Sometimes late at night when I'm trying to fall asleep with a creepy bulemic cat staring at me and a teddy bear that kind of smells, I dwell over life's great questions. When is the reincarnated Marlon Brando from 1953 going to pay me a visit naked? How am I ever going to rise above my inability to tie my shoes without resorting to special people Velcro sneakers? What is creepier than the last two blogger party sites at bordellos? Thanks to my love of random excursions and Karol's penchant for finding the sleaziest of sleaze, we can answer the last two questions. Old Navy has come out with a totally innovative sneaker that resembles Chuckies, but has some sort of built-in elastic that negates the need for laces. We have truly arrived at a golden age of sorts. Also, Karol
decided to take the blogger party concept a step lower and have it, in all places, in the thick of Wasteland, which is basically the eastern section of Chelsea, from 23rd St. to, say, 32nd west of 5th Avenue. It is a warzone of anorexic underage tramps passed out on the street clutching shattered bottles of Cuervo. It's overbuilt pseudo Italians with shirts that say, "Looking for poon. Any poon." It is the slums. But since this weird Swiss alpine ski lodge transplant was near a burger place I've been wanting to go to, I rounded up a posse of hesitant explorers, and we were on our way.
"Hi, Emma! I am almost naked."
As an intrepid bovine searcher/eater, I have recently taken it upon myself to visit the top 10 burgers in the city according to my Bible, the NY Post. The Post went down a few notches in my eyes by ignoring two of the best cows in the city - Rare and Corner Bistro - instead focusing on the overrated Burger Joint and the disgusting Blue 9. It was also a bit of a blow to realize that I had only been to TWO of the burger restaurants in question, so I obviously had to do something QUICKLY. Hence our trip to brgr. brgr is in one of my least favorite neighborhoods in the city, even ignoring the fact that it's on the periphery of Wasteland. That area around MSG and FIT is just not to our liking, but it could have been on Canal Street and/or a pile of feces, so we sucked it up.
It is not known why brgr does not feel the need to include vowels in its name. Perhaps it's because they realized that people would still know what they were selling if they just plastered consonants in the window, or maybe it's because they were intimidated by the aspiring fashionistas at FIT across the street and felt that pretentiousness was the way to go. Either way, Weenie Enema is a huge fan of the bovine at brgr, which is shipped daily from the Montana Beartooth Mountains. The bun was a bit too soft, but it cradled the animal nicely, and the meat was scrumptious, cooked medium rare with some tantalizing spices. I don't necessarily recommend seasoning cows beyond a dash of pepper, chiefly because not too many places know how to do it correctly and you don't want to stray too far from the essence of the bovine itself. brgr is one of three places I have been to that understand how to strike an appropriate balance of spice and animal, the others being Ulysses on Stone St., aka Bovine Row, and Giggles on W. 40th St.
Does anyone want to go on a trip to the Beartooth Mountains? I'm packing light, probably just a fork and knife.
Since my posse is full of ridiculous WEENIES, I was the only person who ordered a REAL burger, the others caving into the PETA propaganda and getting veggie burgers or some non-cow alternative. Disgusting. If you're into lameness like that, everyone gave the FAKE ANIMALS rave reviews. Interpret that however you wish. With the tablesetter being the 10/10 Rare burger, brgr gets a solid 9.0. It's overpriced at $6.50, since you only get about 6 ounces of quality cow, but it's worth trying at least once.
The fun had to segue into work, so we made our way down the street with partially digested goodness in our bellies to Gstaad
, which I thought sounded like a venereal disease you would contract from Jean-Claude Van Damne, but nobody else thought so. Remembering the whole 'bloggers need to be fashionably late to make up for being social enigmas' rule, we strolled in about half an hour after the scheduled start time, which was STILL too early. Unreal. Next time, we're going, like, the next day. Since the place was still almost deserted, we had the benefit of being able to see the entire venue without being impeded by the cattle (not to be confused with what I had just eaten) that usually represent Wasteland and its debauchery. Without a doubt, the most amazing aspect of Gstaad were the bathroom sinks, which were basically diagonal slabs of rock that streamed down into a drain. It looked like something Dr. Quinn would have used in Colorado Springs before the miracle of modern-day plumbing made its belated appearance in the West. I went to the bathroom three or four times to play with the sink, which also reminded me of the weird, new age fountains at the Nature Company.
The rampant and rather out of character socializing that has become a trademark of sorts at blogger shindigs for us was noticably lacking, in part because two or three of the posse members had never been to a blog party before and were cowering in a corner, furtively looking around the room behind their sour Midoris. (ALLY!) However, I did manage to get into a quasi-fight with the DJ, who was a total clithead, looked like Rick Moranis on steroids and legit SNEERED at me when I requested the Spice Girls. I tried to compromise, suggesting a little bit of Ace of Base. That too was rebuffed. Finally, I said, "Can I just look through the CDs here to see what you have?" He pushed his glasses further up his nose and narrowed his eyes. "NO. That's proprietary." I asked every person I met subsequent to this encounter what "proprietary" meant. No one knew. I decided it meant that if Rick Moranis started working out and had a collection of CDs in Wasteland, he would not let me look at them because I would find something worse than Ace of Base, like Jimmy Ray or All Saints.
"The Spice Girls? How LAME."
In terms of actual bloggers, a Jay Mohr/Henry Thomas from ET hybrid with the voice of Adam Sandler showed up with his chum
, who I think was the Korean guy from Heroes. It was not apparent if they were plugging a JOINT blog, or if only one of them was the blog proprieter and the other was loyally assisting. Sort of like the five girls in the corner glaring at all the bloggers. Ahem. Three random people stopped by our corner headquarters to squeal, "I love your blog!" but I have no idea if a) they knew who I was, or, more likely, b) were saying that to everyone. I suppose it's like walking into a random NYC bar and yelling, "I'm a bandwagon Yankee fan too!" Sure, not everyone in the bar is going to be one, but you're going to be right more often than not. Our great blogger chum Judith
showed up and made me sip her old person drink. She rattled off a very impressive list of alcoholic beverages that constituted the mixture, but it tasted like a pinecone, so I'm going to assume pouring Vermouth on a random piece of a forest will net you pretty much the same result.
As soon as I drank it, I said, "Judith, when I write the recap of this party, I'm including a picture of a pinecone." I am nothing if not an Emma of my word.
We also managed to find our badminton partner Peter
, who does not have a blog, so I will just link to a picture of a pug. Also, Dawn Summers
, sister of Buffy, was within earshot long enough for me to regale her with tales of Bette Midler singing an off-key rendition of "Wind Beneath My Wings: Ode to Dying Barbara Hershey" on Idol. By this point, Drunk Erin had managed to infuriate every blogger within hearing (Blogger: So do you have a blog? Drunk Erin: No. I'm here for the voddy. Blogger: Um...so you're one of those people who think they're too cool to blog? Drunk Erin: Correct.) and it seemed like a good idea to get Michelle out of the bar, since after her second drink she had to decided to amuse herself by pointing at women with white pants and screaming, "Slut!" So we left. It is not known how many of the white pants-wearing women were actually sluts, but since we were in Wasteland, I'd say Michelle was right on.