“IT occurred to us upon seeing that Playboy.com’s list of Top 10 dive bars included just one in NYC,” huffs the New York Post, “maybe people don’t know what exactly a dive bar is.” Actually Playboy’s list, which includes Chicago’s Matchbox and Nashville’s Tootsie’s, has at least geographical ambition going for it — you can probably name all the bars on the Post‘s list without looking. Hint: they’re all in Manhattan, Williamsburg, and Park Slope. You might overshoot (Joe’s on East Sixth is not named) but you can’t undershoot: Look, there’s Milano’s, what a surprise. Also the Subway Inn, the Turkey’s Nest, etc.
Not mentioned are the Navy Yard Lounge, the Wakamba Lounge, Billymark’s West — or any places even less well-covered than these in the deeper reaches of the boroughs. We expect this is because journalists, alas, no longer attend bars to actually drink, but only to confirm the received wisdom they will be asked, seasonally, to repeat.
Maybe we should abjure the title “dive bar” entirely as a signifier for something only a lifestyle editor could actually enjoy, and move on to “dumps.” If you have better dumps than these to name, feel free to leave them in comments.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 19, 2008