No, I’m not trying out a new nickname (although…). It’s the name of a show I just reviewed. Go see it if you’re in New York! It’s awesome!
The cancellation of Sunday’s GoogaMooga festival sucked. Not just for my personal, selfish reasons like not wanting to stand in line for an hour in the rain BEFORE news of the cancellation traveled grapevine-style down the line. That was unprofessional and thoughtless and the work of people who clearly do NOT want any business in the future. But hey, I’ll live. (And if I die of pneumonia from my hour standing still in the chilly rain, somebody hit the organizers and make them stare at good food without offering them any. Yeah.)
You know who may not live? The small businesses that had stands at the festival. To prepare for this shit-show-ganza, the hard-working, talented people behind those businesses had to hire extra staff, buy and prep a ton of food, transport it all to the middle of a field, and set up in advance of the crowds. I know because I saw this from behind a chain link fence that separated me from Handing My Money To Them to buy that delicious food. I know because while the chain link fence prevented my body from getting through to them, the tantalizing aromas of what they were cooking could still waft through and sway me into thinking that I’d wait just a little bit longer.
All of that preparation costs money. Major major money that should be going toward rent for their restaurants, gas and parking for their food trucks, and possibly a couple drinks for their hard work GODDAMIT!!
Yes, to some degree, this is my hunger rage speaking. After all, I am a spoiled Brooklyn foodie who was attending this event after working out extra hard so I could eat more. #firstworldproblems to the max. I get it. But I’m SO damn angry on behalf of those small businesses because this goddamn fuckface of a festival was supposed to be a good thing for them. Expose them to new customers and help them turn a profit. It’s hard enough to do that under normal circumstances, especially in this economy, and Googa is going to make it even harder??
One of the organizers, Superfly co-founder Jonathan Mayers, is quoted on Gothamist saying, “Um, well, our intentions are to have a celebration, to hold something in an iconic park to promote all the amazing local businesses. So coming from that place, I feel really good about the work we do. We tried very hard to make people happy, but not everyone is going to be happy.”
Excuse me, Mr. Co-Fuckface, but I’d like to hear more about what you’re doing to make sure that you haven’t put those “amazing local businesses” OUT of business through your team’s inability to plan ahead or even communicate well when it became clear that a cancellation would occur.
The whole success of GoogaMooga (if the word success can be used) was based on the draw of these local vendors. Now they’re the ones getting screwed over. I can handle an hour out of my day (although not without screaming “fuuuuuck yooooou” into the rain a few times). These people can not handle losing tens of thousands of dollars.
Please, if you want to support local business, and make sure that amazing talented chefs and restauranteurs won’t disappear from our amazing city, go eat at their restaurants. While the Greatly Disappointing Googa shared their list of food vendors to be “helpful”, I went ahead and made a Google map with their actual locations. Because I fucking care. And because, honestly, when it’s not MY issue but I want to help… I need someone to make it as easy for me as possible. So here, it’s easy, just look up whichever awesome restaurant is closest to you and GO EAT. And if there’s a crazy-looking asian chick sputtering F-bombs in between every savory bite, come say hi. It’s probably me.
On an ordinary Thursday evening in mid-April, a curated group of cocktail connoisseurs were invited to the mysteriously named Infused Night, with even more mysterious promises of fun and games throughout the city.
Hosted by Cayrum, a blend of golden Dominican rum, fresh ginger root, and natural honey that recently launched in New York City, our night began at Haven, an airy rooftop bar in Times Square. Guests were served a modernized Manhattan and the pleasantly Spicy Kiki, made with muddled cilantro and serrano peppers. Both drinks highlighted the smooth sweetness and ginger spice of Cayrum in different ways.
After an hour of cocktails and gazing at the impressive view, we were whisked away in black SUVs to our surprise second location. We arrived at Keats to find karaoke, trays of Cayrum shots (mm, smooth!), and a ginger ale concoction that played off the spiced ginger notes wonderfully. Although shy at first, our group took over the karaoke stage to deliver rousing renditions of Britney Spears classics until the black SUVs showed up again.
The third surprise stop was Hog Pit in Chelsea, with a long wide table laden with fried pickles, succulent wings, savory sliders, deviled eggs, and fried frog legs. Our appetites thoughtfully satiated, trays arrived with more shots of Cayrum, and an announcement that we were entered into a darts tournament. Sharp flying objects and copious amounts of alcohol seemed ill-advised, but the fried frog legs had imbued us all with a sense of adventurousness. Or perhaps the free-flowing golden drams of infused rum did that, it’s hard to say.
After an intense no-holds-barred battle, during which three surprise bullseyes were scored (did this rum have magical properties?), we gathered for a picture to commemorate the moment. And then it was off into the SUVs again, and onward to our final destination.
Arriving at Stash, we were ushered in past the waiting line and into an underground cavern that resembled an ornately decorated subway tunnel. Rich red and gold tiles lined the curved ceiling, which was bathed in a warm glow. Our banquette awaited, with yet another table full of drinks, ice, and mixers, but nobody sat down. The music inspired us to dance away the rest of our Infused Night.
Future events are being planned, and Cayrum selects their Facebook fans as guests. So like them and give it a try in the meantime. The awesome night they planned definitely sweetened me up to their cause, but honestly, it’s a great drink made the right way (aged for years in bourbon oak barrels and with real honey and ginger instead of powders). Delicious in straight up shots, on the rocks, or mixed into a cocktail, it’s an easy way to ease into the warm weather we’re finally having.