Posted by armpitofamerica on May 4, 2013
Yeah I live in Lawn Guyland now, but that doesn’t mean I can’t still write about the place I lived for 29 years, right?
Well I was back in my home state last weekend after making the trip to the Paris of the Armpit of America, AKA, Jersey City. What I didn’t count on was this journey including an extra 45 minutes of driving around looking for parking. Anyway, the trip was well worth the effort, as the plan was to head to a bar I’d never heard of until that night: Barcade.
Barcade is exactly what it sounds like – a bar with an arcade in it, or, if you see the glass half full, an arcade with a bar in it. But this isn’t just any bar – they have a bunch of obscure and local beers on tap, and even barley wine. Barley wine!? Who even knew such a thing existed? And it is more than just an arcade – there are like 30 classic consoles that are lovingly cared for and maintained – no need to worry about putting in a quarter and the stupid machine not playing.
My three companions and I played the vintage Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game, which brought back so many memories of my youth, like the years I spent in a Saturday morning bowling league, waiting for those two hours of shitty bowling to be over with so I could go to the arcade and waste a bunch of quarters playing the TMNT game. Though we all knew Donatello and his bo staff were most effective at killing the foot clan soldiers, Rafael was always my favorite and of course I had to play as him that night. And just like in my youth, we all died, or as the game’s lingo presents it – became shell-shocked – during the epic battle with Bebop and Rocksteady.
But this walk down memory lane didn’t end there; Barcade also had the classic Simpsons arcade game. Once again, just seeing it brought back so many memories: back in ’94 or so, a friend and I spent an entire afternoon at the previously mentioned bowling alley trying to beat it. With pockets full of quarters, a dream in our hearts, and not a care in the world, us two nerdy, awkward 6th graders finally beat the game – an achievement I have yet to follow up with anything so meaningful. Anyway, the Simpsons game was one of the more popular ones that night, so I never got the chance to see if I could still win it. Instead, we played this weird little game called “Gauntlet,” some kind of fantasy game where you go around killing monsters and looking for giant drumsticks.
I could go on and on about this place and all the nostalgia it brings – every single console in the place has to be at least 20 years old. And there is not a single first-person shooter or bulky racing game in sight. Barcade just delivers the classics: your Donkey Kongs, your Pac-Men, your Tetri, and the like. And the fact that you can drink alcohol while playing these games, instead of the Crystal Pepsi that accompanied my early 90s arcade experiences, makes it all the better. So the next time you can’t make up your mind whether to spend the night at a bar or an arcade, go to Barcade and do both. Yeah, I know you could do the same at Dave and Busters, but that place just sucks compared to this one.
Posted in Bars, Best of NJ, Reviews | Tagged: arcade, Barcade, Bars, beer, Jersey City, New Jersey | Leave a Comment »
Posted by armpitofamerica on June 6, 2012
I’ve written about
Belmar’s Lake Como’s famous Bar A before. Like how it’s the perfect place to hang out on those hot summer nights. And how whether you’re a guido, hipster, hippie, frat boy or nerd, you can call this place home. And how I implored those who have never been there to check it out.
After going there for the first time in 2012 last weekend, I take that all back.
The place has just changed so drastically since I started going six years ago. I’ve mentioned this in a previous post, but Bar A’s trademark sand volley ball court, right in the middle of the outdoor section, is now populated by stupid-looking faux beach cabanas. While the intention was to make it look like a Miami bar, they still don’t hide the truth that you’re in New Jersey on a reconfigured volleyball court. In the old days (like three years ago) the volley ball court was a nice respite from the crowds of sweaty Jersey Shore-ians fist pumping to bad techno music – it was dark and quiet, with just a few cheap plastic chairs scattered around. Now you’re lucky if you can find any chair in the entire bar – unless you pay for it.
In the past, there were tables and chairs scattered all over the place. Today, all those tables are now quarantined off into various VIP sections where you have to fork over $400 for the privilege of sitting. Sure, you might get lucky and find a spot on the ledge surrounding the landscaping – until one of the Magilla Gorilla bouncers shoes you off. And, as happened to me last summer, those bouncers won’t just throw you off the ledge, they’ll physically remove you from the bar if you don’t play by their stupid, biased rules.
What troubled me most about my recent visit is their new stamping policy. You know the drill – if you need to leave a bar, you get your hand stamped so you can get back in without having to pay the ridiculous $10 cover. Well, on this last visit, I had to leave for a bit and planned on coming back. When I got to the exit, I presented the back of my hand to the bouncer, expecting to be stamped in this typical spot. I was then instructed to turn my arm over, and received my stamp.
As I walked out of the bar, I looked at my arm and was shocked – the stamp wasn’t the typical star, or smiley face, or whatever. It was a bunch of random numbers. On my forearm. You don’t have to be Jewish to understand how offensive this is.
Bar A has always run a tight ship – I just had no idea that ship was a U-Boat full of Nazis. Tan, greasy, bulked-up-on-steroids Nazis.
Posted in Bars, Belmar | Tagged: Bar A, Bars, Belmar, Jersey Shore | 1 Comment »
Posted by armpitofamerica on March 1, 2011
Caution: blatant false advertising!
It’s been a while since I’ve written one of my Atlantic City recaps. Not necessarily a while since I’ve been there, my trips just haven’t been too noteworthy. But that all changed last weekend during a trip to Resorts Hotel and Casino. Don’t worry, no one else ever heard of it either.
The reason for the trip was my girlfriend’s birthday – and her venue of choice was Boogie Nights, a 70s/80s themed club in AC. The club is located at the aforementioned Resorts, which is noteworthy for absolutely nothing else. Since we knew it was going to be a late night, we decided to get a room there as well. After spending a night at Resorts, I can officially declare that the establishment is a pus-filled zit on the Armpit of America.
I never knew too much about Resorts, and I wish I could go back to my days of ignorance about it. But here’s what I knew prior to my visit: It was one of the original casinos in Atlantic City, being built in the 70s, but not much has changed since. Although all the other casinos in Atlantic City have been renovated, rebuilt, expanded, and transformed into the mega-hotels like those you’d find in Vegas, Resorts has stayed mostly unchanged. And, while all the other AC casinos have merged together into giant conglomerates, Resorts is there by itself. And for good reason.
We got there last Friday, and the trouble started as soon as we entered the parking deck. While the other casinos have split-leveled and tiered parking garages that are marvels of modern engineering, this one was small and overcrowded, with an impossibly steep ramp to get from one level to another. And, while I was trying to go up a level, the car in front of me had to stop short because another car was trying to go down the ONE-WAY ramp. Idiot. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Atlantic City, Bars, Personal | Tagged: Atlantic City, Bars, casino, Personal, Resorts | 5 Comments »
Posted by armpitofamerica on January 17, 2011
...except during the winter.
About a year ago, I wrote this entry about the rough winter we were having in the Armpit of America. Well, last year’s winter was pretty balmy compared to this year. In that entry, I bitched about us getting two feet of snow last year. That might has well have been two inches compared to the three feet we got a couple of weeks ago.
Yes, three feet of snow. None of which has really melted yet. Almost every single day since that major snowfall on December 26 has been at or below freezing. And the little amount that actually does melt or evaporate just gets replaced by a new snowfall, such as the one going on right now. Luckily for me, I work from home. I can’t imagine what it’s like for the millions of New Jerseyans who have to drive to work on already shitty roads made shittier by this horrible weather.
Despite the weather, I’ve still been having fun here at the Jersey Shore. One of the good things about this winter weather is that it keeps all the guidos from North Jersey and New York up where they belong. For instance, I had quite a pleasant, guido-less night at the Boathouse on Saturday. As nice as it is when it’s less crowded, it was weird seeing the bar as empty as it was. Either way, it was a fun night. The live music was provided by Daddy Pop, one of the regular cover bands that populate the Shore and the band that played at my sister’s wedding. They were pretty good, and I commend them for only playing one of these overplayed cover band songs. It was American Girl for those interested. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Bars, Belmar, Food, Jersey Shore, Music | Tagged: Bars, Belmar, cover bands, drunk, Food, guidos, Jersey Shore, Music, New Jersey, Personal | Leave a Comment »
Posted by armpitofamerica on November 3, 2010
I have a big Halloween surprise for all of you. Let’s just say it involves Snooki and a pumpkin. I’ll try to get it out by the weekend.
But for now, I’ll just talk what I did this past weekend. We had long planned to get a big group together to go to Jenks down in Point Pleasant. Though usually guido central, Jenks is actually pretty fun on Halloween. So, while that was the plan on Saturday, we wanted to stay local and go somewhere in Belmar on Friday.
Though no one else was really dressing up on Friday, I wanted to resurrect a costume I did a couple years ago: a goth/emo/hipster guy, black nail polish and guy-liner included. After getting dressed, I was told that my jeans were too baggy. My wonderful girlfriend then offered up her pants. Miraculously, I managed to fit into them. Though I felt uncomfortable wearing a wig, make-up, and FEMALE JEANS, I think the costume came out pretty good: Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Bars, Belmar | Tagged: Bars, Belmar, cheesesteak, drunk, Food, guidos, Jersey Shore, Personal, snooki | Leave a Comment »