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September 11, 2011

Live, from New York, it’s Cheeseburger Saturday Night. Starring Veselka, with special guest stars, Britta and Tom and featuring the Ready For Prime Beef Player, Marty Wombacher. And now, in the heart of the East Village, please welcome, Britta, Tom and Veselka!

Here's the special guest stars, Tom and Britta enjoying the beers that I've been saving for them. Britta's Sol beer is courtesy of the BBC!

After a couple beers and some snacks it's off into the night in search of a cheeseburger.

And our travels led us to Veselka, a legendary East Village Ukrainian restaurant.

These two friendly fellows welcomed us as we entered the restaurant.

And before you can blink your eyes, we were seated at our table and enjoying a beer.

Veselka is love. Nice!

This baby scares me a little, let's just walk away from it slowly.

Here's the main dining area in Veselka.

Some of the homemade pastries and cakes in a display window.

Chanel was up by the front register and was getting something to go.


And when I returned to our table soup and bread were waiting. What's better than that?

The view from our window.

And now the main courses arrive. Tom got the Reuben.

Britta got the lamb burger.

And I got the turkey burger with cheddar cheese and grilled onions. I slathered mustard on it, much to Britta's horror.

A delicious burger!

And then it was out the door for dessert and a nightcap.

We thought we'd stop by Ray's for a chocolate egg cream for dessert.

And we ran into MAD pal and ace photographer, Bob Arihood outside of Ray's who was chatting with his friend Chrissy.

And just a few feet away is Damian who we met a few months ago and Eden Bee A.K.A. Slum Goddess.

Inside Ray points to a photo from a month ago when he became a citizen. Glad to have Ray aboard as a fellow American! HooRAY!

Here's Ray making us our egg creams. The were great as always. Okay, off for a nightcap.

Tom and Britta enjoy Handsome Dick Manitoba's radio show on Sirius, so we thought we'd stop by there for a final drink.

And here we are with the man himself, Handsome Dick Manitoba and Gumby even gets in on the action. Handsome Dick regaled us with some great rock 'n' roll tales and it was a great ending to a super fun night. Goodnight everybody and see you tomorrow after dark.

Cheeseburger Rating

Three Wimpy's. A very good burger!

144 Second Ave. (@9th Street)

99 Ave. B (Near 6th St.)

Further reading: New York Magazine, Bionic BitesTime Out New York and Shecky’s.

You Might Also Like: The Honeybees, The Honey Bees and Honey.


There’s nothing else in this crazy world,
except for cars and girls.

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


September 11th Bonus Story

Ten years ago I was writing a humor column for a website called “Toast.” When September 11th went down, my editor, Hap Mansfield said if I didn’t want to write anything, she’d understand and they’d just rerun an older column of mine. There was a lot of artists and writers involved with Toast, but I was the only one from New York and wanted to say something about the day. So this is what I wrote. Hard to believe that this is ten years old, but it is. Fun really does fly when your having thyme.

My Good Friend Mr. Booze

When a bunch of maniacs brutally hijacked and then flew two planeloads of innocent people suicide-style into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11th the news hit us all hard. And if you live in New York City, it really hit you in a most horrible and furious manner. I live about a mile away and shortly after I saw the horrific images on my TV, I found myself walking towards the rubble that was once the World Trade Center. It was a strange feeling to walk from my neighborhood, which was untouched, into a surreal, third world-like war zone. Traffic was all sealed off, but the streets were full of people who had wandered down to witness the carnage firsthand. As I looked around and saw the giant brown mushroom cloud in the sky, people crying, a dazed looking woman in her early twenties wondering, “Why?” out loud to no one in particular, policemen trying to keep order in the midst of chaos, buzzing helicopters, news reporters on every corner jabbering in front of hand-held cameras, sirens and dust and debris everywhere, I felt as though I had just walked into a real-life nightmare. And there was a smell in the air. Not just the smoke and dust, but a foul, acrid odor. “Jesus,” I said to a man who had white powder flecking his dark blue suit coat standing next to me, “what’s that smell?” With a face stupid with shock he replied in a tired voice, “It’s burning flesh and hair. I heard there could be 10,000 people buried over there.”

All of a sudden I wished I hadn’t walked down there and found myself shuffling away as my mind started processing too many grim thoughts per minute.
I wandered aimlessly and ended up in a deli about a half a mile away. The deli was full of people, but nobody was speaking. The TV in the corner was tuned to CNN and everyone’s eyes were glued to the screen watching the never-ending updates, the rising body count and the gut-wrenching footage of those two planes crashing into the World Trade Center. As I stood there and looked slowly around the deli, it was then that I saw him. Housed behind a glass door in a cooler, was my good friend Mr. Booze.

Mr. Booze stayed with me throughout a two hour stretch in the deli. Without regard for his own feelings or well-being he comforted not only myself, but most everyone else sitting around. After a couple hours I felt the need to take a walk. Thoughtlessly I abandoned Mr. Booze and walked the streets of downtown Manhattan and watched a shocked city trying to cope with a situation that was beyond even the most fertile imagination. I was tired, but I didn’t want to go home and sit alone. I took refuge in a neighborhood bar called the Stoned Crow and as I sat down at the bar, once again I spied my good friend Mr. Booze. I was afraid he’d be mad at me for ditching him at the deli, but Mr. Booze harbored no ill will. In fact he was even more comforting than before. Hours passed and Mr. Booze tirelessly soothed my shattered nerves. He never left my side until I decided it was time to go home and try and get some sleep. Once inside my apartment I turned on the TV and watched for the umpteenth time the nauseating film clip of the World Trade Center collapsing. My head felt like it was caving in as I opened my refrigerator door to get some water to chase down four Advil tablets. I swung the door open and much to my amazement, there he was: my good friend Mr. Booze.

With the help of Mr. Booze I settled down and tried to get some much-needed sleep.
It was to be a fitful night of waking up from nightmares, but like a doctor on an unending house call, Mr. Booze was there every time I woke up in a pool of sweat. He’d help me back to sleep and then an hour later he’d repeat the process, never complaining, never thinking of himself.

I finally drifted off for a few hours straight, but a loud noise outside my apartment caused me to awaken at 9:05 in the morning.  I bolted out of my bed and looked out the window and saw that no bomb’s were bursting outside. Feeling both a sense of relief and embarrassment I rubbed my aching head and thought that maybe Mr. Booze had finally left. But as I opened my refrigerator door I found I was wrong. There standing guard at his usual spot, was my good friend Mr. Booze.

Mr. Booze stayed with me through the day and managed to lift my spirits just a little. That evening a few friends came over. We all shared stories of where we were when it happened, talked about the photos in the paper of the people who jumped from the buildings and how the once lively and circus-like atmosphere of Manhattan had turned into one giant miserable wake. The mood in the room was depressing to say the least. Until Mr. Booze showed up. In typical Mr. Booze fashion, he livened up the party and reminded us that even in the most tragic of times you have to keep living. Mr. Booze even got all of us relaxed enough to where we started laughing at jokes and each other for the first time since Tuesday morning. Mr. Booze accompanied us to the Stoned Crow bar and then to another, which for some reason the name escapes me. When it was time to go home, Mr. Booze helped me find the way and once again his calming company helped me get to sleep.

A few weeks have passed since the tragedy and with the help of Mr. Booze I felt like I was back on track. I even decided to sit down and write my column for Toast. It was then that I encountered the worst case of writer’s block in my life. I couldn’t think of anything to write about. I was petrified. I thought maybe all the grotesque images I had seen in the past few weeks had stripped my ability to do what I love most. Hours passed as I stared at my blank computer screen as depression set in. Just when I was ready to call it quits, I happened to look to the right of my keyboard. And there he was. My good friend Mr. Booze. I knew then and there what the subject matter for this column would be.

And so ladies and gentlemen, in closing I would like to ask...no, beg you to join me as I stand up and salute my good friend...Mr. Booze!

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  • Response
    Marty After Dark - Almost Live...From New York - September 11, 2011

Reader Comments (22)

Wow, the Internet faces become real, Bob Arihood, Slum Goddess, Ray the Egg Cream men etc etc. It's alive! It's alive!

September 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMykola Mick Dementiuk

A Great Night out Daddio!
Running into Handsome Dick Manitoba was the kicker for the evening.

September 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commenter"Boris"

Looks like a fun night all around. Thanks for entertaining my family, hope to be with them next time they visit. Definitely need to try an egg cream it sounds delicious. And Mr Booze, cheers to you!

September 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkari

@Mykola Mick Dementiuk: Yes, there is life outside of the internet and this is proof!

@"Boris": It was a great night and Handsome Dick is as entertaining as you'd think he would be.

@kari: I hope you can come along next time and we'll definitely stop by Ray's for an egg cream. And cheers to Mr. Booze for sure!

September 11, 2011 | Registered CommenterMarty After Dark

Nice--always a good time in the east village.

September 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie

Great you had a fun night out. You didn't discuss your usual gourmet appetizers,,,,your concoction that only your guests get to consume, the Marty "pre-going out" home special. Anyways,,,entertaining post and story from 9-11. Mr Booze,,,be nice to him, respect him, and he will be nice to you. I watched a lot of the 9-11 events today,,,,I get sad watching this again,,,went to Home Depot for a while. Glad your still in NY along with Ray and his egg creams.

September 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAl

Spent the morning watching file footage of 9/11 on the news specials today. Still surreal and hard to believe even after 10 years.

September 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

@Melanie: It's always a good time in the East Village for sure!

@Al: It was a great night out. I had appetizer photos, but I had so many others I couldn't fit them in. I made a concoction of four kinds of popcorn, cheese pretzels and dusted it off with chili powder. I've never been able to watch the 9-11 footage, I really don't like stirring those feelings up again.

@Jaws: I hear you, it's always a surreal day here in the city on the anniversary of 9-11.

September 11, 2011 | Registered CommenterMarty After Dark


For all the victims and their families on the 10th anniversary of 9/11

To Newcastle Brown Ale

To Budweiser
...you get the point...

September 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterClacky.

@Clacky: To you and all the fine folks in Oz, I salute you, sir! Cheers, mate!

September 11, 2011 | Registered CommenterMarty After Dark

Thank you again for hosting us, Marty! We had a blast-I loved meeting Ray and Handsome Dick-bonuses to a great night!

Cheers to Mr. Booze!

September 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBritta

@Britta: Great to see you again and to meet Tom! It was a great night and I look forward to both of you returning soon!

September 11, 2011 | Registered CommenterMarty After Dark

A great night out ..... and an awesome 9/11 story -- I can never get enough of hearing about people from that day. It still doesn't seem real --- and I wound up in Afghanistan because of it -- and wish I could have personally strangled some Al Qaeda jackass !

Salute ! to everyone from that horrible day -- and hopefully everything is a little bit better 10 years later .....

Tom & Britta had a good night ..... I'm jealous (I had Reserves this weekend) .... will have to bring another Sol over for the next time !

September 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

@GENE: I'm always glad when the day is over and nothing bad has happened. Thanks for your service in the Reserves and thanks again for supplying the Sol!

September 12, 2011 | Registered CommenterMarty After Dark

@Gene - Yes, thanks for the Sol - it was delicious!

September 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBritta

That's where I usually wind up after a late late night of drunkenness and debauchery - good ol' Veselka. A cup of mushroom barley soup, maybe some pierogies or a western omelet and voila - back in the saddle in no time.

September 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterUncle Waltie

@Uncle Waltie: It's good for what sails ya! Sip ahoy!

September 13, 2011 | Registered CommenterMarty After Dark

I can't tell you how much I love the fact that the grilled onions on your turkey burger looked like bacon. Usually, places just saute them for a while and throw them on your burger all slippery and shit. And, you know, I'll still eat 'em because that preparation doesn't make them lose their deliciousness or anything. But a crisp grilled onion just takes the cake. Because, aside from adding a textural quality to your burger that it may not otherwise have (unless the joint grills the buns...which most places don't because who has the time for that anymore?), they get that extra added grilly flavor which is a fine accoutrement to any food item, but especially one that is in and of itself a product of the industrial grill - and more (or most) particularly, the burger. And so, in closing, I would like to say, kudos to youdos, Veselka, for grilling the shit out of your onions. You rock and me likey. Me likey very much.

September 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

P.S. Hello to Tom and Britta, Ray and Handsome Dick, and Chanel (hubba hubba)! And a special shout-out to Mr. Booze. Thanks for keeping our Marty writing.

September 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

Nice onion post @Biff! I noticed them too and thought they looked like an excellent topping (as opposed to other stuff that gets added.)

September 13, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkari

@Biff - Hello to you! And I whole-heartedly agree with your onion post. I was sad I didn't get any when I saw Marty's.

@Uncle Waltie - I had the mushroom barley soup - very tasty!

September 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBritta

@Biff: The onions were the best part of the burger!

September 13, 2011 | Registered CommenterMarty After Dark

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