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Best People-Watching Bar New York 2011 - Abilene



442 Court St.

Brooklyn, NY 11231


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Irish immigrants settled in Carroll Gardens in the early 19th century. Scandinavian immigrants followed, eventually crowded out by the wave of Italians still visible in the pork stores and red-sauce joints. More recently, it has become home to young singles, courting couples, and the sorts of families with children so delectable they make your ovaries twinge. To say nothing of the dogs. Sure, the panorama is a little on the monochromatic side, but it's as cheerful and attractive as you'll find in the city, like an animated poster for urban life. And there's no better spot to observe it than at Abilene, an unassuming bar with tables that spill out onto Court Street, which likely violates several civic ordinances and delighting locals. Famed for its thick, lethal Bloody Marys, it's a friendly place where you might find yourself chatting with the next table over and sharing your bar snacks. Or you can keep to yourself, leaning back in your chair at your patio table with a beer in your hand and a basket of something greasy before you, smiling as you watch all of well-scrubbed Brooklyn walk by. 442 Court Street, Brooklyn, 718-522-6900, (11231)

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