My older sister wanted to see Times Square. We stepped out of the subway station, and walked in silence for about five minutes as we dodged tourists. She stopped and looked around at the flashing signs, the creepy glow in the air and the onslaught of brand name logos, and said, “This place is like a monument to commercialism.” Her boyfriend and I shrugged and said, “Yeah. What’d you expect?” We stood on the glowing red steps above the Broadway ticket booth and took some mom shots (pictures of us standing in front of famous stuff, attempting to make a decent smile), and we all agreed we were over it. To recover from sensory overload and retina burn, I took them to the only place near Times Square where you can relax and feel human: Jimmy’s Corner.
Jimmy’s corner is a tiny bar a few blocks away from the insanity where you can get a round of three draft beers for around $11. No matter how packed it is, it never feels like a bad party. The bartenders are happy and perky, but not in an Applebee’s sort of way. When I walked in with my sister and her BF, Jimmy himself scanned the bar to find a place for us to sit. (Jimmy was a famous boxing trainer, and the bar is plastered with his old photos. Even to someone who’s not into sports, it’s bad ass to see at a picture of the guy who found you a bar stool standing with Muhammad Ali). At Jimmy’s, when you wind up talking to a middle aged guy from Canada who’s in town on business, he’s only a little bit smarmy instead of being a complete skeezebag. I can safely say that if you don’t like Jimmy’s Corner then I don’t like you.
140 W 44th Street, between Sixth and Seventh Avenues [Manhattan]