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November 17, 2011

Okay, since I didn’t get to go out in search of a swizzle stick yesterday, tonight’s the night, to quote either Neil Young or Rod the Mod. One bar I never made it to on the bar crawl but always meant to go was the Campbell Apartment in Grand Central Station. It’s kind of a fancy Dan joint and I’m thinking we may score a swizzle there. I’ve only been there twice, but if I remember correctly, It’s expensive, but I worked overtime last night so it’s off we go.

It's a rainy night out, but at least it's not that cold for this time of year.

That's what Jerry Sandusky said.

Down into the subway we go.

And with the blink of an eye and the magic of the internet, here we are, Grand Central Station.

I always come to the clock information booth in the middle of the main concourse to get my bearings.

Okay, up the stairs...

Out these doors...

And here we are, Campbell's Apartment. Let's go inside and see what's happening.

It’s dark in here and I’m putting my camera away. I just got hit by a wave of bad and scary vibrations. I’ve been in here before, but both of those times were in the day and the patrons were a somewhat harmless combination of wide-eyed tourists and weary commuters getting a high-priced drink before moving along and minding their own worthless business.

This crowd is weird in here tonight.
Ages range from early thirties to very old. Everyone is draped in expensive duds, there’s a thirty-something woman in a black dress with a diamond on her finger which is the size of one of Rosie O’Donnell’s bowel movements. As I said, she’s in a black dress and she’s neither long nor cool, but her shiny silver shoes probably cost more than I make in five months of hard labor. She has shoulder length blonde hair, a bit of a lined and hard face and is cackling like a hen on mescaline at some old man croaking away in an expensive navy blue, pin-striped suit who somewhat resembles Cesar Romero with a thyroid condition. One strange thing is that no one’s drinking in here, it’s too crowded to get to the bar and people are holding drinks, but no one’s drinking them. This makes me nervous, over at McSorley’s right now, the patrons are throwing back beers served two at a time, like prohibition is going to rear its ugly head again at any minute. God, how I wish I was there.

I decide to take another picture, but as I do, several people have started eyeballing both myself and Gumby, so the shot turns out like shit. Everybody’s white in here and dressed to the nines, Gumby’s green and he’s nude. An unpopular and very wrong combination for this uptight and upperwardly mobile obscene crowd. I was getting flashed some pretty downward glances myself. Every man in here has an expensive suit and tie on, I’m wearing my seven-year-old black Navy pea coat, a black jean shirt with a hole in the sleeve and black Levi’s with a pizza stain on the left thigh. I sweat a lot and it’s hot in here, so perspiration is rolling down my face worse than Albert Brooks in Broadcast News. It’s very uncomfortable for me in here right now.

It was right then and there that the nerve-rattling and bone-chilling realization of where I was hit me in the face like a 700 pound bag of dead hamsters: It was the 1%! That’s right, I was right in the belly of the beast of the motherfucking 1%. The 99% can’t even get a decent foothold in Zuccotti Park, but the 1% are here at Occupy Campbell’s Apartment, lounging on expensive couches and eating free peanuts without a care. And why shouldn’t the peanuts be free, these greedy fuckheads probably own the motherfucking peanut factory. And the workers in the factory just took another 10% pay cut, so fill up those crystal bowls on the bar and strike up Alexander’s Ragtime Band.

I could feel the tension building, an outsider had snuck in to their fancy high priced lounge, one of those 99% scumballs who think you belong in jail just because you’ve pulled bank frauds, evaded taxes, manipulated stocks and pretty much ruined the economy while continuing to get rich off other people’s losses. They have my number all right and I have to think quick and get out the fuck out of here before one of their Nazi-like, goose-stepping, box-headed goons shows up and whisks me away to take me home, give me an eye-blinding spray pepper shower, beat me up, burn all my books and then throw me in jail for consorting with a green, nude, cartoon bag—that’s something that they really hate. All of a sudden I know what I have to do.

“Hi Mayor Bloomberg,” I shout out to the corner of the room in my best Eddie Haskell, “Gee you look swell, Mrs. Cleaver,” voice.

All heads turn to get an eyefull of their shifty, helium-brained, ferret-faced leader and Gumby and I race out the door and to the safety of a car on a downtown number six train. I click my heels three times on the way.

The Good Witch was right, there’s no place like home.

And there’s plenty of swizzle sticks here too. Goodnight everybody and see you tomorrow after dark.

Occupy Campbell’s Apartment
Grand Central Terminal
15 Vanderbilt Ave. (Near 43rd St.)

Further reading: Wonkblog, Rolling Stone and The Guardian.

I don’t give a damn ‘bout my reputation.
(Thanks to “Boris” for supplying the link.)

(Surprise link...click on it...I dare you!)

Reader Comments (38)

Best description of that billionaire studmuffin asshole, oh I mean emperor, oh I mean "mayor', I've ever read. Maybe you need to round up a posse of loyal readers - I'm up for a little occupyin'!

November 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatrink

Heavens to Mergatroid. I'm glad you exited stage left. I'd hate to think you flushed your hard earned money down a gilded toilet for the blog. If it's any consolation, the .1% probably snub their noses at the OCA 1%. "Openly stated dress codes are trying too hard."

November 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercsp

Your narrative story today reminded me so much of Jack Webb and Johnny Carson with the Clappers skit. It was as if the Campbell Apartments didn't matter anymore.

November 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAl

@Katrink: Thanks! We'll be occupying at the Chillmaster's on the day after Thanksgiving and you're more than welcome to come along!

@csp: I've never seen a gilded toilet and now I'm obsessed with flushing one.

@Al: Ha ha ha! I loved the Copper Clappers bit on the old Tonight Show and was always amazed that they got through it without cracking up!

November 17, 2011 | Registered CommenterMarty After Dark

Haha, great infiltration! (I know, that's what *he* said...) Occupy Campbell Apartment!

November 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGoggla

You're lucky you didn't "disappear" like the witnesses on the "grassy knoll" .....

November 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

@Goggla: "I know, that's what *he* said..." Ha ha ha! OCA!

@GENE: True, let's hope I make it through tonight without myself and this blog disappearing!

November 17, 2011 | Registered CommenterMarty After Dark

Just wait ... next week Paris Hilton and Kim K. will be sporting Gumby dog carriers and using platinum swizzle sticks.

November 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterroadsidewonders

You should of put your green wig on before you went in.

November 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertehennessey

You and Joseph Conrad are now soul brothers...you have journeyed to the heart of darkness...and survived...

November 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

Were they having a private get together??The 1% I mean????I like your's and Gumby's Exit Strategy.

November 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie

@roadsidewonders: If they are, I demand a royalty fee!

@tehennessey: I should've thought of that, wonderful idea! No wonder you're my professional guru!

@Jaws: The horror...the horror...

@Melanie: It was private till Gumby and I got there, then it was just uncomfortable!

November 17, 2011 | Registered CommenterMarty After Dark

Phew, glad you and Gumby didn't get pepper sprayed!!! No place like home, indeed!!!

November 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLindsay

I was sweating just reading this post Marty! Glad you and Gumby got your asses out there safe. Every now and then Mrs Spike and I like to get dressed up and go some place nice, and we have gone to Campbell a few times, mainly because a friend of ours bartends there. He hates it and he's not allowed to acknowledge customers if he knows them, even his brother, because the management/owners suck, but he does give us free drinks on the sly, so I guess that's our way of stealing a little back from the 1%ers.

November 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSpike

"Hey Jerry, what's the story?"

November 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDuncester

HHHaaaaa @ GENE my aol name was GRKnoll.. back in the old days pre more than ten letters...I changed it to elinrrigby maybe 15 years ago...
OK i am huge dork.. but there was a Roy Rogers on the parkway i used to stop at.. one of those middle of the parkway kinds... I fucking loved that place!
my back east food haunts were roy rogers and friendlys..Not sure i could stomach that crap now.. but damn makes me homesick....

sorry you got boxed in with the 1% percent Marty.. in my mood i wouldnt have been as Eddie Haskell as you!
in the words of Stan Ridgeway. "dont box me in"

November 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGidgie

Best piece of Journalism i've seen since Dan Rather went into Afganistan with a dead Yak on his head! I smell Pulitzer! Expect the offers from Charlie Rose to come soon! You and Gumby at the table with Charlie.....God Damn! Fine work Marty! Remember.....Gumby can only open the doors......It's up to you to extract the truth! Stay thirsty my friend because you and Gumby are the most interesting proletariats in the world!

November 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterProfessor Dungpie.

glad you didnt waste your o.t money on a freaking drink

November 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermax

@Lindsay: Indeed! *Clicks heels three times*...damn, I'm still at work!

@Spike: I've heard the owners of that place are real pricks, I hope your friend gets good tips in there!

@Duncester: THAT'S the story!

@Gidget: Love the Stan Ridgeway quote! And laughing about AOL...that seems so long ago...You've got mail! Ha ha ha!

@Professor Dungpie: Thank you, Professor! I smell the Pulitzer as well...oh wait, no, it's that pizza stain on my jeans. I guess I need to do laundry!

@Max: Thanks, me too. You can probably buy a twelve pack for what that place charges!

November 17, 2011 | Registered CommenterMarty After Dark

The crowd sort of reminds me of a “Brideshead Revisited” and “Reversal of Fortune” but on Quaaludes. Marty, to get this crowd on your side, you should have said the following very loudly:
“ Sunny got what Sunny wanted”, “What do you give a wife that has everything? An injection of insulin. “ and “Well, so much for the first coma. The second, of course, was much more theatrical.”. They would embraced you and given you a toast.

November 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDuncester

"there’s a thirty-something woman in a black dress with a diamond on her finger which is the size of one of Rosie O’Donnell’s bowel movements."


Remind me NEVER go to to THAT bar!

November 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermeleah rebeccah

That crowd would have the same physical reaction to seeing Bloomberg as I would to seeing Salma Hayek covered in sweat, peeling off her spandex workout pants.

November 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJAZ

@Duncester: I need to bring you along next time!

@Meleah: I know I'm never going back again...why do I feel like Lindsay Buckingham all of a sudden?

@JAZ: Ha ha ha! Too true!

November 17, 2011 | Registered CommenterMarty After Dark


Marty, I never heard of that bar but it sounds so awful that I MUST cause a ruckus there! perhaps when I'm in the city for Santacon... dressed as "something that fell out of santa's coal sack"... I'll be sort of zombieish and and dragging handcuffed, chained, naked baby's with silver spoons glued to their mouths and wearing bibs that say "TRUST FUND BABIES - PART OF THE 1%"

November 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGreen Monkey

Hopefully someone gets this.


November 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercsp

God, I hate & fear places like that. Reminds me of a scary reception on Park Avenue with blazered glee club singers. I didn't last long. Or snooty Northeast college towns I've had the misfortune to visit. All khakis, polo shirts & blond-headed asses. Or a disastrous tutoring gig on Madison. Kill me now. A Brideshead crowd would at least be interesting to look at & a lot more dissolute. These people are dull & deadly. I think I'm allergic.
Glad you & Gumby (that little alligator-lovin' 99% rascal!) made it out of there safely!

November 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteronemorefoldedsunset

@Green Monkey: Ha ha ha! You have to take a picture of that and post it on your blog when you do it!

@csp: Their early work was a little too new wave for my tastes, but when Sports came out in '83, I think they really came into their own, commercially and artistically. The whole album has a clear, crisp sound, and a new sheen of consummate professionalism that really gives the songs a big boost. He's been compared to Elvis Costello, but I think Huey has a far more bitter, cynical sense of humor.

@onemorefoldedsunset: I hear you and I know I'm allergic to them!

November 17, 2011 | Registered CommenterMarty After Dark

STOP!...i first read this post b/4 any remarks...i sorta felt that MAD went home and either had an alcoholic induced fantasy or a bad nightmare...you know i did not see a newspaper documentin' this and whoever that guy that MAD is always talkin' 'bout...gruber or sumthin' has not chimed in...click your heels kinda hinted that way...

Dear God, let this be just a bad nightmare.
~Roy Horn


November 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterraginrr

@rr: Ha ha ha! Nice summation and the day that Gruber MacDougal chimes in here will be a REAL nightmare! Perfect quote, but I had to Google. the name Roy Horn, shit bricks when I saw it was half of Ziegfried and Roy! I saw them in Las Vegas in the '80s stoned out of my brain on weed! Good times!

November 17, 2011 | Registered CommenterMarty After Dark

MAD...nobody remembers anythin' when stoned...irony that stoned memories are more vivid then any others...they are kinda fuzzy...


November 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterraginrr

@MAD & rr: Ha aha ha!

November 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercsp

@rr and csp: Uhhh...I forgot what I was going to say.

November 18, 2011 | Registered CommenterMarty After Dark

Hey Marty, those 15 Vanderbilt Ave. doors used to be revolving doors, with a regular open/close door to the right of it. One day, very early 80s, there was a long line of people waiting to pass through the revolving doors. I walked right past them and opened the regular door. My ever-lasting claim to fame. It's been downhill ever since.

November 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterUncle Waltie

@Uncle Waltie: Genius move! Sip, Ahoy!

November 18, 2011 | Registered CommenterMarty After Dark

I remember that place! It wasn't too bad in there the night we went - just a few dudes in sportsjackets at a table in the corner - and the bartenders were super nice, it was just, I don't know...boring. Maybe it's because I wasn't feeling my best (remember that wicked cold I got?) or maybe I just couldn't get past the stupidity of the dress code, but I just couldn't get into it. There wasn't a bad vibe or anything, it was more of just a NO vibe. Anyway, it's nice to see that some people enjoy it, even if...especially if...they aren't me.

November 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

@Biff: Weren't we in there during the daytime?

November 19, 2011 | Registered CommenterMarty After Dark

Nope, it was at night. After the Colbert Report and before The House. I remember it clearly, because I was dying and the laughter followed by oyster chowder saved my life.

November 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

@Biff: Thanks, I think my memory is shot, but I can't remember.

November 21, 2011 | Registered CommenterMarty After Dark

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