Editor's Note: Today marks the first day of our newest addition to Team GofG: Billy Gray. As an ex-Harvard Swimmer, it was obvious what one of his first assignments would be: Telling us where the straight Harvard graduate males spend their free time in NYC. Ladies, you're welcome:
The old joke goes that you can always tell a Harvard man, but you can't tell him much. Maybe, but outside of Cambridge and barring a varsity sweater, most Harvard guys tend to fade into the background to an oversized ego-deflating degree. Still, for many single women the allure of the Harvard man endures. Below are some watering holes favored by Crimson alums:
Botanica: 47 E. Houston Street. Here's where you'll find the English majors. Botanica is a clubhouse for the young and artfully scruffy. Patrons typically work nearby in one of Soho or Nolita's many blog headquarters. (That's if they work from an office at all.) The Harvard guys here might not have the fat wallets of their banker friends, but if you're lucky they'll be feeling generous after a day of big pageviews. Plaid flannel is the winter uniform here, so dress the part.
Dorrian's Red Hand: 1616 2nd Avenue. A booze-laden treehouse for the Upper East Side's boarding school set. Dorrian's has weathered some serious scandal and endures as one of the only spots above 14h Street that self-respecting Harvard guys actually admit to frequenting. It's got a defiantly old school, checkered tablecloth interior and the greasy, dining hall-reminiscent pub grub to match it. So if you're a Miss Porter's gal looking for a St. Paul's fellow, Dorrian's is your prep school annex.
Mehanata (ake Bulgarian Bar): 113 Ludlow Street. Harvard likes to talk up its diversity, a habit its alums make their own as they go out into the world. And what better way to celebrate diversity than at a bonkers Bulgarian disco with live gypsy bands, a "vodka room" ($20 for 2 minutes of all can drink vodka) and a sign above the bar promising a free drink if you get naked (and a free night of drinking if you...go further). The Crimson men here are probably still nursing crushes on their Easten European Cultures professor, so feel free to break out a frown and a fake accent.
Southside: 1 Cleveland Place. For better or worse, Southside owners Tom and Anthony Martignetti have nailed the preppy formula over the last decade. Martignetti Liquors on East Houston was the first to attract Harvard's popped collar set. Then Bella's (invariably called Bar Martignetti, the since-shuttered restaurant above it) in Soho drew them in like moths to a pastel flame. Southside is the revamped Bella's, and despite ditching its (ludicrously smoky) library motif, continues to reel in Harvard gents and the women who love them.
Professor Thom's: 219 2nd Avenue. is a fairly generic sports bar in the East Village, but has two (dubious) qualities that draw in the Crimson guys: it's a safe space for Red Sox fans and its swank-ish 2nd floor eerily recreates the interior of the Phoenix, one of Harvard's rowdier final clubs. So whether the school's many Sox loyalists are trying to revive the quickly dimming memory of that winning season or the even hazier recollections of the Phoenix's theme parties, this is the place to be.
Fontana's: 105 Eldridge Street. Musical talent helped many aspiring rock stars get into Harvard. Here's where you'll find them now. Basically a more spacious Mercury Lounge with a slightly more relaxed booking policy for upstart bands. Fontana's is where you can find the emotive guitar type and spot that rare species: that tatooed Harvard man.
Upright Citizen's Brigade: 307 W. 26th Street. Harvard's humor magazine, The Lampoon, has a long history of feeding its writing talent into shows like The Simpson's and Saturday Night Live. You can witness the fruits of their labor firsthand at this Chelsea comedy club. Though not technically a bar, UCB sells $2 PBRs to get you through those painful amateur improv acts while you wait for Amy Pohler to take the stage.
The Harvard Club: 35 W. 44th Street. The Harvard Club harkens back to old school Harvard, when denim was confined to cattle ranches (jeans are still now allowed) and hooking up with a girl involved a snowy hike to Radcliffe or a bus to Wellesley. And while no Harvard man wants those times to return, he can marvel at the club's completely un-ironic taxidermy, blissful quiet, imposing library and (best of all) audited drinks, this is where Harvard guys go to once again justify tuition.
Oh, and if you're worried about picking the Harvard grads out of a crowd, rest assured they'll tell you.