Downtown Brooklyn

Second Installment for Tiger Nation Fans visiting New York/Brooklyn 2/2

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.
Pro Tip – Use the Name or Number don’t call it “Taking the Red Line” #RoboCares
The Pigeon App – As sure as I-240 gets backed up so do the Subways. Get this app and check it before you journey out for the day.
Think of this as Room Service for your hotel/Air BnB. Be Careful though, you can run up a pretty large tab with those drunk munchies!
Fresh Direct App – Trust Me lugging those cases of beer or bottled water sucks. And they can deliver wine and drunk food too! Make sure you order and reserve your day/time because it will get busy before Thanksgiving.
So Good but make sure you get extra napkins because your elbow may get juicy!
They don’t call it the Bible for nothing!
Is that Gore Tex?

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.

A Message to Tiger Fans heading to Brooklyn 1 of 2

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.
As seen as in Fort Greene Brooklyn!
Pay attention to this map because you may want to reference it for Thursday’s class

I will follow up on Thursday with some better information. Trust me, you will want to read that one.

#RoboCares

Pictures of the Week (And A Shout Out Too!)

I have a bunch of stuff building up on some scratch pads. That and Geranium is going to be away all next week so get ready for more production out of me. In so many words/phrases here is what I have cooking;

  • “The Big Chill” at Dale Hollow Lake (Relax, I got this)
  • “Memphis Basketball Fans have ‘A Guy’ when they visit Brooklyn”
  • Boat Ride on the Hudson
  • “Would Someone Fix My Cigar Bar? Fucking Please!”
  • “Way to Piss Me off” – Airport Decorum
  • “A return to the old haunts” – Going back to the USE roots
  • “So I came out of the closet with the blog at work”

First off, I want to give a shout out to RMT from PA. She has been a ‘stalker’ of this worthless dribble of a blog ever since we moved up here. Her son did some time down by Union Square for the past 4 years as we have lived here. Albeit, I may have never met him, but I feel like I know him. You see RMT got her Christmas, Birthday, Tooth Fairy, and Mothers Day present all rolled into one a couple of weeks back. This makes me happy and puts a serious smile on my face. Oh and by the way RMT – I want a MOG pic texted to me on the blessed day. #UgotThis

I know that I have been kind of scatter brained but I promise when I say this….we have been (really fucking) busy. I mean Geranium has been away more days in a month than she has been in Brooklyn. We aren’t bitching, she works her ass off and she actually loves what she does. She also is getting some great exposure on selling those Bed Pans. On my side…Yeah, I don’t feel so guilty working longer hours on my double decker tour bus sales gig or having a cigar with the boys. This is what people in their mid to early 50’s do in NYC right? More to come, more to come.

Anyway here are some pictures from this past week. It has been a powerful week to say the least.

Saint John Baptist De La Salle…..Pray for Us but Most Importantly Thank You!
Happy Birthday Monkey Head!
All aboard the A Train!
Thanks Alex! Way to made the guys in Green look FAT! Seriously it was great To See Joe and Henry up in the Big Apple!
Thanks to LJZ for leaving Spin Class to come down for Evening Service.
(She doesn’t read this, I am safe)
No real words never need to be said here
Disclaimer – I omitted the name of the person who posted this out of the deepest respect for them and their family. This was posted on Wednesday and yet again it brings me to tears. What occurred 18 years ago still digs deep into the hearts and souls of so many people.
I may have a story about this day but I will never speak it. This day isn’t about me.
It is about those who lost their mothers, their fathers, their wives, their husbands, their partners, their children, their neighbors, their work peers and so many more.
We shall always remember their names and we will also remember those who are still perishing from 9/11 illnesses.
God I hope this kicks ass! And I also hope they speak with a worse accent than I am accessed of having up here.
“I am going to wake up in the morning on the couch…..wearing a kilt.” Name withheld to protect the Fellow Drunken Uber Rider.

Have a good weekend. Be nice to a Stranger.

Call your Mother and Father because they probably worry about you.

Never miss a chance to tell someone you love them.

And hug your babies a little closer.

As one of my cigar buddies always says “These are interesting times we are living in.”

What is up with the picture of the baby Elvi?

I just like it. It makes me happy and I also know that Memphis is probably going to be in a heat advisory since it is Dead Elvis Week. Did you know that I can also forecast the Memphis weather?

  • Coldest Day of the Year in Memphis – Whatever day they play the Liberty Bowl Game
  • Hottest Day of the Year in Memphis – Around Dead Elvis Week
  • Rainiest Day/Week of the Year in Memphis – Beale Street Musicfest or World Championship BBQ Cooking Contest.

I mean if you know the past, you can predict the future.

I am going to share with you some pictures I snapped this past Sunday from the Murphranks Rooftop. Bobcat & Professor were there along with Rocky and Monkey Head Maya. Sorry folks but No pictures of the Humans – I mean have you ever seen Meg or Bobcat in the same place? Same goes for Matt or the Professor? Come to think of it, I haven’t seen Geranium for the past 24 hours. I bet she is in Seattle again.

Maya prefers to be sitting in a lap getting petted. Don’t we all?
Don’t worry Dad, I will protect the Cheese Cooler
The Jar-Man used to say that the sunsets over beautiful West Memphis Arkansas. I guess we can say it sets over beautiful New Jersey
Wonder what asshole lives in that tall as building? I understand from Mr. 3 First Names that my view of the Empire State Building is about to change.
That doesn’t suck. Oh and I found out that The Bobcat and Professor were married in that church to the left of the row houses.

Tomorrow I take the gloves off and blast expedia for their shitty customer service.

4 Trips Around the sun living in the Empire State

Last week I got one of these notifications that 4 years ago that it was my last board meeting at HW/AMF. I started to think to myself that time has flown by. It was just yesterday that we were hanging at the South Bluffs pool having our Friday board meetings and the Horners only had 1 kid.

Looking back over the past year it has been a whirlwind with Tons of Travel. In no particular order;

  • St. Louis for Missy & Kristina’s Wedding (September)
  • Northwest Arkansas for Hogs/Bama Football weekend (October)
  • Geranium made 3 trips to Japan, Germany, Spain and France
  • She also has made a bunch of trips to Seattle. Either she really loves the Starbucks coffee and flannel or she has a side piece over there. Oh wait her new momma is domiciled there.
  • Memphis for Christmas
  • Northwest Arkansas for Family Christmas (January)
  • London for a Quickie Weekend (February)
  • Weekend Trip to Cryder Hollow (March)
  • Quickie trip to the Fun Side of the Wall before Geranium headed to Switzerland (April)
  • Geranium headed to the land of Swiss Army knives for a month.
  • Trip to Barcelona over BSMF weekend to see Geranium
  • Trip to Geneva over WCBCC weekend to see Geranium
  • Trip to the Redneck Rivera to hang with the Horner’s and their 2 kids.

We also made our yearly pilgrimage to Per Se for Christmas. We made a trip to Philly for a Christmas party and had some fun times with our friends over the past year too.

Back when I had longer hair and there wasn’t any grey in there either.
Barcelona!
London with this guy!
Got to see the Parade thanks to Zsquared
A little Phil Collins
Selfie at the Bridge
Swiss Alps!
Glad we knocked that one off the list. Not like Oaklawn at all.

It is still the best decision moving up here we ever did.

1 Hour To The Airport Door to Door – Downtown Brooklyn to EWR

When I was taking all of those trips abroad to see Geranium I became well versed in airport travel and flying in and out of Newark International (EWR) airport. I liked flying out of there based on the fact that it is a United hub and they had more options than JFK to Europe. Before we moved to Brooklyn we hardly ever flew out of EWR since LGA was the quicker airport and JFK had the flat $50.00 fee. Uber to EWR from the UES or Brooklyn always cost us about $100.00. That was until we found New Jersey Transit.

The other day one of my peers asked me why I was always flying out of Newark International Airport considering that JFK and LGA were closer. I told him that I actually found that public transportation to EWR is actually quicker and much more reliable than to JFK and a shit ton better than LGA. It also only costs me like roughly $15.75 and I don’t have to worry about traffic or a bad uber driver. Let me explain via pictures that I took on my trip to the Redneck Rivera.

*Editors Note – You can’t be traveling with tons of luggage on MTA or NJT. You will get scolded and its a bitch to go up and down the stairs.

31 Minutes to LGA with ZERO traffic
39 Minutes to JFK with ZERO Traffic and the Public Transportation is slightly better
By far the longest travel by car and Traffic can be a bitch and expensive
Leave out of the Nevins Station via the 2/3 Train to Penn Station
Penn Station jump on a EWR Bound New Jersey Train that runs every 15 minutes for 3 stops to Newark International
Jump off New Jersey Transit and you grab the Air Train to the Terminal
Clear TSA Pre Check and I am sitting here 1 hour from when I boarded the 2/3 train in Brooklyn
Next Thing I know I am on the plane heading out of here!
Well look who I ran into in the Pensacola Airport!

In Memphis the magic saying was “It is 15 Minutes to the airport.” Here it is “It is 1 Hour to the airport.”

The 2019 Carl Lipbalm Memorial Caddy Scholarship Winner 1 of 2 – ZF

Do you recall 3 summers ago we hosted The 2016 Caddy Scholarship Winner Special Ed? What about last summer when it was the 2018’s Caddy Scholarship Winner Love Bug? By the way, the 2017 Caddy Scholarship winner elected to forgo her trip to NYC and took the cash equivalent. What that means is that her parents are free to use our condo when we are away as long as they keep the dog alive. So this spring we had 2 High School graduates which can cause a logistical issue considering we only have room for 1 stinky body at a time. Thankfully we told both sets of parents (who happen to be sisters) that it would be first come first served for dates that can fit our schedule. ZF selected this past weekend which unbeknownst to him would also happen to be the hottest weekend.

No need to cry over spilled Gold Bond! Come on and we will adjust the schedule to accommodate time to reapply powder to prevent Swamp Ass. ZF arrived Thursday evening and thankfully Geranium was able to collect him at the airport and bring him in via New York Subway.

Friday Morning I took young ZF with me as I was going to show him around town, make some calls for work and then hand him off to Geranium in the afternoon. We were like Tourist Ninja’s on Friday Morning and hit the following;

  • Wall Street and NYSE
  • Federal Hall
  • The Charging Bull on Broadway (I fucked up and forgot they moved Fearless Girl to the NYSE and it was too hot to go back)
  • Staten Island Ferry and a Trip to see the Bitch in the Harbor (FYI – Friday AM is the best time to do this)
  • 9/11 Footprints
  • 10 Ladder/10 Engine
  • Alexander Hamilton’s Grave at Trinity (The CBT Surprise)
  • Times Square (kill me BTW)
  • Cobert Studio
  • Fancy Lunch at a Midtown East Sushi House
  • Rockefeller Center
  • Fallon’s Marquee
  • Joe’s Pizza
  • St. Patrick Cathedral
  • UES trip to see some of CBT’s customers
  • Grand Central Station

So after that we came home because well let’s be honest. I was dripping wet and even though he wouldn’t admit it, he was miserable too. Thankfully we knocked off a lot on that trip. That evening Geranium took ZF to see “House of Mormon” and I went to get a cigar.

Saturday we changed it up and because it was miserable hot we did the Bus tour called “The Ride.” It was neat but unfortunately the AC in the bus couldn’t keep up but nevertheless we had a good time. That evening we went to see Blue Man Group which we have never seen. It was good and we enjoyed the AC.

Sunday we took it easy and took ZF over to Coney island for a Nathan’s Hot Dog and to see the boardwalk. We didn’t last long and ended up back at the apartment to suck in some AC.

As always, it was a great time to spend time with someone you normally don’t spend time with at Holiday events and it is always fun to see someone experience New York City for the first time. Sure its a pain in the ass in Times Square during the heat but that is what makes this city so much fun. The guys who emcee The Ride were taken back when we told them we were from Brooklyn. Then they figured it out when we said ZF was from Little Rock Arkansas. On to the pictures..

What do you mean I have to pose for pictures. Nobody told me this in my orientation.
Shut up kid and smile with the Bitch in the harbor!
I am guessing I am getting Thumbs up because Grand Central is Air Conditioned!
Or maybe ZF prefers Stephen Colbert in the UWS
Cousin Trumpet you are taking this picture because the girl in the blue jean shorts aren’t you?
Missed this by 30 minutes on Friday heading into the city.
You are tweeting Geranium aren’t you?
I give this props, it is pretty fun!
On The Ride
Disclaimer – They have performances pre set along the route.
I mean they are killing it and it was probably 100 degrees in Columbus Circle on Saturday.
But what is fun is that this is New York and the Tourist on the Bus don’t see it yet.
Seriously nobody has seen it yet.
Thanks guy bathing in the Fountain. Only in New York!
For Blue Man Group
Let’s Take a Selfie
We were in Orchestra, down below is called “Poncho” for obvious reasons
Really another picture?
Who are you tweeting now?
Please, last pic, I am dying in this heat!
We had fun playing with you ZF!

It was fun but it was hot and thankfully ZF was a good sport. We had fun playing with you.

Pictures of the Week

It was a good week. Geranium returns tomorrow morning as she is catching the red eye from Seattle.

Geranium made the crapper smell nice
Bloomingdales….Oh the Shame! Its a Union Thing.
Going to see one of these jokers next month. Another one in this picture also celebrated his Divorce. “Second Happiest Day of my Life….Divorced!”
Summertime means breaking out the fun suits!
Decided that the Chuck Taylors needed a bath and cleaning.
Had the owner of the Madewood Flop House Sneak into town!
GurleyGurl, Doty and Mel – You want to come into town on September 11th and go to an old tennis stadium?
Yep, I was in Brooklyn on Sunday. Matching Buns
“Hello 911 – There is a plane crashing into the East River.” – you would be suprised how many of those calls happen in a week.

Have a good weekend Folks!

Can We Have This Brownstone?

My Russian Brother from another mother decided that he wanted to sell his current house and move to the non Italian side of Staten Island. While I can’t wait to break in his new backyard with a proper Memphis BBQ I am going to have to wait a couple weeks till he closes on the new home. That being said, this weekend we decided to go forth and find some plants for our windowsill.

While we were walking back from the flower shop we stumbled upon this beautiful brownstone on State Street not too far from our place. Anybody want to go in halvesies?

Steps away from the 4/5 and 2/3 Train Stop.
First Floor we could have the communal sharing with kitchen and living room and dining room.
Second Floor someone can have the entire floor
Third Floor someone can have the entire floor
We could Air BnB the apartment in the basement to pay for the beer
Yeah there is traffic but think about it!
How cool is that outdoor upper Terrace?
I wanted to get this for Geranium but we went for variety
We need a water feature for our apartment

Taco girl I bet it costs a little more to heat and cool than the Taco Hut. Oh and by the way, I give the plants 3 weeks before we are getting new ones.

Saturday Shenanigans With Bobcat, Mr 3 First Names and Lady Barrister

I am sure that some of you are wondering What In The Cornbread Feck I am doing posting on a Sunday? I can barely type on some Sundays and now I am posting on this worthless dribble today? I am blaming Geranium (the woman not the plant) *Shout out to Jean-Jean the Dancing Belizean Queen for making me snort the other day with her comment* on making me get up at the crack of ass of dawn now 2 days in a row. I am thinking that she has given me her Switzerland Jet Lag!

So yesterday the aforementioned in the title gathered at Greenwood Park for some Libations and Laughs. I have not visited some of the Memphis haunts that I see people talk about but I equate it to Loflin Yards or Railgarden (thank you GurleyGurl) as it has been re-purposed and turned into a pretty cool venue. Oh did you think I am going to show any pictures of us wearing our Superhero capes from yesterday? Nope!

The Front of Greenwood Park
I am betting that outside bar is kinda of a bitch to work when it’s really hot or cold
Photo I nipped off the internet of the outdoor space
Got to love the old school Muscle Cars
Cloudy Sunset from our building
Why can’t we have that patio and apartment?
Brooklyn Point under construction. Street on the left is Schemerhorn, Street on the right is Livingston
Looking towards Queens
The East River and Manhattan

Have a good Sunday and weekend.