Sunday, December 30, 2012

Two Bit's Retro Arcade

153 Essex St (between Stanton & Rivington)
New York, NY 10002
(212) 477-8161

Bathroom situation - just one in the back around the corner. It’s spacious and secluded enough to fuck your fuck on up in there, but some of the graf on the walls could prove to be a little distracting (see above). So, we’re saying all that to say this: make sure you get yourself molly’d up beforehand just in case.
Takes credit cards? - nope! Not yet, anyway - this place is still that new shit, so they only have one of those gougey ATMs for the time being. Helpfully, given that this is an arcade, they do have one of those change machines for quarters. Unhelpfully, as of this writing, it’s broken. Helpfully, however, the register at the bar is prepared and replete. Unhelpfully, it won't matter how many quarters you have, Visceralist will still eat your breakfast, lunch, dinner and that ill-advised Hot Pocket you had 30 minutes before bed on any one of these games. Bet.
Crowded on weekends? - not yet, but soon. The selection of games here, though more modest, is better than at their presumptive rival Barcade. See, cuz Barcade’s  like “Oh, arcade games made after 1989 are sellouts...psh, don’t even...” Whereas, Two Bit’s all, “Yo, fuck all that. Do the people wanna play Street Fighter? Do the people wanna play classic beat-em-ups like Final Fight? Yes? Do the people wanna shoot at the screen with fake plastic guns? Yes? Then get that shit!”
Seating - a few stools at the bar and a couple tables in the back. No stools in front of the games tho which, while likely a practical necessity, is kind of a drag. Some of us have sore lower backs from getting molly’d up and fucking while standing up all week long. Just a thought that we want in your head.
Neighborhood - right next door to the recently shuttered LES comedy club The Laugh Lounge (RIP 2012). This part of Essex St. (in addition to the block between Stanton and Houston) oddly doesn’t get much attention, but perhaps now the siren call of Blanka’s victory howl will change all that.
Pretentious/assholes - both times we’ve been here, we’ve sorta wanted to get into a Street Fighter II tournament where dudes are putting quarters up against the screen to call next and all that shit. Hasn’t happened yet, but soon.
Cost of Stella - not raising its hand when its name is called, unfortunately.
What time people start showing up - so, that’s not in fact a misplaced apostrophe you’re seeing in the title of this post. This retro arcade apparently belongs to some fella named Two Bit. Perhaps we’re being overly nitpicky, but something about that just seems off.  
Bartender efficiency - only 1 bartender working, but never got to to the point where, sorry, but they really do have to ignore you because it’s just too hectic. We here at Visceralist sympathize, reality.
Official Website - here. Currently just a typical “Coming Soon” placeholder with a .jpg of their logo (which doesn’t feature the infamous apostrophe...hmmm...)
Food? How late - pizza slices of dubious origin. Like Gatsby!
TVs? What's on - 1 flatscreen behind the bar and 1 large projector screen against the rear wall - onto which they project shit the likes of which probably inspired Django Unchained.
Guy:girl ratio - we here at Visceralist HQ just recently got into this old reality show Geek Love, episodes which are available on YouTube. Its framing is a bit meaner than we usually tolerate, but it’s still a treat that can’t be beat.
Toys - oh, in addition to the stools, it would be great if they had a hand-sanitzer-dispenser somewhere off in this bitch. Cuz, especially considering the age of these cabinets, more sweaty hands been on them joysticks than...
Age of clientele - old enough to remember a time when you could actually get something for a quarter. Which, btw, if we can be as didactic as possible: this place is good because every game only costs a quarter.
Space for dancing? - probably enough room to do a little victory shimmy after you’ve roasted that dude who picked Dhalsim like it was good.
Music medium, style & volume - ok, let’s just get this out of the way, the Django Unchained soundtrack is the fucking best since Drive.
Specials or most popular drink - Visceralist is known to serve up a tall glass of that #beatemdown to all comers on them Street Fighter sticks. Pop a molly and put your quarters up, beeeeiiitch!

Friday, December 7, 2012


50 Avenue B (Corner of E. 4th)
New York, NY 10009
(212) 375-0665

Bathroom situation - so the street level floor of Affaire is set up as a small restaurant. There's 1 bathroom in the back, to the side of the bar. Then downstairs there are two separate lounge rooms which each have 1 small bathroom. Each one is single-person and the tricky part with the downstairs ones is that the doors blend in seamlessly with the wall. If you're having trouble finding them, just wait for a line to form.
Takes credit cards? - yes and when you close out at the bar, they go through the whole rigamarole of putting your check in one of those black pleather folders, which is such a cyse.
Crowded on weekends? - the following is a true story that happened in real life earlier this year: The Visceralist rolled up to the door of Affaire on a Saturday night. The Bouncer (who looked like he had probably used the phrase "'Nuff said" about 5 or 6 times that week), was all, "Gotta lose the hat. Can't let you in with that hat." Fair enough, so we turned to our friend and asked her if she could please put the offending hat in her purse for the night. She was all, "Of course." Problem solved, right? Of course. But then Bouncer was all, "Nah, no hats at all inside. Gotta get rid of it." To which we responded, "It'll just stay in her bag, man, it's all good." Bouncer: "No hats." V: "Really? So even though I could've put the hat in her bag in the cab before we got here, you won't let us in?" Bouncer (after cinching up his jean cargo shorts): "Yeah. I mean if you wanna come in now, you could throw it out in the trash can on the corner." Tell you what, how 'bout you throw out your unreasonable attitude, guy?!
Seating - 7 or 8 dinner tables upstairs and a few lounge-style sofas in both downstairs rooms. Most seats on the sofas were occupied by coats - including Visceralist's beloved Spiewak, which typically causes us a healthy dose of undue anxiety. Fortunately though, the crowd kept their grubbies off, so no complaints there.
Neighborhood -what's that saying about Alphabet City in NYC's bad old days? Ah yes: If you're on Avenue A you're alright, Avenue B you're brave, Avenue C you're Crazy, Avenue D you're Dead. That hasn't really been applicable for a while, so Visceralist proposes a revision: If you're on Avenue A you're an NYU student, Avenue B you're boring cuz all the bars on this avenue are mediocre, Avenue C you'll get flooded once a year but it'll get blogged about, Avenue D you'll get flooded once a year but you're on your own for a couple weeks after.
Pretentious/assholes - let's just say that you will see a guy or few that does that move where he puts his arm up against the wall behind the girl he's talking to and then leans in with a grin.
Cost of Stella - $7 and bottles only. Pay cash.
What time people start showing up - Visceralist got here at 11:30ish on a recent Saturday night and both downstairs rooms were jammed up like the EQ on a Waka Flocka track.
Bartender efficiency - surprisingly adept, considering the crowds. We'd like to take this time to send an unreserved, non-sarcastic kudos their way.
Official Website - here. Their "Delicious Playful Moments" section informs us that they present frequent burlesque shows here. So if seeing bra-covered tits vs. seeing naked tits is like eating porridge that's too cold vs. eating porridge that's too hot, then this is your spot. With your freaky ass ;)
Food? How late -full brunch and dinner menus. Buffalo style frog legs!
TVs? What's on - no, Affaire aspires to a level of pretension that would see it more at home on a Mad TV parody of Girls. So you're gonna have to catch that Nets game down the block at Croxleys, bruh.
Guy:girl ratio - 50:50ish.
Toys - not really, so try to make some new friends in the bathroom or coatcheck lines.
Age of clientele - folks in their mid-20s who think they know what folks in their mid-30s act like and attempt to imitate that.
Space for dancing? - so this is where they actually get shit completely right. Perhaps the bouncer actually knows his business because, though the dance floors in both lounge rooms could be crowded enough to be a hassle to walk through, it was fuckin' party time out that bitch and it was official.
Music medium, style & volume - stretched-out dance remixes of Khia's "My Neck, My Back" & "Gangnam Style" were heard and remembered.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Best Unused Moving-Ending One-Liners

Ever since Michael Corleone told his wife "Don't ever ask me about my business, Kate." screenwriters have been trying to outdo each other by trying to write the most gangsta cinematic line OF ALL TIME. And, yeah, there have been a few viable contenders since then. Phil Leotardo telling that woman who was an affiliate of Tony's on The Sopranos "Next time, there won't be a next time." after he shot at her through a phone book (but the bullet didn't go all the way through). Tony Montana talking about his balls. Heath Ledger saying "Jack Twist, I swear..." But, unfortunately, nothing has really blown minds all to heck recently (right commentariat?). Luckily for y'all though, your boy Vissy has come up with a few on spec. Feel free to disburse as y'all see fit.

Line : Your suspicions are right - that is my son. But I'm gonna let you raise him.
Context: Some drama where some underling has cuckolded the boss - which the boss only realizes at the end. Likely delivered as the underling is dying. His last words!
Line : Most people would refer to this as a wine-bottle corkscrew. Now,'re gonna find out why I call it...a password-extractor.
Context: Delivered by some kind of Bond villain to a tied-up Bond-type right before he leaves the room to consult with a flunky on some important business.

Line : You seem to feel like you just won the Superbowl. Nuh uh. You just finished a Pop Warner game where they don't keep score. Vicariously. Through your nephew.
Context: This would be delivered as a metaphor. Presumably in some business drama where the protagonist has pulled just a fantastic switcheroo on the antagonist. So good. 
Read the rest at Put That Shit on the List.