The Village

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.