Archive for the Greenwich Village Category

New York – Manhattan – East Village

Posted in East Village, Greenwich Village, Manhattan, United States of America on January 17, 2017 by gannet39

McSorley’s (Elementary B), 15 E 7th St,

As New York’s oldest continuously operated bar, since 1854, McSorley’s still retains the feel of an old pub.


We learned from the bartender that McSorley’s remained open during prohibition as they were selling weak ‘half beer’ and no spirits.

They brew their own light and dark ales which aren’t up to much (C) but it’s worth going just for the atmosphere.

Burp Castle, just down the road at 41 E 7th St also looks like a good boozer.

As you can see on my Google map there were many, many other places in the East Village that I wanted to check out but didn’t have the time for.

One of my regrets is not going to one of the Momofuku chain which were crazy popular when I was in NYC in 2015.


New York – Manhattan – Greenwich Village – Street Art

Posted in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, United States of America with tags , on January 16, 2017 by gannet39

Some snaps from the street when I was wandering around Greenwich Village in August 2015:













New York – Manhattan – Greenwich Village – Bleecker Street

Posted in Bleecker Street, Greenwich Village, Manhattan, United States of America on January 15, 2017 by gannet39

Bleecker Street runs through the centre of Greenwich Village. There are heaps of interesting shops along here. These are a couple of my favourite foodie ones.

Faicco’s Sausage Shop (Intermediate A), 260 Bleecker St, right next door to Murray’s Cheese Shop below.


As the name implies, this is the place to come for your Italian-style deli meats.


And other key Italian ingredients.


I had the Italian Special sandwich (with Prosciutto, ‘Cappy’ (Coppa) Ham, Soppressata, Mozzarella, Lettuce, Tomatoes and Red Peppers, phew!) which was pretty damn good (B+).

It was way too much for one though so a lucky tramp got the other half.


On a recommendation I had a bottle of Manhattan Espresso Soda which was better than I thought it would be (B).


Murray’s Cheese Shop (Intermediate A), 254 Bleecker St,, right next door to Faicco above.

A temple to cheese with an impressive range of varieties on offer, and a multitude of other exotic deli items.

I tried the ‘Murray’s Melt’, basically a toasted cheese sandwich on plain white bread. It involves a secret recipe apparently (B). Back home we would add a bit of Henderson’s to make it Yorkshire Rarebit but I couldn’t detect any added sauce.


Other places nearby I wanted to check out but didn’t have the time or stomach space are Kesté Pizzeria at 271 Bleecker St and Pasticceria Rocco at 243 Bleecker St.

New York – Manhattan – The Meatpacking District

Posted in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, Meatpacking District, United States of America with tags , on January 13, 2017 by gannet39

The Meatpacking District is a small neighbourhood of about eight blocks sandwiched between Chelsea to the north and the West Village to the south, though technically I guess it’s part of Greenwich village.

The area has undergone rapid gentrification in recent years. In the 80s it was associated with drugs and prostitution, but in the 90s the yuppies and hipsters moved in and by 2004, it was “New York’s most fashionable neighborhood” according to New York magazine. I remember going to a fantastic club here back in 2006 and I presume it’s still a nightlife hotspot. This time though my visit was in the evening rather than late at night.

The Standard (Advanced A-), 848 Washington St,

This hotel has a roof terrace bar with fantastic views of the downtown skyscrapers, the River Hudson with Jersey on the other side and in the distance, the Statue of Liberty.


It’s very popular with a young and trendy crowd and is a great place to watch the sun go down. A Negroni (B), served in plastic glass, cost me €16 in 2015.


Hogs & Heifers (Advanced A-), 859 Washington St,, NOW CLOSED

This is (was) a classic New York dive bar. If you’ve seen the film Coyote Ugly you’ll have a good idea of what goes on. The barmaid uses a megaphone to abuse customers who don’t buy enough drinks or to howl like a banshee in accompaniment to the hard rock soundtrack.


What to drink when you’re in a dive bar? We settled for tequila shots and cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon, quite possibly the worst beer ever made.


This is not a place to be unpatriotic; police, vet and Teamster paraphernalia covers the walls. Nor is it a bastion of female emancipation. The barmaids encourage female customers to dance on the bar with them and remove each other’s bras, which are then added to the huge clump hanging above the bar. You can see the goings-on in this video I took.


Apparently back in 1996 Julia Roberts danced on the bar here and left her bra. The owners calculate that 16,000 bras have been removed since the bar opened in 1993.

I have recently heard that Hogs & Heifers closed in 2016 due to the rent being put up. It wasn’t my kind of place by any means but it was fun to have experienced it while it was still around. Here are six more ‘bra bars‘ should you feel like you’ve missed out.

New York – Manhattan – West Village

Posted in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, United States of America, West Village on January 12, 2017 by gannet39

In August 2015 I stopped off in New York for six nights of holiday before continuing on to Mexico for four weeks of work. It was my third time here, the previous visit being nine years before in 2006, and the time before that sometime around 1991. I really love this city so I was very happy to be back.


As can be seen from my Google map, my priorities have changed a lot over that time from partying and hunting for rare vinyl to eating and drinking as well as possible.

I was also here to visit friends, all Londoners having a change of scene. They included my old flatmate Alex, who has lived in Manhattan for over ten years, and Tom and Karen who were in Brooklyn for eighteen months.

On all my visits, my main problem was finding somewhere cheap to stay so I was very happy to find this historical hotel on a shortlist provided by Guardian readers…

The Jane Hotel (Elementary A), 113 Jane St,

Completed in 1908, The Jane was originally intended as a hotel for sailors on shore leave. This is why it feels and looks very much like an old ocean liner with small cabin rooms and bunk beds.

It was designed by William Boring who was also the architect for the Ellis Island immigration facility. In 1912 it housed many of the survivors from the Titanic disaster.

The Standard one bunk rooms are truly tiny but are some of the cheapest in the city at only $99 a night (2015 price). The Captain’s rooms are larger and have terraces should you want more space. Bathrooms are communal but kept very clean and the Wi-Fi has a strong signal. Breakfast is not included but there’s a cafe in the same building (see below).

The Jane Ballroom on the ground floor is one of the best places in town for a night out and is very popular with the party crowd at the weekends, but it didn’t disturb my sleep. Overall it’s a great place to stay despite the tiny rooms.

Café Gitane (Intermediate B), 113 Jane St,

This chilled café is in the same building as the Jane, so it’s the easiest place to come for your breakfast. The food is decent but a bit pricey in my opinion. I had an Egg & Merguez Sausage Roll with Parmesan & Salad for €14.50 and Lavazza coffee for €3.75


Corner Bistro (Elementary B+), 331 West 4th Street,

Just a few blocks along the street from the Jane, this old pub that does one of the best burgers in town. I recommend the plain burger medium rare (A+) but not the fries which are pretty ordinary (C). You could have trimmings like cheese and bacon but I think they detract from the flavour of the excellent meat patties. The sell local McSorley’s ale (see my East Village post) but I’d rather have the Hoegaarden.


Obviously there are heaps of other great places in this historic neighbourhood but this is what I sampled in the brief time I was there. There’s plenty more to come…

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