November is Model Railroad Month! Lots of kids and adults alike are getting ready to set up their toy trains for the holidays. Until then, check out the above video that I filmed back in the summer while waiting for a train at New York Penn Station. This window display is on the NJ Transit side and it’s pretty damn cool, especially if you’re a fan of Jersey history or just dig cool window displays. I never thought I’d see such a tribute to New Jersey in New York Penn Station but it’s actually right there near the waiting area so you can witness it for yourself the next time you are there, OR just watch this video! Of course, it’s not a traditional model train set, but since it’s the work of NJ Transit this will serve as our observation of Model Railroad Month!
The Sexy Armpit
The 2009 remake of The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, has a New Jersey in-joke. Travolta’s subway hijaking character Ryder becomes very defensive when dispatcher Walter Garber (Denzel Washington) makes a punchline out of The Garden State. In reality, Travolta was born in Englewood, New Jersey. In an ironic twist, the film also stars Jersey born Tony Soprano himself, James Gandolfini as the Mayor of New York City!
RYDER: “Yeah well you know, you live, you die, you either go with the current or you fight it, but you all wind up in the same place”
Recently, The Sexy Armpit took a trip to the lower east side of Manhattan (CSV Cultural Center 107 Suffolk Street at Rivington) for Nightmare:Bad Dreams Come True. This haunted walk through bills itself as “New York’s Most Horrifying Haunted House,” and from my experience I can tell you that it definitely isn’t. This is one of the more hyped haunted attractions in New York City, and even though I commend it’s effort, it didn’t make me feel nearly as scared as Blood Manor did. Here’s why:
Zombie Girl: Come see me later and I’ll give you a Brazilian on your head.
Jay: No, I’m gonna give you a Brazilian!
Zombie Girl: Too late!
This was an exchange I had with just one of the many wickedly costumed dwellers of Blood Manor whom I encountered as they lurked about at Home the swank club/lounge underneath the haunted attraction. I’ve heard of New York City’s Blood Manor before but I never experienced it. While at the Monster Mania Con I noticed a bunch of postcards ads for it on a vendor table. The Sexy Armpit was lucky enough to enjoy the special press preview of Blood Manor. The building is closer to Penn Station than I realized and it only took about 10-15 minutes to walk there from MSG. (542 W. 27th Street) I have to hand it to the organizers of this attraction since they truly built up my anticipation and curiosity as to what kind of terror I’d find within the walls of Blood Manor. If you’re saying to yourself “But Jay, it’s a haunted house, if you’ve been in one, you’ve been in them all.” Then you simply have not experienced the better ones. Blood Manor is one of the best I’ve been through.
For a Thursday night this was a formidable graveyard smash. Filing in were the super cool hip and trendy group of TV, radio, and print folks with their ultra fashionable messenger bags. (I packed light a cell phone and ice breakers) We all assembled in the sleek Home lounge while enjoying drinks from the bar and watching scenes from horror films on the large drop down screen. It was like a Disney character breakfast except for it being evil, twisted, in the evening, lacking breakfast food, and no shortage of Vodka. That’s smart, give your visitors a bunch of cocktails and then let them loose in a haunted house where they’ll no doubt be so scared and disoriented that they’ll piss themselves. I love it when a plan comes together! The bartender thought he was Ashton Kutcher and he even had one of those plastic hair bands holding his long hair back. You need to remember, this is New York we’re talking about…everyone wishes they lived in L.A but they’re all really from Jersey.
My friend Steve and I were about to sit down on a leather bench until the moment we realized we wouldn’t be doing much relaxing. All of a sudden a freaky fellow welcomed the crew to Blood Manor and began rapping “The Blood Manor Theme Song” which was actually an awesome song with a hip hop vibe to it. It definitely begs to be a part of the Halloween playlist on my iPod. Just as the song started blaring, Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers, Leatherface, Samara, and a host of other characters made their presence known by greeting each and every person in the lounge by scaring the bejesus out of them. Freddy Krueger kept clinking the blades of his gloves together by my ears and telling me in that slithery voice of his that I was an easy target, which was a correct assumption since he successfully startled me numerous times throughout the night. Later, a little gothic girl who reminded me of one of those living dead dolls came over and stared at us with her huge innocent eyes as if she was confused as to why we just murdered her entire family. We actually didn’t murder her fam but she sure as hell made it seem like we did! The actors did not break character once and their costumes and makeup were exceptional. The oddities continued haunting us until the first group was let into the elevator and finally brought into Blood Manor.
Going into too much detail about the specific rooms inside of Blood Manor would spoil your experience. But I’m feeling generous so I’ll give you a few teasers: The Electrocution is sickeningly realistic, you also may want to reconsider your appointment for that makeover at the beauty parlor, you’ll feel like you’re in another world in the 3-D room with surreal blacklight murals all over the walls, then there’s the Saw room, and of course the boiler room. There are some genuinely unsettling parts of the walk through. The actors do a helluva job of freaking you out without touching you or doing anything crazy. If you’re like me, you’ll probably be more taken aback by some of the unexpected scares rather than the blatant ones. Some of the most fun moments come when you’re unsure of where you’re going in complete darkness. I must say that the finale is the best part. If you make it that far…
Once you’re out of Blood Manor alive, it feels like it didn’t take very long to get through. This might be the “I had so much fun effect” where you’re having such a good time that you had no concept of time or it’s just over too quickly (insert sex joke here). Infusing some good old fashioned carnival simplicity might do the trick. One way the attraction could improve is by possibly adding in a few different transitional areas without actors in between the main rooms. Doing that would make the ride longer as well as calm your senses a bit before you get the shit scared out of you by some of the actors again. These rooms could be just for viewing only and they don’t need to be elaborate. Another aspect that Blood Manor and other haunted houses lack is the presence of ghosts. With all the concentration on such iconic and recognizable horror movie characters, a simple eerie light show projecting some apparitions might work perfectly. Not everything has to be so “in your face.” Ghosts are spooky, just think back to the first time you saw one sitting in your cart the first time you went on the Haunted Mansion ride in Disney.
Blood Manor capped off an amusing night filled with scares, adult beverages, and me almost breaking my nose. In addition to it’s proximity to Penn Station, Blood Manor will not take a big chunk out of your night. Go ahead, plan a night out in New York but if I were you, I’d make Blood Manor you’re first destination rather than you’re last mwahahahaha!!!
Bon Jovi has done pretty much everything a band can do but they didn’t play Central Park until Saturday July 12th. In honor of the MLB’s all-star week Bon Jovi decided to put on a free concert on the Great Lawn in New York City’s Central Park. It was rumored that there’d be close to 60,000 fans in attendance so I knew we’d have a hell of a time getting into the park. I’m not one who enjoys hassle or complications. I enjoy being laid back rather than rushing from Penn Station to hop on the subway to Central Park. Then from there we had to get checked, scanned, and frisked several times and wait in numerous lines. By the time we got into the audience area there weren’t too many people there but the ones that were there were relaxing on towels they brought. I didn’t think to bring a towel or a blanket and neither did anyone I went with. That was the least of my problems. It was only 3:00 pm, so we had another 5 hours to wait until Bon Jovi took the stage. I was betting on them not starting on time but they were in a public park so the rules were a little bit more tight. Go on at 8 and get off the stage at 10 pm you New Jersey rebel rousers!
Lately when I sit on the toilet and take a crap, I am overwhelmed by a sense of appreciation for modern plumbing and bathrooms. Recently I was on the NJ transit train heading toward NY Penn Station. I had to pee really bad. I forgot that there was a bathroom on the train so I took the chance.
Even though if I would have peed myself it wouldnt have mattered cause it looked like a lot of the people on the train had done the same thing. Suddenly, my nostrils were struck by the foulest odor. It was impervious. I could not handle the odor. My mission was to urinate as fast as possible while trying not to inhale the mixture of all the previous visitors shit/fart/piss/puke smells. I peed while holding my shirt over my nose and avoiding making eye contact with all of the stuff that missed the aluminum bowl. I got more nauseated as my liquid fell into some sort of brownish orange goo that resided there. My regurgitation was really close to joining the rest of the crew to hang out. Luckily i was finished. I got the hell out of there.
It’s always funny when you come out of public bathroom and you think that the next person that goes in there is gonna think that YOU made the stench, or the mess. Not true. Always give them the benefit of the doubt. An example is the bathrooms at college. In between English classes I have to take leaks. I look down past my junk to the urinal and see on the sides of the bowl part – long ass pubes. WHO THE HELL are these morons whose pubes fall off and decide to perch themselves on the bowl of the urinal. Mind you that they dont fall in the water, its the part above it, like the ledge. Most important – we are in a technologically advanced 21st century…why do guys have huge bushes? Guys shouldnt have pubes that are as long as my middle finger. That is fucking disgusting. Shave your fucking bush down you fucking psychos. And stop yanking your pubes while using the urinal.
Finally, modern day bathrooms RULE. They are amazing. They are the “shit.” We don’t realize how good we have it. Ever use a Johnny on the spot? Or a Portosan? It’s like the outhouses people had in the old days. There was odors, flies, and other people’s excrement. Let’s be thankful that we can shit in a peaceful, nurturing environment. We even have spray to wipe out the odors. It’s grand.
So, it’s all good. Thank God for modern bathrooms, cause without them I wouldnt be able to laugh so much when my shit is too big to flush down the shoot. It acts like its holding on for dear life, fighting the supreme suction. It just does not want to get devoured by the abyss. I don’t blame the shit. The shit finally gets out into the open and then gets sucked away. Shit doesnt have a very long life. It’s kinda like Boba Fett and the great Pit of Carkoon from Return of the Jedi.