If you could fit New York into one building, it would be McSorley’s.
New York screams glitz and glamor. Everything from Time Square to the ritziest martini bar proves why New York is called the Big Apple. It’s big, loud and it’s the “apple” of every aspiring actress, musician and businessman’s eye. That city gives you images of Sex and The City’s Carrie Bradshaw and musicians playing for dollars in Central Park. But if you go off the beaten path, a couple blocks away from the bright lights of Time Square, you will find a smaller New York.
This New York still has the chaotic nature of the city. Instead of cement roads, it has sawdust covered floors. It still has that feeling of culture and history, but you will be able to experience it more than you would at any art museum or Broadway play. It’s art is old firemen’s hats and police badges. It is not Ground Zero, but it salutes those who protect our freedom every day. For me, New York is represented by its oldest pub, McSorley’s Old Ale House.
McSorley’s outside is nothing to look at twice. If you blink you would probably miss it. The building is old and plain. Nothing separates it from the dozens of other dive bars that inhabit New York. The difference is that McSorley’s has seen those dive bars come and go. While other bars renovate their space as a way of getting new customers, McSorley’s refuses to change what they are.
McSorley’s can honestly say that they are the oldest operating pub in the city. It opened in 1854 and has served both presidents and musicians. John Lennon stood at the same bar I did. Abe Lincoln drank the same beer. Its sawdust filled floors finally opened its doors to women in 1970. Something that this woman is definitely glad happened (http://www.mcsorleysnewyork.com/history_01.html).
The floors may be dusty and the furniture is definitely old. The menu consists of dark beer and light beer. The bartenders talk fast and the patrons talk loud. There’s this comfortable chaos you feel when you belly up to the bar to drink two, yes two at a time, beers.
So do yourself a favor. If you ever find yourself in New York, make your way to 15 East 7th Street New York,NY. Grab yourself two beers and look around, you’re experiencing New York.