Yesterday I had the privilege of drinking at the oldest Irish tavern in New York City (McSorley's Old Ale House opened in 1854) with a few classmates from my program.
McSorley's serves only two types of ales, light and dark (don't make the mistake of asking for something in between!) and they're both priced at a very reasonable $4.50 (each order is two half pints). Yum!
The place is gritty. The floors are covered in sawdust, gruff Irish waiters and bartenders take your orders, and walls are plastered with aged newspaper articles, artwork, and memorabilia. Everyone from Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, to Woody Guthrie, and John Lennon, have stopped for a drink here.
Mcsorley's also has the infamous distinction of not allowing women to drink there until 1970! Thankfully now, all are welcome to enjoy their tasty ale, which poet e. e. cummings famously described as "the ale which never lets you grow old."
To cap off the night, I had some of McSorley's famous cheese platter, which consists of a package of crackers, sharp cheddar cheese, raw onions, and some extremely spicy hot mustard that can be found on each table in a beer mug.
Check out McSorley's official website.
Here's a link to e. e. cummings' rambling prose poem, "i was sitting in mcsorley's".