Rockaway Beach Bingo: More Research in Outer Queens

Surfing in New York City. Yes, surfing, the water kind. Rockaway Beach feels like a hoppin’ little surfer community right here in NYC. Waaaaaay the hell out at the edge of Queens, it’s on a long, narrow spit of land with an enormous beach facing the Atlantic, the other side on Jamaica Bay, and it’s only an A […]

Queens Bars Part II — More Exploration.

Queens bars must number in the hundreds — maybe thousands. But don’t worry…. I’ve done the heavy lifting and checked out several of them for you. This is part two covering a recent visit that sprawled from Astoria to Forest Hills. Part one is here and we’ve also done a couple other visits to great […]

Visiting Queens New York, Exploring Great Bars

Visiting Queens New York expanded my admittedly provincial view of the city. It was a hell of a good time, too. Explore Queens, and have wheels, too, that’s my advice. Queens is a driving borough, unlike say, Manhattan, where you can walk and subway more easily. And having a guide who knows their shit doesn’t hurt either. Queens […]

Visiting Bay Ridge: a Few Places to Consider

Visiting Bay Ridge a couple weeks ago wised me up. I discovered a charming, diverse neighborhood with deep history, clean air, and contemporary vibrancy. It’s on New York harbor in the southwest part of Brooklyn. Sure, that’s considered a bit out of the way by most New Yorkers, for whom a subway trip longer than 30 minutes is unthinkable. But […]

Silk-Screen Printing: How the Process Works

Ever wonder how a multi-color T-shirt gets made? The old-fashioned ones I mean, not the kind where a photo is inkjet printed right onto the shirt at Walmart. I’m talking about the silk-screen printing process, each color separately printed onto the shirt , one on top of the other. I was mystified by this process. Couldn’t […]

Brooklyn Inn: a Great Good Place of New York

Brooklyn Inn is one of the best neighborhood bars you could hope for, and fortunately, it’s in my (extended) neighborhood. Yes, I’m a lucky guy. I drew it, and I’m including it in my upcoming book Great Good Places of New York, to be published by Rizzoli in 2018. Handmade prints available in my store, […]

Fort Defiance: Red Hook Pillar, Brooklyn Jewel

You’re sitting at the bar, the wet grey Red Hook winter slapping the window behind you and the perfect hot Irish coffee sitting in front of you. Follow it up with brunch and some easy chatter and you’re doing just fine. Follow that up with another Irish coffee and you’re even better. You’re in a […]

The Ear Inn, a Historical Favorite of New York

The Ear Inn is a mythical place, built upon history and a mountain of oyster shells eaten by Dutchmen. True. The Ear is drenched in history, from the building itself to the museum-like displays of artifacts found in and around it over the years. People love the joint—locals and tourists. There’s live music every Sunday, […]

Personal Expectations: What ALSO Makes a Bar Crappy

Your own personal expectations will absolutely color your bar experience. I know this from experience. Like everyone, I’ve brought expectations to a situation that did not pan out, and I’ve found it’s better when I don’t. As I do research for my book Great Good Places of New York (to be published by Rizzoli in […]

Crappy Bars: What Makes Them So Crappy?

Crappy bars: they’re an assault to the senses and the soul. And it’s so easy for a bar not to be crappy — good bars do it all the time — that it’s astonishing and infuriating when I see a place that’s doing it so fundamentally wrong. In the course of researching New York’s bars and […]