|McSorley's Bar 1912 by John French Sloan|
THE INTELLIGENTSIA Literary figures like Brendan Behan, LeRoi Jones, Michal Bock, Gilbert Sorrentino and Paul Blackburn have been cited as regulars. In his 1923 poem, “I was sitting in mcsorley’s,” poet E.E. Cummings described McSorley’s as “the ale which never lets you grow old.” He also described the bar as “snug and evil.” The aged artwork and artifacts, newspaper articles covering the walls, sawdust floors and the Irish waiters and bartenders give McSorley’s an atmosphere that would be reminiscent of what “Olde New York,” may have looked like. It appears as if not piece of memorabilia has been removed from the walls and there are many items of historical paraphernalia in the bar including what is alleged to be Houdini’s handcuffs.
McSORLEY’S DAY IN NEW YORK If any place could be significantly associated with St. Patrick’s Day it surely is McSorley’s and that association came to full circle several years ago. In recognition of its 150 anniversary , his Honor, Mayor Bloomberg in a proclamation, which he personally presented to McSorley’s, declared St. Patrick’s Day, February 17th McSorley’s Day in New York. McSorley’s touts itself as presenting fine home cooking and mugs of good ale with luncheon specials daily.
McSorley’s Old Ale House has withstood the changes that define New York City, but it has kept its rich history, mystery and legends intact making it a ‘must visit’ ale house for all lovers of ancient lore and good ale.