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Entries in Tribeca (6)

Monday
Dec062010

Monday, December 6th, 2010—Bar 330

Day 330—Sunday, December 5th, 2010
Walker's

Tonight we dine with Fat Al, one half of the blogging team that produces the fine blog, The Half Empty Glass. He chose Walker’s tavern in Tribeca to meet at, so that’s tonight’s destination. And I think that jco, a frequent commentator at The Half Empty Glass is going to be there as well. Some of you will remember them from the last time we met at The Winner’s Circle in midtown, a classic night on the bar crawl. And I’ve heard rumors that Fat Al’s elusive blogging partner, anonymous271 might show up as well. And who knows who else might show up? We’ll never know till we go, so let’s hit the fucking road.

I was going to take a cab, but traffic was nuts and there were none to be had, so we'll be traveling on the subway. I'll probably get there faster anyway.

Here comes the train, take Fat Al's advice and lean back, motherfuckers!

And through the magic of the internet, I'll spare you a train ride that included skipping the Franklin Street stop and doubling back to get here, anyway, here we are!

Wow, it's crowded inside, but I see a spot at the end of the bar.

Alright, all settled in. Hey bartender!

Steve the bartender serves up an ice-cold Budweiser. Nice Elvis shirt!

Bar number 330. In 35 days you can stick a fork in me because I'll be done.

I had a feeling this place would have a tin ceiling and a glance upwards proves it to be true.

You don't have to be named Steve to work here, but I think it helps. Here's Steve, part of the friendly waitstaff.

Vintage photos and paintings line the walls which are also made of tin.

A quick glance outside the festive window.

Here's the dining area. That waitress looks like she could use a break.

And here's a the quick break. Her name's Linder and I call this shot, "drinking on duty." That's my kind of woman!

Phil and Roy were seated next to me and were very supportive of the whole 365 idea.

Phil even bought shots for the three of us. Cheers! We had a nice conversation about work, marriage, children and two-headed women. Phil had the quote of the night when he said, "I thought I was fucked up till I met you!" Ha ha ha!

And look who's at teh end of the bar, the Fat Al party! From left, anonymous271, Katie, Fat Al hidden by the NY Times and jco! Time for Sunday dinner.

A painting of this woman hung over our table and I'm really curious as to who she is and what she's doing right now. If she's making the world's largest belly button lint ball right at this moment, all would be perfect in this world.

Our dinner came, but my twice baked potatoes had beans in them, so I took a photo of the crayons on the table instead. And you know what happens when crayons are on the table...

Tic tac toe quickly follows. I had just made a remark about how no one ever wins when Katie quickly defeated an embarassed anonymous271 to all our amazement!

Oh the agony of defeat! (Update: anonymous271 has just posted about his defeat at the Half Empty Glass. Read about it here: "A Drumbeat of Humiliation.")

And Katie proudly holds the crayon that drew the winning game.

And then seconds later, Fat Al trounced jco with this Ballatine Ale triple X victory! Unbelievable. So what do these two tic tac toe losers have to say for themselves?

Exactly what I would say! Thanks to Fat Al, anonymous271, jco and Katie for meeting me and for a great night out. Goodnight, everybody!

Review
Walker’s is an old-school, no frills neighborhood tavern in the heart of Tribeca. There’s a long, well worn wooden bar to enjoy beer and cocktails and a green tin ceiling hovers overhead. There’s a dining area with wooden tables adorned with white table cloths opposite the bar. There’s also a second room in the back with tables set up for people to eat and drink at. It’s a friendly neighborhood place and the bartenders and staff are fun and treat everyone like they’re life-long regulars.

There’s a full bar here with plenty of choices of bottled and draft beer as well as wine and mixed spirits.
The food menu has such offerings as: Pasta Primavera; 12 ounce Angus Shell Steak; Cornmeal Crusted Willapoint Oysters with cajun tartar sauce and Walker's Chopped Sirloin Steak with green peppercorn demi glace, served with mashed potatoes and vegetables.

Live jazz is played here every Sunday night and the twice baked potatoes have beans in them. I’ll be obsessed with that forever.

Walker's
16 N. Moore St. (@Varick St.)
212-941-0142

Sunday
Nov282010

Sunday, November 28th, 2010—Bar 322

Day 322—Saturday, November 27th, 2010
Jerry's Cafe

Live from New York, it’s Cheeseburger Saturday Night! Starring Jerry’s Cafe with a special guest appearance of Shawn Washburne and the Visual Vaudeville art exhibition. Featuring the ready for prime beef player, Marty Wombacher. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Shawn Washburne, Visual Vaudeville and Jerry’s Cafe!

One of the cool things about doing this bar crawl is the interesting people I meet along this journey. A week or so ago I was in Biddy Early’s bar and I met Shawn Washburne who is an artist and President of Toast—Tribeca Open Artist Studio Tour, and he told me about an art show they were putting together called, Visual Vaudeville. I told him I’d stop by and check it out and so tonight I did. The video above is from the opening night and Shawn explains the idea behind the exhibition. Below are some photos I took of some of the art in the show.

Here's the front window display of Visual Vaudeville at 368 Broadway. The exhibit answers the question of, "What if Andy Warhol and P.T. Barnum shared a bottle of wine?"

And here's artist and President of Toast, Shawn Washburn. Behind him and above are two of the planets he created for the show.

More of Shawn's planets and globes float overhead. Art is everywhere in this three-floor installation. Let's go check some of it out.

"Sunken Garden," by Jonathan Lux.

This was an interesting painting by Eric Wats. This side is the painting he created for the show...

And the backside is an older painting, he did earlier on the same canvas.

"Shadow," by Alkan Nalllbani.

"Untitled," by Mark Demos.

Obligatory Visual Vaudeville mirror shot.

"Warrior Doll," by Natasha Shapiro.

"Logan Airport," by Judy Somerville. A funny thing happened while Shawn and I were discussing this painting...

Judy walked in the front door! Here's Shawn greeting her on the first floor.

A portrait of the artist and her art.

Hanging on the door to the basement level display is, "Mask On Canvas," by Olga Spiegel.

"Natasha," by Lizzie Pantirer.

They also had art on display that wasn't done on a canvas, such as, "Blue Electric Guitar," by Chris Totaro.

And art in the form of hats! "13 Hats," by Jacqueline Lamont.

By now my stomach was grumbling and Shawn suggested we stop by Jerry's Cafe which is nearby and is famous for their cheeseburger, among other things.

It's just a couple of blocks away and here we are!

Since it's a holiday weekend it's unusually slow and we have our choice of seats at the bar.

Friendly and cute bartender, Angela serves up a Corona and lime using Jerry's patented lime inserter.

Ana's the lovely manager of Jerry's and she was doing some research for the bar. "Drink up?" I'll drink to that!

Cheers!

A shot of the zebra-styled bar.

Ana is also a mathematician and Angela is an actress. So while Angela tapdances a drink your way, Ana is busy preparing your bill.

Happy hour!

There's tables and chairs opposite the bar and in the back room. Art and photos line the walls.

And it's not just your run of the mill art on the walls either. The owners are art collectors and this is a Robert Rauschenberg original.

Here's another Rauschenberg piece.

There's several photos by John Albash on the walls, with inscriptions by him below the photos. This one says, "Jersey boy in market place."

Here's an original Andy Warhol piece. And thanks to Shawn and Toast, we all know now what would've happened if he would've met P.T. Barnum and shared a glass of wine.

A couple of pieces of art by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, who did The Gates installation in Central Park a while back.

A famous photo of painter Marcel Duchamp playing chess with a model.

Meanwhile back at the bar, Shawn, Ana and Angela are discussing various ways to throw people out when they want to use the bathroom without asking or buying anything.

Robert came in and gave me several suggestions for bars, which I dutifully recorded in my notebook.

Here's Natasha and Siobhan who are artists and are from...(drumroll)...Melbourne, Australia! I keep running into Australians and I love it. You can check out Natasha's website here: Natasha Johns-Messenger.

Angela poses with Brian, who's rumored to be 21-years-old.

And finally, the star of tonight's show, the cheeseburger from Jerry's Cafe!

Delicious!

And here's the man responsible for the delicious burger, Santiago, posing with Shawn as we get ready to leave. Goodnight, everybody!

Review
Okay, this was a massive post to put together, so once again I slack on the review section here and I’m posting a review from New York magazine. I’ll be back to writing reviews tomorrow, unless I’m too lazy to do it. Thanks so much to Shawn, Ana and Angela for a wonderful evening on the bar crawl!

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In 2008, the original Jerry’s in Soho fell victim to skyrocketing rent. Owner Jerry Joseph picked up and moved operations to Tribeca, where he opened a short-lived fast-food joint called YourAsian. He’s now reverted back to his roots: Despite the diner décor and the location on an out-of-the-way block of Chambers Street, the full bar up front and Gramercy Park Hotel alum chef in the kitchen make it clear that Jerry’s is a far cry from a gritty greasy spoon. The shiny, black-and-white checkered floor is set off by red vinyl booths and a dash of zebra print here and there. The staples are the star of the menu—the namesake burger, cooked to order, is served on a brioche bun with perfectly crisp shoestring fries—but adventurous inclusions like grilled-octopus risotto with mascarpone, brick roasted chicken with broccoli rabe, and grilled pizza with goat cheese and fig preserve elevate Jerry’s above the average neighborhood diner. Randi Eichenbaum

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Jerry's Cafe
90 Chambers St. (Near Church St.)
212-608-1700


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Bonus Interview From the Greg and Dan Show on WMBD Radio!


I was interviewed by my old friends Greg Batton and Dan Diorio on the Greg and Dan Show on 1470 WMBD—Peoria’s News and Talk Station and yesterday Gene from the BBC found the podcast link. Check it out here: Marty interviewed on the Greg and Dan Show.


Tuesday
Oct122010

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010—Bar 275

Day 275—Monday, October 11th, 2010
Nancy Whiskey Pub

Okay, first off, let me whine a little bit. As I’ve said before, I don’t blog about my job because I don’t feel like getting dooced  in this shitty economy of ours, but I will let you in on one fact: I’m working the dayshift for two weeks. And I fucking HATE the dayshift. I hate morning, I hate the sunshine, I hate morning people and I don’t drink coffee. I’ve worked a nightshift job since 1986 and working the dayshift really fucks with my system. Plus if there’s a lot of work, I have to work the nightshift also. So I could be putting in some twelve hour plus days. So be prepared for some rough bar-crawling ahead!

Okay, enough whining and on with the crawl. About a month ago, jco who’s a commentator over at the fine Half Empty Glass blog, run and written by Fat Al and his blogging buddy, anonymous271 suggested I check out the Nancy Whiskey Pub in my travels and I made a note to check it out. Well last week, my bar-crawling co-pilot, 365 commentator Al Rizo suggested the same place, and as we all know Al’s never picked a bad spot. So it’s off to the Nancy Whiskey Pub to drown my daytime workshift sorrows.

And we're here, time for beer!

Wow, looks great in here! A fine suggestion from jco and Al.

And it just gets better as the lovely, fun and friendly bartender Kat serves up a beer.

The bar recently made the cover of the Village Voice as one of the top 10 dive bars in Manhattan. Rumor has it that they used models for the cover. Now you know these broads have never paid for a drink, much less poured one! Come on Village Voice, you've got a fine bartender like Kat behind the bar and you use models for the cover? For shame, for shame!

Lawrence and Matt were enjoying some brews at the end of the bar. Lawrence tends bar at Peter McManus Cafe, which was the 17th bar on this bar crawl.

And of course there's a tin ceiling above.

Colored lights and a string of glowing pumpkins add to the festive spirit of the bar.

A shot of the center of the bar.

This sign made me think of Johnny Rotten's autobiography.

The front window has a nice view of Sixth Avenue.

A long-shot of the wooden bar.

Here's Lauren and Sarah who were hanging out by the front window.

Kat plays her tambourine as the jukebox wails "Sympathy For The Devil" by the Rolling Stones.

The Nancy Whiskey Pub houses New York's only shuffleboard table.

Here's Larry getting blinded by my flash as he takes a shot at the table.

The bar proudly hangs a 9/11 Flag in the corner. The Nancy Whiskey Pub was one of two bars that stayed open directly after September 11th. And they stayed open round the clock for weeks, feeding and pouring drinks for cops and firefighters on the job.

Here's a painting featuring every regular in the bar by artist Robert Cenedella. Check out more of Robert Cenedella's work here: Robert Cenedella Gallery.

And speaking of regulars, here's Erick, one of the shuffleboard enthusiasts at the bar.

And here's Erick and his son featured in Robert Cenedella's "regulars" painting.

Here's a shot from the opposite end of the bar.

I was going to leave, seeing as I have to get up early in the morning, but it was raining like crazy...

So what the hell, let's have another beer and I'll be sorry in the morning. Goodnight, everybody!

Review
The Nancy Whiskey pub has been a popular neighborhood watering hole since 1967. As they say on their website, they were here before it was Tribeca. The bar has a cozy, inviting atmosphere with friendly bartenders and local patrons. The Village Voice may have declared it one of Manhattan’s top ten dive bars, but owner, Billy Wall will humbly tell you it’s just a “gin joint.” In addition to being a fine and inexpensive drinking establishment, the Nancy Whiskey Pub is home to Manhattan’s only bank shuffleboard table. The game gets a lot of action during week and on Saturday and Sunday nights they have tournament play going on.

The bar is well stocked and there’s a half a dozen beers on draft and eight selections of bottled beer including: Amstel, Corona, Heineken and Magner’s Cider. Happy hour runs from 4pm to 7pm, Monday through Thursday with Bud and Bud Lite pints and bottles going for $2.50 a pop. Monday through Thursday you can also get ten buck pitchers of Bud, Bud Lite and St. Pauli Girl from 5pm to closing.

Some of the pub grub on the menu includes: Burgers, chicken wings, a chicken cutlet sandwich and fried shrimp and chicken baskets. Saturday afternoon’s from noon to five there’s Nancy’s College Football Special which offer two one-half-pound burgers deluxe along with a picher of Bud or Bud Lite for fifteen bucks. Sunday’s feature’s an NFL Sunday Brunch from noon to 4pm.

Nancy Whiskey Pub
1 Lispenard St. (@West Broadway)
212-226-9943

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Bonus Photo!
The other day when I posted the Circa Tabac post, Gidget made a comment about when she was a cigarette girl. I asked her to send in a picture and here she is (on the right, cute as a smoking button! Thanks for sending that in Gidget! And if you haven’t heard her show on Woody Radio, you’re missing out on great music and a lot of fun. Gidget’s the coolest DJ in the world and you need to check out her show. It’s simple and free, just go to the Woody Radio site and check out her schedule. Click here and check out Gidget’s schedule: Woody Radio.