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Tuesday
Apr242012

'21' Club

I haven’t been out on a searching for a swizzle stick adventure since I started TWM, so I thought tonight I’d go out in search of one. One classic New York Bar I’ve never been to is the ‘21’ Club. The ‘21’ Club originally opened in Greenwich Village in 1922 and was called the Red Head. They moved to the current location at 21 West 52nd Street in 1929 and changed the name to Jack and Charlie’s 21 Club in honor of the new address and the two owners first names. As time wore on, it became simply known as ‘21’ Club. You’d think an iconic place like this would have swizzle sticks, let’s go and find out!

And it's down into the subway we go as we make our way to 21 West 52nd Street.

And just as I walk onto the subway stop, a train is approaching, one of the best feelings in the world!

And here's an iZombie texting her life away seated next to me. She never once looked up from that thing.

I hate this escalator at the Fifth Avenue subway station. It's the tallest escalator ever and it really fucks around with my fear of heights. I get vertigo just looking at this picture.

Okay, I made it up the escalator with only a minor anxiety attack and here we are. The '21' Club is about a block away.

And here we are. While there's no sign outside, one thing that gives it away...

Is the ceramic jockeys out front. Through the years, horse owners and breeders have donated jockey's to '21' Club and you can read about the history of that here.

Here's more of the jockeys leading you up the stairs in the front of the building.

And here's more on the top floor. Okay, enough of the jockeys, let's check out the bar and see if we can score a swizzle stick.

This is the bar, it's situated in the front of the dining area. it's a classic dark bar and so all the photos will be flashless and maybe a little on the dark side, but I didn't want to break the mood of this place by popping off a bunch of flash photos.

Here's a shot of the wooden bar from where I stand. There are no seats or stools at the bar. One thing that's cool about this place is the way its lit, small spotlights hang from the ceiling lighting up certain areas and leaving others dark. It really gives the place a cool ambiance. You kind of feel like you're in a movie in here.

I ordered a gin and tonic in a tall glass and was disappointed that there was no swizzle stick in it. I expressed my disappointment to the friendly bartender Anne-Marie (she's camera-shy and didn't want to be photographed) and she said she could fix me right up.

She summoned Michael, who's worked at '21' for over 25 years to come over with a '21' Club swizzle stick especially for me. It seems they are on short supply and are waiting on a new order to come in, but they dug this one up just for me! Very nice!

Houston, we have a swizzle stick! Very cool, now let's take a look around in here.

Here's a shot of the back of the classic, old school bar.

A glance of the circular wooden bar from the opposite end from where I was standing.

And here's the dining room behind the bar. Notice all the items hanging from the ceiling.

There's everything from model airplanes to trucks, to football helmets and basically anything you can think of dangling from the ceiling in here. It's really something to see.

There's also lots of pictures from the past and memorabilia on the wooden walls in here.

As the night wore on, some of the tables emptied out, here's a shot of some of the spot lit tables and the red banquette behind them.

And here's the new swizzle stick...

That is added to the collection. Thanks to Anne-Marie and Michael for making this a great night out at the '21' Club and a successful swizzle stick adventure!

‘21’ Club
21 W. 52nd St. (Near Fifth Ave.)
212-582-7200


Further Reading: Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York, Wikipedia and Hub Pages.

Never 21 when everyone's a sailor,
Coming up strong at the animal bar,
Ever loving mug of Mr. Norman Mailer,
Turn another page at the animal bar.

Surprise link, click on it...I dare you!

----------------------------------------------

Surprise Candy And Fear Of A Stalker!

Last week a mysterious package showed up in my mail from Vermont. I wondered what it was, as I don't know anyone in Vermont, so I opened it up.

Inside there was a gift box, but no card saying who it was from. I opened it up and inside...

It was filled with maple candy. I immediately remembered answering a question from Gidget in her questions post  at her blog about my favorite childhood candy. I told her it was maple candy that my grandma gave to me as a kid. I thought maybe the candy came from Gidget so I called her. She told me that she had planned to send me maple candy, but hadn't had time to do it yet, so now I was a little freaked out. Who had my address and was sending me candy? I immediately started looking both ways as I left my apartment, fearing a stalker. Then yesterday, TWM commenter, BBC member and friend, Gene sent me an email stating that he and Smoopy had sent me a package and wondered if it had showed up. It turns out he and Smoopy read Gidget's blog, sent the candy and the people in Vermont forgot to include a card saying who it was from! So a belated thanks to Gene and Smoopy for sending the candy! It was delicious and brought back fond memories of my childhood and my grandma!

Reader Comments (25)

That is a real bar there,,,,a place for heavy hitters. One of those jockey's up on the second floor has Jack Kent Cooke and his Elmendrof farms,,,,Cooke owned the Lakers, Kings, Redskins, and was big into horse racing,,,,a real character, always amazed at the Forum he built in Inglewood. Great bar here and you wonder if a full time dusting crew is needed for all the crapola hanging in there.

April 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAl

Unfortunately, I'd never be dressed well enough to get into this place :( .... so if I was in this area - I'd have to go to the Subway Inn !

April 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

Very nice that they found a swizzle stick for you even with you not being a 1%er, very cool and old school. I see that jackets are still required, did you go the full Monty and wear a tie as well?

April 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDuncester

@Al: It's a classic place in there! Cool information about Jack King Cooke! And I'll bet most of the stuff hanging from the ceiling doesn't get dusted too much!

@GENE: It might be worth your while to bring a jacket here once and check it out, although there's nothing wrong with the Subway Inn! Thanks again for the candy!

@Duncester: It was cool that they went out of their way to get a swizzle stick, everyone's very nice in there, I thought it would be more stuffy and uptight, but it's very cool! And no, I didn't wear a tie, a jacket is as far as I could go last night!

April 24, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Hide your bunny rabbit ... you never know when one of we female Marty fans will "go all Glenn Close" on you.

April 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterroadsidewonders

I last visited"21" in the early '90'sfor business and it left an impression as a stuffy, "power-tie" kind of place, completely at odds with its reputation from the Prohibition Era as a place where a drink could be had and the cops stayed away. Glad to see they have loosened up enough so that you could have a drink at the bar sans tie. I was disappointed that your trademark shot of yourself was not included.

April 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDave - Everywhere

I just bought the perfect 40's style dress to wear there!
LOVE IT!
want the jockeys for my front yard!
and the toys too..! yay for swizzle sticks!
Yay for gene not being a stalker!
Yay for Gene and Smoopy reading my blog too!
just all around yay's and woohooooos..
Now on my way to work on my dual marty?gidget blogness

April 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGidget

Cool Joint! I love the memorabilia and the Lawn Jockeys!
I can't tell you how many of those things we swiped from lawns in my misspent 'yout', but it was a few dozen.
These however, all look to be of the 'Caucasian Variety' probably due to our 'Sensitivity' these days.
They are a nice, eerie touch lining the stairway.
I also think that's a great shot of the escalator..(scary or not)
The Swizzle Stick Archives is looking good Daddio!

April 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter"Boris"

@Dave - Everywhere: Definitely wasn't stuffy in there last night and while you do need a jacket a tie is no longer required. Sorry about no trademark photo, I'll have one next time, I promise!

@Gidget: You'll have to bring that dress when you come to visit and we'll definitely stop in there! Looking forward to the dual blog! I'll put up a link to it tomorrow! And yes, a big YAY to Gene and Smoopy for sending that delicious candy!

@"Boris:" I don't think I ever stole a lawn jockey, but I knocked plenty of them over! And you're right, they are a little eerie and creepy in a cool kind of way!

April 24, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

I stole a buddha.. what hell do I go to for that?
i was worried so i returned it...
was seriously worried about the holding it for ransom karma attached..

April 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGidget

21: Now the last category is movies. We're gonna ask you..."What won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1955." You don't know it. You answer On the Waterfront.

Stempel: Oh, no. Oh, no. Don't, don't do that. Not Marty. I saw Marty three times.

April 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercsp

@Gidget: You returned it, so I think your karma is safe!

@csp: Ha ha ha! I admit I had to Google "21" and "Stempel" to figure out your comment! #OverMyHead

April 24, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

That is cool, looks like they gave you half of a lime in your gin and tonic. Nice.

A bit of New York sports history: when the late George Steinbrenner was wooing Reggie Jackson to sign with the Yankees prior to the 1977 season he took him to the 21 Club. Legend has it that Steinbrenner paid a cab driver to recognize Jackson and ask him "Reggie are you coming to New York?" as they were strolling after dinner.

April 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDaveW

The 21 Club, I've heard people talk about it in so many movies. Kind of a James Bond thing.
Love that ceiling , Great looking bar.

April 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDanny the freelancer

Hey! I had lunch at an Indian restaurant right across the street from there last time I was in town! We were going to MOMA and had to eat first to avoid dizziness (Note to Marty: take anxiety medication and stick close to the walls if you ever go to MOMA). Anyhoo, I loved all the jockeys and thought it must've been a private club. It's surprising to find out that it's open to the public; and even more surprising to see all of those knick-knacks hanging from the ceiling. Maybe I'll take them a Browns helmet one day! GO BROWNS! And TO: JOCKEYS!

April 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

@DaveW: Great Steinbrenner story, I bet it's true!

@Danny the freelancer: I've heard about it so much and it was cool to finally go and experience it first hand!

@Biff: Thanks for the MOMA tip! You should bring them a Browns helmet, I bet they'd hang it up! That would be one hell of a TWM post! GO BROWNS!

April 24, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

You're going upscale on us, Marty. Let me ask you this: Could you get drunk in that place for a $ 20.00 bill? I've simplified my life to the point where that's the only criteria now.

April 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterUncle Waltie

That place looks like an alternative to Bill's while they are moving? Would you go that far? The decor looks cool, and I'm an aviation guy so I was buggin' out!

April 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShawn Chittle

@Uncle Waltie: The only way to get drunk in here on twenty dollars is if you bring a flask. Let's meet at the International instead! Sip Ahoy!

@Shawn: It's a little pricier than Bill's and no piano, but maybe we should have a drink there sometime!

April 25, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

That escalator is a pisser. Not just the vertigo, I don't like the idea of being so far under the ground.

April 25, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlegitimate beef

@legitimate beef: I hear you about being underground. I try not to think about that when I ride the subway.

April 25, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Love the pics without the flash, actually some of your best. Cheers from England and Wales!

April 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSpike

@Spike: Thanks and cheers right back to you! Have fun on your vacation and look out for international CBBMs on the prowl!

April 26, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

My first memory of that place was when I was quite young. We were doing something "in the city", and my younger brother had to go to the bathroom. My dad figured it was the appropriate place to take him to go. I have no idea why we were in Manhattan, why we were walking around, but I do remember where he went to pee. Weird. Still looks the same.

April 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnn

@Ann: That's a pisser of a memory!

April 30, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

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