DT LA Art District GUIDE.

Lotsa people think LA and think beach but one of my absolutely favorite places to explore is the downtown Arts District. Consider it one stop shopping for all your hipster pleasures. From dope breweries, to couture clothing, to black as night soft serve, you can pretty much fill a fantastic day walking around this conglomerate of cool.

A few of our faves are the Pali Wine Co. where you can get your grape on in an unpretentious, sexy Scandinavian vibe. Cheap flights and a fun staff awaits: paliwineco.com

The best dogs are at Wurstkuche which is just fun to say. Crazy flavors and a riotous back room will leave your belly full and your voice lost: wurstkuche.com

Desert will bring you to the LA institution Pie Hole, again, offering anything out of the ordinary for discerning pie aficionados. thepieholela.com

By now you need to ease into the afternoon with a cold brew, so why not have 8 of them. Angel City is one of our absolute favorite in LA and their flights are legendary. angelcitybrewery.com

Ok so now you are sh!#@faced which is the appropriate time to eat black charcoal soft serve at Bae. Much more than an instagram darling, this soft serve is delicious as it’s activated charcoal soaks up all that liquid regret in your tummy: BAE

Finally finish out your banner day with a little retail therapy to perhaps buy that one-of-a-kind gift for that friend you just ghosted their brunch on. A unique store that is like an authentic Urban Outfitters, if Urban Outfitters sold real stuff. poketo.com

That’s the size of it folks, definitely head down to downtown to get some real LA living.

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My kinda town…

Had a night in Chicago and it went a little something like this.

First thing was first. Pizza. Deep dish pizza. In the lobby.

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Yeah, see, when you’re traveling you don’t always have the luxury of “going to a restaurant” or “sitting down to eat” or “chewing your food fully”. Thank God for small favors, as there was a great place right down the street, and The Kimpton hotel is a hellova nice place to let us take over the lobby. I tell you, after a long day of traveling to sit fireside with a hot slice and a cold beer from their swank bar is as close to perfection as you can get. The rooms are pretty alright too.

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Having eaten and thrown my crap in my room it was now time to liberate myself liberally. So we slid out and down the street to a little joint named The Lodge.

What to say about The Lodge… there are peanuts, shuffleboard, and cheap good drinks. This is a bar that is a bar, and thats all it is. It’s filled with lively lovely people, some of them get in bar fights, some of them spill their drinks, all of them go home with a memory. It’s a hellova place, and it should not be missed.

At some point we ended up at Zebra Lounge and listened to a caustic caucasian castrate Cat Stevens, but there were not pictures of that. I had to be pretty far gone not to take any pictures of that.

legendary legend’s corner.

Nashville, amirite?

Typical Friday night, in town for a wedding. Word on the street is Legend’s is happening. Word was right.

Legends is the type of place that is typically Southern; honest. Let’s break down their about page, shall we?

“Some will say that a trip to Nashville is never complete without visiting the tried and true honky-tonk saloons along downtown Broadway.”

This is true. Nashville has lots of amazing attractions that define the city; a full-size reproduction of the Greek Parthenon, a world class tomato art festival, and probably most famous is their cinnamon roll. We all know this. Some would argue that the music, dare I say, is really the draw, and Honkey Tonk is the king. Continuing….

“While it’s hard to go wrong in any of these gritty watering holes, Legends stands out as one of the best.”

That there is true Southern hospitality. Effectively they are saying “There are lots of great other places. We’re just one of them”. Lovely and well done Legend. Continuing.

“Country music record covers plaster the walls, but the real attraction is the bar’s live music: Some of the city’s finest contemporary acts make their mark onstage.”

This sentence is very honest. Country music records do cover the walls, which are made of plaster. True. Also what is true, and perhaps more important than what is on the walls and what the walls are constructed of, is the fact that the music here is off the chain, or in the lasso, or whatever the southern equivalent to the South Bronx version of “fantastic” is.

“The expanded drink menu and the cold beer keep regulars coming back.”

This is my favorite stanza in the whole poem. So much going on here. “Expanded” drink menu. Letting you know that it was once a lesser drink menu and now it is more. Do they mean size wise? Like is the menu itself larger, physically? Or are their more types of drinks that you can get now vs. before? So many questions. Also, a bar even having a drink menu is similar to a painter having a picture menu; you have a pretty close to infinite amount of combinations of liquors you can use to make a drinks, why limit yourself? What really gets me is the “cold beers” keeping the regulars coming back. Who are these regulars that solely the temperature of their beverage being consistent is the reason why they offer their constant patronage? I love these people. Simple. Honest. Continuing.

“The Draw With one of the most prominent locations downtown (catty-corner from the Arena), Legends draws an equal mix of curious tourists and local barflies. While the dance floor seems to shrink a bit on weekends, don’t be afraid to mosey on out and kick up your heels.”

Wow. You know on the 4th of July when you watch fireworks you’re like “this is great” and then the end comes, and there is this massive ejaculate of explosions in the sky and you’re like “WOW!” and everyone then runs to the parking lot to try to beat everyone else out? This is what this last sentence is for me. Lets take a moment to break it down; first “The Draw With” sure a typo… or is it? I like to think they triple capped because it shows humility, that they aren’t a bunch of smarties. These are real folk. Then lets look at the sly use of parenthesis (the first use ever in their statement. Brilliant). See how they slyly slid in there the fact that they are across from “the Arena”? Now they own EVERYONE that goes to an event there. Brilliant. Mentioning that they “draw” an equal mix of tourists and locals means that EVERYONE is coming to this bar. Doors are open people. Finally, and perhaps the cherry on top is the use of metaphor. “The dance floor seems to shrink” … dance floors can’t shrink! I mean over hundreds of years, and if made of organic material such as wood, you may notice a reduction in matter via natural attrition, but it definitely isn’t something you would notice over two days.

Of course the obligatory use of “mosey” and “kicking up of heels” is a nice final touch to seal this biography of a fine establishment in the lexicon of true Southern glory.

The God’s honest truth is that Legend’s is simply that. Legend. It is everything it says it is, and being honest about it is just one more way I find it the most charming bar in Nashville.

Also those beers are good and cold.

cobble hill. stay away.

Seriously. Do not move to, or even come visit Cobble Hill in Brooklyn. It is the worst place on earth. Earth. Flint Michigan? Please, more like Daytona Beach. Detroit Michigan? Palm Springs in comparison. Hell, anywhere in Michigan is better than Cobble Hill. You should definitely go to Michigan. Here are some cheap plane tickets, check them out.

Why on earth would you want to come here? I mean, it’s minutes away from the rat infested city, and most places here actually have a backyard, or, dare I say, a veranda, that have bugs and shit. Ew. Nature. I mean, sure, there is one Starbucks, but most of the businesses and restaurants in the neighborhood are family owned. I mean, that’s just un-American! Where is my Olive Garden? My Spice Thai food? What do you mean you Italian and you are a butcher? I thought we got rid of all you people!

Yes, Cobble Hill, this family orientated, classic Brooklyn neighborhood, with strong Italian ethnic roots, and food direct from the old country is definitely a place to stay clear from. I mean, people here talk with an actual NYC accent? I thought we did away with that in the 1990’s with Sex in the City?

So, here are a few of my most hated places. Please. Do not come here, under any circumstances, unless you like disappointment and cultural shock. For reference I created a Goggle map so you can more effectively navigate your way away from these sinkholes of despair.

Eats:

Henry Public

Perhaps the lamest bar in Brooklyn with a terrible menu. A Turkey Leg sandwich on fresh-cut, thick sliced bread? I usually order two because I can’t believe how much I hate it. Also it’s not like they have the best mixologists in the city there, happy to make you a delicious, garden fresh libation. Who’s got time for that crap? PBR for me friends; none of this ice-cold Captain Lawrence Liquid Gold, thank you very much.

Brucie

Dear God. How many times do I have to come here? Seriously? They keep changing the menu. And I keep clearing the plate, literally taking the fresh-baked bread and wiping it clean. Obviously the portions are too small, obviously. Thank God for Alka-Seltza which should come standard with the meal. They keep creating new dishes, (“market fresh and seasonal” they call it. “Communist” I call it.) each one more disgustingly dynamic then the next. And how cheerful does a place have to be? And the damn staff, I mean, it’s like they’re my friends. Who needs that? What are they trying to hide? A full bar, and an eclectic wine selection is the icing on the cake for this dump. Do not come here.

Prime Meats

Germans. Who need them, right? With their farm fresh meats, amazing beer, and dear God, what is the deal with the bread? It’s like warm, oven fresh bread with butter is some sort of religion for these people. Every time I come here I regret it. It’s usually for brunch and they usually shove one of their “specialty” bloody mary’s in my face. Then another. German’s right? So pushy. And them I’m like “Oh, you made me eat too much, now I can’t walk home” and they “happily” call me a cab. I swear, this place is a nightmare.

Frankies Spuntino

People actually get married in this dive, if you can believe it. Just because they have A) a farmhouse in the backyard and B) they have “amazing” food. Yeah, apparently they won some sort of award for the food and service, but I just don’t see it; this place is always crowded so to me that just says that they are as slow as shit. And how hard is it to make Italian food? I mean a red-head dude called Mario (fake) can do it, and I bet he’s from Ireland. Don’t waste your time here folks, make it a Di’Giorno night.

River Deli

This place is so lame that it doesn’t even have a website. Hows 1982 of you my friends. Are those parachute pants working out for you? Cash only and about the size of a thimble this joint serves up what they call “Sardinian Fare”. Please. With it’s “charming” rustic interior, and actual Italian staff this place is about as un-American as you can get. Not even a basic hamburger on the menu! How they stay in business I do not know.

Lucali

The last time I had to wait outside for a pizza was in 1984 in Moscow. Wait. I’m American and we have Domino’s. I don’t wait for pizza, ever.

Ted and Honey

More like “Meh and Run-with-your-money”. Casual seating with room for kids, and artisan breakfast sandwiches? Free newspapers and large lattes? No thanks. I take my breakfast like an American; wrapped in plastic while riding the F train.

Drinks: 

Henry Public – See above. Or not. Don’t care.

Bar Tabac

French people, am I right? With their cheese, their Saison beers, and their Goddamn joy du vive or whatever they fucking call it. Going to this place is like hanging out at some shack in Marseilles. That’s like the Detroit of France. Viva l’Americans. Dont go.

Clover Club

What is with people, prohibition, and pool? What was fun about prohibition? Nothing. Super un-American. So this “speak easy” with a “rousing attitude” can just go suck it. I mean, craft beer and hand crafted cocktails? Um… MGD thank you very much.

61 Local

All I’m gonna say is look at the name of this place. 61 Local? UNIONS!? Please. Should be called 61 Communists.

Shops:

Paisanos

Listen, Italian’s, we get it. You like to eat. Stop shoving it in our faces with your fresh meats like hand-made sausages, veal and something called a “porchetta”. If I want to eat pig, I do so with a chop. Like an American. And congrats for being family owned for over 150 years. Making your kids slaves does not sound like freedom to me.

Staubitz

Another one. Immigrants. Where are all the Americans? This one puts photographs of 4 entire generations of his family on the wall. Here’s the kicker, the old guy behind the counter expertly cutting your meat? He’s the young guy in the first picture. Right? Like way to move up in the world buddy. Sure their meats are top quality, and you can’t beat their “service” but seriously, if I wanted to go back in time I would watch Back to the Future on Betamax.

Pacific Green Gourmet Food

Hand on face slap. Gourmet Food? C’mon people, we call this a bodega here in NYC. It’s the kinda place you go when you need toilet paper or scratch-offs. Sure they have some cheeses from around the world, fresh fruits and veg, and yeah, orange blossom water in case you’re making a Ramon Gin Fizz, but really we’re only looking for the post-nightclub Red Bull and wishful thinking pack of Trojans thank you very much.

Trader Joe’s

I swear, didn’t I leave California to get away from this hippie crap? The only saving grace with Trader Joe’s in Manhattan is that there is a 3 hour line to pay for your two buck chuck and bean dip. Here though it’s, like, empty… all the time. Balls.

Cobblestone Catring

Broccoli Rabe in garlic and chili? Sweet Yams glazed with honey? Roasted Chicken with sautéed wild mushrooms? How lazy do you have to be to pick up a freshly cooked dinner. Not to mention their fresh-baked Pretzel Croissants? Didn’t you get the memo? People like cronuts idiots, not your flakey delicious pretzel Frankensteins. Lame.

Brooklyn Wine Exchange

When did America stop making things? Wine from Aruba? Ruhm from Canada? Bitters from the Marshall Islands? I mean give me Carlo Rossi American Wine and stop with this eclectic serving of drunk juice. No one wants it.

Cafe Pedlar

When did Starbucks lose its grip on the coffee industry? Why would I possibly want a fresh, hot, ham and cheese croissant that didn’t come from a factory and was lovingly swaddled in a cellophane wrapper with my fresh brewed coffee? Why?

Court Street Pastry Shop and Caputo’s Bake Shop

Jeebus! What is it with Italians and food? Thank you for the Olive Garden, you can go now. I mean TWO bakeries right next to each other? And neither one of them has a web site? It’s like they expect word of mouth to keep them in business for over 100 years. One word idiots, “groupon”. Look into it.

Esposito’s and Son’s Pork Store.

Pork Store. What a joke. This place has all kinds of fresh-cut meats, Italian goods, even arancini’s. I mean way to mislead the public. There should be a law.

First Place Provisions Beeeeeeeeeeeer

Um, really? There are children around. Do I need your world-class selection of beer, cheese and coffee? Is this an Istanbul market? What do you mean “don’t worry about the coffee, we got it, come back soon”? What kinda cult is this?

Mazzola Bakery

Please. Look at all these old Italian types hanging outside drinking coffee eating brioche. Mafia. All of them, Mafia. They should raid this place.

Court Street Grocers

Specialty items? Cheeses from New York? Pickled rhubarb? unpasteurized Milk??? Communist. Where is the Key Food?

Bookcourt

Oh brother. A bookshop. An “independent” bookshop no less. How “neighborhoody” and shit. I mean, first of all, if I want a bookshop, I want it to sell toys and mugs, like a Barnes and Nobel, mainly because I have to use the bathroom and they have one. Sure this shop is extensive, and if the don’t have it, then they can order it. They call you even when it arrives (hell, one guy actually brought the book to my house because it was “on his way home” as if the people who work here aren’t homeless – psssst…. no one buys books anymore, we have the internet now. Cat videos).

Video Free Brooklyn

Do I really need to even write anything here. I mean a video rental shop? It’s 2014 people. Heard of Netflix? Video is dead my friend, and no one wants to watch any of your funky foreign films are art house crap. We want Michael Bay and we want it pausing every 12 to 17 minutes to buffer.

That’s it, and honestly, it is just the tip of the iceberg. Tip. Cobble Hill and its adjoining nightmare Carroll Gardens are just chuck full of these un-American, socialist sinkholes, that only exist so hippie communists can take honestly earned American Dollars. I swear, it’s neighborhoods like this that make me wonder where our future is going.

Rs