"A Dive Bar "Crawl" Downtown" New York City Travelogue by kucha
New York City Travel Guide: 15,790 reviews and 31,750 photos
1471 1st Ave; (bet 76th & 77th St); 212-988-9008
A popular after-work bar with often-changing happy hour specials, American Trash has sports bar sensibilities, but still attracts women. Clutter like bicycle parts and patriotic knickknacks hang from the ceiling and behind the bar, and classic rock plays to a post-collegiate crowd that's more "state school" than Ivy League. A trio of video games buzz and beep and the pool table in the back of this wide-open room stays pretty busy when the Yankees aren't playing on the TV overhead.
441 E. 6th St; (bet 1st Ave& Ave A); 212-777-1448
An NYU dive that still shows hints of the seedy "cool" that made it the crowning jewel of this neighborhood's late 90s dive-chic era, Cherry Tavern still packs in the ragged and the raunchy for $5 tequila/beer combos and competitive pool playing on a table that serves as a meeting ground for young singles. Testosterone and Linkin Park tunes fill the air between these cherry wood covered walls and seating is limited in these competitive confines.
153 1st Ave; (bet 9th & 10th St); 212-477-4431
You've seen the movie now catch the real thing in this tetanus-inducing dive that maintains its seedy vibe despite the frat house crowd its popularity has attracted. Relics from the Old West adorn this roadhouse's rough wooden walls as do the hanging bras of bartenders and patrons past who have traded lingerie for shots and attention. The drinks here are relatively inexpensive, but the bartenders relentlessly peer pressure men into buying tequila and whiskey shots for the "ladies."
120 1st Ave; (bet 7th St& St. Marks Pl); 212-777-9244
As crusty a dump as the city will legally permit to stay open, International Bar is an East Village favorite that has seen visits from Drew Barrymore, Sean Lennon, the Strokes and countless neighborhood drunks who scrounge together $2 for a can of domestic brew. The small backyard space is a big favorite amongst this spots many smokers who don't like stepping away from their pints when they puff. A small seating area between the bar and patio offers tables, a jukebox, and a seldom used, but fully stocked bookshelf.
99 Ave B; (bet 6th & 7th St); 212-982-2511
Manitoba's $5 pints are a bit pricey by dive bar standards and the pool table downstairs is crooked as a politician, but the black and white photos of punk rock legends that line these walls are worth the price of admission. Owned by punk rock icon Dick Manitoba (frontman for the Dictators) this rowdy spot is at its best on Wednesday nights when local punks, blue collar Joe's, and the occasional tourist swings by to hear old-school DJs spinning punk rock, reggae, country, funk, surf music or whatever they please.
25 E. 1st St; (@ 2nd Ave); no phone
A leftover from when nearby CBGBs and trouble were the only things to be found near the Bowery, this dumpy little joint holds its ground on First Street while dorms and commercial buildings are sprouting-up all around. A compromise between art and graffiti covers the interior and exterior walls of this seedy single-room punk rock bar that time forgot. The loud and muffled classic punk can be heard from entrance to the bathrooms in back where the doors don't always lock- possibly a move to deter the unsavory behavior that starts when this joint open at noon.
68 2nd Ave; (@ 4th St); 212-254-5766
Formerly a popular gay haven, this corner bar is now a roadhouse style dive that's still heavily populated by men. Cheap cans of Bud ($1!) sate friendly neighborhood locals while bartenders who occasionally serve-up body shots keep things lively on the rare occasion this place gets crowded. A pool table and Galaga machine pass the time for those who arrive early hoping that the action will picks-up later in the evening.
558 Hudson St; (bet Perry & 11th St); 212-206-0381
A neighborhood bar with more that a splash of dive spirit, WXOU is owned by the same folks who run the also radio-themed Magician on the LES and the East Village's WCOU (aka Tile Bar). A simple room with a TV tuned to the Yankees game and a jukebox playing 25+ years old roots rock, country, and blues, this watering hole emits a neighborhood-oriented vibe that non-locals might find alienating. A handful of tables against the wall accommodate groups, but sitting at the bars and getting to know the regulars will influence the bartender's response time and occasionally earn a buyback.
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