Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog Shop is the main reason why you should go to the Financial District, in fact, the main reason you come to New York, I FRICKING LOVE IT HERE. This multiple award winning bar is a rare find, a shiny ruby on New York’s crown. The whole experience is designed to be evocative of by a bygone era, from the curly moustached bouncer and parlour room upstairs to the sawdust on the floor of the downstairs bar (to soak up wee and vom before we had public toilets apparently), and a curious drinks list serving bottles of punch. The Taproom (downstairs) drinks menu also includes pop-ins and boliermakers (popular in the seventeenth century) . Irish memorabilia decorates the ceiling and walls (the owners are two lads from Belfast). The cocktail menu in the upstairs parlour room (of over a hundred cocktails) is cataloged by season and designed as a graphic novel. The stories narrate the life of John Morissey and his gang of Dead Rabbits who were notorious to the area at the end of the nineteenth century. Upstairs a everyone is offered a tea cup of punch as a kind of alcoholic amuse bouche. If you come to New York and don’t go here, I feel bad for you.
Close to Dead Rabbit is the ferry port for the commuter ferry to Staten Island. There is nothing to see on Staten Island but the journey across the water provides some great views of the Statue of Liberty and Lower Manhattan. Its also free. Walking around the tip of the island and up through Battery Park City is an excellent walk, with non-stop views across the Hudson along leafy restaurant lined promenade.
Around the corner from DR is South Street which is a popular spot for drinking al-fresco. Ulysses Folkhouse is another Irish bar and one which has live music on the weekends and a popular lobster dinner deal on a Monday night.
The windy streets and cobbles of the financial district reminded me of parts of London perhaps why I liked the place so much. It’s also, generally full of bankers (being in the financial district), so on the Friday night has the distinct feeling of ‘the city’ – rah, and bloody good fun.