One of the cool things about doing this blog is meeting people I wouldn’t have met if I wasn’t doing this. A good example of this is my friend, Ray. Ray first appeared on this blog via a comment when he saw me walking in midtown to my parents hotel. You can read it here, it’s the 20th comment on the page. Later we all met Ray at a Happy Hour at Bar Nine. Well, today Ray has invited us all on a bar crawl where he lives in Astoria, Queens. This won’t be the first time we’ve tripped out to Queens, we’ve gone to the Bohemian Beer Gardens with Gene from the BBC and Gene did a guest post from Astoria that same week, but it is the first time that someone who lives in Queens is hosting the bar crawl. So it’s off to Queens we go!
Here's a familiar sight on TWM, the subway station at Union Square. We'll be taking the N train to Broadway in Astoria.
And through the magic of the internet, baboom, here we are on Broadway in Astoria, Queens.
Okay, we're going to meet Ray at McLoughlin's a bar that's located right around the corner from this subway stop.
"School Supplies and Cigars," who could ask for anything more?
Check out the Marty flyer!
And here we are, McLoughlin's, the first stop of our bar crawl today.
It looks nice in here and I think I see a familiar face...
It's our host, Ray, who's a little camera shy. I didn't push the issue, I didn't want our host going all Alec Baldwin on my ass.
Jimmy the bartender hoists an ice-cold Budweiser my way. Jimmy told me McLoughlin's has been a family owned bar in Astoria since 1965.
Wooden tables line the wall opposite the bar.
There's a pool table in the back room.
A long shot of the bar that's been in use since 1965.
And check out the poster on the bar, Marty G. & The "G" Men are playing here at McLoughlin's! Also note the unplanned obligatory bar mirror shot. It's Marty mania!
Okay, out the door and onto the next spot.
Astoria is a great neighborhood, I just wish it wasn't so bright outside.
Ray's next stop is a bar that Gene from the BBC likes, the Sunswick bar. Gene sent in a picture from his Astoria bar crawl and now we get to see the inside of it.
It's really crowded in here for this early in the afternoon, but I spy a couple seats at the end of the bar, so Ray and I snagged them.
Here's the view from our perch at the bar.
As you can see, it's pretty much a full house in here, this is a popular spot.
There's a comfortable couch to pass out relax on in the front of the bar.
As you can see, they have a lot of beers on tap. I had a Pilsner Urquell.
And before you know it, it's time to head out and keep this show on the road.
Surprise, our next stop on Ray's tour is a bar, but not just any bar...
It's Veronica's Bar, another one of Gene and the BBC's favorite Queens stops. Let's go in and check it out.
Wow, it's crowded in here too, they go out early in Queens!
There's no seats at the bar, so Ray and I grabbed a couple of chairs here, directly across from the bar.
Bartender Bridget brought our beers over to us. She's really nice and what a beautiful smile!
Shortly after Bridget delivered our beers a couple seats opened up at the bar and here's the view from where we were seated.
I'm not quite sure what this means, but it does give me an excuse to to do this: Fire!
Bridget's behind the bar, taking care of business.
And once again, we're out the door on to our final destination.
Ray told me this was going to be a hike and it sure was. Finally the sun has set on Queens as we approach our final destination of this bar crawl in Astoria.
Ray chose this place, The Sparrow for drinks and some dinner. This place has become famous in Queens since that goofy-ass Guy Fieri featured it on his show, Diners, Dives and a Dipshit on the Food Network.
Nice and dark in here and there's a couple seats at the bar.
Tommy the bartender does double duty by serving up a beer and flashing the TWM card all at the same time.
The tables are all filled in here, looks like that Food Network spot paid off!
iPhone Zombie alert, part one!
iPhone Zombie alert, parts two and three! I wish people would put those fucking things away.
When I return to the bar, dinner awaits me. I got the grilled cheese, which is made with truffle oil and has mushrooms in it and it comes with a side salad. One of the best grilled cheeses I've ever had.
I also got an order of Tater Tots.
Ray got the pork tacos and I have to say, that lone Tater Tot on his plate is making me a little sad.
After a beer for dessert, it was time to call it a night.
As you can see, it's finally nighttime in Queens.
We've come full circle, back to the subway station.
A shot of Queens from the elevated subway platform.
And here's the train that'll take me back to Manhattan.
And of course I have to take an obligatory shot of Gumby and me in the subway window. Thanks to Ray for a wonderful tour. We'll do it again soon and maybe then he'll let me take his photo!
3502 35th St
34-04 36th Ave
The Sparrow Tavern
24-01 29th St
My friends Karen and Jon have put out a fabulous new edition over at their online magazine, Grade “A” Fancy. The subject matter is “Zombie Restaurants” and you can check it out by clicking right here: “I Eat Your Restaurant’s Brain!” Check it out, you’ll be glad you did!
And More Bonus Linkage!
DJ Gidget, the most fabulous DJ in the world had a super-cool new photoblog and you can check it out here: Gidget Bates's Crap She Shoots. And don't forget to listen to her and "Boris's" "Secret Weapon" show exclusively on Woody Radio. Okay, as you were.