When we were in Memphis for Thanksgiving we ran into EGP, Cali-Sab and the Waffle House Girl. Since EGP and Cali-Sab had visited New York a couple of times we figured that it was only fitting that we return the favor and check out their University. Mind you I had tasked CS with letting us know when was a good time in the fall to visit but she saw something shiny and forgot. #OneJob
We decided that their Senior Swim Meet would be a fun time and we promised not to paint our chests and embarrass them. “You know you got to support the team” *David Puddy Voice It was a fun trip, we got to catch up before EGP graduates and then has to get her a RJ or grad school. We took Amtrak and let me tell you, that is the easiest way to travel. No security, All the seats are big and roomy and you can’t beat it. By the way that part of the country is very nice and we need to plan a trip up there in the warmer months. It was a tad chilly on the coast to say the least.
It was fun and great to see EGP, Cali-Sab and Waffle House Girl.
Don’t you hate those people? The ones who will say; “See you next year.” Those people are probably the same people who try to rush onto a crowded subway/elevator car before letting others off first.
Here are some good pics that I had from December and a couple that made it in January. Hope everyone is doing well and keeping to their New Years Resolutions. I am glad that Otter is keeping his resolution of drinking lots of beer and then dining on the finest Gut Grenade in his domiciled city. I am seriously jealous of those square roto-rooter burgers.
Hope you had a good weekend and your football team won. Me, my ass is going to be in Mexico during the Super Bowl so I don’t give much thought to it.
I know that this post is a couple of weeks late. I have been kinda busy and add to that Geranium has been working at my creative desk…….#herfault
So I started jotting down all the events that have occurred in the past 10 years. I was filling up a Legal Pad I realized HOLY FUCK! We have done some major shit in the past 10 years.
Without further adeau and in no certain order are some highlights, difficulties, not so great moments. I look back on this list and I see things that have defined us. I chose that certain quote about the windshield vs rear view mirror for a reason. Without further adeau;
CBT was “fun-employed” for a bit – Let me tell you there really isn’t much fun in that. Mind you it was 10 years ago but as I look back it was the greatest thing that happened to me. I will elaborate on this later.
CBT became a Carnie for Memphis in May and lived to tell about it. I tell people up here what I did that spring they still can’t believe it. It taught me a lot. Most importantly I learned that one should always have a nickname and periodically yell “Go For Robo” when answering a call.
Geranium went back to cleaning bedpans. I joke when I say that she was asked to come back after she came down to the river and hung out with me as a carnie. That was true by the way. This also was a good thing for our progressive movement.
CBT went to work for AMF/HW. Yep I needed to get off the streets and I found a little nitch for myself and we made a little money and had some fun too. In all seriousness God Bless Ernie and Lynn Mellor for taking a chance on me. I will always be in your debt.
English Mike/Claire, RJ/Mal-O-Rie, & Mr. 3 First Names/VQ all got hitched in the past decade. What is important about this stat is that we now have a full basketball team roster of kids. More kids to help us when we get older.
Geranium got diagnosed and Then kicked the ever loving Fuck out of Cancer. Let me just say that not all superheroes get to wear capes. Since then we sadly have some friends of ours join this club too. This also defined us and put things in perspective.
Geranium decides to not only get an Undergrad but then a Masters in Bed Pan Cleaning. I have told her that there is no reason for her to go get her Doctorate or Juris Doctorate. Her ass is done with text books.
Carbunkle Trumpet completed his first and only 1/2 Marathon. Again, if my knees could bend backwards I would kick my own ass.
After many years of owning a bar in South Bluffs we pulled off a Ponzi Scheme and moved to the core of Downtown Memphis. Yep we had to get RJ/Mal-O-Rie’s house sold, then they bought ours and we got the condo. God Bless Ponzi Scheme Pawn JL for believing a bunch of strangers at the pool that one day. *Disclaimer – I don’t have good nickname for her so this will work till I come up with one*
Geranium gets her a Job in New York City! What can I say, we like it up here. We probably are going to stay for a little more while. Anyway we haven’t seen all the dive bars in all 5 boroughs.
I get a job seeing Double Decker Bus Tickets to Tourists. Ironic that I had to move to New York to get this job.
New Job (again) for Geranium – She left cleaning those bed pans to working for a company that would make the cleaning solution for the pans.
Move from the UES to Crime-Free Brooklyn – Let me tell you, if it wasn’t for Maria we may still be unboxing those damned boxes. Moving in New York sucks!
Stamps are getting put on our Passports – Truth be told we chose to move to New York so that we could take advantage of cheaper and direct flights to foreign lands. We really have enjoyed this.
We look back for a moment and are very grateful for our past experiences. Some of those experiences without a doubt has made us move forward.
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.
KC Jayhawk used to talk about transition all the time before he and Mrs. Jayhawk were heading down to Belize. He would post two pictures side by side. (hang on I am going to go find it on his FB page, give me a minute) and talk about how he needed to transition from the one on the left to the right to keep him balanced.
I am assuming, the pic on the left was from his work and well, I kinda recognize that pic on the right. I think this dock bit it a couple years ago but I always like it. Man I think I went through every one of his pictures looking for this. He must be telling me something.
I am a big believer in balance. It wasn’t till I moved up here to New York did I really start to take stock in how important balance is. I am not talking about standing up and able to walk around. That part is pretty easy as long as you haven’t been talking to Uncle Tito. I am referring to balance in your life spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physical and keeping it in check.
2020 is going to be a big year for me as I will have circled the Sun 50 times and I am still around to talk about it. I also will be closing out the past decade that was a roller coaster for not only me but for Geranium. I went to visit my Internist/GP doctor early this week and I was relieved to hear that my previous doctor has left the group. He had really big hands and he kept on how he wanted to check my prostate. My new doctor mentioned to me about my weight, my liver enzymes, oh and my Cholesterol was a tad high.
I actually told Doc that I chose to come in on Christmas Eve for my physical and get my labs run. I told her that I was planning on being somewhat of a hot mess since I just finished up a fairly stressful peak shipping season. Add to that on the Saturday prior I was at a restaurant on the 4th floor next door called Per Se. Fuck I expected my labs to be high, the bill was high. I told Doc that I now have 90 days to clean my shit up (No pun intended) and get this 50 year old machine moving in a better direction.
Relax Andi, Margo, Taylor, Stephanie and all my other bartenders/liquor store owners – I am not going away forever. I am just going to moderate what I am doing for a while. Regarding my diet (right now Geranium is watching a cooking show) I got to do something. Sorry S(Squared) and Don but I am going to be eating a little better at our Cuban refuge on 45th street. I am not a big sweets fan so that is a blessing I guess but gone are those killer rolls at LPQ.
So what is it you are going to do better in 2020?
I am going to do better, nobody wants to see a 50 year old short fat kid. Notice I didn’t say much about cigars or booze – Hey you have to have balance…..
Busy time here in Gotham. The Double Decker Tour Bus business is blowing and going and all of us Ticket Sellers are busy and are ready for the madness to slow down a tad. Geranium is done with her traveling and she is going to be Brooklyn bound for a couple of weeks. I hope we make it, this could be tough for us. 🙂
We are going to stay in New York for Christmas this year since Christmas is on a Wednesday and we are not really wishing to spend over 1500 to fly home for a couple of hours. We were home for Thanksgiving and it was really a lot of fun seeing everyone and we didn’t really have to rush that much.
Anyway with that here are the pictures of the week and a couple from 2 weeks back.
I will probably post a couple more next week so hang in there folks.
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!
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.
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.