If you’re a man’s man (which I’m obviously not), you’ll like New York’s oldest continuously operating pub (est. 1854), and one that famously kept out women until a lawsuit in 1970 ended the bigotry (it was a landmark case that ultimately outlawed discrimination in all public places in the city). With sawdust on the rough wooden floor; yellowing photos, and newspaper clips chronicling all of the famous people who got smashed here (Abraham Lincoln was one of them); and a jumble of relics in every nook and cranny (the handcuffs hanging from the ceiling once belonged to Houdini); it’s an evocative place to hang out . . . if you’re smart enough to visit before 4pm in the afternoon. After that point it gets ugly—kind of like the frat parties I pretended to like in college—with out-of-towners jammed together tighter than in a rush-hour train, shouting over the din.
- Pauline Frommer