I took last week off from my night job and the MBIP blog and flew to New York City. I really had a good time, saw lots of great friends and below I’ve distilled the trip into the following pictures and captions. And so...meanwhile, back in New York...
LaGuardia Airport - Taxi - Hotel
After a night of turbulence, courtesy of American Airlines who once again fucked me like a thirteen cent crack whore (I’m not going to get into that right now, except to thank my friend and Travel Agent Extraordinaire, Sheila Maher, for getting me there, despite American Airlines worst intentions) here I am at LaGuardia Airport. I love this airport, there’s tons of bars, places to eat and someday I might just spend my whole vacation here. But not this time! One sign that I’ve been away from New York City for a couple of years is that they’ve moved the cab stand! It used to be over where there’s now a bus station, but I found the new one and it’s off we go! While soaking in that familiar buffet of cab odors including, perspiration, exhaust fumes, curry, old socks and human ass, I read the sign about assaulting a cab driver and almost took it as a challenge, but I let that moment pass and within a half an hour I had checked into my hotel room. It was very nice and I’m not sure what was outside of my window because I consider it bad luck to look out of a hotel window and always leave the curtains shut. Plus it looked too fucking bright out there!
Walking Around In New York City - Part One
I took hundreds of photos, so I wish I could include them all, but I can’t, but here’s some shots of my first walk around the city. I was happy to see Joan Jett in a store window and I loved that my favorite, Novelty Candy Store that sells cigarettes and candy is still operating. There’s the 666 Deli on 6th Avenue and a sign where you can not only get all types of hair cuts, but you can also get your watch battery changed! I love New York!
Old Town Bar
Outside of meeting friends, I had no real specific plans and that’s the way I like to do things while on vacation. When I’m doing the MBIP blog, my life is one big plan and schedule, so it’s nice to throw that to the wind for a few days and just wander around a big city. In my wanderings I just happened to walk by one of my favorite New York bars, The Old Town Bar. I love this bar and it’s one of New York’s oldest taverns. Way back when I was doing bar reviews for Time Out New York, this was the first place I reviewed for that magazine and I remember the bartender gave me a free cheeseburger! Sadly, that review isn’t online, but the free cheeseburger is a nice memory! I also wrote about this place on my 365 Bars blog and Marty After Dark. The place hasn’t changed one bit, it never does and that’s one of the many things I love about it! Another is the “No Cell Phones” sign on the mirror behind the bar. Fitzy was the bartender on duty and after chatting, he said he remembered me and the 365 bars blog, which made me feel good. And of course you have to love the legendary urinals in here!
Walking Around New York City - East Village
Here’s some shots from walking around the East Village, one of my favorite spots in New York. Love EV Cheese, which I think is secretly owned by EV Grieve, but don’t tell anyone! There’s the Beauty Bar, another spot I reviewed for Time Out New York and there’s the IHOP and a 7-Eleven within spitting distance of each other. The emphasis there is “spitting” but let’s not get into that now, it’s best to just quickly walk by those two eyesores and spend no money in them. One place you definitely should spend money in though is the Papaya Dog! The best hot dogs in New York! And there’s Lucy’s bar, which sadly hadn’t opened yet. I was going to try and get back there and never had time. Next trip for sure!
Jimmy’s No. 43 And The Coal Yard With Elizabeth, Victoria, Shawn, Greg, Goggla and Edmund
I had made plans to meet friends at Jimmy’s No. 43 and here we are! I had never been here before and it was nice inside and a dark basement bar, which I always love! After bellying up to the bar, and looking around, my friends Elizabeth, Eric and Victoria showed up and it was great to see them! And then the party continued as Shawn showed up and after a bit we decided to move on and met Greg and Goggla outside! This party is almost complete! We shifted over to one of my favorite EV bars, The Coal Yard and then Edmund showed up and the party is now in full swing! Great to see everyone and this brought back a flood of memories of adventures I’ve had with these friends! Here’s just a few for your clicking pleasure: Meeting Victoria at the Parkside Lounge (seventh photo down), Eric’s Birthday @ The Chillmaster’s, Coney Island Trip With Shawn, Chillmaster Coney Island Road Trip, Easter Sunday @ The Mars Bar and Memories of our friend, Bob Arihood.
Walking Around - 611 Broadway - The Strand - Union Square
More walking around and there’s the doorway in the building of my first job in New York, 611 Broadway (at Houston.) This is where Sarabande Press was located. Sarabande Press was owned by my friend Joe and it’s where I met my first New York friends and this building and stairway hold a lot of memories for me! I think I can speak for everyone who worked there and thank Joe for all the help he gave us, he had a knack for hiring misfits and people who didn't necessarily fit in with other businesses and I was one of those misfits. Thanks Joe! There’s the Strand Bookstore, a must stop if you love books and visit New York and there’s Union Square Park, which is located in my old neighborhood!
The Donut Pub
Another spot in my old neighborhood is The Donut Pub! It’s open 24 hours a day and has been on 14th Street for years now. One really happy time for me in New York was when a shitty Dunkin’ Donuts moved in a few blocks away and The Donut Pub kicked it’s ass! I love The Donut Pub and these are the best donuts in New York City, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!
Blue Valley - 16th Street - Hollywood Diner - With Wendy
Just up the street from The Donut Pub is another place in New York I spent lots of time and money at, The Blue Valley Deli at the corner of 6th and 16th. This was my neighborhood deli and I can only imagine the money I spent here on beer, cigarettes and sandwiches the 15 years I lived here on this block. And speaking of living on this block, there’s the front stoop of the building I called home from 1997 to 2012! I met my friend Wendy here, who lives here along with her mom, Sheryl and Mark, who used to be my landlords. Wendy showed me my old apartment, which has now been reconstructed into a bedroom and just one part of an apartment that stretches over the entire second floor! The roof overhang is now a fancy-schmancy porch and the rest of the building has really gone upscale too! I never could’ve gotten into this building without Wendy’s help and Sheryl and Mark were the best landlords and great friends to me in New York and it was great to see them on this visit, even though I didn't get a picture of Sheryl and Mark. I did get a picture of Wendy and I at the Hollywood Diner though. It was great having lunch there again and thanks again to Wendy for getting me into that “Ship of Fools” building and for the friendship through the years!
Walking Around - Hell’s Kitchen - John and Luna - Queens - Sam
Here’s some shots of me walking around Hell’s Kitchen on my way to meet up with my friends John and Luna who live in that neighborhood. On the way I passed Smith’s Bar, got a pretzel and went by Rudy’s Bar. Both Smith’s and Rudy’s are legendary New York Hell’s Kitchen Bars. There’s John and Luna in their apartment! John and I worked together for years, starting at Sarabande and then through many other companies that are too cruel to remember to mention, but we have lots of shared memories and always great to see both him and Luna. Luna’s an artist and also directed some promotional videos for my “The Boy Who Would Be A Fire Truck” book. After a short visit we took the subway to Queens to meet our friend Sam who was waiting outside of iCook, where we were having dinner, let’s go inside!
Dinner @ iCook With Sam, Fiona, Hilda, John and Luna
It’s really nice in here and there’s our whole dinner party at our booth! Clockwise from left, it’s Sam, his daughter, Fiona, Sam’s wife and Fiona’s mom, Hilda, John and Luna. In the picture below I join the party and it’s time to eat! iCook is a hot pot restaurant where they bring you a base of hot soup and then you cook the meats, vegetables and noodles in your own individual pot. Dinner was delicious and tasty and thanks to Sam for picking out the restaurant. We really had a lot of fun, laughs and good food! Thanks to all of them for meeting with me and hanging out, it was a fantastic evening!
The White Horse Tavern With Wendy and Paul
There’s a couple random shots of Two Boots Pizza and a cool little window display I saw while heading to The White Horse Tavern to meet Wendy, who we met earlier in this post and my friend Paul Scanlon. Paul’s a journalist who’s done editorial duty at Rolling Stone and GQ among other books and publications and we first met when I was doing my 365 Bar Crawl about six years ago. Paul’s a good friend of mine and one of my blogging highlights of all time is this interview I did with him on Tripping With Marty. If you read that post, you can see he’s had quite an illustrious and successful life and career! We decided to meet at The White Horse and catch up on things and it was really great to see him on this trip. It was also wonderful to hang out at the White Horse, a legendary New York watering hole. There’s Wendy, Paul and I in the last photo sharing grins and good times!
The Flying Puck With Dorothy, James, Belinda, Sebastian, Mark, Chris, Steve and Robert
As my trip was nearing the end, I met with several friends I used to work with. We decided to meet at The Flying Puck near Penn Station, it’s not a bar I would necessarily recommend if you’re visiting, but it’s close by the train station so it was handy for everyone. It was so much fun to see everyone! We shared old stories and all of these people feel like war buddies that I have a certain bond with. While I sometimes really fucking hated working at that place, I am grateful for the employment and paychecks through the years. I’m also really thankful for all the people and friends I met and made while working there. In my time with this company I saw lots of people come and go and we all had a real roller coaster of a time! Sometime I need to write some of these stories from work up, but I had some really fun times working with everyone there. One story coming to mind right now is the infamous, “Here’s your fucking pdf,” tale! Also the time I faked a job ticket that resulted in mass chaos for a couple of days and then there was the time I drank about a half of a fifth of vodka during work and got suspended for the Christmas holidays. And of course there’s the legendary O’Reilly’s lunches and we went over all of those that night and more! Thanks to Dorothy, James, Belinda, Sebastian, Mark, Chris, Steve and Robert (not pictured) for showing up and hanging out and sharing all the old memories and stories! I hope to see you all on the next trip! And could someone please ask Frank Scott if he still like’s his job? Oh and someone else can cue this up!
Last Day In New York - Debra and HyunYup - Chris and John
Here’s some shots I took in the East Village on my way to Veselka to meet my friends Debra and HyunYup on my last day in New York City for this trip! Debra, HyunYup and I were the night shift at Sarabande Press, which I mentioned and showed pictures of earlier. They were my first really close New York friends and it was great to see both of them again and talk about the old days and what we’re all doing now. They live in Alphabet City with their children Noah and Emma who are both very talented artists. I helped them move into that apartment and we went there after lunch and it was crazy to see that place again and the whole afternoon really brought back a flood of memories. It was so great to see both of them and I’m really happy we’ve stayed in touch and remained friends through the years! That night it was a perfect ending to my trip to hang out with Chris and John at Spain Restaurant on 13th Street. They were the last new friends I made before I moved back to Peoria and we also met Edmund who was pictured at the Coal Yard night. Chris, John and I don’t have a lot of old memories to talk about, but we had a great evening hanging out and talking about New York and the times to come. And we made memories that we can talk about on the next trip!
Most of the photos you’ve seen on this massive post have been in chronological order, but I saved This quartet for the last. One of my stops in the East Village was The International Bar. I love this bar, it’s always dark (definitely a top ten spot for my old 365 co-pilot, Al!) and filled with characters. One of those characters is a friend I made who’s known as, Uncle Waltie. I was hoping maybe he’d be in here, but the bartender told me that he wasn’t in that afternoon, but that he is still alive and kicking in a way that only Uncle Waltie can live and kick! Uncle Waltie’s signature saying before taking a drink is, “Sip Ahoy!” That has always cracked me up and one time at work I made, “Sip Ahoy!” talk balloons and brought them to The International where Uncle Waltie and I posed with them, then I took photos of everybody else in the bar holding the sign. It was really a fun and magical night and has always been a great memory! As I was relating this to the bartender on duty at The International, she told me that the sign was still taped to the wall and that Uncle Waltie still talks about it! I couldn’t believe it and went over and took a photo of it. I can’t describe how good it felt that the Sip Ahoy sign was hanging there in The International Bar after all these years, so I’m not even going to try. I’m just going to say...
Sip Ahoy! And thanks to everyone who met me on this trip! I appreciate being friends with all of you and hope to see all of you again on my next trip which will hopefully be sooner than later! We’ll see you all tomorrow!
Related Posts: Howdy, From New York, Hello It’s Me... and Meanwhile, Back In New York: Presented By Chipstagram.