That Crazy Arse Carbunkle Trumpet

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.

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Happy Anniversary Papua New Guinea Mike & Claire! Also Pictures of the week.

Right out of the gate I would like to wish my good friends PNG Mike and his lovely (and saint of a) wife Claire a happy Anniversary! PNG Mike and Claire were married 6 years ago and we were there to witness the event and had a blast! I look back on 6 years ago and think about the ton of stuff that has happened between that beautiful March 1st day and now and WOW. Cancer, Move to NYC, Rolls Royce, British American Tabaco, Reflexology Barn – life is changing after you get >40 and it isn’t all that bad.

One of the most ironic events that comes to my mind is that on the morning of the wedding we had “Kegs n Eggs” with the boys. There were about 20 of us at the table and I was seated across from Claire’s Uncle. He and I were exchanging pleasantries and he asked what my thoughts of England were so far. I told him that I was a little worried that BBC1 was excited that it was going to ‘almost’ get into double digits on the Celsius scale. (Almost 47 degrees for you Fahrenheit people) 6 years later we are living in NYC and we are supposed to get a snowstorm and the temp won’t get above 1C tomorrow. In all seriousness, Happy Anniversary guys.

We have had a long week and are glad that Mary Louise is coming back today. Right before the snowstorm and crappy cold weather. Anyway here are some pics from that great weekend 6 years ago and some from this week in Manhattan/Brooklyn.

I guess one has to stretch the Hamstrings before getting on the 4/5
6 Years Ago at Kegs N Eggs – No lies were being told here. Not at all!
This could be a problem
Love the Trainers (Chuck Taylor’s) for the wedding. Oh and Claire’s dress was nice too!
Some of our friends have asked when we are going to Belize this year. Some “guy” we know is going to celebrate 50 trips around the sun during this time.
I see this sign (a block from the apartment on State Street) and miss NOLA.
Shout out to all my NOLA Friends this weekend.
Yo Taco Girl! I Saw this and made me laugh!
That is the most hair PNG has had in a while! Again thank you for having us to your party and Happy Anniversary!

Have a good weekend!

“Have you been to the Oyster Bar at Grand Central?”

I would get this question pretty much every time I would talk to my fellow coworker, eye-talian and lover of smoked meats, Guido. I honestly told him that it wasn’t like I was avoiding this joint. It seemed like anytime that I was in Grand Central with some time to kill, waiting for a Metro North train the damned thing would be closed. Back tracking a bit – a couple of weeks ago Mary Louise was returning from a work trip and found herself in Grand Central so she had lunch there. She gave it glowing reviews and said it wasn’t as touristy as one would imagine.

Last Friday Mary Louise was, once again, out of town I found myself in Grand Central around 4:30. I was feeling somewhat peckish so I went looking for food before my long commute home (New Yorkers are you reading this?) So here I was, coming down the ramp, and saw that Oyster Bar was open. I knew that the dog was fine having been taken out by the dog walker so I decided to hang out at Grand Central for the Late Afternoon!

First of all, this place is frigging huge! I had no idea how big it was because it looks very small from the outside. I found a spot at the bar and God Bless Carlos, the server, he was as busy as a one legged man in an ass kicking contest. I found a home at the “shucking bar” since the majority of the oysters are broken here. I was sitting between a mix of Midtown attorneys finishing up a weeks work and tourists who were pissed that it was taking so slow. I knew I was in the right spot because Carlos ran by me 3 times with various requests/specials and he liked that I was quick with my response.

I started with a half dozen and I told Carlos to pick the best of the bunch. *Disclaimer – I don’t know much about Northeastern oysters so I always trust the experts.* After enjoying the 6 best oysters I have had in a while, I watched one of the chefs make a soup from scratch about a dozen times. I really didn’t need any soup but I always appreciate someone who loves what they do. I asked Carlos what soup I wanted and he suggested the Oyster Pan Roast. This is pretty much a clam based soup with cream and tomatoes. Frigging Tomato Soup with oysters? I am in!

My View from the Front Line
Hated those 6 oysters!
Yo Holmes, what you making? Can I get a Sample?
This is some Good Shit!

Guido – You are right, I have been remiss on visiting the Oyster Bar. I am now a fan but still have an issue being only open during weird working hours!

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.

Sunday Funday Mexico Photo Dump

Mary Louise has left my ass again………for Seattle………then her ass goes to Mexico for a girl’s weekend with Baby Fine Hair so I am sitting on the 3rd floor veranda blogging. Hey Mr 3 First Names and Landlord you guys want to get into some trouble between now and next Monday? I am going to be unsupervised till then. So while I have the wash going on trying to get the Hickory Smoke smell out of them from this past weekend I figure I would post the last of the Mexico pictures, well those that we can recall taking sober.

Isla was a blast, the group we went down with was fun and we had great weather. Oh and we got to see the Cuban Band and I am going on record saying that if Mary Louise goes to see them next Sunday I am going to be really jealous.

IMG_3801Oh I am sure that this is approved in the States at a lot of the job sites.

IMG_3771Poor LZ we had her all confused with the nicknames. “So is he Smoothie, Pepe or what?”

IMG_3777One of these days I am going to get a proper invite instead of having to jump over the fence.

IMG_3753That damn Cuban lead singer made the Future Mrs. Gonzales lose her pants. What goes on in Mexico stays in Mexico.

IMG_3751The Mexican Version of “Mustang Sally” isn’t as good as one would think

IMG_3752Lil Man was getting after it!

IMG_3739It is hard being Carbunkle Trumpet you know? Those 25 Cigars aren’t going to smoke themselves.

IMG_3755Momma L was gettin it as the Cheese Grater Guy was making his rounds.

IMG_3748Sunday in Isla is fun!

IMG_3741I hear that they have good Mediterranean Pizza. I wouldn’t know because my piece was on the fucking floor.

Till Next Time Isla! Maybe we can make a quick trip this winter.

 

New Joints in San Pedro

As I reported EARLIER we visited some new joints while down in San Pedro. Also on our visit we got to see some new improvements to some of the ones that we saw when we were down 2 years ago at Easter. I hear the grumblings of people all the time; I miss the hand drawn ferry, it used to be much quieter, so much traffic, and so on. Hell, the bad thing is that the majority of that comes from the bitter Ex-Pats who we hung out with on the Poker Run north of the bridge on Saturday.

Sorry Folks but San Pedro back in the early 1980’s will never happen again. Change is inevitable and it can either be good change or bad change. I am not going to open this up for discussion but personally I think the change on San Pedro is for the good. More people means more money, more jobs, more housing, and more infrastructure. Sure I miss the bumpy ass roads north of the island but do you know how nice it is to make it to Truck Stop without having to stop to re-adjust your balls?

I have friends on the island who tell me that business is booming and people are wishing to buy property on the island all the time. I say we should welcome them with open arms because with that extra cash flow maybe someone can put in a full time hospital or clinic on the island. It isn’t a big secret that “One should never get sick in Belize” so maybe this will be the next big thing. I still recall when there wasn’t a hyperbaric chamber on the island and this when there were dive shops going up every day.

IMG_2705Here is Crocs north of the bridge. A huge 3 story sport bar/restaurant that has killer views of the back of the island.

IMG_2694I have to hand it to the owners and investors of The Truck Stop. Huge gamble but they are printing money hand over fist. Great concept (shipping containers aka food stations) and since our last visit they added 2 more containers, built a stage and even have a friggin pool out back. Staff is wonderful and we wish them the best. They really are a great addition to the island.

IMG_2695Family Feud Night!

IMG_2696Picnic Tables in the middle and plenty of seating.

IMG_2697Great family place to bring the kids too!

IMG_2725The old Standby – Estel’s by the sea. They added a bigger bar (this space used to be Charlie’s dining room table) and the staff as always is top notch!

IMG_2704Talk about re-purposing something in San Pedro – This is the urinal from Croc’s

IMG_2702I snicker each time!

IMG_2713Like a Phoenix re-birth from the ashes The Palapa Bar is back! Here we are working our poor friend Rony to death and also twisting the jealousy knife into the backs of Bill and Roxanne a tad too!

IMG_2718What you can’t really see is the Stage 2 Sunburn on this poor girl or that she did a pretty good job belting out some Janis Joplin

IMG_2706One thing that should always stay the same is the shrimp sticks at Blue Water Grill. Still as good as the first time we had them!

IMG_6605That and Kitty, she never changes!

IMG_2693There is always one couple in the bunch!

Not pictured: Wayo’s New Joint over the water or a bunch of new places north of the bridge. Including…….wait for it………an Irish Bar! Don’t the friggin Irish have enough places to drink already?

14 days can make one two week…..

I know I should keep my day job because of that groan’r. No it isn’t Lent just yet as my yearly Lenten tradition of providing you with corny kid jokes on The Book of Face. For 14 days (hopefully ending today) in a row we have had below freezing temps in Gotham. This past weekend it was BSC (Ball Shrinking Cold) as with the wind chill from the East River temps were below freezing and were -1 to -15 degrees.

Yes I know that Memphis had some cold weather and there are some who have to pay a plumber and even some of my San Pedro folks were bitching but give me a break. When you have to put more layers than an onion to take the dogs out you know it is cold. Hopefully today (Tuesday) the temps get above freezing and we break the streak. We had snow last Thursday and for all of you who think that the snow in New York is so pretty have obviously never been here a couple of days after it snows. The snow turns into New York Snow aka dirty and smelly.

IMG_2532You know it is going to be bad when they send out alerts because of weather.

IMG_2519What the Hell are These Things Used For?

IMG_2524Thanks to UWS Holly for this Gem of information. Get you a cheap pair of snow goggles during a Cyclone Bomb. Blowing Snow into your eyes sucks but wearing these helps.

IMG_2523Oh look how pretty 1st Avenue is. Yeah it sucks!

53677705979__45D17950-2FF6-4AF6-B990-81795E5E223FSnow on our window.

IMG_2537Afterwards the sidewalks are shoveled but normally you lose a couple feet to the piles of snow. This makes for lots of bottlenecks during rush hour. Especially at the corners which aren’t plowed.

IMG_2546It can be a mess if you are parked on the right side of the street. That’s where the plows push the snow. Aka your car will get blocked in! Recall that shovel in the earlier picture?

IMG_2535This dog loved the snow. Our dogs…not so much!

IMG_2538Here is what sucks about plowed streets. I can’t jaywalk as easy unless I want to mountain goat up and over the ice mountain.

IMG_2520Best Part of Thursday during the snow storm!

Hope you had a good one!

 

Oh is this your first time to Isla Mujeres *I have heard it both ways

So after the wedding we decided to stay one more day in Mexico and spread the wealth so we headed over to Isla Mujeres for a night. We hitched a ride with Z(squared) to the airport and then headed to ferry port. While we were on the Ultra Mar ferry there was a gentlemen behind us who was talking up 2 Canadian Tourists who were making a day trip to Isla.

Gentlemen – “Oh is this your first time to Isla?”
Tourist – “Yes, we heard that we should visit the island while we are here in Mexico.”
Gentlemen – “Well the thing about Isla is that your first trip will be for a couple hours, then your next trip will be for a couple days, next thing you will be spending a week or month here. Or in my case, years.”
Tourist – “So what makes it so special.”
Gentlemen – “Hard to describe it to someone who has never been there but between the culture, the food and the locals you will probably love it.”

So here we were heading back to Isla and the gentlemen hit the nail on the head. Way back RJ/Mal-o-rie, Mrs. Trumpet and I took a day trip to Isla. Then we stayed for 3 nights before meeting up with English Mike and then last year we spent a week on Isla. Of course the  last trip someone came back with a big souvenir but we definatly had the Isla Bug.

We hung out at North Beach after checking into our hotel in town and had dinner at our favorite restaurant on the island. Naturally drinks at Bobo’s were in order and we checked out the local drinking establishments.

IMG_2342Love the streets in Isla, small quant and cobblestoned

IMG_2343Our hotel for the night. Clean room, fridge and microwave in the room and even had an outside patio.

IMG_2345Swung by Bobo’s to check on if Olivia’s was open for Dinner that night.

IMG_2346Trust me when I say that Mrs Trumpet was excited that this joint was open on a Monday night.

IMG_2349Hey Tilapia Lover & husband and others. So the beach erosion has took a bunch out of the beach here at Phoenix. What was 3 rows of these beach beds before you walked into the water is gone. Currently there is only 1 row and it is tight to say the least.

IMG_2351We ended up heading over to the point and made camp at one of the other beach clubs. Weather was spotty and the wind was a blowing but we had a good time.

IMG_2354Tons of Kite Surfers out there this day.

IMG_2356We kept on waiting on dude to wipe out on the broken dock but he did pretty good.

IMG_2363Our Favorite Soft Shelled Crab Joint was closed on Mondays. Bummer.

IMG_2368To kill time while having some drinks we played dominos.

IMG_2374Still slays me seeing Santa stuff down in the tropics.

IMG_2370A puffy coat? Come on Man! It isn’t that cold!

A good time was had by the Trumpets even if it was only for 24 hours.

 

 

 

Losers Lounge Tribute to Fleetwood Mac

The first weekend of June the Losers and the Joe McGinty 7 assembled one last time before the summer break. This show was to showcase the songs from Fleetwood Mac. This time we were joined by UWS Girl and Z Squared along with the other malcontents. No assless chaps like we saw at the George Michael show which probably scared EGP but there was a good duet.

IMG_0984I need some Bongo’s! Everything is better with Bongos!

IMG_0988I pretty much peed down my leg laughing from this duet.

IMG_0983Yes she is wearing a Kaftan and probably sporting a “bump it” too!

IMG_0994Joe McGinty closing out the set

IMG_0991Why is my bartender from Max’s behind the drums?

It was a great time and this October we will be jamming to…THE M’Effin Bee Gee’s!

 

“I would rather go to Afghanistan than to see Eddie Money with you.”

Relax to some new of my FB friends who we met down in the DR. *who am I kidding, nobody reads this shit* Carbunkle doesn’t kiss and tell. For you 9 readers who have wondered where the hell I have been, we just returned from a quick trip to the Dominican Republic. We went down with some friends from PA and some of their invited guests. We had a blast and look forward to seeing them again at the Philly BBQ Bash this summer.

I had decided that I wasn’t going to snap a lot of pictures this trip for a couple reasons. First of all I needed a mental break. Secondly, other than S&K and Virgil I didn’t know anyone else in the group. I mean, they love that I sell tour bus tickets to tourists in the UES but someone may lose their shit like if they just found out that their child was on the roof of their home if I posted some proprietary stuff from that weekend. Here are a couple pics that I did snap.

IMG_0736Yes we are New Yorkers, Yes we are in the Dominican Republic, Yes those are Bud Red Top Beers, Stop yelling KLC Man. The Presidentes were hot that morning.

IMG_0741No I was not vacationing with the owners of the Kooky Canucks, this little fella starting drinking on Thursday morning and got more obnoxious every hour since then and hadn’t stopped. *picture taken on Sunday afternoon. #Blessyourheart #nahGoFeckYourselfdude

IMG_0740Laugh all you want at my drink but I saw these take down the ticket holder of some Eddie Money tickets late this week.

IMG_0739Overachiever Alert!

IMG_0738They didn’t have Shrimp Sticks or Sushi on Thursdays.

IMG_0743Remember the pic of the Canadian Maple Leaf towards the top? Here is his girlfriend who wanted to celebrate her 30th on the 30th in the DR. I don’t see her making it to her 40th. #blessyourheart

I will do better, I gave my work wife my Met Gala Passes since we didn’t get back till late on Monday. Hopefully she has some great pics.