Black and White
86 E. 10th Street 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'm 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 this area (East Village just south of Union Square), I found Black and White, which I think is fitting before seeing a mime show 😉 I don’t do much other research than that because I'm too tickled by my own idiotic cleverness, and because I'm eager to avoid places like The 13th Step and the Village Pourhouse.
The Vibe: There are two people at the bar: an older guy with his iPad and an Amstel Light and another long haired dude who knows 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're playing old-school rock, which is dope. But it's borderline too dark to read in here, so unfortunately I spend the entire time on my phone because I feel too awkward not to do anything else. The walls are pink and red stripes which makes me think of Eloise. I’m probably not supposed to think this. I'm also probably not supposed to see them but I do because it is still light outside. The best thing that happens the whole time is when a couple comes in with their schnauzer and I get to play with him for a second before the bartender tells them they can't have a dog in the bar. Which is common sense but is very sad for me.
The Bartender: A super nice guy who doesn't talk much. But the world is the smallest place because when iPad guy says the bartender’s name, something clicks. 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.
The Drank: Since it's before 6pm and I had “ladies who lunch” lunch of lentil soup, kale salad and iced tea, I'm looking for something on the lighter side. “Do you have prosecco?” Tattoos gives me a look that's 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's $9 as opposed to the area’s usual $11-$14 for the same thing so that’s cool.
Was I Hit On? I ask for more ice at one point, because, y’know, I'm drinking straight bourbon while the sun is still out on a Sunday, and I make a joke that I drink slowly so I’m a cheap date. iPad chimes in from the corner of the bar with: “As long as you’re not waiting for someone, that’s good for me!” He laughs. I don't. Then he asks what I do for a living. I tell him I’m an actor. Then he gives me a whole story about how he took an acting class once and totally loved it because men have to talk about themselves no matter what the topic. I leave 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.