Thursday, October 27, 2005

Off to Siberia!

The old Siberia, in the 1/9 subway station at 50th Street was renowned for being the only bar in the city located in the subway, and was also known as a hangout for journalist-types. When it was evicted several years ago, it seemed like that was that. However, it quietly reopened near Times Square and is once again a hotspot.

The bar took its name from the fact that the old site was a KGB drop-off point in the 1950s. The new bar keeps the tradition as well as the kitchy Soviet decoration. Outside, there is no sign - the door is marked by a single violet light bulb. According to the owner, Tracy Westmoreland, "If you can't find the place, you aren't smart enough to be here."

The bar also featured into a 2001 low-budget documentary, which deals with the owner's fighting to save the old bar from eviction. Among his ploys ws to chain himself to a toilet in front of the landlord's offices in Japan. Check out the film,
Siberia and the American Dream, here.

And also check out the
New York Times review, and Sipping the Gloom, With Hank on the Jukebox, as well as New York Hangover.

Siberia is located at 356 West 40th Street.

For more Soviet kitch/chic in Manhattan, check out
Pravda and KGB.

1 comment:

Yakima_Gulag said...

Hvala Najlipsa for giveing me a reason to WANT to go to Nju Jork some day. As well as for the movie tips now I must one way or another see 'Everything is Illuminated' and 'Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World'
Katja from Yakima Gulag Literary Gazzett