Walking Around Downtown New York


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Debbie Harry

Photo Copyright Daniel Bellino Zwicke


Just walking back home from my Chiropractor. East Village to Greenwich Village, and came across this great mural of Debbie Harry (Blondie) painted on the side of a building wall on Bleecker Street, just east of The Bowery. Great job to the artist who did it. I’ll have to take note of that the next time I walk by

Debbie Harry and her band Blondie were icons of Punk Rock, Pop, and Rock Music in the late 1970s and 1980s. Debbie Harry was a major fixture of the Downtown New York Scene of the 70 & 80s. Debbie Harry was immortalized by Andy Warhol, who did several paintings of Harry’s image.

This mural on Bleecker Street is just feet from where the famed Punk Rock Club CBGB’S once sttood, and where Debbie Harry played on several occasions. The song “Rapture” by Debbie Harry is one of the 1st Rap Songs ever, though Harry was not a Rap Artist at all, it was just this one song, “a One Off.” On the other hand, much of Debbie Harry and Blondie success comes from the fact that her music crossed many genres, including: Pop, Punk Rock, Disco, and Rock Music. Debbie Harry / Blondie hits include: Heart of Glass, Rapture, Call Me (American Gigilo), and The Tide is High.


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“Keith Andy & Jean Michel”


In the hallway of a gallery on Bond Street, New York, NY. Three Great New York Artists. From left to right; Jean Michel Basquiat, Keith Harring, and Andy Warhol.


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East 7th Street

New York NY


McSorley’s Ale House, or simply McSorley’s as most people have called it, is an Irish Bar on East 7th Street in New York, first opened its doors in 1854 and his been operating as a bar ever since. 

McSorley’s has some famous motto’s, including; “Be Good or Be Gone,” “Good Ale, Raw Onions & No Ladie,” aluding to their Ale, the raw onions on their Sndwiches served with Irish Custard (Mustard) and no ladies referring to the face that McSorley’s was one of the last bars in New York that had a no women allowed policy, which held true until they were forced by a court order in 1970 to permit women into this famous old men’s bar.

Some of the famous people who drank at McSorley’s over the years include’ Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Ulysses S. Grant, Peter Cooper, and artist John Sloan who did some wonderful paintings of the old bar.

I first drank at McSorley’s on St. Patrick’s Day of 1975 with my friends Jay Fahy, his brother Richie, and my buddy Jimmy Ryan. I was just 17, had the most wonderful time singing Irish Songs that my friend Jay led and got the whole place singing along. That’s McSorley’s.


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East Houston Street

New York NY


Bar Milano is a legendary bar in New York. It’s one of New York’s most famous dive bars. In fact, it’s the # 1 most favorite of all Dive Bars in New York. They’ve been there Since 1880.



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East 5th Street

New York NY


I walked past the Fish Bar (Kastro Lounge) today. The Fish Bar is another old haunt of mine when I used live on Avenue A & St Marks Place in the East Village from October 1982 to 1993. I was working at Les Halles, then Park Bistor back then, and the Fish Bar was a regular Friday Night stop after work. It was a small, serious drinking bar that was famous for their Martini’s. The Owner Fran, who was a bartender at The Blue Bar in The Algonquin Hotel open this little bar on East 5h Street called Kastro Lounge. The place was reminiscent of a little bar that you might find on a Greek Island, with its over-head garage door and Fish decorations all over the bar, the customers disregarded the real name of the place Kastro Lounge, and just called the place the Fish Bar. The name stuck, and that was that. Fran’s brother Johnnie was the main bartender, the friendly face of the joint that was filled with many hardcore regulars.  I’m talking serious drinkers and a lot of Coke snorting in the bathrooms. That was not me. No Cocaine, and I’ve never been a big drinker. I like a cocktail here and there, and I love socializing out at a nice bar, and I never get drunk. I don’t mind getting just a little buzz, which I actually like, but I never ever get drunk. I drink slow and nurse my drinks, as not to get drunk. My main reason for being there is to hangout, chit-chat, and have a nice time, without getting drunk.

One of my favorite things about the Fish Bar was their take-out menu. No they didn’t have a kitchen, and they didn’t serve any food. They had a loose-leaf binder that was filled with about 20 menus of local places that delivered food, and I used to love to go to there on Friday and Saturday nights after work, order my Mount Gay & OJ from Johnnie, call up the diner around the block, order a Cheeseburger, and wait for the guy to deliver it to me at the bar. I just loved that, and along with hanging with friends, and bull-shitting about this and that, and sipping my Rum, I just loved to order my Cheeseburger, have a guy deliver it to me at the bar, and schomp down on it.

These were my times at Kastro Loung, aka “The Fish Bar.”

Basta !


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Debra Harry

Just Another Picture


How to Watch a Movie


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Mickey Rourke and Eric Roberts (L)


How to watch a movie? You go to the cinema or pop something on at home, no? Yes that one way. You can watch a movie and maybe it’s good and maybe it’s not. You got to a movie theater? Well not so much today, with Netflix, Cable TV, streaming, or picking out a Video (yes some still have them), or DVD from your home collection. Nowadays there are many ways to see a movie. There’s the old fashion way of going to the cinema, paying money and seeing the latest movie of your choice. That was fun, and it was an event, a night out, and much more affordable than today. “Isn’t everything?” Well yeah, most things are a lot more expensive than they were in years past, and somethings not. Candy bars for example are about 20 times more than they were when I was a kid. WHen I first started buying candy bars (Hershey Bar etc.) they were only 5 Cents. And guess what? They were only 5 Cents when my father was a boy, 30 years before. In 30 years, the price of a candy bar (all candy) hadn’t gone up at all. When I first started buying Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Hershey Bars, Almond Joys and such, they where just 5 cents, a Nickel a piece. Then they started going up, a nickel at a time, until they got to the point they are now, between 1 Dollar and a Buck 25 depending on where you buy one. That’s as muc as 25 times increase since I was a boy. The average workers weekly income has gone up only 2 1/2 to 3 times since then, yet a Hershey Bar has gone up 20 times or more. A home has gone up close to 20 times as well, yet the price of long distance phone calls have decreased 20 times. What’s a person to do. The price of a movie ticket? Yes it’s gone up about 25 times since I started paying for my own movie ticket 50 years gone buy at the Rivoli Theater in Rutherford, New Jersey when it was just .75 for for a “Double Feature,” two movies with Cartoons in between. No more Double Features, no more cartoons, doesn’t exist. And boy did I Love, and did I have oh so much fun and fantasy, seeing all those great movies as a boy, back in 1960s America, it was just great, it was a “Wonderland,” the movies and movie houses of yor.

Well, again, I’ve gone way off the track again. Were’nt we talking about how to watch a movie? Yep. Now watching a movie in your normal way, and watching a movie with my winemaker cousin Joseph Macari Jr. of the North Fork of Long Island, New York is a whole other story. First off, you’re got to have a great movie. A movie with great actors and a great director always helps. When Joe and I would be watching movies, most of them would tend to be what you’d call guy films, such as Mob Movies made by the likes of Italian-American Directors Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola. Movies like the Godfather I and II, Goodfellas, Casino, and Raging Bull.  The Pope of Greenwich Village by Vincent Partrick, and starring Mickey Rourke and Eric Roberts is one of our all-time favorites, as is State of Greace about the Irish Mafia of Hell’s Kitchen , New York, and which Gary Oldman turned in one hell of an incredible performance, playing Irish Mob Boss (Ed Harris) crazy brother, Irish Mob Soldier.

So we’d pick a movie, get it ready, then Joe would go down into his wine cellar and grab an amazing bottle of Champagne. And I’m not talking about  Vueve Cliquot (Orange Label) or MOET – White Star, I’m talking some really serious Champagne, “The Best of The Best.” Joe came back that night with a bottle of BILLECART – SALMON Rose. “Wow!” Well I never had this Champagne before, I’d never even heard of it. Joe popped the cork and poured me a glass. We toasted, and then I took my first sip. Again, “Wow,” It was absolutely amazing. And I was in love. Yes I do love that Champagne, Billecart – Salmon Rose. It is so very delicious, and some have said, the Brut Rose Champagne produced by the Champagne House of Billecart – Salmon is a reference point as to how a great French Rose Champagne should taste, and that’s absolutely marvelous. And it should “Blow Your Mind” so to speak as that wine did for my that night, way back in the Fall of the year 2000. Yes Billecart Rose, as we call it, has to be my number 1 al-time favorite of all the great CHampagnes of France. And I’ve had many great champagnes, and ones that are far more expensive, and some might think better, than the Rose of Billecart Salmon, but not me. It was that special night, hanging out with my cousin Joe, watching Mickey Rourke and Eric Roberts in The Pope of Greenwich Village, enjoying the film, laughing, talking about it, and savoring that fine Champagne. 



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Billecart – Salmon

Brut Rose

The champagnes of Maison Billecart-Salmon are above all created thanks to the knowledge of the men who rigorously cultivate an estate of 100 hectares, obtaining grapes from an area totaling 300 hectares across 40 crus of the Champagne region.

The majority of the grapes used for vinification come from a radius of 20km around Epernay, where the Grand Crus of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay co-exist, in the ethereal vineyards of the Montagne de Reims, the Vallée de la Marne and the Côte des Blancs.

Yes, we do love our Champagne, we’re music lover, gourmands, and film buffs, and we combine these interests into some very sepcial times. Over the years we watched Man on Fire with Denzel Washington and Dakota Fanning, True Romance, Pulp Fiction, The Silence of The Lambs and other great movies. And we drank wines like Solaia, Tiganello, Taittinger’s Comtes di Champagne and other great wines, and vintage Champagne. Our, and by the way, I haven’t completely set the scene. When Joe and I watched these movies and drank Champagne, it was after the whole family, after a long day at Macari Vineyards, we’d all have a nice dinner together. We cooked, ate, chatted, and drank some nice wine with dinner. Then, as everyone was quite tired and would retire to bed, Joe and I would get our movie, an awesome bottle of Champagne, and we’d dig in. Dig into a classic film and some Vintage Champagne.

“Now that my friends, is How You Watch a Movie. Wouldn’t you agree?”

Basta !


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Me & Cousin Joe

Drinking Prosecco in VENICE




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James Caan, Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, and John Cazale


Sonny, Don Vito, Michael, and Freddo


“Joe and I drank “MILLE Una NOTTE” from our friends The RALLO FAMILY of DONNAFUGATA , Marsala, SICILY when we watched this one. We had to, great Sicilian Wine and a Sicilian Family, The CORLEONES of Corleone, Sicilia …


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Gary Oldman


Wine Pairing ?




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Our Wine Pairing ?



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Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) would approve of the Champagne selection, “I’m sure.”

For me, Pulp Fiction was an absolute Masterpiece, and easily director Quentin Tarrantino’s greatest film. I really liked Tarrantino’s first film Resevoir Dogs, but not nearly as much as Pulp Fiction, which is in my Top 10 Films. 

John Travolta, Ving Raimes, Eric Stolz, Harvey Keitel, and Samuel L. Jackson were awesome in the film, as was Uma.

The screenplay by Tarrantio and Roger Avery was the base of this great film. I’m still waiting for tarrantino to make at least one more great film, but just for this masterpiece alone, for me he’s a genius. And I love another screenplay that Tarrantino wrote, but didn’t direct the movie. And that would be the movie True Romance, directed by the late great Tony Scott (RIP).


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Robert DeNiro as JAKE LaMOTTA

In Martin Scorsese ‘s RAGING BULL

Wine Pairing ?


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Grande Cuvee

Raging Bull, another great film classic from director Martin Scorsese. KRUG Grande Cuvee, what can you say, “This Champagne is Amazing!” It’s KRUG after all?


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Christopher Walken and Dennis Hopper


As Vincenzo Cocotti and Cliff Worley




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“Dam I Love this Champagne!” What’s not to Love? Pol Roger- Sir Winston Churchill is one of the Best Champagne’s money can buy, “you just can’t get any better.” Full of those yeasty bready Brioche flavors that I love in fine Vintage Champagne. And the movie True Romance, what can I say? Dam, I just flipped for this film the first time I saw it. And seeing this movie and Christian Slater’s awesome performance as Clarence Worly, just blew my mind, and I finally gained respect for Christian’s acting abilities. I’ve know Christian since he was about 10 years old, and his mother, powerhouse Casting Director Mary Jo Slater used to bring him to a restaurant I worked in long ago (the 1980s).

This film was awesome from beginning to end, and is one of Quentin Tarrantino’s greatest works. he wrote the screenplay, but didn’t make the movie, which was directed by Tony Scott. The movie is filled with one awesome ensemble cast which includes: the stars Slater and Patricia Arquette (ALabama), along with cameos by Dennis Hopper (Slater’s father), Christopher Walkin as Mob Boss Vincenzo Cocotti, Brad Pitt as Michael Rappaport’s “Stoner Friend,” Val Kilmer plays ELVIS PRESLEY, Gary Oldman is aboslutely Electrifying as wannabe Rastafarian Drug Dealer / Pimp called Drexl.

Anyway, I love the movie, and was oh so happy to turn Joe on to it. He had never seen it before, and he abolutely loved it. We had a great time watching it together, and The Sir Winston Chruchill Champagne did not hurt at all. “It was incredible!”

to be Continued …. 

I will add to my reviews of both the Movies, Actors, and Champagne’s at a later date. Hope you all enjoy this for now. So until the next great movie, and the next great French Champagne. As Arnold would say, “Hasta la Vista Baby!”