VANISHING? (not yet)
Had a drink at Mars Bar this weekend. Without the overflow from CBGB's (vanished 2006), Mars misses the business from hordes of punks. Still, there's no indication that the bar is closing--according to The Voice, the owner has a "long-standing agreement" with the city and "It's here as long as the owner is alive, and that will be for some time."
However, Mars Bar is literally surrounded by brand-new luxury condo towers and that does not bode well. You never know around here when the next good place is going to vanish without warning.
A very drunk and friendly patron warned me not to take pictures inside the bar because, if he caught me, the owner would "go ballistic." I did not want that, especially after overhearing how the guy had recently beat someone bloody. I had to settle for a surreptitious snap of an infamous Martian toilet.
As scary as it looks, Mars Bar is a comfortable and affable place. I even got some good advice on how to stop my pulse, should I ever need to appear dead: "Stick a balled up handkerchief in your armpit and then just squeeze it real hard."