City Pulse

By Jen Wos

hbrack_shoe_c.jpg   lagerfield_c.jpg

Ah, summer. A time for sandals and floral print sundresses, the smell of SPF 15, and fruity tropical drinks to make even the brokest gal on the block feel like she’s on vacation. Launching summer in July was Hanger‘s intent. Mine was to get there. Hanger succeeded. Me? Barely. I should’ve known I was in for a duel with fate from the start. My partner-in-crime’s bus was stuck in the Lincoln Tunnel for nearly an hour. I left work in a hurry, forgetting the bar’s address on my desk. Walking while on the phone, basking in the warm glow of multi-tasking (or was that just the heat?), I was mid-step, mid-sentence when my sandal broke, leaving me sliding toward Port Authority to meet said partner-in-crime. The humidity had me feeling bedraggled with a frizz fro out to here.

Once the shoes had been replaced (thank you, Payless), we hopped on the subway to Union Square because my brain has jumbled the address to 217 3rd Avenue. Of course, there is no 217 3rd Avenue, and I’m thinking, maybe it’s one of those underground no-sign joints. But no. Blessed technology, I called my sister who quickly Googled the address, at which point my brain started to regain functionality, and I knew what she was about to say: 217 3rd Street. Curses.

Oh, before I get too ahead of myself, let’s not forget the let’s-grab-a-bite-to-eat pizza stop turned disastrous, not to mention stomachs, when partner-in-crime’s pizza had a maggot squirming around on it, courtesy of the oregano jar. So now, grossed out, sticky, and massively late, we finally got into a cab. A few minutes later, safely pressed against the warm bosom of Alphabet City, we checked out what was happening at the Nuyorican and the awesome sculpture park nearby, then we took a deep breath and descended upon 217 East Third Street.

The place was packed. We weren’t on “the list” like we were supposed to. Not that it mattered, but it added a little extra “oomph” the oodles of bad luck we’d already encountered…Ok, we’re here. “Here” being: atmosphere clouded with hipsters who aren’t approachable while I’m sober. Lights dim. Fixtures remind me of my grandma’s house in the 80s. Dark wood comforting. DJ spinning retro classics. The sequined heels for $50 twinkling on their shelf. The delicious sound of ice rattling in a cocktail shaker. The kick-ass bartenders just keep pouring out the Hanger’s array of fabulous (if sweet) cocktails and shouting out what the hell they are and what’s in them, the drinks, I mean. There was a warm, grittiness that is the epitome of ABC city. It’s just grungy enough to be cool and just cool enough to be grungy…with an edge at the same time.

Given the rough prior couple of hours, I slugged back some cocktails, and took a deep breath. Since my feet were starting to hurt in the new shoes (what a curse!), and partner-in-crime was feeling claustrophobic and hungry (no pizza, remember?), it was time to bid the Hanger adieu.
The nutshell lowdown: sweet cocktails named after famous fashion people, cool cats with indie rock haircuts, hot music spun live and racks of vintage marvels that are reasonably priced (roughly $25-$60 per item), so you can leave with a buzz and a pair of shoes. I’d say if you’re down in that area, totally check it out. They’re open 4pm-4am, and have pocket-friendly happy hour and drink specials every night. There’s a cool chill vibe, even with wall-to-wall people that makes you feel like you’ve just crashed a house party. Grab a drink, a game of pool, a new dress, whatever your fancy. What more could a girl ask for? No wire hangers; just another drink, please.

Location: 217 East 3rd Street between Avenues B & C. (212) 228-1030

Originally published July 2007
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