Posts Tagged ‘Let's Go


Preparation #2: Researching bars

When I studied abroad in the spring of 2007, we had a habit of choosing bars that had the best descriptions in Let’s Go Europe. This method had mixed results. A bar in Salamanca, Spain that looked like the inside of a submarine was a total bust, but a nightclub in Florence, Italy called Space Electronic (complete with space decor) ended up being a wild success. Because I have my very own copy of Let’s Go New York City, I decided to bring back my old method when making my list of bars that I absolutely have to go to this summer. I picked the following five bars based only on the awesomeness of the descriptions. I have not looked at any online ratings. For your enjoyment, I have also included the actual descriptions that appear in Let’s Go. These bars could be total disappointments, but I have some lingering post-election hope that just won’t go away yet.



5. Beer Garden at Bohemia Hall (because I want to celebrate my heritage)

“Operated by the Bohemian Citizens’ Benevolent Society, this rowdy Czech restaurant and 900-seat outdoor beer garden is packed every night with a fun-loving, heavy drinking, heavy smoking crowd. If you’re hungry, try Bohemian staples like fried cheese with french fries ($8) and crunchy pork schnitzel ($10.50).”


4. Pete’s Candy Store (because I want to be in a spelling bee again)

“This soda-shop-turned-bar hosts live music every night at 9pm and a quirky assortment of activities beforehand. M 7:30 pm alternates between spelling bees and stand-up comedy. Tu 7-9pm bingo night. W 7:30pm quiz-off. Every other Th 7:30pm prose and poetry readings. Sa 5-8pm partners Scrabble. Su in summer 5-9pm barbecue in the backyard. Pomegranate margaritas $8.”


3. KGB (because I’ve always wanted to go to a Communist bar called KGB)

“Formerly a meeting place for the Ukrainian Communist Party; today a hangout for literati and Slavophiles. Many well-known authors and poets do readings her; recent appearances by Michael Cunningham and Jhumpa Lahiri. The bar retains its original Soviet furnishings, including a Lenin propaganda banner and candle-illuminated photos of factories, and serves over 20 kinds of Stoli shots.”


2. Employees Only (because of the handlebar moustaches)

“In this classy bar with a 20s feel, skilled bartenders in white chef’s uniforms—all with handlebar moustaches—mix up some of the best vintage cocktails in the city. The name derives from the establishment’s goal of mixing drinks so good that other bars’ employees come here for their own libations. There’s no sign other than the neon ‘Psychic’ in the window; one is often on hand.”


1. The Back Room (because I want to drink beer wrapped in a paper bag)

“This faithful rendition of a Prohibition-era speakeasy, housed in an ordinary-looking apartment building, is appropriately difficult to find. Go through the iron gate by the ‘Lower East Side Toy Company’ sign; there’s a bouncer posted there on the weekends. Head to the back of the courtyard, and go up the stairs to your right. You’ll find yourself in a classy parlor-like space, where 20- and 30-somethings drink hard-liquor concoctions out of teacups and beer from bottles wrapped in paper bags. A sliding bookcase gives way to a ‘secret’ 2nd bar. A fireplace blazes in the winter. Large groups, especially of men, could have trouble at the door.”



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A blog about my summer as an unpaid intern in New York City.

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