Woodlawn

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

Strike up the Band We have lived on these Rocks for 3 years!

Wow! Another Year has come to pass and yet here I am still banging away on this laptop. I celebrate this milestone because I haven’t gotten hit by that crosstown bus or fallen ass over teacup down a bilco door. Sadly, I celebrate this 3rd birthday solo while right now Mary Louise is heading on a Ferry to another island down in Mexico with the MoHo’s. No I am not bitter about this one bit. I promise.

In her absence I have been writing this post in my head for a couple of days and I  have to say how humble I am that we are still plugging along in a city that could possibly eat us alive. I have always said that there are two things here in The Empire State that I always run out of; time and money. This year has been a whirlwind and I can’t believe it has been 3 years from when we rolled up to 1300 First Avenue and emptied our contents into the UES. This year there have been some major changes to our lives this year and l have always said that sometimes change is good.

In the past year some of our friends have also followed suit and made moves from familiar Memphis surroundings and dipped their toe into new cities and regions. I always tell them from our experiences that right now there may be tears of uncertainty but each day and week things will normalize and level out. I still look back and say to myself that if you told me 3 years and change that I would be living in New York and love each day of it I would have told you that you are crazy as hell. I am serious when I say that this was the best thing that we have done in our adult lives. The experiences and things that we have and continue to learn about have been amazing. Much like Anthony Bourdain told us on each show was that we need to explore and try out new things. Do the uncomfortable and you will be amazed at to what you learn and it will make you a richer person internally. I still miss that fucker. His story wasn’t finished.

People still ask me how I like living here I always tell them the same response. We love it and should have done this sooner. I am in no way dogging Memphis or our friends back there but Mary Louise and I always had an ‘explorer’ gene in us that was dying to get out. New York is a strange city and has a lot of people from many different walks of life. Much like a child we are always asking questions and seeking information. You know what we found out. They may be from a different country, have a different person that believe in or vote for but we are all children playing in the same sandbox and we better find a way to get along. Call me crazy but the first thing that I ask the yellow cab driver, after I tell them *in my best New York Accent*, is where they are from and “Tell me about yourself.” People love telling their story to strangers. There is a lot of pride in those words and I cherish each and every one.

While I sit here smoking a Perdomo stinking up my work laptop I recall all the things we did. They are in no particular order include;

  • Mary Louise completes and graduates with a MBA from NYU and this better complete her higher education quest. We don’t have any fucking room in closet for a Doctoral Robe and all that crap. (I am very proud of her for this)
  • Mary Louise takes a new job and a whole bunch of new responsibilities that I don’t doubt she will do great in.
  • Made a trip to Philly and got me an authentic Cheesesteak.
  • We moved from the Upper East Side to the Gritty Hipster streets of Downtown Brooklyn. That wasn’t easy folks, oh and moving sucks here in New York City.
  • One would think that downsizing from 1300 square feet to 535 square feet would be easy but try to move to another studio that is configured differently. Thankfully Ba made a trip to Brooklyn and helped us with the move.
  • I made Senior at my work so I am now a Senior Sales Rep for selling tourists tickets on those double decker buses.
  • We made a trip to Maine for Lobster.
  • We made a trip to the Riviera Maya of Mexico for a work counterparts wedding and made a one night trip over to Isla Mujeres in December.
  • Made a trip back home for Christmas and got to see our friends and family.
  • Had to check in on Kitty down in Belize in February and to get warmed up from the 4 Nor’easters we had this past winter.
  • Were honored to become Godparents for Willimena in April and now have another one who will possibly wipe our asses when we get older.
  • Reconnected with Vivian Longstreet and Stone and enjoyed a great weekend with them Upstate.
  • Had to make yet another trip to Mexico and insure that RJ and Mallory didn’t have tres children. (still unknown but we will see in 9 months if that was a success)
  • Mary Louise made a trip to The Hamptons while I smoked meat on Katonah Avenue in the Bronx.
  • Mary Louise currently is down in Mexico right now with the MoHo’s and will return on Monday.

Yep we had a blast on this island and on a couple other islands. Rather than collect stuff we have decided to collect memories and passport stamps. I am nearing 1000 words and will end with a quote that I always love. “Travel is the only thing that you buy that makes you richer”

IMG_2489Much like Black Eyed Peas and Greens on New Years day if you celebrate New Years eve wearing a Bowler hat you will have good luck. *taken 2 blocks from Times Square on NYE

IMG_1883New York Food and Wine Festival Event

IMG_1641Pipes and Drums Prom. Who knew that Mary Louise and Lady Barrister wore the same color dress.

IMG_0059Madison Square Garden Event – here Mary Louise is saying “W.T.C.B.F. Carbunkle Trumpet, LZ goes to all the good shows and you take my ass to a Collegiate Hockey match? You better step up your game and start bogarting the good tickets too!”

IMG_2151Funny I don’t hear her bitching about this one. Aboard the USS Intrepid for the Marine Corp’s Birthday Celebration

IMG_3427Willimena is going to be a handful I can already tell.

IMG_4024 (1)Who has 2 thumbs and completes her MBA from NYU in 2 years while working full time and interviews for a new job. This one! Seriously though. This is it for higher level education.

IMG_2821Right before we move out of the UES they open a bonafide Queso Mexican Restaurant Joint and we find a great Cajun place too! Thank God we have the Q Train!

IMG_3128Boerum Hill is pretty cool. If you walk across the street from our joint you are in Boerum Hill neighborhood. If you make a left and walk across Flatbush you are in Fort Greene. You walk 3 more blocks and you are in Park Slope. Confused yet?

IMG_1262So glad to see Kitty when she made a trip up to the Big Apple.

IMG_0501This is the face of a woman who is about to walk out into a friggin Northeast Nor’easter. 50 MPH Winds with below windchill temps and Snow. I ‘worked from home’ that day!

IMG_8491And here was the first pic when we moved in. 3 years later and we are still here and I may or may not be a liberal democrat.

Thanks for reading and for following this worthless dribble. Now pull that band-aid off and go out and make yourself richer and happy 3rd Anniversary to us!

BoogieDown BBQ at the Rambling House 2018

5 years of the BoogieDown. Between Philly and New York a lot of meat has been cooked and served. This year we changed things up and hosted the event at the Rambling House and did more of a benefit for Alex’s Lemonade. The Memphis Mafia arrived on Thursday and on Friday and Philly rolled into town on Friday night.

On the menu this year was Pulled Pork Shoulder, Baby Back Ribs, Beef Brisket, Smoked Mac and Cheese and Cole Slaw with PorkOsaurus’ new Slaw dressing. We figure that there were about 250 guests and we raised over 2600 for the charity. Thanks to all those who came and a huge thank you to the great staff at The Rambling House.

IMG_3840Why yes we are smoking ribs on Katonah Avenue. What of it?

IMG_3842The PorkOSaurus Company Store. They have a new Slaw Dressing and Marinate

IMG_3863Um Guys, can you get some work done today?

IMG_3845About to start to juice the ribs

IMG_3847Isn’t that a Sexy Picture?

IMG_3846The Chief Bottle Washer and Midget Aficionado

IMG_3856Lemonade Stand courtesy of Fiona

IMG_3864The Boys from the Local showed up for some grub and to let the kids take pictures in the rig

IMG_3865Packed House and they could escape the heat

IMG_3861The Rambling House staff was serving up the food and we also had a face painting person. That is her in the hat….or some homeless girl

IMG_3859This is what probably made the Spring on Pepe’s cooker to go bad.

IMG_3867“Please buy some Rub, Sauce and Marinade so I can have my playroom back!” Poor C-Man was getting tired

IMG_3868Again thank you to the staff at the Rambling House. We couldn’t have done it without you!

You will have to excuse me as I have some non-smoked goods this week.

Memorial Day BBQ – Woodlawn Style

On Sunday of Memorial Day weekend we headed up to Woodlawn for a Backyard BBQ and to see Lightbulb. The menu included Ribs, Pulled Pork and Chicken Lollipops. The weather was hit and miss because we had tons of rain earlier in the day but thankfully by the time we got to Woodlawn it was nice out. We hung out with the Asian Fireman and family and a good day was had by all.

Trust me when I say that the lollipops were just as good as they looked.

IMG_3285According to the Asian Fireman it took about an hour to prep these beautiful little bird legs.

IMG_3283Smoked Butter is applied to the chicken for the first 2 hours, then you dredge the chicken into BBQ Sauce and put on a wire rack to coat with goodness.

IMG_3282Wee Fiona damn near ate the bone too!

IMG_3281Callie sucked the marrow out of the bone and he almost bit me when I reached for my second.

Thanks to the Lee’s for a great time!