Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lil Wayne - No Ceilings (mixtape)

Sheeit...Wayne came back and unleashed that gotdammit on 'em. (here, via Nah Right)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Marshall Stack

66 Rivington St (NW corner of Allen)
New York, NY 10002
(212) 228-4667

Bathroom situation
- three in the back, then hang a left. One for ladies, one for gentlemen, one for the lonely souls. The walls in the men's room are wallpapered with images of the particular electrical guitar amplifier advertised in the title of this post (this is presumably the case in the women's as well...commenters, c'est vrai?). Confusingly, this interior design decision belies the wannabe-upscale vibe that the rest of the bar clearly hopes to engender. C'est meh.
Takes credit cards? - Yelp says they do, but in point of fact, they do not do.
Crowded on weekends? - Visceralist doesn't like to preach or use one-syllable words when there exists a pretentious 4-syllable synonym (shouts out to "proselytize"), but it seems apparent that there still exists an "A Sound of Thunder"-esqe niche/market for a bar that can provide the crowd that looks down on Banana Republic but still can't afford Etiquita Negra to feel cool w/o actually having to put in any effort.
Seating - rickety on purpose. They have the standard contingent of stools at the bar, but the tables are like seriously time-warp-teleported from an episode of Mad Men. Re-purposed elementary school desks from 1960's Ossining is what we're getting at. For the win?
Neighborhood - down the street from a barber-shop called Well Connected (who's hours are yeah - yup, Mon - Thurish). But across the other street from The Reed Space, which has some of the best t-shirts this side of triflin-ass alife.
Pretentious/assholes - Appropos of nothing, Visceralist once randomly struck up a conversation here with a curly-haired friend of a friend who for some reason divulged that, though her Banana Republic bf assumed she was a legal secretary at some Wall St. firm, she was actually a "happy ending" masseuse at a Wall St. massage "parlor." She specified that services offered included both hjs & bjs. Despite being college-educated, she justified this by noting that "Monica was just the only one that got caught..." Two questions popped into Visceralist's mind at this point: (a) did she require condoms for the bjs? and (b) how much for a bj w/o a condom? The only response Visceralist could muster in real life, however, was the unfortunately reductive, "God damn...your world is a muthafucka."
Cost of Stella - if you have to ask...
What time people start showing up - from the outside looking in, this spot affects a certain affability in that folks breeze in and out throughout the afternoon most days. HOWEVER. Is it not in fact the case that most folk who grin and get all touchy-feelie at the site of a rack of khaki-colored whatever do not have the best fashionably-late-dar?
Bartender efficiency - don't quote Visceralist on this, but we swear we once saw a bartender in a sweater-vest and tie...all un-ironically like it was all good! Foreheads were be-slapped.
Official Website - the results from a Google search of "Marshall Stack NYC" indicates that they do have a site, but a left-click on the top link puts paid to that boshit.
Food? How late - yes, but gourmand's beware, the "kitchen" consists of whatever a step or two up from a college dorm hot-plate & mini-fridge would be. There's a bodega across the street, so for once just pretend like your Sopranos-loving ass has actually seen The Wire and sneak in some Utz Crab chips.
TVs? What's on - no, but they have candles on some of the tables so study up on the Wikipedia page for shadow puppets before setting out.
Guy:girl ratio - for some reason women tend to think this place isn't the Febreeze'd-up dive bar it really is, and are thus comfortable enough with it to post pics on their Facebook page of Sarah's newly-single "His Loss '09" girl's-nite-out held here.
Toys - a favorite of Visceralist's is listing all the myriad reasons why this place shouldn't be named after an awesome rock amp.
Age of clientele - Visceralist doesn't like to throw around the term "Fuddy Duddy" with abandon, but really...
Space for dancing? - if you've even heard of the movie Black Dynamite (2nd best comedy movie of 2009, btw...In the Loop is the 1st), your dance moves are prolly too good for this place and will likely be misunderstood and feared.
ID Check Procedure - there's an SVA dorm 2 blocks away from Marshall Stack and Visceralist is NOT encouraging them to show up here even though they don't usually have a bouncer.
Music medium, style & volume
- the sample from Ghostface Killa's "Cherchez La Ghost" that goes "Tommy Mottola..." is from a band (name not important) who premised their music style as being a pure American style that they believed would've naturally evolved over the 60's-70's had the British Invasion never happened. I know, your first thought is like, "For what?!" And really their only valuable contribution to the music biz is the Ghostface song. Visceralist's point is that, if these artists are still alive, they wouldn't be unhappy with the music here. Meanwhile, Chris Martin thinks The Verve's "Bittersweet Symphony" is the best song ever written.
Specials or most popular drink - they have 20 beers on tap + another 30ish bottles, which almost certainly outshines any other bar in a 3-block radius, so if you like it then you better put a ring on it.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Epstein's Bar

82 Stanton St. (NE corner of Allen)
New York, NY 10002
(212) 477-2232

Bathroom situation
- two in the back, men's to the left, women's to the right. The men's features a urinal and a stall with swinging Old West saloon doors like they have in Back to the Future Part III. Visceralist has heard that the women's is single-person, but feel free to correct that in the comments if need be.
Takes credit cards? - no, and Visceralist is starting to get sick of this BS (we're looking at you too, Pink Pony). Third-party ATM fees are straight bozack.
Crowded on weekends? - this is a deceptively small bar, and it's in the heart of the LES, so you subtract 9 from both sides and do the rest of the math.
Seating - they do manage to squeeze a grip of tables into their lack of square-footage, and during the warmer seasons they have an extra 4 or 5 tables on the patio, so if you happen to come here when most other people have a parade or beach to go to, you should be able to rest your glutes, rectum & anus.
Neighborhood - right close to the newly-opened Thompson Hotel (Antoine Merriweather voice: Hated it.). Don't expect much spillover though.
Pretentious/assholes - this place tends to attract genuine LES locals (no charge, Neilsen...bust out the clipboards) and because it's so small, most other NYCers won't bother squeezing in.
Cost of Stella - again, they only take cash here, so who knows if they have a set price for Stella? The IRS certainly doesn't. Most likely though, it's $6.
What time people start showing up - the problem with young people today: not enough jobs to keep them from showing up at Epstein's around 8ish most nights.
Bartender efficiency - yikes. Best to look at this through a European filter. Visceralist has never been to Europe (nor does Epstein's really profess to be inspired by European bars), but presumably the service at outdoor bars/cafe's there is really slow too.
Official Website - here. Took a visit here to realize that this establishment actually is named after a certain Sweathog's mother (like any of its clientele would get that). Can't hate on it too hard though cuz it's succinct and has their daily specials menu on every page. Eat a dick up till you hiccup, Hi-Fi's website.
Food? How late - yes, basic bar food menu, but the place is so small that one wonders where the hell they actually cook all this shit up. One assumes the kitchen that's actually perfectly visible from anywhere in the bar.
TVs? What's on - yes and sports. If you're like Visceralist and realize that baseball is boring (shouts out to football, basketball & tennis), you'd do well to avoid this place during the months Sept-Oct.
Guy:girl ratio - leaning towards the penis (no homo).
Toys - flat-screen tvs and yelling.
Age of clientele - as Epstein's is close to the border of the LES, you'll find a good mix of problematic young people today that don't know they're not welcome and the 30 year olds who'll make sure they figure that out asap.
Space for dancing? - Visceralist has seen a number of people bus' a hot Stanky Leg when the trumped-up check arrives at the end of the night. With they broke ass.
Grimeyness - hate to pull a Red Carpet Rivers move, but the cracked and uneven tiles throughout the bar are a dead giveaway.
ID Check Procedure - no bouncer, and the bartender's usually a chick who won't bother carding cuz she's got those "student loans" to pay off and, hey, you do have a $20 in your hand, so...
Music medium, style & volume
- jukebox here, but the only thing you'll hear is something that's been synched with the bartender's iSomething. So don't come here acting all bougie.
Specials or most popular drink - 2 for 1 drinks & dinners till 11pm on Tuesdays. This seems to be the most popular reason for people to be here, but Thursday is guest bartender night, which seems way more potentially fraught with peril and, thus, interesting.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

People Lounge

163 Allen St. (btw Rivington & Stanton)
New York, NY 10002
(212) 254-2668

Bathroom situation
- Street level: two in the rear, one with urinals, one without. Both as plain as Jane's plain brain game. Upper level: two single-person units around the corner from the bar, but one seems to be employees-only. The other one is spacious enough for you to bring a friend, and the walls are thick enough that people outside won't be able to eavesdrop on the inevitable argument that erupts when your so-called friend gets all incensed that you asked her to do "that" in there.
Takes credit cards? - yes, but this is exactly the type of place where shit can just come up missing if you happen to accidentally leave it there overnight. Not saying that this typically happens here or that it's intentional when/if it does; really just wanted to use the phrase "come up."
Crowded on weekends? - this is People Lounge's consistent claim to fame. As advertised, there be people. All in your grill.
Seating - this is one of those places that segues from respectable-ish restaurant to loungey-club over the course of the evening so there are a fair number of tables, booths & stools at the bar on the street level. None of this, however, will be available to you if you arrive after 10pm. The upper level is more lounge-sofa oriented, and trust that any stools at the bar will be pushed to the side well before SNL begins broadcasting with their newly-instituted 3 minute delay.
Neighborhood - the stretch of Allen that desperately doesn't want you to notice that they share the block with one of the LES's better housing projects.
Pretentious/assholes - though People Lounge definitely attracts a nerdier crowd than your prototypical LES romper room, it's not without its share of moneyed-up solipsists. These folk, however, will at least wait till they get home before they brag about how they almost poured your own fucking beer all over your whole fucking UniQlo-sourced outfit cuz you were looking over at them too much.
Cost of Stella - apparently if you show up in some nice UniQlo attire and have a receding hairline (oh, btw they don't allow baseball caps in here) you get charged one price, but if you show up in some been there, done that Bloomie's bullshit you get a different, lower price. Rich get richer...
What time people start showing up - the dinner here is allegedly mad decent, so a lot of people come at 8, then mosey on upstairs after getting a box for what's left of their creme brule (that's a metaphor, they don't actually have creme brule here).
Bartender efficiency - even though Visceralist has been here a few times with folks who were friendly with the upstairs bartender, it's still basically a crap shoot. People is almost always too understaffed to adequately handle the weekend crowd, so you'll be better off sneaking in a flask of amaretto.
Official Website - here. Flash'd up like it's going out of style (it is btw, shouts out to HTML 5.0), but pleasantly concise. Plus their Upcoming Events section actually has upcoming events (as opposed to the GWB-era events you see on most LES/EV bar sites these days).
Food? How late - yeah, saw some Satay's or something on their menu.
TVs? What's on - no, so the game of pretend-voiceovers-of-what-that-couple-over-there-is-talking-about is a must.
Guy:girl ratio - 50:50 ish, though you'll sometimes be hard-pressed to tell which is which. "Strong in the face" is a phrase you'll overhear more than once.
Toys - you'll have to make do with cocktail napkins and maraschino cherries.
Age of clientele - the futilely-clinging-to-their-20s set and those who encourage them. And may we add, if the majority of your waking hours during your 20s were spent in a button-up shirt, let them go. You'll fit in much bett[ed. let's just stop there and try to steer clear of the class critiques from here on out, ok?].
Space for dancing? - huzzah, People Lounge's one saving grace. They actually have a "dance floor" on the upper level and the DJ actually plays songs with +120 bpm and syncopation. Granted, it's usually so crowded that inadvertent bumping/grinding is a given, but the dopamine that (for once) is naturally released in your brain after Sean Paul's "Get Busy" fades into Keri Hilson's "Turnin Me On" will more than make up for it.
Grimeyness - mostly Swiffered away.
ID Check Procedure - bouncer out front...even in the cold, so you know he's not in a good mood, and he's checking both men's and cute women's.
Music medium, style & volume
- DJ in the upper room on the weekends and at the frequent "networking events" this place hosts. The music is usually "Wait, what?!" loud, but Visceralist is rarely mad at the selection.
Specials or most popular drink - the Purple People Eater - Hypnotic & cranberry juice on the rocks (with a splash of amaretto courtesy of our little secret). J/k, this is really more of a suggestion.

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