Today is a crazy anniversary for me! 25 yearrs ago on July 7th, 1993 I moved to New York City. I remember getting on the plane and feeling like I was going to throw up. I had quit my job at Fleming Potter which I had worked at for 13 years, took my pension money, sold everything I owned and moved to New York City where I had no friends and no job, but i wanted to move there to pursue my writing career.
I thought if I could live there for 10 years that would be great, well I made it for 19 years and it was quite a ride! I ended up writing for the New York Post, NY Daily News, New York Newsday, Time Out New York, Manhattan Spirit and the NY Press among others. I also wrote and published my magazine fishwrap for six years, wrote two books (check them out here and here) and I published four blogs while living there.
So I’m proud of the work I did out there. My freelance writing, fishwrap and my two books don’t have much of an online presence, but my blogs are still up and running. So I thought I’d put up some suggestions for bars, cheeseburgers and places to go in New York City with links from my blogs. Not all of theses places are still open, so if you are planning a trip to New York, call or check online, because places open and close quickly in that city!
Saturday Suggestions: Bars In New York CIty
On Saturday, January 10th, 2010 I started a year-long journey of going to 365 bars in 365 days. This is one of the craziest things I've ever done, but I’m proud to say I completed the journey right here at Mike’s Tavern in West Peoria! Below are six links to some of my favorite stops in New York City.
McSorley’s Old Ale House
McSorley’s is one of New York’s oldest taverns. There’s a lot of history in there, but it’s also a little bit of a tourist trap. The best time to go is early afternoon.
Molly's Pub and Shebeen
There’s a ton of Irish bars in Manhattan, but Molly’s Pub and Shebeen is one of the true Irish bars in New York. This post has special guest stars, The BBC: Gene, Smoopy and Terry!
Jimmy’s Corner is one of the last places from the “old” Times Square still in business. The porno shops and strip joints are long replaced by “family friendly” places like Red Lobster and Toys R Us, but luckily, Jimmy’s is still in business. The place has a boxing theme because the owner, Jimmy Glenn had a long boxing career as a trainer. I met the man himself on my trip there and got a picture with him. Speaking of pictures, that's one of my favorites from the entire year! She was drunk out of her mind and luckily I was able to walk away from her!
This is a great dive bar loaded with character and characters on the Upper East Side of New York.
Ruby’s Coney Island Bar
Coney Island is kind of like Times Square, a lot of the old places and bars are gone and replaced with shiny new buildings. Luckily Ruby’s is still standing tall on the boardwalk. I’ve had countless beers in this place and this was definitely a highlight on the bar crawl!
Kenny’s Castaways was a legendary bar in the West Village. They had cheap drinks and live music seven days a week. Some bands that played here through the years are: Bruce Springsteen, The New York Dolls, Danny Gatton, John Prine, Lucinda Williams, The Allman Brothers, Peggy Lee, Doc Pomus, Suzanne Vega and many others. Sadly it closed in 2012, the year I left New York City.
Saturday Suggestions: Cheeseburgers In New York CIty
After the 365 bar adventure had come to a close, I decided to do another blog where I went out and documented doing things after dark in New York City. One thing I started while doing the 365 bar blog was a weekly stop for a cheeseburger on Saturday nights and I continued this tradition on my next blog which I called, Marty After Dark.
I decided to do a blog about going out at night in New York, but it didn’t have to be a bar, it just had to be at night. I thought it would be cool to do this using all black and white photos, but as you can see with this post, it didn’t work very well with taking photos of food, so I quickly abandoned the black and white idea and went back to color. Big Nick’s is a legendary restaurant on the Upper West Side where I lived for the first four years and I’ve had countless meals in this place!
This wasn’t that great of a burger, but it was kind of a different Saturday Night Cheeseburger edition. I tried going to The Shake Shack for the hell of it, but as usual it was jammed, so I went to this dollar burger joint which proved the old saying, “You get what you pay for,” to be totally true! Oh and if you are going to New York, don’t bother waiting in line at The Shake Shack, it’s a tourist trap and the burgers aren’t worth waiting in line for over an hour.
The Mars Bar
This post has nothing to do with cheeseburgers, but it was one of my most fun times at The Mars Bar, which sadly is closed now. I was proud that my Easter cake was such a hit at the bar that day!
Old Town Bar
Old Town Bar is a legendary bar that thankfully is still thriving. It was just about seven blocks from my apartment and I went there on this Saturday night with my friends, Lex from Canada and Karen and Jon from Grade A Fancy!
Saturday Suggestions: Places In New York CIty
My fourth and final blog I did before moving back to Peoria was called, Tripping With Marty. My idea for this was to take specific trips in and around New York City and document the adventures. Below are half a dozen of my favorite journeys on this blog.
The Bronx Zoo
This was kind of a Seinfeld day where nothing happened, but it turned out to be a pretty funny blog!
John Lennon Walking Tour
Link: John Lennon Walking Tour
John Lennon loved living in New York City until some kook shot and killed him and this is a tour of New York John Lennon spots.
Mad Men Tavern Tour
Link: Cleaning My Apartment
For the first four years in New York, I lived in a tiny room with a small kitchen in the Beacon Hotel. I was thrilled when I finally got to move into a “real” apartment on 16th street between 5th and 6th. Here’s some photos of the apartment and thanks to my landlords and New York parents, Cheryl and Mark and to Wendy for helping me get the place. I had 15 great years in that apartment!
Positively 4th Street—A Tour of Bob Dylan's Greenwich Village
Bob Dyan cut his musical teeth in Greenwich Village and this is a tour devoted to places that he played in and lived.
Anthony Pisano And His House Of Treasures
This is one of my favorite TWM posts, Anthony Pisano was a unique individual who had crazy collections in his house and would let anyone walk through it. A documentary was made about him and there’s a link to it on this post. He was a real nice guy and I found out that he died this year from my friend, EV Grieve. Glad I met him and was able to document him and his house of treasures.
Thanks to "Boris" Boden for the beautiful job creating and designing the banners for those blogs! If you need design work for your blog, CD, book, etc. let me know and I'll put you in touch with this design and Photoshop Wizard!
Thanks also to Al Rizo, my 365 bars co-pilot for your wonderful suggestions and guidance! You are my NYC bar guru!