Wednesday, May 20, 2009

air conditioner tv restaurant

Tonight we went to Warren 77, Sean Avery's Tribeca bar/restaurant.

It was a delight.

We got there at about 7:45. It was a little busy. While a magical dream of a server made us up a table for four out of nothing at all, a stylishly rumpled brunette walked by us in the entryway, and smiled at my friend's talk of the Yankees game. In short order, she was joined by her bespectacled pallie, stunning in a t-shirt and jeans. Her pallie was Sean Avery. We're in the place 30 seconds and we're face to face with Sean Avery. Yes. Yes. Yes.

We were welcomed, seated and perusing the menu in less than two minutes. Our table enjoyed two of the signature cocktails, the Pimms Cup (Pimms, cucumbers, mint, ginger ale, duh) and the Red Velvet (champagne and berry puree), both very delicious and very reasonably priced at $12. A Coke was $3 (In a bar? In Manhattan? YES.) Gin & tonic was $8. Can't complain even a little.

TVs were tuned to the Yankees game, then the NBA playoffs (then Law & Order, inexplicably - Mr. King MSG shout out?). They were spinning what sounded like the soundtrack to "Stand By Me" for most of our time there, not terribly original, but completely enjoyable. Then they played Belle & Sebastian's "We Rule the School" followed by the Archies' "Sugar Sugar." Possibly broadcast from my iPod.

Anyway, we ordered several drinks, plus the mac and cheese ($14), grilled cheese with tomato soup ($9), a burger and fries ($14), and cookies ($7) to finish up. All completely delicious. I can speak more on the grilled cheese because I had it. Yum. The tomato soup was extra great - thick but light and very freshly tomatoey. The grilled cheese was crispy and cheesy and perfect for dipping. If you order a cheeseburger, they ask "cheddar or blue." Two cheeses, and one is blue? This is where I belong.

PS As I write this, Dollie is singing "Inigo Montoya, you killed my father" to the tune of "Kokomo." Please deliver me from evil.

So yeah, between the attention of our gorgeous (in that amazing fresh-faced pink-cheeked, dark haired, fair skinned Snow White way) server and the constant back and forth pacing of Sean Avery himself - who didn't come over and speak to us, but was definitely keeping an eye on all happenings - there was no lack of hospitality. We all felt comfortable and happy and eager to return for more.

PPS Dollie is singing "Karate, I love it" to the tune of "All Night Long." Yeah, really.

As for the atmosphere, there's sports stuff hanging up, but in a very non-obtrusive way - if you weren't looking, you wouldn't see the shot of Avery scoring on Brodeur behind the bar - and TVs are there if you're watching but easy to avoid. I don't know if it is the comfy darkness or authentic side-street atmosphere, but the place really reminded me of the Cooler (late of West 14th Street) - a ringing endorsement from me that may sound scary to those who prefer their Meat Packing to come with velvet ropes and table service rather than tranny hookers with stab wounds. (Long story.) Warren 77 is, of course, in a totally safe, um, upscale, area. It just doesn't feel like a sterile startup.

A note on the bathroom: I've never been to jail, but now I have peed like a detainee (in a pristinely clean, well-appointed prison.)

Warren 77, I give you five stars. I want to go again tomorrow.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

He's been rockin' these specs 8 days a week!

So Sean Avery made a scheduled appearance at the NHL store on Thursday to share his significant cosmopolitan experiences with Ron Duguay and Ken Daneyko on their radio show "Ice Breakers". At first I was thinking, "I don't need to see this in person, I haven't even taken a shower!" Changed my mind after they razzed him on-air about his glasses and booked it up to the store to see 4 eyes aka #16 in person. I was glad I did even though instead of having him sign my jersey (which I didn't bring) I stood around doing a serviceable imitation of Mark David Chapman (no guns, just creepiness). I hate it when that happens. At least I got to see the bespectacled Avery and his scar up close and personal. Is it just me or is Avery looking more like Morrissey every day? Please let him grow a full on pompadeur!

So, Sean invited everybody (including my creep self) to celebrate the opening of his bar downtown the next night - the ribbon cutting to be accompanied by the sublime guitar stylings of one Henrik Lundqvist. As hard to pass up as this sounds, J and I managed to pysch ourselves out that we would be awkward wallflowers if we could even get inside the space. Plus J and I have been spoiled by Mike Viola, who not only wrote us a song, but plays it at every show (see song 5 on list to left). What are the chances Henrik would serenade us? Unfortunately not good.
Turns out some of our trepidation was ill-founded. Instead of a swanky exclusive club, it's a candy colored grilled cheese emporium! With alcohol! Who'd have thunk? Avery is putting that sweet Dallas Stars money to good use! Perhaps we can get him to invest in Sugarshockama, our long sought sugar and kitsch boutique. At the very least I'm sure we'd all be BFFs. Gotta make it happen. Love that guy, so happy we have him for 3 more years.

Here's a video of Mike Viola performing "Dollie and Jane" 4/30 at Joe's Pub. I was a bit tipsy (not artsy), so this was filmed sideways. Oops...sounds great though!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

oddities and endings

You might think that I'd be rooting against the Capitals after they took my beloved Rangers out, after all that's a logical assumption. If so, you may have overlooked the prevailing theme of the peeps diorama, which is complete domination of the Peepitals over their weaker and uglier opponents, the Pittsburgh Poultry. Whatever resentment I might have held against Washington was over the minute they faced off against those PA punks. My dislike for Pittsburgh has only been compounded by the way this series has played out. Did you see Crosby complaining about Ovie's hat trick in game 2? When he made that NHL Channel promo earlier this season about how he couldn't fathom how the Penguins managed to win any games without him in the lineup I thought, "What a prick!" but watching this press conference I realized he's not a prick intentionally - just a complete tool! He doesn't even have enough personality or self-awareness to know he should either keep his whining private or rub everyone's face in it.  Whatever you think of Ovechkin at least he has an agenda, a point of view, some color. The Pens are like lifeless drones. I'll admit they work hard, but they expect results just because they showed up, like they're more deserving because they've been anointed by the NHL brass and the Canadian media. This is particularly apparent in the post game press conferences with their new creepy coach Dan Bylsma.  It's a giant media circle jerk. After game 3 I heard a reporter ask him, "When did you know that your team had the backbone and resiliency to overcome adversity as well as they have?" His answer was something obnoxious like, "The moment I stepped into the locker room as head coach." It made me throw up. Conversely Caps head coach Bruce Boudreau is a complete chubby delight. His (over)reaction to winning game 6 was cute and awesome. Well, hopefully the Pens can suck it in game 7 tomorrow. 

The Chicago Blackhawks have already moved on to the Western Conference finals. I've been rooting for them because I like them, and also I'm sick of smug ol' Roberto Luongo. I didn't get to see much of the Hawks during the regular season (save for the Winter classic and the Rangers 2 wins), so I didn't notice that their goal song is the Fratelli's "Chelsea Dagger" until the playoffs. It makes sense that this young team whose fans have only returned in the last 2 seasons have a celebration song only a couple of years old. I happen to love the song, but last night they not only played it after all 7 Blackhawk goals, but at the end of the game for the win.  A bit too much of a good thing for me - imagine if you hated the song? Jeez.

So the Blackhawks have this player called Dustin Byfuglien, and he's pretty awesome. His surname is pronounced "BUFF-lin", but I cannot help but think of it phonetically as "Ba-fugly-in"! Luckily Dustin is not fugly at all but like a beautiful grown baby with super sparkly eyes and tufts of unruly hair. Not only that but he's American which, while awesome, doesn't explain where he picked up that last name. Speaking of black players, who would have thunk that the Devils' Johnny Oduya was Swedish? I had no idea until he scored the game winning goal in the Bronze medal game (against the USA) at this year's World Championship.  I might have known if IKEA had any Oduya bookcases. Curses IKEA!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

another season bites the dust

This isn't the best angle, but trust me nearly every player on the Capitals not only shook Henrik's hand, but did the double touch - one hand on the belly, one on the shoulder. There were all a little in love with him. Man, who wouldn't be? Especially after he put in another wonderful performance in game 7. Unfortunately it wasn't enough, but he and the team did themselves proud with the type of grinding effort that was missing from most every Ranger in games 5 &6. We really needed all 3 efforts to be this strong because you can't always account for calls and bounces to go your way.

While the saddest part of losing is not seeing the boys for a few months, Avery took it upon himself to leave a lasting image. Is he interning at Cohen's Fashion Optical this summer? You know I love a man in specs and I'm even founder of these larger, less fashionable hornrims than the one he sported briefly in 2007. He kinda looks like a much hotter version of my dad circa 1963. I just can't get enough. Maybe they'll give academic Avery a guest spot corresponding for NHL on the Fly. God that would be good. And at least he's not a free agent this summer (i.e. don't go breaking my heart again Sather). Only good things until September and beyond.