1 JimmyR 2 months ago Well we have made it home from our two weeks in NYC, and man are we pleased to escape the heat! Where we live gets plenty hot in the summer but it's the famous "dry heat". So weeks around 100F are manageable if not particularly pleasant. But we managed to visit NYC during a record setting heatwave and it was so humid we were drenched in sweat as soon as we hit the street. It made the walking we love to do in New York rather a chore...So visiting bars made more and more sense! We started off with McSorley's in the East Village as suggested by you folks here.Great interior, full of some of the most impressive old crap I have seen outside an episode of American Pickers. Yes there is sawdust on the floor - I suspect some of it has been there since opening years ago! My wife ended up using the Gents facilities by mistake, so poorly was the Ladies labelled. As for drinks, for some reason you get two beers when you order one. No reason was offered. But it was just as well as the glasses were rather small. We made the mistake of ordering food with our first drink rather than after many - my suggestion? Don't eat there. Just drink.Then we tried a speakeasy, Please Don't Tell, at 92 2nd Ave. This was rather more successful, but not for the drinks or atmosphere. We loved it because it was quiet and we had the opportunity to chat with the bartender and a woman called Sawyer who tends bar at another dive The International Bar on 1st Ave. We had a great time learning about various dive bars and the issue of the curated jukebox. Sawyer was passionate about the music played at the various bars - apparently more bars are using web-connected jukeboxes which let drinkers choose any song ever recorded which leads to problems. She told of times when an old-timer would play an old-timey song so then a young punk would choose something he though more appropriate and before you know it the whole mood of the place is upset.Sawyer is a fan of the curated jukebox, where every song suits the theme of the bar. So at the International it's '60s-'70s rock, at Doc Hollidays it's country and rockabilly, etc. We noticed this in most of the dives we visited and it really helps establish the vibe.So without going through every single bar let me mention some "highlights": Doc Hollidays was hilarious - a very serious bouncer asking for our ID (made my wife's night) and a bright, busty barmaid with a potty mouth (in a nice way!), with dust and cobwebs over the western-themed crap everywhere - even cowboy boots nailed to the ceiling. Duct tape was put to good use on the seating to hold vinyl together where they noticed it, but they may have missed a few torn seats here and there...Rudy's in Hell's Kitchen used even more duct tape - this time bright red - to entirely cover the booth seats. We declined the complimentary hotdog with every drink having learnt our lesson at McSorleys. The most notable thing at Rudy's, other than the giant pig outside and the crush of students inside was the signs advertising the prices of the beers. Rather prominent they were! Middle-aged bartenders "dad-dancing" behind the bar were, um, entertaining.Our favourite though was the International Bar. When we arrived as promised Sawyer was delighted to see us. There was less crap decorating this place and the music was excellent - not too loud but still managing to make the place feel like a bar. We loved the bouncer - a large man-child who sleepily nodded to us as we entered. As we sat at the bar we could see him precariously perched on his under-sized stool, somehow avoiding falling as he nodded off continually. His somnambulant sense of balance was a wonder to observe. Sawyer was the life of the place, attentively serving drinks and suggesting things to try when I asked about American whiskeys. She suggested a not-too-expensive bourbon which I actually liked! You could tell that the regulars liked her. Great vibe and bonhomie. Classic dive bar with neon in the window. We loved it.