Anthony Bourdain is my boy

Living in New York – Shit we take for Granted

Back when we had Love Bug visiting us you take things for granted living up here. Naturally seeing the expressions on someone who has never visited New York affirms our decision to move up here. The other day I was talking to someone and I was telling them that I use Jet.com to get my household supplies rather than shopping for them. They asked me why I don’t just swing by Target or the store and get my Toilet Paper. I told them that I didn’t like carrying that stuff 5 blocks. I could immediately sense that the hamster wheel was spinning but the hamster was dead.

When Love Bug was here I made note of a couple things and jotted them down. A couple days later I was looking on Instagram and I noticed former Memphian @Brizzyc post a pic of her husband making wine. The making of the wine didn’t really seem that odd to me but the fact that this was being done in the bathroom did. Her husband was sitting on the “closed” toilet seat using a drill to stir the contents but in the background was a chest freezer. You see folks, space up here is at a premium. The simple fact that they have a freezer in their shitter tells me that the probably have some other unique storage that we probably do also.

  • Closet Space is a such a premium that you don’t expect for your luggage to be empty. Normally it is full of out of season clothes.
  • Yes we spend north $4.75 of a square foot to have the opportunity to live in New York/New Jersey. Oh and you can kiss your ass if you think you can get a garbage disposal or non-hotel style air conditioner.
  • Why lug your groceries/dry cleaning/booze/laundry detergent when you can have someone deliver it for you? I can recall when Theo’s momma was all happy when she could get her booze delivered to her back in Memphis. God bless Astor’s Wine & Spirits for delivering Mary Louise’s “maintenance” wine for 3 years now.
  • The last time I have driven in Manhattan was on August 5, 2015 and that was to empty the UHall truck and then promptly dropped off said truck in Long Island City. Nope I don’t miss it at all! I take cabs and Ubers when I want to ‘spoil’ myself or are too drunk for the subway.
  • Regarding Subways and Mass Transit – Avoid the empty subway car at all costs. Also it is best to let sleeping people lie. It isn’t your fault if the person sleeping off their night of cheap drinks has been to Coney Island and E96th Street 5 times. That is on them.
  • Do not text and walk on the New York city Streets – DO YOU FUCKING HEAR ME KATIE/LIL GENERAL? This takes some self discipline because even Love Bug was struggling with this when she was taking pictures. Seriously you will run into something/someone and may get yelled at.
  • Street Meat is very good and is encouraged to eat at all times – Man I miss Anthony Bourdain! His show on Queens and the food culture is recorded on Tivo and I am planning on making a trip one of these days when GrainBin Girl comes up here. When I took Love Bug to the Hallal boys she couldn’t believe that such good food came from a food cart.
  • When they say it is going to rain and “be a washout” or my next favorite word “Nor’easter” do yourself a favor and try to stay home. Those two words can strike fear into many a New Yorker. It sucks and having to walk around in that shit really sucks.
  • Whenever you can – stop and take a look at the view.
  • Upside to living in a city that has 3 large airports – Taking a Non-Direct flight is for suckers!
  • The cost of a glass of wine can run about $14.00 and a Budlight can run north of $6.00. You do a lot of home drinking/Subway Coffee cups.

IMG_4174

Got to love those guys

IMG_3995

Naturally this is at Franklin Street

IMG_3811

The View It Doesn’t Suck

IMG_3429

Atop the Metropolitan Museum

38R

Current Living Arrangement

Have a good one!

Advertisements

Strike up the Band We have lived on these Rocks for 3 years!

Wow! Another Year has come to pass and yet here I am still banging away on this laptop. I celebrate this milestone because I haven’t gotten hit by that crosstown bus or fallen ass over teacup down a bilco door. Sadly, I celebrate this 3rd birthday solo while right now Mary Louise is heading on a Ferry to another island down in Mexico with the MoHo’s. No I am not bitter about this one bit. I promise.

In her absence I have been writing this post in my head for a couple of days and I  have to say how humble I am that we are still plugging along in a city that could possibly eat us alive. I have always said that there are two things here in The Empire State that I always run out of; time and money. This year has been a whirlwind and I can’t believe it has been 3 years from when we rolled up to 1300 First Avenue and emptied our contents into the UES. This year there have been some major changes to our lives this year and l have always said that sometimes change is good.

In the past year some of our friends have also followed suit and made moves from familiar Memphis surroundings and dipped their toe into new cities and regions. I always tell them from our experiences that right now there may be tears of uncertainty but each day and week things will normalize and level out. I still look back and say to myself that if you told me 3 years and change that I would be living in New York and love each day of it I would have told you that you are crazy as hell. I am serious when I say that this was the best thing that we have done in our adult lives. The experiences and things that we have and continue to learn about have been amazing. Much like Anthony Bourdain told us on each show was that we need to explore and try out new things. Do the uncomfortable and you will be amazed at to what you learn and it will make you a richer person internally. I still miss that fucker. His story wasn’t finished.

People still ask me how I like living here I always tell them the same response. We love it and should have done this sooner. I am in no way dogging Memphis or our friends back there but Mary Louise and I always had an ‘explorer’ gene in us that was dying to get out. New York is a strange city and has a lot of people from many different walks of life. Much like a child we are always asking questions and seeking information. You know what we found out. They may be from a different country, have a different person that believe in or vote for but we are all children playing in the same sandbox and we better find a way to get along. Call me crazy but the first thing that I ask the yellow cab driver, after I tell them *in my best New York Accent*, is where they are from and “Tell me about yourself.” People love telling their story to strangers. There is a lot of pride in those words and I cherish each and every one.

While I sit here smoking a Perdomo stinking up my work laptop I recall all the things we did. They are in no particular order include;

  • Mary Louise completes and graduates with a MBA from NYU and this better complete her higher education quest. We don’t have any fucking room in closet for a Doctoral Robe and all that crap. (I am very proud of her for this)
  • Mary Louise takes a new job and a whole bunch of new responsibilities that I don’t doubt she will do great in.
  • Made a trip to Philly and got me an authentic Cheesesteak.
  • We moved from the Upper East Side to the Gritty Hipster streets of Downtown Brooklyn. That wasn’t easy folks, oh and moving sucks here in New York City.
  • One would think that downsizing from 1300 square feet to 535 square feet would be easy but try to move to another studio that is configured differently. Thankfully Ba made a trip to Brooklyn and helped us with the move.
  • I made Senior at my work so I am now a Senior Sales Rep for selling tourists tickets on those double decker buses.
  • We made a trip to Maine for Lobster.
  • We made a trip to the Riviera Maya of Mexico for a work counterparts wedding and made a one night trip over to Isla Mujeres in December.
  • Made a trip back home for Christmas and got to see our friends and family.
  • Had to check in on Kitty down in Belize in February and to get warmed up from the 4 Nor’easters we had this past winter.
  • Were honored to become Godparents for Willimena in April and now have another one who will possibly wipe our asses when we get older.
  • Reconnected with Vivian Longstreet and Stone and enjoyed a great weekend with them Upstate.
  • Had to make yet another trip to Mexico and insure that RJ and Mallory didn’t have tres children. (still unknown but we will see in 9 months if that was a success)
  • Mary Louise made a trip to The Hamptons while I smoked meat on Katonah Avenue in the Bronx.
  • Mary Louise currently is down in Mexico right now with the MoHo’s and will return on Monday.

Yep we had a blast on this island and on a couple other islands. Rather than collect stuff we have decided to collect memories and passport stamps. I am nearing 1000 words and will end with a quote that I always love. “Travel is the only thing that you buy that makes you richer”

IMG_2489Much like Black Eyed Peas and Greens on New Years day if you celebrate New Years eve wearing a Bowler hat you will have good luck. *taken 2 blocks from Times Square on NYE

IMG_1883New York Food and Wine Festival Event

IMG_1641Pipes and Drums Prom. Who knew that Mary Louise and Lady Barrister wore the same color dress.

IMG_0059Madison Square Garden Event – here Mary Louise is saying “W.T.C.B.F. Carbunkle Trumpet, LZ goes to all the good shows and you take my ass to a Collegiate Hockey match? You better step up your game and start bogarting the good tickets too!”

IMG_2151Funny I don’t hear her bitching about this one. Aboard the USS Intrepid for the Marine Corp’s Birthday Celebration

IMG_3427Willimena is going to be a handful I can already tell.

IMG_4024 (1)Who has 2 thumbs and completes her MBA from NYU in 2 years while working full time and interviews for a new job. This one! Seriously though. This is it for higher level education.

IMG_2821Right before we move out of the UES they open a bonafide Queso Mexican Restaurant Joint and we find a great Cajun place too! Thank God we have the Q Train!

IMG_3128Boerum Hill is pretty cool. If you walk across the street from our joint you are in Boerum Hill neighborhood. If you make a left and walk across Flatbush you are in Fort Greene. You walk 3 more blocks and you are in Park Slope. Confused yet?

IMG_1262So glad to see Kitty when she made a trip up to the Big Apple.

IMG_0501This is the face of a woman who is about to walk out into a friggin Northeast Nor’easter. 50 MPH Winds with below windchill temps and Snow. I ‘worked from home’ that day!

IMG_8491And here was the first pic when we moved in. 3 years later and we are still here and I may or may not be a liberal democrat.

Thanks for reading and for following this worthless dribble. Now pull that band-aid off and go out and make yourself richer and happy 3rd Anniversary to us!

A trip to a Dive Bar – Franks Lounge in Fort Greene

I have been remiss as of late for not posting any of the great dive bars that we have been visiting. Granted The Royal Palms is a Classic but we have been finding some great bars in our vicinity.  Even the Murphranks remarked “You guys are doing some great re-con work” because we found a great one a couple of weeks back.

Across Flatbush Avenue is the Fort Greene neighborhood. It is home to one our favorite bagel shops and has a couple great Mexican joints that we have frequented. On my weekend walks to the bagel joint is an establishment that always catches my eye by the name of Franks Lounge. On Sunday we decided to swing by and have some beers. The bar is old school and naturally “Cash Only” but the decoration is defiantly stuck in the 80’s.

IMG_3709Yep Little Sister and Axl – This joint is older than you are!

IMG_3706Mary Louise was somewhat disappointed that she couldn’t order her fancy wine so she settled for a Bud Light.

IMG_3704Not sure about the ceiling but this joint had a certain flair to it. Kinda reminds us of Jimmy’s Corner meets Raifords

IMG_3703The bar was open that Sunday afternoon. God love the old school bars

IMG_3708Got to love the memorial

I need to swing by Hank’s and bring my camera. That is another one!

In Memoriam – Anthony Bourdain

We all can recall what we were doing when we found out when Elvis Died. How about when we found out that Princess Diana was killed in the car crash. What about John-John Kennedy when he and his wife were killed in the plane crash? Well this past Friday I know what I was doing when I found out that Anthony Bourdain died. It was as I was getting ready to head out the door to head into the city and I got that text from my fellow chef stalker GrainBinGirl. 5 minutes later I got a text from Pepe with the same information.

First thoughts were – No way, not Bourdain. I clicked on the CNN link and the worst was confirmed. If you have ever read this worthless dribble of a blog you know that I have huge ass man crush on Bourdain. His writing, his stories, his love of exploring different cultures and naturally his love of food and drink were things that I envied. I read all of his books cover to cover. I binge watched No Reservations, The Layover, and Parts Unknown ad nauseum. When he went on tour I bought the damn tickets. Like I said, I loved that man and wanted to be just like him.

Now he is gone and a huge hole is in the hearts of millions of people and his fans. I have read pretty much every tribute to him. Watched the CNN memoriam and it still is unbelievable that I won’t ever get a chance to drink a beer with him in one of the many dive bars here in the city. Much less watch him visit my hometown, do a show on it and probably say something that will probably piss off half of twitter. KC Jayhawk was very bitter when he did the show on Kansas City.

While reading some of the comments on twitter I recall someone saying that the best way to honor Bourdain was to act like him. Go visit an unfamiliar place, order something that you have never tried before, and ask a complete stranger about their life. I know that Tony probably didn’t agree with everyone that he met along his journey but he respected them, he got to hear their side of the story and he grew from it. This is what made his shows so fucking good.

IMG_3380Never in a million years would I imagine that I would see this tribute on “the pass” at Per Se.

IMG_3393I don’t know why I made it a point to swing by the shuttered Les Halles yesterday but I had to. Deep down I know that this probably pisses Bourdain off because he wasn’t a fan of fame but people need closure.

IMG_3394To read some of the notes is a testament to how much he was loved by all walks of life, cultures and people.

IMG_3395I could have spent hours reading these but the crowd was rather large today.

IMG_3396Lots of flowers and cards

IMG_3398It is impressive to say the least. Like Graceland or Morrison’s grave impressive

IMG_3399Puts a smile on my face seeing this tribute

IMG_3401All kinds of stuff being left for his memorial

This one is going to hurt for a while. Condolences to his family, his friends and his fans.

Pictures from the Week

As we close out the week with yet again shitty cold weather I think back to when it wasn’t ball shrinking cold here and there were leaves on trees and such. Is it obvious that we are growing weary of Ole Man Winter? Daily I cure RAB’s name for calling Mother Nature a crack whore because this is for the birds.

IMG_2899Who ever heard of Opening Day getting Snowed Out? It has happened twice since moving up here.

IMG_2885Made a trip to Patrizia’s during Holy Week.

IMG_2886See I had my recommended daily allowance of Fruit!

IMG_2884Took the College Kids to a Burger Joint in a Hotel. I think they were impressed

 

IMG_2911If I had known that this joker were in town I would have met up with him for a drink. One of these days I am going to sit down with him and drink some Vodka!

IMG_2879Was able to grab a Pastrami the other day since these guys weren’t closed for Passover

IMG_2866Nobody notices that you are doing the walk of shame lady! You hold that head high with your smudged make up and your dignity wadded up in your purse.

Have a good weekend!

New York City Wine and Food Festival – Pigs and Pints

CBT was lucky enough to score some tickets to Robert Irvine’s “Pigs and Pints” event at The Standard Hotel’s Biergarden. This event is your basic Zoo Rendezvous where 12 local chefs showcase one of their Pig Inspired dishes. Oh yeah there was Wine, Bourbon and Beer too!

I was somewhat luke warm with Robert Irivine being the host because I don’t really know much about him. That and let’s be honest, he ain’t effin Giada! That quickly changed once we got into the venue which is conveniently located below the High Line. As one can imagine 700 folks all heading to the bar and food tables creates a little bottleneck. We were waiting to get Pork Poutine from Robert Irvine’s Public House and there was a woman in front of us who was trying to ask the chefs foodie questions. Robert turned around from taking pictures and yelled at this woman “It is real simple lady, quit looking at it, grab a plate and move on!” Needless to say the woman wasn’t thrilled but “Bless her heart” if you can’t figure out Cheese Curds, BBQ and Tater Tots then maybe you need to rethink life. Oh and Robert’s wife is smoking hot too!

Most interesting  versions that we ate;

  • Robert Irvine’s Public House’s BBQ Poutine – who doesn’t love cheese and fries?
  • Ricardo Barreras’ Pillar Cuban Eatery- Pulled on site whole hog with Potato Salad and Cuban Rice. And naturally the crispy skin too!
  • Joe LoNigro’s Otto’s Tacos – The taco was so-so but the green verde sauce on it was a unique taste.
  • Brian Ray’s Buddakan – They did a BBQ Dumpling that was the Bomb! It needed some more seasoning but it was good.
  • Hugh Mangum’s Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque – he was doing sandwiches that was pretty good
  • Leah Cohen’s Piggy Back Bar in Jersey City – they did an Asian flavored rib that was pretty good. Hey @Brizzyc you need to try this joint out if you haven’t tried it yet.

IMG_1902These will be going up on the wall soon!

IMG_1875Robert Irvine entertaining guests. Dude is on the road 150+ days

IMG_1874Yeah, they chop the pork so what! They should have seasoned the pork with a dry rub.

IMG_1876Trust me when I say that this crowd pic was early on in the evening. It was packed

IMG_1877Poutine Station by Robert Irvine’s Public House – we found a quiet place next to them.

IMG_1878Oh I bet the PETA people will not be happy. Or the Kosher folks either!

IMG_1879You want a Taco or you want to take pictures?

IMG_1883It was a fun party!

Hope you had a good weekend!

The Mother of all Eye-Talian Festivals – San Gennaro Festival

Go ahead and make your snide comment why don’t you. I get it all the time; You look Irish, sound like you are from Texas but you have vowel at the end of your last name so you are Eye-Talian? If you are a New York Italian and grew up here you probably have a San Gennaro Festival story of some sort. Even with the shrinking Little Italy this festival is everything that you dream about.

The festival is a celebration of Faith to the Patron Saint of Naples, Italy and is a festive atmosphere with tons of food, and religions processions. It also is a fundraiser for the Figli di San Gennaro the not for profit organization that gives  to neighborhood schools, parishes and other charities. TRANSATION – You eat and drink a little too much but it is ok because it helps the kids, capiche?

Mrs. Trumpet and I headed down there on Saturday afternoon after my trip to the grocery store and as expected, it was asshole to elbow. The main part of the festival is on Mulberry street so the local businesses and restaurants put out tents to allow patrons to purchase food or drink. With the tents and the people, it is mobbed (see what I did there KLC Man and RMT?)  so we ducked into a local bar on Spring street to have a rest and beer. Oh and yes, I tried a couple dishes and even Mrs. Trumpet got her a corn dog that unfortunately, wasn’t very good. A good time was had by all!

IMG_1721But before we start with the pictures, let’s take a selfie like the kids do.

IMG_1710For any Fundraiser you got to have rides for the kids. Thankfully we left the Little Bastid at home so we had beer money instead.

IMG_1711Little Man riding the Jumping Star was a hoot, he was having the best time and was commanding a good audience too!

IMG_1712The Bracciole they make up here isn’t like I was used to from the Giovanni’s days.

IMG_1713Trust me when I say it was way more crowded than this picture lets on.

IMG_1714Toasted Rav – I have had better but hey one has to eat something right?

IMG_1716I bet that you can get a decent line on the Notre Dame game in here.

IMG_1717You get a free pass if you drink at a Church event.

IMG_1719We were in search of a clean bathroom and cold beer

IMG_1718No it isn’t a Bud Light, you have to go Native down in Little Italy and have a Peroni

IMG_1723No Jackass we aren’t taking a pic of you, we are taking a pic of the meat in tube form on a stick.

IMG_1722S/O to my work Wife

IMG_1726Since we were good and gave to the church we decided to head over to Milano’s Bar on Houston Street for some Bud Light. That and “I know a guy” who used to own it too!

IMG_1728Classic New York drink – Beer and a shot

Not a bad way to spend a Saturday

 

 

Closed until further notice

You read about it all the time up here. “After X years of faithful business we regret to inform you that we are closing.” I am fully aware that the margin to operate a restaurant is razor thin. You have the pressure to have a consistent menu, a decent wine list, servers that won’t sabotage you, and bartenders who won’t rob you. Then you have to worry about the health department scores and if you are a fancy restaurant those pesky Michelin Star ratings can make one a tad crazy. But now you have to worry about rent that can go in upwards of 60K a month depending on your location. Yes I said 60K, that is rent for one of the mega chain restaurants in Times Square.

The other day I read where Philippe Lanjaunie closed the downtown Les Halles restaurant where Anthony Bourdain got his fame. He closed the one on Park Avenue about a year and a half claiming soaring rent. I looked up some stats and the cost of running a restaurant in New York as compared to in LA and it was shocking;

  • Rent in New York costs roughly $120 a square foot as compared to $52 a square foot in LA.
  • Produce and Meat is more expensive here in Manhattan as owners of restaurants in both LA and NYC say that it is 44 percent less to operate in California.
  • Hiring staff is a bear here in NYC, the average salary for a cook in NYC is about $30K where in LA it is about $25K. With minimum wage going up you can expect margins to go even tighter.

IMG_1272I know that GrainBin Girl died a little the day that this sucker shut their doors.

10583294_GYou would be surprised how many of these you see up here.

Bottom Line – Go out and eat Local. Tip your server and send back a $20 for the dishwasher too!

 

 

 

 

Pictures from the Week

These pics are in no particular order. Have a good weekend.

IMG_1449Why Hello Jeffrey the Husband of Barefoot Contessa. Yep Grainbin Girl is now really going to hate me!

IMG_1400So when you don’t wash your hair for at least a year this is what happens to you.

IMG_1457I am so with this! They did it to me and I couldn’t walk for a year!

IMG_1414I bet that this would be great at the Board Meetings in South Bluffs

IMG_1408Picked up a 36’r for the trip home from the Bronx.

Have a good weekend folks. Be nice to each other!

Q – What Does 2 years ago CBT and “The Mooch” have in common?

Editors Note – Yes, I am delving into the political genre. You know that it violates my code of discussing the Taboo 5 topics (Religion, Politics, Current Events, Gun Control, & Birth Control) but this is too good not to pass up. 

The answer you ask? 2 years ago Carbunkle Trumpet was without a job much like The Mooch but hell, At least the Mooch has a car to drive around town! I know cheap shot but hey you have to laugh to keep from crying. One of the things that I actually enjoy on Facebook is the tab “On this day” as I like to look back on stuff that I either posted or people posted on my page. Two years ago yesterday I was reminded that I left my position at HW/AMF and promptly after leaving Tully Street I turned in my Jeep so not only was I jobless I didn’t’ even have a damn car to drive. Talk about taking a plunge!

I plan on posting later this week a look back being that this Saturday will mark 2 years of living here in Gotham. This time 2 years ago I think that I was trying to hide my fears of walking close to the edge by having one last “Board Meeting” with RJ, Mal-O-Rie, Lisa Marie, Double Birds, KS, and some others. Again I want to thank Ernie Mellor the owner and head Pitmaster and his wife Lynn for the opportunity to work with a bunch of great people at Hog Wild/A Moveable Fest Catering Company. That is a class organization and I am a better person for working with such an eclectic staff. Love you guys!

Back to Normal Banter – This past weekend we celebrated the start of Restaurant Week/Month. We had dinner at Boulud Sud with the Murphranks and enjoyed many drinks afterwards at our Per Se drinking establishment. Dinner was killer on Friday night so Saturday we kept pretty quiet and hung out at the house considering it was overcast and dreary. Sunday we met up with the old Neighbor and her husband and ended up having dinner at Hearth with Maria and Bad Back Bill. 

Mrs. Trumpet got to mark down that she saw another celebrity. Walking back from drinks with the Neighbor and Husband we strolled down Madison Avenue and saw Rod Stewart having lunch with his wife Penny Lancaster on the street at Nello. We walked by and I had to point him out to Mrs. Trumpet but she now can say she has seen Al Roker, Larry David and now Rod Stewart. Not too shabby on a Sunday if you ask me.

IMG_1390What am I? I am a Christmas Tree because I am lit! Well not so much lit but tired from 2 days of seeing bands at CitiField.

IMG_1384You know me, I don’t like to take pictures of plated food. I think that JAM Foodie was snapping pics of plates so go peruse her Instagram account.

rod_stewart_2015Didn’t want to be “That Guy” and take a pic of Rod having lunch because that is tacky. That and the big ass bodyguard who was standing right by the table made us think twice.

IMG_1385Anybody need any Hay for a Wedding Prop? There was some on E86th Street.

Have a good day and try to stay cool!