Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Little branch has big flavor

"Recalling certain gentlemen of other days, who made of drinking one of the pleasures of life - not one of its evils; and who whatever they drank, proved able to carry it, keep their heads, and remain gentlemen, even in their cups. Their example is commended to their posterity." - abridged from The Old Waldorf Astoria Bar Book by A.S. Crockett

The above is the bulk of the text from the menu at NYiR's favorite fancy cocktail bar, Little Branch. Nice website right? It matches the other eye-catching aspects of this look-at-me bar. Namely, there's no sign (just a plaque that looks like it belongs outside your dentist) and that it's just a black door on a random street corner (featured above). If you can find it though you descend into a cozy, upscale parlor with sometimes live sometimes good old recordings of jazz and the best cocktails in Manhattan.

The bartenders are impeccably dressed and are excellent at what they do. Avoid the menu and just play Mad Libs. For example, "Hello there [name of impeccably dressed individual]. I would like to order a [liqour] based cocktail that features [your favorite color, season, sports team, whatever you want]." They will nod and a few minutes later produce heaven in a glass. I went for scotch and "something minty or spring-like" the other night and received a scotch-ade which was a mint, cucumber, scotch concoction that would best be served on a cool day in May.

I admit that the deliciousness comes at a price. $12. But it's the sort of alcoholic beverage that is worth $12. I recommend going here before going out for a night, on the early side, with a small number of people or just one friend. It's that cozy and precious. Like you. And Knut the polar bear.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Weekend Snapshot

Thanks to Patrick Groneman for taking this snapshot of a sign that probably could be on any piece of realty anywhere in New York City. I bet the realtor still charges a 342598495% fee for this place.

Good shot Patrick Groneman! We remember when you were just a Patrick Growingupboy.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

It sounds like White Castle and it's equally magical

Dear Queens,

Sorry we ignore you so often on this blog. But let's face it, until recently all you had was the Beer Garden and even that was so-so. However, now that you're home to Spa Castle we will never ignore you again. We will visit you allll the time. Because Spa Castle is awesome. So now we'll blog about you again soon, promise. With our fingers crossed.


Yes it is far away. It's at the end of the 7 line on the subway. And then you walk for a bit. Then a shuttle bus picks you up and you begin to wonder if you are being taken to where the sidewalk ends. Right when you're about to hit that point you turn a corner and your heart starts racing like a kid going to somewhere kids love going to (candy stores? do kids still like candy?). You have arrived at Spa Castle. You check in and get a watch that you can now scan in exchange for food, a massage, a foot rub, whatever. So easy!

Then comes a bit of a scary part: the locker room. I guess Queens is a very liberated land because people looooove walking around with their parts out. There was one guy that was there the other day who was showing off his Bigfoot hairy body when I arrived. When I was done for the day he was still there walking around with that thing just hanging out. Put on a towel man! You look like Harry from Harry and the Hendersons! However, here's the nice addition to the locker room:

Not bad right? They have these heated pools on both the men's and the women's side.

Ok, now you've braved Chewbacca and had a quiet dip in the pool. Head upstairs for the steam room and sauna level:

Nice right? Much nicer than any other steam rooms I've been in while living in New York City. Check out this light therapy steam room:
Yeah that's some Dark Side of the Moon shit right there. So you've been sweating a lot, why not head to the next floor for some pool time? You walk up and then the most magical part of the whole experience arises:
Start with the hinoki tub. It's jets will get you all relaxed before you go into the bade pool (listen, I didn't name this stuff, "bade" is clearly "hit you with water real hard" in Korean). Each little nook of these pools has touch activated jets that will come on and shoot directly into a different part of your body. One nook is designed to shoot jets that massage your feet and legs, another your back, another your neck and shoulders. A personal favorite is the one that you stand under and it just shoots water onto your head like a waterfall.

At the end of your pool time make sure you grab some of their delicious food. Man, I'm getting antsy and hungry just thinking about all this. F it, I'm going there now. See you all next week. I'm gonna chill with Chewbacca in the hot tub now.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Bath houses are great for morning afters

The best cure for a hangover in NYC has got to be the bathes. Be they Russian, Turkish, or Jewish (yes, Jewish) the best thing to do for yourself is get a bloody mary from the SoHo Grand and once refueled go sweat out every bad decision you made the night before.

My personal Manhattan-based favs are the Wall St Bath & Spa and the Russian and Turkish Baths. Let's explore:

Wall St Bath & Spa is the sorta place you can take that girl/guy/vacuum cleaner that ended up in your bed last night to smooth the transition into the daylight hours and see if she/he/it is at all interesting/interested in you. Bring a magazine and plan on staying for hours and hours because all you'll do is want to go back and forth from the steam rooms to the jacuzzi/pool area. Sounds nice right? If you're a cigar enthusiast I highly recommend the smoking lounge where you can feel totally ludicrous sitting in the fancy leather chairs while wearing your swim trunks.

The Russian and Turkish Baths are a little more...hardcore. I imagine that's where the above Abu Ghraibesque photo was taken. There's no luxurious jacuzzi tub, just the cold dip pool you can pop into between steam rooms which makes you have past-life flashbacks of when you were a penguin and all your other penguin friends knocked you off of the ice and into the water. Still it's somehow a nice thing to do in between sweats.

Then there's the guys that walk around and offer to beat you (hello Chris Brown, job opportunity!!!). As their website states, "
Lie down while in the Russian Room and a platza specialist will scrub you (actually beat you) with a broom made of fresh oak leaves, sopping with olive oil soap. The oak leaves contain a natural astringent, which will open your pours, remove toxins, and actually take off layers of dead skin. Some described the platza as 'Jewish acupuncture.'" I won't touch that last line it's too good already.

My friend Dave got a treat one time while at the Russian and Turkish Baths. While changing in the locker room a man came up to him and offered a sample massage. Dave took him up on that that point I had to leave because of the noises he was making. That and the fact that I was giggling. That guy definitely did not work there Dave. But hey, a massage is a massage right? Guy time!

photo courtesy of TimeOut New York

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sperm spa treatments

This week we have decided to devote all three posts entirely to spas. Spa Week!

Now everyone knows that New York is Ridiculous loves seamen so but apparently at Townhouse Spa you can receive a facial that is not unlike every pornographic movie ever. According to New York Magazine spermine, an anti-oxident found in human sperm, has been proven to smooth out your wrinkles. So you can go to the Townhouse Spa and ask for a spermine facial. Oh yes. A spermine facial. It will cost you $250.

I went to their website but could not find which facial included the semen extract being rubbed all over your face. As a result I am going to guess it is the "Townhouse Glow Facial." Because after you receive it your face will glow. Under a blacklight. And because they finish with a "hydrating hand treatment." Who's hands and what are they treating? Anyone's guess. For my part I'll just stick to Townhouse's $175 snail-secretion facial. That's more my level of kink.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Everyone reads on the subway!

'Nuff said. Unless you love statistics in which case click here to learn allll about how the New York Times polled their readership and found out that the number one newspaper New York Times subscribers read on the subway is

(drum roll please)

...the New York Times. Ta-daaaaa

Monday, September 14, 2009

Anna Wintour will run for mayor

Over 700 clothing stores, designers, and hot dog vendors stayed open late last Thursday to celebrate Fashions Night Out, a new brainstorm from the lady who secretly runs this city, Fro Yo. Oh, sorry, I mean Anna Wintour. Most to all of these stores had free alcoholic treats for fashion-lovers and mooches such as myself. Because of the free booze and super mega sales it attracted massive crowds (see my official Fashions Night Out pic above).

According to the NY Daily Post good ol' Anna Wintour had Cynthia Rowley making jell-o shots and Oscar de la Renta singing to crowds in his own store all because she has Mayor Bloomberg by the balls. While he wanted to say "no" to this take over the city event he knew he would be run out of NYC. By me. Because I love going door to door like a 26-year-old trick-or-treater getting free booze. While waiting for the tardy twelve-term mayor Wintour was overhead saying, "“If he doesn't show, Diane [von Furstenberg] and I will run for mayor on a joint ticket and take over the city.”

If that means people getting all decked out in fashion's finest and turning all clothing stores into free champagne-flooded clubs she has NYiR's official endorsement.

In other news I'm on vacay so don't be bummed if I don't post 32534957 times this week. I'll be back next week. See you after I climb Mt. Awesome and ask the old man at the top why New York is so ridic. He'll probs be like, "Cause your blog reports it and thus it becomes reality" or some shiz.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Weekend snapshot

Hear that Dave Perrin? You leave your kid alone and he gets to become a real New Yorker. New Yorkers love espresso and puppies.

Thanks to Lyss Babcock for the picture above, submitted via our facebook page. Lyss, you're officially our number 2 fan (we're our own number 1 fan, sorry). Also, sorry to hear about your unfortunate last name. We still love you though.

If it makes you feel better Vinny "The Bunny" Balducci's real last name is Eatpenis.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Love traffic? Go to the High Line

My friend Brett was in from D.C. this weekend so I was trying to take him to non-traditional, no milling-about-like-a-cow-in-a-line touristy things like Coney Island (I shot the freak in the head, fyi). Boy did I fail when I took him to the High Line.

For people who don't know what it is check out the New Yorker's in-depth coverage of the High Line:Yep. That's it. Apparently this space was originally constructed in the 1930s, to lift dangerous freight trains off Manhattan's streets. Then it closed in 1980 and opened again in June as a public park.

"A public park? Let's go!" you might say as Brett and I did. We swerved through massive crowds and rushed up some steps to see...a semi-decent walkway lined wall to wall with tourists. We join the traffic in the right lane and went from 14th St to...20th St. Then we saw a line to somewhere that must be more than concrete and "native" weeds and daisies but no, it was to get back down.

So why are all these people coming here? It's new. Which means it's trendy. And New Yorkers would go to the Random White Block of Wood Museum if it was new and had a funny picture drawn about it in the New Yorker.

The largest viewing pad on the entire walkway is the space pictured at the top of this post where you can sit down on a bench and watch traffic. So that's what we did. We watched traffic.

However, I guess if you know where to look you can peep on all the High Line's neighbors. Some are having sex in their hotel rooms. Other are in their apartments doing cabaret shows. Really, it's true! As one New Yorker in the article linked to above said, if you know where to look "It's like a nudist beach in Manhattan."

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Help NYiR welcome it's newest bloggers

New York is Ridiculous has good news and bad news for you today. The bad news is that our frequent-posting blogger Ian Bascetta has been drafted into a special Jewish reserve unit and has been deployed to German-occupied France to fight Nazis. He will not be posting with us for the forseeable future.

The good news is that his ZANY cousin Vinny "The Bunny" Balducci has taken his place. We would also like to welcome Ericka Tiffany to our writing staff (pictured above, hubba hubba). Please join us in welcoming these two wonderful individuals to the NYiR family.

Monday, September 7, 2009

I just want regular ice cream New York. Please, no more fro yo.

According to the scientists over at Google there are 2,080,000 frozen yogurt stores in New York City. Regular ice cream stores? 12.

I'm sure there's ice cream stores around it's just that with the eighteen fro yo places within one mile of my apartment (fo real) they seem to get lost in the crowd. In fact, every other store in da hood seems to get lost in the midst of the brightly colored Pinkberry, Yogomonster, Tasti D Lite, Red Mango, Yogurtland, Berrywild, Yoberry, Yorganic, Yogurt Mania, Village Yogurt and Yogonna Eat Dat? around. Ok, that last one we made up but if we didn't tell you ya woulda believed it.

Here's my problem with you frozen yogurt stores: you're delicious. Maybe it's the fact that I was told Tasti D Lite was real ice cream by my mother growing up, maybe it's the fact that there's 35743089574 toppings, but really it's probably because just that it hasn't taken a restraining order out on me. Unlike Lindsay Lohan who also loves fro yo (as showcased above). So thank you fro yo for taking over the city. You are doing a swell job running this place.

photo courtesy of

Friday, September 4, 2009

Yes, I get it yellow taxi. You're flaming.

Wow. Thanks to Andrew Sneider at for this exclusive footage of a taxi cab exploding into flames in Midtown. Our good friend Ming works down the hall from Andrew and told us alllll about it.

Apparently the driver of this cab got out and went for a walk to clear his head, feed the pigeons, whatevs. Just casually strolled off. The thing is the hood of the cab was already smoking. The best part? He parked right in front of this fancy restaurant with outdoor seating. All these people enjoying their $17 BLTs got front row seats as sparks then flames shot out from under the hood. Meanwhile tour buses are going by, other cabs are taking fares, no one thinks twice about this exploding vehicle. Except for Ming and Andrew's co-worker who provides this sage wisdom: " I would never want my house to be on fire." Really? Never? Never ever? Don't knock it 'till you try it sister.

Finally the firemen show up and it's over in 2 secs. Or, as my girlfriend's friend would say, a HOT MINUTE.

This is why I would never live/hang out in Midtown. This and those finance douches who do live/hang out there.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

NYiR Weekend Bulletin

New York is Ridiculous looooves Coney Island and its shoot the freak mentality. That's why this weekend you can find us at the Coney Island Rockabilly Festival. Featuring 23492375904 bands, burlesque, and people yelling "HEY YOU YA FREAK. COME SHOOT THE FREAK IN THE HEAD" what else could you want in a Labor Day weekend?

In other exciting news we finally bought so feel free to use that site from now on.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Russ and Daughters Deli

Special thanks to our guest blogger David Perrin for covering our first bagel-serving establishment. May there be many more posts on this important topic.

'Russ and Daughters' is not the name of the last porno I watched. But it should be. Located sorta in Loisaida on Houston's street (Lois Aida is actually a really sexy lady - I had a pinup of her in high school) this uberdeli is chock full of smelly stuff to rub on your bagels. I'm a fan of getting schmeared so that's what I get.

But you don't have to be a bialy to have fun with Russ and his daughters. Herring connoisseurs from around the world (mostly the Ukraine) come to sample the curried herring, the swedish matjes, and the scmaltz fillets. I'm getting that funny feeling inside just telling you about it! Look how happy this guy is:

They have dried fruits too. You can get a gift package called 'Kiss from the Sea' - how hot is that! Martha Stewart loves this place, which I'm sorta embarrassed about. But on those days when I'm not feeling manly enough... like I'm Heebin' but I'm not quite Super Heebin' then I head on down to Russ, tell his daughters to jack my Whitefish sandwich with Wasabi Flying Fish Roe and watch out ladies!! BOOM! This Reform Jew is ready to pepper his mackerel and make a blini outta dat ass!!!

For more information about Jews please click here or to learn how to dance at Russ and Daughters click here.

Do YOU have a something ridiculous about New York that you want to post about? OMG lettuce c it!

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