I went to Ghost of Uncle Joe’s 2020 on Saturday evening and it…was fun. That’s all I really have to say about it as I 100% dropped the ball on taking notes. I didn’t even get any acceptable photos.
What a nightmare.
The event itself wasn’t a nightmare. Just my handling of it as a classically trained journalist. Even thought blogs aren’t journalism and no one should ever believe they are.
UNLESS YOU MEAN LIKE A SPOOKY HALLOWEEEEEN NIGHTMAREEE?!
Because it WAS that.
If you would like more in-depth, researched, and professional coverage of Ghost of Uncle Joe’s as a whole please see my post from last year.
As for this year I will say: I loved the Jimmy Eat World cover band. Like give me Jimmy Eat World in any capacity and I will be fully satisfied.
I also loved the cool backdrops to take photos in front of. I should have tried harder to get good photos but I didn’t and that’s on me. The backdrops provided were fantastic and I could have probably gotten some fun stuff.
The event was BYOB which I also loved but maybe that contributed to me not taking good notes or photos. I did drink like three homemade iced Irish coffees and no less than 26 Michelob Ultras.
Finally, they had a fun little cartoon ghost mascot wearing a leather jacket this year and OBVIOUSLY I’m obsessed with his cute little cartoon ass so I got a tote bag with him on it. And that was a victory.
Last night we attended the Ghost of Uncle Joe’s “dress rehearsal” at Corgi Spirits and we had a grand evening.
In 2020 we have lost a lot of the good things left in this sick sad world and I was scared that the annual Ghost of Uncle Joe’s event would be one of the fallen. But lucky for us the ol ghost is back in a big way this year, despite COVID and social distancing and the overall downfall of our society.
Ghost of Uncle Joe’s is going to happen over two weekends this year! There’s a Ghost of Uncle Joe’s tonight! A Ghost of Uncle Joe’s tomorrow! A Ghost of Uncle Joe’s next Friday! And a cherry on top Ghost of Uncle Joe’s next Saturday on actual Halloween!
I’m obviously going on Halloween.
Here’s the schedule for your informaish:
But in addition to these future Ghosts they did a little warm up Ghost last night.
The cover bands were Bob Dylan, The Kinks, Janis Joplin, and Green Day. There were also “special guests”advertised but I didn’t stay the whole time so I don’t know who that ended up being.
And I’m sorry.
I mostly went for Janis Joplin because I LOVE singing Janis for karaoke and I was pumped to see another group of folks be excited about pretending to be Janis and her band.
And I wasn’t disappointed! The Janis cover band was great! I made a ton of Instagram story videos and tagged my mom in them. Just because.
Corgi was set up safely and comfortably with tables spread out and Adirondack chairs. I haven’t been spending enough time sitting in Adirondack chairs these days and that’s a real problem.
They make gin at Corgi and that’s pretty much all they serve so that’s what we were drinking!
I enjoyed a couple of Raspberry Beret cocktails (gin, raspberry syrup, lemon juice, egg white) but then switched over to Cafe Arancia cocktails (gin, espresso, coffee liqueur) and those were AMAZING. Super into coffee in cocktails these days.
It was a really fun Thursday night and it made me very happy that we could hang out and drink and watch live music safely and responsibly.
Check out the Ghost of Uncle Joe’s, by Dancing Tony, this weekend and next weekend at The Historic Jersey City Harsimus Cemetary! You can get tickets here.
This past weekend we had an outdoor baby shower for my lil sis. The same lil sis we had a virtual bridal brunch for back in April.
We really wanted to have a gathering with actual people that were actually physically together. It felt important.
Of course we followed all the social distancing rules. Like why wouldn’t we? But that meant we had to have the shower NOW while it’s still warm enough for people to hang out in the outdoors and before there is a huge fall spike in COVID cases, as predicted.
So we had to have the shower a bit early. My sister is due at the end of February, and usually a shower for that would happen in like…December? I don’t really know. But I do know it would happen a little later because most people look very pregnant in their shower pics. That’s really all I have to go off of.
My sister only looks kinda pregnant. Like you can tell she is but she’s not waddling around yet. That’s the usual shower look. BUT NOT AT THIS SHOWER BECAUSE WE HAD TO GET THAT SUCKER DONE BEFORE THE WORLD PRESUMABLY SHUTS DOWN AGAIN.
MAKE HAY WHILE THE SUN SHINES AS THE GREAT LAURA INGALLS WILDER SAID, OR MAYBE IT WAS HER DAD, AND I WORE MY COWBOY BOOTS DAMMIT.
So we planned it out, and by “we” I mean my mom and my sister’s mother in law, and I think we did okay. I THINK WE DID GREAT.
These things are always difficult and complex to wrangle, even when you’re not in the midst of a global pandemic. There are just so many moving parts. At one point I thought I’d be good at this shit because I spent so many years “producing”…aka literally orchestrating other people’s lives like they were my own personal marionettes.
But it’s still hard. It’s a lot of planning! And plotting! And pondering! JEEZUZ I AM EXHAUSTED.
Anyway here’s what we did.
The baby is a girl, so as far as decorations we had some pink things like plates, tablecloths, and balloons. Beyond that it wasn’t overly cutesy.
The shower was held at my sister’s mother in law’s house (my mother in law, in law?) and she did an awesome job of decorating with hay and pumpkins and scarecrows.
It was seasonally appropriate! And adorable! I enjoyed walking around and looking at all the little scarecrow babies.
There were also pumpkins there that they grew in their own backyard and as you can imagine I was PUMPED AF about that. Pumpkins in their own backyard?! Wahooo!!!!
Okay I’m going to be honest about this. No one likes games. No one wants to play games at a baby shower or at any shower or party overall across the universe.
I’m sorry I had to be that direct. But no one likes games. I personally despise games but I made an effort to infuse some games into the party and was met with a flaming pile of disinterest.
We did play one game where people get an ice cube with a tiny plastic baby bottle inside and the first person whose ice melts screams, “My water broke!” and then they win a prize. Luckily one of the kids present won the game and the prize.
BECAUSE GAMES ARE FOR KIDS.
Do kids even like them?
Anyway after one game I decided we wouldn’t do the second game because no one showed much interest in the first one.
I was proud of my ability to read the (outdoor) room and pivot on a moment’s notice.
THERE WERE SO MANY FOODS AT THIS PARTY.
Our mom made stromboli, which is my most favorite thing that she ever makes. I ate like 5 pieces. I’m sorry.
My sister’s mother in law made meatballs and stuffed cabbage. I meant to try the stuffed cabbage because I’ve never had it! But I didn’t get to. I really blew it. Hopefully she makes it again at a future family function FINGERS CROSSED.
There were a ton of desserts and I ate two of each. I was saving up my full week of dessert consumption, 6 days worth of desserts, for this party. I didn’t feel well afterwards but it was worth it.
Look at these cute little net tents to keep flies off the food! Perfect for an outdoor baby shower, if you ask me. And you’re here, so you did.
notes to baby.
There is all kinds of baby shower stuff online and you can’t do a “baby shower stuff that doesn’t suck” Google search without coming across something like these.
These little lists are cute and give prompts and require minimal effort, a perfect combo! We passed them out to the guests to fill out while it was present opening time so they had something to do besides gawk at my sister and her husband while she opened presents.
As far as present opening during the party, I don’t know that everyone does that anymore? I think it’s your choice but not required. Either way choose your choice and feel good about it. I give you permission.
caramel apple bar.
My mom and I were most excited for the caramel apple bar and I’d like to say my sister also liked it best. She’s usually a big sweets-head like me, but she hasn’t been feeling so great in her first months of pregnancy and moved away from the sweets. Frankly she moved away from most foods overall. But caramel apples still catch her eye and make her glad so that’s why we made the bar!
If you look up “caramel apple bar” online a whole bunch of shit comes up. Go ahead, try it.
Some of the articles/blogs/pins/whatever said to cut them in slices or soak them in vodka or stand on one foot while you dip them in caramel. There are many methods.
Our method was to stick a popsicle stick into an apple and dip it in caramel, then dip it into whatever toppings the recipient wanted. I say “recipient” because I was preparing the apples with gloves on and I was the only person touching the toppings. We tried to keep it COVID safe.
Overall no one was interested in the caramel apples except my sis, sis in law, niece and nephew, my mom, and me.
Whatever, the rest of them don’t know what they’re missing.
Also when I was done making my apple and sat down to eat it my 6 year old nephew told me “Don’t go and take a cute picture with your caramel apple now <eye roll>.” So then I did. He’s not the boss of me.
dudes were there too.
My sister requested that my brother in law’s pals be there too. My dad was there, and some husbands and at least one uncle, my Uncle Tom who gave my Grammie a ride. Some of them said it was the first baby shower they attended and they liked it and I was glad. It’s a party after all, the more the merrier. I mean we were eating and drinking and making merry, baby stuff just happened to be there.
I think it’s a nice move to include the dudes. As an experienced baby shower-holding professional I say go for it.
So that was the outdoor baby shower! It went great! We were all very proud of the turn out and glad to get it done before it gets too cold or the world shuts down again.
I already said that, but the doom is upon us and will arrive eventually and we must prepare ourselves.
Last night I got to thinking and I was thinking about Lambrusco, the perfect pizza wine.
I was basically thinking about how I can’t really drink wine anymore because it gives me an AWFUL headache, and tomorrow I’m going for pizza with some of my pals and I had to plan ahead what I’m going to drink. Because I’m insane. But during this planning process as I fell asleep my thoughts turned to Lambrusco.
THE PERFECT PIZZA WINE.
Lambrusco was discovered BY ME at Motorino in the East Village and subsequently skyrocketed in popularity in Jersey City. I mean correlation doesn’t imply causation but I think I had a hand in it. Also that’s an unofficial claim and zero research has been done on it, so believe what you will.
We went to Motorino for pizza (duh) and on the little board on the wall it was written, “Lambrusco – the perfect pizza wine!” I had never heard of it and had no idea what it was, but assumed I probably wouldn’t like it because I’m not that big on wine, especially red wine. Instead of taking out my phone and googling it I asked the waiter what it was. This was very out of character for me.
When he replied with, “it’s a sparkling red” my head exploded and they had to scrape my brains off the walls. A sparkling RED?! I had never considered such a thing!
Okay actually I HAD considered a sparkling red in the sense that I used to add Diet Sprite to red wine in college in order to make it more palatable. I really dislike red wine, even now. It’s thick and oppressive and it makes your mouth all purple. It creeps me out.
The issue is that red wine is supposed to go with pizza and pasta and all that shit. But I hate red wine so I was always drinking Sauvignon Blanc or Prosecco or something. But that ALSO creeped me out because it felt very against the social convention. Eating and enjoying foods is important to me and I love it and it’s all I have and I want to enjoy it in the best way possible so I was like I need to heed this red wine with pizza reccomendaish at some point. Just for science or whatever.
After I was informed of its characteristics I ordered Lambrusco IMMEDIATELY and my life has never been the same. It really IS the perfect pizza wine! It’s red so it checks that box, but it’s also light and sparkling and a little sweet so I don’t feel the normal red wine aversion.
On a regular Friday pizza night I used to drink a full bottle of Lambrusco. The first few times I drank it I got it by the glass and by the end of dinner I had had like 6 glasses and that cost a lot. I don’t remember how much because math. But then I started just getting a bottle. It was better for everyone.
Lambrusco became so beloved in my life that I would drink it and yell, “Lambrusco!” Or “‘Brusco!” Or “It’s the perfect pizza wine!” Or, more commonly, all three. The servers at Porta, my main source for pizza, eventually started to know that a bottle of Lambrusco was what I most wanted. They would bring it without even asking at one point. They were wise.
At some point, as with everything, my consumption of Lambrusco went down and then tapered off almost completely. I did a sober January for the first time a couple of years ago and was never the same again. My drinking endurance was irrevocably compromised. Now I can only drink like…a Pilsner or a light lager. Or a White Claw. Oooo or a rose cider! I mean I “can” drink anything but there are certain things I try to avoid because I’ll feel like total crap and won’t get anything done the next day. Wine is one of those things.
So I miss Lambrusco, I do. Pilsners and White Claws do not pair with pizza quite as well. I can’t yell, “White Claw!” in joyful fashion as I order it. That would be sociopath behavior. I can’t proclaim “It’s the perfect pizza Pilsner!” It just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
Actually, “pizza Pilsner” could work because ALLITERATION!
Brb searching for a pizza Pilsner. Wait do you know any pizza Pilsners?! Plz advise.
Oh hi it’s me, writing about alcohol again. It’s just that recently drinking has got me thinking and I was thinking about how alcohol is a depressant.
After spending many delightful day-long weekend drinking sessions and weeknight twilight drinks with pals while sitting on the literal ground on Jersey City’s Bourbon Street (formerly known as “Newark Ave”), I realized I wasn’t feeling so great. Not just physically not great, although I felt that too, but not great…in my mind.
Last Saturday we watched a movie called “Wendy.” Watch the trailer.
As you can see, THIS MOVIE ISN’T ABOUT ANYTHING. That didn’t stop me from sobbing uncontrollably by the end. My boyfriend comforted me for like 10 minutes but I couldn’t stop. I had to go hide in the bathroom and finish out this roller coaster ride on my own.
I was so incredibly sad because I had had at least one alcoholic a day for 4 days in a row. I had reached my LIMIT. Once I drink too many days in a row, the sadness starts to creep in and there’s no way to bounce back. I have to sit at the bottom of the pit and cry about nonsensical movies with no point and no story AND NO MEANING. The meaning is inside my head. And it’s sad as hell.
When I started drinking in college it was all, “The more you can drink the better! The more days in a row you drink that’s great! The more different kinds of drinks the cooler you are! Oh it doesn’t matter if you want to be cool it’s just a way of life! If you do all this stuff you win drinking!” And then anyone that ever questioned why you were drinking or was like, “Is this nuts? Maybe it’s too much?” was cast off as a full-on FUN RUINER and banished to another land where people did boring shit like drink water and meditate and actually study for their exams.
It was in insult, in a way, to tell someone they were probably drinking too much. And if YOU YOURSELF admitted you were drinking too much, it meant you “had a problem.” People that didn’t drink were assumed to have recovered from some kind of “problem.” Basically drinking your face off daily was accepted and even celebrated, and those that questioned that were wrong.
If you think about it, we ALL have some kind of “problem,” or have had a “problem,” or will have a “problem” at some point. In this scenario “problem” is a euphemism for “probably should not drink that much and even not drink at all and they’re definitely being embarrassing and they’re going to feel shitty about this tomorrow even if it’s not even a big deal and we the people around them don’t even care because we do it too. But they’re still going to feel VERY SHITTY about this and that in itself IS a problem.”
There’s some kind of social contract among people in our age group, young gen-x and old and young millennials, that says it’s okay to get drunk and be stupid as long as no one gets physically hurt or dies. And even the physically hurt part “like isn’t a big deal.” Wounds heal, ya know? And in the same sense, bad choices, misbehavior, and personal slights are always forgotten in time, mostly because more bad choices, misbehavior, and personal slights erase the former ones. There are perpetually new things to be mad or sad about or offended by but one thing remains the same – we are all always drinking.
One time for a while I had a super mean, emotionally manipulative boyfriend (then for a longer time after that a mean, emotionally manipulative not-boyfriend that hung like a dark, ominous, MALIGNANT cloud over my life. For like a decade). Although he was very mean and very manipulative, and also ominous and MALIGNANT, he was right ONE SINGLE TIME and that was when he said, “Why do you THINK you’re so sad, Shan? Alcohol is a depressant.”
Okay first of all don’t call me “Shan,” only my family and NICE PEOPLE call me that. Second of all…I’LL DRINK WHAT I WANT, BITCH.
It took me a couple more years after that for me to realize that he was right…ABOUT THIS ONE SINGLE THING. And I should have listened to him BUT ONLY ABOUT THIS, and then I should have been like, “Bye, leave my life.” Luckily it’s like that now. Whew.
I did sober January last year for the first time, and did it again this past January. Sober January really made me realize how drastically alcohol affects my moods. Maybe it’s just me but I really think it isn’t just me. When I consistently have drinks for a few days in a row, by the end of those days I am ready to live in a dark room and just sob constantly. It’s not a good feeling.
But I still like drinking! I still like having fun! I AM STILL COOL I SWEAR. I just have to do it less now. Like way less. BUT STILL FUN WHEN I DO IT. I just have to drink a lot of water.
The biggest bummer about this whole thing is that I spent literal years feeling pretty depressed all the time. And I am formally diagnosed (BY SCIENCE) with depression and take medication for it and that stuff helps and it’s great. But I’ll tell you what DIDN’T HELP was the drinking most days of the week. Back then I wish I would have realized that I was making myself depressed and I should have just not been out drinking as much. It seems so simple! But I was CONVINCED that drinking COULD NOT POSSIBLY MAKE ME SAD and anyone that suggested it was insane.
Who is the insane one NOW?
Oh, it’s me. But if anyone would like to “hang out” in the world with me and drink Diet Coke or juice or mocktails, or even better, EAT DESSERTS INSTEAD please let me know. Thx.
You guys, I’m currently experiencing a rum renaissance and it’s a beautiful thing. Rum drinks are all I want to drink and I never want to stop.
Perhaps it’s not so beautiful that 2 of my last 3 posts have been about drinking. But what can one do, it’s summer time.
Rum makes me think of drinks I like to drink on vacation at shameless but beautiful all inclusive resorts in Riviera Maya. “I’ll take a Bahama Mama!” I drunkenly screech at the man from my sunscreen slippery seat at the swim up bar. Soon enough he introduces me to a BANANA Mama and my whole world lights up with the unmistakable sparkle of the Cavendish group.
Life is good.
Rum also makes me think of childhood vacations at Floridian resorts and trips to Publix wearing only a bathing suit and the sickeningly sweet smell of pina coladas my parents would make all afternoon and bring out to the resort pools in large mugs. Sickeningly sweet in a good way I guess, but pina coladas are very very sweet…almost too sweet for me.
I didn’t drink in high school because I never would have gotten anything accomplished but as soon as I got to college my favorite drink became Bacardi razz and diet sprite. For about three months until I just started drinking the free jungle juice and natty ice available to me.
One time I regrettably lived in Hoboken and also regrettably dated some random dude that lived in Lyndhurst. The best thing that came out of that was that he once took my to Lee’s Hawaiian Islander and it was EVERYTHING.
Unfortunately this was way before Instagram so I didn’t get to take any cute pics with a tiki drink in a fun tiki outfit. Whatever a “fun tiki outfit” might be. This means I need to find a friend with a car so I can go back. Or I need to purchase an entire car solely for this purpose of instagramming myself at Joe’s Hawaiian.
This is a very serious life goal.
The true rum renaissance began and I started to seriously consider rum as a constant drinking companion again a little over a year ago when we went to Black Tail for Valentines Day. Besides being a really cool little speakeasy type spot with a fun backstory (something about sneaking off to Cuba in small planes under cover of darkness), they have AMAZING RUM DRANKS.
I had a great time there but like, it’s in Manhattan and I don’t always feel like making that kind of haul. I’d return for another “special occasion” though. Well jk because when I just looked it up it said permanently closed. RIP Black Tail 🙁
These days I love Cellar 335 on Newark Ave in Jersey City. Like, LOVE LOVE. It’s a whole other universe in there. You walk down the stairs and it’s pretty much an actual cellar but there are plants growing on the walls and fun lights and it’s tiki tiki tiki from the bottom to the top and I want to live inside of it forever.
The drinks are expensive but with good reason. They’re expertly mixed, beautifully served, and they pack a punch. And yes pun intended because rum is best in a punch. I think NO ONE would deny THAT.
For drinking in the time of COVID-19, Cellar 335 has been serving badass cocktails to go and FOR DELIVERY. Even delivery to ME and I live so far south I am ALMOST IN BAYONNE, YOU GUYS. My parakeet enjoyed these cocktails as well and chirped about how rum is a big part of parakeet culture. Parakeets are from Australia but naturalized American citizen parakeet culture is influenced by the Carribean pet stores they’re born in and sold from. Look it up. I took my parakeet’s word for it because I trust him.
Jk where is rum even actually from?
Yum, yum yum yum. Yum yum rum. RUM RUM RUM IN MY TUM.
Cellar 335 also has incred snackies but we’re talking about rum right now not snackies. But if I WAS to talk about snackies I would say def get the cornbread there.
In recent drinking-in-the-street-because-it’s-the-apocalypse times The Archer has really come through with some full-on rum mastery shit. I’ve been drinking upwards of 5 Missionary’s Downfalls per Downtown drinking sesh. Today I had to take a break.
The tropical drink/rum thing is a departure from their usual, or at least the usual that I was personally aware of. I always saw The Archer as a cozy, dark spot to go when it’s cold out. I liked it for that, but now it has also become a tropical staycation destination and I’m fully on board. They even call their new outdoor seating area the Swim Club.
I mean come on.
Overall I’m just only going to drink rum now. It’s decided. I may have gotten a double of a gin something from Pet Shop last night but next time I go there it’s give me Malibu or give me death, baby. Get ready to mix that bay breeze. Sea breeze? When it comes to Malibu I always forget if I prefer the bay or the sea? In real body of water terms I obviously prefer the sea but my drink preference is sadly more murky. Like the bay.
What are some other good rum drinks I could order at a regular bar? A non Cellar 335/Black Tail/The Archer bar? I’m trying to develop a full rum drinking plan moving forward.
It’s the rum renaissance. Get on board, WE ARE ALL PIRATES NOW.
You guys, WE ARE ALLOWED TO DRINK IN THE STREET. IT IS PERMITTED BY LAW. We are enjoying ourselves IMMENSELY. HOW CAN WE KEEP THIS FOREVER?!
In fact, I’ve been enjoying myself so incredibly immensely that I’m only just writing about it now. It’s a beautiful vacation life and it’s been going on for a couple of weeks (since May 15), this drinking in the street. And it’s everything we’ve ever wanted. Everything we’ve hoped for. Yes, we’ve alway wanted to drink in the street. It’s all we think about.
Some of us have been to places like New Orleans and Las Vegas and maybe even Savannah where you’re able to get drinks to go and drink IN THE STREET. Many of us have tried to get drinks in bars or at liquor stores and have brought them into the street with intent to drink in the street, with varying degrees of success. I will say that I’m pretty sure it’s always been okay and legal to openly and brazenly drink on NJTransit but that could be my own wishful thinking.
We, the citizens of Chilltown (JK I never call it that), have always wondered why we weren’t blessed with the beautiful gift of drinking outside from our state or city government but then we remember New Jersey politics were once run by actual, literal mobsters and things are still a little weird. Someone, somewhere, between the banks of the Hudson River/Atlantic Ocean and the Delaware River/Bay, is benefiting from us not drinking in the street. They probably think they’re really important and they’re definitely smoking a cigar.
But for now, only WE benefit. We’ve been waiting for this. We’ve worked hard and we’ve been behaving ourselves, only drinking inside the boundaries of restaurants and backyards, and we DESERVE THIS.
I’ve found myself in more than one public park running around blowing bubbles at children and getting them to yell “WAHOO!’ with me.
We’ve turned Newark Ave into a drunken dance cardio class.
More frozen rum drinks than one could ever keep count of have been consumed.
On Sunday while drinking on the street I drooled all over a Golden Retriever and kept telling him he was the “Quarterback of the Dog World!” Actually…I think I was right about that. They ARE the quarterbacks of the dog world.
Perhaps most fantastic of all is the fact that the drink selling establishments close by like 10pm. So then I can GO HOME and no one can talk me into staying out. Because there is nowhere to go. So then the next day I can wake up and work out and do my work and live a full life.
Overall it has been a beautiful time in our collective city history, and it’s all taken place under a cheerful blue sky and a relentless sun that has made me acceptably tan. We’ll always remember this time fondly, I think, once they take our drinking in the street privileges away. Because they will.
Nothing gold can stay.
Yesterday our Jersey City restaurants opened for outdoor dining. Like actual dining where you sit outside the restaurant in a special area and you have table service. We were unable to attend because we were exhausted and still recovering from 3 days of outdoor drinking, IN THE STREET.
Tonight we’ll check out the dining. But please let us drink in the street forever and ever and never take it away ever again, amen.