< topography - Chinatown

  

"mystery LES 2"
Grand, Orchard?
Chinatown
Manhattan
This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down immediately. Sorry, kittlings, the autosave didn't kick in on this one. [Somewhere, in the circuitry, perdures this image: small glass of Bushmill's, tilted, dribbles onto my hand, before irrigating the leather sofa upon which I am stretched, and I realize that the tender and the patrons are primarily ex-patriots from the Avenue B Social Club [now the abominable Manitoba].]

Good World
Orchard, Division/Canal
Chinatown
Manhattan
{ PK1 11/16/99: Wash down your bites of Herring and Swedish meatballs with an ample shot of Aquavit in this out of the way Chinatown anomaly. Almost every employee here is a veteran from just a few blocks to the north. The dj lineup (primarily concentrated on minimal house, drum'n'bass and hip-hop) is nothing other than impressive, and only once have i heard it delve into true eurotrash house à la superdiskothèque. Unfortunately for us, it didn't take long for the up/and/outof towners to discover this gem. So avoid this place on Fridays and Saturdays except to finish the evening or unless a dj to your particular liking is in control.} The SYborg thanks PK1 for the reminder (for you see, Good World  is mystery LES 2, and the confusion of The SYborg in this respect dissolves), [for the good wor(l)d, notes this remainder: the portions are small and expensive, and I wouldn't plan on filling up here food-wise. Also, if you go early enough, you can shoot the breeze with all the firemen from the block.] [The World gets better, as it would seem that the winter temperatures discourage many from making the journey, while the friendly regulars settle in...] [In Good World I always end up wondering—actually this happens to me a lot with bars—whether Name determines apprehension and experience conclusively, z.B., Good World is good (and it is! especially early in the week), or whether apprehension and experience provide a neat coincidence when considering Name, which is why the best bars are often unsigned, no?] [Repetition of the for the first time. Not so much as an image in the circuitry this time around, and my temples resemble lighthouse torches that keep, round and round, shining in my eyes, which I have to squint.] ["Good World—location apropos FUN & 169 (M-T): Still Good."] [!] { gray-Neo and e-Lux 6/10/00: Goodgod! Like a lot of places, this is really one of those totally schizo-bars! ...not sure how we got here, but would you check out that longhaired middle-aged guy with the Cancun Rules! t-shirt dancing around? Weeknights only for us!!} [!] [!] [!] [!] {research_special} { Cassandra 2/2/01: I went there with PK1 because we were trying to shimmy free drinks off of a bartender friend, who alas, was not there. We did run into another of PK1's friends, an Absolutely Delicious One, whose head I proceeded to talk off, although I could make out less that half of what he said since the music was so goddamn loud. Also, the stools were about as tall as I am and made me afraid to lean closer to the ADO for fear of falling over. Climbing down to go to the loo resulted in the edge of the square stool getting caught in the crotch of my pants and making a narrowly avoided arc for the floor. Maybe it was because I was drunk, but, as a one of the little people, I find this place unwelcoming.} { PK1 2/14/01: I had spent months here. I drank for free here (at least considering only financial costs). I met for the first time my now ex-girlfriend here. I rarely sat at the tables. I witnessed, first hand, the decline this place is still attempting to weather. I returned recently, in probably as many months. After-dinner-drinks-sort-of-thing, and it was early in the week. To my welcomed surprise the place was sprinkled with many faces of old, and several more rolled in over the course of the night. Then I realized that every converstation began with: "I haven't been here in months either." Lucky night, I guess.}

169
169 East Broadway
Chinatown
Manhattan
[My brief first encounter with this recently bought joint was not unlike a revelation (and you thought you were the only one with the wherewithal to step down to the far east...). 169's interior is genuinely odd, an improvised mix of its former bar-bar décor (exposed brick, pool table, huge old mirrors, low ceiling, etc.) and its newer-cooler (not hip, mind you, but cool...The Word On The Street has it that 169's new owner R** is attempting to avoid the cult of the hip) direction. Whether in response to this oddness or not, the crowd is a beautiful (some dancing) crush of nearly every type you could click off, which means that "type" loses any semblance of meaning; and unlike many bars, 169 is wildly diverse, ethnically. The tenders seem to be enjoying themselves as much as anyone. Five bones at the door might hurt if the drinks weren't so reasonably priced.] [Now having met the amazing owner of the last 28 years, I  almost regret the sale of this bar to one of its longstanding employees. In the afternoons and evenings, up until around 9 or 10, even on a Friday, a peaceful, courtesy-filled spot in which the properly told story holds sway as the form of conversation...] [That was fast! One ad in some paper and: Blam-O! What happened to the pool table? Where did all these young white professionals come from? What happened to that wacky old mirror? What happened to those nice prices? And why does this  Time Out New York photographer keep begging me to move aside so he can snap some shot down the bar? Oh, well! it's still fun, especially earlier, and the DJs can be great.] [...thins out on weeknights, fortunately, but driving (who's at the wheel?) toward perpetual Crowd Destination status. The fish tank is a nice addition, but personally I could do without the other interior "improvements" (like the glasses hanging above the bar). We shall see...]

Fun
Madison, Market/Pike
Chinatown
Manhattan
[Fun's fairly new—and smells like it too—and already packing out on big nights, and it won't be long before it's always crowded. The carpeting of the ground floor, along with slightly up lighting, produces an atmosphere not unlike an arcade; this atmosphere condenses into rain, then hail...like this: the walls are four floor-to-ceiling screens, and the center screen is dedicated to a video game accessible to patrons in the narrow upper balcony. Yessiree, you can dance to the painfully predictable DJed house, or you can lounge in the expansive network of couches which, you notice from the balcony, spells "SIT"; these are all  fun things to do. Clearly, though, engaging in dream-cast combat projected to an almost cinematic size, while reclined upon a sofa, sipping and smoking, is  the fun at Fun. Better! you won't have to leave the balcony because it has its own bathroom, and the bar has (this is utterly decadent and absurd) an open hydraulic lift—tenders mechanically scale the outside edge of the balcony to serve you.] ["FUN—a little thinner; 2-D video games; whoah! 7$ for a shot! it's only a matter of time."]

on to Little Italy

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Formalitieslegalese
[alphadex][topography][satellites]
Manhattan/Chinatown