Friday, September 16, 2011

Bulgarian Belligerence

Should you be wandering the Lower East side looking for some fun, may I recommend you turn down Ludlow and head into Mehanata. The outside looks dingy and run down - totally unsuspecting. Walking by, one would never guess the debauchery that dwells inside.

Mahanata is Manhattan's own Bulgarian bar - and I must say, those Bulgarians know how to get down. The bar itself is situated with wooden swings instead of bar stools. A sign above the bar reads "No shirt? Free shot!" and is indicative of the bar's hedonistic atmosphere.

A live band plays what I can only assume is some form of Bulgarian disco/techno and belly dancers provocatively shake their way around the dance floor. There are hookahs to smoke and characters to meet. But the true gem of this hedonistic hideaway awaits you downstairs.

Down a dark staircase you will find the ice room. There are silver statues of naked female bodices jetting out from every wall. A bartender outfits you with fur coats and Russian military garb and before you know it, you are handed a shot glass made of ice, and thrust into the sub zero ice room. From there you are given 2 minutes to down as many shots of vodka as is humanly possible. A bucket sits in the corner for those who don't fare so well. Sloppy good ol' fun ensues.

This experience is not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach, but if you're feeling adventuress - check it out! I hear the scene gets increasingly out there as the night goes on. Word is it's one of the best places to go to get laid in the city - so yeah, if that's the kind of fun you're looking for...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Don't huff the computer cleaner...unless it's fucking hilarious

So, I'm not sure if any of you have watched the A&E show "Intervention" but there's an episode about a girl named Allison who huffs computer cleaner. Although it is a very sad thing to be addicted to, it also happens to be quite hilarious to watch. You should watch the full episode if you can. Here's the funniest line in the show.

Never have I ever wanted someone to relapse so badly.

Sleep tight everyone, don't let the Allison bite.

Angry Runts -- L train edition

Nobody seemed to think about the already congested Bedford L platform when they built all those brand new (and very ugly) high rises along Williamsburg's waterfront. 'Cause, you know, adding tons of people to the neighborhood shouldn't require more trains! People don't need the subways in the morning, silly!

Every morning at about 9am, people scurry down the stairs to find tons of tired commuters standing in the thick heat, waiting only to watch it breeze by and honk loudly skipping our station and pissing off everyone. Then, 5 more minutes of waiting, and the monotone generic american woman voice announces "the L train is now arriving on the...the L train is now arriving on the...ladies and gentlemen the L, the L, the L train is now arriving on the Manhattan bound track." Get your shit together lady!! The train comes to a halt as people promptly squish into each other and push and shove to get in first like a Black Friday swarm of chubby American's surrounding Walmart, overly excited about Tickle Me Elmo's.

Thanks MTA!

After everybody pisses each other off, the doors close and the remaining sweaty limbs are pushed in and plastered against the glass, the train finally starts moving. By this time it's 9:15 -- IF you're lucky.
Tilting my head up in order to secure myself some mildly fresh air (sans B.O.), I notice that there's a suspicious amount of room towards the middle of the car. How come nobody moves the in?? Especially freakishly tall people whose asses press up against my cheek like a smelly pillow!
There seems to be a running trend of compiling near the doors, in fear of missing your stop. People, you will not miss your stop, MOVE IN.

Good Times!

This morning, when entering the train, a blond haired 20-something stepped in and stood right near the door -- effectively limiting the size of the entrance. People pushed through and around her like a herd of cows trying to moo through the tiny gates of their poop filled homes. Why? Why blond-haired 20-something, can you not just move in? Are you having a blonde moment? Do you think you're special or something? Are you assuming that because you're slightly petite, that you're body wouldn't pose any kind of problems for others? She travelled in the same spot all the way to 6th ave. Pretty much everyone leaves the train at 14th street anyway, so why was it necessary to stand near the door like that?

Blond-haired 20 something -- shame on you. If I see you again, I'm pushing you in.

And as for you, L train, I wish my morning commute didn't feel like travelling on a crowded bus through Pakistan.
Are we having fun yet?

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Meat we Eat

Watching the documentary "Forks Over Knives" got me thinking about the consequences of the food I eat. Don't get me wrong, I am not one of those Americans who is out gorging on fast food everyday. But I do like my take out. Yes I do. I was raised with a high awareness of "good" and "bad" foods, and when I cook I make sure that my produce is organic, fresh, and local if possible, and that my meat is humanely raised and hormone-free. But is this enough?

"Forks Over Knives" makes a compelling argument that these efforts are not enough. Showcasing the work of pioneering researchers Dr T. Collin Campell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, the film endorses a plant-based diet as the only way to assure healthy living. They link the ingestion of animal byproducts to degenerative diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. They even go so far as to show cases in which food is used as medicine, reversing degenerative diseases through diet alone. This part of the documentary, I found to be highly convincing.

The film gives a rich depiction of the social climates that led to the current animal-heavy diets of most Americans. From the horribly unbalanced food pyramids of late to the dairy industry's advertising propaganda, it is clear that our society's conception of what food to eat has gone terribly awry. In the 1950's a "good" wife's duty was to provide her family with a hearty well balanced meal. A way to a man's heart was through his stomach. Wonder bread, fluff and a glass of milk for the kids, steak and potatoes for the hubby. All in a days work. This clearly is not the way to go.

But is an animal-free, plant based diet the only answer? While the film argues yes, I have a hard time buying it. The studies highlighted in the film were all conducted on populations eating processed, factory raised meat. OF COURSE these meats are bad for you! Feeding growth hormones to developing children is NEVER a good idea. There is no doupt in my mind that the general population will benifit from eating more fresh produce in general. But what about good meat? Where is the study on grass fed beef and free range chicken? Show me a study that links organically raised, humanely butchered poultry to breast cancer and maybe I will reassess my perspective. I'm proud to say that I am a meat snob. And until facts surface that prove that my "good" meat is "bad", I will stick to my carnivorous ways -- thank you VERY much.