86 E. 10th St nr 4th Ave, East Village
The Place: A total dive bar that I found randomly online. Granted, dive bars are not my normal stomping ground, but I was willing to give it a go since this place seemed pretty cool.
The Time: Sunday April 17 at 5:30pm. I was chillin’ before seeing my friend’s mime show (yes, you read that right; I have really awesome friends) and when I googled bars in that area (East Village just south of Union Square), I found Black and White, which I thought was fitting before seeing a mime show 😉 I didn’t do much other research than that because I was too tickled by my own idiotic cleverness, and because I was eager to avoid places like The 13th Step and the Village Pourhouse.
The Vibe: There were two people at the bar: an older guy with his iPad and an Amstel Light and another long haired dude who knew the tatted-up, easy going bartender. And then me. With my giant backpack and shopping bag from spending the weekend with my mom for her birthday. They were playing old-school rock, which was dope. But it was borderline too dark to read in there, so unfortunately I spent the entire time on my phone because I felt too awkward not to do anything else. The walls were pink and red stripes which made me think of Eloise. I’m probably not supposed to think that. I was also probably not supposed to see them but I did because it was still light outside. The best thing that happened the whole time was when a couple came in with their schnauzer and I got to play with him for a second before the bartender told them they couldn’t have a dog in the bar. Which is common sense but was very sad for me.
The Drank: Since it was before 6pm and I had “ladies who lunch” lunch of lentil soup, kale salad and iced tea, I was looking for something on the lighter side. “Do you have prosecco?” Tattoos gave me a look that was a cross between a smirk and an eye brow raise. “Ok, I’ll take a bourbon on the rocks.” Today is a moment in which I am severely questioning all my choices in life. BUT it was $9 as opposed to the area’s usual $11-$14 for the same thing so that’s cool.
The Bartender: A super nice guy who didn’t talk much. But the world is the smallest place because when iPad guy said the bartender’s name, something clicked. Turns out, Tattoos also works at the restaurant where my ex-boyfriend used to work, and he gave us a couple free drinks one time. So. There’s that.
Was I Hit On? I asked for more ice at one point, because, y’know, I was drinking straight bourbon while the sun was still out on a Sunday, and I made a joke that I drink slowly so I’m a cheap date. iPad chimed in from the corner of the bar with: “As long as you’re not waiting for someone, that’s good for me!” He laughed. I didn’t. Then he asked what I did for a living. I told him I’m an actor. Then he gave me a whole story about how he took an acting class once and totally loved it, so people can surprise you but I still left pretty quickly after that.
Should You Drink Here Alone? I’m sure Black and White would be a really fun hideaway in the East Village with some friends, and the cheaper prices are certainly welcome in this part of town. Solo drinking? Not so much, unless you work in the area and want a post-shift shot and beer before you hop the train home.