I had no idea that the goodness of god could be measured in soup flavors.
I’m not even sure what this woman is bang’n on about.
All I know is this tone deaf bitch is a beast.
I received a phone call just minutes before wrapping up in Jackson Heights. The guy couldnt get online so I told him I would sort everything out for $60.
It sounds basic, like a router that he forgot the password to. Upon arriving at 9:30, I realize that his computer is fucked, has no data on it what-so-ever, and tell him for an additional 60, I can get everything up and running better than ever. He agrees and now here we are 2 and a half hours later….sorted. I ask him if he is going to drive me to the train station to which he replies he will drop me off anywhere on the way to manhattan.
“whats in Manhattan?”
“going to get a bite to eat, there is this food cart, have you heard of Bilal?”
“You’re gonna drive all the way from Long Island into Manhattan at midnight on a Friday to eat from a food cart? This has got to be some food cart”
Apparently there is a Halal food stand (chicken and lamb on rice) at fifty third and sixth ave run by a guy named Bilal, which is rivaled by none other. I tell him I will join him, and thats the cue, we are off.
In the car we debate movies and Avatar came up. I told him I had no intentions of seeing it, and that if there wasn’t going to be a decent script and/or decent actors, I had no idea how they expected me to sit thru three hours of that hog shit without having some desirable actress take off her top. Then we debated who we would like to see topless. He chimed in with Charlize Theron. I told him it’s just because he was Haitian that he found her attractive. He wasn’t sure what I was getting at.
“It’s because she’s white, you know how it goes. Visually we scrutinize our own race way more than others.”
He laughed, agreed then asked if what I wanted to see was a video vixen. Of course I did, but they always wound topless enough. Hmmm let me honestly try and think of someone in Hollywood I wanted to see naked. Jesus, I couldn’t think of anyone… Then it hit me: Jessica Biel. He smiled big, we had found a middle ground.
About twenty minutes later we are heading west down fifty third street passing fifth ave till we come to a long que of people in front of a halal lamb/chicken stand. we double park, get out and que up. So apparently I have missed this phenomena, but Bilal, has stand at both the South-East and South-West corner of fifty third and sixth ave, and both stands have a que that stretches halfway up the block. The wait time was about twenty minutes, I grab a combo on rice, went back to the car and decided to sample the hyped up fare.
I put too much hot sauce on mine. Jesus christ I put so much on I was hiccuping uncontrollably. But I couldnt stop eating it was so good. I reminds me of the Pancho Villa Taqueria on 16th street in San Francisco. They had this green sauce which was just out of control hot, but it was so good, you just couldnt stop eating it. So word to the wise, Bilal is just another spot added to an ever growing list of spots to eat at here in the city, and as far as I am concerned, you can never have too many options.
So my client drops me off at the 8th ave L train stop, its after 1am and the night still isnt over. I climb down and walk through the A train station, Hey..is that Alyssa Byrd? Well I’ll be damn. I make my way onto a train and find myself a seat in the corner. I sit down and know that within a few minutes i will begin my final descent homeward bound. Just then some drunk hipster stumbles into the car and looks around for a seat. I am in the corner in a 2-seater with a space next to me, however i am sitting in the center, just sort of staring off. The dude looks at me for a sec and then approaches me and without a word waves his arm back and forth signaling for me to move to the side. Ok now i know this dumbass is drunk and all, but I know he didnt just shoo me to the side. So of course, I don’t move and instead just say to him “what?”
He mumbles something inaudible and I say
“What did you say?”
“I’m sorry can you please scoot over”
Ok thats more like it, yeah sure I’ll move over but this train ride hasnt even begun and it doesnt take long before more riff-raff comes along. Three dudes in the center of the car all laughing out loud, and in the middle, the tallest one holds out his ball cap announcing “ladies and gentlemen, I’m collecting money for my basket ball team, I don’t fucking dance, or have any candy to sell, but i am still collecting money for my basketball team.”
Just then the subdued dead drunk next to me rises and yells across the car, “I’ve got drinks if you want some?”
The 3 guys walk over and the guy next to me breaks out a silver flask. One of the guys questions the drunk next “dude are you sure you can spare any?”
The drunk simply reaches into this pocket and pulls out a second flask and boats
“what? do think i dont come prepared” as the train begins to move.
“awesome brother, what did you say you name was?”
Jesus, I thought they knew each other, but apparently its just a bunch of fucked up kids in the city. As a way of reciprocating the tallest of the 3 guys who was earlier begging for change breaks out a small bag of cocaine “eh man you want some ayo?”
Dipping his key chain into the bag and pulling a bump out at which the drunk happily indulges himself while the other guys are drinking from his flask. Just then another guy break out a little vile and exclaims “how bout some K?” I shit you not….this was all happening right in my fucking face, and what the fuck am i gonna do, i just laughed. I thought it was kind of nice to see complete strangers being so generous with their drugs.
The drunk wouldnt touch the K, but the guy who had the coke had no problem sticking his key right in the vile for a bump. Luckily for me they got off two stops later at union square, laughing and talking about absolutely nothing.
So yea, I like the whole lamb & chicken with rice. My brother told he won’t eat it, something about this article that says it’s two thousand calories right there. Well, you don’t have to eat the entire thing. I for one never finish my plate, the portions are too god damn big, and this is just New York. It only gets bigger once you leave the five boroughs. You should have seen the massive sizes they brought out when I visited Houston last month, the food should have come with a snorkel.
I went back to fifty third and sixth ave the other day. Not only did the Halal guys have three carts on three different corners, they all had lines, and they had a forth car for just drinks.
Last time I came here I went to grab some additional hot sauce, and when I put it down the bottle shot up a tiny squirt that went right into my eye. Say it isn’t fucking so. So I had access to only one eye now and I was gonna suck this up. I just sat down immediately across from the cart and proceeded to tear up in the eye that was currently rendered useless. So there I was, just sitting on the bench with one eye closed like some tramp, my right eye sealed shut straining like I’m in pain, shoveling food into my mouth and laughing to myself at my own predicament. It was not an easy heal and I knew this, so I just got comfortable.
So today I was back, and my brothers voice was in my head saying “2000 calories” over and over. Whatever, I’m here, so I’m eating. It honestly didn’t take me long to bottom out, the portion is huge, and like most meals I just throw the rest away. Sorry I honestly feel no obligation to finish my plate, everything in this country is priced to move in bulk. But thats another rant.
Corn is bullshit as a sweetener and this is what I don’t get…we have cane sugar, why process corn to replace sugar? Is there a a shortage I don’t know about? Whatever entity that owns all this corn, they’ve got be really fucking powerful, and loaded beyond all belief, because they have convinced they U.S. government to subsidize the shit out of their product.
Corn is grits, corn is polenta, corn is tamales, corn on the cob, corn tortilla chips. It’s used to distill whiskey, corn oil, glue, and even used in penicillin. On my block, the Mexicans make Elotes, which is corn on the cob, covered with mayonaise, cheese and paprika. Once again, proof that you don’t have to be white to get your “white trash” on.
But as a sugar replacement, it sucks. If I get a soda it has to have pure cane sugar, and has to be in a glass bottle. The carbonation is another issue. Plastic bottles hold carbonation for only six months while glass holds carbonation for roughly five years. To compensate for this they usually over-carbonate soda in plastic containers. Glass sodas usually taste smoother whilst drinks in plastic usually taste abrasively over-carbonated.
Not to mention the waste generated from plastic. It’s apparently enough to form a giant pile of plastic shit floating around in the Pacific Ocean, because plastic simply refuses to break down. It’s called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and it is roughly twice the size of Texas. I once saw a news reporter travel to an island that was in the path of the current from which this trash pile traveled. They had just arrived at the island not even a couple of days after a cleanup, and the beach was covered in trash. At one point the reporter noticed the color of the sand was changing due the amount of plastic to which an expert he was with corrected him. It wasn’t colored sand he was holding… it was plastic. The reporter then commented that the beach was in effect turning plastic. The expert just confirmed this.
Just a couple of years ago they confirmed another trash pile found in the Atlantic Ocean. Well of course, where do they think all this plastic goes when they dump it in the ocean? To some wormhole to a parallel universe?
The U.S. as well as Europe exports its trash to China, it’s our number two export to China. One third of our trash is packaging, and a majority of packaging is plastic. Not to mention bottled drinks, hell when you start to add it all up, it shines a light on just how meaningless of a question it is when they ask you if you want paper or plastic at the supermarket. Does it matter if I use a paper bag; everything in the paper bag is wrapped in plastic.
I realize I am drifting away from my original point here, but fuck it, I’ve already started, so lets just go hard.
I’m sure in the past month most of you have seen pictures of Mars as taken by the NASA rover, Curiosity. So it’s real, we’re on Mars, but it’s not inhabitable yet because it’s too cold. It’s too cold because the atmosphere is too thin, however scientist have an idea. Terraforming.
While only hypothetical, terraforming is the process of creating an thicker atmosphere by use of greenhouse gasses. Basically the idea is based off of our own “global warming” here on planet Earth. We have trash here that causes our atmosphere to grow, hence making the planet hotter. Why not replicate that on Mars.
So here’s the plan, Get Bill Gates and Richard Branson to scoop up all the trash floating in the ocean, all the nuclear waste dumped off the Ivory Coast and anywhere else they can find, not to mention all the debris from the oil spills off the coast of Nigeria, Gulf of Mexico from Deepwater Horizon, whatever still hasn’t been clean up from the Exxon Valdez, anything else I’ve missed (I’m sure there is plenty) and ship it to Mars. You clean up our planet, is if it isn’t already too late, and make Mars inhabitable all at the same time.
Its a win win, for everyone, and then since we, the good ol U.S. of EH, did it all, we can charge admission to Red Rock son.
Oh yea…and fuck high fructose corn syrup.
I remember as a boy sitting in the kitchen and my mom handing me a Klondike bar. It was my first time seeing one and when I asked what it was, my dad with all of his class just chimed in, loudly stating “SHIT ON A SHINGLE”.
He was just making a joke and all, but I still wouldn’t discover what “shit on a shingle” was till almost twenty years later when I lived and worked on sixth st in San Francisco. One of the places I worked was a Bar called the “Arrow”. I worked at night, but we had a bar tender during the day who lived in one of the SRO’s on the block, and his building was conveniently located right next door.
You know, I can’t even remember this dudes name, but he was a little fellow, bout 5’2, in his 50’s who when he was younger, was a cook in the army. Jim…. his name was Jim…I think, anywho.
Me and Jim would get to talking bout this and that and one day…some how, shit on a shingle came up… I may have mentioned it, he may have, who knows. Jim said he could cook this for me. How?
He lived in a fucking eight by ten room with only a sink. I lived in one of those SRO’s when I first got to the city. No kitchen, bathroom/shower down the hall, and at 2am when you couldn’t be bothered to go down the hall, you used the little sink you had in the corner. Since there was no kitchen you had a hotplate, or a little toaster oven. I remember in the winter round six in the evening when everyone was coming home from work cranking their heaters and cooking up dinner on a hot plate, the building’s fuse boxes would just start cutting out. You would be in the middle of cooking so you run down the hall, flip the switch knowing full well that you would probably be back two or three times before the evening was thru.
This was the environment the man had to work with. You could scramble eggs, heat up soup or tea, but biscuits and gravy from scratch? I was skeptical. According to Jim, shit on a shingle is white gravy with bits of sausage or beef, over biscuits or wonderbread. Jim kept shit classy with a preference of sausage gravy over biscuits that he made himself. In fact he claimed to make everything from scratch in his little eight by ten room.
Well hell, Jim wants to slave away in that closet of a room and make shit on a shingle for me, who the fuck was I to stop him?
So one slow night at the bar me, Big Dave, and Terry son were throwing back several shots of Cuervo. If ever there was a physical embodiment of Marv from Sin City, Dave was him. Dave was a mixed latino dude who worked the door. He was wild and aggressively friendly, but not to be played with, and the drunker he got, the better he fought.
Terry was a low profile black dude who was real close to me. He was an MP in Desert Storm, quiet and chill, he could sit next to you for hours at a time without giving you so much as word or even a glance. That was just how he crept, but if you were out of line, he was swift.
Earlier that night Terry was working the door at the bar down the street when some crackhead tried pushing past him to come in. We all knew this crackhead from the block. She would strut around with her skirt so high you could see her bush hanging out. She was currently pregnant and you could smell the alcohol on her breath as she opened her mouth wide screaming bloody murder, and waving her arms as to shoo Terry out of her way. Terry just turned around and punched her in the face so fast, I didn’t even think he saw it coming, so you know the woman had to be surprised. You know how on Happy Days, Fonzy would just bang the jukebox to turn it on and off? Well thats what Terry just did. A quick POP!, and the whole ruckas came to a grinding halt as she stood there for a second, frozen and staring right at him.
She was still in the doorway when she started yelling “YOU WRONG, YOU WRONG!!”. She couldn’t even get another move in as Terry wanted to wrap this up; asap. He pushed her out the door hitting her in the head again making her spin before she finally fell flat on her stomach on the sidewalk. Terry quickly locked the door behind her and we both went to the door’s windows looking out at the sidewalk. There she laid still not moving, I just look at Terry and said “isn’t she pregnant?”. Terry responded “I don’t know, but if so, then it sucks to be her”. We looked each other in the eye and started laughing as I offered the next round on me.
We weren’t laughing at what just happened to the lady, no that’s terrible. Our blood just got pumping so fast, from 0-60 in a split second. One minutes it’s another quiet and without any warning BAM!, surprise bitches!!! I wasn’t the one do the fighting, but I felt all jacked up so I knew Terry must had been feeling it in his chest.
I didn’t like what just happened any more than the crackhead. But that block was fucked up, and if I was to maintain any sanity, I had to come to the understanding that we are all adults and if someone chooses to ruin their life, that’s their business, and it does come with consequences. Keep in mind that we were just a couple of kids then, and we just reckoned that she’ll be alright, and if she loses the baby, it was probably best for everyone.
So after work was done we were back at the bar I worked at drinking with Big Dave. Just the three of us sitting around acting unfazed by the events of the evening. Just then Jim came in with a tupperwear container, and walked up to me with a grin on his face. “What the fuck is this?”. He gets serious, like he’s offended that I dont already know. “that is shit on a shingle boy”.
I smile big and open it up, and it is; it’s shit on a muthafuckin shingle. Before I can even turn around Dave is right at my shoulder insisting to try some. I share with Dave and Terry while Jim just smiles proudly at the site of us eating with pleasure.
Living on that block made you numb to the day to day horrors that you ran across yet at the same time made moments like this seem like a god send.
A summer in Bushwick means the pumps are open and running 24/7. It blows my out-of-town friends’ minds whenever they see it. “It never gets turned off?” “and there are several more like it?”… “and just anyone can open one?””who’s in charge of the water?…nobody?”..
It’s a little bit of anarchy, but its also crayola (I’m coining a word here) in the fun department. Like where does the water come from? Where does it go? Is it recycled? I hope its safe to drink, because everyone, myself included, drinks directly from the pump. Hell the city even has these make-shift drinking fountains they invite everyone to drink from, hooked right up to the pumps.
Outside the five boroughs they are fire hydrants, but in Brooklyn they are “johnny pumps”, or “the pump” for short. Or if you speak spanish “la bomba” is acceptable.
One summer I came home and it was boiling all day long, the heat just wouldn’t let up. It was so hot I would take the local train so I had more time to soak up the a/c. Days like that everyone heads to Coney Island, but on my block Coney Island came to us. They just open that pump full blast, all the kids run thru the water, the parents pull their folding chairs up to the curb and let their feet soak in the run-off.
When I came to my stoop after working that day, my downstairs neighbor approached me with a bucket full of water. He just said “put your stuff down J”. I just said “hold on …” put my bags in the well, came back and he just dunked me. I was soaked, everyone on the block was laughing, and the water was a shock that immediately took away the heat.
I figured the fact that it was underground would explain why it was so cold. Where was it underground? How can people say the next war will be over water, and yet we can afford to just leave these pumps open for months at a time?
My favorite is the white trash car wash… People will just pull up slowly to make sure their car gets a good soak. I always want to say “where’s the soap dumbass”. One day I asked this Mexican lady who spent a good thirty seconds sitting in front of the pump if she felt it really cleaned her car. She just said “I don’t know…maybe”.
That is some white trash shit if ever I saw it, cept these people are brown. Well what the hell, just proves you ain’t got to be white to get your “white trash” on.
If I’ve been skating in the heat and I’m just getting to the point where I need relief, I just jump in front of a pump, or dunk my head in it. Brooklyn is still a place where you can do that and not look weird. You can be soaked head to toe and it ain’t no thang.
Reports claim that there are pharmaceuticals in the water, testosterone, estrogen, anti-depressants. But still, loads of people, once again myself included, proudly drink New York tap. Maybe its all the pharmaceuticals that make it taste so refreshing. Maybe the pharmaceuticals alter my mind and make me think it taste good, when actually it doesn’t.
Truth be told, is that New York tap (and tap water in general) is held to higher standerds and regular testing than bottled water, and its free. Smart water actually made me feel tired and fatigued. Worse yet bottled water companies don’t have to disclose where the water came from, how it has been treated or what contaminants it contains. To be honest, drinking from plastic, sucks. It makes everything taste cheap. Not to mention all the waste generated by plastic bottles.
My grandfather once told his father used to pour a glass of water from the tap and look at him and say, some day you’ll have to pay for it. I fear that one day these pumps won’t be allowed to be opened. Better get it while you can.
If you’re in the know, then you know how them Dominicans roll, and if you can get in with them, even better. There’s lots of fringe benefits that come with hanging with them folks.
First up they all drink at the bodega, and the old timers start drinking round noon. Come 10 or 11 in the evening everyone is hammered and heading home usually without spending more than 10 dollars, cause beers are roughly a buck fifty each.
I guess to the standerd white person, it’s just a bunch of latinos hanging out, but if you’re paying attention you know its a pretty mixed crowd here. You got Dominican’s who greet you with “que lo que”, constantly injecting the conversation with references to their platanos. Or Mexicans who great you with “que ondo”, who tend to love to roll around in their own filth once properly inebriated. The Puerto Ricans of course greet you with “what up my nigga”, they occasionally yell “Wepa” for no reason what-so-ever, and usually talk shit about how Dominicans don’t wear socks. And finally there’s the “coolies“, talking bout cricket whilst hurling terms of endearment such as “skunt”.
So thats where I get my drink on, but wait, there’s more! The amenities keep coming. This is also the place to go when you are sick, but don’t want to go to the doctor. I mean seriously, hospitals suck, I can’t afford anything beyond the emergency room, and who the fuck wants to wait 8 hours in that fucking zoo just to see a doctor who will at best give you a prescription for anti-biotics, but will more than likely just tell you to go walk it out.
Dominicans don’t go to the hospital for anti-biotics in their country, so why would they do it in ours. You head to the bodega, you ask the dude if he has any anti-biotics, he reaches into one box and pulls out another box of Amoxicilina or what-have-you. Five bucks got me 6 pills, and then he tells you “take one every six hours”. Right the on, the doctor is in.; He’s switched roles so fast, going from shop keeper to Dr Francisco, its jiu jitsu really.
And if that weren’t enough, they even have a hangover remedy. Ask for it by name, its called Rapidita, which everyone swears is the best thing to get your ass in gear 1st thing in the morning. However I refuse to take the stuff after having read the ingredients on the back. A little caféine, a little something else, but the main ingredient…was acetaminophen. Ugh!!!
Acetaminophen is the reason I hate Vicodens; and as a connoisseur of pain killers, I know that the best thing for a hangover… is a beer.
So you know whenever you do a search in google, it will try to predict what it is you are searching for based on what is trending…in the search realm that is. People didn’t like me dissing Gefilte Fish, and all I have to say is that I am not alone.
Dear Ice cream truck… FUCK YOU!!!
I hate ice cream trucks, the soft serve just disgusts me, and there are easily 5 parked on Knickerbocker at any given time. Worse yet there is a johnny pump right outside my window. Thats where the ice cream man parks on my block. Right in front of the pump, right outside my window, and they just sit there for a good twenty minutes, playing that mind-numbing dog-shit music.
But then I heard about these two guaps selling Oxycontin out of there Lickity Split in Staten Island….if only I knew? Then I could have had two reason to go to Staten Island; Pizza and pain killers.
Ya don’t eat all day, you take the ferry into Staten Island. Find yourself a Lickity Split and order “dessert” because life is never certain. You dose yourself, head down to Denino’s, order a clam pizza, maybe get a side of scungilli… and somehow you figure out a way to float back to Brooklyn.
It’s Friday and all I really have time to do is decide what food looked the tastiest (according to me), and which food looked like a giant steamy hunk of shite.
The Best I would say hands down goes to the Babka…
And of course….Worst Dressed…. can only go to: Gefilte Fish
There you have it… the Jews have the most hideous dinner, but make up for it with a bomb ass dessert. Its like a culinary Jekyll and Hyde. They want to eat good food just like the rest of us, they really do, yet they have their heads so far up their ass in “tradition”, that they refuse to stop eating slop.