So on a team call this week one of our teammates voiced concern about how safe it was in Manhattan and how were we to get work safely from say Penn Station. I was not here at the time but I heard that Times Square back in the day was something else with the prostitutes, drug dealers and rock/cup guys. I really didn’t know what this person was getting at then it dawned on me. This person must watch the news and of course there haven’t been any stories about how thing in New York have rebounded. Not that we are watching the news anyway but we can see on Instagram posts how things are going back to normal in NYC.
I assured this person that things are back to Normal (can we really say that now?) and that the boards are off the buildings. Now we only have to worry about are Murder Hornets, a Dust Cloud and oh yeah COVID-19.
Anyway here are some pictures I took this week and shared with the team.
Yeah, talk about some crazy stuff but hey, we have already paddled out on the surfboard some 4 3/4 years ago when we moved here. Why not keep the dream alive.
Back Story – When we got the offer and made the decision to move up here almost 5 years ago we sought council from The Murphranks. They both told us that we needed to prioritize the following items;
Be as Close to Public Transportation (Subway, Bus, Regional Lite Rail)
Avoid at all costs any type of a Pre-War Walk Up
I am sure there are more but I those two have burned some good Brain Cells in the short time we have been living here.
First Apartment on First Avenue was a dream now looking back. It was part of the Hospital so we didn’t have to hunt for a place to live and it was another stress item we didn’t have to worry about. It was perfect except for the fact that I had to walk about 15 minutes to and from each day to get the 6 Train at 68/Lexington. I did this for about 17 months and let me tell you it sucked. That all changed when the Q Train opened up on January 1, 2017. Ironically we ran into ole Andrew that morning but I digress.
First Apartment had the following things that we were growing accustomed to and it because a priority;
Doorman Building – Not so much to open your door but to know that if the front door didn’t shut behind another resident meant it was a safety/security issue.
Package Room – This is a HUGE problem when people BC (Before Covid-19) would have to have signatures on deliveries. People in the Package Room would sign for our shit
Elevator Banks that would accommodate the number of residents.
Closeness to a Grocery Store – Right Across the Street
Closeness to bars – This isn’t so much of a good thing.
Laundry in Building – Who wants to schlep stuff
So when Geranium and I decided to move from the UES place we looked at a couple of places or more areas. We decided on Downtown Brooklyn for a couple of reasons as once again our priorities were changing. She was going to be on the road more so I needed more amenities to keep my sanity. I mean we looked at Fidi (No Grocery Store), Battery Park City (bitch of a walk to one subway line) and Murray Hill (I wasn’t a fan for some reason)
What our new priorities were included;
Ability to have someone swing by and get keys from the front desk to walk the Monkey Heads and leave keys for our cousin.
Subway Options – I had over 16 different lines I could choose from to get into the city.
Needed an Outdoor space or place for me to go work in the building.
Exercise and Possible instructed classes that we could join.
Washer/Dryer in Unit – Well that is now a bonus
Roof Terrace and Grilling Pavilions
Closeness to Murphranks (yeah we kind of like drinking with you)
Ease of getting to all 3 airports for Geranium. She can actually get to EWR, JFK, LGA in about an hour from our location.
Bomb Dot Com View of Manhattan – Full disclosure – I signed the lease on this joint before Geranium did because it had a killer view of the Empire State and Manhattan.
Then COVID-19 Hit in early March.
So our lease is up in July and the leasing company wanted to know if we wanted to sign a 1 year or 2 year lease. Of course with a nice little additional percentage on the lease. I am not one to shit on people but they wouldn’t let us go month to month so we are off like a Prom Dress. Just so we are clear – the Front Desk and Maintenance Staff – we love each and everyone of you. But the management/ownership company not so much.
So what are our new Priorities and what priority is now been relegated to the bottom of the list you ask? God Bless Geranium because she found us a place on West 39th Between 9/10 Avenues I think in 2 days. The location is considered Midtown West/Hudson Yards as it is nestled north of Chelsea, South of Hells Kitchen and West of The Garment District.
So here are our New COVID-19 priorities now and what doesn’t really matter so much now;
Outdoor space – No, it is not so that I can smoke cigars, I don’t think they are allowed on balconies anyway. We need to air out and get sun.
Smaller Building/Less Floors/Footprint – They only allow 2 people in our elevator now. We have 3 elevators dedicated to floors 30 – 55 and you do the math. Oh and there are times when the door opens I can see the fear in people’s eyes when I want to enter with Maya. Current wait time is about 10 minutes during peak times. And on the day I am writing this elevator #3 is down….again.
Neighborhood Residential Density Footprint – Where we are in Downtown Brooklyn we have tiny sidewalks. We also have tons of residential high rises and the Brownstones from Boerum Hill. Sadly we have to give up the sidewalks to the kids. Where we are going according to Mr. 3 First Names is very quiet.
Washer/Dryer in Suite – Absolutely now!
Grocery Store/Pharmacy Nearby – We live above the same grocery store I visit once a week 4 blocks away. Haven’t figured out where the CVS is but I am happy about the closness of my grocery store. Having it across the street in the UES was paramount.
Not a Priority at this Time (For obvious reasons)
Closeness to the Subways – That’s a big ole nope. The friggin NYSE told their members that they would not be allowed to take public transportation if they were going to be on the floor until a vaccine is created. The New York Stock Exchange folks…..
Amenities/Common Space – Yeah why am I going to pay 3% more at our current place to not use it?
Nearby Bars/Restaurants – We ain’t going anywhere for a while folks. And any New Yorker is stupid to think we are going back to what it was before. At least till we get some type of handle on this virus.
Commute to the office – I am actually now the only rep for the Double Decker Bus Company who lives closest to our office at 37 and 7th Avenue. I ain’t going there….
Close to stuff – We are not too far from Penn Station and Madison Square Garden now. Like we will there anytime soon.
I know I rambled but actually I have some folks who are also in the same boat as us and I wanted to verbalize how priorities have shifted for us. We are very excited for this new place. So is Maya, she is so over having to pee at 16 Sycamore Park. Also her boyfriend George is gone because our current building did her mom dirty too..
So we got a little too intoxicated last night. What I have seen the recycling on the streets of Brooklyn we aren’t the only ones. I mean there is hardly any paper recycle and its all glass bottles and Cans. Anyway I went to bed early and Geranium ate some Red Beans and Rice but couldn’t find the Cornbread that we made. I had left it in the oven to stay warm.
So this morning it was sitting still in the cast iron skillet and had gotten a tad stale. I got done with my team call and was feeling peckish for something other than my normal Sandwich or leftovers. I opened the cabinet and a can of Glory Southern Seasoned Mixed Greens just spoke to me. That’s what we will do, we will re-boot this year and start over.
So for you selfish bastard who didn’t eat their black eyed peas and Greens here is how you prepare it.
I am serious when I say that there better be a friggin Black Eyed Pea and Green shortage very soon.
Why is he starting out with a picture on his blog today? So that picture above was sent to me by Sweet Melissa the Bama fan who happened to be raised by LSU parents. Yeah, you try to figure that shit out.
I replied back to her – that I wished it was me because the last time I set foot in the borough of Manhattan was 43 days ago. I admit that I try to keep my Subway awareness sharp and repeat the subway stops from say Nevins to say Grand Central in my head. (Nevins, Borough Hall, Bowling Green, Wall, Fulton, Brooklyn Bridge – City Hall, Canal, 14St – Union Sq, Grand Central – 42nd)
This then led into a discussion of how NOLA residents were coping with not having the first week of Jazz Fest. I mean all the food, the culture, and the fun but thankfully WWOZ is streaming Jazz Fest on Alexa. The old neighbor (God I bet her recycling is off the charts right now) was informing us how she now pulls up to grocery stores and they load her groceries in the back of the car and she goes on her merry way. Same for Lowes and Crawfish runs for Sweet Melissa. Welcome to the new norm.
Ok I have tormented them enough. Please notice I didn’t anger the AGM/my old prom date. I don’t need a Pucci Ban right now, I got enough shit on my plate.
So yesterday we didn’t really feel like doing much. I let Geranium sleep in because, well she loves her some sleep. One of our goals during this is that we are trying to reduce our carbon footprint and also conserve food and reduce our waste. Recall that Post about our Fresh Direct FU? So we, on that order, got cut chicken and for some reason we got a head of broccoli.
We decided to make this Broccoli slaw recipe that Geranium makes and we both like. Sadly we needed a red onion, shredded cheese and carrots so we figured we would go this morning since it is shitty weather and yesterday was a nice day and the streets were packed. Yesterday I was taking Maya out and also swinging by Wright & Goebel to get some more rum that I ordered online. I ran into our 38th floor neighbor who was heading out. She asked if we needed anything from Brooklyn Fare so I took her up on getting those 3 items. What can I say, New Yorkers are getting pretty resourceful.
So what are your COVID-19 Hacks? I think I have mentioned that I am going stale here.
For Example – I heard if you clean your glasses with white foamy shaving cream it will help prevent them from fogging up. It actually works.
Shoot me a message and I will post them.
And thanks Sweet Melisa for letting me post your pictures. When this is over I am coming there and we are going to drink like its our JOB!
We had shit weather which we consider a blessing because it keeps people inside more. I decided to forgo my closet since we still have cooler weather and I am not ready to shed my warmer jackets and such. I decided that I would devote some time to our kitchen cabinets.
Easter Sunday Geranium spent a time trying to find her piping bags to make deviled eggs so I figured it was time to get that organized.
Like I said, it was some stellar shit we did on Saturday.
Saturday was a little heavy for us so we stayed in and didn’t really want to get on any of the chat apps. I watched some Insta Stories and one of my favorite nowadays is Michael Rappaport. He had posted a now viral post where he tells parents to keep their kids at home. Saturday he reposted a video of a bike messengers wearing Go-Pro’s going about their way in Manhattan. Talk about strange seeing everything void of people and cars. The name of it was “New York is Resting” and I encourage you to go find it. It is pretty neat stuff.
So on Sunday I was dispatched to go get Easter Beer and some items I couldn’t carry from my Grocery store trip. I decided I would walk down to the Duane Reade on Fulton Mall. Guess what? That location is now closed so I had to walk my ass down to Brooklyn Heights. I left out early in the morning so that I didn’t have that much interaction with people as I knew a lot were going to virtual Mass.
To say the streets are empty is an understatement. Check out my 20 block walk.
I was standing outside waiting on the dog to pee Thursday morning and I felt a subway rumble under the sidewalk and it almost startled me. I hadn’t seen a subway platform for over 28 days. From my “office” I can see the B & Q train on occasion going over the Manhattan Bridge but that’s it. We are now 26 days in lockdown and I am starting to forget the little things that make this city so great. The things that normal people skeeve that are just part of life for New Yorkers.
So there is a video clip that someone made of Cuomo’s speech. I encourage you to go seek it out. It is titled “NY Tough” grab a tissue it will put a tear in your eye.
There are two parts that really hit home. “You have to be smart to make it in New York“ The Second part is equally strong “And because we are New York Tough. We are tough, you have to be tough. This place makes tough. But it makes you tough in a good way. We are going to make it because I love New York. And I love New York. Because New York loves me. New York loves all of you. Black and White, Brown and Asian, Short and Tall, gay and straight. New York loves everyone. That is why I love new York.” Incidentally Maria informed me that I got my New York Pin so I guess I got that going for me.
So I put on my reporter hat and asked a bunch of my fellow New Yorkers (via email, text, Instagram) a question – “Once we get out of this what is the one thing you are going to do?” I will start off;
Carbunkle Trumpet – I plan on sitting with the old Chooch’s at the Cigar Inn on Second Avenue and smoke an Arturo Fuente Opus X ($75 a stick) hell I may smoke two of them at the same time! I might even debate the Chooch’s about Trump. (highly discouraged as they are all red hat wearers)
The Notorious N “M’effin” G – Make a reservation at Carbone and have every single person I have ever met over to my apartment to pre-game.
The work wife (The international one) – I am going to day drink by the pool or beach with no social distancing and then go out to eat every night for weeks because I am already tired of cooking every single meal.
My Cubical Roomate in the West Village – See my friends and do whatever we can as a group. Oh and join you on Second Avenue too!
My Haitian Brother from another Mother not wishing to be from PA – Talking to everyone on the Train at Grand Central and having lunch with my work brothers and sister at Sophies and Blue Smoke and drive the kids to school. (he has 2 young ones and a wife that works in a medical lab – make sure you pour one for him)
Tarheel M(squared) – Drink an overpriced iced latte on my way to boozy brunch in the East Village then day drinking all day!
Shawneen from Middle Village – I am going to visit my family and hug and kiss them with no fear!
M(Squared) the former work wife (the domestic one) – Response pending
The Cruise Queen – Going to a nice restaurant after I get my hair done.
Geranium’s Work Wife – I am going to head down to Paddy McGown’s Pub drink buckets of Busch Light cans with friends and sing along (way out of key) to all our favorite songs on Touch Tunes.
Don Bruni – I am going to hop on a plane and hit an island somewhere. Work phone in a lock box in my bedroom.
The Credit Queen – I am going to NEVER again get pressured into buying ginormous amounts of toilet paper. Drink more prosecco, pay attention – really pay attention at Mass.
Bikinisareforever – Yankees Game
Asian Fireman – Going to the Rambling House for a proper pint of Guinness.
AB the LSU Tiger Fan – Go to Nat Sherman for 2 Metropolitan Host Maduro Hyde and smoke it in Bryant Park while enjoying a few 24oz Ice Cold Corona Mortar shells and polish off a few dirty dishwater dogs. YOU CAN ALMOST HEAR HIS ACCENT WHEN YOU READ THIS.
Bobcat – Peter Lugar Steakhouse in Brooklyn and see her sister
The Professor – Swing by 773 Dive Bar, Palace Dive Bar, Connie O’s Dive Bar and Call Box (yep you guessed it another dive bar)
Homeless Tim – Fried Chicken at TAK Room and sit down and eat it properly. *he got that for Takeout when he fled the city for CT*
Lady Barrister Murphrank – Commissioner, Fausto, Osteria Morini (Italian Joint in the City) as that was the last place she ate before the city went on pause.
Mr 3 First Names – A repeat Trip up 5th Avenue (its a FDNY Pipe’s and Drums band thing)
AV The Russian – Take the subway anywhere and have a nice boozy brunch outside at a restaurant while touching every single person I see.
AV’s Momma – After I give my daughter an unending hug and shed some tears, Ima getting a huge juicy burger and eat it down by Battery Park across from the Statue of Liberty. I LOVE THIS ONE
Flynn Shady – Drinks at Down The Hatch in Greenwich Village and a slice of pizza at Joe’s,
PC the Memphis Fan – Queens Comfort in Astoria and get rousingly drunk at hip hop brunch then walk it off along the East River.
The Cousin – A Bouie UES Brunch at Penrose with my girls!!!!!!
UWS Holly – Well it won’t be ‘go see Hamilton’ because her tickets are for May 30th. She will go to the 105th street dog run with the Ellington in the park outdoor café.
Maria – Bloody steak at Peter Lugar in Brooklyn
Gumata Jennie – Joining Maria for that Steak
Rhino – A great meal from Maria and Inga
LJZ – Stupid Expensive Cocktails on the roof of the Peninsula then sipping champagne at Tiffany’s with her personal shopper.
F from Z(squared) – Playing Dominos at the Ear Inn and drinks at Oceana.
JP on the Island of Long – Head to the Gym then Beach. I’ll be in a NY state of Mind.
Tay-Tay – Mani/Pedi, then a Swedish Massage and flying down to Florida ASAP for the Big 3-0!
Vivian Longstreet – Raoul’s – having a martini at the bar served by Franko then I’m having dinner in a booth. I will start with 6 raw oysters, then steak au Poivre and finally the profiteroles.
Ty Middelton – Go to my Tailor and pick up the Rick Owens Suit I had altered. Then head over to Caviar Russe for Vodka and Caviar.
Ty Webb on The Price is Right – Response Pending
Name Withheld to protect the innocent – JG Mellon’s in the UES for a bloody Mary, Bowl of Chili and a Burger.
The Bartender – I am going to hug the F Train!
San Pedro Scoop – Murray’s Bagels for a Sesame with Lox or Maple Walnut Cream Cheese naturally Untoasted
Brizzyc – Wants to go to Kettle of Fish for a Packers Game! I miss being with FANS!
Grantmeaccess – Anything to do with Beer!
Mary Louise Geranium – Find a Gospel Brunch and ride the Q Train into the city to see her chiropractor.
Steve from Flushing – Aquaduct and then maybe Belmont.
The Bookie – I am going to go to one of my favorite Alphabet City Dive Bars, walk in the men’s room and if it doesn’t smell like it used to I am going to be pissed!
QBall from Tudor City – I am going to Old Town Tavern sit at the bar and bitch to John (the Bartender) about how the Mets completely fucking Suck!
Kate the Dog Sitter – I am going to my favorite restaurant Coppola’s with my grandma!
Constantine – “I am going to walk into Mt. Sinai hospital and I am going to hug every nurse, doctor and employee”
Mr. Clean – I am going to cherish the following 6 words – “Stand Clear Of The Closing Doors!”
DRS (Former Work Momma) – I plan on seeing my mother, and head to the beach.
Thanks to all those who played along. I had fun putting this out.
A couple of weeks back I kept on seeing posts about it being cold by my friends in Belize. Scoop had posted that she was freezing to which I responded that she was number one. Mind you it was a ball shrinking 30 degrees in Manhattan and we were getting some snow/sleet and it was miserable. She fessed up that she was in sweat pants.
Now before I really piss off everyone on Ambergris Caye I guess I better come clean. I too have been on the island during a ‘cold’ front and have even donned a light jacket. Mind you I was still wearing shorts and if you think for one second I had socks on under my flip flops…..awe hell no. To my buddies down there I get it, when you are used to temps in the 80’s & 90’s anything cooler and you are cold.
It all comes to what you are conditioned and used to. Back when we lived in Memphis during those lovely high humidity summers it wasn’t a big deal for us to vacation down in New Orleans during Swamp Ass summers. We moved up here and sure I am not thrilled about Nor’easters but we have gotten used to ‘brick’ cold days.
I recall when Florita A. would come to Memphis as a kid. The only time I would ever see her wearing socks was when she came to see us. Naturally she would get a summer cold and we would have to take her to the pediatrician but I get it. She wasn’t used to Southern Summer Air Conditioning going 24/7. Now she lives in Colorado and I bet her little ass is wearing more than socks!
I used to wonder what was up with Kitty and LuLu when we would meet up with them at Dale Hollow Lake. Here we are on the boat, the sun is shining and both of them are wearing bathing suits and sweat shirts. Once you get used to a climate your body acclimates to it.
So I will let it slide this time San Pedro, but I will still call you wimps when the temps get below 80.
So here is to hope that you guys down in San Pedro get a real snow storm or temps in the mid to low 60’s.
On the back of the door in our apartment we have one of those old school calendars. We use it for scheduling shit and to make sure that we keep the dog alive with our schedules. I took a look at it this morning as I was getting the Black Eyed Peas and Greens on the stove and here is what we had to show for with Trips;
Geranium was away 151 days in 2019. Mind you 31 of those days were when she was in Switzerland/France. That actually made us both appreciate our time together more and take stock in our relationship which made it stronger.
We saw Elton John and his Farewell Tour at The Barclays
Got to experience The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. That was a killer event.
While Geranium was away Mr. 3 First Names & Lady Lawyer and I went to see Jose Andres at his book signing.
Got our Southern Redneck on thanks to BK and saw Hank Jr and Skynrd at Forrest Hills.
Rang in the New Year at the Barclays Center with The Strokes.
Oh and we had dinner at Per Se too.
And so that I am not a complete prick I am going to end this list that we also did some horse gambling at Aquaduct Race Track.
Regarding Trips Away, I am kind of embarrassed to divulge this to you dozen readers. I mean this list is somewhat obscene. Mind you we were able to take advantage of Geranium’s international trips and my ability to fly stand by.
Hung with PNG Mike, Ellie & JD in London and watched 6 Nations Rugby with them.
Visited Northwest Arkansas for Family Christmas
Made a trip Upstate with Vivian and Stone
Made warm weather trips to; Cancun, Belize, Fort Meyers, Gulf Shores, and Dale Hollow Lake.
Went over to Philly for a BBQ at Pepe’s house.
Got to experience Barcelona for the First Time. (Got to go back)
I did 48 hours in Switzerland to see Geranium and imagine that..it was raining!
Made it to Memphis for Thanksgiving and for a work trip in September.
Got to eat some low country cooking with the ChoHo’s in Charleston South Carolina.
All in all it was a good year for us for doing the fun shit. Granted I wondered why our bank account has been low but now I know why I haven’t been able to see my feet in months.
It was a good time for trips and shit that we saw in 2019.
Happy Monday Folks! And don’t let your eyes fool you. You are actually reading a past weekend post on a Monday. Like I said last week, Geranium is away all week and I got left alone on Sunday afternoon. Also The Murphranks were out of town so instead of having some Sunday Funday I worked on this worthless Dribble.
This past Friday Vivian coordinated a field trip on the Circle Line Boat Tour for the WFUV Disco Boat Cruise. Or as My (former) Work Wife (The Domestic One) said to me; “Oh you are on a booze cruise.” This past Friday we had bonus because not only was it a Friday the 13th but it also was a Harvest Moon. Let me tell you. Seeing a full Moon on the Hudson and East River….it Fucking Rocked.
Now while we were snapping pictures I couldn’t help but notice how sharp and clear the pictures on Della Forte’s Samsung foam. I realized right then that I would ask her to send me some pictures so I promptly put my phone away and decided to drink cold beer instead.
Here are some great pictures from Friday Night.
Have a good week and be nice to each other. Except for Brett Kavanaugh. He is a rapist and should be put in shackles. Debate me on this. I dare you.