Former Memphian who is now living on the mean streets of Downtown Brooklyn/Boerum Hill depending on how you ask Siri. Happily married to a bad ass cancer survivor and celebrates having no children except for some poodles.
If you are a fan of The Godfather, Bronx Tale, Good Fellas, Micky Blue Eyes you may want to pay attention. About 2 years ago I was visiting with a client whose last name also ended in a vowel. He asked me if I had seen the new trailer for a movie set to come out in the fall of 2019. The name of the movie was “The Irishman” and the cast was going to be kick ass.
Directed by Martin Scorsese the cast includes; Bobby DiNiro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Bobby Cannavale, Ray Romano, Harvey Keitel, Steven Van Zandt, Anna Paquin and many others. I mean this cast demands some serious attention. This past Easter we went over to Vivian & Stone’s house for brunch and met Welker White and her husband Damien. Welker plays John Gotti’s wife. Naturally we didn’t’ want to chat shop but she told us in so many words that it was going to kick ass.
So the movie like many movies there was a snag in production. Pretty much the backer of the movie pulled out and Scorsese sat with a half written movie for about 6 months. Then Netflix comes in and says “Blank check but you got to go with us.” The finish the movie and the plan was to have it in theaters for about a month then it will be on Netflix. Trust me because this movie is a long one.
Well the Movie Theaters get pissed so they don’t show it. What does Netflix do? The rent out the Belasco Theater off Broadway and show it there. We went this past week and it kicked ass! When it comes to Netflix watch this!
I can’t recall all the times I have been to Belize over the years. I probably have in my storage unit in Memphis over 1000+ pictures of the island over the years. I know this is going to sound somewhat calloused but I take a lot of what Belize has for granted. Obviously there is nothing better than sitting on the dock or patio smoking a cigar while the sun comes up over the reef. I can’t get that view here in Manhattan. But I notice that I put my blinders on when I am going around town and never stop to appreciate the little things.
One thing that I always enjoy is looking at pictures of the island from other people’s perspective. You stop to glance at them from your phone and it brings you back. You remember that view of the reef from a palapa. You remember the sheer terror you had as a child when Manuel tells you to get in the water at Hol Chan while the nurse sharks are circling the boat. You then pee yourself a little when you later realize that Manuel snuck some cut up sardines into your bathing suit pockets and the yellow snappers are swarming you like mad bees! I am still not happy about that Tio Manuel. I discuss this with my shrink on a regular basis.
So this past week The Windy City Brit aka Toria has been uploading pictures to her facebook page. Let me tell you that when you are suffering from a Sinus/Upper Respiratory infection those pictures bring it all back.
I asked her if I could swipe a couple and I wanted to give my 11 stalkers some bonus pictures. @Marty Casado – Feel free to post on the Pic of the day if you like. Thank you Windy City Brit, your pictures put a smile on my face this past week.
Again, thank you Windy City Brit for posting the pictures and it was great meeting you and The Movie Star.
So are you Tiger Nation fans getting excited yet? I have to say that the city does get a little bit of a special charge during the holidays. The Rockefeller tree will be covered in Scaffolding because they have to get it ready for the official lighting ceremony in early December. Not to worry there are tons of other stuff already up to get pictures taken for those Christmas Cards. G(Squared), I saw that they were putting lights on those chicken feet down in Chinatown. I did see a Miller Light Truck on Canal Street so you should be good to go.
Previously we spoke about some of the tips for you visitors, here are the second half of them. But this list will be fun stuff. So without further adeau;
Underground is the best way to get around the city – They deliver 1.5 million packages in the city of Manhattan a day. Add to that Yellow Taxis, Ubers, Tour Buses and the city gets a tad…..gridlocked. They once timed a car going from 1st Ave Crosstown to 12 Ave and it took almost 52 minutes. That being said using the subway is your best friend. Again use Google Maps. Those maps they have in the subway stations are good but do you know which lines are not running on the weekend? If you use Google Maps and The Pigeon App and you will have a ease free commute. I say get Metro Card and put 20.00 on it and then refill it when necessary.
Subway 101 Hints – Take off your backpack and go to the center of the cab if it is packed. Let the elderly and pregnant women sit down. If you see a subway car that is empty when others are packed it is empty for a reason. Trust me you can’t hold your breath between subway stops so don’t go there. Oh when you are leaving the subway area and see someone standing there sliding his hand like he has a credit card through his other hand do them a solid. Swipe them in the Subway on your card. Pay it forward.
Staying in an Air BnB? – Download the Fresh Direct App and have your beer, wine, bottled water, snacks and drunk munchies food delivered to your door. I say order your stuff the day before you arrive and you can schedule your delivery day and time. You will have to be there when the stuff is delivered but trust me schleping (that is Yiddish for carrying) groceries to your apartment sucks.
Speaking of Apps download the Seamless app. This is 24 hour room service for the area restaurants. It is New York’s version of Uber Eats and it kicks ass. Bagel delivery guys are the best. Make sure you tip them cash. Another App you need is the Pigeon app. It is Waze but for New York Subways and gives you real-time delays and issues.
Cost of Beers and Food – Now brace yourself you Max’s Sports Bar regulars the cost of beer isn’t going to be the same as in 38103. I don’t want to hear it, I have been here for 4 years and have accepted paying north of $5.00 for Bud Light and $8.50 for Titos and soda. Are there cheaper places? Sure there are but here is my suggestion. Sit at the bar, be nice, be respectful and maybe the bartender may give you a “Buy Back” where they give you a drink on the house. Also it wouldn’t be a bad idea to stash a couple C-notes in your wallet. A lot of Brooklyn bars are Cash Only. Those are pretty easy as you just leave your money on the counter and the bartender will take the funds needed for drinks out of your pot. Trust me, they aren’t going to screw you.
Bars and places to eat around The Barclays’ Center – plenty of great places on 5th Avenue to grab some food and drink before and after the game. In the interest of some of those establishments that I frequent on 5th Avenue I am not going to name them here. You are also just steps away from the Subway station and can get into Manhattan fairly quickly.
Sightseeing in the City – Want to see the Bitch in the Harbor? Jump on the Staten Island Ferry (it is free) and you will boat right by it to take a picture. The also sell beer on board (ANG MT just saw that and it peaked his interest) and you get to see that 5th borough that Mr. 3 First Names despises. When you are down in Fidi swing by the Stock Exchange, Bull, Fearless Girl, Hamilton’s grave. Then walk over to the footprints at the 9/11 memorial.
Food Places you have to have – First off there is no good Memphis BBQ here in New York. Don’t try it, you are wasting your time and money. I equate it to trying to find a NYC bagel in Memphis. It ain’t happening. Do your homework and try to eat a couple slices at the Best that NYC has to offer. Want to eat at Katz’s or one of the big named places – be first on line when they open. Swing by the south east corner of Avenue of Americas and W53th for some World Famous Halal Guys. Go easy on the White Sauce and get extra napkins. Again – Get Reservations NOW!
Food Suggestions – People always ask me this and believe it or not I am just as unfamiliar with places as you are. I have heard you can eat Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner at a different place for each meal for a year and not have a repeat. My normal saying is that if it is still in business then they must be doing something right. The margin of error for restaurants is so very tight and if you have a bad showing you are done. I also use Zagats, Yelp and Google Searches for the best places. If you want a Dive Bar list let me know. I have a killer one!
Clothing and Shoes – I get it, you ladies want to look good in your wedges and or heels but who are you kidding. It is going to be cold and possibly will rain. Comfort is your key and make sure that you have good shoes because you will be walking a ton! Regarding the George Costanza Puffy Coat, you can bring it but with going in and out of places, the subway you may want to layer and wear a scarf. If you plan on going to the Parade bring everything but your kitchen sink. Also the winds up here can be a bitch. My wool top coat is great about half of the time but if we are to have snow or a light rain I am breaking out my North Face coat. Bring a hat too!
Shopping – I use Amazon and order eCommerce so you are on your own. I do recommend that you check out Century 21 downtown. They have some good stuff.
Enjoy your time in New York and Brooklyn, be nice to people, support local, tip your bartenders and stay safe. We leave out on Turkey Day for the weekend but give me a shout if you are in town early.
So we are about a week away till a whole bunch of Tiger Fans head to Manhattan and Brooklyn for the Barclays Center Classic. I figured that I would put together a quick list for you Tiger Nation Fans coming up. Up here we always say “You got to have a guy” so think of ole Carbunkle as “your guy”. That and naturally #RoboCares. Here is a list of stuff to do/not to do in no sequential order;
Airport Taxis/Ubers – First off, ignore the guys who tell you that the taxi line is going to be very long and they have a car ready for you. They are illegal Uber/Lyft drivers and they may take your credit card but they have been known to charge your CC higher fees. Ubers and Lyfts are fine to use and they have an area to meet them that is covered.
Yellow Taxi vs Uber – I prefer to use Yellow Taxi’s in Manhattan as they are more plentiful and Uber’s will drop you if there is heavy traffic. However, I use Uber/Lyft in Brooklyn because you don’t find Yellow/Green Taxi’s as much as you do in Manhattan.
Just say no to the guys giving CD’s on the streets. Its a scam. Also unless you really want a pic with a superhero in Times Square just say no to that also. They will pester you for money.
People begging for money in the subways – They are everywhere. If you feel the need to give to the homeless then give them a protein bar or cheese and crackers. You will be surprised who says they are hungry but will turn you down when you give them food.
General Rules of the Road – downsize your wallet/purse. Do you really need your Flying Saucer card or your frequent coffee user card. ID, Credit Cards and Cash is really all you will need. Also put that shit in your front pocket. Although I have not heard of pickpockets as of late but it is better safe than sorry.
Nothing Good Happens After Midnight – Please note that Geranium would take Mass Transit alone many times when she was getting her MBA and never felt threatened. The subways are not like the movie “Warriors” because that shit stopped in the 90’s. We would take subways home after events but here is something to know. What you need to know is that after midnight all trains will run local. This means longer wait times at stations and for you to get to your destination. I have found that Ubers/Cabs are best at this time.
Directions – I actually use Google Maps and find that it is the best out there. It can give you up to date Subway directions and great walking directions. Just make sure you are using the ‘walking’ directions because it may think you are in a car. NOTE – Downtown in FiDi is tricky because the streets are narrow and it may have you a block over. You can always ask a New Yorker or someone walking a dog.
Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade – Here is where I can’t help you. Unless you can sweet talk Z squared into letting you up to their conference room over looking Ave of Americas you are on your own. Do some Google Searches for places that will have viewing parties. If it is cold like really cold you may want to watch it on TV.
Texting and Walking – Don’t do it! I will personally punch you in the throat if I see you do that. Those people are easy to spot. The walk slow and makes you want to post up like Gasol to take a charge because they will run into you.
Dinner/Brunch/Thanksgiving Plans – This week is going to be busy with fellow tourist, book your reservations NOW.
I will follow up on Thursday with some better information. Trust me, you will want to read that one.
As previously mentioned in last weeks worthless dribble post we just returned from a quick 4 night trip to Belize. Now that I have ridden the subways with my mosquito bites and sunburn a couple of times I am ready to give a proper description of the shenanigan’s that went on down in Belize. Hate to say it but if you are one of those Lurkers I am going to disappoint you. What goes on down in San Pedro stays in San Pedro. Sorry that are the rules.
Now before you think all are safe, I am not going to lie one bit. I swallow hard every time I see that The Windy City Brit posts some pictures to the FB page thinking she took pictures of that drunk guy on Friday night. But she is a good soul and would not do that to me the person who got overserved. Small bills right T?
So let me give you some back story to this Great weekend extravaganza. About 2 and a half years I get a notification that there will be a celebration down in Belize for Otter’s Birthday. I go to the calendar to circle those dates. The dates don’t match up. I recall that Otter and I are close to the same age as we are more of the junior members of the ACMB. Then I realize that he is inviting me to an event 2 and a half years in advance. What an asshole!
That is kind of brilliant if you ask me. This way you can start saving up, schedule the dog/child sitters and look forward to a weekly update by Otter on the page. I am kidding, he would send updates for those of us who have never been or for those of us who forget a lot (Pug I am not looking at you) and it was fun to bust Otter’s chops. Granted he saw a tweet that I sent to Joe Belize that I was going to be on the island for his birthday celebration and didn’t realize that we had RSVP’d in the yes. We always wait till the last minute to book airfare and hotel accommodations.
Here is where Otter gets Mad Props;
He arranged for hotel accommodations at one of the resorts south of town.
Scheduled a boat/Snorkel/Booze Cruise for all members.
Arranged a mid day afternoon activity for those who needed to watch College Football.
He talked a 6 person band from Columbus Ohio to come down and play 2 nights and a split off band to play 2 shows. Oh and he was able to coordinate getting drums, PA and sound boards handled down there on the island.
He not only was able to bring some of us older (well not so much me or TravelQueen) ACMB members, Friends from Ohio and those who have never visited San Pedro before.
I am not even going to harp on his mad spread sheet skills. (Love ya Otter)
Here is what I appreciated from the weekend plans. Other than the Friday 8:30AM call to be on the dock for the Booze Cruise (you can’t drink all day if you don’t start early) that was really the only formal plans that you had to do. Trust me when I say that I have been places where you have to follow a ridged schedule and if you have ever hearded cats before…..
The other part that we really enjoyed and I mentioned it in an email to TacoGirl was that it was so much fun experiencing San Pedro thought the eyes of someone who has never been there. That I knew of there were threee couples who were first timers to the island. To watch them experience the island like we did made this trip even more memorable.
Happy Birthday Otter! You magnificent Bastard! I am so happy to have been able to share your 50th birthday celebration with friends and family.
It was a fun long weekend and I am so grateful for the friendships that we already have and those that were started last weekend!
I have to start out by giving mad props to Otteralum (I know that is a rather strange code name but he gave it to himself) because that magnificent bastard just pulled off one helluva ACMB Reunion. Pugwash quit swearing at the laptop, your time will come….
So, we just returned from a trip to Belize, but let me go back in time for some of you younger stalkers of this worthless dribble. Before Tic Toc, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, even Myspace and Friendster there was a thing called a “Message Board” Here people could come to it and ask questions about a vacation place or rant about their favorite sporting team. In this case the Message Board was for Ambergris Caye down in Belize.
For those of us who had visited the island a number of times we would chat on either threads or in mini chat. Like I said, Social Media hadn’t launched yet and there was not a lot going on. As with any group of child like adults (much like on social media) you had some ball busting, some fights, some got kicked off and so on.
I met the bulk of the ACMB (Ambergris Caye Message Board) on one of the Boogie’s in February. I want to recall it was a poker run that TacoGirl put together and IsleNutt made bracelets with everyone’s name. Needless to say it was a great trip and then Myspace moved to Facebook so sadly the message board lost steam.
So about 2 and a half years ago Otteralum put out a “Save the Date” for his 50th birthday in Facebook. I saw it was in early November and went to put it on the calendar. But something wasn’t kosher. First of all I thought that he and I were closer in age. Then I noticed that the dates didn’t coordinate with the days of the week. Did he start drinking early and forget his birthday? Nope he sent out the invite 2 and a half years in advance. Talk about an over-achiever.
Anyway a total of 42 folks came down from the US and a good number of them were from the ACMB. It was good to see some faces that I haven’t seen in a couple years. Even as Pugwash and I spoke at breakfast about todays agenda he remarked that it was probably the first time we ever were civil to each other. I told him it was because we were both still sober but Tim knows I don’t have a beef with him. He is just a big ole hairy Teddy Bear. But with a funnier accent other than mine. Love ya Pug and Jane!
Like I said, This was a magical trip and I am so thankful that Otter invited Geranium and I to this event. Between this group of malcontents along with Otter and Mrs. Otter’s group of friends it was one helluva party. To those who couldn’t make it, you were missed.
Leaving on a big metal plane tomorrow for 17.9214° N, 87.9611° W to drink with a couple friends. I have been waiting for Otter’s 50th birthday for like 2 years and its finally here. How fucked up is that. I am celebrating the anniversary of someone who now has to get a colonoscopy. Oh well it could be worse. It could be my 50th Birthday. Can’t wait to see some old friends this weekend too!
Anyway have a good week and weekend and try to stay warm you New Yorkers. I hear that it is going to be kinda chilly this weekend.
So Game Day is coming to Beale Street. Congrats to the Memphis Tigers on becoming a relevant and respected football program. Hey I recall those Larry Porter days…yikes! But seriously I am proud of those fans who have braved empty stadiums and shitty teams. You guys have earned having Game Day tomorrow and I hope you make this former Memphian proud and roll out for this!
Now for you handful of rummy’s that I may or may not have slung a beer with in the past 10 years. Game Day, if you have never seen it live, is going to be a bit boring. They will have some spots where they will interview the coach. Do a feature on Memphis and make it a tear jerker but in a good way. The Guest Picker will come out which peaks a lot of noise, and then by the grace of God Corso better put on a Fucking Tiger head. Sad to say – The rest of the show is going to be boring. Now read my words you select few – JUST BECAUSE IT IS BORING THIS ISN’T THE TIME TO GO DO IRISH CAR BOMBS OR SILKY SULLIVAN DIVERS! You are an adult now and this isn’t BBQ fest. You have a full day of football and the game is going to be late so unless you want Liberty Bowl Stadium to resemble Death Valley down in Baton Rouge…..lay off the booze till the afternoon.
You can have a beer or two in the morning. Tio Trumpet isn’t going to chastise you for having a Bloody Mary to settle the nerves. I mean you are on Beale waiting for the team pics but please add pause to your game folks. Also do us a favor and come up with some good signs for us folks who will be watching from the Cigar Inn? My buddies will be busting my balls if we give a bad look.
Seriously have fun and when the Tigers win Saturday night make sure you avoid any TV cameras. I still have vivid memory of Didi getting on the news after the UT game. He was wearing a blue pom-pon on his head saying “We kicked their ass!” Then my dad called me the next day and asked if that was him.
You got this and I expect to see some familiar faces on TV. I will actually be going to the Memphis Watch Party on Saturday night. Hey @pcolinjr – where are we meeting again? @jensized you want to get out before the marathon? Who am I kidding they don’t read this dribble. I am excited for Memphis and am happy that those friends of mine who have been enduring the Chuck Stobart years now have a day in the sun. Can you tell us hog Fans what that feels like?
Now the pics of the week.
So in the words of Rocky Kasaftes’ beloved Mother – “You boys don’t get into much trouble and remember my words…Nothing good happens after midnight!”