I had a couple more pictures on my iFoam yesterday so here is your bonus Sunday post. And for those of you who are paid subscribers this one is on the house. #CBTCares
Oh and featured picture was taken about a month ago. It is very strange to say that I miss riding the Subway. At least I could see some strange people who are acting like a fool.
Z(squared) and I were talking the other day and we said when we do get to come out and re-socialize that it could be like THUNDERDOME! I mean this will be some epic drinking gthat will make St. Patrick’s Day, Santa-Con, West Village Halloween, and Coney Island Mermaid festivals seem like the Catalina Wine Mixer!
As you can see from the featured pictured that on the 18th of December I get an email from RJ saying that the gauntlet has been thrown. I confer with Geranium on her schedule and within 5 minutes of getting that email we are informing our favorite travel agent that we can’t be one-upped by RJ and Mal-O-Rie and to book us the same time down in Mexico.
I realize that the weekend we will be down in Mexico will also be the Super Bowl. I already knew by mid October that the Jets and Giants were out so I was ok watching a sporting event from another country. I was in London the previous Super Bowl and I didn’t really miss much. We stayed at a brand new resort and had a blast. Of course we don’t have to have much (except for a shitload of Wine and Vodka) to have a good time with the 4 of us.
We had great weather, the game was actually fun and it was good to get away from Memphis and New York for a couple days.
So who will you be emailing with 45 days notice to come to a foreign country and drink with them?
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.
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.
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…..
Hello, my name is Carbunkle Trumpet. I am one of those Food Snobs that you read about who travel the world eating endangered or banned species. Relax Francis…we weren’t eating the banned French Ortolans like they ate on the show Billions. Confession – I may have enjoyed the fuck out of my Fois Gras but was still legal to consume as of the 22nd of December. What makes the last Saturday before Christmas so great? The service, the wine pairings, the food, and the overall experience are top notch but it is the company that sits at the table that makes it so special.
Back story – if you are just stumbling on this blog and the Per Se part of it let me recap for you. Homeless Tim and a group of barristers about 12 years ago started having an annual dinner at Thomas Keller’s 3 Micheline Star restaurant on Columbus Circle named Per Se. Keller also has French Laundry on the west coast and TAK Room here in Hudson Yards but Per Se is considered one of the pillars of gastronomical dining here in New York. When we moved her we got the chance to dine at Le Bernardin with Baby Fine Hair and her mother the first month of living here. Mr. 3 First Names and Lady Barrister inquired if we like fine dining. We told them yes and they said they would see if they could extend an invite to us for their Christmas dinner group. We didn’t’ really think much about it as this conversation was going on over drinks in Lower Manhattan and as you can guess…..alcohol was being consumed.
So in December of 2015 we attended our first Per Se Dinner along with Asian Fireman and V.Q. (She gets the full title retired since we didn’t have a repeat this year) and a cast of others. We attended every year except for 2 years back due to a scheduling issue but it wasn’t until this year that I really took stock in the table.
The crux of the Christmas Dinner Cast are; Homeless Tim who is the scheduling /’knows the guy’ to get us the primo table. Mr. 3 First Names and Lady Barrister, you may have heard me speak of them before. Then you have the Asian Fireman/Grey Suit guy and his wife V.P.. But let’s not forget Bobcat (another barrister) and her husband the Professor. Then you throw in Geranium and myself and you have a unique dinner experience. Oh we had some dessert guests joining us later but more on that later.
This year we were celebrating not only Christmas but we were celebrating someone who kicked the shit out of cancer. As we were siting there, by the way, this dinner took 6 hours from start to finish. I really enjoyed the conversation and what I call “peeling the onion” with the different cast of characters at the table. I could try to explain but I know I can’t do it justice.
Put it this way; how can you explain the conversation dynamics of the table with someone who is a high School history teacher, a person who has been sober for 25 years and yet still enjoys our conversation while we get loose tonged during the course of the night. There is a couple who have 3 knuckleheads at home, meanwhile the other 3 couples only have 4 legged kids at their homes and don’t know what it means to have kids banging on their heads with a Stage 4 Hangover. And then there is that guy who hates white wine.
Again, I am going to stop and put up some pictures so Iuka Mississippi’s own can shame me for posting food pictures.
Like I said, the meal, the wine, the service is over the top but the folks at the table make it all the better. Honestly – I would be ok if Homeless Tim one day called and said that he got our Christmas Dinner at Waffle House. Sure I would be disappointed but knowing the cast of folks at the table and I would be ok with that.
Again, Thank you to Tim, Jess & Dan for the invite.
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.
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.
A while back the Fab 5 (Baby Fine Hair, OTB, Dance With Me, Geranium and Not B) were talking about doing a trip to Charleston. They invited Weed (even though she was in a much younger class) and at some point and time the Fab 5 + Weed decided that spouses would be welcome also. Since Geranium was on a work trip once again I flew solo to Charleston. We rented an Air BnB downtown and flew in on Friday night.
I won’t bore you with details (Pretty much all we did was drink and eat) but I have to be honest. I really enjoyed Charleston. If you have a chance get there. They have tons of bars and neat food joints.
Like I said, it was a good trip and we had some fun down there. I later found out that Charleston was the town that Bourdain ate at the Waffle House.