Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Barhopping with Otis

(Editor's Note: Part One of this post is over at my poker blog. It has some pictures too. It's called: Poker Stars NYC VIP Party. You might want to start there first.)

Otis has an excellent post on his regular blog called Tuesdays with Pauly. Here's a bit:
"Pauly takes notes. His life is a yet-unproduced or written off-Broadway play about drug-addled strippers and strung-out stockbrokers. At first glance someone might think his notepad is some affectation to make him look serious about his craft. It's not that. It's that too much happens in his presence to remember it fully. What's more, life around Pauly is awash in carefully controlled but occasionally wild abandon intoxication. Failure to properly document the activities risks losing them completely.

Pauly takes notes. He takes pictures. He takes video. And I've appeared in a few too many recently."
I decided to head down to the East Village for some pizza and barhopping. I took Otis on his first subway ride and we took a short walk past Astor Place. I grabbed two slices (one plain and one with shrooms) something I should have done before I started drinking at the party. Drinking on an empty stomach is -EV.

First stop was McSorley's. It's one of the oldest bars in the city. I told Otis that they filmed a scene from Rounders in front of McSorely's and inside the bar. We got mugs of their famous beer which they brew in the city. $2 for a mug is a steal in the city.

Next up was a dive called Blue and Gold. I love that place. Elliot Smith used to hang out there before he killed himself. I used to play pool there with my buddies Senor, Gil, and Spider back in the day. I started drinking SoCo. At that point, I had two kinds of beers, vodka, and rum. Talk about a lethal combination that I would end up paying for later on in the night and all day today.

Big Bar is just a few steps away from Blue and Gold so it was a perfect stop for another drink. The third bar we drank at was super small with just a few seats at the bar. That's when things started to get fuzzy. Dial-a-shots went down and then I started to lose time in what alcoholic would call a moment of un-clarity.

We headed over to Telephone Bar. Here's how Otis described the events:
"The front of this bar looks like a telephone booth. Inside, it is much bigger. Pauly made me choose if I wanted to go in this bar or the one beside it. When I picked "Telephone," Pauly looked at me and said, "Fuck it, we'll go to both." And so we did."
They played a lot of Bob Dylan at Telephone which pleased Otis. The bar next door was an Irish Pub and we stumbled in there. I dragged Otis to Detour, which was bar #6. It's a small jazz joint that some friends of mine used to play at. I was there the first night it opened almost ten years ago. Those were some wild times and I once got laid in their bathroom with a woman I worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with. I forgot her last name, but at least I got to show her my "Oh! Face." It was the best twenty-seconds of 1995.

I barely recall going to the seventh and eighth bars... Kings Head Tavern and Shades of Green. But according to the notes that I gave Otis, that's where we went. At Shades of Green I excused myself and walked outside. In the middle of 15th Street I puked. I had not blown chunks since I christened Daddy's Sled in Indiana in May. I survived almost three months of living in Las Vegas, Boulder with the Joker, Drunk-o-lympics at Brad-o-Ween, a two day bender in Amsterdam with Briana, a wine-drenched week in Spain, the Bash at the Boathouse, and one of the craziest bachelor parties I've ever attended... without puking once. I guess I was due.

I went back inside and finished my drink before we hopped in a cab back uptown to Times Square. I said good-bye to Otis and I bought a water and a slice of poundcake at the nearest bodega. I took the subway home and passed out. The train went to the last stop (I get off at either one or two before) and I was woken up by a cop rattling his night stick on one of the poles. I stumbled home with a tote bag filled with Poker Stars goods like a straw hat and a deck of cards.

I spent all of Wednesday recovering from a nasty hangover and hugging the porcelin God of a toilet with dry heaves once an hour. I have not had a night like that in a few years. Large chunks of time are a blur. Today I'm trying to piece the night back together and I'm considering giving up the hooch altogether.

Wil called me tonight and said he was sorry he missed my call yesterday. And that's when I realized, "Oh shit, I called Wil!" He got a kick out of the message we left him. "Wil where are you, you fuckin' pussy?" Or something to that effect. Luckily Wil's a good sport and thought it was hilarious.

Just another Tuesday night bender in the city.

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