Grand Banks

grand banks.JPG

Pier 25, Hudson River Park, (basically) Tribeca

The Place: A bar on a boat. A boat bar. A boat that's been turned into a bar. It’s also an oyster restaurant but I don’t care about that.

The Time: Tuesday August 28, 5:30pm. It’s the end of summer and that means people are drinking outside while the sun is up. I decide to take it to the next level, and thanks to the internet, I find Grand Banks, “a celebrated oyster bar aboard the historic schooner, Sherman Zwicker.” Whatever the fuck a schooner is and whoever the fuck Sherman Zwicker was, in layman’s terms, it’s a bar on a boat. Why not, I’m feeling nautical ;)

  Skippers Key at Grand Banks

Skippers Key at Grand Banks

The Vibe: I’ve decided to do this on a 97 degree day, so I sweat my way to the end of Pier 25 and find the docked boat. I walk over this really steep ramp to board the boat, and tbh, I haven’t even started drinking yet and this feels dangerous. A circle bar is in the front part of the boat (fine, the bow) and tables are in the back part of the boat (ugh ok ok - the STERN). I take a seat at the bar, and immediately I’m like, yeah I’m on a boat motherfucker. And then I’m like, oh shit, I'm on a ROCKING boat and I immediately remember that I get seasick. That’s why I do not go on boats. But here I am, I’ve committed. I can’t read or write because I am swaying, so I spend a lot of time looking around. It’s beautiful, that’s for sure. There are a lot of people here, also enjoying the fact that they are on a boat. Most of them are taking pictures of the water, of the boat, or of themselves. In order to distract myself from pending nausea, I come up with a lot of questions, such as: Where is the kitchen? Where is the bathroom? Where is the liquor storage? How do they have a soda gun? How the fuck can anybody work a long bartending or serving shift on a goddamn boat? I can barely sit here for half an hour.

The Bartender: There are three; they all wear black and white striped shirts and denim aprons. As you might imagine, the first thing I say to the bartender in front of me is “what’s it like working on a boat?!” He says, “it’s fun. We’re weather dependent.” And I’m like, oh this dude is over the fact that it’s a boat, and is more affected by when it randomly downpours. Fair. The bartenders are making a game out of capturing the many wasps under rocks glasses, and giving them identifiers. One bartender points to one of the wasps and says to her coworker, “no THAT'S my boyfriend.”

The Drank: The summeriest drink I could order, called the Skippers Key. Rosé, lemon, cassis, strawberry, seltzer. It’s good. Not $16 good, which is what I had to shell out for it, but I recognize I’m paying not just for a drink, but for being on a fucking boat.

Was I Hit On? I was not. But in my first five minutes, while I’m attempting to write, a couple sits down next to me. The guy immediately looks at me and asks “How can you write here, it’s so wobbly!” And it is very much not a pick up line, he’s truly incredulous. I look at him and shake my head in dismay. He and his date stay for one glass of champagne and are gone before I am. I leave soon though because really, I should have brought Dramamine to this bar.

Should You Drink Here Alone? ...maybe? I wasn’t bothered by strange men, it’s beautiful here and it’s certainly a novelty experience. So if you read this and are like, “this sounds awesome, what’s she complaining about?” - go for it! But I don’t eat oysters and I don’t like boats, so I’m gonna keep my drinking to dry land.