Hope everyone had a great 3 day weekend. Hope that everyone still has all 10 fingers and 10 toes. Saw a lot of stupid people on Tik Tok and posting on Instagram. Do we need to call your mommas and grand mommas on you?
Anyway we stayed in didn’t do jack shit. Kinda like we do all the time. I hung some pictures and smoke some cigars but that was pretty much it.
Here are some pictures of the past weekend and week.
Have a good week folks and please wear a mask and if you can “stay inside”
So on a team call this week one of our teammates voiced concern about how safe it was in Manhattan and how were we to get work safely from say Penn Station. I was not here at the time but I heard that Times Square back in the day was something else with the prostitutes, drug dealers and rock/cup guys. I really didn’t know what this person was getting at then it dawned on me. This person must watch the news and of course there haven’t been any stories about how thing in New York have rebounded. Not that we are watching the news anyway but we can see on Instagram posts how things are going back to normal in NYC.
I assured this person that things are back to Normal (can we really say that now?) and that the boards are off the buildings. Now we only have to worry about are Murder Hornets, a Dust Cloud and oh yeah COVID-19.
Anyway here are some pictures I took this week and shared with the team.
There is a common misconception about the neighborhoods here in York. People think that these neighborhoods are huge when some can only be a city block.
UES, UWS, FiDi, SoHo, these are all well known neighborhoods on Manhattan. When I would tell people I lived in the UES which is true but we were actually living in the Lennox Hill neighborhood. Do you actually know where this in Manhattan? So I kept it simple.
When we moved to Downtown Brooklyn it was the same. Where our address was if I walked across the street I was in Boerum Hill, I cross Flatbush and I was in Fort Greene, two blocks away and I was in Cobble Hill.
So here in Manhattan we have the same neighborhood shrinkage. The Diamond District is only a long block long. The Flower District is maybe a short block long. Little Italy is basically one street now.
So when we landed on W37th we were between 9th and 10th avenues. The Leasing agent said we were in Midtown West. That is technically right but if I walk a block West I am in Hudson Yards. I walk one block East and I am the Garment District. The Fire Station that is behind our building boasts they are Hell’s Kitchen’s Finest. Then if I walk 5 South I am in Chelsea.
So Maria, what is it? Where the Hell Do we Live and in what neighborhood?
Mixed emotions this week folks. My friend San Pedro Scoop spoke about the roller coaster of emotions. We felt them here this week too. We celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary. We got to go into the city and see our new apartment. I spoke with a former colleague and caught up with him on what he is doing.
Ok, enough words folks. Here are the pictures of the week.
Have a good weekend. Be Safe, Be patient and wear your damn mask.
Yeah, talk about some crazy stuff but hey, we have already paddled out on the surfboard some 4 3/4 years ago when we moved here. Why not keep the dream alive.
Back Story – When we got the offer and made the decision to move up here almost 5 years ago we sought council from The Murphranks. They both told us that we needed to prioritize the following items;
Be as Close to Public Transportation (Subway, Bus, Regional Lite Rail)
Avoid at all costs any type of a Pre-War Walk Up
I am sure there are more but I those two have burned some good Brain Cells in the short time we have been living here.
First Apartment on First Avenue was a dream now looking back. It was part of the Hospital so we didn’t have to hunt for a place to live and it was another stress item we didn’t have to worry about. It was perfect except for the fact that I had to walk about 15 minutes to and from each day to get the 6 Train at 68/Lexington. I did this for about 17 months and let me tell you it sucked. That all changed when the Q Train opened up on January 1, 2017. Ironically we ran into ole Andrew that morning but I digress.
First Apartment had the following things that we were growing accustomed to and it because a priority;
Doorman Building – Not so much to open your door but to know that if the front door didn’t shut behind another resident meant it was a safety/security issue.
Package Room – This is a HUGE problem when people BC (Before Covid-19) would have to have signatures on deliveries. People in the Package Room would sign for our shit
Elevator Banks that would accommodate the number of residents.
Closeness to a Grocery Store – Right Across the Street
Closeness to bars – This isn’t so much of a good thing.
Laundry in Building – Who wants to schlep stuff
So when Geranium and I decided to move from the UES place we looked at a couple of places or more areas. We decided on Downtown Brooklyn for a couple of reasons as once again our priorities were changing. She was going to be on the road more so I needed more amenities to keep my sanity. I mean we looked at Fidi (No Grocery Store), Battery Park City (bitch of a walk to one subway line) and Murray Hill (I wasn’t a fan for some reason)
What our new priorities were included;
Ability to have someone swing by and get keys from the front desk to walk the Monkey Heads and leave keys for our cousin.
Subway Options – I had over 16 different lines I could choose from to get into the city.
Needed an Outdoor space or place for me to go work in the building.
Exercise and Possible instructed classes that we could join.
Washer/Dryer in Unit – Well that is now a bonus
Roof Terrace and Grilling Pavilions
Closeness to Murphranks (yeah we kind of like drinking with you)
Ease of getting to all 3 airports for Geranium. She can actually get to EWR, JFK, LGA in about an hour from our location.
Bomb Dot Com View of Manhattan – Full disclosure – I signed the lease on this joint before Geranium did because it had a killer view of the Empire State and Manhattan.
Then COVID-19 Hit in early March.
So our lease is up in July and the leasing company wanted to know if we wanted to sign a 1 year or 2 year lease. Of course with a nice little additional percentage on the lease. I am not one to shit on people but they wouldn’t let us go month to month so we are off like a Prom Dress. Just so we are clear – the Front Desk and Maintenance Staff – we love each and everyone of you. But the management/ownership company not so much.
So what are our new Priorities and what priority is now been relegated to the bottom of the list you ask? God Bless Geranium because she found us a place on West 39th Between 9/10 Avenues I think in 2 days. The location is considered Midtown West/Hudson Yards as it is nestled north of Chelsea, South of Hells Kitchen and West of The Garment District.
So here are our New COVID-19 priorities now and what doesn’t really matter so much now;
Outdoor space – No, it is not so that I can smoke cigars, I don’t think they are allowed on balconies anyway. We need to air out and get sun.
Smaller Building/Less Floors/Footprint – They only allow 2 people in our elevator now. We have 3 elevators dedicated to floors 30 – 55 and you do the math. Oh and there are times when the door opens I can see the fear in people’s eyes when I want to enter with Maya. Current wait time is about 10 minutes during peak times. And on the day I am writing this elevator #3 is down….again.
Neighborhood Residential Density Footprint – Where we are in Downtown Brooklyn we have tiny sidewalks. We also have tons of residential high rises and the Brownstones from Boerum Hill. Sadly we have to give up the sidewalks to the kids. Where we are going according to Mr. 3 First Names is very quiet.
Washer/Dryer in Suite – Absolutely now!
Grocery Store/Pharmacy Nearby – We live above the same grocery store I visit once a week 4 blocks away. Haven’t figured out where the CVS is but I am happy about the closness of my grocery store. Having it across the street in the UES was paramount.
Not a Priority at this Time (For obvious reasons)
Closeness to the Subways – That’s a big ole nope. The friggin NYSE told their members that they would not be allowed to take public transportation if they were going to be on the floor until a vaccine is created. The New York Stock Exchange folks…..
Amenities/Common Space – Yeah why am I going to pay 3% more at our current place to not use it?
Nearby Bars/Restaurants – We ain’t going anywhere for a while folks. And any New Yorker is stupid to think we are going back to what it was before. At least till we get some type of handle on this virus.
Commute to the office – I am actually now the only rep for the Double Decker Bus Company who lives closest to our office at 37 and 7th Avenue. I ain’t going there….
Close to stuff – We are not too far from Penn Station and Madison Square Garden now. Like we will there anytime soon.
I know I rambled but actually I have some folks who are also in the same boat as us and I wanted to verbalize how priorities have shifted for us. We are very excited for this new place. So is Maya, she is so over having to pee at 16 Sycamore Park. Also her boyfriend George is gone because our current building did her mom dirty too..
I was standing outside waiting on the dog to pee Thursday morning and I felt a subway rumble under the sidewalk and it almost startled me. I hadn’t seen a subway platform for over 28 days. From my “office” I can see the B & Q train on occasion going over the Manhattan Bridge but that’s it. We are now 26 days in lockdown and I am starting to forget the little things that make this city so great. The things that normal people skeeve that are just part of life for New Yorkers.
So there is a video clip that someone made of Cuomo’s speech. I encourage you to go seek it out. It is titled “NY Tough” grab a tissue it will put a tear in your eye.
There are two parts that really hit home. “You have to be smart to make it in New York“ The Second part is equally strong “And because we are New York Tough. We are tough, you have to be tough. This place makes tough. But it makes you tough in a good way. We are going to make it because I love New York. And I love New York. Because New York loves me. New York loves all of you. Black and White, Brown and Asian, Short and Tall, gay and straight. New York loves everyone. That is why I love new York.” Incidentally Maria informed me that I got my New York Pin so I guess I got that going for me.
So I put on my reporter hat and asked a bunch of my fellow New Yorkers (via email, text, Instagram) a question – “Once we get out of this what is the one thing you are going to do?” I will start off;
Carbunkle Trumpet – I plan on sitting with the old Chooch’s at the Cigar Inn on Second Avenue and smoke an Arturo Fuente Opus X ($75 a stick) hell I may smoke two of them at the same time! I might even debate the Chooch’s about Trump. (highly discouraged as they are all red hat wearers)
The Notorious N “M’effin” G – Make a reservation at Carbone and have every single person I have ever met over to my apartment to pre-game.
The work wife (The international one) – I am going to day drink by the pool or beach with no social distancing and then go out to eat every night for weeks because I am already tired of cooking every single meal.
My Cubical Roomate in the West Village – See my friends and do whatever we can as a group. Oh and join you on Second Avenue too!
My Haitian Brother from another Mother not wishing to be from PA – Talking to everyone on the Train at Grand Central and having lunch with my work brothers and sister at Sophies and Blue Smoke and drive the kids to school. (he has 2 young ones and a wife that works in a medical lab – make sure you pour one for him)
Tarheel M(squared) – Drink an overpriced iced latte on my way to boozy brunch in the East Village then day drinking all day!
Shawneen from Middle Village – I am going to visit my family and hug and kiss them with no fear!
M(Squared) the former work wife (the domestic one) – Response pending
The Cruise Queen – Going to a nice restaurant after I get my hair done.
Geranium’s Work Wife – I am going to head down to Paddy McGown’s Pub drink buckets of Busch Light cans with friends and sing along (way out of key) to all our favorite songs on Touch Tunes.
Don Bruni – I am going to hop on a plane and hit an island somewhere. Work phone in a lock box in my bedroom.
The Credit Queen – I am going to NEVER again get pressured into buying ginormous amounts of toilet paper. Drink more prosecco, pay attention – really pay attention at Mass.
Bikinisareforever – Yankees Game
Asian Fireman – Going to the Rambling House for a proper pint of Guinness.
AB the LSU Tiger Fan – Go to Nat Sherman for 2 Metropolitan Host Maduro Hyde and smoke it in Bryant Park while enjoying a few 24oz Ice Cold Corona Mortar shells and polish off a few dirty dishwater dogs. YOU CAN ALMOST HEAR HIS ACCENT WHEN YOU READ THIS.
Bobcat – Peter Lugar Steakhouse in Brooklyn and see her sister
The Professor – Swing by 773 Dive Bar, Palace Dive Bar, Connie O’s Dive Bar and Call Box (yep you guessed it another dive bar)
Homeless Tim – Fried Chicken at TAK Room and sit down and eat it properly. *he got that for Takeout when he fled the city for CT*
Lady Barrister Murphrank – Commissioner, Fausto, Osteria Morini (Italian Joint in the City) as that was the last place she ate before the city went on pause.
Mr 3 First Names – A repeat Trip up 5th Avenue (its a FDNY Pipe’s and Drums band thing)
AV The Russian – Take the subway anywhere and have a nice boozy brunch outside at a restaurant while touching every single person I see.
AV’s Momma – After I give my daughter an unending hug and shed some tears, Ima getting a huge juicy burger and eat it down by Battery Park across from the Statue of Liberty. I LOVE THIS ONE
Flynn Shady – Drinks at Down The Hatch in Greenwich Village and a slice of pizza at Joe’s,
PC the Memphis Fan – Queens Comfort in Astoria and get rousingly drunk at hip hop brunch then walk it off along the East River.
The Cousin – A Bouie UES Brunch at Penrose with my girls!!!!!!
UWS Holly – Well it won’t be ‘go see Hamilton’ because her tickets are for May 30th. She will go to the 105th street dog run with the Ellington in the park outdoor café.
Maria – Bloody steak at Peter Lugar in Brooklyn
Gumata Jennie – Joining Maria for that Steak
Rhino – A great meal from Maria and Inga
LJZ – Stupid Expensive Cocktails on the roof of the Peninsula then sipping champagne at Tiffany’s with her personal shopper.
F from Z(squared) – Playing Dominos at the Ear Inn and drinks at Oceana.
JP on the Island of Long – Head to the Gym then Beach. I’ll be in a NY state of Mind.
Tay-Tay – Mani/Pedi, then a Swedish Massage and flying down to Florida ASAP for the Big 3-0!
Vivian Longstreet – Raoul’s – having a martini at the bar served by Franko then I’m having dinner in a booth. I will start with 6 raw oysters, then steak au Poivre and finally the profiteroles.
Ty Middelton – Go to my Tailor and pick up the Rick Owens Suit I had altered. Then head over to Caviar Russe for Vodka and Caviar.
Ty Webb on The Price is Right – Response Pending
Name Withheld to protect the innocent – JG Mellon’s in the UES for a bloody Mary, Bowl of Chili and a Burger.
The Bartender – I am going to hug the F Train!
San Pedro Scoop – Murray’s Bagels for a Sesame with Lox or Maple Walnut Cream Cheese naturally Untoasted
Brizzyc – Wants to go to Kettle of Fish for a Packers Game! I miss being with FANS!
Grantmeaccess – Anything to do with Beer!
Mary Louise Geranium – Find a Gospel Brunch and ride the Q Train into the city to see her chiropractor.
Steve from Flushing – Aquaduct and then maybe Belmont.
The Bookie – I am going to go to one of my favorite Alphabet City Dive Bars, walk in the men’s room and if it doesn’t smell like it used to I am going to be pissed!
QBall from Tudor City – I am going to Old Town Tavern sit at the bar and bitch to John (the Bartender) about how the Mets completely fucking Suck!
Kate the Dog Sitter – I am going to my favorite restaurant Coppola’s with my grandma!
Constantine – “I am going to walk into Mt. Sinai hospital and I am going to hug every nurse, doctor and employee”
Mr. Clean – I am going to cherish the following 6 words – “Stand Clear Of The Closing Doors!”
DRS (Former Work Momma) – I plan on seeing my mother, and head to the beach.
Thanks to all those who played along. I had fun putting this out.
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.
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
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)
10 Ladder/10 Engine
Alexander Hamilton’s Grave at Trinity (The CBT Surprise)
Times Square (kill me BTW)
Fancy Lunch at a Midtown East Sushi House
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..
It was fun but it was hot and thankfully ZF was a good sport. We had fun playing with you.
My former work wife (the domestic one) moved up to middle management and has her a nice corner office in the Garment District. I would visit her from time to time and noticed that she had 3 picture frames but no pictures in it. I would suggest to her some options but she has other things going and never got around to it.
Last week she had to head to the head office for training. Who knew that selling tourists tickets to those double decker buses in Times Square needed so much managing and training. She was gone all week but last Friday I was going to be in the office for some training as well. Since she knows that #robocares I figured I would take it upon myself to put in some pictures in her picture frames for her. DISCLAIMER – I did text her husband prior to me doing this and he was on board.
I think she liked my effort at re-decorating her office.
We had a great weekend last weekend and let me be the first to admit that next weeks posts are probably going to suck. Next week is a short week and our favorite 2 first name swimmer is heading to town so we are going to be bizzy. That and I gave you feckers 4 posts this week…
Guess it looks like lobsters like Irish beer in Portland.
So Saturday Morning was a 3 beverage morning. S/O to Seaweed and Diane!
They did have some nice sunsets here in Maine
Google This Company Folks…..Seriously….It is Good Shit!
Not sure who this fat fucker is in this picture but the girl kissing on him says that he is a lucky son-of-a-bitch!
Cold Beer and Hot Sausage….It reminds me to say Happy Anniversary to Alex’s Tavern!
Iggy’s Sports and Karaoke Bar….Never been there!
Let this be a lesson to you who use the ‘filters’ on Snapchat. I do kid as I love this picture, and it makes me smile. That and I appreciate and respect this person….but it makes me giggle too!
Have a good weekend.
*Editors Note – I screwed up and this didn’t load till Friday Night.