The Village

Second Installment for Tiger Nation Fans visiting New York/Brooklyn 2/2

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.
Pro Tip – Use the Name or Number don’t call it “Taking the Red Line” #RoboCares
The Pigeon App – As sure as I-240 gets backed up so do the Subways. Get this app and check it before you journey out for the day.
Think of this as Room Service for your hotel/Air BnB. Be Careful though, you can run up a pretty large tab with those drunk munchies!
Fresh Direct App – Trust Me lugging those cases of beer or bottled water sucks. And they can deliver wine and drunk food too! Make sure you order and reserve your day/time because it will get busy before Thanksgiving.
So Good but make sure you get extra napkins because your elbow may get juicy!
They don’t call it the Bible for nothing!
Is that Gore Tex?

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.

A Message to Tiger Fans heading to Brooklyn 1 of 2

So we are about a week away till a whole bunch of Tiger Fans head to Manhattan and Brooklyn for the Barclays Center Classic. I figured that I would put together a quick list for you Tiger Nation Fans coming up. Up here we always say “You got to have a guy” so think of ole Carbunkle as “your guy”. That and naturally #RoboCares. Here is a list of stuff to do/not to do in no sequential order;

  • Airport Taxis/Ubers – First off, ignore the guys who tell you that the taxi line is going to be very long and they have a car ready for you. They are illegal Uber/Lyft drivers and they may take your credit card but they have been known to charge your CC higher fees. Ubers and Lyfts are fine to use and they have an area to meet them that is covered.
  • Yellow Taxi vs Uber – I prefer to use Yellow Taxi’s in Manhattan as they are more plentiful and Uber’s will drop you if there is heavy traffic. However, I use Uber/Lyft in Brooklyn because you don’t find Yellow/Green Taxi’s as much as you do in Manhattan.
  • Just say no to the guys giving CD’s on the streets. Its a scam. Also unless you really want a pic with a superhero in Times Square just say no to that also. They will pester you for money.
  • People begging for money in the subways – They are everywhere. If you feel the need to give to the homeless then give them a protein bar or cheese and crackers. You will be surprised who says they are hungry but will turn you down when you give them food.
  • General Rules of the Road – downsize your wallet/purse. Do you really need your Flying Saucer card or your frequent coffee user card. ID, Credit Cards and Cash is really all you will need. Also put that shit in your front pocket. Although I have not heard of pickpockets as of late but it is better safe than sorry.
  • Nothing Good Happens After Midnight – Please note that Geranium would take Mass Transit alone many times when she was getting her MBA and never felt threatened. The subways are not like the movie “Warriors” because that shit stopped in the 90’s. We would take subways home after events but here is something to know. What you need to know is that after midnight all trains will run local. This means longer wait times at stations and for you to get to your destination. I have found that Ubers/Cabs are best at this time.
  • Directions – I actually use Google Maps and find that it is the best out there. It can give you up to date Subway directions and great walking directions. Just make sure you are using the ‘walking’ directions because it may think you are in a car. NOTE – Downtown in FiDi is tricky because the streets are narrow and it may have you a block over. You can always ask a New Yorker or someone walking a dog.
  • Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade – Here is where I can’t help you. Unless you can sweet talk Z squared into letting you up to their conference room over looking Ave of Americas you are on your own. Do some Google Searches for places that will have viewing parties. If it is cold like really cold you may want to watch it on TV.
  • Texting and Walking – Don’t do it! I will personally punch you in the throat if I see you do that. Those people are easy to spot. The walk slow and makes you want to post up like Gasol to take a charge because they will run into you.
  • Dinner/Brunch/Thanksgiving Plans – This week is going to be busy with fellow tourist, book your reservations NOW.
As seen as in Fort Greene Brooklyn!
Pay attention to this map because you may want to reference it for Thursday’s class

I will follow up on Thursday with some better information. Trust me, you will want to read that one.

#RoboCares

You want to go drink some wines from Switzerland?

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, I am back. I was busy last week tormenting the Memphis parents of kids who were out of school for 10 days. It was a lot of fun and it really is like shooting ducks at the Peabody hotel between the hours of 11AM and 5PM. We got an email from Lady Barrister of the Murphranks asking if we wanted to go taste & drink swill some wines from Switzerland. Naturally I was intrigued because I have never tasted any wines from this country and I am always up for some day drinking with the Murphranks.

Swiss wines are grown in roughly 15,000 Hectares (37K Acres) of land. Put it this way California produces wine from 520K acres. So 93% of the wine produced in Switzerland never leave the country. Add to that it is hard to harvest the grapes due to the terrain and the high cost of living in Switzerland and the climate…..this ain’t cheap bottle of wine. The tasting was held at Anfora restaurant in Greenwich Village and let me tell you, they do a great job there.

The wine guy came out and said that this wasn’t going to be a snobby wine tasting and he encouraged us to speak up if we liked it or not. Naturally they served us some food to nosh on and I can already tell that I am a fan of Switzerland. They had one of those cheese melt broiler thingie’s on the bar. I was in love. Booze and Cheese….(hey Neighbor, quit drooling and get in the car)

We sampled 8 wines (3 white and 5 reds) and I found out that even though it may be expensive Swiss Wines are the bees knees. I may have to make a trip there (in the summer) to check it out.

IMG_2599They Fancy at Anfora. Even had a placemat of the wines we were going to taste.

IMG_2603What is that thing I asked the bar manager. She told me wait and the show will start soon.

IMG_2597Wait is that a block of cheese and one of those broiler things. Oh hell yes!

IMG_2598Hey Chef, just move that over here and give me a crack at it.

IMG_2600Melted Cheese Goodness over potatoes and meat. How good is life right now?

IMG_2606The wines that we sampled. Yes I originally said we had 8 wines but there are only 7 listed here. We got bonus wine at the end!

IMG_2595Naturally we had to prepare our palettes with some booze and sought out Tavern on Jane Street. Snapped this as it reminded me of Bardog!

IMG_2604Naturally we finished up the evening at a Greenwich Village staple and had burgers with Vodka from Austin.

A good time was had by all. Thanks Murphranks.

Come on Lightbulb – Pics of the Week from Isla Mujeres y Manhattan

Merry/Happy Christmas, Happy Hanukah/Chanukah or Happy Holidays to you and to  my readers(all 14 of you!) If I have learned anything by living up here is that you always appreciate understanding someone’s heritage and or traditions. It is no lie that I grab my fair share of cabs but trust me when I say that I love asking the back of the head who is driving my cab; “So Boss Man….Tell me about your country.” If you come to NYC I implore you to please do this. Seriously please do it and you will find all kinds of country/family pride.

So I am going to get to the pics because I have had a helluva week and you guys (all 14 of you) hate my diatribe.

 IMG_2300Had a small fire on E70th a couple weeks ago.

IMG_2302Hey Guys is the Asian Fireman or @AB670 on board….yeah I know the answer.

IMG_2347RJ & Mal-O-Rie – So if we get this joint can you please promise not to procreate in the pool? #askingforafriend

IMG_2357I was warm here. I didn’t have to wear a bunch of cold weather gear.

IMG_2389Hey Staten Island S – Can you get us a bottle of this?

IMG_2394Tastes like Sambuca but its pretty good!

IMG_2411Maya is pissed and let me tell you how upset I was considering I was wearing shorts 2 says ago!

IMG_2412Maddy was not happy either!

IMG_24016 days in Mexico and I was offended that my beard was coming in grey. Pay no attention to the hairs on my head mind you! Hashbrown – at least I have hair!

IMG_2434Don’t blame me Maya….Blame the other one who put you in this outfit!

IMG_2440It screamed that I should come in and have a drink but it was 9AM and I had service issues. I will see you next week Village Tavern!

Seasoned Greetings to all my readers. All 14 of you!

A “Radio’s own” Drake Hall Rant on Sunday

Excuse me because I am going to break my normal format and get on my soapbox for a moment. Today is September 11th, the 15th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. I traditionally don’t post things on Sunday yet ‘pre-load’ some blogs that I publish during the week. I get that a lot of my readers, all 6 of you, read this worthless dribble during the week at lunch on your PDA at your desk, or bathroom. I am ok with it; I just appreciate that you click on it. This morning I have in the background the TV while they are reading the names of those who died 15 years ago. Yes, my eyes are damp, show me a person who can’t let their emotions get to them on this day.

Today is a day that most New Yorkers who were living here 15 years ago would like to forget. I know this firsthand because I have met and spoken to a lot of them during the past year. I am not going to get into that but I respect them and acknowledge that yes this wasn’t New York’s finest day. This afternoon we will head to McSorley’s Old Ale House in the East Village for a service where the NYFD Pipes and Drums will honor the 343 Firemen who lost their lives this day. The band will enter McSorley’s at precisely 3:43 in full kilt playing at top note. If you have ever been in this joint, it is as small as Max’s Sports Bar, so bring ear plugs. Later we shall head down to ‘ground zero’ for what is called evening service. I won’t go into detail about that but it also is a very emotional event. No this isn’t a drink beer and cut up NYFD event, this is the furthest thing from it.

Here is my inner struggle with all of this and I will be honest, I don’t give a shit if you agree with me or not.  Today is also the opening weekend of the National Football League across the country. I know that there will be many tributes and military flyovers at all of the stadiums (Shout out to the Event Team at Bristol Motor Speedway – THAT WAS AWESOME) and it will be a very emotional day. What pisses me off to no end is that there will be some players who will not honor the country that they are living in and generating a check from by standing for the playing of the national anthem. I am not going to mention that cocksuckers name who plays for the 49’ers but if I owned the team or had anything to do with it, I would have fired his ass the first day. Better yet, bring his ass down to Ground Zero this afternoon and let him try to pull that shit with all of the NYFD, NYPD and Military who will be in attendance. To the media who publicizes it, shame on you! To the owners of the 49’ers, shame on you!  You mean to tell me you can’t pull his little ass behind closed doors and crawl up and down his ass? I sure as hell recall all my ass chewing’s for the past 46 years. It made an impact on me and made me a better person. Then again, I had good home training and learned respect and honor.

*I just re-read what I had written and first thought was that I sound just like Radio’s own Drake Hall on one of his world famous rants with Zeke Logan* I guess I am turning into one of those “get of my lawn” people but I am sorry. How can you not watch this and recall what happened 15 years ago today and not honor this country? Shame on anyone who does not stand during the playing of the national anthem. You show respect and honor whether you like or not.

CBT Out!! God Bless America and all those who lost their lives today! God Bless their families and friends, we will always remember them and honor their memory.

Go Download Some Songs From “Nada Surf” RIGHT NOW!

I need my 5 Memphis & 4 New York readers to do me a favor. I need you to go download some songs from a band called Nada Surf. Their favorite album is “Let Go” and their favorite songs include “Always Love”, “See These Bones”, and “blizzard of ’77”. Go do this now and even go “❤️” them on Facebook too. If you have a couple extra bucks buy yourself a band T-shirt from their Merch site too. Don’t worry I will wait for you while you go do this……….

Welcome back! So here is why I wanted you do to this for me. You see, yours truely pulled a bonehead move last Wednesday and the lead singer and guitarist of Nada Surf saved my ass. Last Wednesday I had an appointment with our Senior Operations Manager and we shared a cab to the clients office. I had my backpack but needed to check something out of it so I pulled out my Moleskin Black book to double check something. I put down the book to pay the cab driver and yes I left the damn book in the back of the cab. To the general public the book is useless and you probably can’t understand my chicken scratch but to me it was important and vital to my everyday work. We make the appointment and walk back to the office in Greenwich village. Thankfully I had the cab receipt so while I was on hold with 311 and my personal cell phone starts to ring. I answer it and the voice on the other end says “Is this Carbunkle Trumpet? I found your book in the back of a cab.”

I tell the gentlemen on the other end of the phone to tell me where he is heading and he informs me me he is heading to the Mega Bus stop on 34th between 10th & 11th streets. I tell him I will meet him there and I jump into another cab heading uptown. I get to the Mega Bus stop and text him that I have arrived. He pulls up a moment later and gives me the book. He tells me that if I could do him a favor; he informs me that he is in a band and if I could spread the word about his group he would appreciate it. I told him that I would be happy to and I asked him if he could please text me his address as I wanted to send him a reward for the book. He tells me that he doesn’t want the money but if I could spread the word about Nada Surf it would be a great “pay it forward”.

So there, if you can help a brother out and go like Matthew’s band I would appreciate it because you got to appreciate random acts of kindness from your fellow man.

IMG_1370The Book in Question – I can’t lose my Elvis Priestly business card!

IMG_1372I even plan on making it to a gig.

Doesn’t it make you feel kind of good that there are people who will help out each other when someone does something stupid? Have a good day and again thank you Matthew.

 

Dining at Blue Hill at Stone Barns

“Do you guys want to go with some of the same Per Se group to eat at Blue Hill at Stone Barns?” was the question that one of the Murphranks asked us back in January. My first response was “hell no, I hear that Applebee’s is about to come out with their summer menu and I have to be the first on line to dine there!” Of course we are in! Now granted, I really didn’t know who, what,or even where Blue Hill was or why does it have a Stone Barn. Naturally I did a little GTS (Google That Shit) and found that Dan Barber, the mad scientist, pioneered the first “Farm to Fork” restaurant using sustainability and better dialogue with farmers. If you have not had a chance to watch the Netflix Chef’s Table Season 1 do yourself a favor and watch it. The dude is cutting edge, granted I bet he is not the greatest to work with but he gets the job done.

The back story about Dan Barber was that he opened up Blue Hill in the West Village and was trudging along like any new start up restaurant would. They said if they could break even the first year then it was a win. One particular Saturday morning Dan picked up 4 cases of fresh asparagus and was bringing them to the restaurant. He opened up the walk in fridge and found that he had an entire stack of Asparagus that was ordered undenounced to him and he frigging lost it. That night everything was going to be asparagus based. Asparagus Soup, Asparagus Appetizers, even Asparagus Ice Cream. This is probably where the front of the house started calling around to see if they could get on with another restaurant because normally chefs don’t go this cray-cray. Naturally as luck would have it, guess who decides to come in for dinner that night? The New York Times Food critic…..Well there was nothing they could do so they went along with the asparagus themed menu and the critic loved it. Boom!!!!! The start of Farm to Fork dining began and Dan Barber was at the helm.

So a couple of weeks back we head up to Tarrytown via Metro North with MC and let me tell you, the Hudson Valley is really beautiful in the spring. We get to “The Farm” and this isn’t like your normal farm. It was later that I found out that it is part of the Rockefeller land. We naturally under the expert guidance of Lady Lawyer and Homeless Tim we all agree on the grazing and pecking menu paired with wine (of course) and have a great time. I have to admit; I wasn’t sure what I was getting into with the ever changing menu  I dug it. Bonus also was that we find out that the dining room manager is a huge Elvis Fan.  I inquired when Tomato season was going to be and we will secure a table that night too.

13094106_10154148320699764_7437875963709209459_nWhy does all the fancy joints we go to have detailed menus? The Tavern doesn’t have a menu and they just as fancy.

13124688_10154148319944764_2333726738441885912_nDisplay of all the stuff that is available at current season

13100768_10154148318984764_306557371284769834_nThe Bread Room – This place does not play at all!

13092016_10154148320029764_4486770916974523826_nThis is their Grill/Smoker/outdoor play thing at Blue Hill

13062252_10154148320064764_6155295292157447343_nChargrilled Asparagus – And it was damned good too!

IMG_1114A little PDA during courses I see.

13076673_10154148318904764_6456046196893328_nYes this was taken in…..wait for it…. The Manure Room. By the way, it was bigger than our apartment too!

IMG_1116The Bar at Blue Hill – Very Impressive

dan_barber_portrait2The Mad Scientist himself – Dan Barber

Thanks for the invite Murphranks and TL. We are certainly in for the next gastro experiment!

Bless Their Hearts – Walking in Greenwich Village

This past Friday we had great weather so rather than train or cab it, I decided to walk to my appointment from my new office in Greenwich Village. As I am walking down Greenwich Street I come up on a group of people from what I assume is the heartland who were being led by a tour guide. I could have passed them but I was way ahead of schedule so I more or less tagged along listening to the tour guide’s talk. I am assuming that this group was from an ultra-conservative church because the tour guide was really bringing up that The Village was the Bohemian capital and stuff like that. The guide was harping also on the LGBT movement and that back in the day the majority of lesbian and homosexuals lived in this part of town, again I was enthralled so I kept on listening and walking.

Tour Guide Timmy went on and on about the history of the Village and back in the day it was a different scene with drug dealers, prostitutes and stuff like that. Seriously I was really entertained by this guy and could only imagine what thoughts were running through the minds of the people listening to him. The tour guide then tells how the bars and establishments here were havens for rough crowds and how you didn’t want to be here when the sun went down. It was then I look up and see a familiar sign. Literally I start laughing out loud to the point that the tour guide even stops speaking. I cross the street as to not get accosted by the group but as I have said before “Bless their hearts!”

Below is the familiar sign that I see on the side of this building. I am kind of glad that this group won’t be visiting any of those “scary” Greenwich Village bars. More room for me at the bar to have a beer.

IMG_0975Yes folks that is the New York’s  Automatic Slims much like the one on Second Street in Downtown Memphis. Formally owned by my former boss Karen Blockman Carrier. I understand that they serve a good burger in this joint.

Oh and a side note – The West Village is one of the most expensive parts of town to live in.