Day 1 in America, stuffed full of brisket beef and slopped with sun screen that I’d rushed out to get from the “drug store” in Crown Heights.

So, where do you start with New York ?

New York Stock Exchange. No.1 tourist attraction

Yes, Wall Street, of course.

New York 3

Only 3 stops on what we came to know and love as the “A” from our Nostrand base, but we jumped off just before Brooklyn Bridge to walk across it, as you must.


We’d seen the majestic London skyline on the train crossing Blackfriars Bridge, but nothing prepares you for the scale of Manhattan.  Not even brisket.

Look up

It’s not all scale over beauty though.


Wall Street doesn’t get the tourists it deserves, I think.  Not only is there history and philosophy (top),

Some bloke

there’s also chicken biryani.

Probably my most New York shot

Matt was taken with the multiple biryani vans dotted around the financial district (almost as many as Starbucks), but we had to wait for that culinary treat.  Temperatures were hitting the 30s and my ambition to walk the length of Manhattan on Day 1 was sadly outvoted 3-1.

Instead, back at the Brooklyn Hotel, I was dispatched to get fruit, which I genuinely didn’t think was a thing in America.

So I’d earnt my first beer, 5 minutes down Nostrand Avenue at what they call a “Pub“.


They don’t do “pubs”, do they ?  There’s plenty of places like this in Ilford and Chorlton, but we call them bars. Don’t @ me, as Matt says.

Bar flies the world over

Actually, this could be a lot of pubs in Hackney, with all those funny pumps sticking upwards brandishing their funny names.

Could be a pub I slag off if it had eight hand pumps too

The barperson seemed pleased to see me. That’s rarer than you’d hope in the UK.  I’m still not sure if Americans are really as friendly and cheerful as they seem or whether it’s just good training at Tip School.  I hope it’s the former.

Hi ! You’re just in time for Happy Hour  !!!”

I quickly perused the beer list, as if I cared.

No Bass

I’ll have an Alewife please”  Yes, I just picked the first one.

We don’t have that one, but I DO recommend the War Flag America Pilsner.  Would you like a taster ?”   Grief, just like being in a Wetherspoons in Worthing.

Shamefully, I had a taster.  It was pretty good, but then it was cool beer and it was 30 degrees.  Even in Happy Hour a 16oz glass cost a fiver.  Actually, that’s not BAD, is it ?

NOT branded glass

I had a whole table to myself. My feet touched the floor.  The music was decent.  But without Mrs RM I was a bit bored, so I called it a night at one and rushed back with another can of what was fast turning into the beer of the trip. She was pleased.





31 thoughts on “HEY, MANHATTAN

      1. There’s some wanky saying “A pint’s a pound the world around” (only in the USA-influenced places), which is why a Merkin’ gallon is less than an imperial one (the proper one weighs 10 lb, of course: 8×20 oz, not 8×16 oz). Spose you don’t bother with seeing how the value stands up: too much arithmetic involved in converting oz to equivalent British pints and then doing the currency exchange.

        Personally, I am much more attuned to metric: I find I can visualise a hectare (a square 100 metres (Olympic sprint distance) on a side) better than I can the area a man with horse-drawn plough can cover in a day (an acre). Or you could think of it as an area of a furlong by a chain (I bloody can’t). And don’t get me started on the rationality of a temperature scale that runs from 32 (zero being the lowest achievable ice-salt mix temp or some such bollocks!) to 212!


  1. What with your grub choice on the airline and your decision to travel by rail both being flagged up as something you will regret in 10 days time you’re building the tension nicely young Martin.
    The suspense is killing me already.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Could be connected, which would be boring.

      Such as RM ran out of money (too much dear beer) so couldn’t buy either food on the flight or train tickets home !


  2. And fill your boots with Totnes.
    Not a place I’m endeared to particularly.
    Lots of ageing crusties with mangey dogs on the end of a piece of string.
    And don’t get me started on their MP.


  3. In NYC, $5 for a pint (hopefully you got the full 16 oz) is quite the deal. I would have thought our Martin would have gone for the NU Juice or some other murk.
    The only time you see metric measures is when the bar is trying to short-pour without anyone noticing…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you think I’m standing at a bar assessing the vfm and murk quality of 20 different beers you don’t know me 😉

      You’re right. That would be $5 for a 6% beer, probably produced with Gowanus canal water. Not bad at all.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The immensity of New York is difficult to describe. I’ve never been to a city that equals its size. Tokyo is close, but New York is unique. Yes, get out of the bike ways. You will be run over. Bikers are very serious people.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I just want to be the first to acknowledge the greatness of the Prefab Sprout reference in the title.

    A real pleasure to be reading the delightful Retired Martin prose brought over and applied to our side of the pond. Had to chuckle when you were offered a taster, as I’ve often read of your displeasure encountering this practice in England, and every time I thought, “But they do that absolutely *everywhere* over here.” 😉

    I must agree the word “pub” is far too liberally applied over here. I’ll allow it in the case of the fake Irish pubs, which generally make some effort to replicate the thing they’re imitating. But something like 70 or 80% of the places in America that throw the word ‘pub’ into their name are in reality just bars; they’re simply congratulating themselves for having made the effort of hanging a retro Guinness advertisement or two on the wall!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Welcome to the US. Every time I order my first beer here at a bar, it is always, and I mean always, not available.


      1. Stick to John Smiths then. If my local branches ever had none available, there would be uproar from the members of the “Nine in the morning club”.

        Just tried to pop in a Bangles reference for you – are any of the airport branches open at 6.00am on a Monday ?


      2. “Nine in the morning club”. – surely one doesn’t need to join a ‘club’ to get going at a proper time of the day.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I actually knew you were home. Two weeks plus, correct. You are probably very happy to get back to the good beer.


      4. I always forget you have the package that lets you follow me in real time, Dick. Elsewhere I’m still getting recommendations for places I must see in New York !

        I’d have happily drunk the murk a bit longer and stayed on to explore Baltimore, Philadelphia etc.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s