Day 332—Tuesday, December 7th, 2010
Ding Dong Lounge
First, the bad, bad, BAD news: The end of the Mars Bar as we know it may be coming. Read about it here at the EV Grieve blog. It’s funny but I discovered the EV Grieve blog after I went to the Mars Bar on Easter Sunday and bought a pizza dinner for myself and everybody in there and he blogged about it, you can read that here: Easter At The Mars Bar. People always ask me what my favorite bar has been and I always reply that I don’t have one because there’s been so many good ones, but I always tell them that my favorite night was Easter Sunday at the Mars Bar. I was going to make it a tradition to buy pizza there every Easter Sunday. Fuck. First Fedora’s, then the Rum House, probably Ruby’s and now maybe the Mars Bar is going to be disappearing. Motherfucker, I need a drink. Luckily I’m going to a bar within minutes. I’ll drown my sorrows there, I don’t want to even think about this shit right now.
Easter Sunday at the Mars Bar.
Last night, Maddy suggested I go to the Ding Dong Lounge, a cool bar uptown. I’ve been meaning to go there, I wrote a review of it for newyork.citysearch.com years ago and had a good time there. I remember it was not long after September 11th went down and I was nervous about taking the subway uptown. Well, I’m not nervous tonight, so it’ll probably get blown up and you may never read this. We’ll have to wait and see. Thanks for the suggestion Maddy, this bar’s for you!
Okay, here we are at Penn Station to take the train uptown.
Step back? It's obvious the cretins at MTA don't read The Half Empty Glass because...
You need to lean back, motherfuckers!
Okay, once again through the magic of the internet you're spared a ride with a screaming baby, loud teenagers and a ten minute wait at Times Square and here we are at the Ding Dong Lounge. The place is a little bigger, but looks pretty much the same as it did ten years ago when I wrote my review.
Wow, this is one of the darkest bars yet. You'd love it in here, Al!
And here I am closing the deal on my first beer with Johnny the bartender.
The photo above was taken by Adrianna, one of the owners of the bar. Adrianna is a photographer and her husband is another co-owner and played guitar in a punk rock band before he opened this bar. Like an idiot I forgot to write down the band's name...
But here's Adrianna with a photo of the band. That's her husband on guitar on the left. UPDATE: According to Gidget and/or Linda, the name of the band was the Mobile Homos.
Here's a shot of the dimly-lit bar from my perspective.
There's a pool table up front.
And there's candle-lit tables opposite the bar.
There's a table and a wndow seat in one of the front windows.
The Circle Jerks opening for Run D.M.C. That had to be a great show!
A vintage Plasmatics poster.
A Buzzcocks poster hangs behind this faux window.
There's a brick-walled lounge area in the back of the bar.
Empties, a shot glass and...FIRE!
Ralph was seated next to me at the bar. He's a regular who's originally from Haiti but lives here now.
A shot of the candle-lit bar.
Here's Will and Chris who were chilling out near the bar and enjoying beers.
Johnny's taking care of business behind the bar.
And speaking of taking care of business, I had to make a bathroom stop. Check out the cool flyers on the walls in here!
Sometimes that shit works both ways. Goodnight, everybody!
Once again I found my old review at newyork.citysearch.com and once again those asswads have removed my byline. I’m reduced to a “Contributer at CitySearch." Oh well, they paid me the princley sum of 25 bucks to write the fucking thing, I guess they can do whatever they want to with it. Here’s the review (with my byline restored!) below which still stands pretty true today, except CBGB’s is gone now. But you can still buy a T-shirt.
City Search New York
Top rated (4 stars)
By Marty Wombacher
The compact Ding Dong Lounge is dark inside, with brick and blood-red walls surrounding a plain-and-simple atmosphere befitting a true punk rock bar. The walls are decorated with posters of vintage flyers advertising punk gigs from days gone by. While a few college kids have started checking out the bar, the clientele tends to be an even mix of thirsty men and women between 25 to 40.
Punk rock from the Stooges to Turbo Negro blasts on the sound system; a DJ (Gidget knows one of them, hi Linda!) mans the turntables almost every night, with live music on a limited schedule. Beer goes for $4 or less, and shots for between $4 and $5. And most surprisingly of all, the bathroom is clean. Take that, CBGB.
And there's a sister Ding Dong Lounge in Melbourne, Australia! The first one of my Aussie mates that sends in a picture of that Ding Dong Lounge gets a free 365 Down Under T-Shirt, designed by "Boris."
Ding Dong Lounge
929 Columbus Ave. (Near106th St.)