JoJo’s Mardi Gras Band

JoJo's Mardi Gras Band

Last weekend I went to see JoJo’s Mardi Gras Band at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom. JoJo is the keyboardist for Widespread Panic, but his side project is nothing like his main band – Jojo’s Mardi Gras Band plays nothing but fast moving Mardi Gras music that keeps you but shaking the entire time. They have that quintessential sound of New Orleans. I suggest the next time your in town you go check them out. JoJo’s MGB doesn’t have any recorded music but you can purchase a live album of their 2007 Denver performance. Somebody at the show on Saturday had a mic set up, so I’m sure there is a copy of it out there somewhere. Taper, if your reading this, I’d love a copy. As an added extra bonus to the evening I visited my secret bar.
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Live Girl Show

Before Santa Fe had it’s recent little clean-up near the Hampden exit there was a place called the Adult Palace. The Adult Palace had been around since I was a young child. For as long as I can remember really. It was in a windowless, non-descript, squat, gray building with parking in the rear. On the front of the building was a large white sign that read in large, red, script, “ADULT PALACE – LIVE GIRL SHOW”.

photo courtesy of ewy.

Whenever the family drove past – whether it be on our way to our uncles, or perhaps to a movie at Cinderella City – somebody would make a comment about the “Live Girl” that worked their. We would all chuckle at the fact the Adult Palace bragged about the fact it contained a live girl. We were all relieved that the girl was alive, but shouldn’t she be nude, or at least topless? And why only one girl? We would all laugh a little laugh, and shake our heads. I’m sure my Father and Brother’s minds, much like mine, turned to what sort of naughtiness must be happening inside with the live girl. Mom mostly just crossed hers arms and looked straight ahead.

For years and years and years I would drive by the adult palace and say to myself, “Someday I’m just gonna pull over a see what’s going on in there”. Unfortunately I never did. And as of this summer, The Adult Palace on South Santa Fe is now gone. It’s now a Super Target. But the wonderful (and incredibly hilarious) Ewy has captured the essence of this building and its live girl, “Crystal Rayne,” in his photo essay. Go check out his blog while you’re at it.
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Thanking New York: Days Three & Four

Day three was spent in apathy, on the couch, working (poor word choice) off the over indugances from the day before.

We did manage to hit up the wonderful Borough. This restaurant is aiming its services at those interested the new locavore trend. All of the ingredients are locally grown and produced in New York City and used to create dishes inspired by the five boroughs. Green and delish.

On Sunday we went and a homemade brunch and pleasant morning visiting friends and relatives we headed down to Columbus Park to play Soccer.

We started that evening off at the Cub Room (which is nice but pretty unmentionable) for cocktails and then headed down the street for sushi at Blue Ribbon Sushi. From the time you walk up to the non descript restaurant front, to walking down into the little cubby hole entrance, to the impressive line of sushi chefs, you know you have stumbled upon something special. The sushi was outrageous in the best way possible. Lilly Allen eats there seven times a week. I had the pleasure of trying box style sushi (mackerel) and jellyfish sushi – two things that you can’t find in Denver (if you know otherwise, I’d love to find out about it). We finished the night off at with a couple of drinks at a bar I can’t remember the name of (too many Karin Ichiban) where we were entertaining enough for the bartender to buy us a round.

The next day I flew back to Denver thankful to have experienced a culinary New York, but also just as thankful to be home.

Thanking New York: Day Two

I had a slow leisurely morning on my second day in NYC. Taking time to enjoy my coffee, finish my book, and have a nice breakfast. Then I jumped headfirst into the chaos that is Times Square on Black Friday.

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I relieved my crowd-induced-anxiety by heading over to Madison Square Park where I enjoyed the, well-disputed-best-burger-in-New-York-City, at the Shake Shack. I was a little surprised they were actually open this late in the season.

After that it was off to have a look at two of my favorite buildings in the city. The Flat Iron building
And the American Radiator building.

Afterwards I headed over to the Freemans. I wanted to check out this little secret gem hidden away in an ally of the LES. It was cool, but veering on too cool. I stayed for a couple of beers before heading to Lorely for a tall glass of German suds and the meeting of friends and family.

Then it was off to our big dinner. For reasons I won’t get into we had a “break the bank” expense budget that had to be spent and it was my girlfriend’s parents 40th anniversary. We also had reservations at Perry St. This was a Jean-Georges Vongerichten (his blog) joint. He’s is probably one of the most famous chefs in NYC. And this was probably the best meal I ate all year (and probably in the top ten meals I’ve eaten ever). We went haywire in this place ordering several appetizers, all kinds of special cocktails, desserts, wines and entrees (grilled tenderloin of beef with herbal spinach and liquid gruyere for me). It was wonderful for everyone. The restrooms were out of toilet paper though. Not the type of thing you’d expect from a place like this.

Afterwards we to Turks & Frogs which I believe was having a sewage problem. I have no idea why we stayed there so long but the experience was disappointingly if not for the company. We quickly scuttled over to The Otheroom. This place was great. The music was perfect all night, the atmosphere was fun, dim and cozy, the people were really cool, the women were hot and the men were gay (mostly). We stayed here till about three am.

Our adventure home included three taxi rides, a car accident, the new jersey transit system, some tears, getting list in Secaucus, and a $60 cab fair. Ouch.

Thanking New York: Day One

If my previous trip to Manhattan was all about the sexiness, then this last trip was all about the foodiness.

We started off at Spitzer’s Corner where I had my first pork belly sandwich. It was good but there were way too many tomotoes on it for my taste. I can verify that the hickory smoked hamburger is incredible though. We also started with a dozen oysters from the raw bar that really hit the spot. Spitzer’s main draw, however, is not it’s food but it’s incredible selection of beer. I had a couple of the Golden Monkey Tripels which were great, but, at 10% alcohol, they quickly did some pretty good damage.

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Thursday started off with a trip to the Macy’s day parade, an American Thanksgiving Day tradition. There were throngs of people and it was hard to get a decent view but it seemed like on of those things I needed to “check off my list”. I’m glad I got to see it when I did because it seems that every year the parade degenerates into more of a marching/floating advertisement and less of an actual parade. Someday it will implode on itself. Lunch involved a pretzel and hot dog street food. Dinner was, of course, the traditional turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, yams, salad, rolls, gravy, wine combo that we have all come to know and love. Given the choice, I would take a green chili smothered burrito over turkey anyday, but I have come to terms with the traditional holiday fair and always enjoy my annual turkey meal.

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This site has Bulgarian Properties For Sale. I’ve featured islands for sale. I’ve featured castles for sale. But not Bulgarian properties. All of the homes in this link are being sold for less than $10,000US.

20 Lessons To Kick Start Your Cooking Skills – Lesson number 20 is a test so be sure you’re paying close attention

Just in time for the 4th are11 Tips for Sparkling Fireworks Photos. Firecracker photography may seem difficult, but follow some simple rules and you’re virtually guaranteed good results.

As an added bonus here is How to Photograph Fireworks. If the above link wasn’t enough for you, here is an additional article taking pictures of exploding gunpwder.

Deception Island (62°57’S, 60°38’W) is one of the most incredible islands on the planet. It is an active volcano in the South Shetland Islands, off the Antarctic Peninsula. Its unique landscape comprises barren volcanic slopes, steaming beaches and ash.

The Bacon Alarmclock: Last night I was watching the office and the boss on the show burt his foot making bacon in bed. Being the bacon lover I am, I though, “Wow. Wouldn’t that be nice? Bacon in bed? Yummm.” Well, this guy went ahead and made my dream a reality.

True Blue

On Friday after work I headed over to My Brother’s Bar to meet up with a few peeps. After a couple of beers I was able to talk everyone into going to my favorite secret bar. I’m not sure why I wanted to take everyone there, I guess because I don’t want to go by myself. When we arrived, G and I climbed the apartment stairs and knocked on the door. I could see the dim bar lights in the small gap of space between the door and it’s jamb. A high pitched woman’s voice screamed from the other side:
“What do you want?”
“We came for a beer.”
“We ain’t open.”
“OK. But we brought Mattie”
Silence.

So my plan was spoiled but I’m not surprised because, as everyone knows, secret bars are only open during weird hours. Anyway, I’m not gonna talk about my secret bar on this blog anymore for fear of other people finding out about it.

Somehow we ended up at the new Quixotes. I hadn’t been to its (semi) new location yet so it was worth checking out. The place was huge. There was free ping pong. We also got to check out a little bit of Great American Taxi. They were all right I guess, just really typical for a place like that. In the back of the place is this tape trading room/smoking lounge. The dude who worked back there was so creepy it was freaked me out a little. G didn’t want to go back there by herself. This guy refused to answer any question I gave him with more than one word, never left his computer station, and never greeted anyone who walked in. He would only engage in conversation (if you can call it that) if someone asked him a direct question. He was probably just too cool for everyone but it sure did come off sort of disturbing. It didn’t stop me from buying a live (Oct. 10th 2003) Ween CD off him though.