Henry Street Ale HouseIt was a blisteringly hot day. Locals were complaining about the weather. The news said records were set in several parts of the city. We had just walked for miles, checking out lots of the sites. We both were very thirsty. Elizabeth had been to the Henry Street Ale House before and said it was cool, although she added that she had never been in there in the middle of the day.
We were the only people there. I liked the place very much. It was attractive but small. I asked how it was when crowded. She said it gets really crowded, and she has left before because it's been too much. I asked for something local (there was no Guinness); the bartender poured me a beer. It was delicious and I had two of them. I wish I could remember the name.
McSorley's Old Ale House is probably my second-favorite bar in America. Established in 1854 (although women weren't allowed until 1970), McSorley's serves one thing to drink: ale. You can order it light or dark and each beer is actually two half-pints, poured with remarkable speed by the bartender. (Our bartender on this day said he had been working there forty years.) Elizabeth ordered light, I had dark.
I drank mine much faster than she did. So I got up and got myself another. This ale (you will be corrected if you call it "beer") is very, very good. We were settled into the corner of the joint, admiring all the old photos on the walls, and we considered sticking around for a while. But we decided to try some other places.
Bull McCabe'sWe walked by Bull McCabe's and it looked like it would have a nice pint of Guinness, so we ducked inside. And indeed they do pour a nice pint. We wandered out onto the patio for a while and noticed an airplane in the courtyard. The bartender told us a (possibly apocryphal) story about the owner of the bar cutting it up one night and putting it in the yard. I do not remember all the details of the story.
The Thirsty ScholarWe were walking around taking pictures when I noticed the Thirsty Scholar. The name was too good to pass up. It was a dark, downstairs bar, beautifully decorated and very cold, which felt good on such a hot day.
I had a pint of Guinness that was as close to perfect as I have had in America: smooth, creamy, and cold. It was like drinking a light milkshake. We also considered staying in this bar for a while, but it was getting towards late afternoon and we wanted to walk around some more, so we only had one pint. I noticed an electronic dart board and asked Elizabeth if she wanted to play.
Elizabeth is smarter, prettier, and more successful than I, and yeah she has better personal hygiene and doesn't waste her weekends watching Die Hard repeatedly... but at least I can whip her at darts.
Nevada Smith'sElizabeth wanted me to see Nevada Smith's, a soccer-themed bar. Why, I have no idea. I'm not really a big soccer fan. But they did a good pint of Guinness and the bartender was a very nice girl from a town in Ireland that I had once been to. We stayed for a couple beers before we had to catch the train home.
(Note: we went to another place called Beauty Bar which, as the name sort of suggests, is a beauty salon and bar. We had one drink at the bar while women were getting their nails and hair done just behind us. But I am not including any photos of the place. It was dark inside and the photos came out poorly, plus the beer selection was lousy and all I had was a Corona.)