My great friend Nina visited me a couple of weeks back, armed with the latest copy of Time Out - circled in black throughout with the must-sees and the might-sees. I've known Nina for ten years, since we both worked on an American study abroad program(me) in Oxford, she as a visiting professor, I as British student mentor. On our very first day of meeting we discovered a shared love of literature, films and cocktails. A potent combination for friendship. Ten years later our weekend plans, perhaps unsurprisingly, included a bar or four, a movie and a trip to St Mark's book store.
Two modern speakeasies of note are PDT (Please Don't Tell) - which I will obey and leave mysterious for now (though I'm pretty sure that those in the know need no telling anyhow) and Death and Company. Addams' Family-style doors and a sombre, soberly dressed doorman lead the way into the dark bar, lit by candles and not much else. Air conditioning and credit card payments the two key modern attributes of this otherwise authentic looking bar. Well, that and the hipster clientele.