9/11 Memorial

How Far Is It From…..

Looks like New York City is going to be a favorite destination for a bunch of our friends from Memphis and from all parts of the world. We love it and hope that our schedules mesh so we can spend some time catching up. One question that we get a lot from our friends is “How far is it from where you live?”

If you look at the greater part of Manhattan north of 14th Street it resembles a rectangle. The streets are mapped out in a grid and it is pretty easy to give directions; instead of saying “1300 First Avenue” you can say “1st Avenue between 71st and 72nd.” When we lived in the UES we found that it was a bitch getting cross town. However, when going North and South it was pretty easy. To give you good way to put the city into quadrants; 5th Avenue is the East/West Line and 59th Street is North/South Line. People would ask us all the time where should they get a hotel. We found that even though it was chaos 24/7 around Times Square it was the best starting place because of it being centrally located in Manhattan. The Surrey and The Mark hotels are very nice hotels but being tucked up by 77th and Madison Avenue makes it hard getting downtown or around the city. Same goes with the Upper West Side. (Sorry UWS Holly)

When we were looking for places to live we found that Downtown Brooklyn was a really good option for a number of reasons. For starters it is 2 subway stops from Manhattan. Add to that we have over 13 different subway lines to pick and choose from to get into the city. This really helps when lines are down on the weekend. We looked briefly at Long Island City over in Queens to live but ruled that out when looking at subway options. The L line was slated (at the time we were apartment looking) to be shut down and the 7 train always has issues so that was ruled out.

When saying that having 13 different subway lines to pick and choose from is a big deal let me explain further. If I want to get to the West Side of Time Square or Penn Station I would take the 2/3 from Nevins Street. If I wanted to get to the East Side of Manhattan and say Grand Central I would take the 4/5 also from Nevins. If I was going to the West Village I might take the A/C from Hoyt & Schermerhorn. And If I was going to say a certain cigar joint in the UES I would take the Q from DeKalb. (Confused Yet?) Let me tell you about a little secret that a lot of New Yorkers use on a regular basis. Google Maps is your best friend. To say that I use that app more than anything is an understatement. It can give you quickest the subway routes and if MTA has their act together it can give you a pretty good spot on schedule.

Now with anything there are always exceptions, and even Google Maps can fail you from time to time. If it is the weekend they will take down lines and or stations for maintenance. Sometimes Google gets that news but in the case of yesterday when there were electrical fires because of the snow and ice. This can create some anxiety if you are not used to the subway but the uniformed agents on hand are always helpful to give suggestions. Hell even fellow New Yorkers are happy to give you advice. It is almost a game with some people in giving the best suggestions. Trust me.

That being said here are some aprox travel times from our joint in Crime-Free Downtown Brooklyn direct to various spots in the city;

  • Downtown Brooklyn to Grand Central – 28 minutes via the 4/5
  • Downtown Brooklyn to Times Square – 30 minutes via Q or the 2/3
  • Downtown Brooklyn to Cigar Inn in the UES – 34 minutes via the Q
  • Downtown Brooklyn to 9/11 Memorial – 20 min via the 4/5
  • Downtown Brooklyn to Empire State Building – 25 min via the B or Q
  • Downtown Brooklyn to Red Rooster in Harlem – 44 min via the 2/3
  • Downtown Brooklyn to Maya’s Dog Groomer – 39 minutes via 4/5
  • Downtown Brooklyn to Yankee Stadium – 47 minutes via the 4
  • Downtown Brooklyn to Mary Louise’s Office in Summit NJ – 1hr 22 min via the 2/3 to Penn Station then NJ Transit to Summit NJ (I suspect she goes to Japan to avoid this commute)

Not that I don’t love Taxi’s or Uber/Lyft but you will pay more and 99.9% of the times be delayed due to traffic depending on the time of the day.

The Red Dot at the bottom is our pad. Getting into lower Manhattan is a breeze and taking express trains can cut a normal 45 min car ride in half.
Of course when your 2 of your main arteries are shut down it makes for an interesting travel day. I guess you could say that 240 was shut down that day.

So who is coming to see us?

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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.

It’s been a wild couple of weeks

So happy new week! I know you have heard me bitch complain about the lack of college football that isn’t shown at my favorite UES haunts but it sure is a good time to be a Hog Fan! To my 3 NYC readers – the mascot of The University of Arkansas is a Razorback or hog. They beat the Horned Frogs of TCU (don’t ask, I don’t know either) in double OT. So we have had a lot going on these past 2 weeks; Mrs. Trumpet went back to school. Yep she is getting her masters at one of those fancy schmancy New York Schools. I say it is fancy is because they have a football team that is undefeated and tuition is higher than Georgia Pine. Put it this way, what did she do this past Saturday night? She studied!

As for me, I am going to have to stop going on vacations south of the border. Recall our Easter trip to Belize?  I get back from that trip and I find out I was traded from the UWS team to the Downtown team. Do you know how confusing the streets are in lower Manhattan? I finally get the hang of that and then head to Mexico for a week of R&R and care to guess what happens? You guessed it, they traded my ass to the East team. My business card now looks like a Bugs Bunny Baseball when he throws it around the world. I am still selling tickets on the double decker busses and yes this is a good thing. I like my team, my new territority and my commute is getting cut down to Nada. Downside is that I can’t bitch about being late because of a delayed 6 train but it’s all good. I am looking forward to this new gig. Trust me when I say that we both are excited and a tad nervous.

Anyway since my last post I have gotten some great feedback but sadly I will not follow up on this. You Mean to Tell Me That You Don’t Have Sweet Tea is not one of those blogs. Quite frankly, it pissed me off and looking back, should I have said/done it? Like I said, I didn’t care but there won’t be a follow up. Karma will always get you. I won’t go into great detail about what all went on Sunday Night. But it was Ian, the NYFD Pipes & Drums head boss, who said it best; “This service is never publicized as it is only by word of mouth” and I am honored to be invited each and every year. It was an emotional event and thank you to Mr. 3 First Names, Asian Fireman, and the Honorary Pipes & Drum band member A.S. for the invite. On to some pictures;

img_2222The Little Bastid was not happy being “Trumped” by Momma on the first day of school #seewhatIdidthereKLCMan

img_2240Waiting outside McSorley’s Ale House – it was packed to the gills so our field trip will have to happen another day.

img_2242The Band making their way down Greenwich Street

img_2245The Drums of the NYFD Pipes and Drums

img_2249Hey I recognize the second guy in this picture!

img_2256Backside of Trinity Church aka the 9/11 Church

img_2259Empire State lit up in Red – White – Blue for 9/11 – Taken from an Uber on the FDR

More posts this week, I promise

 

CBT’s Helpful Hints for Tourists visiting NYC

The other day I had to head up to a client’s office in the mid 50’s at Broadway. One of my work peeps was tagging along so we were walking and chatting which can be dangerous b/c you don’t really pay attention. We were heading north on 7th Avenue and w/o thinking we walked right into the middle of Times Square. The rep looked at me and asked me “why this route?” and I told her that “Hey you got to keep in touch with the common people!” but she was right, it was crowded as hell. On our way back we took 8th Ave to avoid the crowd and it was a little bit better.

Earlier in the week I was downtown and had appointments at the NYSE, Brookfield Mall and all parts in between. I cut across the world trade center footprints and witness the security guards reminding the visitors that they should be more respectful. You could tell that the Tourists didn’t get it as they were arguing with them. The guards had no choice and kicked them out. So with that here are some friendly suggestions for anyone visiting abroad (not just New York) to that you are not labeled an Ugly American Tourists.

  • The 9/11 Memorial is a reminder of the attacks on September 11th. Please be respectful because the loss of life on US soil was enormous. I get that people don’t put one and one together but that day is a day that all New Yorkers would like to forget.
  • When visiting St. Patrick’s Cathedral please don’t wear a shirt that has the word “Fuck” on it. This is a house of worship.
  • Don’t take offense when someone runs up your back because you decided to stop on the street to look at your map.
  • When the sign says “Don’t Walk” it isn’t a suggestion it is a rule. Those yellow cabs will hit you.
  • If you decide to use one of the Citi Bikes don’t drive that sucker on the sidewalk. We have bike lanes for a reason. And don’t take an offense if Maria is cursing you and giving you “the finger”!
  • If you are in love and feel the need to hold hands as you walk down the street expect dirty looks as you are blocking the majority of the sidewalk.

IMG_1517I had nothing to do with the dumpster fire of stock market crash last Friday. I blame English Mike’s countrymen.

IMG_1521Kind of sad that they have to have this on the grounds at the 9/11 Memorial

IMG_1520This Brooks Brothers next to the Memorial was a Morgue after the attacks.

IMG_1537Stay your ass on the sidewalk until you get the “walk” signal.

Veterans Day in NYC

Back on 9/11 after the ‘evening service’ a bunch of us were slung up at a local drinking establishment having many beers. The crowd was predominantly NYFD members, friends and guests. Off in the corner there was a young gentlemen who was dressed in his Marines dress uniform. I was fetching some beers for Mrs Trumpet and A.S. I told the bartender that I would like to purchase the soldier a beer. The bartender smirked and said for me not to worry about it because “he has enough beers on credit from everyone else in the bar that he won’t need it”. I briefly spoke with the soldier and thanked him and he informed me he was heading back in a couple weeks and he appreciated the gesture.

I am glad to know that here in NYC (much like San Pedro) parades and celebrations are big here. They have a rather large parade down 5th avenue today and I am hoping that I can catch some of it since I am in training. As I was walking to work yesterday I walked by one of our favorite Sunday Brunch joints in the UES and they were decked out for today.

Thank you to all the veterans for your service, for your sacrifice, for your family’s support as I appreciate it deeply. Thank you.

  Got the flags all over the joint

  Isn’t that the jeep that Radar sent to Iowa piece by piece?

  Pretty cool if you ask me. I can picture Patton standing in the back saying he was heading to “Berlin, to shoot that Paper Hanging Son of a Bitch!”

  Have a good one and do something nice for someone today.

The 14th Anniversary of the September 11th attacks

Please excuse me as this post will go against the normal grain of this blog. The reason is I am afraid that I could never properly convey in words all of the events I saw yesterday afternoon and last night. I was honored by a friend of mine, a member of the Pipes and Drums, to tag along yesterday with he and some invited guests from California. We went to McSorley’s Ale  House in the East Village during the afternoon to honor the 343 NYFD firemen who perished on 9/11. Later that evening we went down to Lower Manhattan to the 9/11 memorial and the FDNY memorial for a Sunset memorial. That’s it, that is all I got, I will just say that if a quote ever meant more to me it would be Jim Valvano’s 1983 speech;

To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears. could be happiness or joy. But think about. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day.

IMG_8882Outside of the Oldest Bar in New York – McSorley’s

IMG_8886Pipe Major James P. Lee playing “New York’s Bravest” written by Bruce Gandy right after the 9/11 in 2001

IMG_8895Lining Up before the procession

IMG_8894Bag Pipers warming up down the block

IMG_8896Honor Guard at the Memorial Wall from Sunrise to Sunset

IMG_8899Relieving of the Honor Guard

IMG_8907No Caption Needed here

IMG_8908

Freedom Tower

Thank you for your service and may your memory live on forever.