OK, so you live in Brooklyn now, and everybody's always going on about the way things "used to be," way back in the 1990s. Oh my God, it was so bad, so desolate, yet so… raw and cool. OK, we get it! It was way better back then because you had a higher chance of being jumped on your way home from the local Puerto Rican coke bar, Kokie's. According to Vice, Kokie's was the epicenter of pre-gentrification Williamsburg, right on that precious cusp: after the first white settlers began to move in, but before the first boutique. Word. Just how crazy was it?
JEFF JENSEN: I first noticed the Kokie's sign in 1991. It wasn't open to the public at the time but we knew there were people doing coke inside. You have no idea how blown-out and desolate the neighborhood was back then. The token booth dude at the Bedford stop of the L train was narcoleptic and you could just push the crappy old wooden turnstiles open.
BRIAN F: Wednesday night, I think, was salsa night. Man, it was decked out. They had a huge band in there-vibes, percussion, everything. It filled up the entire back room. An old man in brown pants would be dancing with some hot mama with a flower in her hair. It felt like being in Cuba in the 50s or something. I felt like Henry Miller.
Sounds fun! But seriously, if you're still looking for a 24-hour joint where you can buy just about anything, try the corner of Myrtle and Walworth, a few blocks past Bedford. It looks like just a blacked-out storefront, but it's so much more than that, my friend. Besides what we've already covered, what's your favorite coke bar these days?