Archives for category: booze

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When we first started hanging out, we had this obscene joke. That every time we got into a cab and the name on the license was any variation of Mohammed, we had to perform bits of sex on each other, that were decided before the actual hailing of the taxi, for the duration of the ride, no matter how near or far the destination.

There are so many cabbies named Mohammed…  or Mohamed, or Mohammad, or Mohammed, or Muhamad, or Muhamed, or Muhammad, or Muhammet or Mohamsandie.

We weren’t racist. We were just filthy pigs. And this is the most common name in the world. And since cabs are firstly for getting around in, and secondly for squeezing in everything you need to do before you get home… because you probably left take out containers in your bed, and floaters in your toilet…  you’re very welcome, New York;

The perfect game for perverts, like us.

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In 1983, the era of Save the Robots began as not much more than a storefront and basement at 25 Avenue B. Operating after hours, the venue wasn’t completely of legal standards in the beginning, although why that is remains unclear. The club shut down for a spell due to a fire violation and reopened legit. They only sold vodka, soda and juice. Street level was “the sandbox” and the basement was a frighteningly dark and loud dance floor… Wall to wall people danced to various DJs and a small strobe light.

Craig Ferguson, the talk show host was once a bouncer here, and Dean Johnson was a regular fixture. Dean was an East Village icon. He was a transvestite, musician, artist and FOW (Friend of Warhol). He was an integral part of the Queercore movement, which was somewhat of a homosexual punk subculture. Save the Robots also birthed Lady Bunny.

In 1993 the club closed because it was too out of control for that neighborhood, which is really saying something. I don’t have to tell you that anyone who ventured to Second Street and Avenue B in the eighties at 4AM was most definitely a deviant:

Avenue A was for the Adventurous

Avenue B was for the Brave

Avenue C, for the Crazy

Avenue D for Dead

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The Stingy LuLu crew took over and tried to capitalize on the Save the Robots name without consent, by calling it Robots.

Just as you might imagine, none of the original clientele patronized.

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One afternoon in April of 2004, a totally awesome gay couple got nearly naked and climbed 35 feet up a pine tree in Central Park, entertained hundreds of passersby and put a bunch of government bitches to WORK. Just north of Wollman Rink next to the Chess and Checkers House, one wore a black thong and the other, boxer shorts. It was in this tree they remained until sundown… professing their love by giving each other oral sex and enjoying soft drinks.

The New York Times reported that the older one, aged 32, had “feminine breasts” and shouted threats at rescue workers demanding a can of Vanilla Diet Pepsi. The other was but 17, quiet and despondent that his family had not accepted his relationship.

At one point a police officer made a motion toward the elder soda connoisseur and he reacted, screaming, “I want to talk to my mother!” and shimmying even higher up the tree. He threatened to jump, and even took his underwear off and threw it at an officer who caught it. He ripped tree branches off and whipped them around before dropping them. After about three hours of this, an officer came back from a bodega with a can of soda for him. He threw that shit on ground and shouted: ”That is a Coke. I wanted Vanilla Diet Pepsi!!”

This deeply romantic story ends with the two finally surrendering well into the evening, at which time they were tossed into the Cornell Center for psychiatric evaluation.

When I moved into my third floor apartment at 40 Ludlow, I did that shit by myself. And its a good fucking thing I collected books. Once I was able to corral all of that crap inside, I locked the door behind me and left to go check the neighborhood. I needed a restaurant where I could rest my rump and thighs over a cocktail and then eat my face off. But first I needed a New York Post.

When I eat alone, I like to slobber over some Page Six.

There were a lot of 99 cent stores and a lot of laundromats around. An adorable elementary school, a funeral home, and a whole mess of dusty massage parlours.

At Canal and Ludlow I found a French African Brazilian bar/eatery thing called Les Enfants Terribles. This was it. I had found my lair. My deal closer. Shadowy, sexy and small, the bar wrapped all the way around to make a rectangle. The low hanging lamps over the bar were dim and reflected on the copper bar, on the gilded ceiling, and in the floor to ceiling windows. I gave up trying to wrap my mind around the music; world music, hip hop, forgotten 80’s new wave layered with house, and even some Mowtown.

I ordered a cocktail with vodka, a bunch of sugar and smooshed up green grapes. I drank four or five of those before ordering mussels and some Moqueca, a seafood-coconut-milk stew, which was just jammed with shrimp and came with a steaming bowl of white rice. The bartenders were deliciously dismissive and and a perfect D.J. dude with salt and pepper dreadlocks served up some Snoop Dogg and Shirelles. My only gripe was the octagonal shaped bar stool my ass was swallowing. I had to keep standing up and twisting my seat a shade to distribute the the pain and possibility of a puncture wound.

I ate enough food for two of those asses. I burped my way back to 40 Ludlow, up those three flights and slipped into a coma on my old mattress and new floor.

I didn’t go to Les Enfants Terribles every night thereafter.

I went almost every night.

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At 2:15PM on Saturday, March 15th 2008 a white 20 story crane collapsed in midtown Manhattan that left 7 people dead and 24 injured. The crane was stationed at 303 E 51st just east of Second Avenue as part of an effort to construct 44 stories of condominiums. The “jib” of the crane had toppled into the next block, damaging the building on the south side of 51st Street, and completely destroying a four story townhouse at 300 E 50th Street. After the crash, the “tower” of the crane remained leaning across 51st Street dangling like a house of cards. Here is a slideshow of the wreckage.

The bar on the ground floor of the building at 300 E 50th was called FUBAR. The owner, who also owns a similar bar on the east side called SNAFU, said that if he hadn’t been watching a Yankee game at home, he’d most likely have died in the accident.

 

After my restaurant shift on E 42nd Street, taking a taxi to PJ Clarkes at 55th and 3rd proved too difficult in the mayhem, so I walked and when I got there, I asked Doug the barman what the hell happened. I knew the address immediately, as I knew FUBAR intimately. I was shocked. I was scared. About an hour went by. After a couple of drinks and pondering I asked Doug, “Don’t you think its strange that the bar was called FUBAR?”

And so then the fat sweaty drunk red faced guy next to me goes, “Huh… Ya. I’m thinkin’ about opening up a bar called Hot Chick On My Face.”

The most delicious of the world’s liquers is called Green Chartreuse and is made by Carthusian Monks. Basically, it is 132 herbal extracts aged in distilled alcohol. This deliciousness is named after the Monks’ Grande Chartreuse monastery, located in the Chartreuse Mountains,  in Grenoble, France.

Green Chartreuse is 110 proof (or 55%) and is naturally green from chlorophyll. Yellow Chartreuse is a different version that is sweeter, which makes it seem more syrupy and has less bite at 40% alcohol. The monks also make a Chartreuse VEP (Vieillissement Exceptionnellement Prolongé, meaning “exceptionally prolonged aging”). They are all made from a secret recipe but the VEP is aged extra long in the same type of oak casks.

I have had the VEP but it was a few years ago, and though I remember making sweet love to it, I can’t remember any of its specific characteristics, which is good because I probably can’t afford to have an ongoing affair with it. So lucky for me, Green Chartreuse is the sexiest lady in the world. Like a beautiful lover, one tiny taste burns both your brain and your belly. It is a fantastic conversation piece at any bar that carries it, as you must taste it, once you start discussing it. The best thing about it is that offends some. I brought a bottle of it to my brother’s house one night. He was (and always is) a cowboy, obliged me in tasting it and then sent the remainder of the bottle home with me and I quote him; “Please take your Death Elixir with you.”

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