Saturday, January 31, 2009

The New Speakeasy

Ok. So remember that crazy time when alcohol was prohibited and people had to sneak around and find some secret place to get crunk? Well, thankfully those times are past us, but that doesn't mean that the mysterious, exciting world of the speakeasy is gone.

There are a bunch of so called "speakeasys" in NYC, which basically mean that you have to know where they are and how to get in, and some of them you need a membership (which you get when you're recommended by a current member). I myself have only been to one, and it doesn't quite fit the mold of the modern day speakeasy, but you wouldn't know it was there if you walked by it. It's called La Esquina and its in SoHo. You go in through a door in the back of this little Mexican restaurant, and after a short trip down the stairs you find yourself in a darkly lit room with Mexican masks and twinkly lights. I was introduced to the place on the night of my 21st birthday, which was a fun way to celebrate it.

Another hidden bar is PDT (Please Don't Tell), which I have the good fortune of living above on St. Marks Place in the East Village. If you manage to get past the delicious hot dog restaurant Crif Dogs which houses it, and find the telephone booth, you're almost there. Just pick up the phone, give them your name, and as long as you have a reservation the back of the phone booth will open and there you go, instant time machine. Haven't checked it out soon, but one of these days for sure.

The last one, the most famous, and the hardest to get into, is Milk and Honey. It holds a certiain urban myth-like reputation, but it has a website, so it's out there to a certain extent. All you need to get in is to have your membership application accepted (be warned, there's a waiting list). Oh, and pay a mere $584 membership fee. Which means I probably won't be seeing the inside of it any time soon.

Something about the idea of stepping into a hidden place full of other people who are in on the secret as well is so...exciting. I plan to try out a few more places and I'll give you the full review when I do.



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