My favorite cocktails in Manhattan

Over the past year I have had some amazing cocktails. As I head into Health Month, I’d like to reflect on some of the cocktails I’ve had over the past year in Manhattan which are probably among the best drinks I’ve had in my life.

  • Eastside Cocktail (gin, cucumber, mint, lime juice, and simple syrup) at Little Branch
  • El Diablo (tequila, homemade ginger beer, Cassis and a taste of citrus) at the Flatiron Lounge.
  • Presbyterian (whiskey, ginger ale and club soda) at the East Side Company Bar.
  • Negroni (Campari, gin and sweet vermouth) sitting outside at the Maritime Hotel.
  • Greyhound (fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and vodka) at Passerby.
  • Bloody mary (tomato juice, vodka, and tasty sundries) at Cookshop.

Until February, this is Cameron’s alcohol palate singing off.

The polite umbrella

It’s days like this, where the unexpected rain forces exceptional stress on the public transit system and thousands of unhappy commuters bump into each other, wishing they had their summer back and that the world was a little more civil. A little more like this:

The Polite Umbrella is an art project by Joo Youn Paek that allows a nice person to adapt the shape of their umbrella and respect personal space by pulling on some strings on the handle. I think they should be mandatory in New York.

Kobayashi vs. Chestnut: final showdown?

It’s almost Independence Day, and you know what that means… INTERNATIONAL HOT DOG EATING CONTEST. This age-old battle has been dominated by Takeru Kobayashi for the past 6 years, but his closest call came from a rookie named Joey Chestnut at last year’s contest.

Since then, Kobayashi has started suffering from debilitating jaw pain while Chestnut broke the world record on the road to the international contest, gobbling 59 1/2 hot dogs in Arizona, a full 8 more than Kobayashi’s record. Check this video of Chestnut wolfing down hamburgers in a preliminary for the Krystal Square Off:

I did not realize there was such an undertone of nationalism embedded in this competition. And of course Kobayashi went on to win the Krystal hamburger eating contest, barely edging out Chestnut. With a lot of speculation in the air, Kobayashi’s manager (eaters have managers?) has guaranteed that he’ll be in Brooklyn next Wednesday. Well, my manager says I will too.

Best Coffee Ever: Gimme Coffee

I’m not usually that impressed when someone receives a “Best of” award. The ones given out here in Boston include hundreds of categories, such as the illustrious Best Jewelry, Classic, West; and who can forget the inimitable Best Men’s Clothing Store on the Cape. This is Economics 101: given a fixed demand for “Best of” reviews, the more the supply, the lower the value of each award.

The science I’m about to drop here comes in the form of one award in one category for my entire life. It’s the Cameron Marlow lifetime achievement award for best coffee ever consumed. And the award goes to … Gimme Coffee! Located under the bright red awning at 495 Lorimer in Brooklyn, this spartan shop contains an espresso machine, a few tables and little else. But the coffee they make there is unsurpassed in my existence. Each cup is made by a small staff that (not surprising for Williamsburg) takes the art of coffee-making very seriously.

beautiful cup of coffee
Gimme Coffee’s average cup of joe

This cup of coffee has forced countless trips to Williamsburg and rerouted my New York entrance/exit route to always include a segment along the BQE. If you go there, there aren’t many options: large/small, filter/espresso/cappuccino/latte. I recommend a large latte (pictured above). The espresso is brewed in a machine that appears to have been bred with a motorcycle:

mad espresso machine
Gimme Coffee Machine

Manufactured by Kees van der Western of Holland, self-titled espressonist, this machine pours out the darkest, richest espresso I have ever tasted. It’s worth the trip to Brooklyn, no joke.