When I lived in the projects over on 27th St. and 10th Ave., there were only two bars in the neighborhood I frequented. One was the Blarney Stone, and the other was Billymark’s West. Both of these places were characterized by unspeakable debauchery, strange nights that I hope to eventually forget, and some of the grimiest New York charm that I loved so much. Yes, I will admit, you may have seen me here at eight in the morning when Billymark’s opened, or you may have seen me here at four in the morning when they closed. I was drawn to this place like the fruit flies were to the empty bottles of Napoleon Brandy in my apartment, or the crack-heads were to the stairwell in the project building.
Hell, they didn’t have the cheapest deals in the world, but with the amount of buybacks you got from Billy or Mark it was worth it. A bottle of Miller and shot of any whiskey was $8, Sunday and Monday they had free pool, Tuesday they had $4 shots. You could get cheaper, but why bother?
The clientele was the same at both Billymark’s West and the Blarney Stone: Gay men, drug addicts, artists, post office employees, project hood-rats, drunkard professionals and professional drunkards. It made for an interesting scene, and I somehow managed to stomach it. In fact, don’t go here if you’re weak in spirit or you might get sucked into some weird shit. But if you’re into that kinda thing, bring a tape recorder, even though you may not want to relive the experience – that is, until you want another drink.
332 9th Ave.
Between 29th St. and 30th St. [Chelsea]
New York, NY 10001
Image from c-monster.net