Murphranks

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.”

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A Trip To Gerritsen Beach in Brooklyn

Back in February The Professor mentioned possibly field trip to The Tamaqua when it got warm. A few weeks ago when we were enjoying the roof deck in Park Slope Mr. Three First Names reminded us that we should make a trip to The Tamaqua. Since I had no idea what I was in for, I was all in. So we planed the trip this past Sunday.

Folks, I have visited some unbelievable Dive Bars here in New York. Milano’s Bar, Hanks Bar (when it was still open), The Ice House in Red Hook, Franks Lounge in Fort Greene, Farrells, Rudy’s with that Red Pig, and The Trailer Park Bar. All of these places hold a special place in my heart because they offer something that you can’t just buy or install. They are national treasures. Hold of to your hat folks. Here is where you are going to probably swallow your gum….

The Tamaqua could win the Title of the Best Dive Bar in New York.

I know, I know can you believe that I made that ballsy statement on a Tuesday? First off for me to properly describe The Tamaqua is going to be hard/damn near impossible. This place is stuck in a Time Machine. According to the Group it took a serious hit during Hurricane Sandy but yet she still sits there. Seriously as we were sitting there having some afternoon drinks one would not think that you are not in Brooklyn. You would think you are at Harbor Docks in Destin Florida or Tacky Jacks in Orange Beach, AL. For my Memphis folks who are coming up here in November we may have to make a trip there. You won’t believe it either!

The Doors are wide open because they don’t have AC. Remind anyone of Harpo’s?
Aww that is cute. But why is it listing to the right?
Lots of place to sit but they don’t have a kitchen or menu. The serve chips so maybe Maya will come next time. Nope
The put a clothes pin on your tab so it doesn’t blow away!
The Have a Pool Table. Shuffleboard, Dart and even some Poker Machines. God Bless this place
It is even ADA compliant and offers Wheel Chair Parking
Life is good at the Tamaqua

And no Maria, I am not losing my mind and no I don’t need a tetnus shot. Your Fancy NY @ss might not come here but it is good for a laugh. Thanks to Bobcat, Professor, Lady Barrister, Mr. 3 First Names for a fun afternoon.

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.

Pictures of the Week – Saturday Edition

One would think that when Geranium is out of town I would be able to turn out a bunch of this worthless dribble. I mean, I consider it a dick move while we are together on the weekend for me to blog and not spend time with her. You may be wondering why at this particular moment I am not doing that but she is still in the rack asleep with the dog. And one of them is snoring like a freight train.

Here are some pictures of the past week that I have had in my iFoam.

My Mermaid Bikini wearing slinger of spirits lets me make bad decisions. That’s why we love her so!
Kept the plants alive while Geranium was away!
I am never going to see him up here in New York.
B Duffel had some strong shoe game going on yesterday. I wasn’t about to take it lying down. It is after all Dead Elvis Week
I don’t know what is more ballsy. Sitting on the steps at Penn Station or wearing sandals instead of a HazMat Suit.
And then you have got this. Notice her hands are died Aqua as well. She got off at (dramatic pause) Times Square

I hope you have a good weekend. We are chilling here today and then finding a rooftop in Park Slope tomorrow.

“Should we return to our roots and go to a Redneck Show in Queens?”

Shout out to BK who is a faithful follower of this “Worthless Dribble” of a blog! (putting this here so it will appear in the header of my Social Media posts)

Regarding the Title…that was the body of the text message that I got from (Name Withheld To Protect our Northern Values) about 6 weeks back. So it would appear that Hank Williams Jr was doing a show with Lynyrd Skynyrd in a farewell tour for Skynyrd at Forrest Hills Stadium. Now before I sell out the person who sent the text message I doubled down on them. I informed (said) person that I will have to check. I told them I know “a guy” who works on the Hank tour and I would message him to see if 1- he still was still on tour and 2 – he could get us some better seats.

BK responded back to me saying that he could take care of us and get us some tickets (he knows I am not a ticket mooch) because I wanted to see him and hang out. For those of you wondering who this BK guy is…..well… we served time together. I am not talking about Federal “Pound You In The Ass” Prison, I am talking something much worse…. A month long festival that included a 3 day Music Festival, Rednecks with Smokers and then KC & The ‘Mother Fucking’ Sunshine Band! Oh did I mention that we also had an almost Tornado hit the park so on night 2 of the Music event we evacuated >30K people? Yep, BK and I may have been different ships at sea at the time (I was fun-employed, he was about to get married the following January) we respected each other and played well with others which made it easier to deal with that crap……Well…..Except for the WCBCC Volunteers. We both would choose Communism over them! (that may take a hit on the blog but nobody reads this shit anyway)

Say what you will about Social Media and Facebook. I don’t post much on FB except to plug this worthless dribble but BK and I kept up with each other via this platform. When his (Saint of a wife,I might add) posted that she needed some birthday cards for BK’s monumental celebration how did she get the word out? Facebook. Anyway this was the mode of keeping up with our lives for the past 9 years.

Flash forwarding to the show. Let me tell you (sorry Maria) but Forrest Hills Stadium FUCKING ROCKS as a venue! Holy Shit and it is fun as crap too with the Food Trucks and the booze! The fact that its nestled in the middle of Forrest Hills Queens (MEMPHIS FOLKS – Think Cross between Mud Island Theater Seating but in the midtown are like the Levitt Shell Location) it blows my mind. Oh and the line up this summer isn’t that too fucking bad either.

So before I go into the pictures; Thank You BK. Thank you for tickets and thank you for following this worthless dribble of a blog. But most importantly thank you the fact that one of these days I won’t have to come to your office so we can hang out have some laughs. “Play it Loud” runs at the Met till the fall so come on up! If not I welcome a trip down south and we can giggle at some of the stuff we have seen over the past 10 years. Thank you.

The current Line Up for Forrest Hills. Hey GurleyGurl, Dessert Buddy & Geranium’s Sushi Buddy, and naturally Doty – September 11th. Come Up! You Got a Guy!
Pic of the Venue from Sound World
Like I said, Small Venue but its fun and lots of history!
Venue from the Food Trucks/Tents
Tons of Food and Drink – Bring your wallet!
Seriously, Thank you Billy! I might add we still look good for all that clean living too!
Hank Jr Baby!
The ICON and his son.
Oh these Knuckleheads tagged along too!
So did these Knuckleheads too!
This actually is one of the greatest live Concert Pictures that I have ever taken from an iFoam. And the Fact that Jethro in front giving us Double Hook em Horns is even better!
As expected, I didn’t post a picture of us at the event. I promise we were there. I need to work on those Robo Selfies!

What a great Sunday in Queens. Anyone want to come up for September 11th. I want to go see Willie……

Four Years Ago To this Day

7 people went to dinner at Lilies in Union Square. What would happen later that evening in Koreatown is forever ingrained in my memory. For not only did some livers take a beating but so did a set of Bongos!

No disrespect to the Bongo Lady but the Asian Fireman that evening put your best performance to shame.

Good Times that night! I think the next day when I texted The Asian Fireman he said his hands were black and blue.
One should really experience Koreatown Karaoke.

Good Times with Good People! Who would know that a week later we would find out that we were going to move to NYC.

One Year Ago Tomorrow – We Lost A Great Traveler

I recall it like it was yesterday. The first text came from GrainbinGirl at like 7:AM (6:AM Memphis Time) then the next came from Pepe. “Anthony Bourdain was gone and by his own hand.” *Disclaimer – I have lost many a good friend and family member by their own hand. This post is not in any way shape or form trying to speak of this horrible disease. Sadly it takes too many good people*

Best Friends

So the loss of Antony Bourdain has bothered me for a while. Now that I have just finished up on a whirlwind tour with Shawna (yeah, I am serious when I use real names) I miss him even more.

Tunisa

For this post I plan on speaking about some of Tony’s quotes that I hold dear to my heart.  His friend Jose Andres said it best in his latest book in the tribute;

To our friend Anthony Bourdain, who spent his life planting seeds

That man put a bunch of seeds in my head and I owe it to him to make them grow and experience some of what he got to see. Let’s be honest….the Cock Sucker had the best life in the world and I am so grateful that I can try to do as much as I can!!! Enough with the chatter. Here are my favorite Bourdain Quotes in no sequential order and some notes;

  • “Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life — and travel — leaves marks on you.” – Loved my trip to a small town in Switzerland. You don’t get the same experience in the larger towns. Here I was just an American who couldn’t speak French and didn’t know I needed to bring a bag.
  • “If you’re twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel – as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them — wherever you go.”Or if you are 49 years old do this and load up on the ADVIL! I am not going to lie, the travel I did to see Shawna was tough but I look back and loved every minute of it!
  • “The journey is part of the experience — an expression of the seriousness of one’s intent. One doesn’t take the A train to Mecca.”I landed at Heathrow exhausted but figured out the Tube Schedule, walked my ass through the rain and got to the hotel. I could have wimped out and paid a King’s Ransom for a Black Car but what is the point if you aren’t going to see and experience Rush Hour into London on a Friday?
  • “I’m a big believer in winging it. I’m also a big believer that you are never going to find perfect city travel experience or the perfect meal without a constant willingness to experience a bad one. Letting the happy accident happen is what a lot of vacation itineraries miss, I think, and I’m always trying to push people to allow those things to happen rather than stick to some rigid itinerary.”This was 100% Barcelona! I only had a list from The Notorious NFG but it was going to be a total wing it. I love that town. I want to go back and I want to go back now.  
  • “Drink heavily with locals whenever possible.”No Comment
  • “You learn a lot about someone when you share a meal together.” – Loved our visit with English Mike & Ellie as well as our visit with The Tour Agent and Curly Sue in Switzerland. I know that our paths will cross again and when it does. I plan on picking up from where we left off.
  • “Your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.”It is very well documented that I smoke cigars, drink alcohol on occasion, and need a cholesterol pill. Sure, I try to keep myself leaning towards the cleaner side of life but what’s the point of living if you can’t slide down butt naked on a sheet of ice. Yes, I ordered the damn goose liver and I loved it!
  • “I learned a long time ago that trying to micromanage the perfect vacation is always a disaster. That leads to terrible times.”I am hoping she never reads this but I so disagree with Z-Squared and her guerrilla vacation tactics. I love her to death and will be that “3AM phone call guy to come bury a body” guy but I can’t vacation with her. Let that shit roll off the back.

And will I finish with this one. I will always have the deepest respect and love for Ernie and Lynn Mellor for giving an out of work carnie a job.

  • “Barbecue may not be the road to world peace, but it’s a start.” – Nothing is better than standing over a hot smoker busting balls and or discussing life. I am always appreciate of the visits with the Asian Fireman in Woodlawn.

So, if you have not figured out by my already 900 words this is telling you to go out and explore. It doesn’t have to be in a different country. It can be in a different part of your home town.

All you have to do is be friendly, be respectful and always be humble.

How cool would it be if you were having a lunch on this beach?

Rest in peace Tony. I am still pissed I didn’t get to drink with you at Billy Mark but that is more for a selfish reason.

To honor you I will try to see as much of this world as you did.

Geranium and I had a blast this past weekend. Hope you did too. Pictures from this past weekend

22 years of marriage on Saturday, Momma got home on Thursday, and we had a 3 day weekend – Maya and I were happy! This is going to be more of a Friday Picture post. That being said;

We went to EWR to meet Momma when she got off the plane. Maya was pissed naturally!
Congrats to the Lady Killer on graduating from St. Dominic School for Boys.
Made some MoJo Coffee for Momma on Saturday with her new Keurig
Went into the city on Saturday to get some shirts. I was nice and didn’t curse anyone!
Two cuties right there!
Brilliant – The bar we frequent on occasion in Dekalb Food Market is a stroller destination for the families nearby. I always wondered why they had kids movies on the TV. The tables are full of the kids in highchairs and they are glued into the monitors with headphones on linked via Tunity. The parents are getting their drink on happy as clams. Like I said – Fucking Brilliant because not a child was screaming!
Holy Shit! I feel pretty good about myself considering I am the same age!

Hope you have a good week folks. Be thankful that it is only 4 days. Oh and Geranium is leaving my ass to head to Seattle today as well. She gets back on Friday and she is going to meet me at Andi’s bar at Baker Street in the UES.

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.

Jose Andres – Are we still keeping score @GrainbinGirl?

So my good friend GrainbinGirl and I share a little obsession together. We stalk the F out of chefs and try to garner seats at restaurants that are the talk of the town. Every January we kick ourselves that we did not attend the Caymen Cookout with all the celebrity chefs but in fairness the price tag does make that a hard trip to swallow. Please note that before we moved to New York she had a sizeable lead on me with regards to chef sightings. That immediately changed

When we moved to the UES it was actually her who figured out that Eric Ripert was one of my neighbors and right after that discovery I ran into him. No seriously, Monkey Head Maddy blind as a bat, actually walked right into him on E71st street. As you can imagine he was petrified that he hurt her and picked her up and petted her. Since then we dined at a couple really cool joints and I rubbed it in to her but not to be a complete dick I did get her a book from Ripert.

When I found out that Jose Andres was going to be signing his new book at his new joint in Hudson Yards I messaged the Murphranks to see if they wanted to join. This was right after my return from Barcelona and Mr. 3 First Names responded that I must have really enjoyed Spain since I was now “Everything Spain”. I booked the tickets and last night we headed down to Hudson Yards to check it out.

To say that Jose Andres is a huge celebrity is not an exaggeration. To say that Jose Andres is a humanitarian doesn’t scratch the surface. To allude that Jose Andres isn’t passionate about life and about food you must have never watched of Bourdain’s shows. And what I also love about him is that he is one of the only chefs in the world to currently be sued by a sitting US President. Yeah, he hates Trump as much as I do. Actually who carries a red wine on tap at his restaurant in Hudson Yards called “Democrat”? But of course Jose Andres does.

Adam Rapport from Bon Appetite was the moderator but was more of a “keep things on track” and the back and forth between Andres and Matt Goulding was hilarious. When I say that you really should have been there it is an understatement. I mean who else can total a rental car in Barcelona and say to the rental car employee who is having a come-apart “But I am Jose Andres and I must get to Madrid” and they are thanking him? Jose did mention Anthony Bourdain during one of the questions but I loved this comment the best;

“I am a vegetarian, I mean look at me. I am as big as a cow and I got this way from eating only vegetables.”

I am betting he isn’t tweeting FAKE NEWS or advising anyone not to show up to a congressional subpoena
Adam Rapport on the left, Jose Andres center and Matt Goulding on the right
He spoke to every person and took every selfie. My kind of a guy
Oh did I mention that Tom Colicchio the co-founder of Gramercy Tavern and a slew of other restaurants was there too?

And don’t worry GrainbinGirl. There is a FedEx delivery heading your way tomorrow. #RoboCares