BoozeNew YorkNY-Excerpts

Fuck the Mars Bar!

Updated: Sep 09, 2017 17:29
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This piece originally appeared in Broke-Ass Stuart’s Guide to Living Cheaply in New York City

Have you ever come across someone who is such a total fucking asshole, that they’re proud of being an asshole? In fact, they’re so proud of being one and doing such overtly asshole-ish things, that they end-up becoming a parody of an asshole? Like they’ll do or say something fucked up, not because they necessarily mean it, but because that’s what assholes are supposed to say and do? You follow me? Well if Mars Bar were a person, it would be that person.

If you’ve never been there, Mars Bar is pretty much the last of the old East Village/Lower East Side punk bars. It smells like shit, the walls are completely covered in graffiti, the jukebox only plays punk, the shots are poured huge, and the patrons are old, surly or both. These are all good things that help make a respectable dive bar. But when you ask the bartender for some soap (because some big punk fucker licked your friend’s face, uninvited, and she wants wash off the gross saliva) and the barkeep answers, “This is the Mars Bar man. There’s no soap in the Mars Bar,” that’s when you know the place has become a parody of itself.

Really dude? Are you fucking kidding me? There’s no soap because this is the Mars Bar? If I hadn’t diffused the situation, saliva guy would’ve had a bottle broken over his head. If there’s no soap in Mars Bar, how do you clean blood off the seats and floor?

Mars Bar
25 E 1st St. @ 2nd Ave.
[East Village]

photo from City of Strangers

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Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, poet, TV host, activist, and general shit-stirrer. His website is one of the most influential arts & culture sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and his freelance writing has been featured in Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveler, The Bold Italic, and too many other outlets to remember. His weekly column, Broke-Ass City, appears every other Thursday in the San Francisco Examiner. Stuart’s writing has been translated into four languages. In 2011 Stuart created and hosted the travel show Young, Broke, and Beautiful on IFC and in 2015 he ran for Mayor of San Francisco and got nearly 20k votes.

He's been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle, "an SF cult hero":SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York.