A Weird State: Colorado

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Friday morning. About three weeks after moving to Colorado. I’d accumulated a bill and a pay stub and the other forms of identification I needed to get a Colorado driver’s license. So I woke up bright and early with the intent of getting to the DMV in Boulder the minute it opened at 7 a.m.

But alas, life happens. I got a little bit of a late start. I let the dogs hang out in the yard a little longer than I’d planned — I’m a sucker for what the dogs want. I didn’t get to the DMV until 7:30.

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The truth about Brooklyn barbecue

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If you’re gonna take a picture of a tray of meat, THEN ORDER A TRAY OF MEAT. (Photo courtesy of Izzy’s Smokehouse, Brooklyn.)

The article was headlined “Why Is Brooklyn Barbecue Taking Over the World?” I’m not even going to link to it. But it was a perfect example of a certain sort of food writing: provocative clickbait written by someone seemingly ignorant about barbecue and journalism.

It also gave Brooklyn way too much credit while trying to champion something that didn’t need his damn help—which seems to be a particularly Brooklyn thing to do (and by that, I mean a particularly Williamsburg thing to do).

As a certified barbecue judge who’s eaten his way through Austin, Lockhart, Memphis, and Kansas City, with a couple of stops in the Carolinas, I can tell you this: Brooklyn barbecue isn’t taking over the world, but it is good and doesn’t need this trend-setting bullshit.

The piece featured a handful of places, including one Brooklyn barbecue restaurant that’s been closed for over a year. The only thing remotely supporting a claim that Brooklyn barbecue was taking over the world was that people in other locations are using the same sort of decor (which, to be honest, is generic Brooklyn hipster and not remotely unique to Brooklyn barbecue joints).

And there was the photo. On an oversized metal tray lined with butcher paper, five slices of gray brisket, two pickles, what appear to be two Kings Hawaiian rolls, and beer served in a Mason jar (of course). There had to be two inches of real estate between each item.

Continue reading “The truth about Brooklyn barbecue”

Carrying on in the face of terrorism — and jackasses

Yesterday morning while on the way to work, I stopped to take a couple of photos. One was a lovely shot of lower Manhattan. The other was of a handful of helicopters hovering over the city like buzzards over a carcass. There’d been a bombing in the subway, so every news outlet in the tristate area had eyes in the sky to provide viewers with one-of-a-kind shots of NYC rooftops.

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Rules (and Fines) to Regulate New York City’s Idiots

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A rare photo of a jack-ass-free New York street.

New York, New York. Big city. Lots of people. Many of these people are inconsiderate jerks. And I’m not just talking about the tourists gumming up Times Square. Those people are, for the most part, easy to avoid.

My biggest issue are the people who live here, the ones who should know better. But they don’t. So I’m proposing the following regulations and fines. Feel free to play along!

Use of golf umbrella: $100 fine. Beaten with said umbrella until it breaks.

Use of cellphone on subway stairs: $100. Phone tossed onto track. Guilty party must watch train run over phone.

Holding a conversation in front of revolving doors: $250. Forced to stand inside sealed-off section of revolving door until the glass fogs up.

Stopping short to text: $150. Revocation of sidewalk privileges. Forced to walk in bus lane for six months.

Bicycle on the sidewalk: Wait. There’s already a fine for this, jackass, because it’s already illegal!

Raising a stink about gluten at a non-specialty bagel shop: $100. Forced to produce doctor’s note proving gluten intolerance and/or forced to eat contents of toaster’s crumb tray.

Asking for vegan options at a barbecue restaurant: $150. Forced to sit at a table piled with sizzling bacon for two hours.

Asking for meat at a vegan restaurant: $200. Forced to admit you came in here and did that just to be a dick.

Going on and on and on about dim sum: $150. Forced to subsist on diet of chicken feet for one month.

Defending Chicago pizza: $200. Forced to admit you were just being THAT GUY. You know THAT GUY. There’s always one.

Being a food snob, yet being the first in line anytime some fast-food or grocery chain from your home town opens: $300. Forced, for six months, to do all your grocery shopping at that bodega with all the dusty canned goods and the almost-expired milk.

Sitting on subway stairs: $200. Boot to the head. Guilty party must lick article of clothing that was resting on said stairs.

Stopping in front of a turnstile to dig through your purse to find your Metrocard: $500. Purse privileges revoked. Forced to wear hot pink fanny pack with important items easily at hand.

Not knowing what you want even after standing in a food/coffee line for five minutes: $100. Hot dogs shoved down your shirt. Coffee poured on your lap.

Using an elevator to travel one floor: $100 and one hour on a Stairmaster.

Vaping on a subway train: $100 and having to live with the fact that you vape.

Smoking a cigarette on subway: Death. Forfeiture of all property to the American Cancer Society.

Telling people what to do, how to live their lives: $50. Forced to write blog listicles for the rest of your days.

One more:

Suggesting people who read your blog post go and buy one of your books:  Hours of pleasure. FOR YOU, DEAR READER!

Clean-up In Apt. 5

My toilet is so clean you could actually eat out of it. I swear. Come over. I’ll hook you up with some Ramen or something.

But seriously. This weekend, I found some time between hangovers and driving out to East Hampton in craptastic weather to do some much-needed cleaning in the apartment.

Not only was it dirty, but there were the obvious psychological implications associated with cleaning after a relationship falls apart. I’d actually swept through the living room after the first week, completely rearranging that into something that didn’t resemble an unholy cross between Hoarders and a college dorm room. I came really close to hanging the flat-screen on the wall out of some misdirected spite but I didn’t like the thought of the wires running down the wall to wherever I’d put the Xbox, Wii and cable box. I liked even less the thought of the TV pulling out of the wall and crashing to the floor thanks to my slapdash handywork.
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Paterson Shocker: His Aide Behaves Like a Kennedy

I might have to start believing David Paterson conspiracies that the media has a racist vendetta against him. After weeks of area media outlets drumming up a rumors of a New York Times story about massive scandals related to Patterson, the Times comes out with this. Paterson Aide’s Quick Rise Draws Scrutiny.

Really, NYTimes? REALLY?! The guy’s been arrested and has had some past disputes with women. Listen, I don’t doubt for a second that he’s probably a sleazy character. But considering the proven philandering, alcoholic behavior, DUIs, and manslaughter conducted by a certain other political family in this country, seems to me there’s a double-standard at play. Or Paterson did something to really piss off all these media people — you know, the same clowns who let the Enquirer beat them on a John Edwards story that obvious even to the blind. (See what I did there, Dawn Summers?)

If the Times wants to take down Paterson, perhaps it should go after his Aqueduct dealings.

Jail Time for Rude Subway Riders?

Give up your seat. Or else. According to CBS, “a new campaign reminds subway and bus riders to give up reserved seats to the elderly or disabled. Those who refuse could be fined $25 to $50 — or even face up to 10 days in jail.”

Well, isn’t that fine and dandy. I’m all for this, of course, but I do have some concerns. Who’s defining elderly here? And what if I can’t tell the difference between a pregnant woman and one who’s been pounding a few too many beers recently?

But my bigger complaint is that this doesn’t go nearly far enough. What about the assholes who take up two seats, either by spreading their legs wide or just throwing all their crap in the spot next to them? What about sunflower-seed eaters and finger-nail spitters? What about the salami slingers and diaper changers?