Times Square

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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Apple be Racist – Fun times on the Q Train to Times Square

I must have had the Jackass magnet on when I left the apartment Monday morning. I knew it was going to be a ‘special’ day when I walked out of the building and one of the little fuckers sweet children in the building rolled over my foot on his Razor. I did feel better when accidently ‘hip checked’ him into the planter. That aught to teach him a lesson.

But I digress. I made my way to the Q platform at E72nd street and got to the middle of the platform. For some reason the Q was packed yesterday morning. I shoehorned my ass on the train and found a spot next to one of the center poles. As the doors were shutting, I heard the sound that all New Yorkers groan. “Excuse me everybody, I apologize but I…..” as an older African American male went into his story of how he hit on hard times. Normally the speech and the time to walk through the subway car to get any change given by passengers is about the same time it takes to get to the next stop.

Unfortunately for us, we had a delay heading to the E63rd & Lexington station. So skillet was still in our subway car and then it happened. I was minding my own business listening to some Ludacris and I hear the gentlemen go into a rant yelling at the top of his lungs. “You Mudda Effers are all a bunch of Racists. You stand there judging me with your white earbuds in your hears. You all are a racists and Jesus won’t help you on judgement day.”

I really don’t know how to come back with that zinger other than “Bless your heart”

IMG_0794Here I am in my “Racist” earbuds but I am rocking my black suit and black tie ala Reservoir Dogs

Go forth and have a good day folks.

 

The Carl Lipbalm Memorial Scholarship

As you know, the only real children that Mrs. Trumpet and I have are two monkey heads of poodles. There is also the invisible child that appears on my FB feed on the first and last day of school but that is a different story. We have 4 nieces and nephews and a ton of cousins over on my side of the family (what can you expect, I am eye-Talian!) So back in the winter of this year we decided to bring the oldest niece to town for a weekend of sightseeing and exploring NYC as a graduation gift since we didn’t really get her a proper gift.  This conversation naturally led to “why don’t we bring up all the nieces/nephews and cousins for a weekend after they graduate?” We start to jot the name and graduation years on a bar napkin piece of scrap paper and we come up with 9 kids! Oh and we have a set of twins in there too but the way we look at is that we will have someone to wipe our asses when we get old!

Hence “The Carl Lipbalm Memorial Scholarship” was born. Thankfully none of my cousins read this worthless dribble of a blog and if you do,  I know that you can’t tell your parents because they would ground you for the rest of your natural born life! CBT has been known to throw out an F-Bomb and just you wait till I till I tell you about the Douche Nozzle I met on the Ferry. Before the nieces/nephews and cousins start packing their bags for the Big Apple we do have some common ground rules that are in place. They are as follows;

  • The recipient of The Carl Lipbalm Memorial Scholarship (TCLMS) must graduate from an accredited high school and not from a corrections facility.
  • The invitation is only open to the recipient and not a boy/girlfriend. We don’t need any awkward touching going on our couch that weekend.
  • Can’t make fun of the size of our apartment unless you pay for a weekend at The Surrey on E76th and then mock all you want.
  • If CBT is accompanying you as a chaperone then you get one (1) hour total of shopping per day. Or find a shopping venue that is close to a bar, in that case have at it!
  • You are not allowed to get any additional tattoos, piercings, body modifications and or transdermal pieces installed while you are under our care.
  • The weekend being either Thursday evening/Friday morning and ends by Sunday early evening. CBT & Mrs. CBT will need some ‘alone time’ with a bottle of vodka to decompress.

So with that this year’s first recipient was AK from South East Missouri. AK came in screaming hot on Thursday as she got to enjoy a side trip to our nations capital since American didn’t want to fly direct to LGA on Thursday. I do have to say it is fun watching someone try to process things that you are now taking for granted.  I gave her the ground rules for walking and the streets of Manhattan (DON’T FUCKING TEXT & WALK) and she did a good job on that but it was fun watching her almost run into mailboxes staring at the tops of the buildings.

I took AK around on Friday morning for a couple hours as Mrs. Trumpet had a meeting she had to attend. I schlepped her by St. Patrick’s Cathedral, The Rocks, Jimmy Fallon’s Sign, Diamond District, Times Square, Hamilton’s Theater, Bryant Park and she got to experience her first Bagel and Subway ride. Later that evening she went to see Wicked with Mrs. Trumpet while I held court at the Cigar Inn.

Saturday we had a full day with the Double Decker Bus to downtown, trip to see the Bull, Wall Street, Federal Reserve, Statue of Liberty, Chinatown, Little Italy, shopping in SoHo and she ate a Woody Allen from the Carnegie Deli. I am figuring she had good time on her trip. I mean she took 208 pictures that got uploaded to Facebook and I don’t know how many selfies were taken!!  I am kidding, we had a good time with AK and we hope you use your TCLMS as an experience that you will appreciate crazy people who yell at the top of their lungs on the Staten Island Ferry.

IMG_1674Times Square & AK!

IMG_1673Here she is at the guy who we never can stay awake for at night.

IMG_1675Here is where Uncle Dan’s butt is starting to twitch!

IMG_1677“Can I get 2 Two by Fours?” Bartender – “Sure, you want the wrapper with it?”

IMG_1662But first let me take a selfie!

IMG_1671This is what made my butt twitch!

IMG_1676Woody Allen from the Carnegie Deli!

IMG_1667Here I am doing it again!

IMG_1661That is the kind of Sailboat I want to be on! Do they have a Kettle One Sailboat?

IMG_1665I bet they are not sober on that boat at all!

IMG_1682We hit a TON of spots in 3 days. No wonder my legs ache.

And for those of you wondering, no you cannot be a niece/nephew or cousin of ours!

 

Dive Bar Gold – Jimmy’s Corner

A couple of weeks the Asian Fireman told me about a dive bar that wasn’t too far from my old office on W44th. This joint is literally a 6 iron away from Times Square but because I am always too busy cursing nuns slow walking on the street I couldn’t place it. JL mentioned that we should give it a try for after work drinks since his office (stop laughing guys) is pretty close and the same goes for fellow crime fighter AS.  This past weekend Mrs. Trumpet and I gave ole Jimmy’s Corner a trial run. Now before I get rolling let me give you a proper back story.
You recall my visit to Rudy’s on 9th Avenue well I have found that there is a ‘slight’ difference between dive bar and well…..just a badly decorated or hipster dive bar. Rudy’s there is no question that is a dive bar. The amount of red duct tape on those booths is proof enough that the owners are simple folk. There is a bar in the East Village that we visited with our friend KT that had a nautical theme. Seriously, a really bad nautical theme. As much as I want to call that joint in the East Village (name escapes me) it isn’t a true dive bar but just a hipster magnet impersonating a dive bar.
Ok, enough with the political banter for today, now Jimmy’s Corner on W44th, that my friends is a legit Dive Bar! We walk in and I can smell the stale beer wafting behind the bar. The whole bar reminds me of Maxine’s International Tap Room from college but with booze. We find a seat and get two draughts of Bud Light (King of Beers proudly served here) between a lot of tourists but what do I hear in playing in the background???  Is that Marvin ‘Mother Effin’ Gaye? Wait is the next song Earth Wind and Fire? Do I hear Barry White now? This jukebox is on FIRE! Sadly the only thing I didn’t hear was Otis Day and the Nights! Yes folks, the jukebox must be one of the triplets from Alex’s Tavern and Ernestine & Hazels. Between beers, I plugged maybe 20 bucks into it playing some classic 4 Tops, Temptations, Al Green and even a little Teddy Pendergrass for good measure.
I can’t really give the pictures I am about to show justice but it is safe to say that Jimmy is/was a big fan of boxing. Pretty much the entire west wall is devoted to boxing legends but do yourself a favor. If you find yourself getting accosted by the creepy superhero’s in Times Square and fancy a good cold beer, head East on W44th street but make sure you play some James Brown for ole Carbunkle Trumpet.

IMG_1266As seen from the street walking West on 44th Street.

IMG_1258No wonder the Asian Fireman wants to go here, it is a friggin Fire Code Violation

IMG_1260You have to appreciate a bar that’s lighting is provided by Christmas Tree and Jukebox Neon Lighting

IMG_1263I looked for the Tyson/Lewis rumble on the river poster and couldn’t find it

IMG_1265The Bartender, George, was a good sport and actually got excited when we told him that our accents may be from the south but we now live up here.

So let me know Asian Fireman and Alex when we want to go. I am always game!

 

“You are so good looking!”

It happens each and every day here in New York City. If I have learned anything by living on this rock it is that New Yorkers like to get into a routine and stick to it. Case in point, if I want a non sardine subway experience for my commute to Times Square my big arse better be leaving the apartment by 7:45AM. Anything later than that, I might as well get a shoehorn and pray to 9lb 8oz Baby Jesus that the person I am going to be crammed up next to took a shower. I have noticed that with my physical routine, you get into the same verbal routine. Now if you are wondering what the hell I am talking about, let me tell you about a game that my friend O.T.B. (Old Tired & Bitter) and I play when we get people who we are friends with on the phone.

How many times have you asked the standard “canned” question or comment when you get someone on the phone or see on the street? I bet that you do this automatically and don’t even know you are doing this.  The game that OTB and I play is that when we get friends or people we know on the phone we ask “So what are you wearing?” given that normally the question would be “What are you doing?” Naturally when they respond “nothing” we know that we zinged them and quietly giggle. Now is it childish? Sophomoric? Stupid as Feck? Hey you are still reading this aren’t you?

Ok, I will cut to the chase; when I get on the elevator in our building or see the same people on the street it is as if people are zombies. You have heard me discuss how people sometimes are so self-absorbed in their own little world that they don’t even say hello or good morning.  Well to change things up, I play a little game and ask a question or make a comment that is off the beaten path and so far I haven’t been called onto the carpet yet. (This is kind of sad)

  1. “So how about the weather? Did you know they are forecasting sunny skies and rain tomorrow?”
  2. Rather than “How are you doing?” I throw in a “How is your Momma and them?”
  3. Someone sneezes, I pull an Elaine from Seinfeld and say “You are so good looking”
  4. The Metro News lady at Times Square is really angry because I don’t take a paper so I always give her a “You do something different with your hair?” She has yet to respond.
  5. “How about those Iran Contra hearings?”
  6. “No thanks, I gave at the office.” when a tour buss hawker wants to give me a flyer.
  7. “Well bless your heart my friend!” That is issued when some asshat cuts me off at the turnstile.

Have a good day and you better watch out if you see me coming.

 

Happy New Year Folks

Happy New Years folks, we are que’d up in the 12th stall to the right just south of 45th street and have a great spot to watch the ball drop. Sure we have been here for 4 hours already (arrival at 4:AM EST) and only have 16 more hours standing in the cold without food, water, or bathroom but why not? To my three readers, if you are scratching your head wondering if I have lost my ever loving mind the answer is I am just fecking with you. Nope I am working on a Year in review and should have that for you over the weekend but the thought of doing the above doesn’t really appeal to us. And for those of you saying “It must be because you are scared for your life if a terrorist attack happens” that is bullshit. There will be more than 5K officers in Times Square tonight so give that a rest. We do have some pretty cool NYE plans and I will tell you about them next year.

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Our “view” of where Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin will be. *taken yesterday as I was walking/dodging tourists yesterday*

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As of 12.30.15 the “ball” wasn’t up yet but that is a real shot of where the action will be tonight. Good Luck to my friends in 38103 when they drop the guitar.

Happy New Year and be careful out there folks. We will see you next year.

 

 

You ever hear of a band called Squeeze? #weareold

Our trusted NYC consigliere and good friend, Maria, had a unexpected family emergency and was unable to use her tickets for Squeeze acoustic. She inquired if we would like to go and naturally, we both said yes, so off to The PlayStation Theater near Times Square we go. I did make the mistake by telling a cohort that I was attending the show and since she was born after 1988…..she just nodded and said to enjoy the show.
We arrive at the theater, are directed to our seats and we start to check out the crowd who has already assembled. Mrs. Trumpet leans over in my direction and says “God, these people are old!” I couldn’t even get it out of my mouth till she recants and says “Wait, this means we are old too!”

Now right now my fellow blogger Bad Ass Auntie is snickering because she is always quick to take the piss out of me because of my love of older bands, oh well we had a blast at the show. It was an acoustic show so pretty much it was Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford playing back and forth but they still have it and didn’t miss a step. The show was great, they played all the hits and even played some new songs from their new album….New Album? Good work out of you boys!

singles_hiIf you didn’t play any of these songs on the jukebox at Alex’s Tavern you are dead to me!

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Glenn belting out some “Pulling Mussels from the Shell”

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Chris jamming out some chords!

Again, thank you Maria we do appreciate the tickets and can’t wait to see you soon.

 

Umbrella Decorum

We have had some annoying rain here in NYC for the past couple of days. You know the rain that I am talking about, it isn’t hard enough to mess with getting out the umbrella but when you get to your destination your clothes are  moist. (KC & LG, I had to go there, HAPPY FRIDAY) I have found out there are some umbrella rules that you better follow or prepared to get screamed at by an old lady;

  1. The umbrella that you use on the streets of Manhattan better be one of those smaller models and not for use on a golf course.
  2. When walking in traffic please exercise courtesy and tip your umbrella away from each other as to not poke people who are dumb enough not to use one.
  3. Those cheap models that they sell at the newspaper stands, they won’t withstand the breeze from a fart.
  4. On a 40MPH high wind and rainy day (like we had yesterday) be prepared to purchase a couple of umbrellas that day because you will have a blow out.

Unlike the University of Arkansas, it is strictly taboo to use one of those Golf Umbrellas in midtown, downtown or in the tourist districts. Seriously, tourists get yelled at for pulling this faux pas. Don’t be that guy…..

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Here is the one that I am using as of Friday, November 20th. I give it the Over/Under of 2 more rainstorms before she ends in the trash.

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As you can see it covers my head but with the rain we had yesterday, from my waist down was wet.

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Here is the umbrella that Mrs. Trumpet uses, she is fancy like that.

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This is an example of what NOT to use when in Midtown but here on the safe streets of the UES it is allowed. Especially when you are walking the Monkey Heads in a rainstorm.

IMG_9592My old Fraternity Brothers will get a kick out of this. Yes this umbrella by the grace of GOD has stayed with me since my days of being on the hill. I figured this would have been left at My Pleasure Bar and Grill one night during a “study session”

umbrella

Many Dead Soldiers here along 7th near 40th

Stay dry folks and have a good weekend.

 

 

 

 

“Well that doesn’t feel natural” #twss

To get to my new job selling Tour Bus tours to the Tourists I have to take 2 Subway lines to get to Times Square. The office is on 7th Avenue so I have to exit the subway at Seventh avenue & W40th or walk through the throngs of tourists in Times Square. There are roughly 15 different subway entrances/exits for Times Square because that sucker is a vast maze of tunnels and steps. I have been making this trip now 9 times and still haven’t gotten it right. One trip last Friday when it was Africa hot I ended up at 8th & 42nd so you can understand my frustration and need for Gold Bond. On this day we had one of those annoying cold NYC rains so I wanted to get this right.

Well I nailed it, turned at the right post, took the correct stairwell by the elevator and exited at 40th & Seventh. I was pumped! I exit the subway and make the 1 block trip to the office and let me tell you folks things were going good for Carbunkle Trumpet. Then it went to shit……I am walking along and feel something unnatural on my right foot like I was dragging toilet paper so I glance down. My freshly repaired $150.00 Bostonian lace ups had a blow out from the sole to the shoe. I keep walking along and naturally it falls off, so I throw the sole in the trash and limp into the office. After some select curse words I find a shoe store a couple blocks South of the office and limp there now, with a wet sock.

Guess that will teach me to claim a victory against the NY Subway system.

  “Hey Gloria, I need to be late to my 10AM meeting. Also can you direct me to the nearest Men’s dress shoe store?”

 Closest store that was open at 9AM was Sketchers. I was desperate as my sock was literally poking through the bottom of the shoe.

 Not my first choice but I got them and thank God they have good arch support for my walking. The sales rep did laugh when I told her I didn’t need the box and could she dispose of my old shoes.

I hope you had a good laugh and thank goodness I didn’t have a fart that failed me!