Throwback: Smoking Hookah & Eating Good at Persepolis Lounge & Grill

Persepolis Lounge and GrillTaking a trip is all about having fun experiences. And I intended to make my one day in the city of Savannah, Georgia with my significant other just that when I went down to see her family for Thanksgiving last year.

We spent the day doing a scavenger hunt, going on a haunted tour (because Savannah is pretty much built over graveyards of old) and enjoying Southern delicacies like pralines.

We decided to cap off the night at the one hookah stop we could find on Google/Yelp: Persepolis Lounge & Grill. We were conveniently about 3 blocks from it, so we gave it a whirl.

And man, did it pay off! The place was almost empty for no good reason since the ambiance was intimate and classy. The owner and waitress we had were both wonderful.

The owner recommended an amazing port wine that we had a couple of glasses of. The food was also to die for… We had a chicken dish with some rice that really stood out in a good way.

We wound up staying at Persepolis Lounge & Grill for a couple of hours just enjoying our adult night out. This was our first long trip as a couple and there was some arguing, so this day in Savannah GA and meal/hookah experience really helped make the trip special.

Business Card Count: 36,137

Throwback: My 1st NJ Dinner Cruise on Cornucopia Cruise Line

Cornucopia Cruise LineMy birthday is coming up real fast, so I decided to take a look back at my last birthday and a really sweet gift I got from my someone special: a dinner cruise on Cornucopia Cruise Line.

I’d love to go on a cruise one day and was told that taking a dinner cruise that lasted a few hours would be a good dress rehearsal. I remember the last extended boat ride I took (outside of a ferry) was in Cape Hatteras when I was 9 or 10 years old and I wound up getting seasick and vomiting orange from eating an OJ & carrot breakfast.

But I digress. We departed out of Perth Amboy, New Jersey before the sunset and I couldn’t wait to experience what Cornucopia Cruise Line had to offer. And it started off with some well-made drinks and a nice view of the sunset.

Then came the food. We had a 5-course meal that consisted of small appetizers, a pasta, a Caesar salad, the entree choice I made was salmon in a creamy dill sauce with potatoes & a vegetable and a plate of pastries for dessert. I enjoyed the food I had.

Then came the dancing. The DJ played music from a variety of eras and the dance floor was full. Thanks to my significant other, I’ve rediscovered my joy for dancing and this night meant that I could just let my inner boogie loose. I also got some kudos from a couple of people on the boat for a combination of my dancing and my date.

I had a fun time on my first dinner cruise, even if it was just in Central NJ. I’d definitely do another cruise, especially around the Caribbean. Thanks to Cornucopia Cruise Line & my someone special for making my birthday celebration special and fun.

Business Card Count: 35,792

Throwback: The Music Den’s Awesome Guitar Pick Business Card

Music Den Ledgewood Kinnelon NJI love unique business cards and one of the more distinct ones I’ve ever found was from The Music Den located in Ledgewood Mall and Kinnelon Mall New Jersey. I went to the Ledgewood location when I first moved out to Budd Lake so many years ago.

I was shopping for Christmas presents for my family and I knew my brother liked music & played guitar, so I decided to stop into The Music Den. I remember looking around, but I’m not sure if I bought anything from there.

The only thing I remember was grabbing their business card and thinking that it was cool that it looked like guitar picks. I realized later when organizing my cards that this card was thicker than usual and the business card contained 4 actual guitar picks in it.

Are they good guitar picks? I have no idea since I like keeping my business cards in as good of condition as possible & poking a guitar pick-sized big hole isn’t exactly the most productive way of doing so. That and the fact I can’t carry a tune if my life depended on it.

It’s actually an ingenious way to promote your company if you sell musical instruments & sheet music. Kind of think of it, I may have bought my brother sheet music for his guitar that day. I can’t recall though.

Business Card Count: 34,872

Whatever Happened to Quiznos? It’s So Much Better Than Subway

Quiznos Poughkeepsie NYA while back, I wrote a blog post about Subway and how it’s not worth the money. One submarine sandwich shop that’s worth the money is Quiznos.

I remember first experiencing Quiznos at their location in Poughkeepsie, New York that happened to be right across the street from my college campus (along with 2 pizzerias, a deli and more). It’s still there to this day, but I noticed that many locations closed.

So it made me wonder: whatever happened to Quiznos?

Turns out that they closed a bunch of locations during the recession and in 2014 when they filed for Chapter 11. It’s a real shame, but I can see how people would gravitate towards Subway because of its message of being healthier over Quiznos being more savory.

Though I don’t think the spongmonkeys ever had child porn like Jared did.

The food at Quiznos is so much better than Subway and Quiznos toasting their subs long before Subway did. I discovered it in college and enjoyed it while there, at home on break from college, on occasional trips to NYC and at rest stops. Alas, there are few and far between nowadays.

My favorite sub to get was the Chicken Carbonara (chicken, bacon, mozzarella & mushrooms with parmesan alfredo sauce) on wheat. I always got it with a large with some chips and raspberry lemonade. It was a go-to meal at least once a week for me because I loved the cheese flavor and the chicken/mushroom/alfredo/bacon combo.

I also got the Baja Chicken (chicken, bacon, cheddar cheese baja sauce and no onions & chipotle mayo) on occasion, but never enough for it to be my favorite. I’d love to eat at Quiznos again, but I’d have to find a location since they don’t have many… while Subway has one in like every town. I need that Chicken Carbonara, like yesterday.

Business Card Count: 34,464

Throwback: A&T Auto Parts Last Chance Pick & Pull

1995 Buick SkylarkI’m going way back to the 2006ish for this one since it was the day my 1995 Buick Skylark was officially on life support. The Skylark was my second car ever and it was a fun ride.

It was a bold blue color that really stood out and appealed to me when I was shopping at my mother’s friend’s grandfather’s used car lot. I was getting over the loss of my first car, a silver 1997 Chevy Monte Carlo, via Asian lady stoppage in the middle of the highway. But I did enjoy the Skylark for about a year and a half until things started going south.

Several parts started going until it would cost more to fix the car than it was worth. I was told by the mechanic that it only had a few more miles until the engine would stop. He recommended a place to go drop it off: A&T Auto Parts Last Chance Pick & Pull in Hyde Park, New York.

A and T Auto PartsI thought to myself “of course I’m taking my car to a place called Last Chance.” It’s the most appropriate name for a junkyard since it’s the last chance the guy had for being whole.

It probably wound up getting gutted for parts, which is pretty sad considering I knew the body shop who got my 1st car and actually told me when my old car was ready. Man, I did enjoy driving to and from college in the Skylark.

Business Card Count: 34,025

Throwback: Living at the Residence Inn in Poughkeepsie NY

Residence Inn Poughkeepsie NYThat’s right: at one time, I lived out of a hotel. The Poughkeepsie Residence Inn to be precise. It’s a really long story of how this occurred, but it’s a doozy.

It was my senior year of college and too many students who got accepted by Marist chose to go to my alma mater. So the natural logic Marist had was to triple up certain seniors. And of course, one happened to be me.

And I was pissed especially since my roommates were quite annoying. I snored too loud apparently and they tried to make me sleep in the living room. I went and complained about it to the RA on several occasions that I couldn’t live with my roommates.

It was only 2 weeks into the semester and it was arranged that I would be moved out of the triple and into their new solution for overflowed students: the Residence Inn down the road from the school. Apparently, other students were living there also and I was told to expect a roommate. But I never got one!

So I slept in my own hotel room with multiple bunk beds inside. The room came with a kitchen, which I almost burned down once thanks to my poor cooking skills. I felt such shame when the fire department walked outside with the pan I was using. I can sense the anger the other people had since I’ve felt that when people set off fire alarms by burning popcorn.

There was also a pool and fitness center I would have taken advantage of if not for the fact that I was at my worst weight and diet at that point. At least I took full advantage of the free breakfast every day and I’m sure I ate oodles of bacon & sausage and no yogurt or other healthy stuff because I was a fatty.

Overall, I really enjoyed living in the hotel for a semester. I got booted from there over winter break and wound up moving into an apartment with my brother & his girlfriend (now ex-girlfriend).

Business Card Count: 33,660

Throwback to Malletti Pizzeria: The Best Pizza in London

Malletti PizzeriaThe year was 2005 when I studied abroad in London. I traveled around Europe, saw all the sites and ate the food of the culture.

I also interned while there and always had to find spots for lunch. One spot that intrigued me was Malletti Pizzeria since I saw a line out the door and down the block. It intrigued me because most pizza in London was horrendous since it was way too doughy with a sliver of cheese and sauce.

Pizza LondonI knew I had to try it and arrive at an off time where the line wasn’t down the block. And the first time I did was so worth it. The pizza was thin and square… I guess like a Grandma slice here in the states. What they did was give you 2 small pieces and then flipped one on top of the other into some sort of amazing pizza sandwich.

I could not believe the feeling of pure jubilation when I took my first bite. It redefined what I thought what pizza could be. It was hard to handle, but amazing after letting it cool for a couple of minutes.

I wound up standing on that queue multiple times a week for the almost half year I interned in what is my favorite city.

What Malletti is Up to Now

I found out that the location I enjoyed so much closed in 2009 to the sadness of many. However, there is still have a Malletti Pizzeria location in London at 174-176 Clerkenwell Road that I encourage people to go to if they ever visit the city. I’ll note it if I ever go back.

Business Card Count: 33,486

Throwback: Working at Union Chimney as a Telemarketer

Union Chimney Deer Park NYI was 19 or 20 when I decided that I didn’t want to work at a supermarket while I was home for the summer. So I opted to look in the Pennysaver for a position and I got rid of the super half of the word and replaced it with one that will live in infamy: tele… as in telemarketing.

Before the time of cell phones in 2004 or 2005, landlines were still prominent and I believe that’s about the time we got a cable modem instead of dial up. But it was decided that I would be a telemarketer at Union Chimney in Deer Park, New York.

There are a few particular memories I had at Union Chimney:

  1. Making $10 an hour and working 4 hours a day and some days a week
  2. The radio always being on Z100 and hearing the same 5 songs every day in the same 4-hour span… ridiculous
  3. One employee being the “chimney master” named Dominic who always got a lot of sales and always said “Union Chim-mah-ney” instead of Union Chimney
  4. Being threatened by a 92-year-old sick man that he would kick my ass if I called him again
  5. Being told “take me off your list” and there was an actual list we used

It was a good enough job at the time and even went to telemarket for a real estate company the next summer, but they were a lot less organized and had us trade lists the same day and some names who wanted to be off the list were not crossed out since they didn’t do that at the time. I was selling mortgage refinancing and got let go on the day I wanted to quit, so that’s lovely.

But my time at Union Chimney was fun enough for the summer and I made more than other home-from-college supermarket workers. I’d never work there again, but it gave me some fun memories.

Business Card Count: 33,098

Throwback: Myspace and Its Cool Social Media Business Card

Old Myspace Business CardSocial media has such an impact on life nowadays and Myspace is a long distant memory when thinking about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms I don’t use. Because I do some social media as a part of my job and I have the business card, I wanted to reminiscence.

I used Myspace before the days of Facebook up until I met my wife in 2009 to interact with friends and meet women, both of which I was successful at. I eventually abandoned Myspace because I didn’t need to meet women and the fact that none of my friends used it anymore.

I heard the news that Justin Timberlake bought Myspace & it’s now a music hub. I get my music from YouTube, but that’s just me… and a lot of other people around the world. Myspace may be irrelevant to my life and a lot of other people’s, but one thing does ring true though: Myspace is still more relevant than Google+.

I also wanted to share this because of the business card itself. I got it way back when from Lesley, who happens to (technically still) be my stepsister-in-law whom I don’t speak with for one simple, but complicated reason I don’t want to blog about. We never really spoke except briefly at family functions anyhow… but I’m going down a rabbit hole for someone who doesn’t hold a grudge with her.

The business card shows the Myspace of old, back when we remember using it. You got your name at the top, a personalized quote and other personal info like your interests and contact info. It’s a cool little piece of history and that’s why it’s one of my favorite cards.

Hey, it even says you’re Online Now! No, you’re not on Myspace now… liar. Unless she still works there, I have no idea.

Business Card Count: 32,716

Throwback: The Interesting Business Card of David Naster

David NasterIt’s the holiday season, so sometimes we like to remember the good old days. Getting presents under the tree as a child. Seeing Santa and thinking he was real. Today, I’m looking back on one of the most interesting business cards I’ve ever received.

It’s for David Naster who does (or perhaps at this point did) business in Lenexa, Kansas. I don’t even know how to instinctively write out the state abbreviation KS. This was one of my earliest cards and I’ve always kept it in my mind because of the witty (Remember that name in your will) line on the card itself.

Not a title, not a clue as to who he is. So why should I put that name in my will? Not that I have one yet, but I have that taken care of for now. But I digress.

Who exactly is David Naster? I did a quick Google search to find out and it turns out that he’s a comedian/speaker, which explains the witty one-liner on the business card. He also wrote some books on how to use comedy & laughter as therapy. I went to his website and he seems like a pretty intriguing guy that I’d definitely be interested in having a meal with if the opportunity came up.

Not intriguing enough to leave anything in my will however. Sorry to disappoint Mr. Naster.

Business Card Count: 31,730