12 July 2011
"God Tells Me What To Do But The Devil's My Secretary"
Subway Inn 143 E. 60th St at Lexington Avenue
The first of a series celebrating NYC dive bars. And while the honesty can be too much -- a good dive bar is a refreshing contrast to the vacuous sports bar where Bud Lite consumption is subsidized by insurance company expense accounts belonging to pasty white men in golf shirts, Dockers and Cole Haan Kilties.
The Subway Inn's neon is like a roaring Christmas Eve fire to the eyes of the afflicted. Tourists hurry their children by and must wonder how something so low brow can be so close to Bloomingdales and the Container Store. It's almost impossible to see into the bar through the window but once inside any sense of real danger is left to unknowing imaginations.
I was weaned as a 19 year old on the strip bars along Hay Street in Fayetteville, NC so my bench marking may be out of whack. The inside is not dangerous at all. In fact, the place could use a rougher crowd. Certainly a poorer one. Shots are $5 and bottled beer is less. Hipsters take over on weekends and regulars have it on week nights but to see the hard core pop in around noon. A beer at lunch ain't gonna kill you, but the guy at the end of the bar might.
Rating: The Classic 8/10