Saturday, May 29, 2010

The End

I got the feelin'...tonight's the night, like Betty White, and I'm chillin.

Visceralist Review: Kanye West - "Power"

Look at this fucking worthless piece of shit.

Friday, May 28, 2010

UC Lounge

87 Ludlow St (btw Delancey & Broome)
New York, NY 10002

(212) 677-1100
This review kinda shadows Visceralist's earlier review of 87 Lounge, but they've since done a renovation/remix, so why not.

Bathroom situation
- 2 unisex cuts. One is perfectly visible & accessible straight ahead and to the back. The other one is in the way-back of the auxiliary room/performance space. When the downstairs area is open (weekends, usually) there are two more down there. Have to say, they've cleaned up their act since the 87 Lounge days, but they're still maybe one step above LES dive status.
Takes credit cards? - yes, with a $20 min.
Crowded on weekends? - depends on what you really consider a weekend to be all about. [ed. WTF...are you writing this review on Xanax?] Nah, just going through some shit....[ed. SMH]
Seating - 1 conspicuous booth in the front window, 10ish stools along the main bar and the same spread of couches in the side room that they had when it was 87.
Neighborhood - a parking lot takes up most of this block's acreage, so it doesn't get much foot traffic. Still it's close to Delancey where catching a cab is usually no problem. Even if you're going to BK (i.e., when the cabbie rolls down the window and yells "Where to?" before he picks you up [ed. which is illegal, btw], you don't necessarily have to say "Williamsburg...the good part, the good part." Though it won't hurt).
Pretentious/assholes - kinda, mane. Though there usually aren't enough people here to form an a-hole critical mass.
Cost of Stella -$6 on tap, and they have those regulation Stella glasses.
What time people start showing up - ....if people show up, more like.
Bartender efficiency - last time Visceralist was here, the bartender was straight gettin' punked by some button-up Aleksey Vayner-types, but he was still surprisingly magnanimous about it. Stella glasses then came across certain foreheads in Visceralist's daydream, but the reality was way more boring.
Official Website - here. Way better than 87's, but Flash-heavy and seems kinda sparse. Full disclosure, Visceralist actually likes the new setup of the bar in general and the staff too, so we'll just say that there's room for improvement here.
Food? How late - nathan.
TVs? What's on - Sports McGorts. For when you finally have nothing human to connect with anymore....
Guy:girl ratio - If we're rounding up, prolly like 100:0.
Toys - judging by the button-ups that were here recently, making fun of the bartender for being poor seems to be the predominant pastime. Fsmfh...
Age of clientele - late 20s.
Space for dancing? - yes, the aforementioned auxiliary room has its cabaret license paperwork up to date and notarized.
Music medium, style & volume - in the dance-room, it's "WHAT'D YOU SAY?!" loud on the weekends. Could use more Gucci Mane, but Visceralist won't complain about some early 90's-era Death Row shit. OK, now Visceralist hates when other bloggers post song lyrics, but this Gucci soliloquy is too perfect:

I'm in the bank, makin' depo's
While y'all be gettin repo'd
I'm zero, zero, zero
Comma, zero after zero

My jewelry game sick
I think my jeweler need chemo
Wonder Woman bracelet on
But I'm no superhero

Cocky? Yes, I'm rockin this
Cuz ain't no body hot as this
So hot as hot lava get
And I'm not with that Midas shit(?)

Poppin' Cris'
Think that I need alcohol-anonymous
4-5 in the club,
I could kill a hippopotamus

Specials or most popular drink
- buy-one-get-one from 6-10pm happy hour, which is a rarity in this hood. So write that down!

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sleigh Bells

...and it's all Gucci.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Fix Been In

Fuck what you're goin' through.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


49 Essex St (Btw Hester & Grand)
New York, NY 10002
(212) 777-8454

Bathroom situation
- 1 M & 1 W (both single-person) allll the way to the back. They're green-hued and papered with old-school, Greasers v. Socs era photos of half-naked Polynesians. Shouts out to breadfruit trees.
Takes credit cards? - whoa, whoa, slow down there Donald Trump (btw, what do you think his hair looks like when he gets out of the pool?). This is a fairly new establishment, so they can be excused for not having the infrastructure to handle 1s and 0s quite yet.
Crowded on weekends? - now this is the beauty part. They have a bouncer fella outside who will potentially keep you waiting in order to maintain the balance indoors (or to placate the fire code, who knows). BUT! He's actually pleasant, reasonable and totally competent about this. Due to this, the indoor population is always right where it needs to be. You know Visceralist loves to pop a lot of shit, but really we can't even squeeze a shit-talking vowel into this category. Who'd have thunk a bar on the LES could actually get this right? Consider Visceralist downright gobsmacked. Now, granted, you will likely have to wait outside for a bit (Visceralist's wait was 5-7 mins last Saturday), but if you're not averse to that and you're not in a big group, it's probably worth it.
Seating - not a tonne, but with the impeccable door policy, it's not really an issue. There are 8 or 9 stools at the bar, 3 two-person tables & 3 large booths in the back.
Neighborhood - still kinda the hinterlands of the LES, but Essex is fairly major, so catching a cab shouldn't be too much of a migraine.
Pretentious/assholes - as this place is fairly new, in the LES and has gotten some favorable press, it'll catch it's fair share of dudes who are willing to drop $100-$200 in a night to impress some new floozy (round here, they're known as mark-ass tricks that llike to trick off all their little trick-money). Nothing to really worry about though. The door policy seems to be pretty egalitarian as far as admitting the asshole-y and fly alike [ed. yes, Chloe, this is a sneak-diss].
Cost of Stella -the drink menu veers towards the cocktail direction (we'll get to that a little further down), so they only have a few beers here. No Stella, but Red Stripe was $6.
What time people start showing up - 'lebben.
Bartender efficiency - there was one comely young lady working the bar when Visceralist was there and she was definitely adept at eye-contact. She seemed a bit on the overly-effusive side, but that's to be expected with a new bar that'd love to be described as swanky. Whatever, she did her thing. They only had one cocktail waitress working the seated area in the back and she seemed a bit the point where she forgot our Red Stripe order. However, once reminded, she got it to our table post-haste and didn't even charge. Still tippin' tho!!!
Official Website - even tho they're new, they should'a been had one by now, but it ain't. Visceralist has been getting the impression that some spots refrain from maintaining a web presence cuz they think it adds to their mystique. They may be right, but Visceralist respectfully disagrees with this particular strategem.
Food? How late - some of their drinks are actually served in a pineapple half (big shouts out to Lock, Stock..."You could fall in love with an Orangutan in there..."), but that's the closest you'll get.
TVs? What's on - no, so you'll have to head up the street to Boss Tweeds if you wanna watch the Cavs implode like whoa (cot damn, Bron, are you throwin' games now? SMH)
Guy:girl ratio - 50/50. Visceralist did witness that one of the booths the other night was fully inhabited by a wild pack of rapscallions in un-tucked button-ups (which likely wouldn't have been allowed inside any other small LES bar w/ a discerning bouncer, but hey...). But they were adequately balanced out with a flocka uterii.
Toys - bendy straws.
Age of clientele - firmly 20s it seemed. Again, this place is new, so it'll take a while before any sort of norm can be determined.
Space for dancing? - nah, you'll have to settle for the photos of hula-dancers on the walls in the bathrooms.
Music medium, style & volume - unobtrusive to say the least.
Specials or most popular drink - so this is their real draw. Authentic Tiki-Bar drinks. Visceralist's only other experience with tiki-bars is (obviously) Otto's Shrunken Head, so we have no real way of knowing if Painkiller keeps it real. Since every other aspect of this place is above average tho, let's just say they are. The focus here is cocktails served in large glasses, skull-shaped and otherwise. The menu is strictly visual, so they don't actually tell you what ingredients are in the drinks. Their eponymous drink tasted like a margarita made with rum instead of tequila and was delicious. We also tried the Zombie, which was a bit of an ordeal. It was essentially Barardi 151 tempered somewhat with some pineapple juice and it lit a fucking fuse. Now, Visceralist is all about the recent resurgence of the Zombie in pop culture (big shouts out to World War Z), but this shit was some straight voodoo no-no. Mamma say, mamma sa, ma ma-ku-sa. Still, we'll be back to try some more in the foreseeable future.

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ava Lounge

210 W. 55th St. (btw Broadway & 7th Ave)
New York, NY 10019

(212) 956-7020

Bathroom situation - 1 M & 1 W to the right when you get off the elevator. Both are white-tiled and surprisingly immaculate. The men's has framed photos of "tasteful nudes" on the wall. Presumably, the women's has equally tasteful photos of like Steve Nash and/or Lance Armstrong from that one Gatorade ad campaign (shouts out to Los Suns, btw).
Takes credit cards? - avec plaisir. Yeah, that's the kinda faux-familiarity you'll have to have with the Romance Langs in order to fit in here. 8th grade French w/ that one cute-ish grad student FTW!
Crowded on weekends? - Visceralist will be god-damned if we ever show up in midtown on a weekend, walking slowly behind the map-holders.
Seating - the main space has like 4 stools at the bar, but a number of tables in the main area. There's a room around the corner that has like 6 couches, which will fit a small going-away party nicely. They also have one of the flyest roofdecks in NYC here which, if you actually go up there during the summer months, will be downright transcendent [ed. shouts out to hyperbole.].
Neighborhood - the grip-in-the-money-clip part of Midtown West. Meh. If you're here, it's prolly for something that you can leave after 1 drink, so don't worry too much.
Pretentious/assholes - sheeeiiiit. Basically, everyone that comes here and likes it either went to Dartmouth or UVA.
Cost of Stella -$8....eight fucking dollars. In the bottle. Plus tip, playboy.
What time people start showing up - it's Midtown and it has a roofdeck...and, as of this writing, it's essentially summer. That means, like 5ish - 7ish, this place is a shit-show like the ending of that old movie "Freaks."
Bartender efficiency - Visceralist doesn't really like goin' ham on bartenders in general, cuz we know how shitty the gig can be. But holy moly, do the bartenders here give you the "Pssshhht!" + eye-roll like ev-a-ry day. Granted, we came through rockin' the fitted New Era and some Levi's, but still. Frustrating shit. Plus, management makes them dress like some straight skeezas for some reason.
Official Website - here. The photos are great, but the rest is downright rudimentary. The Menu section is "Coming Soon" which is some bullshit, cuz this place has been a going concern for at least 3 years. Guess they're focusing their ad budget on print ads in the NY Sun and Observer.
Food? How late - Duane Reade now sells "NYC Experience" packages at the registers that include tix to plays and gift certificates at Murray Hill restaurants and suchlike. That > Ava Lounge.
TVs? What's on - no, cuz they're classy. Meanwhile, how bout some shouts out for LOST for being on a roll like whoa now that we're in the Final-Season home stretch.
Guy:girl ratio - there's a Facebook group called "I'm Single - You're Gonna Have to be Pretty Amazing to Change That." To which Visceralist replies "SMH...The problem with young people today...."
Toys - playing hide-and-seek with the bouncer after you put your New Era fitted back on, after dude told you to take it off (cuz this place is classy, mind).
Age of clientele - gotta be like 35-45. Fuck.
Space for dancing? - not really. Chicks can't really dance in heels and guys in suits who are stopping by Ava after a long day at Lehman aren't really in the mood.
Music medium, style & volume - but for some reason they have a DJ setup in the main bar area. He was spinnin shit like "Rumpshaker" and "I Got the Feelin" last time Visceralist was there, so...
Specials or most popular drink - honestly...fuck this place.
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