Fort Greene

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.

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Year in Review – The Other Shit

Editors Note – I am not sure when I am going to publish this post. But in order to give a you proper understanding of my next statement today is the day that the President walked out of the Boarder wall/Government Shutdown meeting with Democrats.

Damn I miss that Anthony Bourdain isn’t here anymore. I could really use his commentary on current administration and his thoughts on immigrants coming into this country.

We lost a bunch of good people this past year. We lost Maddy our beloved Monkey Head, who would have told me that 4 months gone we still miss that fluff ball. I will get to that later but we also learned a bunch of new things about ourselves and we saw a bunch of cool stuff living here in the North East. Let’s dive in shall we?

Music and Shows are always big on our radar. We went to more Losers Lounge Shows than I care to think about. Tribute to Barbara Streisand was a good one. The Last Waltz was so-so, but we enjoyed the shit out of the Disco Cruise around the Hudson with the band. We also saw some concert shows this past year. Thanks to a certain someone who po-po’d on a ticket Mary Louise got to see “The Piano Man” from a suite. We caught Phil Collins at the Barclays and listened to some Elvis Impersonators on Long Island Off the beaten path we got to see the Airshow on the middle of Jones Beach for Memorial Day. Mary Louise also got to see some Broadway shows; Frozen, Waitress, One on this Island with different friends. I would be remiss to say that I saw David Byrne this year. Still one of the better shows I ever saw. Yes I said that again.

We had a bunch of different friends come up and see us too. We got to hang out with LoveBug one weekend and had a blast with her. But we can’t forget when EGP and Cali rolled into town and attended Slavic Easter Sunday Mass with us. Northwest Arkansas came over one weekend and we even had our favorite Venezuelan make an appearance while we were in the city on a Sunday. Our former dog & house sitters came to town and we got to see some Memphis BBQ guys roll into town one weekend. The invitation is always open to come see us. We have 2 hotels very close to us if you have to stay close to our joint in Brooklyn.

We explored our new neighborhood of Downtown Brooklyn and found a whole bunch of new Dive Bars to frequent. By the way, and I have said it before; Moving in New York really sucks. The good news is that we are in our new home and we really enjoy living here. Of course the Muphranks have accused us separately of being bad influences. I will just say that it isn’t our fault that the mixologists at a couple of Park Slope bars over-serve patrons. We also went to the Rose Mansion this summer with Z(squared) and I even enjoyed it (just don’t tell anyone) but didn’t take a selfie there.

Sadly we said goodbye to some really good people this past year. Yes the loss of Anthony Bourdain is still a shock to me. But what it really does is cry out to people that on the exterior people may have their shit together but inside they need help. You can never know so here is my advice. Be good to people. Don’t be a dick. You have absolutely every right to disagree about politics but you don’t have to make it personal and attack people’s character. Stop and think about what you say or about to tweet. If you are a bully then you should automatically get to have your nuts kicked in. End of story.

Maddy hated it when ML’s got the outfits out. We sure do still miss her.
Donahue’s Doppelganger singing at Losers Lounge
Had a lot of fun with this knucklehead.
Jones Beach for the Airshow with the Muphranks
Elvis on Long Island
David Byrne at Kings Theater
The Gang at Phil Collins
Rocking the Hudson
Graduate with your Masters from NYU, Start a new job, Move to Brooklyn, Keep your shit together during it all – She is a fucking Rock Star!
We miss you Poppy!
On the 2/3 train you will travel by Franklin Street. God Bless the MTA as they put “Respect” signs as you travel by the stop.
A Fort Greene Gem I tell you!
Forgot about seeing Alan Cummings too! Also not a fan of our current Commander in Chief
The Royal Palms Shuffleboard is in the hood too!
A Brooklyn Dive Bar – Dimly lit bar, cash only, Tabs are considered a diet drink from the late 80’s
She swam over to see us!
Since Mary Louise occasionally travels on Sunday I find myself hanging with these two on Sunday Funday.
Our new place is kinda cool. We have an outdoor theater
Pay no attention to those glasses on the table.

Have a good day and remember what I said earlier; Don’t be a Dick!

Let’s Recap Shall We? Trips and Food

We were really busy in 2018. I sit back and think about what all that we did last year I had to go to the calendar 4 times. I mean we were fucking busy in 2018. We went a bunch of places this year and that was even with Mary Louise doing all her shit this year. From her group final presentation for NYU, graduating from NYU, starting a new career, moving to Brooklyn, and not divorcing my ass we ate and traveled a bunch.

Made a trip to Belize to see our friends in February. We made a trip to Memphis to become God Parents for Willimena Esmerelda. We went to Bay Ridge Brooklyn for dinner a couple times. We made a trip Upstate to the Hudson Valley. We went to Philly a couple times, Baltimore for Crab, ML went to The Hamptons during the summer. Oh we also made a trip to Mexico with RJ, Mal-O-Rie, and Senorita JL. Went to St. Louis for Baby Fine Hair and Kristina’s wedding in the fall. The new stadium on campus and great friends made us visit Northwest Arkansas and then we made Memphis for Christmas.

Now here is where I am going to get some serious Fucking hate mail. We ate some serious good grub this past year. LeCoq Rico for a fancy Chicken dinner one night. Enjoyed some fine Swiss wines with the Muphranks along with some Raclette (think broiled half wheel) of cheese. We enjoyed one of Geoffrey Zakarian’s restaurants with our friend Tucker. Had an authentic Cheese Steak while we were in Philly (you know for the hangover) and it was good. For our anniversary we dined at Benjamin’s Steakhouse and the steak was good. And to finish out the holidays we of course ate at one of Thomas Keller’s joints in the Time Warner Center. I know that I am missing some places but I am going to end this because some folks may send me some more hate mail.

I love this woman! We have a lot in common and both being damn good looking is the beside the point.
Breakfast View in San Pedro Town Belize
Ironic that when we lived in Memphis we weren’t too far from the Forum. Now in Brooklyn we aren’t too far from this sucker.
Bad Lighting on Mary Louise but this is her the morning of her graduation. And let the record show that I will punch her in the dick if she goes for her Doctorate.
On the way up the Hudson River to see Vivian and Stone
Crab is good
That kid is going to break hearts I tell you!
No lies being told here at all!
That kid is going to be something I tell you!
Who loves some broiled Cheese
Trust me this is some good shit right here!
This be our new joint by the way!
Me and the Bride at her wedding!
Who doesn’t love some good Pastrami from Katz’s
Shrimp Sticks from Blue Water Grill in Belize. This is worth the Fucking Trip to Belize in the middle of a Hurricane and twice on Sunday.
Boy did this picture get some traction in Memphis.
Don’t laugh folks this is some good shit here!

At least I didn’t post any more pictures of dinner from Per Se.

Strike up the Band We have lived on these Rocks for 3 years!

Wow! Another Year has come to pass and yet here I am still banging away on this laptop. I celebrate this milestone because I haven’t gotten hit by that crosstown bus or fallen ass over teacup down a bilco door. Sadly, I celebrate this 3rd birthday solo while right now Mary Louise is heading on a Ferry to another island down in Mexico with the MoHo’s. No I am not bitter about this one bit. I promise.

In her absence I have been writing this post in my head for a couple of days and I  have to say how humble I am that we are still plugging along in a city that could possibly eat us alive. I have always said that there are two things here in The Empire State that I always run out of; time and money. This year has been a whirlwind and I can’t believe it has been 3 years from when we rolled up to 1300 First Avenue and emptied our contents into the UES. This year there have been some major changes to our lives this year and l have always said that sometimes change is good.

In the past year some of our friends have also followed suit and made moves from familiar Memphis surroundings and dipped their toe into new cities and regions. I always tell them from our experiences that right now there may be tears of uncertainty but each day and week things will normalize and level out. I still look back and say to myself that if you told me 3 years and change that I would be living in New York and love each day of it I would have told you that you are crazy as hell. I am serious when I say that this was the best thing that we have done in our adult lives. The experiences and things that we have and continue to learn about have been amazing. Much like Anthony Bourdain told us on each show was that we need to explore and try out new things. Do the uncomfortable and you will be amazed at to what you learn and it will make you a richer person internally. I still miss that fucker. His story wasn’t finished.

People still ask me how I like living here I always tell them the same response. We love it and should have done this sooner. I am in no way dogging Memphis or our friends back there but Mary Louise and I always had an ‘explorer’ gene in us that was dying to get out. New York is a strange city and has a lot of people from many different walks of life. Much like a child we are always asking questions and seeking information. You know what we found out. They may be from a different country, have a different person that believe in or vote for but we are all children playing in the same sandbox and we better find a way to get along. Call me crazy but the first thing that I ask the yellow cab driver, after I tell them *in my best New York Accent*, is where they are from and “Tell me about yourself.” People love telling their story to strangers. There is a lot of pride in those words and I cherish each and every one.

While I sit here smoking a Perdomo stinking up my work laptop I recall all the things we did. They are in no particular order include;

  • Mary Louise completes and graduates with a MBA from NYU and this better complete her higher education quest. We don’t have any fucking room in closet for a Doctoral Robe and all that crap. (I am very proud of her for this)
  • Mary Louise takes a new job and a whole bunch of new responsibilities that I don’t doubt she will do great in.
  • Made a trip to Philly and got me an authentic Cheesesteak.
  • We moved from the Upper East Side to the Gritty Hipster streets of Downtown Brooklyn. That wasn’t easy folks, oh and moving sucks here in New York City.
  • One would think that downsizing from 1300 square feet to 535 square feet would be easy but try to move to another studio that is configured differently. Thankfully Ba made a trip to Brooklyn and helped us with the move.
  • I made Senior at my work so I am now a Senior Sales Rep for selling tourists tickets on those double decker buses.
  • We made a trip to Maine for Lobster.
  • We made a trip to the Riviera Maya of Mexico for a work counterparts wedding and made a one night trip over to Isla Mujeres in December.
  • Made a trip back home for Christmas and got to see our friends and family.
  • Had to check in on Kitty down in Belize in February and to get warmed up from the 4 Nor’easters we had this past winter.
  • Were honored to become Godparents for Willimena in April and now have another one who will possibly wipe our asses when we get older.
  • Reconnected with Vivian Longstreet and Stone and enjoyed a great weekend with them Upstate.
  • Had to make yet another trip to Mexico and insure that RJ and Mallory didn’t have tres children. (still unknown but we will see in 9 months if that was a success)
  • Mary Louise made a trip to The Hamptons while I smoked meat on Katonah Avenue in the Bronx.
  • Mary Louise currently is down in Mexico right now with the MoHo’s and will return on Monday.

Yep we had a blast on this island and on a couple other islands. Rather than collect stuff we have decided to collect memories and passport stamps. I am nearing 1000 words and will end with a quote that I always love. “Travel is the only thing that you buy that makes you richer”

IMG_2489Much like Black Eyed Peas and Greens on New Years day if you celebrate New Years eve wearing a Bowler hat you will have good luck. *taken 2 blocks from Times Square on NYE

IMG_1883New York Food and Wine Festival Event

IMG_1641Pipes and Drums Prom. Who knew that Mary Louise and Lady Barrister wore the same color dress.

IMG_0059Madison Square Garden Event – here Mary Louise is saying “W.T.C.B.F. Carbunkle Trumpet, LZ goes to all the good shows and you take my ass to a Collegiate Hockey match? You better step up your game and start bogarting the good tickets too!”

IMG_2151Funny I don’t hear her bitching about this one. Aboard the USS Intrepid for the Marine Corp’s Birthday Celebration

IMG_3427Willimena is going to be a handful I can already tell.

IMG_4024 (1)Who has 2 thumbs and completes her MBA from NYU in 2 years while working full time and interviews for a new job. This one! Seriously though. This is it for higher level education.

IMG_2821Right before we move out of the UES they open a bonafide Queso Mexican Restaurant Joint and we find a great Cajun place too! Thank God we have the Q Train!

IMG_3128Boerum Hill is pretty cool. If you walk across the street from our joint you are in Boerum Hill neighborhood. If you make a left and walk across Flatbush you are in Fort Greene. You walk 3 more blocks and you are in Park Slope. Confused yet?

IMG_1262So glad to see Kitty when she made a trip up to the Big Apple.

IMG_0501This is the face of a woman who is about to walk out into a friggin Northeast Nor’easter. 50 MPH Winds with below windchill temps and Snow. I ‘worked from home’ that day!

IMG_8491And here was the first pic when we moved in. 3 years later and we are still here and I may or may not be a liberal democrat.

Thanks for reading and for following this worthless dribble. Now pull that band-aid off and go out and make yourself richer and happy 3rd Anniversary to us!

A trip to a Dive Bar – Franks Lounge in Fort Greene

I have been remiss as of late for not posting any of the great dive bars that we have been visiting. Granted The Royal Palms is a Classic but we have been finding some great bars in our vicinity.  Even the Murphranks remarked “You guys are doing some great re-con work” because we found a great one a couple of weeks back.

Across Flatbush Avenue is the Fort Greene neighborhood. It is home to one our favorite bagel shops and has a couple great Mexican joints that we have frequented. On my weekend walks to the bagel joint is an establishment that always catches my eye by the name of Franks Lounge. On Sunday we decided to swing by and have some beers. The bar is old school and naturally “Cash Only” but the decoration is defiantly stuck in the 80’s.

IMG_3709Yep Little Sister and Axl – This joint is older than you are!

IMG_3706Mary Louise was somewhat disappointed that she couldn’t order her fancy wine so she settled for a Bud Light.

IMG_3704Not sure about the ceiling but this joint had a certain flair to it. Kinda reminds us of Jimmy’s Corner meets Raifords

IMG_3703The bar was open that Sunday afternoon. God love the old school bars

IMG_3708Got to love the memorial

I need to swing by Hank’s and bring my camera. That is another one!