American Trash


This place is like an institution on the UES. While so many crappy bars have come and gone over the decade or so since I’ve lived here; American Trash has somehow found the formula for success that has eluded so many others. Now, being an institution in the bar scene on the UES isn’t exactly a stamp of approval; it just means that you’ve somehow kept yourself afloat long enough to warrant some name recognition amongst a bunch of white kids who moved to NYC with no money, have terribly bad taste in decor and have an overriding fear of going to any place whose floor is washed more than twice a week. When this joint’s name is uttered, the general response is, “Oh that place. Man, I haven’t been there in years. What a dump that place was. I can’t believe it’s still around.” So you figure that if most of the folks who moved to the UES in the early and mid-nineties visited this place at least once–and haven’t been back since–that there must be a whole new generation of poor, twenty-two-year-old suckers out there who are drawn in by the neon signs, cheap beer and sense of danger that comes with a line of Harleys parked outside. Oh, did we mention that aside from the kiddies, this place is a pseudo-redneck/biker bar? Yeah, it’s apparently worked its way into that niche, along with places like Raccoon Lodge, Hogs & Heifers and Red Rock West. And like those places, its interior is mostly worn wood with tons and tons of crap all over the walls and ceiling (including the ubiquitous hanging bra and thong display), the pool table and old video games. The music is your typical classic rock bar tune medley, with Zeppelin, those douchebag Skynyrd dudes, The Guess Who and any and every other clich’d jukebox choice you can think of. After all, who doesn’t love to listen to a group of hockey-lovin’ Canadians denigrating American women while drinking lots of cheap, American beer? Woohoo, it’s a party! Anyhow, as an adult, I think it’s time I make more adult choices with my nighttime activities, but if you’re a newbie to the city, and really miss that fraternity basement party you at which you got loaded and hooked up with your frat brother’s high school sister, this might be your chance to relive the experience, and in 2015 ask the age-old question, “Damn, that place is still around?” [MF]

1471 1st Ave. (bet. 76 & 77th St.)