Archive for June, 2013

A walk in the park…

Posted in NYC State of mind I be on June 17, 2013 by robdc

We’ve all heard the saying, now I have the experience to go with it. If what is meant by “a walk in the park” is what I experienced today then I understand more than ever why it is used to describe something that is not just easy but exaggeratedly so. We kicked the day off with a trip to Amy Ruth’s, affectionately known as a soul food restaurant. The menu has pictures of and all the items are named for famous black people in history. I’m pretty sure everyone got the “Reverend Al Sharpton” which is essentially chicken and waffles. There were variations on the theme so I had mine covered in gravy while others opted for dark meat, all were obscenely good. I can’t believe that this is what it took for Natalia to finally breakdown on her whole “I don’t mix savory and sweet” thing. This is not a good picture but it’s the only one I got of us in this place.

IMG_5700_tonemappedWe left Ruth’s feeling beaten and tired, they also had a cool aid of the day that we were not bold enough to order after tasting the lemonade which was comprised of a super solution of sugar, how they did that at ice cold temperatures is nothing short of cold fusion. So we made another set of plans, we went back to Melissa’s, picked up Heart and some mats (I may have prepared some thermoses of adult beverages) and we headed to Central park.

On the way back we stopped to observe something called the Juneteenth celebration. It looked interesting but we had park stuff to do so we kept moving.

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It was a beautiful day and we took full advantage of it. We took in the sites for a bit.

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Heart was having the time of her life.

IMG_5720_tonemappedThen we did as any overly stuffed travelers would do on a nice day like this… we found a shady spot and took naps, interrupted with peach cobbler shots and rum and coke for me.

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At some point during this trip someone brought up that the SNL parody of the gathering of the juggalo videos was not so much a parody as it was a re-enactment. My failure to believe this led to a showing of one of these videos which in turn led to us referring to each other as Ninja quite often. It also increased the likelihood of us uttering the phrase “you know we got magicians up in this bitch!”

We laid around and plaid with Heart for a few hours then did some more exploring.

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We were lucky enough to stumble upon a clan of rather well organized skater kids. They appeared to be quite highly regulated. They all had helmets and pads, some were even wearing action cams. I took the opportunity to snap some shots. This kid was pretty damn good.

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IMG_5745_tonemappedWe heard some commotion when a garbage truck came around the corner and had no idea what was going on, when we got there we realized they had some downhill action going on and that truck almost ended the lives and careers of some NewYorkean children. Although I missed the may-lay, I managed to get my camera up for round 2.

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Those kids were tearing ass through Central Park, and they looked like they were having a blast doing it. I loved that there were parents and other groups of people roving around with this group, it seemed like an ideal way to get young people into things like this, NY has it all.

Now that we were rested it was back to being the gluttonous bastards that we are. No trip to NY is complete for me without visits to 2 of the most badass eateries I have ever encountered. Go!Go!Curry! and Doughnut Plant, so we went to both.

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We then attempted to visit the 26th street pier and enjoy some boat top drinks like we did last year but we had failed to take into account that last year we had visited this spot on the very last day it was open for the season, today it is the height of the season so it looks like a reverse Mariel boat lift on these things…

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No thanks. So we turned our attention to finding a place that was A. outside and B. within walking distance. Where we landed was the Hotel Americana which promised a rooftop “Pool” side bar. We were in. The view and rooftop part were right but the “pool” was quite literally a 10’x4’x’4’ chunk of the roof which had been removed and filled with chlorinated water, it’s bathing capacity was under 5 I’m sure. But, since none of us had our swim trunks and the bar was stocked, who are we to complain? Like I said, the view did not disappoint.

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This place had its fair share of characters including V for Vendetta’s wife (I can only presume) and a dude in speedos that even his colleagues didn’t find amusing, we people watched and had a few then moved on to dinner which we chose to have a Malt House. This ended up being a great spot, we had some drinks and continued the trend of peach cobblers we’d been having throughout this trip, did more people watching. A guy rode up on his bike wearing a reflective vest and a parrot on his shoulder, people commented and he walked by. I was later informed that he was sitting at the table behind us with what I can only assume was a group of strippers, life is strange sometimes.

So here are what appear to be two normal pictures of us hanging out at Malt House…

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The reason I put them here (other than showcasing our beautiful faces) is to set up what is, hands down, my favorite shot of the trip. As I handed Brando the camera to take the second picture, he spilled not just his drink but mine also, together, onto my lap. As he did this I must have freaked and hit the shutter release which produced this.

IMG_5828HA! That’s a god damned action shot!

So there you have it, and if you ever hear me say “that shit was a walk at the park.” you’ll know I meant that it was absolutely something you want to do. Whiskey is kicking in and we are descending into Miami, time to shut down. Hopefully I get a chance to write about my last couple of days in NY but if not, a huge thanks to the people who made this happen, I love you all.

-Robo

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Beep boop, beep boop, beep boop….

Posted in NYC State of mind I be on June 15, 2013 by robdc

Started off the day by piling in the car and picking up Dan, then headed to NY. We stopped in Baltimore (The Wire, woop woop) to get some food. We roamed around for a bit in Greek town then agreed on the Greek Town grill for some souvlaki and it was pretty damn good. We arrived in NY just in time to get unpacked at Melissa’s and hop on the train to the Barkleys Center for The Postal Service. If I’m being honest I wasn’t exactly a huge fan but there was an extra ticket and I’m always open to new musical experiences. They were actually pretty good and thanks to the bar I recognized a few songs, one affectionately known to some of us as the “beep boop song.”

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We had some crazy brisket mac and cheese at the arena that was made by the devil himself, they are really stepping up the sports event food around here.

After the show we ended up at a beer garden where we sat, Bavarian style, at huge benches and some large man (wearing a shirt that read simply “sarcasm” which we thought was inappropriate) proposed successfully to his lady, it was pleasant.

I don’t know why I love how the subway looks so much, but I do.

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We took off and ended up at a place called Uncle Barry’s where we took shots and got tired. The high point was definitely the show, we are knocked out from that and the travel to NY so I think this will be a short one. 

H stands for Hammer Time street

Posted in Waxing Idiotic on June 15, 2013 by robdc

We really dragged ass getting going today, got off the train at NoMa and had a very scenic walk through the various ethnic food markets on the way to Union Market. Inside, the market had an open floor plan which was odd at first but as I moved around and saw that everything was all “organic” and “free market” it made more sense. Red Apron was a full service butcher with some of the most mouth watering cuts of meat in the window I had ever seen. Unfortunately there were only 5 things on the menu, I got the mufaletta. I think I chose wisely. Other than the distinct lack of meat (it was more of a grilled cheese with some meat added than a meat sandwich with cheese) it was all very tasty. We then posted up at Buffalo Bergen and partook in a couple of their designer drinks, they were very pleasantly concocted and had stupid names which  we loved, Natalia had the Rick Astley and I had the Stand and Deliver. The names having, of course, nothing to do with their ingredients but still making us laugh.

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Now we begin our annihilation of H street which commenced at Argonaut. After a round of drinks and some delicious muscles it appears that the apocalypse is upon us, the weather has quickly deteriorated and it looks like we are going to weather the storm where we are sitting. Brando tells a story about a job sight where someone, unfortunately, got stuck in quicksand up to their chest. Natalia’s first thought is “what would happen if you’re stuck in quicksand and you have to pee?” Talk quickly deteriorated into her lack of formal education in physics, then hydrodynamics, fluid mechanics, so on and so forth. While her vocabulary on the subject was quite impressive for lay person, her knowledge of the key concepts seemed to go wanting.

After the storm passed we headed to Toki for what I was told would be the best Ramen of my life, unfortunately that experience would have to be deferred since this place only has 14 seats and doesn’t take reservations, 2 hour wait… No worries, we headed to the bar downstairs, the Pug. There we spoke some more garbage, had a few laughs with the bartender and the hours just flew by.The ambiance in here was interesting as it was jam packed with stuff, and it made for a very interesting back drop for our wait.

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Into Toki we go, I was convinced to get the Dan Dan Mien as it was described as a staff favorite and was not broth based (and my stomach was replete with liquid as it was). I was not ready for what was placed in front of me: perfectly cooked noodles, deep fried chicken, braised pork cheek in a bean paste. The flavor was so rich, it was seemingly a sum that was greater than its parts. I also, humbly, have very little knowledge of the preparation methods or spices used but I was blown away. If you can eat here, please, for the sake of all that is holy, do.

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The next spot we hit up was the Smith Commons, we could see it from where we were sitting in Toki and were intrigued by it’s look. 3 levels, mostly open to the air, after a bit of rain made for a very nice breezy couple of drinks. Christian joined us and we got into a huge discussion when he asked if we had heard of this new kind of storm called a “Jericho” which all of use screamed at him for. It turns out that what he was talking about is a “Derecho” but for some reason it was being pronounced “de – ri – koh” instead of “de-re-cho” which through the mostly spanish speaking group. It was hilarious.

We were waiting to try and get into this arcade bar that everyone was sure I’d love but it wasn’t open yet so we headed to Beergarten Hause where I had a very nice dark lager and we watched the end of the heat game, not that I care, but the heat owned. The staff were beyond helpful and very accommodating to the beer uninitiated me. We finished up and headed to Atlas Arcade. Holy shit it’s like someone had asked me what I’d like to do with my evenings. There were arcade cabinets all over the space, all classics: Marvel VS Capcom, the Simpsons, an original Galaga, After Burner, Mortal Kombat and if you were sitting at the bar there was an NES an SNES and a SEGA you could play for free, and yes I said at the bar. After dumping some bucks into the cabinets Natalia and I played some StreetFighter on SNES where we each had our share of wins and loses, her hundred hand slap was impeccably timed. They also had a hacked cabinet that played tons of games, one of which was an edited Galaga that had you piloting a helicopter instead of a spaceship and the aliens were insurgents, the interceptor ships were turban wearing bearded men. I’m not saying I condone this, I’m just saying it was there.

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We were reeling after all the running around we had been doing and needed something hardy to end the night so we headed to Dangerously Delicious Pies. This place is serious, the menu is split into sweet and savory so you could get an apple pie and a pulled pork pie and alternate bites of each if you want, but that’s gross so none of us did that. I got the rocky with bacon which was basically a chicken pot pie with the added heaven of bacon. Needless to say this induced the highest levels of itus so we headed home for the night. More to come later.

Cojelo,

Robo

Welcome to America

Posted in NYC State of mind I be on June 15, 2013 by robdc

I arrived in D.C. pretty early today, well before noon. Brando picked me up at the airport and off we went. We started the day with some food trucks in Farragut square and headed to what Brando affectionately called a “dive”, the place was called recessions and it was amazing. As we walked in we were the 4th and 5th patrons and the first 3 had a lively conversation going about how to keep your kids off of drugs without being a hypocrite. We had some conversations about work and life and after a bit 2 of the early crowd took off leaving just the two of us and one other patron. After not too long our conversations mixed and man were we in for a doozie. Our new friend was apparently a retired judge and had much in the way of moral dilemmas to discuss. When the subject came up of where I was from he extended his hand to shake mine and said “welcome to America” We spoke about the effect that gender change would have on citizenship and a man who tried to naturalize based on his relationship with a recently deceased wife then, it so happened that we had the same birthday. We were graciously bought a round and then we sadly said our goodbyes. Brando and I headed to ChurchKey and started in with the scotches. We were met by Natalia, Nicole and Christian and then the party seriously got going.

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Later we headed to GBD (Golden Brown Delicious) and I had a chicken fried steak which is normally a thin overly fried steak but not here, this was  a chuck steak and fried with great care. We had plenty of fun doing the usual Christian gouging, he’s taken on an “Indian Elvis” or “Tiny Hector Lavoe” look which made it pretty easy to sling barbs.

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Unfortunately a combo of weather and lack of opportunity have made the pictures pretty sparse but I’ll work on that, on a pleasant note, we’ve been seeing a bunch of these everywhere and they crack me up:

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It was getting late, so we headed back to the Calrisien’s and enjoyed some drinks on the balcony. So much for my first night in D.C. I’m happy everyone was able to make it out.

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