< topography - Northside (Willy-B)

  

Blue Bar
Bedford @ North 8
Northside (Willy-B)
Brooklyn
[Beer and wine (everybody now on the chorus!): Beer and wine, beer and wine, cheap wine! 'Fine swine, wish you were mine!' If I had time, we could do crime! but I gotta be flyin'! and I won't be back til the year 2000.] [On my stomach I stretch over the back room bar, search underneath, looking to filch some hooch, when the tender appears through a set of curtains like the wizard of Oz; I recover and order, and I wonder if he knew what I was trying to do. I have no idea why Blue was open on the Fourth, and I really have no idea why they agreed to serve me.]

Sweetwater
North 6, W of Bedford
Northside (Willy-B)
Brooklyn
I've been but once, but the pinball was great, though true to Willy-B form the young man with whom you're chatting will inevitably know at least two people from PDX who you know and so on and so on—hence Willy-B's status as 'Little Portland.' { BrooklynBelle 2/4/00: The first two years of visiting this bar, it didn't have a sign out front. We affectionately called it "punk rock bar" and never was sober enough to obtain information on it. I have a soft spot in my heart for this place as the only two fights I've ever been in occurred just outside its plate glass windows. My entourage enjoyed my bouts from this standpoint and I'm proud to say that as of yet, I am undefeated. It's also one of the few places I've been consistently granted the opportunity to be sent three sheets to wind for under fifteen dollars...I'm not sure how it happened either...I don't have any visible tattoos?} { Cassandra 2/2/01: On the surface, I should like this place—loud punk rock music, dirty, pool table, cheap beer, etc. But I went there a couple of times during the day to get shit faced and saw two unforgivable things—the most disgusting bathrooms I have ever seen and some tattooed punk rocker calling his girlfriend "pumpkin" over a cell phone. Ugh.}

Galapagos
North 6, Wythe/Kent
Northside (Willy-B)
Brooklyn
If you can live with wine and beer, and that's a big, big 'if,' kittling, then Galapagos, I guess, is worth the L-ride. It was only after having been there a couple of times that the reflecting pool trick of the foyer was explained to me; I had assumed that the bridge from door to bar was actually suspended over a great height. Now that I've spoiled the illusion for you, there really isn't any reason for you to go. Besides, that's a big 'if.' [Galapagos moved pretty quickly, biz-wise, and now features DJs and related events, I'm told.] { MisterDasein 2/9/00: I hate to admit it, but the pool at the entrance impressed me. It's elegant in a barnacled industrial way, a well-executed Brooklyn artsy compound of jealousy and confusion. As for the rest, well, the patrons have a way of sliding disinterested glances over you as if in surprise that you rated your own hipness highly enough to enter. The first time I was in here companion PK1 tried to order a drink (at 2am) and the tender looked back at a pony-tailed dark type in the shadows who blinked slowly and then shook his head. I think I was here another time, but the magic wore off quick.} [After standing for several minutes behind some Greenpoint kids attempting to get in with photocopied IDs, I am permitted to enter, only to be carded  again at the interior checkpoint—"papers please." Counting the exceptions to DKNY-esque uniformy as I begin moving through the crowd takes but one hand, fortunately, as I am using my other hand defensively, to crank my discman to maximum misanthropy; the OK electronica drifting down from the ceiling-mounted speakers gives way to: "wait for a cadence that seems just familiar to walk to/ wicked spells that they put you under/ bet both hands you'll follow/ pack an extra face to save and pledge allegiance to behave/ give the monkeys the time to jabber/ now that sounds appealing/ the speech that cattle like to hear has less to do with pride than fear," etc. Typing and recalling, rehearing and rehearsing, putting together this "review" already gives me more pleasure than the bar itself, where I waited about ten minutes for service and where the patrons were so full of shit that I didn't regret for a minute standing like a statue dreaming into my own acoustic sphere. Galapagos is all potential energy, but these colonizing clones from Manhattan will never allow its conversion into something interesting. At least Maker's hits the mark.] { BrooklynBelle 5/4/00: They now have liquor, y'all. Praise be.} { Eclipse the Gum 1/17/01: It may be the Manhattanite in me, but I don't really get this place. It seems like there's always too much going on. You know, while we're drinking happily in the front section, there's a D&D game going on in the back with players wearing wizard clothes. Or if it's Thursday, it's the Drama Queens and Photo Prince Party. Friday, the "I'm not going to hurt you" People. Saturday, one of the many McSweeney's games of grab-ass. Sunday, whatever. And these folk aren't drinking!! You see them by the bathroom..."Oh, are you in line?" "No, I just need to get into the back." They're the ones that are running on shifts out the front door and back in again...by that beautifully located drop pond.} { namenskid 5/29/01: Galapagos 2001, eurotrash & the slick-hip chat it up banal to the brim: How, my dear, do you think they got those lovely candles on the brick? Have you met Muffy's fiancé? Oh, are you an actor? (Let me take my designer specs on and off a few more times.) Snipe in the entry-hall, 'Brooklyn Declaration of Independence,' fights the Manhattanization of the borough; hanging  here is deep irony though, and strategic. But stylish shows keep me L-ing back, plus the manager R***** kindly lets us bring in a non-drinking 15 yr.old for fun  Hop-Fu. But again, a buck for a glass of water? 'When in the course of human events, etc...'} { Cassandra 6/6/01: A dollar for a glass of water? Bathroom stalls with curtains instead of a door hanging to the floor? (can't knock, lock or tell where one stall ends and the other begins) Now I know what Al Pacino meant in the movie "Heat": "Dead-tech Post-modernist bullshit."}

Good Times
Metropolitan @ Berry
Northside (Willy-B)
Brooklyn
{ gray-Neo and e-Lux 4/11/00: Hey! we just caught a last call peek at this down-near-the-river-hard-drinkin' spot and there were a lot of people in there, so it was more like a last call peak! Good Times is no Stinger, but when you're otherwise hesitant and in the hood, it looks like it could be a fun, regulars' kind of place. The cheap shots in plastic cups were tasty!} { Cassandra 2/4/01: On a cold and winter night, after a scrumptous dinner with H*****, where we are ejected from the restaurant because although we have long finished eating, we can't stop talking to each other, we stroll into Good Times. A friend of mine has been spending a lot of time there recently and I wanted to see what all the hoop-la was about. Score on this place. The crowd was totally manageable at 11:30 on Friday night, which always registers favorably with me. There was a relentless stream of salsa and weird 80's tunes that were a nice change from the punk rock and electronic droning that seems to be the norm at bars these days. And my favorite part, the place was filled with brown people, many of whom would normally strike person as dangerous at first glance. They were about the most polite group that I have ever encountered in any bar, in any city. One large gentleman, with a hefty Fila logo across his chest: "excuse me, I'm sorry to interrupt you ladies, I hope I am not being rude, but I just wanted to ask where you got those shoes, they are great." And then promptly left us to talk in peace. Oh, and my Rolling Rock cost $2.50. Hooray!!!}

Yabby
Bedford, Grand/Metropolitan
Northside (Willy-B)
Brooklyn
{ BrooklynBelle 7/14/00: All hail gentrification, kittlings! Join the johnny.dot.coms for a libation under the stars! The Yabby offers up a very large concrete patio/courtyard equipped with an outside bar where you may sip and watch the ebb and flow of the Willy-b jetset stroll down Bedford Ave. Their open air policy pertains to the inside as well, as there isn't really a fourth wall. There are many open portals and doorways on the front facade of this establishment giving it a very "south of the equator" feel. Note the pool table to the left. See the DJ on the right? Can I borrow your cell phone? Does this sound bitchy? What? I like it! Although...winter comes once a year and I doubt you will be seeing me then. Certain accoutrements come with devastation.}

Stinger Club
Grand, Roebling/Havemeyer
Northside (Willy-B)
Brooklyn
{ BrooklynBelle 2/18/00: Williamsburg has been waiting for a bar like this...now we don't need to visit the LES to get that Orchard St. atmosphere. I think this is actually a good thing...no matter what they say about gentrification. I was pleased to see a stage set up for the weekly DJ's and bands. Check out Sunday nights for Reverend Vince and his Love Choir! It's not a large space but the lighting is brothel-like dark and red as I've always preferred. The bar is perfectly long enough and there are a number of booths and tables. They also have a Harley Davidson pinball machine and a vast selection of liquors. Methinks it's my new haunt...} { gray-Neo and e-Lux 3/26/00: We're so down with BK these days and totally down with the Belle's call on this place! A lot of people have been talking, like on the cover of  T.O.N.Y., but they've got fine reasons. We only got a peek because we blew in just before last call and we're definitely going back ASAP. Hopefully, on a Sunday night for the Reverend [cf. Manitoba (ex-Avenue B Social Club)]! Wish it could be tonight.} { Cassandra 2/2/01: A great place to go after stuffing yourself at Thanksgiving dinner, getting drunk, getting into an argument with your aunt, and breaking up with your boyfriend. As I sat at a booth across from the bar, double fisting drinks, I was offered a keyhit and did it right over the table. There's no need to hide that sort of thing in this dirty, smoky, loud, red lit bar, packed with Huge Dangerous Looking Guys. Oddly enough this atmosphere, on more than one occasion, has given rise to some serious heart to heart talks. Then, some of the aforementioned HDLGs got into the scariest bar fight I have ever seen in the bowling alley twixt the bar and booths. D** was nice enough to shield me with his body, but BrooklynBelle got knocked in the face. Bring a body guard, girls.}

Black Betty
Metropolitan @ Havemeyer
Northside (Willy-B)
Brooklyn
PK1's vision cut true: if PDX's 1201 had been able to stay open until 4, it might have looked something like Black Betty, which seems like a bit of an oasis for Willy-B-types of the Little Portland ilk. [More! Black Betty's proximity to certain aptly named destinations makes it a brilliant spot for drinking over the question of carrying on beyond Last Call. That's what everyone else there is trying to figure out, and an uncanny sense of community arises...] { BrooklynBelle 2/4/00: Black Betty is the prettiest girl in the burg and on every occasion I've visited, there has been potential for something other than "across the room eye contact" with a beautiful stranger by at least one person in the group I was in. It might be the soft, exotic Moroccan theme that propels inclinations for introduction or it might just be that I have always found a cozy place on the lush couches next to formidable conversationalists...and if not... I was in the mood for spontaneous dancing with welcoming partners anyway. Don't miss the "Action Woman" Go-Go extravaganzas on Tuesdays (twice?) a month and their sporadic live music nights are the best showcase of eclectic talent I've ever had the pleasure of drinking to.}

Vera Cruz
Bedford, North 7/North 6
Northside (Willy-B)
Brooklyn
{ BrooklynBelle 2/4/00: An old-school stop on Williamsburg's miracle half-mile... Many favor this Mexican restaurant at happy hour. Find a seat at the railing that looks out onto the street and settle in. You'd think the flavored margaritas would be stronger...but for the price you pay, the free nachos and salsa and the catch-up conversation that gets raunchier and funnier as the sun goes down with that good friend that you haven't seen in two months...well...it's a lovely place to stumble out of. You really feel you put some time in.} [Thanks to BrooklynBelle for (re)covering this spot, which had been stored on a damaged disk area somewhere deep in The SYborg's circuitry.]

Greenpoint
Bedford @ North 7
Northside (Willy-B)
Brooklyn
Home to the 32 oz. styrofoam "Container" (Beck's or Bud, around $3!), the Greenpoint, thanks to its proximity to the Bedford stop, is altogether delightful. A relatively fluid mixture of Willy-B hipsters and leathery regulars, jostling against tourist-types like me, enjoy eclectic tunes. { Brooklyn Belle 2/4/00: I tend not to patronize the Champs Elysées of Williamsburg, but this particular beer hall is a vision of adorable plastic plants and good conversation. They will not have the upper echelon of liquors that you and I are so spoiled with imbibing...but on two occassions, I had given the number of the establishment to a lucky boy for a booty call. The telephone booth in the corner is on the same line and can serve as your own office if the bar maid is able or willing to find you over the din.} [Swing through for at least one, coming, going; the phone booth is actually a booth, and there are drinking booths as well, in which you can slouch and sip and enjoy the marvelous seasonal decorations.]

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