< topography - Avenue A

  

Korova Milk Bar
A @ 12
Avenue A
Manhattan
{ Eclipse the Gum 1/11/01: OK. Here's three NYC tourist things I love: the observation tower at the Empire State Building, the Circle Line and this bar. It looks like a group of hesher rejects got together to throw a Clockwork Orange party in their parents' garage and never took it down. It's the kind of place that takes itself so seriously, but comes off as so silly, that it's impossible to effectively make fun of. All told, the juke is respectable, but if it ain't working, really, really, REALLY expect to hear some Porno for Pyros. I always thought that they would eventually get a Twilight Zone pinball machine for the joint. (After all, they do have a drink called the Vic Morrow...) But, I'm sure they think their bar is too cool for such accoutrements. They may be wrong.}

The Raven
A @ 12
Avenue A
Manhattan
{ gray-Neo and e-Lux 11/11/00: "I love rock and roll, so put another dime..." It's dark, dark, dark in here, a place packed with knicknack type stuff...we'll say it again, folks! punk goes middle of the hip! ...a lot of sleeze comfort couches and black, hair and leather. They've got South Park and the DJ was playing good 80s like Cramps. What's that smell?}

BarOnA
A, N of 10
Avenue A
Manhattan
I can't write that the prices are great, but all the same, I've been lucky enough to have always found a place to sit down at this ultimately strange bar. For this reason, I recommend it as a refuge from the weekend hairiness typical of most E.Vill. spots. { gray-Neo and e-Lux 1/28/01: when we walked in there seemed to be a lot of people in here, and it seemed like they were all looking at us, but D**** and P******* (whose birthday it was) had sort of snagged the window corner of the bar, so we got to drink without too much interference, except from the bartender, who was slow and kind of surly or something. We were thankful we'd kind of dressed up, because that felt like the way of the folks hanging there, although by the time we left (had no intention of staying so long) we didn't care anymore. Really it's too expensive in the long run, but what's too expensive anymore? you know? maybe a better weekday hangout (we were there on a Saturday), but not worth finding out...} { Cassandra 2/2/01: As I weaved through the East Village to get to this place, I noticed young people out in droves, most looking too young to be of legal drinking age. I thought of the nauseating college nights that I used to make me drink too much and puke or piss in some inappropriate way to scare the sheep away. I also felt old, which was a relief given the state of the youth. I walked into this place and the crush of chicer than thou made me want to run away. I thought swinging my bag around to clear some room and give a few sharp blows to the head to some of these soulless capitalist zombies trying to parade around as interesting people, but then realized I was here for a birthday celebration. The crew was in the corner, and I managed to forget where I was by drinking very fast and getting into a heated discussion about international politics. They seriously need locks on the bathroom doors—I walked in on someone (hot chic who needed to add several thousand calories to her diet) and got walked in on by a couple (who stood staring at me dumbly until I reached forward and pulled the door closed.) The bartender was awfully nice and attentive though, although my cohorts seem to this was related to the fact that I don't have a penis.}

Brownies
A, N of 10
Avenue A
Manhattan
{ P.k-7 9/22/00: There are some nights when the person whom you are thinking about approaches your stool and sits behind you. there is no explanation for this. it happens as a singular act. you had no bait and no hook has been barbed, yet she is there, behind me, no longer looked upon. unmoved. The noise of this place! Djun Byrnard {Djuna Barnes. -R} "...if you gave birth to a heart on a plate it would spell love like a twitching frog leg lopped off." (no doubt about culture shock, i'm back). what does everyone say..."best place to see live music."? must have taken notes in PDX.} [!] [ENEMYMINE!]

"some lounge"
A, across from BarOnA
Avenue A
Manhattan
[Hazy Sunday. While waiting outside Brownie's for PK1 and D**, I note that the unmarked bar next door has opened. Still waiting for D**: How about right here? I've never been. Sure... So we order a round, and not slowly but definitely surely, this candlelit lounge fills up with women. PK1 points out the most likely reason why neither of us have been to this spot before tonight.]

Doc Holliday's
A @ 9
Avenue A
Manhattan
{ Eclipse the Gum 1/11/01: I haven't been in three years, but this used to be a place I went to with an ex-Bardie friend when he was goo-goo on junk. I would try to initiate his sensations through PBR and tequila shots. Wrote a 15 page short story about Oklahoma. Shot a lot of pool. Was regularly the only man wearing deodorant. But, with the Armani black label invasion of all the crunk swanks, I bet this place now is about as much fun as finding pubies in your egg salad...}

Niagara
A @ 7
Avenue A
Manhattan
Well, well, feeling as though you won't be satisfied with your night without at least one screen-qua-door test? Thanks to its cluster of door, um, dudes, Niagara can meet this feeling and, occasionally, raise you one. The music played is not infrequently rocking. Recommended is the little Tiki lounge, underground, that can be reached by shoving your way all the way through the crowd to the back stairs. The drinks fall into that middle-of-the-hip range, so be flush, kittling. And hey! you'll be within falling distance of billions of other E.Vill. bars, should you choose to leave. { PK1 12/7/99: Taking into account the continual spread of the "new east village" and the subsequent irrelevance of Alphabet City, niagara continues to prove itself as an important central pillar supporting the socialites great weight of nighttime appearances. I truly wish that i could say i didn't like this place.} { BrooklynBelle 2/4/00: As for the weeknights...Why is everyone drinking jack and cokes here? Is it because this is the unofficial meeting ground of every E.Vill. mod/hipster/musician? I can't shake the feeling that every patron has had 15 minutes of fame a long time ago and have come together to satiate egos by recognizing each other and sharing their plastic packets of reprieve. Although I do agree with PK1...it's not that I don't like the place...} [At least on Wednesdays, from Chicago House and a tender named D*****, somehow, uncannily, flows everything else. You go, boys!] { Cassandra 1/22/01: This is where I celebrated my disastrous 24th birthday. Me, with the sluttiest shirt I own (backless, and cut down the front to the navel) with a full face of makeup, a huge diamond ring and a fiance that I would have traded in a second, along with the ring, for a better birthday party...This was actually not due to the crowd—the three other people who showed for the occasion and I sat in a booth at the back, which has a slightly Pulp Fictionish feel. This impression was further confirmed when, just after I had downed my last of many shots of tequila and danced wildly around the the room with PK1, Quentin Tarentino walked in with about 8 young, attractive hip women. I promptly fell down and began to writhe around on the floor. If that ain't good clean fun on a Sunday night, what is?} { Eclipse the Gum 2/2/01: Well, I think we're all pretty much in agreement about this one: it's the epicenter of the earthquake that shook all the fun out of this section of Alphabet City. Betes noires, such as bistros and trendy lounges, popped up like dandelions once this place started hosting all the stock market assholes that couldn't get into 7B or Ave B Soash or that other place down the block. Three and a half years ago, we went in there. (We might have seen each other.) We looked around, admired the tiki bar downstairs, took in the outrageous lighting effects, ordered a Cosmo for our dates—because it  was three and a half years ago. THEN, got hammered around the corner, swearing never to be like the egoiste throng, throwing back stupid fancies on the martini. While we were rolling around in the gutter or trying to score drugs, these fucks were chatting it up on the cell to venture capitalists. American Indians of vulgarity, filth and destitution—meet your Manifest Destin!y}

Avenue A Japanese
A, 6/7
Avenue A
Manhattan
The DJ is, from time to time, ingenious, while the sushi is truly hit/miss, brilliant or inedible. AAJ was first recommended to me on account of its mastery of Midouri drinks, a mastery that, by all accounts, is still intact (melon balls!). [Any of you kittlings been here recently?] { PK1 11/19/99: I ate here. It was average food and drink for slightly above average prices. The dj and the host, and the general layout of the seating were the only aspects worth remembering. Greeted and seated to heated music...my living room would have been cheaper.}

Sidewalk
A, 6/7
Avenue A
Manhattan
Yawn—although! il y a video games to be played. { PK1 12/7/99: Shrug? Seen a few bands, but eaten many more cheap morning breakfast bagels.}

Opaline
A, 5/6
Avenue A
Manhattan
There is a kind of pretentious loungy area, which can be nice, but the rest of the place is open in the wrong way, like someone might sneak up on you while you're sitting at the bar. { PK1 12/7/99: This place is full of nonsense. One is overcome by the feeling that no one involved has a clue regarding its identity, especially after reading the misguided explanation of the name "opaline" found on the back of the menu.}

Suite
A, 5/6
Avenue A
Manhattan
By virtue of its layout, this underground venue feels a lot larger than it actually is, which lends a bizarre aura to the general friendliness of tender and patrons. Pour is acceptable, price OK. Seems this place has a tendency to get, from time to time, a little chaotic, which is not the same as crowded and better anyway.

2A
A @ 2
Avenue A
Manhattan
What is true of numerous bars is remarkably apropos 2A, mainly that it is functional as the opening or closing of an evening; peak hours are to be avoided. Start your night in the lounge upstairs, and wrap it up, later, downstairs, where, especially if [Mr. Dekalb] is behind the bar, the music will be superb (Ernest Tubb!), the pour generous. [It has recently come to my attention that the ***** of the upstairs half of 2A is * ***** *******; boycott the upstairs until further notice.] { PK1 11/16/99: If there is any place at which i could call myself a regular (and there isn't) this would be it, and this has nothing to do with the place. In fact, I utterly ignore half of it—that being the top half. What goes on up there and why, I have no idea. As for the other half, for me this place is more a bartender than a bar. If you can get to know a Mr. Dekalb you can get yourself into a seriously dangerous buzz any night he is tending. There should be a sign behind the bar which reads: Do not get to know this man if you are a lightweight. The man consistently plays the best damn drinking bar music I've ever heard. His pour is generous, and his talk is fun and inviting. If you become one of the constant trickling-in of his following, you are sure to end some nights in the eddies of some fabulous conversations.} [2A is radiantly simple: there is absolutely no way around the fact that Mr. Dekalb's taste in music is flawless, and PK1 is absolutely correct when he says that you are sure to have some fabulous conversations.] [The radiant simplicity of 2A with Dekalb at the helm keeps me coming back...] [!]

Shampu (ex-Frankie Blue (ex-Vain))
A, N of 1
Avenue A
Manhattan
((Once I danced there, in that little basement area, and if I danced, well, you know the score. The drinks, if, if! I recall, were not entirely satisfactory price-wise, but the people-watching was superb. In fact, I've actually returned with the purpose of observing the relatively young group of hipsters, etc. lecherously eyeing each other, trying to figure out how to go home with someone and stay cool, both at the same time.)
Darker and with no downstairs, the "new" Vain seems to attract an older crowd. Shrug.)
{ PK1 11/16/99: Unless everyone else (including sidewalk.com and clubnyc.com) is a bhudisafta (sp?) and see something that i don't, as far as i can tell, the new place that used to be vain has a large, no, very large, sign above it that reads: "shampu" [sic!] and i have been there just ten days ago... whoa! the things i could tell. JERSEY BABY>>>JERSEY}

Library Bar
A, N of Houston
Avenue A
Manhattan
{ Eclipse the Gum 1/11/01: One of the saving graces of going to a Mercury Lounge show. Between sets, jog north to this little nook, watch freak-o silent videos, listen to the near flawless p-indie box, get buybacks AND if you're lucky, the curly redhead with the leather pants will be across the beam. Nurses come no foxier or friendlier.}

... Alphabet City or on to E.Vill. and St. Mark's Place and Thirst Avenue

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Manhattan/Avenue A