Moby leaves NYC and the world stops for us all

You know, it’s been a great week for “Open letters”. That’s a code word for essays by famous people with something they feel the need to expose. I suppose, this could be considered an open letter if I was more famous. Instead, let’s just call it a blog post. That way we can strip away all the ideas of what I’m saying being even remotely important.
So, anyway, recording artist Moby recently wrote an article about how he left NYC for the sunnier side of things in L.A.
He’s not the first or the last and , honestly, I don’t blame him. It’s a different lifestyle out there and I can certainly see how it might be more suitable for all sorts of people. The thing is, Moby felt necessary to write an open letter explaining his move , as if any of us give a shit where Moby lives. Now , before I get into this let me share a few things about my history with Moby.
1)I do not know him (Pretty sure we are eskimo bothers though)
2)I like that tea he makes
3)I’ve never been a fan of his music.
4)When I was in my early 20’s, I saw him at a weekly party I used to go to and drunkly tried to start a “Fuck Moby” chant. That was my bad. I was drunk and young.
5)My song “Carnivores unite” is based on him. Well, not him so much. When I made the track, I jokingly felt it sounded like a Moby song, so I called it that as an answer to it ever being mistaken for one. Cause, you know, he’s a vegan and shit.

That’s it.
After reading this article I learned a few things about Moby I didn’t know.
1)He’s was born in NYC. No shit! This surprised me so I wiki’d him to read more.
What he didn’t mention was how didn’t grow up there. So, in a way, that kinda makes him one of those “Oh, I’m from NYC cause I came out of my moms vagina in a hospital that was located in NYC”. When, in reality, he’s actually grew up in Connecticut. Nothing wrong with growing up in Connecticut, it’s just even mentioning he was born in NYC is misleading…as if that makes his move to L.A. even more valid and heart wrenching..
2)He apparently lived in the play “Rent” in the early 80’s. In fact, he might have lived on the same block my sister lived on during that same period of time. It was indeed a mess…thugged out drag queens and heroin everywhere. The good old days.
Now, here’s the thing, none of the complaints that Moby is talking about are wrong. It’s all well worn territory. Yes, NYC is too expensive. Yes, it’s competitive. Yes, it’s landscape has changed greatly. Even the most blindly loyal NYC person can’t front on those things. Hell, a friend tagged me in this pic on facebook of 14th st and 7th avenue from the 70’s and I almost shed a single tear.
Look how awesome that was. But you know what? I wasn’t even alive when that existed. I was alive in the NYC in the 80’s though. And, without question, NYC was better then. Of course it was! All old things are better. This is all “fact” that has been rehashed over and over again. So, for that point, I could never argue with Mobe-dawg. Granted, he’s an extremely successful musician who can afford to live anywhere. His old crib was in Little Italy and , I’m told, it had an elevator in it. Not in his building…in his apartment. The point of that is , dude is rich. That’s even crazier considering I can’t remember the last time he put out music. If I recall, after he made himself famous by making slave hymns danceable , he started singing a little and people stopped caring. I could be wrong but that was my outsiders perspective. Whatever the case, he’s not hard up for money. So, this move clearly isn’t about that (as much as he does harp on the price of living). No, this move is about how NYC effects creativity. His whole reason for leaving is cause , with how NYC is now, he can’t be the kind of creative he needs to be. NYC doesn’t allow you to fail, is something he harps on. But you know what? I’m okay with that. While I think that’s a fairly black and white way to look at it, it’s true that this city has been known to chew people up and spit them out. That’s kinda the point. Not everyone is supposed to be able to make it here. Even Frank Sinatra knew that. But, let’s remember, this is Moby talking. A person who has not failed. But what about his creative friends?!?! They live in deep dark brooklyn and that’s just not okay with him.Again, keep in mind, this is a rich person talking who can afford an elevator inside his apartment and the best music studios the city has to offer. He’s not stuffed in a 200 square foot apartment with two roommates, banging away on his acoustic guitar , recording on a four track while the sound of firetrucks blare in the distance.

I spend a lot of time trying to demystify the musical process. When people get all wishy washy about some vague “inspiration” they require or they feel a room needs candles and incense , I call bullshit. However, I’m me. I don’t need that shit. Maybe others do. So, it’s really not my place to tell another person how to feel or what gets their engine revving, creatively. A change of scenery can be refreshing, without question. Personally, I find I’m at my most creative when I return to NYC after beign away from it for a while. I don’t doubt that Moby will go to L.A., live in some huge house in the hills and toil away in a home studio he built making music he really loves. I get that. But, if that’s the goal, just go do it. Move to L.A. and get those creative juices flowing. Shitting on NYC with the same complaints people have had since the late 90’s isn’t doing anything. I think the thing that has always annoyed me about Moby is that, while he’s an intelligent and talented guy, he’s also kind of a pussy about everything. He’s always been the poster child for people who get offended easily. That mind set and being in NYC never really clicked with me. It’s almost as if he was destined to be out west where things are slowed down, more free spirited and less aggressive. That makes total sense. As much as he loves/loved NYC, perhaps it was never for him. Too rough around the edges for a man of his sensitivity. And, like I’ve said, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. The same way I might have a panic attack if you dropped me in a forest somewhere, NYC is 100% not for everyone. Perhaps Moby lived here so long cause he was based on the east coast and just assumed that that’s where creative people go? When, in actuality, he was a west coaster in his heart the entire time. I say this cause, while I agree with his issues with the city, it’s never gotten to me (Or most people I know who are from here). It’s just some things we accept in exchange for all the awesome parts of living here. The good and the bad. Maybe , in three years, Moby will move back east and write a 2000 word essay on how much he can’t handle traffic and how fake everyone is in the L.A. music scene. I suppose we’ll have to wait with baited breath for that one.
In reality, I think he just got bummed out because of this terrible winter we’re having. It’s been cold as fuck. Who doesn’t want to be in 80 degree weather right now? Well…actually…maybe no Moby cause I feel like with his fair skin he might just burst into flames in that dry so-cal heat.
So, to Moby, I say, Bon Voyage, I’m not mad at you or bitter (i don’t know you, how could i be?)…I just think you’re corny. That said, if more people took it upon themselves to reevaluate if they belong in this city, then left this city, it would undoubtedly be a better place. So, hey everyone, listen to Moby! NYC is dead! Leave as soon as possible. The rest of us stuck here will be forced to deal with it. Oh well. Someone’s gotta do it, right?

The only thing that really offends me

If you read this blog often, you might assume I have a short fuse of sorts. Not in a violent way, but I certainly spend a lot of time on here complaining about things that annoy me. Truth be told, I actually don’t really give a fuck about much. I think its fun to rant about the minutia of life but, in my every day existence, I’m pretty even-tempered. “. That said, there is one thing I actually do get offended by…It’s not you calling my mom a whore (cause I know she isn’t). It’s not you telling my music sucks (cause who cares what you think?). It’s when people who move to NYC slander Manhattan.

Here’s what happened.
I was at a show this week. So, I’m just chilling, standing in the crowd at a rap show in Manhattan. I look down and see this:

In case you can’t make it out…that’s a handbag with the words “Fuck Manhattan” written on it.
Now, just looking at the bag, I can 100% correctly assume it was made in Brooklyn. I haven’t fact checked that but I’d probably bet my unborn child’s life on it. I’d also venture to guess it’s made of biodegradable hemp and was sewn by a girl with thick rimmed glasses and huckleberry finn jeans. The girl toting it around looked as if she had just stepped off the horse-drawn buggy from wherever the fuck she’s from and moved to Brooklyn last month. If you look closely, you might notice she’s wearing shoes with the british flag on them. I don’t know why but , when added to the fact she was sporting that bag , I was about ready to kill someone. I’d like to repeat, she wore this bag TO A SHOW IN MANHATTAN. I must admit, she’s got balls…and she’s a fucking idiot.

I think what gets me about this is the gall of this particular person to have this bag. I’d be fine if it was some life long Brooklyn/queens person toting it around. But the thing is, no life long Brooklyn Queens person would ever own that fucking thing in the first place. It’s just not that kind of party between boroughs. At it’s worst, it’s like sibling rivalry. Do I think Manhattan is the best? Of course…but it’s cause I’m from here. I’d expect the same for anyone from whatever borough they’re from. Even someone from that shit hole Staten Island is justified in telling me how S.I. is superior cause that’s where they’re from (not to be confused with “where they live”). As much as I might have no interest in going to Queens or the Bronx, I certainly harbor no ill will towards them. And Brooklyn…Brooklyn is great. If I didn’t live in downtown Manhattan, I’d wanna live in a few parts of BK. The biggest strike on Brooklyn is that it’s become a nesting ground for out-of-town dickheads who buy “Fuck Manhattan” bags.

I think these people don’t realize that Manhattan was once cool like Brooklyn is cool now. One of the reasons it got uncool was cause it got too expensive for 24-year-old college post grads to afford. Because of this, they all moved to Brooklyn where they gentrified neighborhoods and pretty much turned parts of Williamsburg into Amherst , Massachusetts. That fine and dandy but I’m pretty sure if you offered any of these people an apartment in a cool location somewhere in downtown Manhattan for the same size and price of the place they’re living right now, a decent amount would jump at the offer. Why? Cause, as cool as brooklyn is, it’s still not Manhattan. Most people work here. Most people commute here a few times a week for some reason or another. As shitty as some parts of Manhattan are (and there are plenty of lame areas), it’s still where things happen. It’s expensive for a reason. Because pretty much EVERYONE wants to live here. Now, I’m sure some of you are reading this a rolling your eyes. I actually know a bunch of people who live in BK and never leave it. I get it though…it’s fun. It’s a real community. There are tons of bars. Great food. Tons of attractive people who are looking to have sex with one another. But a Brooklyn Transplant (who’s definitely never actually lived in Manhattan) hating on manhattan enough to purchase a handbag that voices that sentiment is kinda like when NElly Dissed KRS-one. Sure, Nelly was way more popping at that time but Krs-1 was a Legend so watch your fucking tone when you speak to your elders. Manhattan was once like brooklyn is now. The same way that Queens will be where everyone moves in like ten years once brooklyn is overrun by Duane reade’s and chase banks like Manhattan already has been.
Let it be known, this is not aimed at natives of BK. Not at all. This is 100% about the transplants. People who moved to NYC to live in NYC, but ended up in brooklyn. And not all the transplants…the righteous ones who think that , just cause they’ve lived in Brooklyn for a year or two, they have any right to speak on anything Manhattan related beyond complaining about train service. You’re basing it off some made up shit that you’ve heard from other people. Sure, parts of Manhattan are terrible. I’d rather be in a snow forest in Siberia than midtown Manhattan on a saturday. But, please, shut the fuck up. I mean that in a general sense but .Specifically, to the girl with the “fuck Manhattan” bag. You. Yeah you. Go fuck yourself and your stupid bag. If you hate Manhattan so much, do us both a favor and never come back. It’s for the best. Good luck with that cause you need us way more than we’ll ever need you.

The Fear Factor

I was talking with some friends the other day about how New York City has changed over the years. While this is well worn conversational territory, both of them were from other places and were asking about how things were back in the day before the Williamsburbs and downtowns “cornification”. Many things can be said of NYC and how it’s changed for the worse over the the last 20 plus years. It’s ridiculously expensive. Every old store/bar/restaurant is being shut down to open a Starbucks/chase bank/duane reade. It’s full of people who just moved here who, in general, completely suck. The aforementioned downfall of formally vibrant neighborhoods in brooklyn and downtown Manhattan. While all these are true, I like to point the blame at one thing that made this all possible. Safety. Yes, NYC is pretty fucking safe. Sure, they’re are some neighborhoods you don’t wanna go to at night but they’re either far out of the way from anything or slowly being gentrified.
I remember when Giuliani first came into office, there was a sudden and noticeable change. People started getting fucked with more over little things like public drinking or smoking weed on a stoop. Quotas began to get filled and crime definitely was on the down swing. While this was nice in a way (I certainly don’t miss the fear of being robbed all the time) it seemingly opened the doors for the wrong people to move here. These are people who , 5 years earlier, would be the type to say “It’s a great place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there”. That mind set from out of towners is what filtered out the people who belonged here and the people who didn’t. If you didn’t wanna deal with an extremely busy metropolis with an air of danger no matter where you were, you didn’t move her. All of sudden, things got safer and that started to mess with the filter of who would be willing to live here. It opened the doors for people to come here and act like shit was sweet all the time cause there was no one checking them on it.

At first, it wasn’t a big deal cause the people moving in were picking neighborhoods that wouldn’t be effected. The Upper east side , for instance, was already pretty wack so the influx vertical striped shirt wearing of stock brokers wasn’t hurting anything. At this point, something is happening that is truly depressing. All these people who looooooove New York and just wanna be in the mix, decide they want to move to a cool neighborhood. Somewhere like the lower east side. full of cool bars, great food and a wide assortment of different races and cultures. This, on paper, is fine. Cause they have ever right to be there. However, once they move in, they realize
“Hmm…I don’t appreciate how loud it is around here at night! I have to work tomorrow Why is it so dirty? Ewww…RATS! I’m gonna complain about that…”
Slowly but surely, these people, who moved into these neighborhoods to be cool in the first place, decide they’d like to alter the neighborhood they chose to live in (that’s been that way since before they were playing lacrosse in junior high school) to fit what they consider to be a cool place that fits there needs. All the while, they could have had exactly that had they just moved into a more fitting neighborhood in the first place. This results in places that have thrived in that neighborhood for decades shutting down cause of constant police harassment or greedy landlords who are trying to appease the new neighbors. Eventually, that once awesome hood will be no different than Murray Hill or Bleecker Street. I see a time in my life where Queens will be the coolest part of NYC. how fucked up is that?

The other day I was on a train coming home around midnight. There was about 5 loud , drunken norwegian people being really obnoxious and basically commanding the train car. All I could think about was “Man, it would be so awesome if some dude slapped the shit out of them and told them to shut the fuck up”. Now, I’m not a violent person (IE: I’m a pussy) , so it wasn’t gonna be me. But NYC needs those types more than ever. There was a time when citizens would self govern on that level. The same people who bought that air of fear to the streets pre-Giuliani. But, in a way, they wouldn’t be criminals. They’d be people keeping NYC how it should be. They’d be heroes. You’re welcome to come here, but stay in line and never get too comfortable. That element has long been lost and , in my eyes, it’s the reason NYC has become what it is now.

So, bring back fear. Bring back the roving gangs of thugs whos night out was based around doing nothing but fucking with people. I’d gladly exchange that bit of danger for the way NYC is going now. I mean, I don’t want this place to be like detroit or anything but just enough fear that people who don’t really belong here would gladly move out. Hell, a nice crime wave would probably lower rent all over the place. Who woulda ever thought that safety could be such a bad thing?

The Robin Byrd Era

As you might know, I’m in the midst of working on a new album. One of the most fun/annoying parts of making a new album is dealing with titles. Sure, it’s fun to name songs after inside jokes or whatever arbitrary thing I can think of (especially the kind I make which usually contain no vocals and are ripe for interpretation). However, naming an album title is stressful. First off, it sticks with you. If the title sucks, you will not forget it. Secondly, it has to somehow capture the point you’re trying to get across with said album.

Yesterday I tweeted
“I kinda wanna call my new album “The Robin Byrd era”. Eh…To much of an Inside joke but it would be fun for those who got it.”

While I was kinda joking, the more I thought about it, it did capture something I’ve been trying to put my finger on since beginning this album. Allow me to explain…

Some of you may know her name from a random old SNL skit

It’s actually pretty spot on…

For those who don’t know , Robin Byrd is a former porn star turned Tv host. Her show was not a typical TV show though. It was on Leased access in NYC (Leased access is like public access but it’s got ad’s). Her show consisted of a seemingly drugged out old whore (Robin Byrd) introducing strippers (both male, female and transexual) who would then do 5 minutes routines to whatever freestyle music they could find that day. At the end of the show , she would lip sync to a song called “Bang your box” while taking the penises of the male guests and poking herself in the eye with them or mashing her face into the boobs and crotch of the female guests. Now, as a young boy going through puberty in the late 80’s/early 90’s , masturbation was a top priority. However, this was before the internet. Sure, I had some playboys but they got stale quickly and I was still too young to be able to get a steady influx of porn VHS tapes. Because of this, like everyone else I knew with cable, I turned to Channel J. This was the leased access station that, after 10:30 at night, would become all night soft core porn and escort ads (To this day, it still is but it’s now found on channel 35 on time warner cable). For my hyper horny , pubescent being, this was heaven. Robin Byrd was a show that was on all the time. Thus, it got watched a lot. The problem with her show was planning your jerk off around when the girl strippers would come on. On more than one occasion I would be ready to go as they began with a close up of hairless skin, only to be revolted as they pulled the camera back to reveal some Chippendale’s dancing corn ball with bon jovi hair in a thong. I don’t even wanna get into the surprise chicks with dicks they’d have on every now and then but I’m sure I’m not alone in that experience.

So, you might be wondering “how the fuck do your weird 13 year old masturbation habits relate to you naming an album after some old porn stars horrible tv show?”

Well, hear me out. Thinking back to those days bring about a lot of memories. Not just of shameful nuts busted but of a simpler time in both my life and in New York City. There’s a certain innocence to that perversity that I just don’t think can happen anymore in today’s day and age. Sure, you might look at the above mentioned topic as fucked up considering I was barely 13 and already exposed to chicks with dicks, but really, it was controlled. That era in time was right before New York got disney-ed and the internet became a thing. It was a time when , even though we were privy to some disgusting shit, we could still be kids. Albeit perverse kids, but kids nonetheless. So, my thoughts on this album are really just harkening back to a time when things were in a less grey area. You know, the Robin Byrd era. We knew what we were getting into. Some of it was wildly inappropriate but it helped make us who we are now. It may sound corny but remember, I’m talking about the masturbation habits of a child. How corny can that really be? Creepy? Sure, but not corny.

The Robin Byrd era speaks about much more than just what was on TV. It was the 80’s and 90’s. The same time I fell in love with hip hop. The same time I started playing basketball. When I started trying to figure out girls. These were the formative years of my life and it’s funny that they can all be traced back to a worn down , whored out , possible drug addict who stuck dicks in her eyes on a nightly basis.

I haven’t decided if I’ll name the album that or not. I mean, there’s about .03 % of my fan base that will get it. After all, they’re mostly younger than me and didn’t grow up in NYC. But part of me thinks that’s what’s kinda cool about it.Google exists for a reason. And , even with google’s help, it still wont fully shed light on the meaning behind the title. I dunno…we’ll see what happens. Maybe I’ll eventually do a poll on this blog and let you guys take you pick of what name I should go with. Whatever the case, i know for sure “The Robin Byrd era” will, at least, be a song title on the album.

Heads up NYC, I gotta show this week.

This is an interesting one. It’s at the Natural History Museum this Friday. I’ve never gone to one of these show/parties but I’ve a heard good things. Also, I’m opening for Shabazz Palaces AKA Ish AKA Butterfly from Digable Planet. I’ve written him up on this blog before and I’m really psyched to see him live. In case you missed it, here are some clips of his new shit:

Anyway, I’ve been told I go on around 10. I’m playing for an hour. Come out. If you saw me play in NYC earlier this year, I’m not gonna lie, it’s a similar set. But if you missed it, this might be a good one to check out.

My guide to pigging out in NYC

I’m a pig.Try as I may to eat well (I don’t really try that hard) I still find myself stuffing my shameful face on regular basis. But , it’s not totally my fault. Here in NYC there are boatloads of good places to eat. Not only that, but they’re mostly in walking distance from my house. I figure some of you might be from the city or coming to visiting the city in the near future and wouldn’t mind a little heads up of some places I like to gorge at. Many of these spots are fairly known and most of them will have long lines but there’s a reason for that. As much good food as there is in NYC, when something is extra good, people find out about it. Here goes:

My #1 BBQ spot (Texas BBQ, none of that asian fusion shit):
Hill country BBQ
30 west 26th st.
My texan homeboy Gameface put me on to this place and it’s been a wrap ever since. Shit is ridiculous. Anyone who has eaten real texas BBQ knows the drill. You pay by the weight and get all your food served to you on wax paper. They also have a really good “sides” station where you can stuff you piggy fat face with all sorts of good shit. This place is not a hot wing joint. Nor is it a fried chicken spot. If you want some moist brisket that will make you shit your pants from sheer joy, this is your place.

What I get: Moist brisket without blinking. Pork ribs. Green bean souffle.

My #1 downlow Pizza spot (By the slice):
Ben’s pizza
123 Macdougal St.
Most people will tell you Joe’s Pizza is the dopest place to get a slice in the village. Sure, Joe’s is definitely great (although it’s always full of dickheads and the price seems to be higher every time I go). But what if you’re one of those people who like toppings on their slice? Or a good Chicken parm sub? Well, then just take a walk around the corner to Ben’s pizza. It’s the sleeper spot in terms of quality , good old fashioned, new york pizza slices.

What I get: Chicken parm slice or these massive sicilians with fresh mozzarella and special tomato sauce.

The Sushi sleeper:
Maru sushi
267 W 17th st
NY is full of dope sushi spots and it’s safe to say that no two people share the same favorites. This one is kinda special to me cause it’s literally a hole in the wall. It’s inside a building on 17th street and it’s only opened from like 11-7. It’s just this one old japanese dude and whatever little helper he has on that given day. It’s quick and delicious. Also, you get a free miso or drink (soda or water) with EVERY roll you purchase. I think the thing I like about it most is that they get creative with the rolls. The do a few typical things but the majority of what they offer (all the rolls are pre-made but totally fresh) is some shit you’ve most likely never seen before.

What I get: This salmon roll with a creamy sauce drizzled on top and a tuna salad roll with spicy sauce on top.

Paella anyone?
El Faro
823 Greenwich St.

This place has been open since 19-fuckin’-27. I’ve been going there since I was a kid and it’s maintained it goodness over the years. I don’t even know if it’s a particularly respected spanish restaurant. All i know is it’s old , feels homey and has retardedly good paella. I don’t think I’ve ever left there not feeling way too full. Depending who you are, this could be a negative or a positive.

What I get: Paella. Duh. All the varieties are good. I tend to lean more towards the sea food though. Also, the Tapas are dope too.

The best filthy chinese food ever:
Great NY Noodletown
28 Bowery
Sure, Noodletown gets shut down by the board of health on a yearly basis. Sure, the decor is like that of an OTB that serves food. Sure, they have communal tables and you might end up enjoying your meal with a strange chinese family who secretly hate you for being there. No restaurant is perfect. But outside of that shit, Noodletown is THAT spot. It’s open late too so if you’re drunk and feel like kicking tomorrows hangover into overdrive, it’s a great spot to hit. Just be warned, stick with the good shit. This is not the spot to order beef and broccoli or Moo goo gai pan. Noodletown specializes in a few things and that’s what you should be getting. These things are: Wanton noodle soup, Salt baked fish, sliced pork/chicken , and veggies drowned in ginger scallion sauce. Follow those guidelines and you will never go to another spot in china town again. Stray from those guidelines and you might get a plate of something that looks like cat vomit.

What I get: Wanton noodle soup, Salt baked combo, Sea bass with flowering chives and chinese vegetables. Also, always ask for a side dish of the ginger scallion sauce. It tastes great on everything.

Great desserts that don’t suck like the Magnolia bakery:
Momofuku milk bar
207 2nd ave (but really on 13th street around the corner)
This is the little dessert shop connected to Momofuku. While Momofuku is pretty awesome itself, it’s also over priced and they make you wait for your food forever and , well, I’m simply not that patient. The milk bar is great for being the fat sack of shit that I know you want to be. Inventive Ice cream flavors, Insanely buttery cookies , stuffed with things you wouldn’t even think about putting in cookies. And cakes….lots of cakes. They even sell their famous pork buns for those of us who don’t feel like waiting in the main restaurant.

What I get: Compost cookies, cereal milk flavored ice cream w. fudge and/or pork buns

The only fast service burrito spot in the city worth eating at:
Dos toros
137 4th ave
It’s no secret that NYC has a serious issue when it comes to burritos. For some reason, we’re seemingly immune to any place opening up that can even match up to Chipotle. Well, that is until now. Dos toros is the shit. It was bought here by a dude (dudes?) from San Diego and these taco’s and burritos shit all over anything else like it in manhattan. They even have super polite (and even somewhat attractive) people working there , which if kinda rare for any spot like it.

While this place is my only go to burrito spot in the city, I’d be an asshole to overlook Castro’s (511 myrtle ave) in Brooklyn. If you’re out in the Clinton-Washington Area, don’t skip over that place. It looks like a dump but they knock it out the park on the burrito tip.

What I get: The pork burrito is the jump off but they’re all pretty much great.

The best secluded middle eastern spot:
104 west 13th street
Salam is an ill place. I actually only went there for the first time this year. I had never really noticed it even though it’s like 2 blocks from my house. Apparently, it’s been open for 25 years. That kinda shocked me. Especially considering I’ve never seen more than 5 people in there at once. But this is kinda the beauty of the place. The food is great middle eastern food that isn’t typical of what other restaurants serve. But the fact that it’s always empty tends to lead to great service and the ,ever so rare , quiet meal. I’d say it’s a good date spot as long as you’re not with some uppity cunt who only wants to go to expensive restaurants to be seen.

What I get: Anything with lamb. The Philo -based appetizers are all dope as well.

Who doesn’t like chicken?
Dirty bird
204 W 14th st.
This spot is right on my block and it great in it’s simplicity. All they sell is chicken and a couple quality sides. Fried. Roasted. whatever. It’s all good. Don’t sleep on the sauces either. The “hot” sauce is not even so much a hot sauce as it is what they put on buffalo wings. They also have a hot vinegar that pretty much works on anything.

What I get: The fried chicken wrap with buttermilk sauce and a side of kale or Mac and cheese.

The only place I travel to brooklyn for:
Buttermilk Channel
524 Court st, BK
This is my only real deal Brooklyn recommendation . I won’t lie, I would never know about this spot had my oldest friend , Doug Crowell (known him since i was 2 years old) , not opened it up. Luckily for me, it’s completely awesome. It’s somewhere between comfort food and high end dining. Sure, you might get the Friend chicken and waffles…but what about the duck meatloaf? Knowing Doug, this place is a labor of love. He loves good food and he doesn’t really fuck around when it comes to the indulgent side of eating. If you’re a vegan, you might wanna skip this place.

What I get: Duck meatloaf or warm lamb salad but I pretty much try something new every time I go.

Best sandwiches in the city:
105 Sullivan st.
This little sandwich shop in SoHo is actually partially the basis of the “Soup nazi” from Seinfeld. Kinda….basically, the original owner was this pissy italian guy who would scream on you if you took to long to order or asked a stupid question. He has since died and handed it down to his daughter and her husband. Luckily for us, her husband, who makes all the sandwiches, is the nicest guy ever. The daughter? Not so much. In fact, she’s a raging bitch but whatever, there are hands down the best sandwiches you will eat in NYC. Classic italian meats and cheeses on an assortment of amazing breads. Sounds simple and boring but, seriously, I can’t stress how fucking great they are. Like a lot of the places I’ve listed here, the one huge downside of this place is the lines. It’s only open for like 5 hours a day so it’s pretty much jam packed the whole time. If you can live with that, you won’t be let down.

What I get: A “Matthew” On Focaccia or Tramezzino bread. It’s pretty much thinly sliced, prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, basil and a special dressing.

There are tons more of great places but those are some that I continue to go back to, to stuff my shameful , fat face. No guilt yo!

Live in NYC 2004

Here is a recording of a show i did in NYC in 2004. It’s been floating around the net for a while now but I figured I’d throw it up here cause people frequently ask me for links to it.
It’s one long 50 plus minute track of me on abelton. It includes a few songs off of “Downtown Science”, but for the most part, it’s all wacky mass ups using my own music and random stuff from all over.
so, here it is:


It’s still NYC

It’s no secret that NYC isn’t what it used to be. For anyone who grew up in this city, it’s fairly obvious that we’re not living in 1988 anymore; The mom and pops stores keep closing, the people who move here are getting cornier and cornier, the bars are over-crowded, everything is way too expensive, and the overall vibe is simply…well, not what it used to be…..

With that said, motherfuckers need to calm down with the “Fuck this place…New York is gone to the shitter…” attitude. While I agree with you guys, step back and compare it to other places, a native New Yorker complaining about New York is kind of like a dude who dates the coolest and hottest girl in the world and then complains when she puts on 5 pounds. She’s still the same girl. Sure, it’s not the super tight piece of ass it used to be but understand, to people who aren’t you, you’re a lucky motherfucker.

Yes, they’re tearing down everything we hold sacred and replacing it with high rise condo’s, useless banks, and parking lots. That sucks….

I remember when I walked by Washington Square Park last winter and saw what used to be the fountain area it had been converted into a fenced off pile of dirt. Yes, they were “remodeling” Washington Square Park. While seeing that definitely hit a nerve with me, it is also just par for the course. Indeed, it’s a bummer, but it’s also not like that’s gonna change my New York experience. Shit, I’ve been to that park a million times, I’ve got those memories, I’m good. At this point, they could put a rainbow colored vibrating dildo carousel in there for all I care, it won’t make me forget what it used to be.

It won’t change the fact that I can go out at 4 AM and get food on a sunday…and still have options. It won’t change that I can be in five completely different neighborhoods in the span of one day without even getting on a train or a bus. It won’t change that this city is full of eclectic people and great food no matter where you go. Yes, it’s corny, but true…that’s the subtle kinda shit you miss when you leave NYC.

The thing is, if you’re a person who loves cities (real cities) there is no other place in America like New York. Not Chicago, not LA, not San Fransisco, not Boston (HA!), not anywhere…I’m not even saying that on some “It’s the best city” shit (however, on a biased tip, it is). I’m saying it’s the only city like it and what it offers is unquantifiable. I don’t give a fuck if in ten years New York is just series of banks, Quiznos, and Duane Reades it will still be the only place like it.

After all, if you’re really a New Yorker and you wanna move to another city (that is like New York), where you gonna go? My honest opinion would be Toronto or Montreal. If you put those two together you kinda get New York (but canadian, so everyone’s nice and talks funny). However, that would probably involve a new passport and all sorts of bullshit, so good luck with that!

The only valid “I hate this place” arguments to me are; “I can’t afford it” and “It’s full of out of town douchebags”, I really can’t disagree with those. As far as the expensiveness is concerned, there’s a reason why motherfuckers live in Queens and Jersey City. It’s not cause it’s dope there, it’s cause it’s affordable but still close to the city. Not to mention, with the way the economy is going, we’re due for some serious deja vu that includes mass muggings and wilding out (not the Nick Cannon kind either). That’s the old New York everyone always muses about. While it’s easy to say the lessened danger of New York is a good thing (and, on a basic level, it obviously is), the dangerous side of NYC was kind of the thing that kept it interesting. Unlike other dangerous cities like Detroit or Philly, people wanted to be in NYC so bad they’d risk it…but only to visit. If they happened to get robbed, them’s the breaks…they’d go back home and have their own NEW YORK story to tell.

Now that it’s all safe and shit, every douche with a dream (and $money$) has decided they need to be here. Sadly, in terms of the the new city transplants, it’s only gonna get worse, Thanks Sex and The City!

But, you know what? If you’re a native a New Yorker and can’t handle that, maybe you should just move anyway. Obviously NYC hasn’t hardened your shell enough to the point where you can “deal” with non-New Yorkers fucking up New York. Then again, if you move, you’ll be living in a place where EVERYONE is not from New York.

Have fun with that shit!

On a side note, it is against NYC code for anyone who hasn’t lived here longer then 15 years to complain about “how things used to be”.If you weren’t here before Guiliani, you’re talking out your ass.

Rules for Proper public conduct (NYC edition)

What’s wrong with people? I’m beginning to realize a sad truth; A huge portion of people (at least in NYC) were never taught common sense or common decency in public places. Being a dickhead while in your home is one thing but making everyone around you have to deal with it is not only annoying, but it’s selfish…

How bout some simple rules of public conduct?

1.) Cell Phones – We all have them. Forgetting to turn your ringer off in the movie theater is pretty absent minded but I can forgive that. However, motherfuckers who insist on using that chirp/walkie talkie bullshit are the worst. I’m a nosey person and even I don’t really give a fuck to hear your conversation. Also, enough with the ringers. I got no problems with heads who have songs on their ringer but turn that shit down…I don’t think anyone needs to hear “Tonight’s gonna be a good night” blasting out of your shitty cell phone speaker. I’ve seen a shocking amount of people let their phones ring just to hear their rings. How many more times do you really need to hear the hook of “Poker face”? pick up your fucking phone.

2.) Public Displays of Affection –
We’ve all made out in public places. It’s pretty unavoidable. But how bout we keep it at that? Groping should be minimal. Mashing titties and ass cheeks should be very minimal. Fingering should be illegal. I mean, hey, I like to be a voyeur too but if I’m in a bar and a couple is seriously going at it – AT THE BAR – cool down. At least go fuck in the bathroom. That’s what the respectable folk do. I’ve seen some downright fucked up shit. I grew up a block away from Christopher st. and many a morning I’d be walking home, after being out all night, and be lucky enough to see two dudes jerking each other off on a stoop, OR, even better, giving head in the front seat of a car. I’ve even seen a guy straight up jerking off in the front seat of his car on a friday night on a busy street. Seriously, having a touch of shame sometimes can be a gift.

3.) Walking –
If you’re walking down the street, keep it moving! Nothing pisses me off more then Lil’ Mr. Daydreamer casually wandering down the sidewalk while 80 people are trying to get somewhere. That, and when a group of people walk together (particularly on the small Greenwich Village side streets) super slow with their arms hooked like The Brady Bunch at the mall. That shit is just asking to be ransacked through on some red rover shit. Save the whimsical strolls for the beach or the park…or better yet, into the mouth of a live volcano…

4.) Fighting –
I’m all for it if it has nothing to with me. Watching two drunk retards scrap is the shit. I know girls freak out, but something feels so separated about it that it’s like you’re watching a movie. A really bad, sloppy movie. But on the same note, I’ve seen dudes slap around their girls in public. What the fuck is wrong with you? Hitting a girl is crazily fucked up to begin with, but to be so unashamed of that that you do it in front of people ,like it’s nothing, boggles my mind. Haven’t you ever heard of verbal abuse? It’s legal.

5.) Drunkenness –
I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been a drunk asshole. It’s par for the course. Whether it means yelling offensive shit to strangers, starting fights, or crying on a stoop and then vomiting…it’s pretty common. Maybe I’m weird but I’m never SOOOOOO drunk that I’m not KIND OF aware of what I’m doing. I’ve done dumb shit for sure but there’s a limit. It’s kinda the same logic that applies to going home with someone busted and then blaming it on being drunk. Beer goggles are kinda bullshit. No one looks better when you’re drunk, you just care a lot less. Anyway, my point is, get wild, do whatever but don’t forget, eventually, there will be consequences. This, however, does not apply to black out drunks, cause you guys are an inhuman breed that I almost kinda envy. Personally, if I’m that drunk, I just vomit.

6.) Public Bathrooms –
Don’t piss on the seat asshole…unless you’re at someone’s house party and you hate them, then it’s ok. In fact, you can put their soap bar up your ass if you really feel justified.

7.) Eating and Tipping –
It’s 20 % unless the service was wack. I know people do 15% but c’mon…don’t be a cheap bitch ass. Also, be nice to waiters/waitresses. They have shitty jobs. Even for the ones that make good money, it’s still a shitty job to have because you gotta deal with assholes all day. Nothing is worse then being out with a group of people and one of the people you’re with is being a dickhead to the server or returning food when it’s not necessary. My older sister is like that and I wanna strangle her every time I eat with her..but I’d wait till we get home because I don’t wanna be one of those guys that beats women in public….

8.) Dudes that Carry Stereo’s Around on the Street – This is Extremely particular to NYC. it’s also rare but , i swear, it still exists. The days of the boombox are loooooong gone. You are not Radio Raheem, you’re a shitface with the worst taste in music ever. You’re worse then the car stereo people…at least they’re in a car. Cars eventually will drive away. Get an ipod…get a fucking walkman…no one wants to hear what new reggeaton joint you’re feeling blasted so loud it sounds like a cattle drive running over a field of crash symbols.

9.) Arguing in the Streets – Hey, guess what? If you’re on your phone screaming like a mad man at someone, you have officially invited me (and everyone else in an earshot) to stare at you. Same goes for two people loudly arguing on the street. All too often, simply noticing this kinda shit will garner a “What are you looking at?!?!?!” response. The answer? You. I’m looking at you, the guy on the street screaming in broad daylight while hundreds of people walk by. The same way I’d look at you if you burst into flames.

10.) Eating on the Train – I’d be lying if I said I haven’t done this. Especially coming home drunk eating an egg and cheese sandwich BUT motherfuckers need to really stop with the Mcdonalds and chinese food on the train. You might as well take a dump in the train. I swear I sat next to a guy eating a steaming pastrami sandwich…I felt like my face had be glazed in mustard when I got off the train.