NYULocal recently paid a visit to the hallowed halls of our very own Butler Library. While the glass-planed Toni Stabile Student Center contains the grad student “social hub” Brad’s, NYU has its own Brad’s on the corner of Waverley and Mercer—a staple for Tisch students due to its proximity to their main academic building. In the spirit of cultural exchange, Bwog descended on this campus corollary for a Friday night “on the town.”
Upon approaching NYU Brad’s, Bwog was immediately confronted by a group of smokers, reminiscent of an edgier Butler. Neon signs on the windows beckoned us in to the dimly lit interior of this campus haven. Unlike Mel’s, there is no Bigga carding at the door—after all, Brad’s is first and foremost a sandwich shop.
Much like Columbia Brad’s, seating is a free for all. Intimidated by the crowded scene, Bwog stood awkwardly in a corner waiting for people to leave; the more experienced NYU students actively reorganized the wooden tables and chairs to better fit their group sizes. Taking the lead from these veterans, Bwog eventually compiled a table. The space was bedecked with festive cobwebs and witches, while the atmosphere was set by a playlist of top 40 indie hits.
After taking the time to organize a home base in this foreign land, Bwog needed a drink. The room consisted of a central bar area surrounded by tables and chairs on two sides, with food counter and bathroom at the back. Struggling to the front, Bwog timidly placed an order with a flamboyant, well-mustachioed bartender. While Bwog’s female contingent was carded and rejected at the bar, our scruffed men had no trouble acquiring “victuals;” Bwog’s female contingent was chagrined. It was no Heights happy hour, but drink specials were enticing, with a shot of whiskey and a beer at $5.75.
For point of comparison, Bwog ordered a sandwich at the forlorn food counter. The ordering experience was typical of Columbia Brad’s, but the taste and quality was clearly superior (though that may have been the whiskey). While waiting in line for the bathroom, Bwog befriended one of the institution’s regulars: a Tisch student. Bwog’s new BFF dragged her compadres to our table. A group of mostly girls amiably introduced themselves to the men and half-heartedly waved at Bwog’s female contingent; Bwog’s female contingent was, once again, chagrined. The NYUers pronounced the wonders of theater directing, to which Bwog responded by asking if they’d read the Oresteia. They vaguely nodded their heads and promptly shuffled away to drunker pastures.
The next day, Bwog returned to Columbia Brad’s, which closes at 9 pm on weekends, and longed for the sharply-dressed denizens, festive decor, and shady facilities of its sister shop down the island. The exuberant, throbbing mass of NYU undergrads is hardly matched by the distressed glass eyes of journalism grad students behind their MacBooks. But, we do have those cool green chairs…