Murphranks

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.

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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

Cooking Solo – This Sucks!

So I got back from Barcelona. I got over the jet lag. I spent last weekend more or less chilling on the couch with the dog and managed to do a little ‘celebrating’ with the Landlord and Mr. 3 First Names. They got the final approval and permit on the remodel job they have been doing since this fall so we had some drinks to celebrate. Last weekend was great and very much needed after spending 18 hours traveling to a +6 time zone the weekend prior.

On Monday, Geranium informed me she made a mistake and a Marley Spoon food delivery slipped through so I should expect a box arriving on Monday. If you are familiar with the food meal plans out there you can get as many days as you wish and can pick the number of portions per meal. We are a 2 ass house so we get 2 meals X the number of days with Marley Spoon. Normally there are enough leftovers for Geranium’s lunch the next day and we normally get 3 days of meals.

Problem is that I am currently a one ass house and the meal came so late on Monday that I only have 2 days to cook a 3 day 2 person meal box. I figured that I would leave one meal for our dog sitter G-Man but I would need to cook on Tuesday and Wednesday. Another issue was that my lunches the next day were going to be booked so I am basically wasting a portion. How do single people cook a meal for one person? I joke with of one of my peers who is celebrating his birthday today that his fridge is full of condiment packets and beer since they don’t cook.

I forged on and made the meal with the idea of giving the other portion away. Problem was that George the Cat’s mom was away and the Bahamians at the end of the hall hadn’t been seen in weeks. Who the hell am I going to give this extra meal to? I made the extra meal and figured that I would either give it to our building concierge Jackie or I would take it across the street and give it to one of the homeless guys in the park. Please note that I am normally hesitant to give food away in the park. By that hour those guys in the park are either going to sleep or are just getting warmed up if you know what I mean. You just don’t know how many people are going to be in the park or what stage of high they may be.

Thankfully Jackie was at the desk and she loved her some sirloin steak. I informed her that I had another meal for Wednesday so she told me that she would pass on her normal food. Last night I didn’t feel bad because I was cooking this week for at least one person. By the way, when I told Geranium who I cooked on Tuesday night for she informed me that she ate potato chips for dinner that night. #SadTromboneSound

Bring your ass home Geranium and let me cook for you!

The fridge is full of stuff I have no time to mess with now! Incidentally Sam S – Velveeta and Red Bull are staples during single Carbunkle Trumpet Times.
Well I might as well make this damned thing
Potato Rounds and Green Beans in the oven
Oh I cooked them just fine but one sprung a leak!
Jackie was happy and even loved on Maya who was less than thrilled!

Anyone know of a good Single person menu item/dish other than Pizza or Fried Egg Sandwiches? I have a couple more days next week.

Living the Bachelors Dream Here Folks

I was trying to think back the other day when was the last time I lived alone. I had to go back to 1992 when I was living in the Shrine Building, working at Chez Philippe. and making more money than God. Since then I went out to East Memphis for a brief stint and then back downtown and started cramping Didi’s style at 71 Union Ave. Then I met Mary Louise and since then the toilet seat has been down ever since.

Mary Louise is to return back in the US on the 22nd of May until then it is going to be just me and the dog. Oh and don’t worry, I am not sitting here on the couch crying my eyes out. Vivian and Stone and I had dinner last weekend and I have a feeling that Maria and I will catch a dinner in the next couple of weeks. Of course Mr. 3 First Names and I have been out every night coming home in the early hours of the morning with Memphis in May sobriety. Ok that is a lie, he and the Landlord have been busy over there in the Slope with a remodeling job that is over halfway done. Maybe we can get some drinks next weekend.

I have been spending a lot more time at work and getting stuff done which isn’t bad for me. Naturally I have been spending a couple more hours than normal at the Gym that I belong to. The gym is over on East 73rd street between 1st and 2nd Avenue and I walk out of there needing a shower because I stink. For those of you who are not doubled over laughing need to know that the gym isn’t called Soul Cycle or Equinox but The Cigar Inn.

Oh and don’t cry for me too much. My ass is leaving this evening heading over to Barcelona to meet up with Geranium. She is going to be there for training so I figured I would crash her style and get some Spanish culture in too! Oh and by the way, when I text or facetime with Geranium she doesn’t care about me, she wants to see pics of the dog. Below are some of the pics from this past week.

Made me a work station while Geranium is away
Why are you walking me at 5:30AM? Why can’t I sleep in?
What the Corn Bread Fuck? I am never in here when there are 2 of you here.
I am going to get all my toys and play on the bed while you are pooping dad
Life is Hard
Stretching before we go out to pee
Kind of hard being this cute dad.
Even got one of those Nanny Cams. It is kind of boring since she is kenneled while I am away
See you fuckers on Monday!

Have a good weekend folks!

Some Pictures of London

I have been remiss in posting these so here is a bonus Post Presidents Day entry for you 15 readers. We had a blast in London and hopefully we will be doing something like this again in the near future.

Regarding London, it was great seeing PNG Mike and Lady E as well as Lord Jimmy and his parents and seeing Vegas JD was a bonus too.

Had no idea that the Landlord has such a following here in London.
Parliament they seem to have some issues much like we do. To quote Jimmy’s father “Please don’t impeach Trump, if you do then we will be the only assholes with issues!”
I think that I have drank some Gin with picture of that fella on it
Sure you can always get a selfie of Buckingham Palace but can you get a bird to stop in mid flight for a Photo Bomb?
10 Downing Street or Number 10 depending on who says it.
Man I have smoked a bunch of this man’s cigars.
I know some people from Whitehall!
Hey Look Kids, Big Ben, Parliament….and Fucking Cold ass Rain!
Too bad we didn’t get to see Master A as we were told he is over 6 feet tall.
Driving on the other side of the street can confuse you

Oye Ceras, por favor, no te bajes la pierna. Es considerado grosero por los estándares de inglés.
I passed on the Ribs at Harrods
Always loved Peter O’Toole
As I have heard that the Angel of Darkness has fallen ill, I am wishing I saw this show while we were there.

It was a great time and we will be back!

Pictures of the Week – We worked a Full Week this week and we lived to tell about it!

I was wondering why my ass was dragging this morning, then I realized it. Hell, this is the first time in the past 3 weeks that I have had to drag my ass into the city 5 consecutive days. For those of you who do read this worthless dribble and happen to be on Metro North, LIRR or NJT I expect you to fully tell me to “GFY CBT” I get it, you have a longer commute. (NON NEW YORK READERS) – I only have to take 1 to 3 subway stops to get into the city. Seriously, I have the easiest commute in the world.

So New Year, New Me right? Believe it or not, I am actually trying to clean up my act. I am nearing the 49 trips around the sun anniversary. After 50 trips I have to really be careful because I may break a hip or have to go to Canada for free healthcare. Ok enough silliness, here are the pictures that I have had on my iFoam for the past couple of days.

Can’t recall where I snapped this pic but I love that it is our former hood.
EGP is showing me her mad selfie skills.
Sent this to Mary Louise while she was in Spain on the 4th. Her comment back to me was “Did he die?” She isn’t a fan due to a long night Jam session one night at 595.
My Boss – You want to grab a drink? Me – Can’t I am studying for my Blood Test again. She then asked what day I was on my Juice Cleanse.
RJ and Fuck-Tard – You would love our building for obvious reasons!

Hope you have a good weekend and it isn’t as cold as it is going to be here. We are heading to Northwest Arkansas this weekend to see family and friends.

Also Shout out to the Pirate/Beatnik and Time Square Performer who happen to read this worthless dribble. They just completed an important milestone in their ‘remodeling’ project.

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!