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« Sunday, September 12th, 2010—Bar 245 | Main | Friday, September 10th, 2010—Bar 243 »

Saturday, September 11th, 2010—Bar 244

Day 244—Friday, September 10th, 2010
The Bubble Lounge

I just got the following email from someone who wishes to be anonymous: “I found your website from EV Grieve and you should check out the Bubble Lounge. A chill cocktail place that’s a little different from your usual bar. Keep up the good work, your blog is a lot of fun!” I want to thank EV Grieve for posting the 365 post and it’s Friday and I never know where to go, so what the hell, it’s off to the Bubble Lounge we go!

And here it is, The Bubble lounge in all it's bubblyness.

Check out the logo on the sidewalk.

If you smoke, there's two comfortable chairs outside and a table with an ashtray, nice!

As you enter there's a long, shotgun styled candle-lit lounge area with a comfortable couch, chairs and cushions.

Here's the bar area and there's seats at the bar! On a Friday, let's grab one while we can.

The bartender was a nice guy, but a little shy and didn't want his picture taken, but he did agree to this. I think he's got a future as a hand model, what do you think?

I got one of the signature cocktails, The California Dream. It was delicious, cheers!

Peter and Sean were seated next to me at the bar and were a couple of nice guys who were interested in the whole 365 concept.

Here's the back lounge area. I'm taking all photos without a flash tonight because it's kind of intimate in here and I don't want to ruin the mood for anyone.

Here's a shot of the bar where I'm sitting.

Here's John, who's a friend of Peter and Sean's. He came up to take them to a private party that was going on downstairs. Have fun, guys!

A long shot of the top of the bar.

Frank and Stacey took Sean and Peter's seats at the end of the bar. Hello Frank and Stacey!

Champagne glasses on the wall...

And one in real life. Sandeep enjoys one of the many varieties of champagne available at the lounge.

Wow, it's getting packed in here, time for me to vamoose.

There was a subway station nearby and as I made my way towards the tracks: Blammo! A train was pulling in. What luck!

Is that guy on the right flipping me off?

Oh well, whatever. Goodnight, everybody!

The Bubble Lounge is an upscale lounge in Tribeca that prides itself on a large variety of champagne. There’s a low-lit lounge in front with padded couches and chairs and candle=lit tables. The small bar is in the back with another lounge area opposite and in the back. The scene is mainly after work and neighborhood singles looking to hook up over a glass or two of bubbly or one of their signature cocktails.

Bubble Lounge calls itself, "New York's premier champagne salon," and it backs up that boast by having over 300 champagne’s in the house at any given time. In addition to the vintage and non-vintage champagne, Bubble Lounge has a full bar with 10 martinis and signature cocktails such as: Raspberry Caipirinha, Brazilian Sangria, Bubbly Margarita on the Rocks and the California Dream which mixes Christiania Vodka, Blood Orange Puree, Lime Juice Elderflower Syrup, Pineapple Puree and Crème de Gingembre.

They also have a food menu with a variety of cheeses and some of the small plates to choose from include: Mini Black Truffle Baked Potatoes, Mini Ahi Tuna Burger, Smoked Salmon on Toast Points and Sweet Garlic Stuffed Duck Meatballs served a Demi-Glace Sauce.

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble!

The Bubble Lounge
228 West Broadway (Near White St.)


Bonus Column from my book, “The Boy Who Would Be A Fire Truck.”

The Weird Day When the Sky Went Brown

I’ve seen the sky in many colors, various shades of blue, gray, black, purple, but up to that day, I had never seen the sky the color of brown. It kind of made me feel sick in a weird, Twilight Zone William-Shatner-see-a-monster-on-the-airplane’s wing-kind of way. And it was a grotesque brown color; it looked like Satan had vomited a stomach full of Yoo-Hoo all over the Manhattan  skyline. After a couple of minutes of staring at this stomach-turning mess of a sky, I turned around and looked uptown and the sky was blue. Then I turned back around, looked downtown and the sky was still brown. It was really weird. Like some kind of a whacked-out nursery rhyme: Downtown brown / uptown blue /  knick knack paddywhack / give the dog some glue.

The day started weird and just got weirder and more sickening as the minutes turned into hours and the brown day careened into a purple-black night. The day had started with a strange series of clicks emanating from my phone.
I work nights so I have a schedule that’s opposite of most people—I keep Elvis hours, I sleep in the day and wake up in the afternoon—so I always keep the ringer on my phone off and turn the volume on my phone answering machine all the way down. So while I never hear the phone ring or the messages people leave, you can hear a click when someone calls. On this day, just as I was falling off to dreamland, I heard my first click.

“Weird,” I thought, “I wonder who’s calling me at this hour?” Then I started to drift off to slumberland once again.

Then another click.

Then another.

And another. Another one. Anotheranotheranotheranotheranotheranother. Click. Click. Clickclickclickclickclick. Click. Clickityclickclickclick. Clickclickclickclickclick. Clickclick. Clickclickclickityclickclickclickclick. Clickclickclick. CLICK. CLICK. CLICK.

This went on for a while. I’d just about be asleep and then another series of clicks would rattle off like a hyperactive machine gun spraying wake up dust all over my kingdom of sleep. Finally, even though I was dreary-eyed tired, I got up, scaled down the ladder attached to my loft bed, and stumbled over to the phone answering machine. The little red light on the grey and silver rectangular machine was blinking in a hyperactive fashion. It was about 1:30 in the afternoon.

“Who the fuck is calling me,” I said to myself as I turned the volume up on the answering machine and hit Play.

Now this is where the weirdness really kicks in to a nerve-rattling gear. I’ve never had so many messages on my phone machine in my life and I didn’t understand a single one of them.

BEEEEP—“Hey, Marty, this is Tom, just calling to make sure you’re okay, call me when you get a chance.”—BEEEEP.

Tom is my older brother, who lives in New Jersey.

“Why in the fuck is he calling to see if I’m okay at this hour?” I wondered. Then:

BEEEEP—“Dude, it’s Alex, I rode my bike over the Brooklyn Bridge. I saw the people jumping out of the buildings, call me when you can. I’m drinking already.”—BEEEEP

“Huh?” Alex is one of my best friends, who used to live in Brooklyn.

“People jumping out of buildings?” I thought to myself. I was starting to feel like you do when you’ve smoked too much pot and start jumping out of your skin as paranoia strikes deep. And with every message, I was feeling more and more creeped out.

There were messages from everybody in my family, almost everybody I know in New York, and messages from old friends from my hometown of Peoria, Illinois. And they all were pretty much the same: “Are you okay?...call when you get a chance...are you all right?...we want to make sure you’re okay....”

Nobody said what had happened. Everybody sounded weird and more than one person was crying. I was starting to imagine apocalypse. Now.

Finally, after I listened to all of them, I looked at my window and wondered what in the fucking hell was lurking out there. I keep black construction paper taped over the two small windows in my apartment to keep the sunlight out (Elvis hours and all) and for a couple of sickening minutes I just stared at my black windows and trying to imagine the horror that was happening on the other side. Finally I walked over to the door that leads to the roof overhang and slowly and carefully opened it up and poked my head out like a turtle coming out of his shell. When I looked outside, I was shocked.

Everything looked normal.

I looked outside and nothing appeared out of the ordinary. Sure, I heard some sirens, but that’s standard operating procedure for New York City. The sun was shining brightly, the sky was bright blue and was dotted with white fluffy clouds. A bird flew overhead and a warm breeze hit my face. Maybe Hell wasn’t hiccuping after all.

Then  I shut the door and turned on the TV.

I can’t remember which station it was, but I remember looking at the screen, seeing planes flying into buildings and people with horrific zombielike faces running away in big crowds from giant dust clouds. My jaw dropped and I grabbed my stomach. It kind of looked like New York and I instinctively and quickly turned the channel, somehow hoping that would make this go away.

It didn’t.

After I watched the TV and figured out what happened I went outsid to the street, looked downtown and saw the brown sky. I should’ve walked away from it, but I wasn’t thinking clearly and started to walk towards it.

Throngs of people were walking like zombies towards the brown sky. Before I knew  it, I had joined this lemminglike parade. Regular traffic was shut off after 14th Street, so it got increasingly surreal the closer I got. No cars except cop cars, helicopters buzzing overhead, a brown sky, people walking willy-nilly in every direction, everybody with a dazed how-could-this-happen look plastered on their puss. Some people were openly weeping. Army men with guns dotted every street. Cops were all over the place. TV cameras and the talking heads from all of the news channels were blithering and blathering on every other corner. It was chaos. I got pretty close and then decided I really didn’t want to be down there anymore. What I wanted was a beer, so I turned around and started walking towards the blue side of the city. It probably wasn’t normal anymore either, but it had to beat the brown side of town.

I wandered to many bars that afternoon and evening. The atmosphere in the bars was weird. They were all filled with people drinking in almost total silence while staring obsessively at CNN on the television sets. I finished the night off at a bar called the Stoned Crow drinking beer after silent beer while watching the TV people endlessly replay the tape of the planes flying into the buildings. On my way home, I bought a six-pack from a Korean deli. The little fiftysomething Korean man behind the counter took my money and put the beer in a paper bag. After he gave me my change, he touched my arm as I grabbed the bag and said, “You be safe, okay?” I looked at him and nodded, I couldn't talk because I felt like I was going to start crying. I remember wondering if I was going nuts.

When I got back to my studio apartment on 16th Street, I opened a can of beer and looked at the round plastic clock hanging on my wall. It was 12:24. The day was officially over. I felt a small speck of relief washing over me. I took a long gulp from the 16-ounce can of Budweiser and thought to myself, “Jesus, what a weird fucking day.”

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Reader Comments (27)

I think we all have a clear memory of that day,,,where we were. I was at the dentist having a root canal. The sight of people jumping out the windows to their deaths is something that I will never forget. A solemn toast today for all the souls lost on that day,,,,the brave Firefighters going up the stairs as everyone else was going down,,,,I salute them all,,,and hope America never see's a day like that again. To the Memory of the lost, and their surviving family,,,we will not forget.

September 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAl

Likewise, Al.

September 11, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

@365: I watched your you tube explaining the weird day and I could relate somewhat because I spent years working nights and would wake up and be the last to know. Enjoyed reading this also.

September 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAl

@Al: I've always preferred the night shift. Glad you enjoyed this!

September 11, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Nice stop on a Friday night.
I'm leery of the word "Bubble" these days ever since Michael Buble' happened upon us all.
The Subway again on a Friday night.
What great lengths you go to for the sake of the Crawl.

Bonus Comment:
I remember dropping off my Daughter at School.
(I think she was in Second Grade then) and coming home and seeing it all unfold on TV.
Those words "The World Trade Center is no more" as it crumbled.
We were all affected that Morning in September.
Some more than others and my Thoughts and Prayers still go out to those who lost loved ones.
Peace Within Us All.

September 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter"Boris"

Upscale bar, champagne a specialty, designer cocktails and the lighting scheme tells me that the Bubble Lounge would make an exceptional choice for people on a date...especially a first date where that first impression means everything. There aren't too many places around my area that would be very good for that...five minutes after sitting down and ordering a drink around here, some alcoholic roofer would invite himself to your table and start telling you all the grotty details concerning the latest restraining order placed against him by his bitch of a girlfriend and how it was all her fault and blah de blah and quackettyquack etc etc and so on as if you really cared one way or another. How romantic.
I thought I'd include my own 9/11 experience today...I can't imagine what it was like to be a part of NYC on that day, but it was a weird,surreal experience for the rest of the country, like the day JFK died...everybody remembers exactly what they were doing when they first heard about it.
I woke up around 11:00 that day (I drove at night and slept very late, S.O.P. for me back when I was driving for a living) and it was an absolutely beautiful, perfect late summer day...warm gentle weather and not a cloud in the sky. I lit my morning cigarette and turned on the T.V. and saw Dan Rather babbling hysterically like a manic depressive that was way off his meds. (???) Then, after two or three minutes of trying to figure out what the hell he was talking about, the scene switched to the video of the first plane hitting the tower. (!?!?!) Then the scene switched again to this huge cloud of smoke chasing some cell phone waving yuppies down the street like a scene from a disaster movie. (!?!?!?!) then the scene switched back to the plane hitting the tower, and they played that one over and over again, with footage of the first tower collapsing in between. I threw on my clothes and ran next door and yelled at my neighbor; " Mike...do you have your T.V. on!?! Are you watching this shit!?! Somebody just flew a plane into the World Trade Center! It collapsed!! And Mike said; "Yeah, they got the other one too. And the pentagon." !!!!!?!?!!!!! Before Mike said that, I thought it was only just that one tower. It took two or three hours of watching the coverage before I could make myself believe what I was seeing.
I went to work in my cab late that afternoon, I still had bills to pay after all and I needed to talk to people or at least have them talk to me to help me accept what I was seeing and hearing on T.V. and the radio was real and not some bizarre and hideous dream, and as a cab driver I was well positioned to do this. I had two types of passengers that day...the ones that just sat there and stared out the window as if I didn't exist, and the ones that couldn't stop talking about it and kept touching me on the arm and shoulder over the seat...something I usually hate, but not that day, no not at all. Hell, I needed it. The last thing I remember about 9/11 was later that night as I was driving home...an old man in his late seventies or early eighties standing all alone on a corner wearing a sandwich board, wearing a VFW hat and holding a candle in a dixie cup on a stick. The message on the sandwich board: "Pray for us."
To N.Y. C. Marty.
And to us all.

September 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

awesome bar....
and i finally got to use a quote i had been saving to post it on facecrack...
that bartender has some sexy ass hands.. wowsee...

my bonus comment...
on spt tenth my mum called to ask me if there was anything I needed from home.. they had a flight first thing in the monring to go home to new york, long island and jersey...
from san jose in california
i asked for a charm of the world trade center for maia.. and for my mum to get me a corn beef on rye at the deli under the trade center...and if she could freak them out ask for cheese on it and then go just kidding...
I spent my spent 11th trying frantically to call the airport to see if my parents plane had taken off and where it was going to be grounded.
it had not taken off.. and due to the fact my dad had security clearence to fly due to his job they were grounded for a little longer.
I try to not think of that day too much as san jose was one of the airports that did find box knives on planes. and where I lived at the time in seattle had been a previous target the previous new years.
small side note. if you work downtown seattle at the columbia tower when you pregress with the company you move down floors.. quicker to get out in an attack.
my best friend worked there.
and my dad added his notes to that day that afternoon.
he'd have liked to seen a terrorist cower in a corner after a verbal bashing from my mum...

September 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGidget

Thanks for sharing your stories everybody, always interesting to see how that day affected people.

September 11, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Tottaly agree with Jaws-U-LA about this bar. Awesome place for a first date to impress...

hard to believe it's been 9 years. I dare say the media will make a fair deal out of it again when the 10th anniversary rolls around....
9/11. (or down under 11/9) It was the strangest thing I've ever seen. For us it all happened around 8:30-9pm....a quiet uneventful night turned into a real life horror/thriller that David Cronenberg couldn't have scripted. We were up till 4am...the repeats after repeats of the planes....then it was the days of repeats...the weeks of repeats...It's like constantly telling yourself that you're worthless and hopeless...giving these cowards more and more to cheer about. Eventually the repeats stopped. I think the world had seen enough.
I had to be at work at 9am the next day. Tired, scared and confused. My bosses didn't want to hear anyone talk about it....bang! 90 covers for lunch in an hour...lets just say It didn't go well. Just couldn't focus...and I'm on the other side of the world and to think I was having a bad day!....

@365: I enjoyed reading your story. You've gotta send me a copy of your book...

September 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTim Clack Downunder

BTW....It's 9/12 as I'm typing this....there hasn't been too much reflection over the news but I've seen that a group of Firefighters and some Australians, including John Howard - former PM, are doing a run across the States to raise fund for 9/11 families.

Can anyone tell me what's happening with Ground Zero? Is there going to be another sky scraper built

September 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTim Clack Downunder

tim...don't know...there is some kind of sumthin' about a masque or sumthin' i don't really know...ask 365...hey al ...you put all together...damn you might top boris as the 365 ambassador to iran ...helll you can go to iran and boris can straighten all out all the shit in n. korea...or visa versa...about "bubble"...damn think i'd have to hit another bank (read rob)...before i stopped in...shit here i go,,,365 just re reread that thing a day or two or three ago...it is one section of "firetruck" along w/the one w/last call to Jjm"...my eyes get some fluid in them...damn don't wanna go there....any way babblin' again...i will just say about "bubble"...champagne don't make me crazy and cocaine don;t me lazy but it ain't nobody's busy but my own...KOC


September 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterraginrr

@clacky, 9/11 i was watching 'The West Wing' when CNN cut in....at first i thought it was part of the show till i flicked thru every station & it had the same coverage happening.....it thought "FUCK!!! its on!!!"...i rang mum told her WW3 was starting, then about 1am i remembered my cousin Brett who was working for IBM at the time was in NYC for a couple of meetings....i rang my Aunt Dorothy, woke her & i hate to say it sent her into a panic attack to say the least.....about 5am Aunt Dorothy rang me back after finally tracking Brett down, he was fine....he had been at meetings in the 2nd Trade World Centre two days earlier & had already flown to Chicago.....

i went to work that morning, i was managing a newspaper in Taree & every dept was just dumbfounded & basically shitscared at what was going to happen....i took my staff to the local for a counter lunch & give them an early day.....a few beers & lunch still there was hardly a word spoken between my team....all eyes where clued to the CNN updates.....most sombre work lunch i've ever been to.....

yesterday i called into Mal & Reddogs after work yesterday i was on my 1st beer & Mal goes "shit Fitzy it 9/11"...he switched the tv over & found a documentary on 9/11....Reddog bounced into action & went & got a couple of slabs & we watched 3 hours of 9/11 documentaries....& between 3 pisshead dickheads on the grog there was hardly a word spoken other than "yep, i'll have one while you're up".......an unheard of sombre session at Mals.....

one thing i will say to the people of NYC... the international stigma of New Yorkers being stuck up arrogant arseholes went out the window on 9/11 with me.....seeing those fireies, police, paramedics, rescue workers running into those buildings bought a tear to this little aussie idiot's eye....you people really do have heart....cheers to the people of New York City!!!!!!

September 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfitzy

@Tim Clack: Glad you liked the story. That was one of the nuttiest days in my life and one of the most surreal. At Tim Clack, they are going to rebuild, but it's weird, since that day I haven't read anything about it or gone down there. People come here and ask me to take them to "Ground Zero,' and I always say, "Go there by yourself, the fucking place depresses me."

@raginrr: Thanks for the nice words about the book. Those two chapters were the only one's that weren't fun to write. But sometimes you gotta dig deep.

@fitzy: It was funny, for about a week after 9/11, this city was really affected. Not a lot of laughing at all, bars were somber, but people were being extra nice to each other. It really made you realize that you never know what the fuck is going to happen from one moment to the next. It was about a week later, I was walking to work and at a corner a guy was screaming and kicking in the door of a cab and the cabbie jumped out and they started fighting. I turned to the woman next to me and said, "Looks like things are getting back to normal!" She laughed and said, "I was just thinking the same thing!"

September 11, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

your story 9/11 story is great writing. i love the fact that you never mention the date, which would make it to obvious.

September 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrita r.

p.s. i love sept. gurls! alex chilton and big star ruled!

September 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrita r.

@rita r: That's cool you caught I never mentioned Sept. 11th in the story, I did that on purpose. And I agree about Alex Chilton and Big Star.

September 12, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Bubbles looks a little rich for my blood, but luckily I don't like champagne. It is a pretty place though.

I was sleeping on a very small cot next to my husband's hospital bed when I got a call from his mom telling us to get up and turn on the tv. Her brother worked 2 blocks from the WTC and she couldn't get a hold of him. She was a wreck. It was more surreal for me because we were in a hospital for the week that everything happened. Made me want to be home even more.

Loved reading your story Marty. I bought your book but haven't had the time to read it yet. Makes me want to read it even more. To New York and everyone that lost family and friends!

September 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkari

@kari: So was her brother okay? It's always interesting to me to hear people's 9/11 stories, every single one is unique and interesting. And thanks for buying the book!

September 12, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

onya marty!

September 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfitzy

very nice bar the bubble! We drank champagne yesterday with Jason, then got drunk in Paris! Yesterday I deliberately didn't talk about 9/11 anniversary, because it was the Ganesha Chaturthi, an important spiritual day for me, and also we celebrated Jason's birthday, and wouldn't have sad thought. But anyway, my thoughts for that event are almost daily since I support the French movement about the truth on 9/11. 10 days after 9/11, we got our 9/21 in Toulouse with the explosion of the AZF factory. 9 years after that, no one will remove from Toulouse citizen's brain the the link between the 2 events. Toulouse is the European capital of the aviation industry, and despite the efforts of french authority to hide the facts, we found wire and detonator between 2 factories. Fortunatelly only one has exploded, because if the second one would have exploded, I would not there to talk about, even if I was at 40 km from Toulouse when it happened. 9 years of fight in Toulouse against the Government to know the truth (The accident version in Toulouse is as weird as the "official" version in US!) but we got the 3rd trial last year to reopen the investigation. We are waiting, now... again... And I hope that soon, citizens of the Earth will get their right to reopen the investigation for 9/11 too. SO, a big thought for the families fighting for the truth.

When 9/11 happened, I was at school, and the school decided to close, and to let us go back home. It was smart, you can't continue your routine while millions of people are in distress on the other side of the sea...

September 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterZioum Zioum The Chainsaw

Yeah I guess I should have mentioned that, her brother was ok. Took him 3 days to be able to get home to NJ, but he was ok. His 2 brother in laws are NJ cops and they had the horrific job of helping sort out body parts. It took them awhile to be ok. An event that had such a wide spread effect. But it is nice to remember the part where our country pulled together. At least for a bit.

September 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkari

@kari: Glad to hear he's okay. As far as the job of sorting out body parts, wow, that sounds horrific!

September 12, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

There is not much to see at the WTC site now ... just a lot of construction ... the Freedom Tower going up ... mass confusion basically. The whole plan for the site is like 8 years behind schedule. It's wierd taking the PATH into the station at the WTC. You are in the bowl of the WTC -- and a few years ago it was pretty much empty, except for a wooden outline of the towers on the ground. I have been to the site many times - taken a lot of pictures -- and give a hearty salute to those who were there ---- then I go and have a good time for them :)

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

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