I trek to Prospect Heights to buy sneakers for the gym I may never join. On the way, I pick up the Blackout from Doughnut Plant, which is their chocolate glazed cake-doughnut with chocolate pudding inside and cake crumbs on top. I dug their Grand Street shop and look forward to getting familiar with this one. Off to a good start – nom nom nom.
Alright, I’m fueled and ready for the DSW. Kim and I peruse the aisles for sneakers that don’t look covered in alien ectoplasm. I don’t know who’s buying all these fluorescent green and yellow kicks, but stop it. I finally find an unassuming pair of black Nike’s and we bounce. I bought sneakers so now I have to join the gym, right? This week, definitely.
There’s a few open spots at Morgan’s Brooklyn Barbecue. We belly-up to the bar, as we like to do, and soon we’re surrounded by ginger ale, draught beer, and the Frito Pie.
“Oh, this is the place on that show,” I realize out loud.
“Ah’doyyy,” Kim advises.
The Frito Pie, served in an open face Fritos wrapper, is a chili, cheese, onion, sour cream, and crunchy Fritos dish that Kim and I devoured like God had a gun to our heads. Perfect bar food.
If a’sida beef is your thing, their brisket is especially tender, sufficiently fatty, and has a nice char. Especially good with the Corn in a Cup. The corn is honest and tasty, nicely cooked with a little cotijo cheese and salsa verde. Even had a slight kick, as everything kinda does around here. That annoying friend of yours that thinks everything is spicy may not dig this place, but you shouldn’t hang with him anyway. It’s better for you both.
I hate when people say this and I’m about to myself: The ribs really did fall right off the bone. I think there’s something about that phrase that makes me think of biology, which I try avoid while eating. Denial is delicious, I know. Be that as it may, the ribs were super-tender and, once again, excellent bar food. There’s lots of other options on the main menu we’ve yet to try from chicken, fish, and sausages, to turkey tails.
While most of Brooklyn’s bustling BBQ scene has some mac-n-cheese on the menu (Fletcher’s, Dinosaur, etc.), Morgan’s Elbow Room menu is devoted to various mac-n-cheeses from Old School with cheddar and garlic breadcrumbs to Jamaican Jerk with chicken, grilled pineapple, and toasted coconut.
My suggestion is to check out Morgan’s with a bunch of your less inhibited friends that know how to drink, aren’t afraid to speak to each other, and respect the simple treasures of barbecue. And join a gym, if you haven’t already. Or at least buy some sneakers.
Rest Easy Eric Curran a.k.a M.C Krispy E
Almost every year for the past 6 years and on the same day, I’ve posted the same pic of me in the hospital during my temporary and untimely demise in 2015. A few weeks after I was back to “normal”, I asked Eric “Why’d you take the pics?” And he said, “I knew you would want to write about it if you lived.” Eric was right. Eric was often right and Eric always had my best interest at heart. I am going to miss my friend.
You ever meet someone and become friends immediately?! Well this was not the case with Eric. Before he was my manager at Morgan Stanley, I would often see this 6’4″, giant white guy walk up to the only black woman at work, say something then walk away without any hint of human emotion. Naturally I thought he was a jerk until I asked her “Yo, is that dude bothering you?” She laughed and proceeded to tell me he was a great person, which I ultimately got to experience first hand. Little did I know this Italian from Staten Island was more Brooklyn than most Brooklynites.
Eric was not with the shits!! If there were ever someone who lived their life in direct, honest and no uncertain terms, that would be Eric. He would ask me questions at work like “Why are the other consultants making more money than you?” I knew the answer to that question and so did he. Eric then proceeded to increase my salary by 15K. After arguing with all our managers that “You need to hire Alfred!”, they eventually did 1 year prior to the 2015 incident. In the hospital, one of my friends asked me, “What if you didn’t have health insurance when this happened?” I would be in debt for the rest of my life is the obvious answer. I still am in debt for the rest of my life but at least, it is to those who made sure I had a more enjoyable life and for that, I will gladly repay.
My mom loved to tell me the story of how she met Eric. After they told her I was going to be in the ICU for some time, she told the doctor “Well I’m not going anywhere.” She then hears a voice from that back of the room that says “Well I’m not going anywhere either!” That was Eric and in true form, he was at that hospital every single day until I was discharged.
Eric passed away in December 2021 of stage 4 cancer. After feeling faint on his way to my bbq, he went to get checked out and was diagnosed. During the past 5 years, Eric lost his mom, twin brother and dad. I can’t even begin to imagine what that must have felt like but I’m glad that pain he was feeling is no more.
From being my manager to my business partner, writer, book editor, artistic director, and most importantly, my friend, I am going to miss you MC Krispy E a.k.a “Enrique Pollazo!” And although you told me Enrique means Henry in Spanish and not Eric, it was too late!
Sidebar. The day I was discharged, while everyone was deciding what was best for me, no one had remembered that I would need clothes in order to leave the hospital. Eric shows up (unasked) with all the clothes I had on the day I coded, laundered and ready to go. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve friends like this but i need to keep doing it! Sidebar complete.
Rest in Peace Eric. “Be Good.”
Writing Your First Book / Should I Self Publish?
I had the distinct pleasure of participating in a panel discussion on writing your first book, presented by the Harlem chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Alongside Jim St. Germain, Author – A Stone of Hope: A Memoir and Dr. Keneshia Nicole Grant, Author – The Great Migration and the Democratic Party: Black Voters and the Realignment of American Politics in the 20th Century. We opined on pain points, benefits and strategies regarding our inaugural voyages into authorship. Feel free to watch for your self and I hope this provides some insight to all those looking to make the same voyage. Enjoy!
What the NFT is a BEEPLE?
On March 11 this year, the digital artist Beeple sold a collage of digital images from his “Everydays” series for nearly 70 million dollars as an NFT, or non-fungible token. And if that sentence confuses you, you’re not alone.
A non-fungible token is a unit of data on a digital ledger called a blockchain, where each NFT can represent a unique digital item, and thus they are not interchangeable. NFTs can represent digital files such as art, audio, video, and other forms of creative work. While the digital files themselves are infinitely reproducible, the NFTs representing them are tracked on their underlying blockchains and provide buyers with proof of ownership.” – Wikipedia
Still confused? Let the artist himself explain it, and learn how he went from NFT newbie to making the third most expensive artwork by a living artist in three months. Not to suggest Beeple is an overnight success. The “Everydays” series alone involved creating a piece of art every day since May 1, 2007 – and he hasn’t missed a day.
Check out some of Beeple’s amazing and controversial work below.