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November 2, 2011

It’s Tuesday night, the night I go to a bar and see if I can score a swizzle stick with a drink. Mad commenter and quote supplier, ragin’ rr, had a good idea about going to bars that I was originally headed to on my 365 bar crawl last year, but never quite made it there for one reason or the other. He’s even compiling a list for me and I’m going to start hitting some of them soon. Tonight, though, I’m heading to a bar that’s close to work and on my way home. I decided to go to the Blarney Stone on 9th, it’s probably my second favorite Blarney Stone (my favorite can be found somewhere on this post, see if you can find it!) and it’s moments away. You’ll see.

See, here we are already, let’s go in and get a drink or three.

This was the 355th bar that I went to on my bar crawl last year. I was in here about 11 months ago. You can look at pictures of the bar here: Blarney Stone. It hasn’t changed at all, so there's no reason to take more pictures. It’s crowded in here and it’s not a crowd that I would assume would be too happy about a flash going off in their faces. Half of the crowd appears to be grizzled night shift workers from the nearby post office and the other half  look like they may be faces from the wanted posters in the same post office, so I’m going to take some mental snap shots and post them below.

Snap: I order up a double gin and tonic and the bartender dutifully brings it to me. There’s no swizzle stick and that’s not much of a shock. He kind of looks like a grizzled version of Flip Wilson. I pay for the drink and throw him a two buck tip and he scoops the cash up and thanks me. It’s crowded in here with heavy drinkers. The bar is an old school dive bar, it’s dark and the walls are dotted with aged pictures of sports stars from years ago. There’s a flat board internet jukebox on the wall near the Buck Hunter game in the back that is really out of sync with the place. House music is blaring out of it and people are shouting over the top of the dance music. There’s a back room with a pool table that no one is using, all the action is up here in the front room.

Snap: I notice that the place has a unique scent of a combination of three year old beer, that grade school Lysol/sand smell that they use when a kid throws up and just a hint of a dung/barnyard scent. I feel a little sick and try not to breath through my nose.

Snap: The drunken guy sitting to my left is slurring into my ear in between gulps from his tumbler of whiskey. I patiently nod my head up and down and don’t bother to tell him I’m deaf in that ear. After a few more drinks from his tumbler he falls silent and falls into a drunken stupor and is just staring down at the bar. I’m guessing he’ll pass out within the half hour.

Snap: A fat black woman with a shaved head drunkenly stumbles into me and asks if I have a cigarette. Her breath smells worse than the bar and I tell her that I don’t have any. She then proceeds to drunkenly ask if I’d like to have a “good time.” I thank her and tell her I that I’m already having a wonderful time and I don’t want to overdo it. She looks puzzled and I tell her I have a heart condition. A frightened look colors her face and she moves to a drunken guy at the end of the bar. They appear to be hitting it off and I’m happy for them.

Snap: I order another double gin and tonic and the bartender tells me his name is Corey. I tell him my name is Marty and we shake hands. Before we can get into any small talk, Corey has to run and throw out a woman who is attacking the ATM machine in the corner. Corey escorts her out the door, comes back to the bar and tells me it can get a little nuts in here some nights.

Snap: The loud, raging music, the yelling and the smell has given me a headache. I drink my drink, leave Corey a tip and gather up my things to leave. On my way out I wink at the good time woman and she smiles and winks back. A nice ending to a somewhat crazy evening in New York City.

Blarney Stone
340 9th Ave (Between 29th and 30th)

Further reading: Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York, EV Grieve, and Grade “A” Fancy.

Freak out!

(Surprise link...click on it...I dare you!)

Reader Comments (26)

Your camera broke. Call Mark Smimmo, he can fix it.

November 2, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercsp

"No thank you, I have a heart condition"...phhHA! I bet you've got a million of them Marty...enough to fill up your next book?

November 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

That scent is not unique, all good dives smell like that. Liquor, throw up, cigarettes, and cheap perfume, they should bottle it and sell it next to Chanel #5.

November 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAl

I would have went to Billy Marks West (next door) .......

November 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

@csp: ????

@Jaws: Glad you liked the line, I need to start working on that book!

@Al: Ha ha ha!

@GENE: I thought of you when I walked by Billy Marks West, maybe I'll go there next week.

November 2, 2011 | Registered CommenterMarty After Dark

@MAD: Mark Smimmo emailed me about Caroline. Now give me my prize.

November 2, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercsp

Yeah you really sold me on going to that place! Good thing, have enough places on my wish list.

November 2, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkari

@csp: I have no idea what you're talking about! Seriously.

@kari: It's not for the faint of heart, that's for sure!

November 2, 2011 | Registered CommenterMarty After Dark

@MAD: Check your email. It's just that easy.

November 2, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercsp

@csp: Ha ha ha! I just checked it, as you can see my memory isn't too good!

November 2, 2011 | Registered CommenterMarty After Dark

@MAD ........ did you notice if Walter's Bar is open for business again ?

November 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

Blarney Stone, eh? Being a fan of both old-school drink goblets and Flip Wilson, I think I'd like to go there sometime. On a side note, "Le Freak" was the first single I ever bought. And it was nice of you to give the good time woman a wink. We all need one of those once in a while. The wink, not the woman. Although...

November 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

Yikes. I don't think I could handle being in a bar like that.

November 2, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermeleah rebeccah

@GENE: No, I didn't walk by there, I'll try and check soon.

@Biff: Cool that that was your first single! Chic were probably the best disco band going. I never would've admitted it in the day, but I really liked them.

@Meleah: It's definitely not for everyone!

November 2, 2011 | Registered CommenterMarty After Dark

Seriously, dude (can I call you that?) the mental snap shots work just as well as the real photos! I was drinking double G&T's last night at home. Gotta love the good life.

November 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterClacky.

Chic were a great funk disco band. I'm not sure if that was Bernie Edwards on bass?...and Slash makes YET another cameo! It's kinda sad that he's become a bit of a cliche of himself. I watched this live show Slash @ Rock AM RING on fox not long ago with his current band and they were terrible! Long Live the Original G'n'F'n'R!!!

November 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterClacky.

@Clacky: Sure you can calll me, "dude," believe me I've been called much worse! Glad you like the mental snap shots, I enjoy them as well and may do more of them. I don't think that is Bernard Edwards on bass, but it could be. And I hear you about Slash and Guns and Roses, they should put their differences aside and just reform, at least for a tour.

November 2, 2011 | Registered CommenterMarty After Dark

Loved the mental pictures! Very effective!

November 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBritta

Nice! - I really like the your once in a while non-photographic posts. You have to do Soccer Tavern - the distinct odor will sink into your clothing almost immediately! I still haven't been to Billy Marks - really want to try it soon. I used to go to a lot of divey pubs in Newcastle-on-Tyne (& worked in one). Happy memories!

November 2, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteronemorefoldedsunset

@Britta: Thanks, it's fun to do!

@onemorefoldedsunset: I'll definitely check out Soccer Tavern, I may wait till I have a cold and my nose is plugged up though!

November 2, 2011 | Registered CommenterMarty After Dark

I love it.. that is awesome..kinda afraid of what the pics would have been like. might have even captured her breath on them!

November 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGidgie

@Gidget: Thanks! And be grateful her breath wasn't captured here!

November 3, 2011 | Registered CommenterMarty After Dark

MARTY!!!! I'm back from New Orleans and catching up on your posts. Funny how you take bloggers with you. I snagged a surfboard swizzle stick from Lucy's and thought of you. And I remember when you were last at the Blarney Stone - hard to believe I've been following you for so long without ever meeting you in person.

I don't think I would have lasted too long at the Blarney Stone. sometimes, a wink says it all, your wink summed this post up perfectly.

November 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGreen Monkey

@Green Monkey: Welcome back, Kotter! Thanks for chiming in, I'll go check your blog soon and see if there is a New Orleans update!

November 3, 2011 | Registered CommenterMarty After Dark

I wonder just how many Blarney Stone bars exist around the world. I have seen so many Irish bars with this name all around the world! Must be lucky right enough.

November 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGlasgow Girl

@Glasgow Girl: The Blarney Stone is a popular name for bars, there's tons of them in NYC alone!

November 8, 2011 | Registered CommenterMarty After Dark

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