Anthony Bourdain is my boy

Get Up Boys, We Are Going To Dine At An Epicurean Institution!

So I returned from The Redneck Riviera the other night. The trip was fun and it was great spending time with family and seeing some friends while in LA (Lower Alabama). One morning I awoke and decided that it was time to broaden the gastric horizon of my two nephews. I slapped them on the leg as they lay on the couch and told them to get dressed as we were going to have breakfast. One of the nephews wasn’t sure what the hell I was talking about but they both agreed since I told them that they didn’t have a choice.

Now you have heard my past foodie exploits here in New York; Dinner at Per Se (twice), Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Peter Lugar (twice), and a number of other great eating establishments. Now sadly New York does not have the Gastric destination that you can find everywhere south of the Mason Dixson line (or I haven’t found it yet) that is pretty much a staple in the Gulf Coast. The destination that I speak of you ask…..Mudda Effin Waffle House!

One cannot become a food snob without a deep admiration for the Waffle House. I mean just look at the cult classic move “Tin Cup”;

Molly: I’ve got money from the bet. Let’s go somewhere fancy and celebrate.
Roy: There’s nothing to celebrate. Besides, these are my people. I’m a Waffle House guy. Got to stay in touch with that.

Who can’t argue with that logic? I mean they serve Waffles, Eggs, and have a secret code for ordering hash browns. So I take the boys for Waffles and naturally I take control and order some Pecan Waffles for the table as an appetizer. They look at me like I have 3 heads. I order my breakfast of 2 eggs medium, side of bacon, toast, hash browns scattered, smothered and DOUBLE covered for my entrée. Shout out to the Neighbor on telling me about double covered (extra cheese) on my hashbrowns.  Naturally I can’t leave the table without a proper dessert so I order a big ole glass of Ice Cold Whole Milk.

*Pro Tip – It helps having 2 teenagers with you so you don’t look like the gluttonous pig that you really are because they only ordered simple breakfasts.

maxresdefaultYou have to appreciate that Bourdain ate at a Waffle House

IMG_1289I mean who doesn’t love a menu that also doubles as your placemat

IMG_1290I have no shame, I ate the entire effin meal!

 Have a good one and if you are near a Waffle House swing by and pour some syrup out for those who can’t eat there.

If you need Spices, Seasonings, Herbs, Salts, and Goo then visit Kalustyan’s Market on Lex

A while back I was with one of my cohorts selling tour bus tickets to the tourists. He is a native New Yorker and were discussing the difference between Southern and Northern food. He told me that some New Yorkers think that Southern food can be too spicy and even went so far to tell me that even some New Yorkers think that Ketchup is too spicy. (If you hail from south of the Mason Dixson line and are reading this and wondering if I am fucking with you, I promise that I am not!) He told me that he was getting into hot sauces and found a great one from Belize called Marie Sharp. My ears perked up saying that I was familiar with this brand and asked where he picked some up here in Manhattan. He gave me the address of a place on Lex at E28th Street in the Indian section of Murray Hill.

This past weekend I ventured out in the rain and cold to acquire some Marie Sharp since the bottle we got on our last trip to Belize ran out. Ironic that it was almost one year to the date but needless to say I had to get some more hot sauce. I find Kalustyan’s on Lexington and make my way into this sprawling joint. This place is probably 3 storefronts because you walk into different rooms with shelves of all kinds of different spices, seasonings, marinades, and stuff I have no idea what is in a bottle. I find the Hot Sauce section and pick up my Marie Sharp and was amazed that everything was well before the expiration date. This is a common problem I find when someone has a huge variety of Hot Sauce because they can’t get good rotation on everything.

I am standing there and one of the managers comes up to me and we start talking about the store. She tells me that they do more spice and seasoning business for restaurants here in Manhattan than anyone. They get daily shipments in from different purveyors to make sure what they have on the shelf is fresh and listen to their customers. We started talking about the Marie Sharps and she told me that it is one of their better sellers for Latin American restaurants and for Belizeans living in New York. I explain to her my history with the country and how I am always trying different things. She recommends their Spice and Herb book and shows me a couple tricks that you can do in the kitchen to create different flavors. I agree and pay cash for everything. Typical New York Establishment, you can use a card but Cash is King and you get better discounts.

IMG_0580Some of these hot sauces were pretty funny. I stuck with what I knew. Marie Sharps

IMG_0581Need Pink Salt in Bulk? The square on the right is 16X16

IMG_0583Yep, I made some Eggs the next morning and lit it up!

That was it for pictures as they Manager told me that they prefer that people don’t take pictures. I respect that but I will be back!

 

“You mean to tell me that you don’t have sweet tea” sponsored by Lipitor

Hope everyone had a great weekend. We sure as shit did and thankfully my dress pants still fit me as I slipped them on this morning. I am starting to get some hate mail as of late because of our Gastronomic Dining Experiences. This past weekend we checked another one off the list by dining at “The House” as it is known to the food snobs. For those of you wondering, we dined at the James Beard House.

The James Beard House and James Beard Awards are considered the Oscars for the young inspiring chefs. Granted there are a couple of different opinions on the house and the ‘visiting chefs’. I am not going to get into that but bottom line you do raise some money for a charity so at least you can feel somewhat good about yourself as you get stewed drunk in Chelsea. It has always been on my list so when LZ texted me asking if we wanted to go, we were on board. Naturally this was so far in advance I don’t think they had the schedule out so it was a crap shoot. I did inquire after we plunked down the cash for the tickets and was told that it was called “Art Meets Food Meets Sherry.” My first thought was “Oh Fuck, LZ has gotten me roped into one of those put on your bowtie but order a pizza afterwards because you are going to be hungry meals.” I did rock a bowtie and the food was substantial and I was getting excited to try what Chris Curren from Fulton Market Kitchen in Chicago had to offer. The menu was paired with Spanish Sherry from Antonio Flores and even though I am not a big fan of Sherry, it was a great pairing.

Now I have known some great friends and chefs who have cooked in the Beard House so we were excited to try this and see what it was all about. The house, yep it is really his house, is still preserved as it was when James Beard was alive. You dine on the second floor and although it is a little tight it really is a great evening. The staff is on point and busily plates and busses the silverware with ease and no interruptions. Granted you are getting crocked on high alcohol sherry but hey, why not have a little fun on a Friday night. Ok enough words, lets get down to the menu and some food pics (Ha right!)

Passed Appetizers included;

  • Oyster Shooters with Chowder emulsion and Tabasco
  • Foie Gras PB&J with Fois Gras Mousse and Strawberry-Rosemary Jam (that one of our guests could not taste the rosemary) *I could eat this for days*
  • Smoked Trout Brandade Cromesquis with Caper Aioli
  • Lamb Tartare with Egg Yolk Jam on Grilled Sourdough
  • And Naturally Tio Pepe Cocktails

Dinner Service Started with;

  • Glazed Nichols Farm & Orchard Carrot with Honey-Whipped Goat Cheese and Smoked Pistachios
  • Squid Ink Corzetti Pasta with Baby Octopus, Pickled Pearl Onions and Bone Marrow Emulsion (My favorite)
  • Sturgeon with Smoked Celeriac Puree, Dill, and Salmon Roe (Least Favorite)
  • Venison with Pickled Wild Mushrooms, Salt Roasted Root Vegetables, Blackberries and Juniper. (melted in your mouth good)
  • Apple Cake with Salted Caramel, Pecans and Pine Ice Cream
  • Ph’s Birthday Cake!!!

Oh and there was a different Sherry Pairing with each course. Or as one of the guests at our table told us; “Be careful, they give you full portions of wine but half portions of food. If you don’t watch out you may have a hangover tomorrow…….” #bitchplease #whydoyouthinkIwork

02-17-curren-chris%20resizedChef Chris Curren of Fulton Market Kitchen in Chicago. Don’t mind the tats, the man puts out some good plates. Hey Buckley – Put this one on your list, it is good!

img_0355Here is my picture of my place setting after the first course. *CBT is not a big fan of pictures of food. Except if it is bacon, then I will always put up pictures of bacon*

img_0356This is what I like about the Beard House. The back of house staff eats the same meal that we do in-between courses. You have no idea how many times back when I was putting on the black waiter pants that I would sneak food from the line.

img_0360Every once in a while you have to put on a bowtie and go eat a fancy meal. Friday night was that night.

Again, thanks to LZ for the invite and Happy Birthday FZ. Next cigar is on me!

 

 

 

Your Chicago Cubs – World Champions

You know how long I have been wanting to type that? I will be honest, I didn’t think it would ever happen. You know how many times I have cursed the Goat, Bartman and some Cardinal Fans? On the Saturday that I went to Losers Lounge I started getting text messages from friends who were watching the game. I texted our good friend AB and asked if we could crash at her house last weekend. She was up for the challenge and we made our way to Chicago. I am going to let the pics do most of the talking but a HUGE shout out to AB for putting us up and it was great to see my favorite Mexican and her husband as well as baby “Jubo.”  I still keep checking the paper to make sure the Cubs are still World Series Champs.

img_2538Flying into O’Hare and you get it that Chicago is pumped for the Cubs.

img_2534Sunday Brunch at Shaw’s Seafood Joint. This place was legit!

img_2529We had to try the Deep Dish. Yeah I know it is corny but it has to be done. Sorta like having a dirty dishwater dog in NYC.

img_2526Saturday wasn’t the greatest day for being a Cubs fan.

img_2533View from AB’s porch. I really want a porch.

fullsizerenderShout out to Seagraves for the text on Sunday morning.

img_2536Decided to change it up on Sunday and went here to watch the game. It helped b/c we won!

buckleyAB & Mrs. CBT at a Chicago drinking establishment.

img_2528Check out the grease board on the fence. Love these guys. 1 block from Wrigley Field.

wrigleyGreat day, Great friends, Great food, shitty score of the game.

img_2527Now I know why Gurleygurl like Jack Daniels.

14907240_10154394735567107_1848897812945533200_nAint’ it pretty? #flytheW

Have a good weekend. We are busy as we have the Nephew and my mother in town this weekend. Lookout Nike Town.

 

CBT’s Helpful Hints for Tourists visiting NYC

The other day I had to head up to a client’s office in the mid 50’s at Broadway. One of my work peeps was tagging along so we were walking and chatting which can be dangerous b/c you don’t really pay attention. We were heading north on 7th Avenue and w/o thinking we walked right into the middle of Times Square. The rep looked at me and asked me “why this route?” and I told her that “Hey you got to keep in touch with the common people!” but she was right, it was crowded as hell. On our way back we took 8th Ave to avoid the crowd and it was a little bit better.

Earlier in the week I was downtown and had appointments at the NYSE, Brookfield Mall and all parts in between. I cut across the world trade center footprints and witness the security guards reminding the visitors that they should be more respectful. You could tell that the Tourists didn’t get it as they were arguing with them. The guards had no choice and kicked them out. So with that here are some friendly suggestions for anyone visiting abroad (not just New York) to that you are not labeled an Ugly American Tourists.

  • The 9/11 Memorial is a reminder of the attacks on September 11th. Please be respectful because the loss of life on US soil was enormous. I get that people don’t put one and one together but that day is a day that all New Yorkers would like to forget.
  • When visiting St. Patrick’s Cathedral please don’t wear a shirt that has the word “Fuck” on it. This is a house of worship.
  • Don’t take offense when someone runs up your back because you decided to stop on the street to look at your map.
  • When the sign says “Don’t Walk” it isn’t a suggestion it is a rule. Those yellow cabs will hit you.
  • If you decide to use one of the Citi Bikes don’t drive that sucker on the sidewalk. We have bike lanes for a reason. And don’t take an offense if Maria is cursing you and giving you “the finger”!
  • If you are in love and feel the need to hold hands as you walk down the street expect dirty looks as you are blocking the majority of the sidewalk.

IMG_1517I had nothing to do with the dumpster fire of stock market crash last Friday. I blame English Mike’s countrymen.

IMG_1521Kind of sad that they have to have this on the grounds at the 9/11 Memorial

IMG_1520This Brooks Brothers next to the Memorial was a Morgue after the attacks.

IMG_1537Stay your ass on the sidewalk until you get the “walk” signal.

Operation Ripert

You have heard me reference my fellow chef stalker AT in some previous posts. She, like me, is a foodie who is not afraid of plunking down some cash for a fancy meal. Back a couple years ago when my man crush, Anthony Bourdain, did his tour she was quick to purchase us tickets for Nashvegas and then Memphis. We attended the event and yes you probably have seen the pics of us with Bourdain in our Facebook pictures. She for the longest time was one up on me as she got to meet one of my other French Chef Gods, Eric Ripert. Well that shit changed last Wednesday.

Ripert just penned a book about his childhood and growing up to become a very young line cook in the critically acclaimed La Tour d’Argent in Paris. Here a string bean armed 17 year old cut his teeth or as I refer to it, became a man working in a French Kitchen. If you have never been a restaurant employee this next part may be a tad boring for you. When I graduated from the University I got a job as a busboy in Memphis’ acclaimed Chez Phillipe in the Peabody Hotel. The kitchen was run by Jose Gutierez who is a very well respected chef in Memphis. Jose was French, his sous chef was French, the Fish chef was Spanish, and the Garde Manager (salad & dessert chef) was from 110th street in Harlem. To say that there was some verbal abuse is an understatement. It was in this environment that I learned humility, self control and two words that I would say at least 100 times a night “Yes Chef!”  I learned how to operate under stress, how to stay focused and all the time while Chef was screaming at me “Hey Blondie, will you move your ass!”  Oh and thank God I wasn’t the worst one, poor back waiter JV took more abuse than any of us. I look back on this time as a great learning experience to become humble and learn respect. I, much like Ripert (stop laughing AT) went to work at another French Restaurant in Memphis and worked under the mad scientist Gene Bjorklund. Thankfully I got my first R.J. (Real Job) and went to working days.

Enough about me, Eric Ripert in his book, said that while working at La Tour d’Argent he cut himself, screwed up Béarnaise turning it into scrambled eggs and this was his first day too. He described it in his interview with Bon Appetite’s food editor as very hard and tested his soul to become a chef. After 2 years he then went to work for Joël Robuchon and here he learned that there was nothing short of excellence. If you want the rest of the story, go buy the damn book “32 Yolks” and read it yourself.

On Wednesday of last week I headed to Brooklyn for a book signing by Eric Ripert. The bookstore had a Q&A with Ripert and  Adam Rapoport of Bon Appetite and I have to say, it was pretty funny. Afterwards AT’s man crush signed copies of his book and since my girl AT said all she wanted was a signed copy of his book, I got her one and overnighted it to her. By the way AT, I chose not to get a pic with Ripert but did ask if he wanted to share an Uber since he lives not to far from me in the UES. He said he would have to decline because he was going to have a late dinner with his wife and son. We are going to get beers next weekend anyway.

So I guess the only last two names on my list are Paul Bocuse and Daniel Boulud and then I can move onto another genre of cuisine.  Happy Early Christmas AT! And if Eric Ripert goes missing I am sending them to your apartment in Memphis.

318771_4932146344203_660601464_nYeah, Yeah, You were first to meet him!

387911_4934076472455_1502071067_nHaven’t seen him yet but it is just a matter of time.

425789_10151349604149928_1782869171_nThis was right before AT asked Tony Bourdain “Does this napkin smell like Chloroform?”

IMG_1391Ripert and Adam Rapoport grilling each other.

IMG_1386So I got there a tad early to Dumbo in Brooklyn.

 AT – We still have our deal right? You get him, I get her right?

 

Try the Tongue!

Back when I made my first visit to New York as an adult we were here to celebrate Mrs. Trumpet’s 30th birthday. On that visit we made a trip to the Carnegie Deli on 7th Avenue. I don’t remember much about that trip but I did remember when the Woody Allen sandwich came out and was placed on our table. Literally it was 2 full sandwiches and was piled high with Pastrami and Corned Beef. When we moved up here back in August the first thing we did was make sure we ate was at a proper Jewish Deli. Yes, I went with a  pastrami, salami, and corned beef sandwich. If you have never had one of these sandwiches then you really don’t know what you are missing. We have not eaten at Carnegie since it has reopened and will probably will wait till we have someone in town and need to play tour guide. I have tried a couple of joints up here so far; Ben’s, Pastrami Queen, Barney Greengrass, and right around the corner from is Second Avenue Deli. No we have not had Russ & Daughters or Katz’s and they are on the list so lay off Maria, I can see the finger poking :).

Saturday I was at the Cigar joint and one of the guys ordered a sandwich from 2nd Avenue and it looked damn good. The wife was heading back into town from a day trip to New Jersey and I was hungry so I swung by and picked up a sandwich. While I was there they gave me a couple samples of Pastrami and Corned Beef and I knew that I was in for a treat. I get the 3 pound sandwich and make my way home. Let me put this in words that you can understand. If I had a good Jewish deli in Memphis growing up and got introduced to pastrami and corned beef that is that good, I may have become a Jew. Right now RAB is snorting coffee  through her nose.

IMG_4385All the spreads and fish for the Bagels

IMG_4386I am sure this is healty

IMG_4389You have to have a Black and White Cookie

Oy Vey they serve some good food there and they don’t screw you on the half sour pickles.

Just Call us Ina and Jeffrey

Ok, let’s get one thing straight. You ever, ever call me Jeffrey I am punching someone in the throat or kicking them in the baby maker. I will admit that when we started watching “The Barefoot Contessa” I was not a fan. That voice, the doting of “Jeffrey will love these” and all the gay dinner guests would put me on the ledge. It wasn’t till Mrs. CBT made a couple of her dishes that I turned the other cheek. I believe it was at a Live at the Garden concert that she made some artichoke salad that really was killer. The only problem with the Ina’s menus is that you need to go knock off a bank because she cooks some expensive shit! Lobster, Caviar, Frozen Artichokes (which I may add is not available in Memphis) and cheeses that I have never heard about. Even my boy Tony Bourdain poked fun at Ina’s husband on his speaking tour “Jeffrey really loves his meatloaf, if you know what I mean.” Anyway when we moved up here I knew that we would be exposed to some new foods and naturally cuisines that one would not normally get in Memphis kind of like when we watch the show.

Mrs. CBT and I keep our expenses down so that we can visit all those Dive Bars and pay for many vacations by eating 90% of our meals at home. This also keeps our weight down since we try to eat more lean meat and we watch our portions. Let me stop you before you say “Way to go CBT” because in the pantry right next to the quinoa is a package of double stuffed Oreos because CBT is a fat kid at heart. Ever since I got relieved of my cooking duties (so I use a half a pound of butter when cooking) the menus are designed by Mrs. CBT. She takes great pride in creating the menus and I get to unpack the Fresh Direct boxes. This past Monday I get the Fresh Direct order and I am looking it over where I see under produce ‘Wild Ramps’.

“Honey, what the hell are Ramps?” I inquired to Mrs. CBT.

“They are very popular up here and are in season, Ina loves to cook with them.” She informed me from the other room.

“Honey, we are just getting into the spring, what the feck plant grows in the dead of the winter except for a weed?’ then I take a look in the box and what do I see…..a bunch of weeds that we just paid $6.00 bucks for.

So Mrs. CBT sautéed them up in the skillet with some “Good Olive Oil” and brown butter (you see what I did there KLC Man) and served them with Crab Cakes and oven roasted Asparagus with Lemon Zest. Now I consider myself a true adventurer when it comes to the cuisine up here in New York City. I will try everything at least once and rarely have gotten boinked. Well I found something out my friends. I am not a fan of Wild Ramps.

IMG_0972Here is the menu for the week

IMG_0973

Here is the Fresh Direct invoice, Wild Ramps??? I bet you guys have never seen that shit at Gangsta Kroger have you!

800px-Wild_Leeks

Here it is in all its glory. A wild ramp still with the loose soil on it.

20150416-ramps-top-image

Pic on the top right is what they looked like. Sadly I didn’t get a picture of the plate.

Again, you feckers call me Jeffrey and we are going to fight!

Just look for the Pig on 9th Avenue

I have a confession to make to you. Each and every Sunday when my friends in Memphis are shuttling their kids to and from sporting events or are doing mountains of laundry Mrs. Trumpet and I are exploring a different section of Manhattan. You may be saying “big hairy deal CBT, what’s the fun in that”….well, I failed to mention that when we get into a new neighborhood we are in search of Manhattan’s better dive bars. To quote Bucket List;

“Let’s face it; dive bars are probably one of society’s accidentally-created best things ever. In reality, they’re simply neighborhood places that serve cheap drinks and have no-nonsense attitudes. These are the places that pretty much say, “don’t F*** with anyone here and everything’s fine.”

Their drinks are simple, you can be left alone to drink or talk in private, and d-bags aren’t welcome. But that’s not all there is to them. Dive bars have that something special that make you feel welcome as soon as you walk in.”

So far we have found some real gems in the West Village, East Village, Union Square, Upper East Side and in Murray Hill of all places. This past Sunday Mrs. Trumpet informed me that she wanted to ‘go west’ so we made a trip over to Hell’s Kitchen. Now to qualify a joint as a ‘dive bar’ it must meet certain criteria. You have heard me talk about Alex’s Tavern in the Crime-Free Evergreen District of Memphis and that my friends, is a classic dive bar. It meets checks all the boxes. For example;

  • Beer, cheap and Lots of it! And not all that fancy microbrew stuff, we are talking the classics here. Bonus if the carry a cheap beer on tap.
  • An excess of gaudy neon, preferably for brands of beer that are no longer available and Christmas lights are the main source of light.
  • Pictures on the walls and the décor are dated and there is probably a stuffed animal head hanging somewhere.
  • The toilet seat in the ladies room doesn’t fit the toilet and the men’s room has extra reinforcement on the stall walls. The bathrooms are graffiti covered and actually doesn’t smell of bleach and stale beer like one would think.
  • Very simple menu or none at all. Lightbulb Pizza can count as one of the food groups.
  • The ceiling either sags or is still stained brown from when smoking was legal.
  • The jukebox has at least one of these classic musicians; Georgia Satellites, Bob Segar, Lynnard Skynnard, Molly Hatchet, Allman Brothers, Kid Rock, Hank Williams Jr., Nazareth, or  Jimmy Buffet. Oh and there is fucking absolutely ZERO – Bieber on the jukebox too.
  • An aging Rock and Roll or movie star must have hung out there at some period of time back in the day. (This is Sonny, Joe is ready to be picked up now!)
  • There is a Pay Phone.
  • Happy Hour starts at 9 AM.
  • Cash only or they will accept a check. The cash register is something out of a 1950’s movie. If you write a bad check you go on the ‘shit list’ that is behind the bar for all to see.

This past Sunday momma and I made it over to 9th Avenue between 44th and 45th. Until otherwise proved wrong I think that we may have found our unicorn of Manhattan.  Ladies and Gentlemen I give you Rudy’s Bar & Grill on 9th Avenue.

Rudy’s Bar and Grill, according to its website, was originally a speakeasy opening on or around 1919. It was one of New York’s first liquor license recipients when prohibition ended in 1933. The guest list of famous people who have frequented the bar reads like a who’s who of Hollywood. The bar has red vinyl banquettes along one wall and had more red duct tape on them than vinyl. On the opposite wall the bar runs the length of joint and is done up in deep dark mahogany. You order a beer from Judy, and she happily informs you that “sweetie, you can leave your money on the bar and I will let you know when I need more” as compared to keeping a tab. The music on the jukebox, there is no way to describe it. I actually heard “Rocky Top” being played at one time and even heard some Frank Sinatra 5 minutes later. Like I said, this place hasn’t changed one bit. You seriously think you stepped into a time machine when you walk in this joint. Oh and I failed to mention the best part as I am putting it on the LVD short list of bars; wait for it……they serve free hotdogs!

IMG_0878Back of the Bar – Oh and notice how tight it is behind the bar. That is what we call a ‘One Ass’ bar. No way you can get two bartenders behind that sucker.

IMG_0877Notice how the pitcher of Rudy’s Blonde is the same as two Bud Lights. Even I have scruples.

IMG_0903I guess the cost of Red Duct Tape is cheaper than Red Vinyl

IMG_0902Mrs. Trumpet asked for a hot dog with Mustard and Ketchup and they brought her two hot dogs, one with Mustard and the other with Ketchup. At least they are free!

IMG_0879Shout out to the TQ for coming to New York for my Birthday! All I got from Nova was a Facebook post about a chicken!!!!!!

I end with a quote by the late Wanda Wilson the former owner of another great Dive Bar in Memphis – “This isn’t a bar sweetie. It’s an orphanage for the misunderstood.”

You want to hear who my Grandfather is?

“Have you met any famous people yet?” This is a question that we both get from time to time from our friends. My smartass canned response is traditionally “Well yes, every time I see my reflection in the mirror!” What I love about the people of New York is that famous people are just normal people getting by in the big city. I recall a story that my friend RJ told me when he was on the foam with the Asian Firemen who was walking on the street in Manhattan one day. The Fireman tells RJ that he is about to walk pass Drew Barrymore at the intersection and RJ hears him say “I loved you in ‘Something about Mary” as they pass. Naturally it was a joke and I don’t know if Ms. Barrymore responded to him but you got to love it.

There are plenty of famous people living here in New York City and I really think it is cool that it isn’t that big of a deal. Where we live, the mean streets of the Upper East Side, we are next building neighbors to Grainbin Girl’s favorite chef, Eric Ripert, and his wife. My main man crush Anthony Bourdain and his wife Octavia live at 94th and Madison Ave in Carnegie Hill and even though we haven’t slung beers it is just in time. Now when I do see them on the streets will I freak out, hug them, and dry hump their leg like a rabid dog? Time will tell but I do hope that I don’t make an ass of myself.  To date we have seen on the streets; Chris Robinson, Jackson Browne, Tina Fey, Alex Baldwin and I could have seen Pamela Anderson but I didn’t want to wait for her to exit ABC’s studio because, well I have already seen her video… (sorry for the bad pun) I am sure that my 3 readers have someone in their network of friends who “knows X the celebrity” and they share that information for validation. Bless their hearts.  When I say that New Yorkers are very nonchalant about famous people here is an exchange with one of my work compadres that I am still in shock and awe.

One of my work cohorts and I were talking about him borrowing my iFoam power cord and I tell J.S. to give it to me later when we all meet up for drinks later that evening. I joke “Hey both of our last names end in a vowel, I know you are good for it and won’t squelch.” That gets the conversation going toward Mob based movies and he tells us that his grandfather had a part in HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire”. He named the character’s name but unfortunately I quit watching it when I saw Steve Buscemi’s naked ass in the first season and that was enough for me. The next statement that J.S. said was a classic nonchalant New Yorker comment. “He also was in The Soprano’s show as he played one of the mobsters.” *MY EARS PERK UP*  “Did you say The Soprano’s, as in HBO’s award winning show The Soprano’s?” I ask. The next comment rolls off his tongue like it is no big deal; “Yeah, he played Junior Soprano or Uncle June. He has an apartment up near you CBT, he lives at 59th and First Avenue.” I was without words,  my mouth immediately goes dry like I just swallowed a bag of sand. “WAIT! YOU MEAN TO TELL ME THAT YOUR GRANDFATHER IS FUCKING DOMINIC CHIANESE!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!”

No big deal to my work cohort, just another day sitting down with the family at Thanksgiving. Dude how cool would it to sit down with Uncle June and have a glass of wine and shoot the shit. That is what I love about this town.

junior-soprano-1024Yeah, my grandfather, he was in some movies and also is an accomplished Opera Singer too! #JSSandbaggedme

552461_10151349983739928_851859404_nIt was a good couple of days of stalking our favorites with SR

318771_4932146344203_660601464_n

He ends up missing, I am calling the tip line and telling them to check out an apartment on Georgia and Riverside Drive

And NO I won’t be stalking Matt Lauer or Al Roker anytime soon!