< topography - East Willy-B

  

Sin City
Montrose, Leonard/Lorimer
East Willy-B
Brooklyn
{ namenskid 4/14/01: Rolled on a celluphonic tip and hit the L, rolled around on Bushwick until he yelled, "White people!" Ha ha! "NYC Visitors Guide page 19...look it up! If you need help and they're lost, ask the white people for money." Cut onto Montrose. Right off the bat Sin City made me feel like a grandpa, but I stayed on for live fem-trio rap and awhile later, break dancing. I wonder what this place used to be, with its low, institutional ceiling and diminutive bar. The party was some kind of fundraiser, caught myself wondering whether Sin gets this kind of ethnic diversity all week, or maybe I've been downtown stuck too much lately. So jiggling my own ass a little, then moved my feet and out the door: the bass throb from the dance floor lost in the wind as I turned the corner onto Lorimer.} { Cassandra 4/26/01: The interior is ugly, like some kind of converted high school nurse's office. But the female rappers were great. One of them was the hottest, most vibrant woman I have ever seen. Bad ass (as in I wanted her to kick my ass). I felt like an old lady because the crowd seemed just barely legal, if that. Also, they need more bathrooms. I was drinking too fast to plan my urination a half hour in advance. But even with all the looks and attempts to grind me on the dance floor, I felt strangely safe.}

Art Land
Grand, Leonard/Lorimer
East Willy-B
Brooklyn
[The furniture is "fancy." The walls are hung with, um-hm, art. Strong incense mixes with cigarette smoke. Service at the bar was good, and my drink was cheap. The length of aged, 3/4" rope that runs along the top of the curving bar chaffs and slivers your forearms.] [3ish: "Can we sit down?" "Well, yeah." "I mean, you're not closing up, are you?" "No; we're open til 4; that's the law," lilts the tender. Hey, the rope isn't  that bad.] { namenskid 4/14/01: Objectively Art Land was  just fine: smiled watching the tender action, afforded drinks, freaky DJ, people—except one dude, and me—minding their own biz, but: This place creeps me out.} { Cassandra 4/26/01: I have to stick up for my one time neighborhood bar. The bartender is usually some brown woman who knows the customers, usually regulars. It is sort of fancy, but hey, it used to be an art store. I don't have a clear idea of what the place looks like though because it is dark and heavy inside. The bathrooms are grand - comfy one seaters, fully stocked and always clean. Everyone pretty much minds their own business here and if you want someplace not ever crowded, to drink cheap and talk with one other person, it's perfect.}

Pour House
Humboldt @ Metropolitan
East Willy-B
Brooklyn
{ gray-Neo and e-Lux 6/12/00: PH has all the stuff you expect from a good old American bar...a small pool table, some vid-type games, a decent pinball machine, a couple of tables, plus a lot of microwave snackums. (There is also this weird back room with couches, but on a weeknight anyway there was nobody in there, which is kind of strange since it's on a closed circuit t.v. behind the bar, so you're looking at a live picture of an empty room like a security guy.) Anyway, it's inexpensive and other than its oh-so-witty name, pretty unpretentious too. We're definitely swinging through next time we're in the hood.}

Midnite Motion II—RIP
Lorimer, Skillman/Conselyea
East Willy-B
Brooklyn
[Apparently this mid-century social club has been untouched until its very recent reopening. Decades of hush-hush hang in the air like dust. One red light bulb marks the step-down entrance to what seems to be someone's apartment. ...standard box, pool, bar, tables, but more importantly, this bizarre shuffleboardesque bowling game and a spacious out-back patio area. I order a round of tequila shots and am asked whether I prefer glass or plastic. A prayer of thanks for Brooklyn escapes my lips.] [Saturday #2 at MMII. Many meetings portrayed in  Donnie Brasco took place in this formerly "members only" joint, which partially explains its regulars, men who sing along with Old Blue Eyes, or men who belly up, lay down a pile of 20s and get taken care of...but on Saturday nights a younger breed makes its presence felt: they drink and dance and drink and infuse the space with a wonderful sense of chaos. Last Call's around 6 ( but you definitely  didn't hear that from me; a carload of hipsters might be the last thing these regulars want to see). Pity the swimming pool next door is fenced off.] { gray-Neo and e-Lux 7/16/00: We finally made it out to Midnite Motion, and wow! there must be at least a few people in the know, not a lot but enough to make this place really fun on Saturday nights! It's got good prices and a super friendly atmosphere. Plus the Scorps are on the box!} [Along with Cassandra and PK1 I patch through the wee hours Manhattan > MMII switcheroo for the last time. The fact that these will be MMII's final hours, as I'm told over drinks at Jimmy's, becomes half my motivation, the other half a certain propensity—lost and found again—for answering The Call. The place was packed from end to end with The Usual Willy-B Suspects, sprinkled here and there with The Old Neighborhood. I couldn't hear a damn thing because the live band was my world for the first beer; for the second I caught up with BrooklynBelle, and introduced myself as well to a tech I recognized from the classical Persian concert {research_22001} I attended earlier. We bailed out after 4, broken bottles crunching under our feet, a belated attempt to feel normal the next day. The crowd had not abated, and I hope they all danced until noon on Sunday, knocking things over and running the bar dry. RIP, Midnite Motion.]

Union Pool
Meeker/Lorimer
East Willy-B
Brooklyn
{ BrooklynBelle 5/23/01: I am in a schwinn bike gang. We are not exactly covert. We enjoy the flash and our drink. We ride through Brooklyn's Bitch Valley like the mongrel dogs that we are. Our excursions bring us to watering holes of varying themes. Union pool used to be a pool supply store underneath the BQE and a block from Kellogs. Only the decor doesn't really suggest this in contrast to what D*** ****** of Beauty Bar and Barmacy Fame might have done. Union pool is stark and spacious. Spacious enough for the gang of four to roll up on a sunday night and ride INTO the bar. Bells ringing. Gangs signs being thrown. We ride up to the bar and the tender is curious. We talk of protection money. We amuse him so he offers to buy us one. Hey? This hard-nosed gang shit really works!? I knew half of the crowd. The other half were trying to get a leg over and it showed. I didn't think I'd like the place, but we got to break dancing and a few more drinks and I let it all slide. Then the gang...The BVD's...The Bitch Valley Dogs rolled on out into the night and left Union Pool wondering...Who were those assholes??}

Pete's Candy Store
Lorimer, 2 blocks N of BQE
East Willy-B
Brooklyn
{ BrooklynBelle 2/16/00: I'm not sure I understand how bars like this stay open. Every time I visit there's under 10 people here...and I brought in half of them. Nevertheless, it's a welcoming pit-stop on the way home. There's a small room off to the left which is bordered with wooden benches and reminds me of a dugout. They also have some tasty sandwiches available that the czech barback creates off what I believe to be a george forman grill. The camaraderie is created by the sparsely populated patrons, and the bartenders are very generous with the pour and the prices. Check out wednesdays and fridays...the cute barmaid is like the cool older sister who gets you drunk when your parents are out of town.} { BrooklynBelle 4/11/00: All of a sudden there's a back room at Pete's??? Far out!? How DO the walls come tumbling down, kittlings? By necessity and perspiration, I reckon!? I ventured into this adorable theatre space (read: Little Rascals) a few nights ago and was pleased to see more tables and a stage. Live Weekly Music and an Open Mic on Wednesday nights...Yah!} [Another point in the Willy-B-PDX constellation, Pete's was perhaps too perfect once. This 'was...once' is intimately connected to The Law of Week-Ends-and-Nights...so I hear. In the meantime, the Candy Store is a good place to get even more drunk, or at least to try. Love it, as mongoose would say, on a Sunday.] { PK1 6/23/00: Whoah, PDX representin' on the east side. Check your resume {research_111900} before you come into this joint, for what appears on the surface to be a normal bar pours fourth from its underbelly a welcoming embrace potentially nauseating and reminiscent of times long past and farther west.}

on to Northside (Willy-B) or on to Southside (Willy-B)

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