From Oddities to Ice Cream – My Weekend Recap

For a guy who rarely likes to leave his condo I’ve sure been getting out a lot lately. I had a cool weekend and I’m here to tell you about it. Now’s a good time for a bathroom break because there won’t be another one until the end of the post!

JC Oddities Market, Cathedral Hall, Jersey City

Saturday marked the return of the JC Oddities Market at Cathedral Hall in Jersey City. I missed the last Oddities Market, so I made it a point to get there for this one. Plus, I needed to to fill my lifetime quota of attending an oddity flea market in an old church. Not only did I need to fill that very specific void, but with a long family history in Jersey City, I always look for any reason to venture there. Adding to that, my friend Bob Burke (the Glow Art champion of the world!) mentioned to me that he’d have a table there again. And to further reinforce my trip, the church is getting demolished at some point in the near future, so I’m glad I decided to go.

Bob “Glowmania” Burke had a special surprise gift for me, and I’ll be unveiling that very soon in an upcoming video!

This macabre market was unlike anything I’d ever been to before. The old church (Saint Bridget’s) was adorned with string lights and a random, oversized Delia Deetz-style snake sculpture in the middle of the floor up near the altar. I felt like I was on the set of a late ‘90s low budget horror sequel. (Definitely a part 4 or later.) The middle of the church floor was lined with vendor tables and artists selling everything from records and artwork to taxidermy and homemade jewelry. If only OMC sang a song called “How Bazaar,” now would be the most appropriate time to have that pop in your head. Even after being to so many cons and flea markets, most of these vendors were brand new to me. The basement featured even more tables, so I surpassed my usual 15 minute zip-through for one of these things.

I also ran into my friend Nicole and her girlfriend. You may recall Nicole, fellow Jerseyan and horror fanatic, who way back in 2014, let me post a piece of her writing here at The Sexy Armpit. It was so great to meet her after being friends with her online for so long. Nicole has since changed her social media handles so you can now follow her at @allthedamnvamps on Twitter and @allthedamnvampires on IG.

I bought a few non-tea gifts and a few things for myself. There’s the Jersey City Batman style t-shirt along with these amazing Jersey City coasters by “Chic Chalet.” Recently, I had The Bangles “Hazy Shade of Winter” single in my hands at a recent record show, but I ran out of cash, so I’m happy I found it here.

Brutaliteas

As for pickups, going into this thing I’d say that tea wouldn’t be a thing that I would come home with…AT ALL. Oddly enough, Brutaliteas was on site and proved me completely wrong. They were giving out samples and making tea cooler than it ever was, one tiny ass sample cup at a time. The creative offerings from Brutalitieas are truly game changing. This Jersey couple crafts their own homemade teas and infuses them with a horror or hard rock twist i.e Back in Blackberry, Apricot for Destruction? C’MON! Those are a must buy merely on the wordplay alone. I tried a sample at their table and it was delicious and the aromas are amazing. I was sold. I bought 3 packs. It was so hard to decide from a slew of amazing themes. I narrowed it down to Screamsicle, The Detoxic Avenger (obviously had to get that one), and A Nightpear on Elm Street. I haven’t brewed them yet, but I will very soon. I’ll likely throw in some ice cubes because I’m an iced tea freak.

The benevolent Brutaliteas donates part of the proceeds from sales of the Detoxic Avenger (Lloyd Kaufman approved) to canine cancer. Courtney and Adam are a seriously wonderful couple and it was great to meet them. You can tell that they love what they’re doing because it shines through in their teas. And those PUNS! You can read about their story at their website.

Spotted Toxie graffiti on the wall in the bathroom of Barcade

Barcade

Barcade is for getting buzzed and playing old video games. That was what I did the previous times I’ve been there. Although, I never thought I’d intentionally waltz into a Barcade for a late lunch without taking in an arcade game, but that’s exactly what happened. This time, I plopped myself down on a stool at the bar and ordered my usual drink and a…wait for it…veggie burger?!?! What?

Possibly a little known secret, Barcade’s veggie burger is badass! Equally as shocking, I’m a bit of a connoisseur of veggie burgers. I order veggie burgers almost anytime I can’t get eggplant parm. Spots like Barcade that make their own patties from original recipes in-house are the best. To order a veggie burger from a place that uses frozen patties is crazy because those could be made at home. If you’re into Veggie Burgers, get one next time you’re at Barcade. YUM! Tell me you don’t start getting hungry after reading the menu entry directly from their website:

Veggie Burger Deluxe 

6 oz. fresh patty of beets, brown rice, and black beans topped with cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, mayo & spicy ketchup on a bun.

In between all this I literally just wandered around Jersey City basically all day. I kept running into the best eye candy for my Jersey obsession. I snapped some photos for posterity.

8-Bit Mystery Pin, The Monkey’s Paw Store

Saturday was a good mail day thanks to the arrival of the pin pictured above. Scooby Doo meets Jason Voorhees has always been a mash up I’ve desperately wanted to see come to fruition. We’ve come very close a few times going back to an episode of Robot Chicken, and then some artwork from artist Travis Falligant, then there was also the Mystery of Crystal Lake enamel pin by The Monkey’s Paw where Shag and Scoob had a run-in with Jason. I snatched that one up as soon as it was released, but not too long after, they started teasing this 8-bit styled sequel to their original pin. What makes these pins so incredible is that they both had a run of only 50 worldwide. It’s a total collector’s item for a guy like me who loves both Scooby-Doo and Friday the 13th.

iPlay America

On Sunday, we went to iPlay for an event that wound up getting cancelled. We had a couple of consolation drinks then walked through the arcade area where I found this beautiful DC Comics game. All the major characters were featured on the game. I was stoked to see their Bronze age versions represented so I had to share it here. I didn’t actually play the game, just stood there drooling over it and took a thousand photos of every panel as blatantly illustrated in the collage above. Now that I got that out of my system, maybe I’ll actually play it next time.

Camp WWE

With 2 WWE events this weekend, (NXT Takeover and Backlash) I spent a lot of time on the WWE Network. I wound up unexpectedly re-binging CAMP WWE. To call it a binge is a bit of a stretch since the season only lasted 5 episodes. I’m sure watching them all again sounds pretty wild to even the most die-hard WWE fans, since almost everyone I’ve talked to about the show haven’t seemed too excited about it. The first time I watched it was about a day or so after the WWE premiered it on the network and I found it amusing, but wasn’t crazy for it. After a second helping, I’m finding myself loving it.

When you think about it, there hasn’t been a WWE animated show since Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling, which I loved as a kid (around 75 years ago.) Merely for that reason alone, it automatically gains major cool points in my book. Think about it for a second, a modern day WWE animated series is pretty monumental. Wrestling AND cartoons combined? Drink it in maaaan! Let’s not take it for granted.

There’s also the fact that it’s funny thanks to a ton of in-jokes for wrestling fans. It’s written and produced by lifelong wrestling fans and that translates to a show that doesn’t dumb anything down. I found myself having a blast with it way more this time. The summer camp backdrop is like built-in nostalgia and Mr. McMahon hamming it up is incredible. Some of the other highlights of the show feature The Undertaker becoming one with nature, A 7-year old Stone Cold Steve Austin getting tanked on beers at a bar, an amusing appearance by Goldust as Mr. McMahon’s personal assistant, the actual Lex Express bus blowing up, and a truly hysterical take on Bray Wyatt. Check it out if you haven’t yet!

Ice Cream at Jersey Freeze

Before we headed home to catch WWE Backlash, I abruptly screeched the car off Route 33 and into the Jersey Freeze parking lot for some ice cream. The last time I was here was at least 15 years ago, so it was about time to rectify that. I got a cone with peanut butter pie ice cream. It was so delicious. I’ve never had this flavor before so I asked the girl behind the counter what was in it. She had no idea so she asked one of her coworkers. Once she mentioned peanut butter ice cream, bits of pie crust, and peanut butter cups I was putty in her hands. If you’re in the area this summer, make a pit stop there! (or an ARMPIT STOP! <rimshot>)

Thanks for reading about my latest excursion! Hope to see you back here soon!

That Fence Has a Huge BUSH!

Atrocities such as 9/11, the war in the middle east, and horrible beheadings have opened the eyes of our society. Much of today’s youth has grown more aware as a result. It’s especially proven true after what I noticed in my neighborhood the other day. I had never really seen politically charged graffiti before. In the tri-state area we are almost desensitized to graffiti. Obviously it takes on a different meaning in the inner cities than in suburbs and elsewhere. In the inner cities entire buildings are painted with intricate graffiti. Of course, graffiti and “tagging” can be considered an art form, but since we see so it so often it loses its potency. It’s likely that whenever there’s a blank slab of concrete, there’s typically some sort of artwork of various sizes and colors sprayed on it.

Sometimes the subject matter is similar to the crap you read on the walls of a bathroom stall, other times it’s about peace. Occasionally it’s the nickname of local “posse”. Usually not much thought goes into what it says, more goes into how it looks. Naturally surprise came over me when I saw a pretty decent quality caricature of Dubya on a fence nearby my house. It bluntly stated “Bush is a Liar”.
At first I thought that whoever did this must’ve been pretty ballsy. Not only was it on private property, but it seemed like an above average amount of ingenuity went into it. This person was the Bob Ross of graffiti. They were playing freakin Picture Pages on the fence! They didn’t seem like they could have done it in a hurry, so it wasn’t just a hit and run job. They couldn’t have been drunk or high, they seemed like they were on a mission. Maybe it was an overachieving, brownnosing campaign worker for John Kerry. If he or she was on the Kerry “street team” he could’ve just started ballistic posting on message boards across the Internet instead of going through all of the trouble. But I admire them for going the old fashion route. Painstaking artwork. Something has to be said for those who work with their hands. The funny part is, I agree with the message but at the same time I hate the guy for defacing the town that I hold so dear. It’s no bel-air, it’s far from it, but it’s my town that created all the bass sound. Strangely, I’d rather see graffiti with a message than some stupid pointless tag or something obscene. It’s more thought provoking and hopeful. It makes me think, maybe this isn’t a society filled with as many morons as I thought.

Hypothetically, let’s say that the culprit is a young person. How is he or she gathering his information to form opinions? First off, there is television. It’s a fact that many actors in film and TV are against Bush since many are Democrats. Fahrenheit 911’s Michael Moore claimed if anyone under 17 wants to see the movie let him know and he would sneak them in. Not such a lame ass comment after all. These are the future voters he’s sneaking in! Super idea! A commercial for the movie shows George W. Bush and Citizens United, a republican group, has stated that it might violate the The Federal Elections commission rule of prohibiting ads that picture a candidate within 30 days of a parties nominating convention. Moore believes it’s an an attempt to stop people from seeing his movie. Can we say that this spray-job violates the Federal Graffiti Commission law?
Most importantly the youth is influenced by music and their favorite artists. Now more than ever we are being told to “rock the vote”. At many concerts and events since the springtime I’ve seen tables set up to register to vote. Jon Bon Jovi has always been a staunch supporter of democratic candidates. Incubus’ recent track “Megalomaniac” is all about Bush and from what I gather singer and lyricist Brandon Boyd is commanding him to “step down”. (Do you think he wants him to step down? Maybe he should repeat the line again? lol) The Beastie Boys have been known to make their political opinions clearly known. Their latest album “To the 5 Boroughs” is riddled with anti-bush lyrics and an urge for peace. To top it off a “Rock Against Bush” compilation has been released with a second volume coming soon with even higher profile artists such as Offspring and No Doubt. All of this contributes to the widespread “consciousness” amongst young people. With all of these influences, maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised to see an enormous Bush on the fence.
Finally one last idea that I had was that “the culprit must really hate Bush.” Then after more thinking, I reasoned that they couldn’t have hated Bush that much if they’re taking the time to draw pictures of him on fences. They might have wanted to just exercise their art skills. Regardless, creating more propaganda for this douche is not good by any means. I don’t want to see his dumb ass face at all. It’s on TV and in the papers way too much as it is. To the graffiti-freaks out there, please don’t give this guy any more press. I’m of the ilk that any publicity is good publicity, but I’m a hound. So in my twisted mind this graffiti is inadvertently paying homage. If the “artist” was so anti-Bush they could have drawn a big huge John Kerry head.