Our days are filled with running all over the city, dealing with clients, meeting with vendors, putting out fires and occasionally acting as marriage counselors. And because of this, we often forget to have lunch between the generally accepted hours of noon and three. As a result, we’re rewarded with options of junk. A dirty-water hot dog. A limp doughy slice. Good old-fashioned American fast food. Blech! We live in New York City, folks! There have to be some better options for worker bees who eat outside the generally accepted feeding times.Thankfully, we found one solution for “dunch” or “linner” and it’s at Back Forty West on the corner of Crosby and Prince. Between the hours of 3:00 and 5:00, BFW offers up a slightly abbreviated menu that beats the pants off of most other gray-area offerings in a 20 block radius. Currently, they have some admirable sandwiches on the menu…roast pork, smoked blue fish and a fantastically bloody grass-fed burger served up with hand-cut fries. Grab a seat at the bar, order up an afternoon cocktail (sometimes it’s required) and one of their locally sourced yummies, but you can also go in for a coffee and pastry at that time. Decisions, decisions. And with winter coming, you won’t want to miss that roaring fire they’ve got going on the 2nd floor. So go ahead and skip lunch today. You’ve got a standing reservation at Back Forty West.
In honor of old Columbus, we present an excerpt from the great and silly Ogden Nash:
Columbus said, Somebody show me the sunset and somebody did and he set sail for it,
And he discovered America and they put him in jail for it,
And the fetters gave him welts,
And they named America after somebody else,
So the sad fate of Columbus ought to be pointed out to every child and every voter,
Because it has a very important moral, which is,
Don’t be a discoverer, be a promoter.
Happy Friday! Continuing on with our car week theme, today we’d like to bring you an automotive public service message. Before you head out for the weekend, double-check to make sure the spare tire in your car trunk is filled with air. If it is not filled with air, it is not terribly useful.We also suggest that if you happen to get a flat tire at the entrance to the Verrazano Bridge ($15 to cross Staten Island!? WTF) that you determine the viability of this spare before you take the flat off and put the spare on. If you do not, there exists the possibility that when you jack the car down on to a flat spare tire you will feel stupid/frustrated/cosmically thwarted.And when you finally limp your way to your local quik-repair tire shop, take pains to arrive before the dude who shows up to get all four of his purple Nissan Altima’s tires changed out with all new phat rims. Or whatever those are called. If not, chances are you may be sitting there a while. But on the positive side, at least then you’ll have plenty of time to write a lame post for your website.
June 1st of 2014 will be an historic day in motorsport. 22 drivers from all over the world will line up on a grid and race 59 laps equaling 188.8 miles at speeds approaching 200 miles per hour and g forces pushing five in carbon fiber, open wheeled rockets with 800 horses under the lid and hundreds of millions tuning in for this earsplitting, malodorous and exhilarating spectacle. Where, you ask, will this be taking place? Right across the river, friends, in Weehawken, New Jersey. That’s right, Formula 1 is coming to New Jersey and our iconic skyline will serve as its back drop.Now, now, we know that going to a car race isn’t top-of-mind for most New Yorkers and is likely looked down on as a beer-swilling, gut-busting event that most of us will leave to folks to the up, the down or the over there. But, Hipsters, Dilettantes, Intellectuals…this is not NASCAR or sprint car racing….THIS is Formula 1. The pinnacle of money, sport, athleticism and technology wrapped up into nearly two dozen races all over the globe over the course of nine months. From Australia to Bahrain, Germany to Russia and now Brazil to Weehawken. I, for one, cannot wait! I’ve been to four or five of these truly amazing races and can tell you that you will never see cars and their drivers perform quite like they do in F1. The noise, the acceleration. The deceleration. The noise! The noise! The noise!But don’t take my word for it, allow yourself two hours and an open mind to check out the new film Rush from Ron Howard and his continually apt clan. Rush is a ’70′s romp of a story that will give you a little back story and history on this, the world’s second biggest sport and its legends. It’s the account of the rivalry between F1 greats Niki Lauda and James Hunt battling it out for the 1976 World Championship. One of two men clawing their way to the top via severely contrasting paths. It’s an incredible human portrait that digs to the very core of what drives us to succeed. A dude film for sure, Rush is well written, well shot, well directed, damn good and worth seeing. It’s full of thrill, obsession, drive, love, sex, cars, models and fiery crashes. If that’s not enough for you, my hands are in the air. But if it is, go spend the 11 bucks to see Rush and then I’ll meet you in Weehawken on June 1st where we’ll both spend way too much money to see the greatest show on earth. Sorry, Mr. Ringling, but you have been served.
Is there anything that ISN’T made better when sandwiched between a hot flakey buttermilk biscuit? It’s a universal truth, and one the folks at the Orchard Street sandwichery called Cheeky’s are down with. The sandwich artists at this tiny hole-in-the-wall shop slap a perfectly crispy fried chicken breast covered in crunchy, briny red cabbage slaw and luscious brown gravy in between a halved biscuit to make for a freakishly excellent breakfast, lunch, dinner or late night snack.It manages to scratch a deep itch in the soul you didn’t even know you had. It’s like a Southern fried hug. It’s the best sandwich we’ve had in a long time. We’re eager to try some of the other amazing looking sandwiches on offer at Cheeky’s but there’s really no way to not order the damn chicken and biscuit. It’s a culinary tractor beam and we are powerless to resist.
Webster defines scrappy as having an aggressive and determined spirit and there is no shortage example of scrappy in this week’s interview with this dude we’ll call Scrappy T. You see, Scrappy T grew up in the 70’s on Long Island with a hard-ass commercial fisherman for a father. He figured out early on how to have a little fun squarely in the grey areas of illegality and make some money doing it. While we here at On the Real can not, will not, dare not condone the activities mentioned in this rollicking hour of tales from the sort-of-dark side, we did have a devious chuckle or twelve with our buddy, Scrappy T. And in most of the words of the boys from Jackass, “ WARNING: The following show features stunts performed by professionals or under the supervision of professionals. Accordingly, On the Real and the producers must insist that no one attempt to recreate or re-enact any stunt activity performed on this show.” But, please do enjoy it.
Portrait of Scrappy T. by Craig LaCourt for On the Real.
The only reason you should be wearing that spandex outfit with advertisements printed on it on the New York City streets is if you are training for the Tour de France next year. Otherwise, you are a dipshit.
Don’t you dare give me a dirty look as you hurtle towards me going the wrong way down a one-way street. I’m in the right here, you have no moral authority.
Don’t you dare give me a dirty look or tell me I’m going the wrong way as I hurtle towards you going the wrong way down a one-way street. I know. I just have to get to that place on the corner so stop being such a tight ass.
To the food delivery guy downtown who manages to smoke while biking. Well done, sir.
To the a-hole who is texting while biking. While I know it’s wrong to wish you immediate bodily harm, just know that I am debating whether it is wrong to wish you immediate bodily harm.
To the delivery van driving 50 miles per hour down a side street and missing me by and inch. Come on, dude. I have kids.
To the pedestrian standing in the bike lane, kindly step 17 feet forward into the middle of the avenue. Cars and trucks will get the job done far more quickly and with less pain than a 148 pound hipster on a ’58 Raleigh will.
And, finally, to the new mom standing in the aforementioned bike lane with a newborn in a stroller…respect.
My dad is an aficionado of classic greasy spoons, and as sometime happens, some of the parental oddity has worn off on the son. I, too, delight in the simple pleasures of a bottomless cup of black coffee served in a lip-worn chipped mug while sitting counterside to some frying homefries. Back when I first moved to New York, there was a legendary joint I frequented called the Cheyenne Diner at 33rd Street and Ninth Avenue, right near my shitty apartment. Sadly, it has since closed but I’m always on the lookout for that kind of sensory experience.But I accidentally stumbled upon a gem the other day, unironically titled Cup and Saucer. It’s on Canal Street (no, seriously) over on the east side and I had high hopes from all the way across the street. Classic 50’s luncheonette period exterior? Check. Cramped seating, with bar stools? Check. The sounds of a mound of bacon sizzling rising over the din of regulars discussing today’s NY Post headline? Check, check, check.I got a seat at the counter and I asked the patron to my right (clearly a regular) what was good for lunch. Dude didn’t so much as take a breath: “Get the fish onna roll.” Done. One fish on a roll and cup of coffee, please. Five minutes later I was presented with crispy deep-fried cod on a hard Kaiser with lettuce, tomato, side of tartar, and French fries right out of the fryer. Simple, no fanfare. No garlic rémoulade. No port wine reduction. Not friggin’ organic. Just tasty food served well, and fast. My mug was never less than half full the entire time. I was happily vibrating with caffeine by the time I left, and dammit if I don’t have a new favorite greasy spoon in town.