for me because it takes me about 37 drinks to get up the nerve to dance like a whore in public. (That's not true. I'm much too much of an exhibitionist for that statement to hold water.) I'm really down for any bar that plays Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" on a regular occasion. Girls, beware of dudes trying to dance with you from behind. If you fall prey to this move, just turn around and say "Oh my gaw, do you love me? My Daddy told me to only dance with boys who love me. So you must be in love with me. WANNA GIT MARRIED?!" I swear, it works. Well, it either works, or they think you're the funniest person alive. That doesn't hurt either. The Dark Room is at 165 Ludlow, near Stanton.

My favorite of all New York City nights were those I spent wandering from Iggy's, then Motor City, and then dancing it out at The Dark Room. Illegal amounts of fun were had by all. The memories are flooding back to me like a movie montage. Morgan Freeman is not narrating this drunken tale.
I really could go on and on until there was no one left reading, just talking about my favorite bars in the city. But since there's not a person in the world who wants to read that, I'm just going to list off some goodies and what they're good for. I might miss my bars more than my friends. Shhh, don't tell.

Hi Fi- Good for talking/first date drinks. And bomb ass music. One of my favorite go-tos. Plus it was legit two blocks from my old apartment.
Max Fish- Good for picking up someone at the end of the night
Welcome To The Johnson's- Good for being awesome. I love this bar. My best friend from NY and I call it "Meet Me At The Josephina's" and I inexplicably never remember which is the right name. It's TRASHY, why I love. Gaga's ex, Luc Carl used to bartend here, which doesn't hurt either
Idle Hands- Metal bar that smells like pee, which I obviously die for. Bartenders are rad. Not a great tequila selection (or any) but free drinks make up for it. Avoid the frat-bar above it, though. Bad bad bad.
The Library/Double Down Saloon- These two are right across the street from each other and are good go-tos to kick off the night. Grab a PBR and chat.
Zum Schneider- The only beer garden in the city worth your time, if you're not willing to venture to the BK or Queens
The Crooked Knife- Just go here to look at the bathroom. It's my vintage Grandma dream. Plus good bartenders who let you pick music out if you're nice.
Otto's Shrunken Head- They have pina coladas and I once saw three girls dressed up as aliens at the bar. That is all you need to know.
Ace Bar- If you're dating a frat guy because he's hot, and want to take him to his natural habitat, hit up Ace Bar. It's surprisingly fun, frattiness and all. Lots of games to cut the awkwardness of feeling like you're the only person in there un-ironically wearing leather. Because you so are.
Arrow Bar- I had my birthday here last year. It's a good mix between The Dark Room and Iggy's. Part dive, part dancing. Plus, they have Heavy Metal Happy Hour. Come on, guys.
Professor Thom's- A Patriots/Red Sox/University of Michigan Bar. I was meant to live and die in this bar.
151- Cute boys. Good conversation. Also, there's no sign, so it's really fun to tell people to meet you there and then conveniently forget to tell them it's unmarked. I'm mean. I know this.
Spin- Novelty bar at its finest. It's owned by Susan Sarandon and it's a legit ping pong bar. Like, you can go here and play ping pong. HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!
2nd on 2nd- Best Karaoke bar in NYC. $1 for a song. So embarrassingly fun.
Hogs & Heifers- The original Coyote Ugly, and way less sexy. It's actually kind of terrifying, but a definite must-see in terms of NYC bars. The bartender told me I looked like I was pooping when I danced. I told her my dress was too short. She did not seem to care.

Somebody stop me. I'll just keep going.

Stopping.... NOW.
carmen

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