Predictably, RNC protesters will spend their days jacked on coffee or Red Bull or something, rousing rabble, then pickling themselves in whatever bar. But which one?—34th Street is not exactly a mecca for boozers, and you’ll run into your fair share of Bushites. But it’s not all bad. HICKEY’S (139 West 33rd Street, 212-244-6120) is a “venerable” joint. That could be bad. Politically on the fence maybe, maybe worse, but the crowd’s too civil to make trouble, and the long, narrow bar’s probably as close as you’ll come to getting a quiet drink in the area. Nearby BLARNEY STONE (340 Ninth Avenue, 212-502-4656) and BLARNEY ROCK (137 West 33rd Street, 212-947-0825) are essentially sports bars, the latter uniquely nondescript, and though there are bound to be Republican boosters, Rock is spacious, and the Stone crowd cares more about the game.
Stuck between a rock and a hard place? Slide over to ROCKY SULLIVAN’S (129 Lexington Avenue, 212-725-3871). Besides serving up one of the best pints in town (a rich, creamy Guinness expertly poured), Rocky’s will expand its Tuesday-night “Comics Against Bush” sets to five nights, with Barry Crimmins, Janeane Garofalo, Randy Credico, and others. The series is open-ended; the crew will perform every week till Bush is out of office, no matter how long that takes. We’re told there’ll be some “Dylans who never made it” starting things off, but Chris Byrne of Seanchaí and the Unity Squad owns this place, and his politically charged Irish hip-hop will get your blood boiling even if it’s the Brits he’s after (“Pogue mahone, Cheney”). So play, Chris. Please.
BOWERY POETRY CLUB (308 Bowery, 212-614-0505) is dedicated to the cause, and then some. Doors will be open 24 hours during convention week. So will the mic, and my guess is it’s a lot easier to stomach (trite metaphor) bad poetry about Dubya’s shortcomings than about thrice broken hearts. Lots of events, but “Make Out, Not War,” led by bartender Moonshine, sounds pretty promising: Couples will block the sidewalk, spout romantic doggerel, and well, make out. Alcohol stops at 4 a.m., but you never know.