The Oldest Irish Pub in America - McSorley’s Old Ale House. I was in my element here. Est.1854, and stepping in here is like a time capsule. Very little has changed. The original taps from 1854, original pub tables, same bar and no cash register, cash is kept in the same wooden box behind the bar they have used since the 19th century.
John McSorley from Tyrone opened the bar in 1854 in what was part of the ‘five points’ part of Manhattan, which gained international notoriety as a tough neighbourhood with gangs that fought to take control of the district made famous by Martin Scorsese’s film ‘Gangs of New York’.
This place is covered in historical artefacts and antiques. A piece of Nelson's pillar, Harry Houdini's handcuffs, JFK's fathers' boots and the table Abraham Lincoln sat at are some examples. Above the bar, hang a row of turkey wishbones. During WW1, ahead of locals from the neighbourhood being shipped out, McSorley's began a tradition of giving locals a turkey dinner and a going away party. At the end of the night, they each hung a wishbone on the gaslamp for good luck in the hopes that they would come back. After the war, those who survived came back and took down a wishbone, and those who never made it, their wishbones have been there ever since.
There's too much about this pub to put into a post. but if you make it to New York, I'd recommend stopping here. It's a chance to step away from the modern world to a place untouched by time.