Flatiron District

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.

In Memoriam – Anthony Bourdain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IMG_3396Lots of flowers and cards

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

IMG_3399Puts a smile on my face seeing this tribute

IMG_3401All kinds of stuff being left for his memorial

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

Pictures of the Week

Hodgepodge of pictures this week. Dominican Republic and then Trump visits NYC. It has been a busy week.

presidenteBeer4.htmThey had a run on Presidente Beers while we were there. Even if Eddie Money’s fan drank Pink drinks and Coors Light.

IMG_0735Painting Fail

IMG_0747Departure Lounge in Dominican Republic – Of course the effin sun came out!

IMG_0746That is a flood of Rainwater by the way. It got biblical down there!

IMG_0700Went to a Yankees game in the Suite. We don’t eat well there. #sarcasm

IMG_0698Chicken Tenders and Mac n Cheese – You sure this isn’t the suite at AutoZone Stadium?

IMG_0697Sushi at a Baseball Game? Sure why not!

IMG_0719Automatically makes you feel happy just seeing a bunch of balloons you know?

IMG_0745Shower Beer was in full effect down in the DR!

Have a good weekend!

End of May – First Mention of Gold Bond in New York City

You guys remember my post about Gold Bond and surviving the heat in a major city from last August? Well guess who reared their ugly head this past week????Summer Heat and Humidity. I have documented how I don’t think that New Yorkers have sweat glands from wearing winter coats on warm days to how some places won’t kick on the air even if the ambient temperature is in the high 80’s. You add these and the fact that “I run hot” anyway and yep, our bathroom now resembles a Columbian Cocaine Kegger!
I know that there are some of you who are in outside sales saying “Come on CBT, you big P word” it was hot in Memphis too, grow a set!” Yes Memphis humidity is “Hotter than two rats fucking in a wool sock hot” (S/O to SM aka Mr. Wizard for teaching me that statement) but trust me when I say that the radiant heat from the buildings and concrete make it just as unpleasant. Another big problem with outside sales here in Gotham that is different than Memphis is you don’t have a car AC to cool down. When I was working for HW/AMF I would blast that cold air in my Jeep between appointments to keep me from sweating through my shirt and shorts. Here we have to walk to our next appointment or worse, take a subway. Subways are great but they are underground where there is moisture and when you add heat and moisture……anyone ever walk down Middle Street in early September in San Pedro Belize? Trust me it sucks.
This past week I would leave the office, walk 10 blocks to my first appointment, lather up a good sweat and then go into the building. Thankfully my first appointment felt sorry for me and got me a glass of water. You then repeat this process 7 more times a day and you get the picture. I get back to the office and my shirt is sticking to me, my tie around my neck is now moist (love you Kaylee & Lana) and well lets just say that there is some serious chafing.  We have some guys on our team who also run hot and I looked to them for advice on how to stay cool. One guy sweats so bad he actually has a fan on his desk to keep cool but both of them told me that pretty much you have to deal with it. Walk on the shady side of the street. Schedule appointments with some ‘cool down’ at Starbucks and if at all possible stay in the same block or building. Oh and they also said to plan on spending a small fortune on dry cleaners during the summer too. Thanks guys and stay out of my drawer full of Gold Bond and deodorant.

IMG_1274Cabs help when having to go across town because you don’t know that lower Manhattan isn’t that close to Nolita

IMG_1281Hello boys, welcome back!

IMG_1286 (1)My dry cleaner loves me

Stay cool folks!

St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church Fire

Last week my boss and I were doing joint calls one day. For those wondering my territory is from 26th street to Wall Street so I have some major real estate to cover. Unlike some of my other work comrades who may just have a street or even a building to cover I have to really pay attention to the distance between appointments or I could be running my ass off. We go about our calls and find ourselves in the Flatiron district and are walking on E25th street. The thing about walking with someone is that you find you don’t pay much attention to your surroundings and can miss stuff. We come up to another construction zone (one on every block) and there is where I see the remains of St Sava Church.

I was out of town on business when the fire alert came over my phone about the church fire. Because of my friendships with numerous NYFD boys I follow a couple of NYFD social media pages. I glance at them and see the footage of the flames blowing out of the windows and figured it was a complete loss. Imagine my suprise when I see that other than the roof the entire structure is still standing. We all remember the feeling of heartbreak when the south wall of the Blue Monkey came tumbling down thanks to the Pucci Ban, why didn’t this sucker fall like that? My boss informed me “they build shit well up here!” What also amazed me was that there were no other businesses affected when that sucker went up. One would expect heat damage from the flames but the other buildings around the church appeared fine.  According to a couple New Yorkers there is a big difference between New Consruction and Renovations. Because they were able to save the walls this job will be considered renovations even though there is not shit inside the 4 walls. I was also told that the first day following the clean up the church officials rehung the American and Serbian Orthodox flags at the front door saying “we will be back.”  I look forward to visiting this church when they reopen.

Fire 2Nipped this off the internet the fire was on the 2nd of May

IMG_4352This was taken this past week. Still standing!

IMG_1282Still inspecting the building.

IMG_1283I imagine the amount of rubble that still has to be cleaned.

Thank God that nobody was killed.