St. Patrick’s Day 2011: Parade Route Bar Guide

Posted in Uncategorized on February 23, 2011 by statennightlife

Aran sweaters, funky hats and green beer, oh my! Yes, it’s that time of year again. In less tan two weeks locals will gather for the annual Staten Island St. Patrick’s Parade. The step-off will be at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 6th beginning at Forest Avenue at Hart Boulevard.

The parade, which will continue down Forest and end at Jewett Avenue, is sure to have local watering holes packed early on for the celebration. The route along Forest is known for its high concentration of bars, and usually draws the biggest crowd. In order to help you prepare for the festivities, below is a guide to the bars along the route so that you can plan your imbibing accordingly.

Jody’s Club Forest

372 Forest Ave.

(718) 727-6338

Jody’s will be hosting an invite-only continental breakfast for local politicians before the parade. The breakfast is being sponsored by Assemblyman Michael Cusick and former Congressman Michael McMahon. After the breakfast feel free to stop in for a drink and one of their $5 corned beef sandwiches or $2 hot dogs.

Black Dog Grill

382 Forest Ave.

(718) 442-8121

Black Dog has always been a popular stop during the parade. They have also recently added to their back room so that ups their appeal even more. There haven’t been any reports on their exact plans for the event just yet, but in past years they’ve opened up their back yard and served barbecue food to the masses of parade goers. Fair warning though, the line has gotten quite long in the past, so try to get there early.

Afternoone’s Restaurant

415 Forest Ave.

(718) 816-6744

At Afternoone’s, they usually stock up on about 300 lbs. of corned beef, but this doesn’t help the fact that they also usually sell out around 5 p.m.

The Wild Goose Pub

530 Forest Ave.

(718) 720-3800

There hasn’t been any word on their official plans yet but The Wild Goose is sure to throw a great party. Their name actually stems from Irish history. In 1691 when 20,000 Irish soldiers left their hometown with no money in an attempt to gaurantee the rights of their countrymen as per the Treaty of Limerick, they were referred to as “Wild Geese.” The soldiers has exiled themselves with no money and since they were skilled fighters they hired their services out to the nations of Europe. Anyway, The Goose (as it’s affectionately called by regulars) boasts an impressive 46 beers on tap, 113 different bottles, and if you still can’t find something to choose from, they have four canned varities as well.

Burrito Bar

585 Forest Ave.

(718) 815-9200

Burrito Bar is always packed on the day of the parade. Along with the two floors they have inside, they will also be putting tents over their outdoor patio and parking lot in order to give the droves of customers more space to party. They plan on having a DJ outside, and will be serving hot dogs and hamburgers to help soak up the alcohol. They are already prepared and are fully stocked with Jameson, Bud and Miller, which are some of their most popular requests on parade day.

Duffy’s Tavern

650 Forest Ave.

(718) 477-9276

Rusty’s Tavern

879 Forest Ave.

(718) 273-5501

On The Rocks

1144 Forest Ave.

Drunken Monkey Bar & Grill

1205 Forest Ave

(718) 273-2267

This is the last bar you’ll hit at the end of the route. It’s gained a pretty solid following since its opening, so it should be busy. They haven’t confirmed their exact plans yet, but corned beef and cabbage should be on their menu that day.

Stereotypical Staten Island

Posted in Uncategorized on February 14, 2011 by statennightlife

So I’ve been slacking once again. Not much of a surprise there. I have been working as an intern at the Advance, so you can check out the work I’ve been doing for SILive.com here. Anyway, I did a project a few months ago on Staten Island stereotypes and posted it on a blog specifically for a class I was in, but I never got around to posting it on this one. So until I have the time to get the ball rolling with this blog again, you can read this for your local fix.

Staten Island certainly has more than its share of stereotypes.  Now with the recent success of reality television shows that feature “typical Staten Islanders”, our borough is being ridiculed more than ever.  As a practically lifelong Staten Islander, I’m quick to laugh it off.  Besides, most of the Staten Island slander is fairly true and pretty humorous.  However, lately I’ve been wondering if these negative stereotypes could potentially influence the way younger generations of Staten Islanders feel that they should act.

For this project I decided to take a closer look at Staten Island’s portrayal in the media.  I wanted to take a closer look at the stereotypes and see how people felt about them.  I’ve stumbled on quite a bit of humorous media throughout my quest.  Enjoy.

Search “Staten Island”

UrbanDictionary.com is a website that allows its visitors to compile their own dictionary. Filled with slang terms and biased entries, this website is comical and potentially even useful when taken at face value. Look up “Staten Island” on this site and you will find an excessive 70 definitions. What are the majority of these entries filled with? Staten Island stereotypes.  Here is a sampling of selections from some of the top rated entries:

“A place where the makeup is thick and the accents are thicker.”

“Where Italian people go to die”

“The forgotten borough”

“A place where everybody from Brooklyn moves to.”

“The long lost bourough of NYC. Staten Island has the biggest wiggers in the world. Kids from Todt Hill drive around in there Escalades and Mercades listening to rap and hate all the black, mexicans, Puerto Ricans that drive by them.”

“The South Shore is where Sopranos wannabees meet Clueless (the movie). All the parents go into serious debt so that their children are spoiled rotten. They may live a house that is split into 5 families but don’t worry they are all driving Infiniti’s and BMW’s. The North shore consists of more minorities which the South shore want to be but hate. Girls on the South shore walk around with Coach bags and fake Louis Vuitton’s and think it looks gooo to wear white lipstick, orange skin and pin straight hair. By the time most Staten Islanders turn 40 they look like Sharpei dogs.”

YouTube.com offers Staten Island slander that is even more entertaining thanks to audio and video.  Below is a great recent music video put together by some Staten Island girls mocking the typical stereotypes in a remix of Katy Perry’s hit song “California Girls”.

Here are links to a couple of my other favorite Staten Island spoofs on YouTube:

Guido Meets Guidette – The Islands #1

Maria-Marie’s Sweet 16 (Part 1 of 2)

Watch Staten Island

On October 17th, 2006 MTV aired “I’m a Staten Island Girl” as part of it’s True Life documentary series.  This episode followed three young women from Staten Island on their quests for love, money and fame.  The episode became infamous locally for its portrayal of Staten Island women in a negative light.  That wasn’t the first time Staten Islanders made a fool of themselves on television.  It wasn’t even the first time some locals looked ridiculous on the True Life series.  Back in 2002, “True Life: I’m Getting Married”, introduced us to the quintessential Staten Island couple planning for their big day.  Remember Charlie and Sabrina?  If you don’t feel free to refresh your memory with the video clip below.

Today, with the recent popularity of The Jersey Shore, Staten Island has found itself being pummeled by criticism even more than usual. The Jersey Shore, a reality show that follows eight housemates during their summer vacation, was widely criticized for its portrayal of Italian-American stereotypes. With three of the cast members hailing from Staten Island, the show just reaffirms the stereotypes that were already present in the media.

SNL aired a skit in December 2009 called Gossip Girl: Staten Island. Blake Lively was featured in the skit, which parodied her own hit show while poking fun at our borough. You can view this skit on Hulu by clicking here.

Bridge and Tunnel, a Staten Island based reality show, which was supposed to air on MTV, was recently cancelled. We should all be thankful. The trailer makes it quite obvious that this train wreck of a show would have just led to more ignorant jokes about the island. Staten Island Dump, a humorous local blog, posted about the program cancellation along with a clip of the show’s trailer. You can and should view that by clicking here.

Opinions

Below is an audio file some thoughts on Staten Island stereotypes from a few females that have lived here for quite some time.

Stereotypes by Julianne924

Now many of you might be wondering what the big deal is. After all, there certainly is some truth to these stereotypes, and they’re funny. So why bother worrying about it?

During an interview, Alyssa, a lifelong Staten Islander, was asked if she felt that there could be negative effects on children who watch shows like The Jersey Shore. “Absolutely, yeah. I think that I now see even younger kids that are trying to look that way. The way they dress. They are wearing makeup when they’re younger, and wearing leggings. I can already see that they’re trying to fit into these trends,” she explained. She later added that though she hopes to leave Staten Island because she doesn’t want to raise her children here, partially because of the stereotypes we discussed.

Alyssa’s boyfriend, Nick, who moved to the Island a few years ago from Brooklyn said, “While many people might just laugh these shows off, there are plenty of other people that mindlessly fall prey to these stereotypes. The popularity of shows like The Jersey Shore just make it possible for people that really behave that way to justify their lifestyle.”

I know from personal experience that people will often make snap judgements based on the fact that I’ve grown up on Staten Island. I’ve found that I have actually become accustomed to being defensive when it comes to speaking about the borough I call home. While I am usually able to joke about the way Staten Islanders are portrayed, many others are truly insulted by it. What worries me the most though, are impressionable children and those people who take these stereotypes seriously.

New Lounge Raises the Bar, But Locals Still Head to Other Ones

Posted in Uncategorized on November 6, 2010 by statennightlife

Eve Ultra Lounge offers a city club vibe in nearby Rossville, but it still appears that most Islanders would rather pay bridge tolls

It’s been quite the project to get Eve Ultra Lounge finally in business, and the decor and sound system were certainly worth the wait.  The old L’amour space has been completely renovated in every way possible.  Now Eve offers super chic VIP areas, a male revue, and notable DJs spinning beats that may cause temporary loss of hearing.  However, with crowds already dwindling just a week after the grand opening, it appears that Staten Islanders just aren’t ready to pop bottles in their own backyard.

In all fairness I did hear that the grand opening on October 2nd was a huge success.  Staten Island and New Jersey flooded Eve in full force and even the tables were booked.  Even though I missed the party, word on the street leads me to believe that it was everything a grand opening should be.  The following week I was at Eve on Friday for their first male revue followed by some great sets from DJ Danny Estrella.  At around 10pm that night the dance floor was occupied by two tables of women that seemed to be family members of the owners.  A great show was put on by VH1’s 20 Pack and his group of male strippers.  It’s a shame that there wasn’t much of a crowd.  Even after the show was over, it stayed that way for the majority of the night.  A stream of people came in right before 12am.  The guys were probably trying to dodge the cover.  The line soon disappeared and Eve’s relatively grandiose interior felt bare.  The upstairs VIP section was closed fairly early, but there still weren’t enough people downstairs to make it feel like a real party.  It actually had all of the other elements necessary for a good time.  After all of the work the owners put into this place, I hope that they can gain a following.  Maybe they’re just off to a slow start.  I can’t write Eve off just yet.  Still, some part of me feels that Staten Island may just not be ready for an “Ultra Lounge”.

There are many stereotypes that Staten Islanders have to deal with.  Unfortunately the majority of them, as with most stereotypes, stem from truths.  I feel that most Islanders are pretty sheltered.  I’ve lived here since I was five, and I must admit I’ve been guilty of Staten Island-like behavior on occasion.  We drive to Chelsea in our Accords and Infinitis, and support the garages because we can’t find parking.  We head over to Brooklyn to toss back shots with our extended families in Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst.  In the summer we bathe in the sun on the pristine beaches of the Jersey Shore.  We love our bridges.  A city style night club in Rossville may save us money on tolls, but we have E-ZPasses, and we just aren’t interested.  Staten Islanders tend to have love/hate relationships with our borough, so escaping it is in our nature.  Getting all dressed up to go around the corner just seems silly.  Besides, if we’re going to keep it local, we’re quite content to toss back some stiff cheap drinks at the nearest watering hole.  While Eve is trying to keep it strictly 21+, I wouldn’t be surprised if they start throwing parties for CSI fraternities before the end of the year.

Eve has still been promoting what sound like promising events, and I will definitely be following their progress.  If you’ve had the chance to check out any of their parties I would love your feedback.

Eve Ultra Lounge: Five Months Late, Worth the Wait?

Posted in Uncategorized on September 30, 2010 by statennightlife

So way back in April I introduced Eve Ultra Lounge, a venue promising to bring a much more Manhattan vibe to the forgotten borough.  The lounge, which was initially supposed to open sometime in May, delayed their opening for quite some time.  The owners of the space wanted to make sure everything was perfect before they unveiled Eve to the public.  They’re finally ready, and from the looks of it, it was worth the wait.

Before I continue, my journalistic ethics require me to divulge some background information on my involvement with Eve.  I actually have been in contact with the owners of the lounge sporadically over the past few months.  I’ve helped out with the recent soft opening, and I plan on bottle/cocktail waitressing there soon after the grand opening.  However, I will do my best to ensure that my personal involvement with any venue will never change my editorialized views.  Besides, I spent months bartending at Notes off of Bay Street, and I certainly never attempted to write anything about that place.  Normally I avoid reporting on places that I’m working with (or have worked with).  In this case I feel that my inside advantage is presenting me with the unique opportunity to give you all information on something that’s very different when it comes to nightlife of the island.

When I first viewed the venue earlier this year, it was still very much under construction.  Located in the former L’amour (and even more former Mystic) space, the owners of Eve have renovated the building in every way possible.  Once I finally got to visit the finished area, I was more than impressed with vibe that it now projects.  After stepping into Eve, you can easily forget that you are actually still on Staten Island.  The luxurious white furniture,  large downstairs bar, dancer pedestals, and chic VIP areas, which are complemented by a state of the art lighting and sound system, all help to transport you somewhere much more trendy than Rossville.

The grand opening is this Saturday, October 2nd.  While there is no way to tell what kind of crowd will end up adopting this place as a weekend haunt, if the door is run just like the owners have planned, Eve could definitely become a big player in the Staten Island/Jersey nightlife scene.  With a male revue already lined up for next Friday, Eve is certainly bringing something new to the table.  If any of you have the chance to check out the party there this Saturday, I would love to hear your feedback!

Let’s Get Ready to Stumble! (The “I Can’t Fail The Blog Class!” Forest Avenue Bar Tour)

Posted in Uncategorized on September 16, 2010 by statennightlife

So I disappeared for a while and I’ve been more than a bit behind on my blogging.  Still, fear not, I haven’t forgotten that you have all been anxiously awaiting the recap of my Forest Avenue adventure.  Before I continue I feel that this post may need a disclaimer, so here it goes:

This blogger in no way recommends attempting a bar tour of any sort, but if for some ridiculous reason you want to recreate your own version of the following events, please make sure that you have a designated driver (and a healthy liver).

I’m not quite sure how I should go about organizing this entry.  Luckily, I have a ton of notes from the night, and I still recall just as much of the events as I was able to remember the morning after (not that I’m sure that means much).  I suppose I’ll write a brief account of each of the wonderful watering holes I visited, and of course I’ll include some photos as well.

Jody’s Club Forest

372 Forest Ave.

(718) 727-6338

Alexandrea, my accomplice for the evening, and I, started off our adventure at Jody’s.  Jody’s is the first bar you hit on Forest Avenue, so it made sense to begin there.  The atmosphere was very relaxed, and most of the customers were finishing up their dinner’s at the tables.  The crowd was mostly older.  Terrence, the friendly bartender (who is pictured above), immediately took notice of my notebook and asked me what I was doing.  He was happy to tell me a few cool facts about Jody’s which was nice.  Our drinks were strong and got us off to a nice start for the evening.

The Numbers:

Patron & pineapple – $6
# of TVs – 6
beers on tap – 4

Black Dog

382 Forest Ave.

(718) 442-8121

Located just a couple of doors away from Jody’s is Black Door, a bar that I recall visiting on numerous occasions.  It should also be noted that during the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, this is one of the best places to party.  The crowd here was younger than at Jody’s.  Our drinks were slightly more expensive, but strong again.  I’ve noticed that most Staten Island bartenders (myself included) are quite heavy handed when it comes to pouring liquor.  No complaints as far as that is concerned.

The Numbers:

Patron & pineapple – $8
# of TVs – 9
beers on tap – 6

Three Lounge

400 Forest Ave.

(718) 273-2555

The name alone distinguishes it from the rest of the Forest Avenue bars, this place isn’t a bar, it’s a lounge.  This is one of the few places on the avenue that isn’t decorated with sports memorabilia and Irish flags.  Instead swanky furniture, fancy glassware and fish tank, give this spot a much more club-type vibe.  It was pretty slow when we arrived at around 10:45 pm, but from past experiences I know that Three Lounge can get pretty crowed.  Since she wasn’t busy, Erica the bartender, was happy to talk to us about the lounge (and comp us a round of shots).  She told us the they host many private events and are also very involved in hosting fundraisers as well.

The Numbers:

Patron & pineapple – $9
# of TVs – 4
beers on tap – 0

I actually made it all the way to Mother Pug’s that night, at which point my accomplice deserted me and I had no choice but to abort my mission.  I will continue my account of the evening in a future entry, but for the sake of time I want to get this posted as is.  Plus to be completely honest, it’s going to take a little more effort than I feel like exerting to decipher my notes from this point on.

“I’m baaack!”

Posted in Uncategorized on September 2, 2010 by statennightlife

Ok, the blog class came to an end and summer laziness set in.  I never even finished putting together the post about Forest Avenue since I didn’t have the drive once grades were already in.  In case you were wondering, I didn’t fail. I do still have my notes from that night, so maybe I’ll try to get that quite dated post completed later this week.

Anyway, fortunately (for you) I am still taking journalism courses.  I’m back, for this semester at the very least.  I’d like to thank those of you that have been checking my blog despite my summer abandonment.  I’ll try my best to make it up to you these next few months.  My Entrepreneurial Journalism class is now requiring a blog, which means I’ll be out and about once again trying to get you some interesting (and entertaining) news and reviews.

Cocktails for a Cause: 2nd Annual Cystic Fibrosis Fundraiser at Three Lounge

Posted in Uncategorized on May 15, 2010 by statennightlife


I’m still working on compiling the post about Thursday night’s adventure, but I wanted to let you all know about a great charity event being held tomorrow.  When I stopped by Three Lounge, the friendly and enthusiastic bartender, Erica, was excited to tell me about all the venue has to offer.  She explained that the venue, which is more upscale than the majority of the places on Forest Avenue, likes to hold charity events.  She handed me a pamphlet detailing what would be going on this Sunday.  An excerpt from it reads as follows:

L.J. D’Alessandro wants you to join him on May 16th, 2010

between 2 and 5pm at Three Lounge located at 400 Forest

Avenue, Staten Island, NY to raise money for THE CYSTIC

FIBROSIS FOUNDATION.

All monies will be donated to the CF Foundation.

$40 OPEN BAR

OR
PAY AS YOU GO

All money donated will go to the CF Fund to help find a cure.

Every dollar will help!

If you cannot make it that day and would like to still donate,

you can make a check out to the CF Foundation and mail it to:

58 Canterbury Avenue,

Staten Island, NY 10314

Attn: LJ

LJ D’Alessandro (pictured above) is the son of Three Lounge’s owner.  This adorable little boy has been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, and his family is very involved in helping to raise money to find a cure.  You can find out more about this disease at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s website.

This event will be kid friendly, and it is the 2nd annual fundraiser that the D’Alessandro’s have organized.  So if you are free tomorrow afternoon, you should head over to Three Lounge and have a few drinks for a great cause.