But there were plenty of tips for the hard-working waitresses and bar staff in Pearl Street in the downtown area where pubs like the Dog and Bean, the Grouler and the Dubliner had taken over the street with stalls selling Guinness, Harp lager and oysters galore as part or the area's annual Oyster Festival. Hundreds of gallons of Guinness and thousands of oysters were consumed during the daylong festival which transformed into a nighttime party as festival-goers danced from bar to bar, clutching plastic cups of booze.
But the festivities had to end at 4am because of a little-known New York law which, a note on my hotel mini-bar informs me, forbids drinking alcohol between 4am and 8am Monday-Saturday and 4am and 12pm on Sundays.
So it seems that most times I have been in New York I have broken the law. But I don't think I'm the only one.