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August 11, 2008 - by Ellis Whitman
Although the Olympics are half a world away, New York City has its own ways of enjoying the Olympics from afar. While you’re in the city make sure to check out these opportunities to enjoy the Olympics in several ways.
The place to view Olympic memorabilia in NYC is at The Sports Museum of America which opened in May in downtown Manhattan. This museum is an interactive multimedia museum dedicated to all sports and was museum was created in partnership with more than 50 single-sport Halls of Fame, Museums and National Governing Bodies across North America. Their Olympic Gallery has some of the museum's most intriguing artifacts, most notably the travel diary of U.S. track star Jesse Owens kept during the 1936 Summer Games in Berlin; the "Dream Team" jerseys of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Karl Malone from the 1992 Summer games in Barcelona; and the actual American flag that Team USA goalie Jim Craig had draped over him following the gold-medal game at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. SmA is just steps away from Wall Street, the South Street Seaport, and the 9/11 memorial currently underway, and a quick subway ride from Midtown (4, 5 to Bowling Green; 1, R and W to Rector Street). 26 Broadway, corner of Beaver St., 212-747-0900; www.sportsmuseum.com
After you’ve visited SmA, and wish to catch broadcasts of the Olympic Games, here are some bars that offer that and more.
Located at the heart of Rockefeller Center, Channel 4 Irish Bar and Restaurant is the perfect place to catch the game. In addition to providing haven for the thirsty sports lover, bar/restaurant owner John Mahon opened Channel 4 with the mission of providing delicious food with his specialty drinks. Try one of the specialty cocktails, like the mint-choc-tini or the refreshing C4 Cosmo (a blend of vodka, Triple Sec, with a splash of cranberry juice and lime)-the perfect pick-me-up to keep you going long into the night. Hungry? Try an Irish classic like shepherd's pie or stick to the basics with a hamburger-and leave room for Irish coffee. 58 W. 48th St. btw. Fifth & Sixth Aves., 212-819-0095
Much like its Hall of Fame namesake, Mickey Mantle's is a New York legend, featuring great southwestern-leaning American food (Mantle was originally from Oklahoma). Their 28 high definition plasma/LCD TVs are always on, and featuring all types of sporting events. There's also museum-quality memorabilia and a sports art gallery. A special "Little League" menu is offered just for kids. Sections of the restaurant are available for corporate and alumni groups -- call Bart Alexander for reservations for large parties. While you’re there, look around-you might be sitting next to your favorite sports star! 42 Central Park South, 59th St. btw. Fifth & Sixth Aves., 212-688-7777
While catching an Olympic game at Heartland Brewery, New York's first American-style brew pub, enjoy their handcrafted beers, housemade sodas, and a hearty steakhouse menu make this brewery better than its competitors. Sample one of the many unique brewed beers, try a tasty martini, or have one of the appetizers, like the mini bison burgers. (Keep in mind: The Empire State Building location has seven flat screens.) 35 Union Square at 16th St., 212-645-3400; 127 W. 43rd St. btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves., 646-366-0235; South Street Seaport, 93 South St. at Fulton St., 646-572-2332; Fifth Ave. & 34th St. in the Empire State Bldg., 212-563-3433; 1285 Sixth Ave. at 51st St., 212-582-8244
Sports are always shown on the big screen and five plasma-screen TVs at Gatsby's. There are 14 beers on draft, over 40 bottled beers from around the world, signature cocktails, and great frozen drinks, plus Gatsby's is the perfect place to enjoy great food in a friendly, relaxing atmosphere with an extensive menu featuring pizzas, sandwiches, salads, and a variety of entrées and specials from fish n' chips to chicken curry to steak-and-Guinness pie. 53 Spring St. btw. Lafayette & Mulberry Sts. 212-334-4430
Brendan's Bar & Grill, is one of New York City’s most attractive bars, with its lovingly restored turn-of-the-20th-century architecture, Brendan’s has a big-screen TV in the bar, and a private party room is also available. Their steak, seafood, pizza, and other dishes are all first-rate and reasonably priced, served in generous portions. 42 W. 35th St. btw. Fifth & Sixth Aves., 212-564-5405
Located across from Madison Square Garden and near the Empire State Building, Tír Na Nóg shows all major sporting events, and hosts live music Fri. and Sat. nights. The pub serves Irish favorites along with new American dishes in a warm and elegant Irish setting. And, for those sports fans that are accompanied by someone who isn’t as ardent about the game as they are, Macy’s is only a block away!?5 Penn Plaza, Eighth Ave. btw. 33rd & 34th Sts., 212-630-0249
Meet your friends at one of the bars at Dave & Buster's Times Square, and enjoy a variety of drink specialties from classic cocktails to more than 50 signature drinks (they're fully stocked with your favorite brands) as you watch the Olympics TV. They take pride in great food with eclectic American fare. Post-game, enjoy the video, interactive, and virtual-reality gaming of the Million Dollar Midway. 234 W. 42nd St. btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves., 3rd flr., 646-495-2015
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