Red Rooster

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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Be Nice or Leave

***FADE IN to the interior of a Hudson Yards bound 7 train just as it is leaving Grand Central Station

“Um excuse me good people of New York, may I please have your brief attention away from your magazines, books and phones.”

Me (thinking in my head) “Are you fucking kidding me? Why do I always get the crazy one? Let me guess, he is homeless and needs money for beer medication. I haven’t heard that one in a while.”

“My Brothers and Sisters, my name is Preacher and I promise not to take much of your time for my message is brief and very clear. We have serious problems here in New York but for us to change those problems it starts with you. My children from now on, I want you to show one random act of kindness to your fellow man or woman. This act doesn’t have to be monumental; it can be as simple as smile and saying “good morning”. Give up your seat on the bus or train to a random stranger. Allow a person to go in front of you as you enter the elevator. And if you believe in the same God that I do, you even tell them you “God Bless you brother.” Now good people of New York that is all I want from you today but it begins with you. If you do this each and every day I promise you that you will feel better about yourself and ‘hate’ will be just a 4 letter word. Before I go, I love each and every one of you and may you have good day. Now don’t you all go start smiling. Don’t you do it! That’s right you go have a blessed day and God Bless you!”

It is now that pretty much everyone in the Hudson Yards bound 7 train is smiling as the Preacher gets off at 5th Avenue. I get off at my normal stop and make my way up the 2 sets of stairs to exit onto the fringe of Times Square. I admit it, I kind of thought that the Preacher’s sermon was kind of hooky but hey, I am still smiling and I even let a woman go in front of me up the stairs to the Uptown 1-2-3 platform. I look up at the buildings on 7th Avenue and I see the suns reflection. My first thought is “Hell I haven’t seen the sun since Belize. Maybe this shit is working.” Now let me come 100% clean with you. I am a firm believer in Karma. For those of you who wonder what that red fabric bracelet on my wrist is about it is to remind me to practice Karma. If you do good things then good things will happen to you. These results may not be instantiations but eventually down the road things may go your way. The biggest thing is you have to remain patient and radiate positive energy even if you are having a shitty day. Mrs. C’s chemo treatment taught me this among other things.

Ok, I realize my 4 readers are now clicking off this blog because even I just re-read this and it is getting a little too deep. The moral to the story; Last Friday, I accepted a position with our downtown office that is great for me, the team and the company. I got to meet Marcus Samuelsson at his acclaimed Red Rooster Restaurant in Harlem. And to finish the week off, I got to see The Avett Brothers give a performance of a lifetime at Madison Square Garden from the work suite. Life is going pretty good for me right now. I better remember this day when I have a day that isn’t all that great.

Now go out there and do a random act of kindness to your fellow man or woman. And stop smiling too!

IMG_09137th Avenue looking south or the last day I will be based out of the Garment District

IMG_0915I admit it, I had a chubby when he came over to say hello to us! Good Luck in Memphis G. They give you any shit you tell them you know “a guy” in New York!

IMG_0924My iFoam doesn’t take the greatest pics when there is Par Lights and smoke.

IMG_0928Oh did I tell you that this is from the suite. We are literally have a Right Wing Stage view for each show.

IMG_0930And did I mention that we have Bud Light in the suite too!

Have a good one my brothers and sisters and may you find your 7 Train Preacher this week.

You want to go up to Harlem to hear a Jazz show?

Ok, I have to admit that living in this city is pretty effin cool. We can do as little or as much as we want. You do figure out very quickly that even if you run wide arse open you still can’t do it all. Case in point, Maria texted us back in October if we wanted to go see Jazz musician Lea DeLaria preform at Ginny’s Supper Club up in Harlem.  Not sure who Lea DeLaria is do you? Have you ever seen the Netflix show Orange Is The New Black? You may know her as the rather butch looking lesbian inmate on the show that is known as ‘Boo.’ Who knew that she was a Jazz singer! I did a search on her bio and according to Wikipedia her father was a Jazz Pianist and Social Worker so that makes sense. We headed up to 125th Street to Ginny’s Supper Club this past Sunday. Because of the show we missed The No-Pants Subway Ride so maybe next year we will ride the 7 train in our BVD’s.

Ginny’s Supper Club is in the basement of Red Rooster which is becoming a frequently visited joint of ours and enjoyed the buffet of soul food and biscuits. The show started and first impression was that Lea is tiny; I mean she comes up to my armpit.  After watching the show I guess the camera really does add 20 pounds because she is 100 pounds soaking wet. The show was great and she really has a good time up on stage. After the show she came by each table and thanked us for attending before she fixed herself a plate. She did ask that if someone wanted a picture or autograph to please wait till after she ate because as she stated “you do not want to get in-between a fat dyke and her food!” Ironically her latest album is entitled “House of David” where she does David Bowie covers. Imagine the “whoa, that is freaky” feeling when we heard that David Bowie died Sunday evening Monday morning.

IMG_0128My Brunch Dates! FYI – They have good spicy Bloody Mary’s

IMG_0130Lea is tiny and she puts on a great show

IMG_0131Bad Picture but she was friendly, thanked everyone  for coming and posed for all the pictures

This weekend we don’t have a Jazz Show but we do have LM, AB, & SO heading to town!