Monthly Archives: January 2014

Imagine that there’s something that you really love to do and really want to do. Now, imagine that this thing that you love and want to do is something that causes you pretty fucking intense amounts of pain, depression, anxiety and self-hatred. Now, imagine that you’ve spent years trying to find a way to make it not do that, and failed miserably, but keep trying, and in the process, you continue to cause yourself all the pain and misery described above. Now, imagine that you’ve gone to great pains to explain, not only just to the people who enjoy seeing you do that thing you do, but also to people who actually care about you as a person and, thus, appear to have some vested interest in your well-being, that this thing you love to do has hurt you and still hurts you so much when you try to do it, and that you’re still trying to find a way to not cause yourself pain while doing it, but that you can’t seem to find a way. Now, imagine all of these people asking you when you’re going to make another record with Floyd, Syd.

RIP Gray’s Papaya 8th Street

Story here.

Just over 25 years, I’ve eaten those hot dogs, on that corner (though there were the occasional road dogs), at all hours, with I don’t know how many different people, me in every condition imaginable (plenty of them not so good), and at times without enough money to pay for anything, and I do mean anything else.

December 30th, 1988. Yes, I actually remember the date of my first visit, because there was a Dead Boys show at The Ritz that night, Stiv Bators’ last time playing in New York if I’m not mistaken. Had the money to get in, had nowhere else to be. DIDN’T GO. I have a vague memory now, brought up after decades by today’s events, of the friend I had with me either getting bored, tired, or having to be home right as we got to Cooper Square. I also don’t think it totally registered with me that, after a couple of years of listening to Stiv at home, I could’ve walked a few blocks and SEEN Stiv, or I might’ve fought harder for it, but I think my friend had just about had it, so it probably would’ve been a tough sell. I’ll beat myself up a little less now that I remember that much, but missing that show is still a Top 5 regret in a life full of ’em, plenty of which I probably should regret more than missing the show. I’m getting ahead of myself, though.

My recollection of things is that Gray’s Papaya was the first place my friend and I went, the very first time we got off the E train at West 4th without anything even remotely resembling adult supervision. Two 14 year old wanna-be punk rock kids from Jersey. Didn’t know shit. I still don’t (lost track of him), but you can imagine. We were hungry from the trip up, and 50 cent hot dogs seemed like the best idea anyone ever had. (That part, we did have figured out.) Had our dogs there (went with kraut on mine, as I usually did; don’t remember what I drank), then went to Venus Records, It’s Only Rock N’ Roll, Revolver, Postermat (Loved that place; met girls there, lied about our age…), Psychedelic Solution and like a billion different head shops, just looking at everything: records, t-shirts, postcards, jewelry, drug paraphernalia for drugs we didn’t do yet, you name it. Noticed the outside of Electric Lady for the first time. (Still never been inside.) Saw the 8th Street Playhouse for the first time, but never ended up there (not quite a Dead Boys-level regret, but it still sucks). Think I bought some stuff but I’ll be damned if I can remember what. I just remember taking my time and looking at everything really closely, because I’d been to that part of town before with an older friend, but never in a situation where I wasn’t following their (admittedly pretty cool, and still hugely influential) agenda. For the first time, I could just roam. Obviously I didn’t roam very far at all, but that’s hardly the point, is it?

A few of the head shops may still be around dating back to that time (those stores can be a blur because their stock’s so similar and they were so close together, so it’s hard to say) and while I didn’t go in, Electric Lady’s still there, but with the closing of Gray’s, every other place I went into on 8th Street that day is gone. I mean, everybody has those stories past a certain age or a certain time in a city’s lifespan. I’ve seen more places close in New York in general and the Village in particular than I can even remember anymore. This one’s quite possibly the toughest, though, because to the best of my knowledge, trivial as it may seem to some, having a couple of dogs at Gray’s Papaya was one of the earliest decisions I made in what became my adult life, and for so long, more than half my life now, the place was just there for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll definitely put the effort into visiting the uptown Gray’s now that it’s the only one (never been a Papaya King guy for some reason), but it will be an effort. The 70s have never been my usual part of town. Maybe I’ll try to roam some more when I get up there like I used to, though the New York I find when I roam anywhere in town these days is very different to the one I just described.

So yes, for those of you keeping score at home, the closing of a hot dog stand did make me cry today.

Merry Christmas To Me

In today’s mail…

tomorrowsheretodayrecordaside

I adore this band.

Since I’ve posted it every other goddamn place on Earth…

Here’s me doing Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” with the Punk Rock/Heavy Metal Karaoke band at Irving Plaza in New York on New Year’s Eve.

Where the fuck were Harold & Kumar going in that movie, anyway?

Though someone on Reddit probably did this years ago, to the best of my ability to figure it out, here’s the travel route in Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle (warning: there be spoilers):

Starting in Hoboken, at condos that look like some of the high-rises on the end of Bloomfield St. near the train tracks, they head to New Brunswick on the Turnpike (exit 14C to at either Exit 9 or 11, depending on which variable in the next step they chose).

They go to the either the Edison White Castle on Rt. 1 (getting off the Turnpike at 11 and heading west through Woodbridge to 1 South) or the New Brunswick White Castle on Rt. 27 (Turnpike exit 9 to 18 North into New Brunswick, French St./Rt. 27 exit). Note that both of these White Castle locations are actually still there, and neither were closed at the time of shooting. The White Castle in question looks more like the Edison one, but they said it was the New Brunswick one. This is the one interchangeable set of variables in the movie.

Let’s just go with Rt. 1 in Edison, which they may have been stoned enough to think was in New Brunswick, though the New Brunswick one on Rt. 27 would also point them in the right direction and work fine as a direct, if scenic route to Princeton. So, from the former (-ish) White Castle, after getting directions from Pookie’s friend, they go to Princeton University, hit the party, try to buy weed and get chased by the police for the first time before leaving.

From Princeton, headed back toward the Turnpike (Exit 8, East Windsor) with the intention of going to Cherry Hill (Exit 4), they get on Rt. 33 East, run into Rosenberg and Goldstein for the first time (who are suddenly mobile, not as stoned and heading to Princeton) then Harold gets bitten by the raccoon, so they overshoot the exit and drive to Centra State Medical Center in Freehold (they show the sign when they get there), since Kumar knows his way around it a little bit and his dad/brother work there.

Leaving there, between Freehold and exit 8 on the Turnpike (East Windsor, travelling back the way they came), see Maria (another Hoboken resident suddenly in western Monmouth County) and end up in the ditch that Freakshow picks them up in (probably in Englishtown on 33, just outside of Freehold).

After they’re back on the road, they find NPH hitchhiking on 33, right around Monroe. Perhaps owing to an off-camera conversation between the guys and NPH after they pick him up or just due to distraction, they overshoot exit 8 again and end up at a gas station in Princeton where NPH steals Harold’s car, and they encounter the cop. This is why, when they get to the police station, Bradley the “business hippy” from Princeton is in the station they’re taken to.

After escaping the police station, not far from there, they encounter the cheetah (which probably escaped from either Six Flags Great Adventure or one of the wildlife preserves near there in Jackson). As cheetahs can cover great distances in a short time, they probably hauled ass heading south and eventually parallel to Rt. 295 in Hamilton (which stands to reason if the cheetah just wanted to go home; from where it lost H&K, it could’ve made a left onto 195 East in Hamilton and taken that back to Jackson).

After the cheetah loses them in Hamilton, not too far from Princeton, they see Rosenberg, Goldstein and Cindy Kim eating hot dogs, and for the 3rd time in one night, the EXTREME guys (They were also outside the condos and at the gas station in Princeton; must’ve been SOME fucking party at Princeton that night if virtually everyone in Hoboken ended up there!). They then steal the EXTREME guys’ 4 x 4, travel down 295 to Cherry Hill before ditching the truck and hanggliding off some hill in the area (someone more familiar with the topography in the area may have an idea of where this’d be feasible), finally ending up at the mythical Cherry Hill White Castle (which they also could’ve gotten to, via Pookie’s friend’s directions, by taking 1 South to 295 South).

NPH gives them back their car at White Castle, they hop back on the Turnpike at exit 4 or so as stated earlier, and it’s smooth sailing back to Hoboken.

~Fin

No visual aid here, but does this sound about right?

And no, I don’t know where the portal from Hamilton, NJ to Hamilton, ON is (there’s a Shoppers Drug Mart in the Hamilton scene, and those are a Canadian concern, of course), but if anyone finds it, please let me know. It’d cut my drive to Toronto by a bunch and help me skip the border crossing.

P.S. here’s a list of every real White Castle location (snagged from White Castle’s web site) that’s geographically closer to Harold & Kumar’s home town of Hoboken, NJ than Cherry Hill, NJ is (86.2 miles, if you’re curious). 3 of these locations (Morganville, NJ, East Brunswick, NJ, which is still being built, and Rahway, NJ, which may not have been completed yet) were not open at the time the movie was filmed, but they still had plenty of options. Yes, even the Whitehall, PA location, if it existed in 2003-2004, is 86.1 miles to Cherry Hill’s 86.2 miles. There actually isn’t a White Castle in Cherry Hill, if you missed that, so we’re going strictly town-to-town with that driving distance, but…

New Jersey:

600 Westfield Ave.
Intersection of Westfield Ave. @ Elmora Ave.
Elizabeth NJ, 07208
(908) 352-7170
Online Ordering

1341 Main Ave.
Intersection of Main Ave. near Piaget
Clifton NJ, 07011
(973) 772-0335
Online Ordering

9271 Kennedy Blvd.
Intersection of Kennedy Blvd. @ Bergenline
North Bergen NJ, 07047
(201) 869-3477
Online Ordering

467 Central Ave.
Intersection of Central Ave. @ Scotland Rd.
Orange NJ, 07050
(973) 673-7991
Online Ordering

2995 Kennedy Blvd.
Intersection of Kennedy Blvd. @ Newark Ave.
Jersey City NJ, 07306
(201) 792-3645
Online Ordering

987 U.S. Hwy. 9
Intersection of Highway 9 near Ernston Rd.
South Amboy NJ, 08879
(732) 721-3565
New Castle
Online Ordering

8 LaFayette Rd.
Intersection of No. 8 Lafayette Rd. @ U.S. Route 1
Metuchen NJ, 08840
(732) 548-5953
Online Ordering

2458 Rte. 22
Intersection of Route 22 @ Springfield Ave.
Union NJ, 07083
(908) 964-0745
Online Ordering

37 State Rte. 17
Intersection of S.R. 17 near Cleveland
Hasbrouck Hts. NJ, 07604
(201) 288-6835
Online Ordering

247 Hwy. 35N
Intersection of S.R. 35 near Monmouth Mall
Eatontown NJ, 07724
(732) 389-1709
Online Ordering

366-68 U.S. Hwy. 22
Intersection of Rt. 22 @ King George Rd.
Green Brook NJ, 08812
(732) 356-8589
Online Ordering

5151 Stelton Rd.
Intersection of Stelton & Metlars
South Plainfield NJ, 07080
(732) 572-9324
Online Ordering

132 Rte. 37 E.
Intersection of Route 37 & Hooper
Toms River NJ, 08753
(732) 505-9463
Online Ordering

642-654 Broadway
Intersection of Broadway & Elwood Ave.
Newark NJ, 07104
(973) 485-3250
Online Ordering

480 Lyons Ave.
Intersection of Lyons Ave. & Cordier St.
Irvington NJ, 07111
(973) 282-0913
Online Ordering

680 Somerset St.
Intersection of Rt. 27 near Quentin Ave.
New Brunswick NJ, 08901
(732) 418-2233
Online Ordering

220 Broadway
Intersection of Broadway & Straight St.
Paterson NJ, 07501
(973) 345-8928
Online Ordering

2001 Edgar Rd.
Intersection of Rt. 1/9 & Park Ave.
Linden NJ, 07036
(908) 587-0632
Online Ordering

3810 Kennedy Blvd.
Intersection of 39th St. & Kennedy Blvd.
Union City NJ, 07087
(201) 867-6888
Online Ordering

310 Burgen Tpke.
Intersection of 310 Bergen Turnpike
Little Ferry NJ, 07643
(201) 641-7552
Online Ordering

2151 U.S. Hwy. 9
Intersection of US 9 & West Farm Rd.
Howell NJ, 07731
(732) 462-5186
Online Ordering

1113 U.S. Hwy. 46
Intersection of 1113 Rt 46
Ledgewood NJ, 07852
(973) 927-3167
Online Ordering

951-957 S. Orange Ave.
Intersection of Orange Ave & S Clinton St
East Orange NJ, 07018
(973) 673-7207
Online Ordering

310 Mountain Avenue
Intersection of SR 57 / SR 182
Hackettstown NJ, 07840
(908) 813-8261
Online Ordering

1335-1341 South Ave.
Intersection of Terrill Rd & South Ave. ( Rt 28 )
Plainfield NJ, 07062
(908) 791-2804
Online Ordering

2077 Route 1
Rahway NJ, 07065
(732) 388-4601
Online Ordering

36 Rt. 9 N.
Morganville NJ, 07751
Now Hiring

1306 Rt. 22
Phillipsburg NJ, 08865
New Castle
Online Ordering

645 Highway 18
East Brunswick NJ, 08816
Under Construction

New York:

550 E. Fordham Rd.
Intersection of East Fordham Rd. @ Lorillard Pl.
Bronx NY, 10458
718-5845310
New Castle
Online Ordering

2701 Boston Rd.
Intersection of Boston Rd. @ Allerton Ave.
Bronx NY, 10467
718-2314978
Online Ordering

213-17 Northern Blvd.
Intersection of Northern Blvd. @ Bell Blvd.
Bayside NY, 11361
718-2247333
Online Ordering

490 Sunrise Hwy.
Intersection of Sunrise Hwy. @ Broadway On New York 27
Lynbrook L.I. NY, 11563
516-5938542
Online Ordering

88-08 Northern Blvd.
Intersection of Northern Blvd. @ 88th St.
Jackson Hts. NY, 11372
718-8998376
Online Ordering

19 Hempstead Tpke.
Intersection of Hempstead Tnpk. @ Front St. On New York 24
West Hempstead NY, 11552
516-4837468
Online Ordering

89-03 57th Ave.
Intersection of 57th Ave. @ Queens Blvd.
Elmhurst NY, 11373
718-4260618
Online Ordering

846 Empire Blvd.
Intersection of Utica Ave. @ East New York Ave & Empire
Brooklyn NY, 11213
718-7563377
Online Ordering

43-02 Queens Blvd.
Intersection of Queens Blvd. @ 43rd St.
Sunnyside NY, 11104
718-7862475
Online Ordering

3101 Atlantic Ave.
Intersection of Atlantic Ave. @ Highland Place
Brooklyn NY, 11208
718-8276057
Online Ordering

1677 Bruckner Blvd.
Intersection of Bruckner Blvd. near Sound View Ave.
Bronx NY, 10472
718-8934494
Online Ordering

1831 Webster Ave.
Intersection of Webster Between 175th & 176th St.
Bronx NY, 10457
718-2941205
Online Ordering

42-02 Fort Hamilton Pkwy.
Intersection of Fort Hamilton Parkway @ 42nd St.
Brooklyn NY, 11219
718-4387550
Online Ordering

6207 Sunrise Hwy.
Intersection of Sunrise Highway @ Willow St. On New York 27
Massapequa NY, 11758
(516) 799-4641
Online Ordering

540 Walt Whitman Rd.
Intersection of Route 110 near Amityville
Huntington Station NY, 11747
631-6733838
Online Ordering

2237 Jericho Tpke.
Intersection of Jericho Turnpike & County Line Rd.
Commack L.I. NY, 11725
631-4625931
Online Ordering

2201 Middle Country Rd.
Intersection of Middle Country Rd. & North Washington
Centereach NY, 11720
(631) 467-3147
Online Ordering

136 New York 59
Intersection of West Rt. 59 near Dykes Park Rd.
Nanuet NY, 10954
914-6234113
Online Ordering

900 Pennsylvania Ave.
Intersection of Pennsylvania Between Stanley & Wortman
Brooklyn NY, 11207
718-2721664
Online Ordering

781 Metropolitan Ave.
Intersection of Metropolitan Ave. & Humboldt St.
Brooklyn NY, 11211
718-5992206
Online Ordering

3663 Boston Rd.
Intersection of Boston Rd. & Ely St.
Bronx NY, 10466
718-2311347
Online Ordering

531 Myrtle Ave.
Intersection of NWC Myrtle Ave. & Steuban St.
Brooklyn NY, 11205
718-8578132
Online Ordering

112-11 Springfield Blvd.
Intersection of Sec-Springfield Blvd. & 112th Ave.
Queens Village NY, 11429
718-4648334
Online Ordering

959 Atlantic Ave.
Intersection of Atlantic Ave. & Grand Ave.
Brooklyn NY, 11238
718-7899654
Online Ordering

257 S. Broadway
Intersection of Broadway & Highland Ave.
Yonkers NY, 10705
914-3760247
Online Ordering

9808 Rockaway Blvd.
Intersection of Sec-Rockaway Blvd. & 98th St.
Ozone Park NY, 11417
718-6416870
Online Ordering

175-28 Hillside Ave.
Intersection of Sec-Hillside Ave. & 175th St.
Jamaica NY, 11432
718-6576470
Online Ordering

2900 E. Tremont Ave.
Intersection of Sec-Tremont Ave. & Dock St.
Bronx NY, 10461
718-7927659
Online Ordering

931 Westchester Ave.
Intersection of 931 Westchester Ave.
Bronx NY, 10459
718-5422101
Online Ordering

2221 Hylan Blvd.
Intersection of Hylan Blvd. & Lincoln Ave.
Staten Island NY, 10306
718-9802840
Online Ordering

2092-2094 7th Ave.
Intersection of W. 125th St. & 7th Ave.
New York NY, 10027
212-6663556
Online Ordering

351 E. 103rd St.
Intersection of 1st & 103rd
Manhattan NY, 10029
212-8766737
Online Ordering

786 Suffolk Ave.
Intersection of Suffolk Ave. & Washington Ave.
Brentwood NY, 11717
631-9510774
Online Ordering

525 8th Ave.
Intersection of 8th Ave Between 36th & 37th
Manhattan NY, 10018
212-7364746
Online Ordering

1545 Myrtle Ave.
Intersection of Myrtle Ave. Between Linden & Gates Ave.
Brooklyn NY, 11237
718-4187387
Online Ordering

265 Broad Hollow Rd.
Intersection of SR 110 & Allen Blvd.
Farmingdale NY, 11735
631-2491885
Online Ordering

1690 Deer Park Ave
Intersection of Deer Park & Monsignor Rooney St
Deer Park NY, 11729
631-2424380
Online Ordering

2238 Forest Ave.
Staten Island NY, 10303
718-816-1610
Online Ordering

Pennsylvania:

1280 MacArthur Road
Whitehall PA, 18052
610-433-1417
New Castle
Online Ordering