Thursday, December 13, 2018

Hilton Charlotte University Place -- Charlotte, NC

Might as well, if you're in the area.  The hotel bar has a couple local drafts.  The kitchen makes a decent southwest salad.  Or you can pop across the street to Bar Louie for a slightly less hotel-bar experience.

North Tryon Laundromat -- Charlotte, NC

New, clean machines.  Temporary tattoos.  Mexican music videos.  Oh yes.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Laurie Meadows Coin Op Laundry -- San Mateo, CA

In an area where the laundromats are overpriced, grimy, and none of the dryers ever entirely finish drying your jeans, it's nice to find one that's at least not entirely overpriced.  Also, it has a chair -- a single plastic lawn chair -- which is likely already in use.  But hey, there's a liquor store next door, so grab a twenty-ounce, sit on a folding table, and quit your complaining.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Kelly's Olympian -- Portland, OR

This is your go-to spot in the neighborhood, if you aren't in the mood (yet) for the Yamhill Pub.  They have all kinds of old motorcycles hanging from the ceiling, and an overall bike theme.  There's even designated motorcycle parking out front.

Sit near the front of the place though, as the AC is pumped in from the back, and you'll freeze in the cold wind.  Or maybe that's part of the theme -- they just expect you to throw on a scarf, gloves, and your helmet.

Also, pinball.

Commodore Lounge -- Portland, OR

Good morning day drinkers!  They're open at 7 AM, so if you show up in the early afternoon, you're already behind.  They will catch you up.

They have two pool tables and pinball, so while you fritter away the daylight hours, you have something to do other than thumb through Twitter or whatever.  See?  You're being productive.  That high score isn't going to break itself.

Careful though, I'll bet the sock-heads fill it in the evenings to soak up the dive atmosphere ... and post it to Instagram.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Wayne's Wash World -- Hightstown, NJ

Well, can't beat the name.  Across from Tavern on the Green!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

The Town Tavern -- Akron, OH

Okay yeah, so this is the place to be if you're stuck staying anywhere nearby.  The kitchen is open until two, and they make a great quesadilla.  The customers are honest, friendly, and interesting in one way or another.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Valley Laundry Services -- Akron, OH

Tidy, clean, mostly functional machines ... sure go for it.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Quarter Up Bar Arcade -- Akron, OH

Lots of beers, bunches of pinball machines, jazz on the hi-fi!

Newdle Bar -- Kent, OH

Kent is nice, the ramen's okay, the chopsticks flimsy.  That's okay.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Wurst -- Portland, OR

Sure, why not?  Two pool tables, lots of local beer, and a machine that dispenses Dino eggs for fifty cents.  (Though the one I got had a plastic shrubbery that looked like Plants vs. Zombies.)

Update 20180918: they have added two pinball machines -- currently Mars Attacks and Star Wars -- and a handful of video games.  This is now my go-to when I'm staying at the Jupiter hotel.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Valhalla -- Austin, TX

This lovely dive has Fernet.  An interesting mix of bikers, college students, and spill-over tourists from Sixth Street.  There's a pinball machine, but we got a ball stuck irretrievably and it stopped working.  They've probably fixed that by now.

Poké House -- Austin, TX

Tasty!  The line takes forever, and there are never any seats, but take some to-go.  One of the best options if you're stuck up north there.

Ramen Tatsu-ya -- Austin, TX

Nice place.  Get the old school with extra noodles.  And Pocky!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Taylor's Rooftop Bar -- Sydney, NSW

You like this place.  It never gets all that busy, and you can ignore the crass business types if you just relax.  The heat lamps glow enthusiastically -- as in, you'll be loosening your scarf even in the winter.

Ship Inn -- Sydney, NSW

Why do you keep coming to this place?  It's easy, always has a table available, the beer is fine, but it's boring!  Try something interesting before giving up.  Go!

Small Bar Erskine Street -- Sydney, NSW

You like this place.  It's never all that busy, despite its proximity to the CBD.  It's narrow, but spans three floors.  Good beer, and there's usually a cozy corner you can grab.  And there's the name, of course.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Courthouse Hotel -- Sydney, NSW

Kind of like if Zeitgeist came to Newtown.  Lots of local beer, a whole kitchen, and tons of outdoor seating.  There's a patio just for the smokers.  Also, they have a half dozen pinball machines, all rock band themes, and when a bunch of people are playing, the cacophony is fantastic.

Frankie's Pizza by the Slice -- Sydney, NSW

Sure, you were the only person over thirty, but the pizza was great and the pinball machines are fun.  Happy hour -- four to six -- brings three dollar slices and three dollar craft beer schooners.  Go back here!

Alexandria Laundrette -- Sydney, NSW

Wild.  These antique machines run on some sort of asian currency, as tokens.  No kidding.  And the washers, the coins are sheared off on two sides, to fit.  The lady running it was nice.  Might as well go back.

Lord Raglan Hotel -- Sydney, NSW

What a great place!  Craft beer -- especially Rocks Brewery.  A great vibe.  A half dozen pinball machines in the back.  A bit of a hike from Redfern station, but worth it -- or catch a cab if you have company.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Pod 51 -- New York, NY

Cheap.  Tiny.  Works fine, but don't book it for two people.

Nancy Whiskey Bar -- New York, NY

You love this place!  The trick, it turns out, was to search for articles on "the best Old-Man Bars in Manhattan.  Who knew?  Get off my lawn!

Located right next to a police station, it avoids being a cop bar, though some folks seem like they are the law enforcement types.  This is nicely balanced by local artist types that bring a vibe of a side-street bar in North Beach.

Right next door to the subway -- like, five feet to the left and the stairway would come up in the bar's basement -- makes it perfect for grabbing a Fernet and a beer right before heading out to the airport.

Hyatt Place -- Princeton, NJ

Probably the winner, though unremarkable.  Located by a mall, so lots of fast casual chains for a quick beer and a predictably middle-of-the-road salad.  Conveniently located down the street from the Delaware and Raritan Canal trail.

Courtyard by Marriott -- Princeton, NJ

You liked this spot well enough.  T.G.I.AppleWings next door, if you're lazy -- or just got cleaned up after a run along the conveniently located Deleware & Raritan Canal trail.  Turn right, not left, when commuting in the mornings.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Royal Albert Hotel -- Sydney, NSW

You love this place.  It's only a couple train stops and a quick walk from whatever hotel you're staying at.  Craft beers, nice people, and you can just sort of do your quiet thing if you like.  Go back!

Tavern on the Lake -- Hightstown, NJ

Best bar within thirty miles.  Honest folks, local craft beers, and great bartenders.  (Say hi to Jocelyn!)  Also, Wednesday is karaoke night.

Four Pines Brewery -- Manly, NSW

Worth the thirty minute ferry ride -- which is actually kind of cool by itself.  At some times it's empty, then suddenly it's full.  So if you can't find a table, wait twenty minutes.  Get the Manly Burger.  It's enormous, has some weird condiments, and is way overcooked ... but somehow this perfectly complements the experience.

Three Wise Monkeys -- Sydney, NSW

Nice pub on a corner on George street, where you can duck out of the crush of people rushing through the CBD, grab a beer, and just watch the world go by.

Chinatown Noodle King -- Sydney, NSW

While the main drag is "safe" Chinese, this place actually has Chinese people in it.  The handmade noodles are great.  You will have to ask for chopsticks, white boy.  Go early; it's a popular place for dates and drunks.

Novotel Sydney Darling Square -- Sydney, NSW

This place worked out very nicely.  Grab coffee downstairs and walk to work or Central for the train.

If you ask to be on a higher floor, do not stay on the top floor, as it's weirdly set back from the others with an ugly rooftop there.  Also, you want a "garden view" room, as they look frontwards to the Chinese Friendship garden thing.

For laundry, they are affiliated with the Holiday Inn across the street somehow, and if you ask the Novotel front desk folks, they'll call over and get you access to the Holiday Inn guest laundry room.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Tennessee Brew Works -- Nashville, TN

Live music all the time, and they have great beer.  They have a double-IPA that reminds you of how Alesmith X had tons of hops without tasting like a pine tree.  Go back some time when you're not driving.

Headquarters Beercade -- Nashville, TN

Full of pinball and eighties video games on free play mode -- and pictured is a wall of audio cassettes -- this was kind of fun to check out.  Remember though, you lucked out, finding street parking when all the lots wanted a thirty dollar flat rate.  Also make sure to go early, as it seems to turn into a retro nightspot for hipsters later in the evening.  Great for a happy hour beer, though!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Hotel Preston -- Nashville, TN

They ask, "where are you staying?"  You say, "that place right by the airport ... the uh, 'Hotel Preston?'"  They consult each other, "isn't that the place where those hookers died?"

It's not that bad now, but you can imagine that it was, in fact, "the place where those hookers died" in recent history.  It's the sort of place that used to be totally run-down, but then they threw on a fresh coat of paint, rubbed some Boutique on it, and started advertising to hip kids on a budget.

Sure you could stay elsewhere.  But there's a sort of charm to the climate control equipment coming from a Motel 6 in the seventies.  And instead of a bible in the nightstand, there's a card that offers a "spiritual menu" of a dozen faith-based texts you can request from the front desk.  (Though none is an eighth grade science textbook.)  And it's kind of sweet how the "lounge" has its "unsigned acts show" on Tuesday nights.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Holiday Inn Express Waterfront -- Windsor, Ontario

This worked out just fine.  It's right next to the border.  There are plenty of little bars and things within a block or two.  There's a river-front running route just across the street.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Hilton Garden Inn -- Mayfield, OH

You like this one.  These places are usually just fine, and this one's better than most.  The bar staff are quite nice, and they have a couple of local (bottled) beers.  The kitchen is okay, though the salmon is grilled into oblivion.  I'm going to bet that's a corporate policy, not the choice of the chef.

You visited in the winter, and happily they have a good contract with a snow plowing company so that the parking lot egress was cleared by the time you had to leave for work.

The first time you stayed here, your room's heater did not work, but they quickly moved you.  The second time, it all worked right from the start.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Stoneyard Craft Beer Hall and Grill -- Webster, NY

This was a good spot to go after work and get a couple expense reports done.  They've got a couple dozen beers on tap, and no one cares if you're on your laptop.  In fact, the bartender is over at the other end of the beer watching YouTube videos at full volume, so obviously no one cares.

Happily, they had a session IPA, so work was possible ... as well as getting home.  You did not try anything from the kitchen.

Julian's Dry Cleaners & Laundry -- Webster, NY

Hard to tell if you're in a laundromat or an antique store.  Some of these machines might fetch a great price from collectors!  Not much else in the area though.  Try elsewhere first.

Holiday Inn Express -- Webster, NY

Not too bad, if you're stuck here.  Not much around, though.  They have a guest laundry room.  Careful in the winter -- they don't plow the parking lot all that early, so you might end up skiing to the street.