"awesomely seedy dive bars," eh?
There's the State Street area--near the law school. It's undergradlandia and I prefer to stay away from that area, unless I want a 40 of beer and a good game of quarters (it has happened). It's not my scene, though.
Then there's the Main Street area. This is by far the place to go. There's Bab's, an unmarked secret underground bar. Guess it's not a secret now. It's in an office building off of Ashley St.
There's also Millenium-Circus-Gotham City-Cavern. It's a huge four part club. Gotham City is strange, kind of trippy. Millenium is like a Miami club, Circus is beer-billiards bar, and Cavern is AMAZING. Cavern is like a French bar--it's underground, fashioned like a cave. There are candle sconces and gigantic fake trees. It's ethereal, really. I love it.
Good Night Gracie's is a tucked away jazz club. Great martinis.
Live at PJs, where I was last night having the.best.birthday bash ever, is a good place to let loose and dance--much better option than the infamous Rick's.
There is a plethora of other bars to choose from, but Main St. is where it's at. You'll see some grad students, but it's an older, more diverse crowd.
are you talking about ricks? because ricks is the kind of place that makes you realize there are worse smells than smoke.