Saturday, October 30, 2010

Nightmare On Smith Street - Halloween at NY Perks

NY Perks will always trump whatever you're doing. Kevin Barry's probably does as well during the eve, but what's great about NY Perks is that it's been there for years probably giving a big middle finger to Bar Tabac (hell I would anyway). Actually Ceol is probably giving a big middle finger to Bar Tabac too. Anywho, Perks has some scares lined up for Halloween Eve tonight with 2 for 1 Grey Goose drinks from 9 to 11 which is a good way to scare any embarrassment you MIGHT have about your costume. Ladies are free before midnight and men probably aren't but you knew you were paying dude, Halloween and New Year's are the easiest reasons to do covers at the door.

You know it's going to be serious. It's like the Van Wilder Halloween party, not the lame Richard Halloween party. You wouldn't want Tara Reid in any case.

For more, go to NY Perks official site and additional info from here.

For Those Who Don't Know: I Love The Fulton Mall

There have been a couple of well meaning articles on The Fulton Mall lately, with the stiff-as-morning-wood Wall Street Journal and the less dreamy New York Observer putting for their respective thoughts on how the strip will come about in the next few years. WSJ says, well big chains and big money are signalling a "rebirth" happening next to the religious squawking by Hoyt and the NYO says, well if you look at your facts, the Other Kings Plaza is already cream of the crop in terms of sales and general foot traffic (although the Arby's shutting down in a matter of months is kind of a shame).

What bothers me is that everything is seen from a perspective of upscale is better. Big developers are better. Gentrification is better. Shifting the overall "populace" in the area is better. "Catering" to the new residents literally a block or two away is a better, brighter future. Who comes up with that bullshit? I'm not saying an H&M is a bad thing; functionally they provide affordable clothing with a little style to boot. Although Aeropostale is totally lame. As the NYO points out though, there's nothing actually wrong with the Fulton Mall, and what's more frustrating, it's actually comparable to the best shopping the city has to offer. Living a block from the mall actually reminds me of Fulton Street in the city where I lived around the corner from 3 million dollar bonuses in suits as well as low end clothing/fast food with a heavy immigrant population.

Brownstoner's reader comments on the article are spot on and probably articulate what I want to say better. What the WSJ is missing (and what I was hoping the NYO was more fiercely vocal about, although hey, this isn't blogging right, it's journalism?) is a sense that The Fulton Mall serves a much greater purpose that they failed to realize. They also treat the strip as if it needs a total overhaul because well, it's not gentrified enough. As the NYO pointed out, whatever dirtbag wrote the WSJ piece is not writing it from the perspective that the mall is a viable, competitive, and highly sustainable economy for working class and middle class folks (with a decidedly disheveled and quite awesome Macy's) equal to strips in the city, it's from the perspective that it needs to be cleaned up and upscaled, using the new "type" of resident as part of the reasoning. It's just so dismissive and it bugs me; that's how powerful words can be, one way or the other. I guess causing me to blog isn't exactly mindblowing but hey I could be shopping for Halloween candy so the kids in the building don't think we're trolls.

As a person who is part of a new community settling into the neighborhood, I wholeheartedly, except for welcoming an H&M and stores that would fit well into the current state, reject this way of thinking about the Fulton Mall. I stand behind the fact that I can get a much better selection of what I want at the Fulton Mall than the Atlantic Center (although I do love me some Pathmark). I stand behind the fact that I can foster a newfound interest in snazzy kicks at Foot Action, Foot Locker, AND Finish Line. I stand behind the fact that there are stores that sell DVDs, jewelry, shoes, and cell phones AT THE SAME TIME. I stand behind the fact that you have the easiest selection of fast food joints ever for those who eat fast. It's like, when did the idea of good shopping (read: affluent) get in the way of the naturally existing economy of the past several decades?

Does the article add to the long list of excitable press surrounding the area? Sure. Is it an interesting outlook? Certainly, considering the development of the area. Yet, does it take into account anything beyond appearances of white it could be? No. The half-assedness of it is the most blatant diss.

Am I the exception rather than the rule when it comes to new residents wanting a gentrified mall? I hope not, but if I am, I'm at least urging people to really not shop at Aeropostale. Seriously.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Brooklyn Flea Gets Bursts At The Seamless 10/23 and 10/24

Ok maybe that was a terrible headline but don't blame me, I'm working on a Glenfiddich and feeling brave.

Let me give you the skinny on this kooky quirk: you have a lot of menus. You use the computer. You may even have one of those fancy iPhonez (I'm looking at you Szyzska). Why not trade in all that clutter for one all encompassing digital menu? Seamless Web, one of the oldest online food ordering services, is putting you to the test and turning your no-cooking into artistic gold, collecting menus from across New York and commissioning an artist to fashion something awesome out of it for the Brooklyn Flea next weekend (not this weekend, next weekend, I always say that for some reason as if I don't trust someone's ability to put my time frame in context). It's Less Paper, More Eat and below you'll find a nice schedule of where the Seamless Web truck is stopping so you can hand in your papers; it all starts on Monday (Oct. 18th, that's this coming Monday, not the Monday after).

As an additional incentive, if you've never ordered from them you can get 10 clams off your first ever attempt with the SW. Don't worry; all the menu items from your actual takeout menu are indeed on their menus.

Brooklyn Flea has had plenty of local restaurants set up shop to feed the hip masses but this stunt is probably the biggest I've heard in terms of actually taking advantage of Brooklyn's hippest. All I know is, whatever art Mr. Kevin O'Callaghan conjures up, is it safe to say it's going to be half Asian?

COME ON that was pretty good.

October 18th – Union Square – 11:30am-7:30pm

October 19th – Columbus Circle – 11:30am-7:30pm

October 20th – Madison Square Park – 11:30am-7:30pm

October 21st – Lexington Avenue between 57th and 58th Street – 11:30am-7:30pm

October 22nd – Washington Square Park – 11:30am-7:30pm

October 23rd – Brooklyn Flea (Fort Greene) – 10:00am – 5:00pm

October 24th – Brooklyn Flea (One Hanson) – 10:00am – 5:00pm

For more information, visit

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Graceland Tattoo - Williamsburg is Getting Ca-rowded

You see Elvis on the right? That's actually a real lookalike staring through a cut out frame in the wall. No I only had one beer.

I was invited to a shindig at Graceland Tattoo, an Elvis haven (per one of the owner's favorite icons) in Greenpoint that also doubles as a serious hair salon. It's the kind of place that I could probably see myself hanging out in any day of the week. The hyper punk music streams loud and clear as people line up to get a $50 special; the artists and hairstylists were all booked very quickly for the day. I had a can of PBR as I mulled over in my head the funky decor, scissors and horseshoes cemented into the floor, and friendly owners who greeted everyone.

The Lorimer L stop, kind of a pseudo middle ground between what starts to become East Williamsburg and Greenpoint to the north, I feel has a lot of tat shops around and not only that, some of the best reviewed ones on Yelp. I think Graceland has the chops to hold its own even as the immediate area is still developing a bit. It comes from a great pedigree from both sides of the business (ties from East Side Ink and Mudhoney) and it fits right in with the neighborhood. There's something very casual and free about it; everything is simply and economically laid out and it's cozy; again, I feel it's a place I could just hang out and shoot the shit with the folks.

Another thing was a lady was getting her hair did and took a smoke break while her highlights settled in. She quipped, "Yeah everyone wants to get their hair done in the middle of a party right?" I know nothing about hair really; all I know is that mine is awesome and I never know what to do with it. Watching the process was fascinating and totes fun y'all. Check out this video below from those jesters at ABC 7 and also since they were playing the Buzzcocks Singles Going Steady I've provided a cut.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

It's Hooooodieeeeeee Tiiiiiiiiime

Note: you really only have to watch the first 30 seconds of this, after that it's on loop. Also, this past week's episode had a new, funny variation from Pauly and Vinny.

When I was in high school and then college, the guys used to always have strange mundane things that became in-jokes, or rather, less than in-jokes, just something we would shout about or whatever. Mostly expletives in high school, then a more refined nonsense in college and random nicknames. Everyone has these, but we definitely did it to the point of annoyance, but that's what made the urge even stronger. And we did it loud.

What impressed me about the past couple episodes of MTV's Jersey Shore was that the guys started getting into "It's T-Shirt Time", something to just repeat over and over again instead of conversation because you know, they are getting ready to get ripped. It's awesomely childish and they've managed to work in their pre-game process into the mix. I will definitely be getting this as my new ringtone (Glee's version of Don't Stop Believing probably has worn out it's welcome). It's to assert a collectiveness through chant. Very old school.

Anywho, since we're not frolicking in the hotness that is Miami (at least my girlfriend confirms that), and since Brooklyn is full of the mid-60s weather today, it's officially time to turn over to "It's Hoodie Time." I love hoodies, and the collection is starting to grow, half of them free so far, but I've made some choices that I would consider fashionable over the last while. I've got kinds of hoodies, but none of them are hip, don't worry hardcore fans would be down with it. You can call it a hooded sweatshirt but I won't just because it's too many syllables and I'm lazy. I think a good hoodie does include pockets or that kangaroo pocket if it's not a zip up, but that's just for functionality so you can hide your hands and scratch your belly in secret. If you have cargo shorts on, A+ for leaving legs exposed and over-covering the top. Hardcore dude. My girlfriend calls me on it every time and I just smile and shrug my shoulders. I was never about a sensible fashion, but you'll see glimpses every once in a while. Super casual though.

There's your sentimental old zip up dirty hoodie, only really good for occasions of workmanlike demeanor.

There's your wacky ghetto hoodie, as evidenced by the baby blue zip up (all the way, so I look like an alien) with Superman logos and dollar signs in equal proportion.

There's your hoodie-that-no-one-else-has, a comfortable pullover with boxing gloves printed on the front as if they were hanging from your neck.

There's your Blade Trinity promo hoodie. Well that's not much to be desired.

There's your....wait I take it back I have one hip hoodie. Venture Bros. hoodie. Wait I have a Williams Street hoodie too. The hipness NOOOO....

There's your two Patriots hoodies, one with just the old school logo to match my leg. Is that necessary (or to make it a joke, is tat necessary)? Well I'm a fan so it is. Don't worry, The Town might only win one or no Oscars this year, you know how they don't really award thriller/dramas too often.

Promo Smashing Pumpkins hoodie. Second incarnation, and not relevant. Promo Fracture hoodie. Because Ryan Gosling is a great actor right?

Descendents hoodie from shady-looking online store. It's the hoodie that provides the most coverage of the head area but also makes my legs look short because well it goes down to my frickin' knees.

Yelp Elite hoodie, which is kind of like my small tight hoodie in case you need to floor punch or just look like you need a slightly bigger hoodie. It's cool looking, so I dig and I wear.

RPI hoodie, just to represent upstate NY that isn't Buffalo. "Where are you from?" - "Albany." "Oh I know someone from Buffalo." - "That's 5 hours away with totally different accents."

Sweater vest hoodie, you know, in case people have tickets to the bare arms show.

I'm not a size 29 waist so threadbare hoodies aren't really my thing; they should be substantial either in style or thickness in my humble opinion. The thin ones seem a little too much about the fashion and loose the warmth and initial purpose of something so down-to-earth. It could also be really understated too. But please don't be an Ed Hardy hoodie. I'll have to kick you in the peen for that, who decided glittery prints of someone's doodle pad and an occasional tiger was a good idea?

A good hoodie feels right: it doesn't restrict you like a coat or jacket, and you can look SO angry in one. You don't know what's going on with a guy or girl who has an awesome hoodie on, you just know they are covered. Especially in places like Brooklyn or the city or wherever where walking is essential most of the time, there's like a palpable time for it, and that's when I start to talk about it as if it's some awesome concert I'm going to and befuddle any sane person around me. They give you weight, this street appropriate attire, it's like a letterman jacket post high school. And for me personally, it's just been somewhat a part of the fashion that some of the music I like gravitates toward. Loves me some hoodies.