Thursday, December 18, 2008

Welcome to the Johnsons

123 Rivington St.
New York, NY 10002
(212) 420-9911

Bathroom situation
- 2 unisex bathrooms which are sooo brokeass...seriously, the grime on the walls will card you on your way in regardless of how old you look.
Takes credit cards? - they had one of those old school click-clack credit card devices, but it broke down in 2002.
Crowded on weekends? - yes, this place is insufferably ironically popular. And yet...
Seating - 10ish seats at the bar, 10ish plastic-covered old school 70's chaises, and two benches against the wall near the billiards table in the back. The seat cushions on the seats in the front are so low to the ground, you'll feel like you're bout to bust a drive-by in South Central in the 90s.
Neighborhood - the wrong side of the tracks of the LES.
Type of crowd - Folks who are OK and folks who are downright scum. Full disclosure: Visceralist almost got his favorite winter coat jacked here on some douchebag shit...and the bartender was complicit. Email for the full story.
Pretentious/assholes - some fuckers, yeah (that winter coat story got us heated).
Cost of Stella - don't have it here, so BYOS.
What time people start showing up - 10ish, average.
Bartender efficiency - usually two bartenders on the heavy nights, which is almost sufficient. The drinks are about as cheap as your mom, so best bet is to stock up on a few at a time so you have to deal with these coat-stealing mugs as little as possible.
Official Website - MySpace page. Last comment is from back when the Democratic presidential primary race was still interesting.
Food? How late - no, but the air is thick enough with bar-musk to make you feel like you never want to eat again.
TVs? What's on - 1 brokeass 70's TV which usually plays brokeass 80's movies on VHS.
Guy/girl ratio - 80/20
Toys - Pool table and a Ms. Pacman/Galaga table. The pool table has no sign up list so you really gotta be on Braveheart mode if you wanna actually get to poolin'.
Age of clientele - everyone dresses like they're in their 20s, so you know what that means...16-42.
Space for dancing - Visceralist saw some clown dancin around after he thought he'd gotten clean away with gankin someone's winter coat (little did he know, he hadn't). Not sure if it was to any particular bpm tho.
Décor - If this place needs to be summed up in one sentence, it looks like the kind of puke you'd find coming out of your mouth after you personally witnessed your uncle making your grandparents re-enact 2 girls, 1 cup.
Grimeyness - Holy...
ID check procedure - Perfunctory bouncer.
Hood specificity - Right on the border of deceny.
Music medium, style & volume - they have a perennially brokedown jukebox, so you're at the mercy of the iPod belonging to the bartender or the Eastern-European actress/model/spokesperson/intern he's fucking.
Specials or most popular drink - happy hour:
Profile - Google first page results: reviews by Citysearch, New York Mag, Yelp, Schecky's, Clup Planet, UrbanSpoon and BlackBook Mag. *crickets*

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Friday, December 5, 2008


132 Ludlow St.
New York, NY 10002
(212) 529-2731

Bathroom situation
- 2 single-person bathrooms...ostensibly men/women but the clientele doesn't seem to distinguish too keenly.
Takes credit cards? - yeah, with a grunt.
Crowded on weekends? - people come here to wait to meet other people, but they tend to stay "for a bit" so it can get a little touchy-feely.
Wifi? - no (I really need to ditch this metric).
Seating - 15ish seats at the bar. 2 tables and 4 large booths which are perched atop a platform. The booths are all wood, but surprisingly cozy-comfy.
Neighborhood - like an insider's guide to the Lower East Side. Btw, Visceralist has a crazy story about this place that involves a dope-feenin' bike messenger from Bodymore. Email us if you've got nothing else to do, and we'll give you the details.
Type of crowd - I hate to say this, but: trashy, bottom-feeding, and lazy/lonely types.
Pretentious/assholes - need not apply.
Cost of Stella - $6/pint
What time people start showing up - All hours, this place attracts folks like the bar in Demon Knight.
Bartender efficiency - very folksy, so prepare to have your annoyance at the inefficiency drained out by some good ol' fashioned charm.
Official Website - Here. Mentions something about Karaoke, which doesn't actually exist here. Otherwise, the site's unnecessarily busy, so *crickets* to that...
Food? How late - no, punk
TVs? What's on - 3 flat screens filled with all the programing basic cable allows.
Guy/girl ratio - 60/40
Toys - A graffitti'd Big Buck Hunter.
Age of clientele - 20s-30s with most folks acting 10 years younger than their biological age.
Space for dancing - Maybe for a mini-Charleston or a condensed tootsie-roll, but not much else.
Décor - As red as The Enemy in Demon Knight.
Grimeyness - It feels like they prolly clean up the place every now and then, but want to make it look like they're too cool to clean up.
ID check procedure - Bouncer (no further comment).
Hood specificity - The oft-overlooked LES.
Music medium, style & volume - and eclectic mix alternating from the juke & bartender's iPod. Volume is at just the right level to give you the feeling that your evening is being personally soundtracked by Quentin Tarantino.
Specials or most popular drink - happy hour:
Profile - Google first page results: review by NY Mag, but this place often gets confused with its UES non-union equivalent. :(


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Local 138

138 Ludlow St.
New York, NY 10002
(212) 477-0280

Bathroom situation
- 3 individualized, unisex bathrooms in the back. All with enough girth to take care of whatever business needeth to be taken care of.
Takes credit cards? - With enthusiasm.
Crowded on weekends? - Yes, but not terrible. Given that it's across the street from the velveteen rope'd Libation, you'd think there'd be more overflow traffic, but it's surprisingly manageable at all times.
Wifi? - nyope.
Seating - Standard sized bar with 2 window-viewed-up booths, plus 2 more tables and scattered chairs.
Neighborhood - On the crossroads of the officially-cool and the monied non-elite.
Type of crowd - Mad chill, homie. You could seriously enter this place, make a $100,000 (or below) business deal and walk out without ever catching the name of anyone.
Pretentious/assholes - If they're here, they keep to themselves.
Cost of Stella - $5/pint, homie.
What time people start showing up - 10ish.
Bartender efficiency - 2 bartenders working an unaccountably large/well-stocked bar, but not really any problem making eye contact.
Official Website - n/a. And they're prolly better off keeping it this way.
Food? How late - Nope. And Visceralist DOES NOT recommend the burger place next door.
TVs? What's on - 2 flatscreens, both showing LOST last time Visceralist was there.
Guy/girl ratio - 60/40. Do NOT expect girls to randomly waltz into this place. They're only coming because someone done brung 'em there.
Toys - por nada. So please come with (aka make up) a good story.
Age of clientele - 20s official.
Space for dancing - nah, this is the type of place to come to when your behind is downright, gosh-darn pooped from shaking all night, ya know?
Décor - looks like a set from an early 1990s straight-to-vhs movie called "Last Call (for Lust)"
Grimeyness - wannabe cleanly. That is, the lighting makes it difficult to see any dirt that may, in actual fact, be present.
ID check procedure - standard ID-checkin' bouncer.
Hood specificity - LES (but the part where you'll overhear a lot of "Psshhh, this ain't THAT cool. I know this little spot in...")
Music medium, style & volume - Bartender's choice vis a vis a strategically placed Personal Digital Media Player. Non-offensive modern arena rock shit last time Visceralist was there. It won't get in your way, player.
Specials or most popular drink - happy hour: they don't advertise it but it's half price beers till like 10pm weekdays. Sorry for being so vague, but $3 Stella pints will make you forget a lot of specifics.
Profile - Google first page results: reviews by Citysearch, NY Mag, Yelp, New York On Tap, Club Planet, Shecky's, Trip Advisor & Urban Spoon (but no page to call their own...weak sauce).

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