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15 October 2018

the greatest little dive bar in all of new york

before we headed out to new york, i did a lottttt of pseudo planning. on a map, i plotted the locations of each of our hotels and airbnbs, then tagged up loadddds of restaurants, bars, attractions and things to note around them so that we were never too far from food, coffee, and instagrammable spots - because that's how i roll. then, as we all know by now, many things did not go to plan - like the use of the map i'd lovingly created, as i'd not made it available offline and opening it and trying to make it work seemed like a nightmare so.. we forfeited it most of the time, meaning we had to do the thing i hate doing on holiday, and the thing i'd hoped to avoid by creating the map: googling as we went.

on one day in particular, we'd been walking for ages after brunch at jack's wife freda in soho, then coffee at pietro nolita, and ice cream in greenwich (all of which were thankfully on my map!), and were on our way to the rockefeller centre in midtown. it was hot, we had been walking for hours, and we were gasping for a drink. were planning to head to the highline for a sit down and a drink, when we stumbled right by the most amazing sight: a lime green and orange facade, with lawn decorations crudely thrown around the outside; we were drawn to it instantly because it sooooo didn't belong alongside the other cafes and restaurants running up and down west 23rd street in the middle of manhattan.

welcome to trailer park lounge, where we were drawn in by a discarded toilet and set of lawn flamingos outside, and stayed for the elvis shrine, retro photo booth, and the awesome tunes being cranked out of the original wurlitzer inside. memorabilia from decades past clung to every empty space on the lemon yellow walls, or green painted garden trellis, and everywhere you looked, there was another trinket or tacky momento to make you squeal in delight.

it absolutely was not cheap, like most dive bars traditionally are, with their cocktail menu threatening to set you back the cost of a small apartment in queens, but.. it was worth it. we opted for corona-litas (margarita with corona inside!) and a plate of loaded tater tots to keep the cocktails from going to our heads (they did anyway, which made the highline a lot less interesting and the need for a loo much more heightened), and we basically had the whole place to ourselves, as the only customers in there for the entirety of our stay. i couldn't believe it, either - though it was mid week and not really in a very "local" area (stumbled upon it, after all), but the waitress couldn't have been happier to have us, let us host an impromptu drunken photoshoot in the empty bar, and was the nicest human in the whole of new york city.

we were only there about an hour, if that, but it was easily one of the greatest hours of our trip. it was spontaneous, hilarious, and tasty as hell. so, if you're ever in midtown and at a loss for what to do next, or want to try somewhere a little different - i can hand on heart recommend trailer park lounge for something very different from the norm, and something i can assure you you haven't seen on instagram before.

you can find it at: 271 west 23rd street, manhattan.

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