Entries in Chelsea (48)


December 2, 2011

My friend Jon Hammer plays in a band called Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. and I’ve been trying to see them live for quite a little while now. Jon and Karen McBurnie are the publishers of the fine online publication, Grade “A” Fancy (they have a wonderful new edition out, check it out here: “Algebra of Ordering.” Well, tonight Jon has informed me that Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. are playing a gig at the Manderley Bar in the McKittrick Hotel, which is hosting a theater production of, “Sleep No More.” I’m working too late to attend the play, but I should be able to catch the band’s show, which starts at 10:30 pm. According to the band’s website, “ballads, boogies and blues,” is what they do. So let’s go see them do these things they do.

The bar is on 27th Street between 10th and 11th and it sounded like a short walk from where I work, but I rarely venture westward past 9th and realize that this is a little bit of a haul. At least it's not freezing out, so far we've been lucky this winter.

And here we are at the Manderley Bar. It's a little swanky here complete with a doorman who told me I could take a picture of the sign, but once inside, there's no pictures allowed.

Sheesh, kind of a "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service," moment. Looks like I'll have to keep the flash off of the camera.

Wow, the place is packed and it's really dark in here.

The walls are draped in red linen and the lighting is low. At first I had a mini panic attack as I didn't see a bar.

Aaahh, here it is. It's about three deep, so it took a little while to get a beer, but finally I got one, it's pretty crowded in here and a little rough to maneuver around.

So I found a corner of the room near the bar, drank beer and stared at this lamp that reminded me of the Christmas hats they wore in the film, "The Ref," which is more than ironic if you read the first reference to the IMDb information about that movie.

After being tranced out by staring at that light and drinking beer, I'm awakened by the entrance of Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co!

Nice to see I'm not the only one breaking the "no photos" rule.

From left: Garth on doghoue bass and harmonies, Michael on lead guitar and vocals and Jon on rhythm guitar and harmonies. They're a tight band, but lots of fun as well.

Chrome dome alert!

It may seem like a lean line up with only three instruments and no drums, but this rockabilly boogiefied trio really packs a punch. Michael is a funny and witty, carnivalesque front man, a great singer and plays stinging solos. Jon and Garth are a powerhouse rhythm section and add whomping, stomping harmonies to the mix. Check the dates on their website and see them if you can, you won't be disappointed.

The Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. Great show, guys! Goodnight everybody and see you tomorrow after dark.

Further reading: Jalopy, Reverbnation and facecrack.

Don’t try this at home, kids,
Don’t try this at home.

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


November 29, 2011

It was kind of crazy at work today and I’m still going in early because everyone’s taking their vacation time. I’m a little beat and thought I would take my Monday sixpack of photos at Chez Wombacher and match them up with videos I think belong with them. I try to go out every night, but what I like about this blog is the freedom to do it from my apartment now and again, so it’s homeward bound we go!

I'm looking through you, where did you go,
I thought I knew you, what did I know?

Hey everybody, did the news get around,
About a guy named Butcher Pete,
Oh, Pete just flew into this town,
And he's choppin' up all the women's meat.

Believe it or not George isn't at home,
Please leave a message at the beep.
Believe it or not, I’m not home.

Well, the first time I lose I drink whiskey,
Second time I lose I drink gin,
Third time I lose I drink anything,
'cause I think I'm gonna win.

Can you spell ashtray please?

I don’t care if it rains or freezes,
Long as I got my plastic Jesus,
Sittin’ on the dashboard of my car.

Further reading: Wikipedia, Schoolhouse Rock and The Six Show.

When he holds my hand I'm so proud,
'Cos he's not just one of the crowd.

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


Bonus Photos From Biff!

Biff sent in the following photos of the latest Cardboard Box Man mutation sightings. Here's her report: "I was watching Yard Crashers on HGTV a couple of weeks ago and those fuckers actually BUILT a stony, frightening cousin of CBBM! And then today I was walking Lucy and came across CBBM's super friendly and smiley cousin, Twig Man. I like him way better than all the others." Thanks, Bifferoonie, nice to see a somewhat friendly CBBM mutation!


November 28, 2011

A friend of mine is coming in to town and wants to meet at Penn Station and have a drink or three, so I thought I’d get Sunday dinner on the way there. After last night’s burger fail, I’m in the mood for a decent dinner. There’s a barbecue place on 23rd called RUB and I’ve been meaning to try it for a long time. It’s on the way, so that’s tonight’s destination.

RUB is on 23rd Street, which is just about seven blocks up and two over.

And here we are, nice neon signage out front!

The best BBQ and great beers, just what the doctor ordered, let's go check it out.

There's a nice dining area in the back...

But I felt more at home at the nice marble-topped bar in the front dining area.

And the friendly and cute bartender, Terri was quick to serve up an ice cold bottle of Corona.

They have paper menus, but one has to look no further than the front wall for the smoky selections that are offered.

There's also a large selection of draft and bottled beers available.

This is a really cool 3-D photo of 23rd Street.

Blue ribbons and awards are hung behind the bar alongside BBQ books that you can read as you await dinner.

And speaking of dinner, mine's on the way. Bottles of regular and spicy house made barbecue sauce are placed in front of me. The bottles are warmed up, which is a nice touch.

I started out with the chicken wings, which were really good. Spicy and juicy, we'll call this shot: "Before."

And this one is called: "After." Delicious, probably the best chicken wings I've ever had.

Here's Scott who's the resident Pit Master at Rub, who came out to see how I liked the wings. He told me they're smoked for two hours and are a combination of Buffalo wings and barbecue style.

Tom also stopped by for a photo. The staff here are really friendly and enjoy kidding around. It's a fun place to eat, drink and hang out.

And here's the restaurant's signature dish, which are called "Burnt Ends." They're the tips of the brisket and they're smoked for 18 hours. I just got a quarter of a pound, but they're also available as a full dinner dish with sides (You can find the full menu below on their website.)

These are unbelievable. Smoky, juicy and filled with flavor. One of the staff referred to them as meat candy and it's a perfect description.

Burp. That was a great Sunday dinner, thanks to everyone at RUB for the hospitality and great food! Goodnight everybody and see you tomorrow after dark.

208 West 23rd Street (Between 7th and 8th Ave.)

Further reading: Flavor Profiles, Pig Trip, Immaculate Infatuation and facecrack.

Crash, crash, 48 crash.

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


Bonus Photo at Penn Station!

And here I am with Gumby and my friend Bob at Penn Station. Bob and I used to work together at a rust removal plant that was owned by a guy named Ron Lucy. Ron was so greedy and despicable, he was arrested for picking his own pockets and nose at the same time. I hadn't seen Bob for over a year and it was a great reunion!


Bonus Cartoon from Jaws!

Jaws sent in this cartoon to compliment his comment above! And the cartoon is available as a t-shirt or coffe mug at his Printfection Store. Thanks, Jaws!


November 25, 2011

Okay, today's Thanksgiving and what I'm thankful for is I have nowhere to go. I always feel burned out around this time of year and since I go out so much due to my blog it's nice to take a day and do absolutely nothing. What I plan on doing today is drinking lots of beer, listening and watching videos on YouTube and I thought I'd blog through the whole day. That way we can all spend Thanksgiving together. I can put these posts up and not publish them till tomorrow, so, live, from New York, here's my Thanksgiving! Gobble, gobble, gobble!

This is me trying to open my eyes at the crack of noon. I'm not a morning person and since it's not morning, I guess I'm not an afternoon person either. Okay, I'm going to shower and shave and go out and get my supplies, I'll be back later.

Okay, it's 4:04 PM and I've got all my supplies and don't need to leave the apartment for the rest of the afternoon/evening! I've cracked my first beer, let Thanksgiving begin! Cheers to you all!

I've been listening to Amy Winehouse a lot lately. She has a new CD of songs she recorded before she died coming out in about a week. Usually celebrity deaths don't affect me that much. If you're a fan, you feel bad, but at least in my case I pretty much move on about five minutes later. I found out about her dying in a weird way, I was on Twitter and noticed that Amy Winehouse was at the top of the trending list, meaning tons of people were tweeting about her. I remember immediately thinking, "Fuck, I hope she's not dead," then I went and googled Amy Winehouse and it came up that she had just been discovered dead. It really made me feel sad. I loved her singing and felt she was a person who just couldn't handle fame. I think most people secretly or openly long to be famous, but when you get fame, I don't think it's an easy thing to handle.

I only know this on a super-small level, but in 1986 a friend and I created a satire of Trivial Pursuit called Trivial Trivia and it really blew up. I've written about it before, but in a nutshell, we were on a local radio show, that led to being in the local newspaper, then we were on the local news, then a neighboring town wrote about it and then it was picked up by the U.P.I. wire service and it started the strangest few months of my life. We were written up in newspapers across the country and were interviewed on tons of radio stations. We ended up being flown to New York and were interviewed by Jane Pauley on the Today Show. Pretty much everybody in Peoria watched it and all of a sudden everywhere I went people would stare and point at me and ask me if I was one of the "Trivia guys." I had complete strangers come up to me and ask for an autograph. I'm an outgoing person, but it was embarassing even to me. I stopped going out anywhere and for awhile the only place I felt comfortable was at my best friend and spiritual guru's house, Tim and his wife Tina and all their kids. Eventually it went away, but even that's weird, because in a strange way I kind of missed it. That's embarassing to admit, but it's true.

Amy Winehouse seemed like such a troubled person with lots of demons. That coupled with fame, money and people who won't say no to you is a deadly combination and in the end she got burned. I was really rooting for her to straighten up somewhat and come back with a great CD, but sadly it appears that's going to happen after she's long gone.

I thought for sure she overdosed on drugs, but it turns out she drank herself to death. Which reminds me, I need another beer!

To Amy WInehouse!

Okay, it's time for the firest course of today's Thanksgiving meal. I'm going the non-tradtional route and not having any turkey. For starters, I'm having Genoa salami, Chicken in a Biskit crackers and Sleazy Cheese.

if there's a better snack item to eat with beer, please let me know, because I know there's not and if you say there is, then you're just a complete liar. Okay, more music!

My favorite band as a kid was The Beatles, but running a close second was Herman's Hermits. The first album I ever bought was in 1966 and it was, "Best of Herman's Hermits." I saved money forever to get that album and I'll never forget tearing the cellophane off of it and breathing in the new album smell. It's always been one of my favorite memories. And here they are and you can call him Herman if you like, you cheeky bugger you!

John Mellencamp is a musician I've always respected. I don't like all of his music, but he's a guy who came from  a chickenshit town in the Midwest, got renamed by a record company and pretty much was a cliche in the beginning of his career. He didn't even know they changed his name from John Mellencamp to "Johnny Cougar" until he saw it on his first album. Can you imagine the horror of finding out the record company changed your name to "Johnny Cougar?" He rolled with the punches though and eventually was able to reclaim his name and that's pretty cool. This is a great song and Rickie Lee Jones sings on it too, so how can it not be good?

You can't have a Thanksgiving day video party without including my friends, The Handcuffs. They played here in New York a couple years ago and after the show we were walking along on Houston Street and came upon a fortune cookie factory. No shit, a fortune cookie factory, as that cow Cindy Adams would say: "Only in New York kids, only in New York. Mooo!"

Anyway, we were watching this assembly line of Asian men assembling fortune cookies and Chloe (the lead singer who's married to Brad, the lead drummer) said she'd really like to try one. So I said, no problem, I'll get you one. I marched in and asked if I could buy a fortune cookie from an Asian man on the assembly line who asked me to leave. I told him I had to buy a fortune cookie and this led to him running upstairs, bringing down an Asian man in a dark pinstriped suit and a silk tie who told me I would have to buy a whole case of them and pointed to a box the size of a small storage unit.

"No problem, we'll take the case," I told him in tones of supreme confidence.

"Fifteen dollars," he barked at me.

"A bargain at twice the price," I countered.

"Okay, twenty dollars," he barked back, raising the ante.

I pulled a twenty dollar bill out of my jeans and he surrendered the fortune cookies. I went outside and we all collapsed in laughter over the fact that we now had a case of fortune cookies. Also present at this chance encounter were Emily who plays bass and Ellis who strums a gtibox and jangles a keyboard with The Handcuffs. Alison wasn't present yet because she hadn't joined the band at this point in time. Eventually we ended up handing out the fortune cookies to bewildered passerbys. Oh, and earlier in the evening I proposed marriage to our waitress at a Mexican restaurant, after having drunk 29 margaritas. She accepted so I guess I'm still oficially engaged.

It was one of my favorite nights in New York City. The Handcuffs have a new CD out and you can buy it here: "Waiting For The Robot."

And now for the second course, Totino's Pepperoni Pizza Rolls. Heavily peppered and topped with a dollop of Sleazy Cheese. And speaking of eating...

Eat That Rat!

Okay, time for the third and last course of the evening. By now I've drank enough beer to sink a battleship and here's some mini cheeseburgers from the company that makes, Hot Pockets. I've always loved the name, "Hot Pockets." It makes me think of walking around with pieces of warmed grilled cheese in your blue jeans and that's a heartwarming moment for sure. Here they are all peppered up and ready to eat.

Okay, these were a bit of a disappointment. They taste like a tan albino throwing up beef stew that was marinated in Cheez Whiz. I know that's a bit much to wrap your brain around, but trust me, these weren't too good. So let's end on a musical highlight...

Joan Jett! I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving and see you tomorrow after dark!

Further reading: Amy Winehouse, Hot Pockets and Joan Jett.

My mind’s such a sweet thing,
I want to do everything.
Crimson and Clover,
Over and over.

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


A Bonus Post Thanksgiving Cartoon From Jaws!

Jaws sent in this post Thanksgiving cartoon, great work! Thanks Jaws!


November 22, 2011

I’m really tired tonight. I had to come in to work early today and the rest of the next two weeks due to co-workers being on vacation (get ready for a couple of weeks of whine) and I didn’t get much sleep. On top of that I had to work later than usual, so for my six photos on Sixpack Monday, I’m just going to take six random photos on the way home and match them up to videos when I get there. I hope I can stay awake for the walk.

We gotta get outta this place,
If it’s the last thing we ever do.

Stoned love,
I tell you, I ain't got no other,
Stoned love.

Well, any other man stops and talks,
But the walking man walks.

People running 'round it's five o'clock,
Everywhere in town it's getting dark,
Everyone you see is full of life,
It's time for tea and meet the wife.

I can hear music,
I can hear music,
The sound of the city, baby, seems to disappear.

Rollin', rollin', rollin',
Though the streams are swollen,
Keep them dogies rollin',

Further reading: Tired, ABC News and The Fuck It Way.

Just walk away Renee,
You won't see me follow you back home.

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


Shout Out To Gidget

Gidget gave me a shoutout today, so I thought I'd return the favor, go check her blog out here: Gidget Bates's Crap She Spews.


November 18, 2011

I was looking at an old picture today in my apartment of a store that used to be on 14th Street called, Funny Cry Happy Gift. It was one of those kooky stores that sold everything from bags to batteries, to knock-off fake designer perfume, to wacky-ass plastic toys that fell apart five minutes after you bought them. I loved the name of the store and often wondered who thought of it and was there any meaning attached, or was it just something random. I remember one day about six years ago walking down 14th Street and—BOOM—it was gone. It was replaced by a cell phone store, I think. It was one of those heartbreaking New York moments when you wish you’d have taken the time to research and document the place. I’m glad I’ve got the one photo and tonight I thought I’d walk down there and take a photo of it today. It’s changed hands quite a few times since the Funny Cry Happy Gift days and I don’t even know what’s there today. I guess we’ll find out.

Goddamn, it's cold out here tonight, I dread old man winter coming.

The Empire State Building is purple tonight. Somewhere, Prince is happy.

"Talk To The Hand, Part I: She Knows I'm Taking This Picture."

"Talk To The Hand Part II: Lights, Camera...Arms?"

This makes me think of this headline.

What the fuck does this even mean? I've been standing here for over five minutes staring at this goddamned ad. Why does turkey luncheon meat need protecting? It's already dead for fuck's sake, what else are you going to do to it? Plus, what the fuck kind of sandwich is this? It's too tall to pick up, unless you have the hands of Herman Munster. I could probably spend my whole life standing here staring at this, but it's too cold, so let's move on. Who the fuck protects turkey luncheon meat? Okay, I'm out of here.

And here's the fork in the road.

Okay, we're almost there, it's up ahead, just beyond the golden arches.

There it is, let's go take a closer look.

Jason & Co, what the fuck kind of name is that for a store? And they buy gold and diamonds. Really? In this economy? Who's got gold and diamonds laying around waiting to sell? What kind of weirdness is this? And they also pawn. I wish they had a window so I could see what's going on in here, I need to stop back during working hours, this is a far cry from what it used to be. And speaking of that, let's take a trip back in time and look at my photo of what this store front used to look like.

Looking at this photo brings me right back to the day I looked at it and it was gone. Vanished, poof, wiped off the block and replaced with a fucking phone store and now it’s a gold trading store, whatever the fuck that is. When friends of mine came to town I used to always take them to the Stoned Crow bar and on the way I’d point out the Funny Cry Happy Gift store. More often than not we’d go in and buy some goofy trinket from the Chinese couple that owned the place. Funny Cry Happy Gift closed and then the Stoned Crow followed suit last year. Nothing lasts forever, we live in a world where where everything has an expiration date. I guess the lesson to be learned is to enjoy and savor things and people while they’re still here. Funny Cry Happy Gift, magical words.

Goodnight everybody and see you tomorrow after dark.

Further reading: Flickr, Did You Just See What I Saw? and flickriver.

The powers that be,
That force us to live like we do,
Bring me to my knees,
When I see what they've done to you.

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


Bonus Cartoon From Jaws!

MAD commenter and author, Jaws sent in this cartoon from the Axe Man Gift Shop. Thanks, Jaws!


November 15, 2011


November 12, 2011

Today was 11/11/11, and in honor of this auspicious day, I’m going to take 11 pictures of the numeral 11 around town and marry it up with videos of the band that go to 11, Spinal Tap. Enjoy!

These go to 11!

“Lick My Love Pump.”

Metal objects?

Talk about mud flaps, my baby’s got ‘em.

A bizarre gardening accident.

Smell The Glove.

Bobbi Flekman.


Guitar solo!

Puppet Show and Spinal Tap!


Further reading: USA Today, EW and Mashable.


Eleven plus eleven.

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

Bonus Photos by Gene Rubbico!

Gene and Smoopy from the BBC (Baltimore Bar Crawlers) are in town this weekend and they arrived today. In addition to hitting 467 bars and having 3,569 drinks between the two of them, they also went to the annual Christmas Show at Radio City Music Hall. Here’s some pictures Gene took from the show. Thanks, Gene and I look forward to seeing you and Smoopy tonight!