Barred: The Pennsy & Tracks

When: 3:44pm & 5:02pm, Tuesday

The Pennsy and Tracks are like day and night, one airy and full of natural light (though sounding like a whimsical disease of yesteryear a la dropsy) the other a long, narrow chasm deep in the bowels of Penn Station. Or maybe it’s 2016 Midtown vs. 1981 Midtown (I have no idea when Tracks came into being but since I always think it’s spelled Traxx, the Reagan years seem most fitting).

The Pennsy was mostly empty, many patrons were drinking coffee, and the bartenders wore suspenders and Levi 505s that read more lumberjack than old-timey mixed with a touch of British skinhead chic.

Tracks, which claims to have the longest bar in Manhattan, didn’t have a single empty seat. A few were occupied by middle-aged women in skirt suits, one with a pile of papers so she seemed important in a real estate or law-adjacent way. One woman had magenta hair, which felt cautionary to me since I’ve been dabbling off and on with a ‘90s shade of plum for the past few years.

Was I carded? No and no.

Age appropriate? Yes and yes. How exclusionary can a bar in an NYC train station really be?

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