Best Places to Watch Tonight's Second Presidential Debate

By Jill Colvin on October 16, 2012 10:07am 

NEW YORK CITY — The presidential showdown has landed in New York, with President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney set to face off at Hofstra University on Long Island Tuesday night.

All eyes will be on the President, who is under enormous pressure from Democrats to redeem himself following a dismal performance during the first debate.

But even if you didn't snag a coveted seat to see the 9 p.m. fireworks in person, there are plenty of places to catch the action — without taking the LIRR.

Whether you're looking for boozy games of debate bingo, or high-minded conversation, DNAinfo.com New York has your top 10 bets for a great debate night out:

1. Booziest Crowd:

Drinking Liberally Presidential Debate Watch Party #2 in Park Slope:

This time, Drinking Liberally Downtown Brooklyn is hosting its bash at Pacific Standard in Park Slope, where you'll be guaranteed drinking, revelry and good beer. Join the group for a pre-party at the 4th Avenue Pub next door at 7 p.m. before the main event. 82 Fourth Ave. (Between St. Marks and Bergen streets.) 7 p.m.

2. Artiest Venue:

Galapagos Art Space Watch Party in DUMBO:

"Why watch the debates at home on your couch, when you can watch them with your Brooklyn neighbors in DUMBO and have a cocktail...while watching the debates?" asks the team at the Galapagos Art Space, which will once again be opening its doors for the debate, which will be projected onto a giant 14-by-12-foot screen for your viewing pleasure. Free. Doors open at 8 p.m.

3. Best Happy Hour:

The Pine Box Rock Shop Watch Party in East Williamsburg:

Head to The Pine Box Rock Shop for an all-night happy hour in honor of the second debate, which will be broadcast in the main bar area as well as the back room with surround sound. Also on the menu: the bar's usual selection of 16 premium drafts, empanadas from V-Spot and other vegan-friendly bar snacks. The bar will also be hosting a champagne party on Election Night. 12 Grattan St. All funds raised will benefit Obama for America. Arrive early for a good seat.

4. Closest to the Office:

DL21C Presidential Debate Watch Party - Round 2, the Town Hall! in Midtown:

"Cheer on President Obama and catch the action live on dozens of big screens, broadcasting the debate on all the networks," advertises DL21C, which will be returning to sports bar Smithfield NYC for another night of drinking and debating. In addition to classic pub fare and drink specials, the organizers are planning a makeshift “spin room” with media and pundits before and after the debate. 215 W. 28th St. (at the corner of Seventh Avenue). Head upstairs. Doors open at 8 p.m.

5. Most Historic Venue:

Uptown Hall: Presidential Debate Viewing Party at the Apollo in Harlem:

The Apollo Theater will be hosting a free panel discussion and viewing party Tuesday night with guests including Fordham University Political Science Professor Christina Greer, The American Conservative's Michael Brendan Dougherty, The American Spectator's William Tucker and Herb Boyd from the New York Amsterdam News. The night will kick off with live entertainment from Amateur Night at the Apollo soul/jazz violinist artist Charisa. 253 W. 125th St. 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.) Click here to register.

6. Most Literary Surroundings:

Decision 2012: Housing Works Bookstore Cafe in SoHo:

Head over to Housing Works Bookstore and Cafe to watch the debate and enjoy cafe specials as well as games including everyone's favorite: debate bingo. Election junkies who watch three out of the four debates at the venue (and have a ballot stamped to prove it) will receive a free bucket of PBR at the store's election-night party, according to Time Out New York. 126 Crosby St. (between E Houston and Prince streets.) 9 p.m.

7. Most Outdoors-y:

2nd Presidential Debate on the Big Screen in the East Village:

Bundle up and get ready to enjoy the debate with lovely views of the East River. Solar One will be hosting an outdoor screening of the town hall-style debate. "Watch the candidates on our outdoor screen while drinking (spiked, if you like) tea, eating lentil soup, and having a grand ole’ time!" say the organizers, who are encouraging political junkies to come dressed as their favorite presidential candidate from this or any year to earn a free drink. Solar 1 Building at Stuyvesant Cove Park. 8:30 p.m. Free.

8. Yummiest Food:

Debate Watch Party: Obama vs. Romney on Foreign and Domestic Policy in East Flatbush:

Join City Councilman Jumaane Williams and Political Power through Organizing (P2O) at Vivid Cafe for fine Caribbean/American cuisine along with the debate. 4617 Avenue D, Brooklyn. RSVP to jumaaneforcitycouncil@gmail.com. Doors open at 8 p.m.

9. Loftiest Conversation:

Multi-Partisan Viewing: Second Presidential Debate 2012 in the East Village: Join The New American Tavern at Professor Thom's for a night of debate-watching, food, drink and conversation. The New American Tavern aims to bring people together who are interested in politics and social change. Read more about the event and their philosophy here. 219 Second Ave. (between East 13th and 14th streets.) 8 p.m.

10. Most Refined:

Republicans 2nd Presidential Debate Watch Party on the Upper East Side. The Metropolitan Republican Club and the New York Young Republican Club will be coming together at the former's Upper East Side headquarters for a more sophisticated debate viewing experience than the typical bar scene. Light food and drinks will be served. 122 E. 83rd St. (between Lexington and Park avenues). $15 for members and guests. 8:30 p.m. RSVP here. The debate begins at 9 p.m.

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