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« Sunday, August 8th, 2010—Bar 210 | Main | Friday, August 6th, 2010—Bar 208 »

Saturday, August 7th, 2010—Bar 209

Day 209—Friday, August 6th, 2010
Blarney Cove

Alright, day two of the early bar crawl. It’s just a little after noon and I just posted yesterday’s bar crawl and I’m heading out in the cruel, cruel sunshine for today’s stop before my parents come over for a drink before dinner. Since it’s so sunny, I thought I’d go to one of Manhattan’s darker, dive bars. If you come to Manhattan there’s two bars you have to visit if you’re a true dive bar fan. One is the Mars Bar, which I went to on Easter Sunday and the other is the Blarney Cove, which is today’s stop. This place is a legendary joint on the Lower East Side and I pray I can get some pictures in there. I’ve drank in the Blarney Cove and it doesn’t seem like a camera friendly bar, so let’s go see what happens.

Baaahh, sunshine! It's too fucking bright out here!

Through squinted eyes, I spy a hot dog cart.

A dog and some mustard. The breakfast of bar-crawling champions.

Here's Avenue A, we're almost there.

It looks like it's closed, but I think they don't uncover the front window until the sun goes down.

Here it is in all its darkened glory. As soon as the bartender saw my camera, he told me to put it away. But I took a few shots on the sly, I had to include this joint on the bar crawl. Sometimes you have to break the rules a little. The flash was turned off, so I really wasn't bothering anyone in here.

The sun may be bright outside, but it's nice and dark in the Blarney Cove.

A beer, a shot and today's paper, pretty much all one needs to while away some time in the Blarney Cove.

This guy was enjoying some peanuts with his drinks.

Here's a shot of the Formica bar. Some of the regulars are a little shaky in here, but I doubt that much booze has been spilled. They're serious drinkers in here.

After shooting this self-portrait I was busted by the bartender. He told me in no-uncertain terms to put it away. So I put it in my bag and ordered another Budweiser. I wish I could've gotten more shots, but I hope you enjoyed this brief glimpse of a true New York dark dive bar. There aren't many like it left in the city and I truly enjoyed this stop on the old bar crawl.

And later on it was Happy Hour with my parents at Chez Wombacher on 16th street. I showed them yesterday's comments and they got a kick out of them and said to say, "Cheers" to everyone.

Goodnight, everybody!

The Blarney Cove is one of the last true dive bars in the East Village. The front window is usually shuttered in the daytime and it’s a dark, slim shotgun bar. The bar itself is a long Formica-topped fixture that serves as a holding fixture for the pickled and sloshed masses that are the regulars here. The vibe is not unfriendly, but strangers are viewed with a questionable eye. The first thing the seasoned bartender asked me after I ordered a beer was, “Where do you work?” I’m sure it was a way to see if I was a local guy or not. After I spat out that I worked on 30th Street between 6th and 7th near the Garden I was deemed okay, until he caught a glimpse of my camera and then told me to put it away. They don’t like cameras in here.

What they do like is a beer and a shot and the Yankees. The jukebox is popular in here as well and you’ll here everything from the Drifters to Frank Sinatra to the Beatles to a Spanish song that you’ll have no idea who the artist is. There’s two peanut machines in the back and the booze flows freely in here from 8am to 4am. And some of these snozzled regulars look like when the lights go out, they just pass out on their stools till the dim lights come back on at eight in the morning and have a pint and a shot for breakfast. The Blarney Cove is a true dive bar and a nice blast of the past on 14th street in the East Village.

Blarney Cove
510 E. 14th St. (Near Ave. A)

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Reader Comments (26)

Nice Dive Bar , & Cool on the sneaky photo shots .
Oh I have an idea , but didn't reseach it it yet , hope I can make it work , will let you know .

August 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJHwang Needs ZioumZioum

For me the Blarney Cove is a perfect bar. Dark, a little worn around the edges, good strong drinks and throw in a few old farts for good measure. Presto, a great bar. I love those dark, narrow bars. I see your parents were enjoying a nice cocktail at your place,,,,was that a scotch and soda?

August 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAl

@Al: They drink Canadian Club and water. I keep it simple and stick to Budweiser.

August 7, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Glad you were able to capture some of it on the crawl.
I know you mentioned it the other night when we talked.
Reminds me of a few on Archer Ave. in Chicago I would frequent.
(and sometimes I was that early morning regular after a long night)

A Belated Hello to your Mom and Dad.
Thanks for bringing Marty into the world, he's been like a Brother to me.

August 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter"Boris"

My parents drink canadian club and water...should we get them together to play bridge?

August 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGidget

@"Boris": Thanks, brother and right back atcha!

@Gidget: Sounds like a great idea!

August 7, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

What a classic dive bar. Glad you got some covert photos of the joint, thanks for going the extra mile. And cheers to your folks!

August 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarfly

Way to go undercover and get some shots for us. I just can't be ok with those fake wood bars though. And can't imagine drinking at 8 a.m. Your mom is so stylish! She should be drinking in the Oak Bar.

August 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkari

Well, I see you took a chance with my advice in the Blarney Cove, Marty. Now the full range of the bar room experience (with the exception of being physically thrown out the door which I do not expect or recommend) has been represented. Good thing you stuck with Budweiser while your parents were visiting. Nobody needs those damn little pink oompa loompas running around loose with your folks in the room!

August 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

I like your blog, but I decided right away if you ever walked into a bar I was drinking in, I'd pay my tab and walk out. These pictures are the reason why, I knew you were the type of person to completely ignore a request not to take pictures. Someone says very clearly "Don't take pictures", and instead of just ignoring their request by sneaking photos of the bar (which is one thing), you took pictures of *people* (another issue altogether). Its a dive bar at noon, that was an asshole thing to do. I'm not going to stop reading, and I don't expect people to agree with me that something like this is worth getting bothered by, but I did want to make it clear that people who ask you not to do something aren't just talking to hear the pretty sound of their own voice.

August 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTina

best keep my thoughts to myself...KOC


August 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterraginrr

p.s....mom and dad 365 still looking great...KOC


August 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterraginrr

Part of why Marty takes the photos IS the proof of being there.
(I'm sure there are naysayers out there that question it, after all 209 different bars in 209 days,
actually more as there were nights when he did a few stops)
Anybody can cut and paste a review of a bar and pretend to go to them.
I didn't want to jump in or take sides, but the man is on a mission and is painstaking in staying true to his rules of the crawl.
Granted, it hasn't happened often, but when he told me of going there the other day, he said it may be like it was.
It adds a sense of realism to it all by documenting it.
He wasn't chatting it up with the regulars, just doing the crawl.
Thanks for your opinion as well.
This was mine.
In the immortal words of Dennis Miller...
"That's just my opinion , I could be wrong."

August 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter"Boris"

@any aussie 365 followers...as you guys would have seen me, brooksy, & clacky have been mullin' over the possibility of a 365 Oz Summit....i would like to nominate Port Macquarie as the inaugural "365 Oz Summer Summit" venue....Port has got the lot...."Beach House Pub" right on the water, "Finnians" Irsh Pub, "The Macca" workers/backpackers pub just to mention a few....plus we have the bestest beach in the world in Flynns Beach (MY beach....lol) where we can put on a Downunder Barbie & beach cricket display (now this will be interesting!!!).....i'll even include a free tour of the Maximum Security Wing where i work at the only Koala Hospital in Australia & meet hardcore inmates (my mates) "Bazza", "Danny" & "Matty" just avoid eye contact.... (especially while i'm feeding the littl' buggers, lol)......

i'd be only too happy to help anyone out with the "inside mail" info on transport/accommodation all that sorta crap....

so put ya thinkin' caps on, would love to hear your feedback especially on such things as Date: i'm thinkin' Nov/Dec before the tourist season kicks in (like Marty i hate over crowded watering holes)... Duration: thinkin' min weekend to a week....Topics of Order (conversation) so far me, brooksy & clacky are just arguing over the bestest beer (which will be riveting viewing & a must see)...Themes & beer games: these are bound to get ugly..... & any other aussie traditions we need to share with our Yankee mates

August 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfitzy

@clacky/brooksy, i'll get Marty to pass on me mail addy, just put "Hello Dickhead! its clacky/brooksy" in the subject line so i wont delete ya's

@marty can ya pass on me mail turnout to these 2 clowns please mate....onya!...

August 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfitzy

@Tina and anyone else who feels this way: There have been bars that didn't want me to take pictures and I left and I left and went somewhere else. People have asked me not take their photos and I don't. This day I was on limited time and didn't have the time to go anywhere else, took photos where no one's identifiable and quite frankly I don't think any of them would've really cared. It's a public bar and not a private club. This is one of the few times I didn't ask permission and took pictures after the bartender told me not to. If you have any other issues with the blog, feel free to leave them or to email me. I understand your point of view and it's duly noted. Sorry this one pissed you off, I can't swear I'll never do it again, but it is doubtful. Anyway, onwards I go. And you don't know me, so you really don't know what kind of person I am, as I don't know what kind of person you are.

August 7, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

@Fitzy: I'll be sending them soon! Your Oz summit idea is genius, I'd love to see it happen!

August 7, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Firstly @ raginrr: I totally agree. Best not get involved. Happy thoughts = Happy comments page.
Secondly@ Marty: That bar kinda scared me. Maybe it's a claustrophobia thing. Reminded me of that move 'Barfly' with Mickey Rourke where he played Charles Burkowski. That film gave me an uneasy feeling....dunno. Could it be the vibe from the bartender or because it was during the day or the fact that someone got upset?
By the way, thats a DONK of a step ladder you've got there!
@ Fitzy: I'll be eagerly awaiting your email. We'll go from there. See if we can make this happen.

August 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTim Clack Downunder

@Tim Clack: I'm glad you, rr and "Boris" set a good tone here. Tina's points were valid and I understand where she's coming from. As I said, I only had about 45 minutes to get this thing done so it was either leave and start all over with bar number one the next day or take a few shots with my flash off, so that's what I did. I just sent Fitzy your email, I hope you guys can make this Oz summit happen, I'd love to see the pictures! Hey Brooksy, send me an email if you get a chance so I can forward it to Fitzy. And you're right, it IS one DONK of a stepladder!

August 8, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Tina must not have been following the website very closely, I can remember you going to a bar and then going somewhere else because they didn't want you to take pictures. A bar that's open to the public and is getting free advertising from you shouldn't get its nose out of joint if you want to snap a few photos. Is it really that big of a deal? Nope, not in the long run and we all know that's what you are in it for.

August 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarfly

@Tina, i hear ya mate...Marty is just a dick at times with the utmost best intention like the most of us.....being a semi retired photographer & working in marketing for 15 years, the WORST place you can do a shoot is at lunchtime at a bar....1 no people, 2 those who are there should'nt be...fine...the next worst is a day care centre promo....you have to get permission of every parent before hand....fare enough when it comes to kids.......wish you were in AU & i'd shout you a beer Tina for being honest & just you....Marty's me mate & a good bloke, reckon you could be a good mate too, just dont stop being you.....hope you put more shit on him, or ME if ya want!!!....lol...cheers Tina....

August 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfitzy

I can't stop focusing on your parents....

its so bad that I might have parent envy!

they look like they get you and they look fun to be with. and you're mom is very stylish!

my mother won't leave the state of vermont and after 45 years of divorce, still holds a grudge against my father.

my dad, formerly known as superman, is fighting his biggest battle with Parkinson's. this former marathoner (over 100 total) is reduced to a shuffle, with a cane, and if we need to go any further than a few feet, a wheel chair.

anyway.... really enjoy seeing your family. thanks for sharing so much of yourself Marty!

you're a lucky man Marty!

August 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShannon

@Shannon: Sorry to hear about your folks, especially your father. Yeah, I'm real lucky. My parents are a lot of fun and have always been really open-minded. They've encouraged all of us in our family to laugh and act silly and I appreciate that more as the years go on!

August 8, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

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