My First

This is my first “Really!!?” submission so please don’t judge me (yeah right, judge me all you want).  I’m a New Yorker all my life, “native” to some and “original” to others.  That fact that I live in the greatest city in the world has its challenges.

Challenges to me are the same as annoyances to others.  We are going to classify annoyances as challenges to be polite.  I am only going to discuss one challenge in this submission because too many challenges can be annoying, no pun intended.

Challenge:

Waiting for my luggage at JFK just pisses me off especially when it’s a small bag but not small enough so it needs to be checked.  Sitting next to annoying people on a flight pisses me off.  Now I know what you’re saying, theses challenges aggravate everyone.  This is very true, however, here comes the curveball.

Last week I’m waiting for my luggage at JFK and of course there are two tourists making their way through the crowd of people.  Two ladies excited because it’s their first time in New York City.  What I find amusing, is that they look at me as if I don’t belong here.  I look back at them and say “First time here”?  They both reply with an emphatic “yes”.  One lady asks “What about you”? “Oh, I’ve been here all my life.” I said.  I don’t know what I’m thinking and why I even asked, however, I figured I would have a little fun.

“You’re so lucky, I wish I could live here” she said.  I responded “Really, you’re standing in the middle of the airport, what are you basing it on?  Where are you from?” as I looked directly in her eyes.  “California!” was her response.  I smiled and then asked “What’s the first thing you plan on doing when you get settled”?  “Go for a run through Central Park.” was her response.

There’s the challenge.  The most exciting city in the world, with everything at your fingertips and you are going to go for a run through “Central Park”.  Really!!?  Not bad for my first one, I welcome the feedback.

Last Butterflies in Bedstuy

Dwindling in population steadily over the last two decades, more significantly within this past decade, is a colorful, diverse and growing extinct species.  However, they have an amazing ability to migrate and leave many dazzled by their ability to move through spaces designed specifically against them. Wonderful beings, dying out by the haphazard misguidings of the authorities and communities meant to protect them. People of color deserve far more.

Once the majority of the ghettos we were once segregated to, slowly but surely a large shift in the neighborhoods once deemed “unsafe” by the people who now inhabit them. Either grown tired, evicted from or displaced, the numbers of the black and brown natives are exceptionally low. The faces of those who built up the oh so cultured neighborhoods are now more commonly seen with goofily smiling faces on street murals, as if in a happy memorial of oneself.

Last Butterflies in BedStuy You Me NYC

Even though there aren’t many things more discomforting than seeing the faces get paler closer to the final or ‘hood’ stops on the train. The thought of the young pupils growing further and further away from the mosaic of mothers shouting down shopping lists from the second floor, the quick sentiment of “borrowing” a jump from the pig tailed double dutchers disappearing or the barbecues that started on Friday and ended the week after fading away, is a striking one.

Parking Tap

So here I am, in the heart of Downtown Brooklyn and as usual, looking for parking.  Of course there is no parking, however, one space did just open right in front of me, which I can’t believe.  Now we have all been on  the delivering and receiving end of a parallel park.  If you haven’t then keep reading and learn a little something.

I say “delivering and receiving” because  we all delivered the tap and we received a tap from someone else.  I get into position and I start doing the dreaded parallel park into a miniscule space.  I back in and pull forward.  All is well, however I appear to be a little far for my standard of parking, especially for a native.  After pulling back a little more I pull forward and I tap the guy in front of me.  Since it was a slight tap, normally people usually don’t make a big deal about it.  However, if you tap a nice car there might be a little static.  It’s Brooklyn, everyone taps a bumper here and there.

The guy I tapped doesn’t have the same  philosophy, therefore he decides to get out and take a look at his bumper.  He then looks at me and I give a friendly wave of apology to him.  I look at his plate and see he is from Florida. He has one of those “Save the Manatee” plates.  He glares at me and I crack my window slightly open.  He approaches with his hands out at his side and I ask “You having a bad day”? “I am now” he replies.  I ask “How long you’ve been living here”? “Couple of months” was his response.  “You’ll get used to it” as I jokingly say with a smile.  “It’s nothing to smile about” he says as he continues to glare at me.

At this point I can see he’s not letting up so I decide to get out of my car very carefully and say “My man you are going to have a lot of bad days around here because that’s all people do, we tap each other’s cars most of the time. You’re just heated because you happen to be in your car when it took place.  Don’t make a big deal about it.  Go about your business and think of the Manatees, what would they do in this situation” as he continues to glare at me and I glare back at him.

Parking Tap You Me NYC

Before he could say anything else, I continued with “We wouldn’t want the Manatees to lose a contributor, due to a sudden disability would we? You can never be too careful around here”.  He continued to glare and I glared right back at him, also keeping an eye on his hands just in case he tried to take a swing.

Conclusion:

What’s hilarious about this situation is that this guy got all bent out of shape over a tap on the back bumper of his “Toyota Rav 4” a car that can take a tap.  The lesson learned, is not to take a tap too seriously.  Also be careful, a slight tap could be someone looking to start something.  As far as Mr. Manatee is concerned, I am guessing he is not long for Brooklyn.  One of those moments that make you say Really!!?.

Chickens Coming Home to Roost

The chickens have come home to roost and I love every minute of it.  We all know, the “Yellow Cab” industry had quite the monopoly in New York City for years and now it is crumbling.  It was almost impossible to get a cab to take you out of the city a few years ago.  Hailing a cab and taking it to Harlem was out of the question.  The farthest I would get is east 96th street, along with a constant scrutinizing eye on me, from the cab driver, as we made our trek uptown.  Let’s not forget the appalling treatment of the African American and other minority communities as well.Chickens Coming Home to Roost You Me NYCThe chickens have come home to roost now that the rideshare game is in full force.  What amazes me more than anything else, is that instead of coming up with an innovative way to combat the rideshare industry, the medallion owners cry “foul”.  What a bunch of crap, they went and cried to mommy(New York City Council), that they can’t compete.  So what does mommy do, they cap the number of rideshare vehicles for one year and require that drivers be paid a minimum wage as well.

I am all for drivers getting paid a consistent wage and getting paid more.  Driving on the road 8-12 hours a day is a tough gig.  “Our city is directly confronting a crisis that is driving working New Yorkers into poverty and our streets into gridlock,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement.  I couldn’t disagree more with this statement.  What does ride-share have to do with driving working “New Yorkers” into poverty.  Funny, I thought “Gentrification” is what is driving working “New Yorkers” into poverty.

Gridlock, rideshare is the cause of that too, according to our mayor.  Forget about the fact that almost every street in the city is under construction with lane closures.  What about everywhere you look there is a new luxury building going up?  How many more glass atrocities do we need in the city?

Conclusion

What’s funny about rideshare is that we have already been doing it.  Brooklyn, and all the other boroughs established the “Dollar Van”.  I can’t speak for Staten Island, I have no clue what they did or how they take a cab to that borough.  The “Dollar Van” has been and currently is the equalizer to the “Yellow Cab” industry.

I was in a “Yellow Cab” this morning and it was the usual.  The cab stunk, the driver had a piss-poor attitude and of course he didn’t want to leave the city.  He better remember something, Uber and Lyft drivers have no problem leaving the city.  I have no problem replacing the “Yellow Cab” with a nice, comfortable and enjoyable ride with one of the many rideshare apps at my disposal.  “Yellow Cabs” are a part of New York City history, however it’s a part I don’t mind saying goodby too.

No More Poor Service

Just when did we start to accept poor service as normal? Each day I am disappointed and frustrated by the terrible customer service I receive from just about everywhere. A few years ago, I would have said my disgust was a function of my nearing 50, but each instance of poor service is leaning towards the slobberization of America. Yes, that’s right, the slobberization of America.

No More Poor Service You Me NYC

I was in Target, one of my favorite stores. I gathered all of my items and made my way to the cash register. The cashier was wide open. I was so excited, as this is a rare feat at Target. I placed all of my items on the belt. The cashier failed to acknowledge my presence. Strike #1.

He started to ring up my items while carrying on a conversation with a co-worker. Strike #2.

The topic, his date from the night before. He then packed my items, still no acknowledgment of my presence and continued to talk to his coworker. Strike #3. At this point, their conversation was so good, he forgot that I was there.

I stared at him with the intensity of a surgical laser. He finally realized that he was in the middle of a transaction. I received no apology. Strike #4

He then mumbled something to me, which I did not understand, since I do not speak mumble. He handed me a gift card. I asked him, “What is this for? “

He said, “ Oh you get it because of mumble , mumble, mumble, mumble.”

“I do not understand , why are you giving me a gift card? And why is it a used gift card.”

“Damn Gurl, you got a lot of questions.”

Oh no, here it comes, I can’t hold my tongue any more.

“I am not a girl, I could have given birth to you, Ms or ma’am will do from you. Speak to me clearly. I have not heard a damn thing you said. You did not greet me, nor acknowledge my presence and now you are speaking to me like I am one of your little friends.”

“Oh my bad, my bad, chuckle, chuckle, you get this card because you bought that thing. We have to use up the old cards first.”

I paid, took my items and my used gift card which I was afraid to use for 5 months, in case it was not legit. I left thinking, OMG, I am turning into my mother. Nothing I said to him even registered with him. I just can no longer accept poor service. I work too hard and I have worked In both retail and hospitality. Its not hard to treat people with respect and give good service.

No More Poor Service You Me NYC

When did retail outlets, restaurants and hotels stop training their staff. The minimum wage is going to $15 and no one wants to work for it. What is becoming of us. I know I am not the only person disgusted by this norming of poor service.

I am not going to stand for it any more. Who is with me?

The Painted Lady Suite

The Painted Lady Suite is the debut album by the Michael Leonhart Orchestra (MLO).  Inspired by the incredible 9 thousand mile migration of the the “Painted Lady” butterfly. This suite is broken into two parts with seven movements.  Each part represents, two separate journeys of the “Painted Lady” butterfly. One journey is over North America to Canada.  The other from the Arctic Circle over Europe to North Africa.  Additionally, this compilation also contains three earlier pieces composed by Leonhart specifically for MLO. Michael Leonhart Orchestra The Painted Lady Suite You Me NYCFirst, is the additional track “In the Kingdom of MQ”.  A cool march , with a stimulating solo by tenor sax player Donny McCaslin. “In the Kingdom of MQ” is dedicated to Leonhart’s younger son Milo.  Portraying his son’s confident steps from toddler-hood to the joyful discoveries of being a young boy.   Next,” Music Your Grandparents Would Like” is what fusion is all about.  A “big band” swing with a rock feel, guitarist Nels Cline delivers a solo which Zappa would appreciate.  Thirdly the piece, “The Girl From Udaipur” depicts a family trip to India.  The baritone sax solos of Ian Hendrickson-Smith and Jay Leonhart bring this album to a chilling close.

First of all, I love this album because each song delivers a taste of the classical masters, such as Ravel and Stravinski.  If you are familiar with “Bolero” by Ravel, you can definitely recognize his influence in a lot of the music on this album.  Furthermore, you can also hear the influence of rock guitar legends Frank Zappa and Jimi Hendrix on this album as well.  Finally, the glue holding this album together is the style of Miles Davis and Quincy Jones.

Conclusion:

This is a definite “add” to your collection.  This album is perfect for any mood, therefore a must have for all Jazz aficionados.  Additionally, the progress and evolution of MLO parallels the journey of the “Painted Lady” butterfly.  Hence the creation of “The Painted Lady Suite”, which really hits home.  More importantly, this album is an illustration of a blend of genres that work well together.  “Painted Lady Suite” is solid, however the three additional tracks are what really make this album exceptional.

Thank You Kate Spade

Katherine Noel Brosnahan, known professionally as Kate Spade and Kate Valentine.  American born, Kate was a mother, fashion designer, and successful entrepreneur.  June 5th, 2018, we lost a brilliant force in the fashion/accessory world and what a tremendous loss it is.

There is no need to discuss as to how or why this happened.  Instead, Kate should be remembered for her contribution to the realm of fabulous.  Spade started out with Mademoiselle magazine in the accessories department in 1986.  She later left the magazine in 1991 with the title of “Senior Fashion Editor/Head of Accessories”.

While working at the magazine she realized that the market was lacking stylish yet sensible handbags.  After the discovery, she decided to create her own line of chic practical handbags.  Spade developed 6 prototypes out of “Scotch” tape and paper.  Shopping her designs around, she found a manufacturer in East New York who was willing to produce her designs and more importantly, work with a startup.
Thank You Kate Spade You Me NYC

To finance the company Andy Spade withdrew from his 401(k) plan and also paid employees of the company with his own personal checks as well.  Kate was undecided about the name of the line.  Since she and Andy were not married at the time, “Kate Brosnahan” sounded like an unmarketable name to her.  Andy suggested “Kate Spade” which was a combination of his surname and her first name which they both agreed on.

As we all know “Kate Spade New York City” launched into a massive handbag line which extended to clothing, jewelry, shoes, stationery, eye-wear, baby items, fragrances, tabletop, bedding, an d gifts.  Later, Kate and her husband sold the line so she can concentrate on raising her daughter.

Although Spade and her husband are not affiliated with the brand for more than 10 years, the beloved brand lives on.   There are numerous “Kate Spade New York City” stores all over the country and the world with her first store opening up right in Soho New York City where her empire began and her legacy created.

Conclusion:

We will miss you Kate…..

Ethiopian Gold Queen of Sheba NYC

Queen of Sheba, is an Ethiopian restaurant, that is a true treasure.  Right in the heart of “Hell’s Kitchen” New York City, is where you can find this gem.  As I walk through the door, the place is full.  Then again why wouldn’t it be, I am never disappointed when I come here.

Let’s get down to business.  I sat at a table and looked over the menu which I know inside and out.  However, Queen of Sheba will make a subtle change every once an a while.  Lentil “Sambousas” are my favorite appetizers.  Queen of Sheba cooked up these delicious dough packets to perfection.  This is an excellent way to start off a meal.

Next, for my main course, the “Doro Tibs” is what I ordered along with the “Taste of Sheba”.  The “Doro Tibs” is sliced chicken breast marinated in onions, olive oil, rosemary-jalapeno, with a touch of Chardonnay.  I am almost positive that there are some secret spices in the mix as well.  The “Taste of Sheba” is a sample platter that includes a mouthwatering taste of 8 items.  There are too many to list.  The sliced chicken breast was succulent.  The “Taste of Sheba” was delicious.  Adding a glass of delectable honey wine is the perfect compliment to this exquisite meal.

Aside form the good food, my readers know service is just as important as the meal to me.  Queen of Sheba’s service is impeccable and also very accommodating.  I normally don’t place too much emphasis on decor.  However Queen of Sheba’s setup takes you back to Ethiopia.  They arrange the seating, to heighten a sense of community, therefore making me feel like I am eating and enjoying with everyone in the restaurant.

In conclusion, if you are looking for a charming restaurant with a  neighborhood feel to it, then Queen of Sheba is the right choice.  Whether you are by yourself or with a group, Queen of Sheba will satisfy your palette for delicious food and enjoyable company.  Make sure you tell them Dave Jacobs sent you.

Queen of Sheba You Me NYC

Location:

650 10th Avenue
New York, NY 10036
Between 45th & 46th Streets

 

 

Regular

I have one of those jobs where I office from home and travel for work. It’s convenient and nice to work from home but, I miss being a “regular”. That sounds a bit odd, what could possibly be so great about being a regular anything?

There is earned status to being a regular. I was part of an elite group of customers who patronized the Frontier Diner on 3rd Ave. Every weekday morning, I would come out of the # 7 train at 42nd street, walk over to 3rd and 39th, and cross the street to the Frontier diner.

The owner would stand his watch at the front counter and have my order prepared as he saw me at the far corner, a large light coffee and a toasted blueberry muffin with butter. We’d exchange pleasantries and he would wish me well and a good day. I would do the same. I did not have to wait in line, he knew what I wanted, needed and craved. It was an easy and affordable transaction. If I missed a day of work, he would ask if everything was alright and inquire as to where I was the other day. It was our ritual.

Now that I office from home and travel for work, I am no longer a “regular” any where, I’ve lost my elite status, a friend and someone who watched out for me. I cannot seem to find coffee that taste just right or a toasted blueberry muffin to my liking.

What’s Missing:

Perhaps what I miss is the kinship that was developing over time when I was patronizing the Frontier diner day after day, year after year. A sense of belonging and the knowledge that someone was waiting for me, with a smile. I like Starbucks, and the new local coffee shop in my village but, its not the same. With mobile or kiosk ordering, we’ve lost that sense of community that came from getting to know the folks who worked in the eateries we patronize.

Post NYC

“Post” is a place I have never been to before and it is not on my normal breakfast circuit.  I received this tip from one of our readers so I made my way over there, to check it out.  Referrals are always welcome.

When I walked through the door, I observed an intimately set counter.  There is also a small counter at the window for that outside feel.  This is an establishment that takes great pride in presentation.  Each space has its’ own bottle of ice-water and a place setting welcoming to anyone.

Post NYC You Me NYC

Immediately, I was greeted by a server behind the counter and was told to have a seat anywhere.  I take my seat at the counter and peruse the menu.  Before I can make up my mind the recommendation was “Biscuits and Gravy”.  “Wonderful, with a cup of coffee” was my response.  That is the first time in a long time, I went with a suggestion from a new place.Post NYC You Me NYCMy meal arrived within a few minutes, a nice healthy portion topped with an egg.  My first bite to the last, each was better than the one before.  I have to admit, I killed that meal within minutes.  All I have to say is “delicious” along with the coffee.  The biscuits are homemade and so is the chicken sausage in the white gravy, the taste proves that.

When the server came back to check on me, he laughed at how fast I devoured my meal.  I started to converse with him and found out that they are relatively new.  They have been open for a little more than a year.  Now everyone knows I am all about breakfast and really don’t care for brunch.  “Post” has a brunch so for the brunch culture in this city of ours, come out and enjoy.

“Post” also does lunch, dinner and has a “chill” nightlife vibe according to the server.  I let him know I would be back for dinner and engage in some after diner activity.

Post NYC
42 Ave B
New York NY, 10009