Friday, April 18

The Friday Random Ten+5 wants to be a part of it.

By the time you read this, I'll more than likely be on a plane to New York for the weekend with my family. My mom's and dad's birthdays are a couple weeks apart in March and April, and usually around this time of year they take a trip up to New York for a long weekend as sort of a join birthday celebration to go see some shows and whatnot, and this year I guess they just got a wild hair and decided that they'd like to bring my sister and me along. Here's pretty much how the conversation went down:

DAD: So your mom and I are planning another trip up to New York in a few weeks, and we were thinking we might bring you kids along this year, if you'd like to go.

ME: Really?

DAD: Yup.

ME: Are you paying for it?

DAD: Sure.

ME: Then hells yes.

Now, this isn't my first time up in New York, of course -- I wouldn't call myself an expert on the city by any stretch, but I've been there enough times to not be one of those people wearing brightly colored clothes and a fanny pack through Times Square and stopping dead in the middle of the sidewalk to look up and go "Gol-dang!" at all the skyscrapers. In fact, I've kind of developed a routine for when I go up there, and while it's not like I follow this to the letter to the exclusion of any other activities, I do have a few specific things on my list that I like to try and check off if I have the time. So this week's +5 is the Five Things I Plan On Doing In New York This Weekend.

Shopping for counterfeit designer goods
Maybe I'm sheltered, but there's nothing like jetting on down to Chinatown and coming back with a fake Prada bag and a Breitling chronograph you paid a total of forty bucks for. It just feels naughty. Plus, it's not like anybody down here in Birmingham can tell the difference.

Waiting outside Rockefeller Center to see if Tina Fey comes out
Yes, I know Liz Lemon is not a real person and there is thus little chance I'm going to catch her strolling out after a taping of "TGS with Tracy Jordan." But dammit, nobody ever said celebrity stalking was easy, or productive, or grounded in reality. And as New Yorkers go, it's way better than stalking Donald Trump.

Going to ethnic neighborhoods and gorging myself
The last time I went to New York I was walking through Times Square with a friend of mine and I saw there was a goddamn T.G.I. Friday's there now. No offense to T.G.I. Friday's -- if you're waiting for me to say a single bad thing about their menu, particularly their fried green beans, you can just keep waiting -- but for shit's sake, who goes up to New York City so that they can eat at T.G.I. Friday's? No, what you do is find the most hard-core ethnic neighborhood you can, Little Italy or the Greek part of Astoria being just a couple examples that spring immediately to mind, and stuff your fat face with delicious food cooked by the people who invented it. And no, in spite of what Steve Carell's character once said on "The Office," Sbarro doesn't count.

Watching street drummers in the subway
When you go to New York, you do so with the knowledge that you're going to be hit up for money at numerous points during the course of your trip. The thing is, I don't have a problem giving someone a few bucks if they actually have some kind of talent. And while some of y'all might think this is stupid, I really enjoy listening to the kids who hammer out rhythms on plastic buckets and garbage-can lids in the subway stations. I realize it's not for everybody, but in a world where Heidi fricking Montag has a recording contract, you've got to spare some props for the little guy who's actually doing something original.

Consuming large quantities of alcohol
This is a no-brainer. I realize that in cold practical terms, there's really not a lot of difference between "I went to New York and got shit-faced" and "I stayed at home in Southside Birmingham and got shit-faced," but somehow the first one just sounds cooler. It's also a hell of a lot more expensive -- I'd be lying if I said I was thrilled about paying six-fifty for a Bud Light -- but sometimes you just have to be willing to spend a little.

Whee, exciting! And now the Ten:

1. The Beatles, "All You Need Is Love"
2. Underworld, "Peach Tree"
3. Passengers, "Miss Sarajevo"
4. Oasis, "Wonderwall"
5. Blondie, "Rapture"
6. 3rd Bass, "Herbals in Your Mouth"
7. The Smiths, "Is It Really So Strange?"
8. Radiohead, "Creep"
9. Nine Inch Nails, "Head Like a Hole"
10. Thievery Corporation, "Treasures"

Enjoy your weekends, suckers -- and feel free to regale us all with your Random Tens, and/or tales of what you'll be doing sitting at home on your asses, in the comments.


Anonymous said...

Hit up "The Joshua Tree"
Best 80's bar in the city.
I never miss it when I'm there.

NCT said...

Ah, TGI Friday's in Times Square. Imagine my dismay at finding Ben & Jerry's and The Gap at the corner of Haight and Ashbury. The times they have a-changed.

1. R.E.M., "Burning Hell"
2. R.E.M., "Feeling Gravity's Pull"
3. R.E.M., "The One I Love"
- seriously, someone please make me do some iPod maintenance this weekend -
4. Baby Bash, "Cyclone (feat. T-Pain)
5. 10,000 Maniacs, "Campfire Song"
6. The Turtles, "Happy Together"
7. R.E.M., "Toys in the Attic"
- seriously, I mean it -
8. Nicole Kidman & Ewan McGregor, "Come What May" (Moulin Rouge Soundtrack)
9. The Beatles, "Something"
10. Los Lobos, "Bertha" (from Grateful Dead tribute album, _Deadicated_)

Universal Remonster said...

Have fun up there. Go see "Passing Strange" and give me a review so I know whether or not to go see it on my trip up there in May.

Nicole said...

1. Just My Imagination - The Temptations
2. Roadrunner - Junior Walker and the All-Stars
3. Robin and Marian - Nickel Creek
4. The Lone-Star Stowaway - Gaelic Storm
5. Return to Sender - Elvis
6. Poison - Bell Biv Devoe
7. Crying Shame - Jack Johnson
8. Me & The Moon - Gaelic Storm
9. Tortured Tangled Heart - Dixie Chicks
10. An Irish Blessing - Milwaukee Irish Fest Choir

Matt said...

Damn it. I have never been and I sure as hell want a fake Patek Philippe. Hell they could even spell it Padoc Philip and I probably would spend 25 bucks on it.

Reed said...

You left out: Ogling gorgeous women on the street. Though I suppose the Tina Fey thing qualifies.

1.Marvin Gaye, "Piece of Clay"
2.Idlewild, "Roseability"
3.The Stooges, "We Will Fall"
4.Jens Lekman, "Sipping on the Sweet Nectar"
5.Mike Watt, "Topsiders"
6.Radiohead, "Werid Fishes/Arpeggi"
7.Jimi Hendrix, "Highway Chile"
8.Wolf Parade, "Grounds for Divorce"
9.Peeping Tom, "Five Seconds"
10.Sparta, "Splinters"

Anonymous said...

My daughter works there now and lives in Astoria, and the Greek butcher shops with the lamb and goat heads in the windows are a little creepy, but you are right, it is a place that has things to offer that you really can't get anywhere else, at least not in conjunction with all the other things available. Even so, unless you live there, you just have to go try something to find out if it's any good. So, when visiting after 9/11 one New Years week, and it was cold, and we were hungry and somewhat depressed the choice of a "food adventure" versus a known comfort food, made the Olive Garden AYCE soup and breadsticks an easy choice. Sometimes, you just want to know what you are going to get, and that's why there is a TGIF in NYC.

I would like to get Nicole's ipod; damn good music, all of it.

Anonymous said...

Make sure you go to Yankee Stadium. This is the last year of it. If you can't go to a game at least tour monument park.

Damn right about going to NYC and eating at TGI Fridays. I love the places in Little Italy. Also, Carmine's takes care of my tourist appetite.

Broadway. You don't go to the theater? That's one of th ebest things about NYC.

Anonymous said...

If you have a chance, try Vinnie's Pizza in Brooklyn. Recommended to me by a NY native who considers himself a connisure (sp) of "New York" style pizza. Order the "Grandma's Slice". Address is 445 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231. Phone #718-596-9342. It's next door to an authentic "Italian Social Club" and apparently in a gentrifying part of Brooklyn.

URL address of a pic of the place:

Rob G said...

It may be trendy, but you MUST hit up Pinkberry. It will change your life =)

And yeah, Vinnies is delicious.

Tantra Flower said...

I hope you're having fun. =)

1.The Afternoon: Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?)/Time to Get Away - The Moody Blues
2.The Passenger - Siouxsie and the Banshees
3. Possession - Sarah McLachlan
4. Jerusalem - Sinead O'Connor
5. Little by Little - Susan Tedeschi
6. No Alibis - Eric Clapton
7. Jolene - Soraia
8. Love is Stronger Than Death - Angela McCluskey
9. Can't You Hear Me Knocking - The Rolling Stones
10. What It's Like - Everlast

Holly said...

Joe's Pizza Bleecker Street, son. Bank on it.

1. ABY - Scars of Love
2. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - Little Janey's Gone
3. Silversun Pickups - Lazy Eye (Adam Freeland GU32 Mix)
4. Alison Krauss + Union Station - Faraway Land
5. Stuart Davis - Babies
6. The Greencards - Caleb Meyer
7. Black Kids - I've Underestimated My Charm (Again)
8. New Order - Bizarre Love Triangle
9. Weezer - Butterfly
10. The Warlocks - So Paranoid

Anonymous said...

A trip to the big city isn't complete without a visit to the 'Soup Nazi.' The mulligatawny is to die for...seriously. Also, if you see Tina Fey, tell her one of your good (female) friends has a huge girl-on-girl crush.

MY ten

1. The Kinks, "Destroyer"
2. Spandau Ballet, "True"
3. Sparta, "While Ocean Sleeps"
4. The White Stripes, "Black Math"
5. Interpol, "Slow Hand"
6. Beck, "Lost Cause"
7. Love and Rockets, "All In My Mind"
8. Joy Division, "Love Will Tear Us Apart"
9. Yvonne Elliman, "If I Can't Have You"
10. The Cure, "Catch"

Have fun in New York and remember, business first and THEN the whores.

Anonymous said...

PJ Clarke's for cold beer and oysters is hard to beat and I defy you to eat at Brother Jimmies and tell me it's not the best BBQ anywhere! Ever had a burger at "Jackson Hole" is Astoria?

NCT said...

sniffer: I'll give you the benefit of the doubt about finding the "best BBQ anywhere!" in NYC, but I'm very suspicious. I have, however, made a mental note, and the next time I'm there, I'll be sure to check it out.

I moved to Atlanta 4 years ago, and it's a CRIME that there's no good barbecue (one or two decent joints) to be found anywhere. I lived in Columbus, GA, for 13 years, and I miss only two things: barbecue's one of them. I still drive down there from time to time just for some Chicken Comer or Smokey Pig.

And would someone PLEASE tell me if it's possible to get fried catfish somewhere around the ATL that hasn't been defiled by filleting and such silliness as "pecan-encrusted with a savory raspberry remoulade"? Who are these people?

Anonymous said...

The Soup Nazi? How original.

If you really want the finest in ethnic food, don't stop in Astoria. Head deeper into Queens on the 7. Get off anywhere along Roosevelt and you're sure to find something delish.

Anonymous said...

Good food?
Babbo in the Village
Esca in Hell's Kitchen
Craft just north of the Village
Mesa Grill next to Union Square

Anonymous said...

Yeah. The Soup Nazi. Original? Probably not. However, you clearly don't know Doug the way I do, otherwise you'd know he's a huge 'Seinfeld' fan and a trip to one of Al Yanegah's wholly-UNoriginal-yet-UNfucking-believably-good-soup stands would be right up his alley.

holly said...

dear doug, your freakin blog made it into my dreams...hope you had a good time in ny, but till then i dreamed that i saw tina fey hosting "dancing with the stars" in which there were two antonio banderases dancing. tina had on a fifties style navy blue swimsuit with sequins. in the dream i thought "i'll have to tell the hey jenni slater guy that his favorite gals are on a show together." can't remember now who the other gal was tho...
anyway, ha.