Saturday, January 19, 2008

An Old Friend

I opened up the Daily News the other day and lo and behold, there was a picture of an old friend of mine, Larry McShane. He is now writing for the New York Daily News and, I guess because he is new, they sent him to Green Bay to cover Sunday's game with the Giants. Actually, that is a pretty good gig if you are a Giants fan, and I do believe he is. All he has to do is keep warm and avoid wearing one of those cheese-head hats.

Larry With Appropriate Head Gear

I met Larry when he covered bar number 500 at The Gate in Brooklyn. He also covered bar number 1000 at The Frontier and he showed up at a few of the other places I visited as well. Siberia in Manhattan where I did a guest bartender gig and Duff's, number 750, in Williamsburg I remember well. He wore a little less appropriate head covering at Duff's.

Larry With Alternative Head Gear

Well, actually, it was appropriate for that occasion, now that I think about it.

Larry is a very good writer, in my opinion, and I look forward to reading him more often now that he is writing for my favorite New York newspaper (they have three pages of comics).

Oh, and one final shot of Larry in yet another head covering.

A Man Who Can Wear Many Hats

But please, oh please, never this one:

Uggh, Please, No!!!

Walk Of Shame - Part Deux

It was a fairly warm and sunny day yesterday, perfect for WFAN's Craig Carlton to make good on his bet with Boomer Esiason. And, of course, plenty of people showed up to watch him.

The Crowd Gathers

This must have been considered to be a big event because there was plenty of media coverage. I believe this was New York's Channel 2 doing this interview.

Tell Me A Little Bit About Yourself

Craig's co-host Boomer showed up to poke a little fun at his partner, and he was a big hit. I had to laugh when someone in the crowd commented on the fact that he was big. I mean, duh, he was a professional football player. If you are small you have to play in the NBA, like Charlie Ward, formerly of the Knicks. Oooh, but don't get me started on the Knicks.


The crowd was growing impatient so Craig retreated into his changing room to remove his pants. Such modesty. Some in the crowd also suggested that he was also stuffing his Speedo.

The Un-Dressing Room

The end result was a bit disappointing. He said he was going to wear a Giants jersey that was one size too small, but this one looked fairly large to me. Maybe it was the Speedo that was one size too small.

The Final Product

And then, right at the crack of noon, off we headed.

The Walk Begins

I was quite impressed by the police escort that was provided.

Well Protected

As you can see, Craig did draw a bit of a crowd. Some of these people might just have been trying to get to the other side of the bridge though and got caught up in the frenzy.

On The March

And then there was this guy, obviously hungry for attention, who tried to do Craig one better. I think he was promoting some online news program or something, but he was generally ignored. Actually, shunned would be a better word for it.

Oh, Please, Look At Me, Please

At the other end everyone gathered for a drawing for a 50 inch plasma TV. Well, not everyone gathered. Whoever held the first winning ticket drawn, 703, wasn't in the crowd so they had to draw another ticket. The winning number was 705. Bar Man had 725. Close, but no cigar.

Gathering For The Drawing

And then, being New York, it was over and life returned to as normal as it ever gets here.

The Return To Normal

It was a nice day for a walk and I had a good time. Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge is something that I do quite often, but sometimes it is more fun to do it with a crowd.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Walk Of Shame

Watching the weather report last night the Mysterious Chinese Woman and I decided that today would be a great day to just stay inside and watch some old movies, like I Walked With a Zombie and Cat People. But, the best laid plans of mice and men...

Around 10:00 P.M. or so I got a call from my brother-in-law Jim. As many of you probably have come to realize, he is a bit of an instigator. His call was to inform me that Craig Carton of WFAN radio station lost a bet that the Giants would lose to Dallas in last week's playoff game. To pay off the bet he has agreed to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge at noon today. But, of course, there is more to it than that. He will be wearing a one-size-too-small Giants jersey, Giants Crocs and a Speedo swimsuit. He will also be carrying a sign that reads, “Any Given Sunday.’’

At noon Carton will begin his “Walk of Shame’’ on the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn Bridge, which is just a few blocks from where I live in good old Downtown Brooklyn. People with no more sense then Bar Man can join in the festivities by meeting at Cadman Plaza East and Tillary Street at 11:30 A.M.

The event will be covered on the station’s mid-day show as well as WFAN's web site, which will also have video highlights.

As you might imagine, Jim talked me into joining this merry group so I will also be posting pictures of the event right here.

WFAN's website can be found at so be sure to check it out.

Monday, January 14, 2008

A Sunday Stroll In SoHo

For those of you who may not know, SoHo is a neighborhood in Manhattan that is south of Houston Street. New Yorkers seem infatuated with naming neighborhoods. Presumably this is to give them a bit of class so that property values can be increased. But really, do we need SoHo, NoHo, Tribeca, Nolita, Dumbo, BoCoCa, and who knows how many more. It really does get to be a bit silly after awhile. And the good names, like Five Points and Alphabet City just kind of disappear. They have been trying to make Hell's Kitchen go away for years, but that is a name with legs.

Last Saturday the Mysterious Chinese Woman and I went to visit some friends who live about as far on the East Side of lower Manhattan as you can get. To get there we took the F Train and got off on East Broadway. We were early so I figured I would stop at a bar on the way to their place for a quick one. But, there were no bars. I kid you not. I must have covered about a square mile before I found one. This is a seriously dry part of town. The bar that I did find, on Broome Street and Ludlow Street looked a bit out of place too. I suspect that this area is going to change quite a bit in the near future and Casini's will be the first bar on the block.


It was a pleasantly sunny place with only one other couple sitting at a table. Not much business for prime weekend brunch time. The walls were light wood and the bar had a dull metallic finish. Not my favorite because in the summer when you are wearing a short sleeve shirt they feel uncomfortably cold when you lean on them. Another thing I didn't care for, they have those new modernistic taps where, for some reason, it is cool to not display the names of the beers.

Mystery Taps

Why don't I like them? Easy, I like to walk into a bar and see what they have available. Then, when the bartender asks me what I want I can tell him. I don't waste my time nor his. With these, unless there is a sign somewhere or, how pretentious, a menu, you have to ask the bartender. Now if you have over six taps I will also probably have to ask him to repeat a couple. Then I have to decide which one I want. What should be a quick and simple transaction turns into a major event. I have never met a bartender who likes them either.

Well, according to the bartender only two of the three taps had beer so I could have my choice of either a Stella or a Jeffe or Jefe or something. She didn't seem to know exactly what it was so that is what I ordered along with a Absente.

Bar Man, Beer, and Pernod

Well now I do have a few complaints. First, the beer was served in a glass more suitable for a scotch and soda or a gin and tonic. And the Absente was served in a shot glass. I prefer it in a glass like the beer was served in with an ice-cube or two and a splash of water. Oh well, who am I to make a fuss.

I had to laugh a bit though. I ordered a second beer and a different bartender had to ask me which of the taps it came out of. On the other hand, she demonstrated that all three taps did, in fact have beer and Bass Ale was another alternative. I don't think this is a bar I will be hanging out in once a second one in the neighborhood opens.

It did have a nice little dining area, although I didn't look at a menu so I don't know what they have to offer.

Kind Of Cosey

This view from inside looking out one of their windows gives you a bit of an idea of how this is a neighborhood in transition. You don't see laundry hanging out on the fire escapes in the more gentrified neighborhoods.

Letting It All Hang Out

We met our friends, Frank and Kathy, at their place and then walked to SoHo for an early dinner at the Fanelli Cafe which can be found on Prince Street between Mercer Street and Greene Street. Somehow Frank and I got separated from the ladies so we had time for a couple of beers before Kathy and The Mysterious Chinese Woman showed up. Unfortunately I didn't think to take any pictures. It is a nice old-style bar though with good and reasonably priced food so I shall return and do it justice.

After we ate we decided to hit another bar in the neighborhood. Someone suggested Milady's so off we headed.


Fanelli's was crowded, but this place was packed. We decided to pass it by and look for a bar with a bit more room. On the way we passed another group of Milady's and Kathy decided she would join them.

Kathy and Milady's

We ended up going to The Cupping Room, and that turned out to be a very nice choice indeed.

The Cupping Room

The Cupping Room is on West Broadway between Broome Street and Franklin Street. Once you get into SoHo there is no shortage of bars. It is just that barren patch east of SoHo that is the problem.

I liked this place right off the bat. Warm wood, a nice glow, and a place to stand at the end of the bar. Actually, after a couple of beers, a glass of wine (maybe two) and a steak at Fanelli's I also has a nice glow. I thought a Maker's Mark Manhattan would be a nice way to end an enjoyable day and Christian, the bartender, turned out an excellent one.

Christian And My Excellent Manhattan

And we all enjoyed our drinks at the bar.

Kathy, Bar Man, and Frank At The Bar

Bar Man has noticed that he is developing a bit of a paunch. I am sure the steak and beers I had just eaten added to the effect, but nonetheless I have decided to start a bit of an exercise routine. Next month I will be heading to Mexico and I want to look good in my bathing suit.

I also plan on heading back to SoHo one of these days. I like that neighborhood and there are still plenty of old time bars. They may have gone upscale in terms of what they now serve and the prices they charge, but they still retain a lot of their original charm.

I decided to play around with a photo-paint program that I have, Corel. It has more features than I could ever possibly use, but it is kind of cool. I thought I would try to use it to create a more artistic image of the picture I shot out of the window at Casinis. It turned out kind of 60's pschedelia, I thought.


Don't worry though, I will try not to get too carried away with my new toy.