Monday, August 21, 2017

Flashback: The Second Weekend In November, 2016

Back in the middle of September, last year, we took a break from blogging until March, 2017. We didn't stop adventuring. Far from it! We just took a break from blogging as we were so busy during that time. Since then, we posted five "flashback" posts that covered the remainder of September, all of October and the first weekend in November. We have many more flashback posts to go as we share our adventures from "the missing weeks". This post covers the second weekend in November.

The third week in November was a three day weekend, courtesy of a Friday Veterans Day. Without any sales of interest, we planned a trip to the city. For those of us in downstate New York understand, "the city" does not mean Queens, Bronx, Brooklyn or Staten Island. The city is Manhattan, plain and simple, and we really don't call it Manhattan. It is simply "the city". 

We hadn't been to the city in many years so we were looking forward to it. Getting off the train at Penn Station, climbing up the stairs and reaching the street level meant a fine view of the Empire State Building.

No cabs and no buses for us. It was a beautiful day and we were going to walk to everywhere we wanted to go. Walking north on 8th Avenue, we stopped to pay homage to Ralph Kramden. This statue stands outside the Port Authority Bus Terminal on 8th Avenue and West 41st Street. Sorry, Ralph. We have not changed our minds. No bus for us today.

We had hoped to get pastrami sandwiches at Carnegie Deli. This iconic deli first opened in 1937. Rob had last eaten here in the early 1980's and Monica had never been here. The deli was closing its doors for good by the end of 2016 and the demand for one last visit here was tremendous. The wait was two hours. We had to leave without getting any pastrami.

Our next stop was at the 21 Club on West 52nd Street to go see the jockeys.

Here's a better picture of the jockey statues.

We headed back downtown where we stopped to meet the Statue of Liberty in Times Square.

We wound up having lunch/early dinner at the Trailer Park Lounge on West 23rd Street. 

The very busy looking neon sign.

Here are a couple of pictures of the bar area which is filled with lots of tacky signs, pink flamingos, Elvis, etc.

Here is a picture looking down the length of the lounge. The side of an old Shast trailer is built in the wall on the left side of the picture. 

There is a hula girl next to the bar.

Vintage bowling was the theme of the waiting area.

More bowling memorabilia including a Don Carter clock and a bowling pin lamp! 

The lobby by the bathroom has a cigarette machine, an Aqua Net dispenser and a pocket comb dispenser.

This was a really fun place to eat. Maybe we will have to return on a Wednesday night to see one of the Elvis impersonators! 

We continued to head further downtown until we wound up outside Washington Square Park and heard a commotion. We decided to investigate. 

A sizeable, but peaceful, anti-Trump rally was underway.

The Astor Place Cube (east Greenwich Village) was back after a two-year hiatus for repair. The fence around it will be removed soon and we can spin it again just like in the old days! 

A Zoltar machine on St. Marks Place and 2nd Avenue (East Greenwich Village)! We did not wish to be big, though.

Block Drug Store on 2nd Avenue. It first opened in 1885. We love the neon sign! 

We stopped at Economy Candy for some old fashioned candy. It has been on Rivington Street (the lower east side) since 1937.

Monica found a giant Dum Dum lollipop! It did not come home with us but Monica got a half pound of shoestring candy and Rob got a half pound of fruit slice candy.

We were now heading north again and stopped at John Varvatos. No, John Varvatos really had no interest for us other than for what this building once was. 315 Bowery. This was where CBGB's was.

Inside the store, they left several sections of the old CBGB's wall intact. Rob touched that wall for the first time in many, many years. 

It started to get dark and it was time to stop in for a drink at Otto's Shrunken Head on East 14th Street (East Greenwich Village). 

There was a giant tiki inside the door to great us (and a picture of Beastie Boy's late MCA behind the tiki)

A tiki drink for each of us. "Otto's Shrunken Head" and "Suffering Bastard". We were allowed to buy the mugs and take them home...and we did! 

There are lots of different types of tiki mugs available.

More of the decor at Otto's.

We made a new bartender friend, Tracy, and we know we will be back! 

On our walk back to Penn Station, we ran into about 200 Irishmen (born in Ireland) rallying, i.e. - singing and drinking, ahead of the next night's UFC Championship featuring Ireland's own Conor McGregor! 

When we got home, we were so exhausted that we fell asleep within fifteen minutes of walking inside the door. We still had two more days of weekend to go! 

On Saturday morning, we both woke up a little sore. That was to be expected. We walked twelve miles on concrete the day before. yes, we were sore but not too sore to go saling. There were a few sales of interest and we would try to go to as many as we could before running out of steam. Our spirit showed greater willingness than our bodies and, luckily, our spirit won out. Off we went...with a subpar camera. It would be a good time to mention that Rob's camera broke the week before and we would be using a mediocre camera for a few weeks. In any case, once again, off we went!

Our first sale was described as "Hoarders paradise" with "vintage and mid-century modern" items. That was the good part. The bad part was that this was the second day of this sale and we did not know what would be left.

Flip Wilson, trapped on the cover of a game, was there to greet us. We said hello but he did not come home with us.

The basement had a cool, old highchair. We were surprised that it was still there. It is not something we can use but we appreciated seeing it.

The bathroom had many of its original blue design intact. We always like seeing things like this!

The kitchen was largely untouched, too! The knotty pine cabinets, the countertop and the area around the stove were definitely original to this house. Although we didn't find a lot here, we enjoyed the house and did not leave completely empty-handed. We left with some books, a baseball bobblehead, a tiki mug and an old ukulele.

After getting some breakfast, we went to sale #2 which was the estate sale of a professor and his wife. It was run by a tag sale company that we did not know. The pictures of the sale looked like it might have some potential.

Not long after arriving, we spied this mounted pencil sharpener. We were hoping it was a good sign! 

The basement had a cool bar and Monica was happy to search it thoroughly. Although there were many rooms, there was not a lot of digging. We found a few things to our liking. We were the proud new owners of some books, some records, some vintage greeting cards and a few other things.

We had one more sale on our list and we made it. It was described as an indoor/outdoor estate sale with "holiday ornaments and decorations". It was run by the family of the deceased and the best thing we found was a pair of knee hugger elves but, once in our hands, we were told that they were not for sale and that they had been looking for them as they had some sentimental value and must have been put out by someone who was in a rush. Although we would have liked to have them, we felt that the family was being sincere and we were glad that we were able to help them find these elves. We did find a set of salt and pepper shakers that, evidently, held no sentimental value whatsoever. They came home with us.

Here is what we found that Saturday:

A pair of records

Some books

Some more books

Vintage Valentine's Day cards

Vintage Christmas cards

A vintage birthday card

A vintage Father's Day card

A souvenir Hawaiian wallet and an old Archie Andrews press card

An old ukulele

The ukulele is a Roy Smeck ukulele! 

A tiki mug, a baseball bobblehead and a pair of salt and pepper shakers.

Saturday evening came and we, for the most pert rested. We enjoyed the resting part so much that we continued it on Sunday though we did break from resting to do laundry, go food shopping and a few chores.

It was a fun weekend filled with adventures and time spent together and we could never ask for more. We could never want more than that! 


  1. It is always a guarantee good when you find a pencil sharpener in the basement. That Uke was a great find. Looks in good condition. I am always happy that you two have each other.

    1. Thanks, Granny Annie! Those pencil sharpeners don't lie! We're happy we have each other, too! (Robby)

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this lovely and enjoyable tour! I enjoyed seeing the store fronts and everything else, including the vintage items!

    1. Thank you, Linda! We are glad you enjoyed it! It was a fun day and a fun weekend! (Rob)

  3. ...dumb question, I'm sure...

    1. Hi svelteSTUFF! There's no such thing as a dump question! CBGB's is the iconic NYC music club that was open from 1973 through 2006. It is most famous for being the birthplace of punk rock and new wave in NYC. Bands like Ramones, Talking Heads, Blondie, Patti Smith are strongly associated with this club as were many hardcore punk bands and I was there in the early 1980's a lot. (Rob)