Melody Henry, grumbled that Mayor Bloomberg “doesn’t want anyone to have fun. You can’t have a giant soda, You can’t have a vibrator.
by Eddie Huang
Tone is the illest. Hands down, bar none, without a question, you won’t find a New Yorker who doesn’t believe No Reservations is the greatest food/travel show of all time. Like Big, Tone got 357 ways to simmer sautee/he the winner all day…
The first time I met Tony was at Barnes and Noble when I MC’d his Medium Raw release event. I was playing ball on Houston St. when my phone kept ringing and it was his girl, Helen Cho (@intonores), telling me that they needed an MC. I hopped a cab from the LES and ten minutes later walked into Tony’s event unprepared and stinkin’ like my Godzilla Barkleys: size 10.5, you already know b. Once I walked in, I figured I’d stay off to the side and wait for Tone to finish his opening remarks, but the dude just stops what he’s doing, calls me to the front and we start drinking Brooklyn Beer and telling “milkshake jokes”, you know… baby throwing, chicken choking, etc. It was mad surreal, Tony will give back whatever energy you bring. Don’t approach him like a fan, just say what you want to say cause that’s what he wants to hear. For weeks after doing the Barnes and Noble event, every one I ran into asked the same question: “Yo, what’s Tone like man?” some girls didn’t even have questions, just statements “OMG that mother fucker is so HUGGGHHH.” Yea, it’s like that for Tone now. There’s no “cute”, “handsome”, “attractive”, shawties are gettin’ right to that Rick Ross: “HUGGH!”
I told every one the same thing, dude is mad nice, humble, smart, and full of references I can’t understand! It’s like Tony’s been living on a different planet listening to music and reading detective novels that are currently unavailable on Earth. About a month after the Barnes and Noble event, I met with the Zero Point Zero producers (What up Claudia! Helen! Jenn! Nicola!) to talk about ideas for the LES portion of The Layover: New York. They wanted to know where we hung out and who we hung out with that depicted the real NY. Not on some Mayor Bloomberg, Joan Rivers, Regis type shit, they wanted the raw. They told me Tony would be going to the Highline, M. Wells, doing the Shake Shack and book store thing so we’d have to really come with it downtown since we only got about 5 minutes to rep. I thought it was funny they asked me because I wasn’t born in NY. I’ve been here 7 years, but I guess I appreciate it more than born and raised New Yorkers since I came from bumfuck ho-lando. That’s the funny thing about B&R NY’ers. By the time they hit 13, they’re neurotic, nihilists, who’ve seen it all, done it all, and think the universe is expanding.
Instead of picking the big trendy restaurants that wouldn’t even be here when people make it around to visiting NY, I picked the classics. Shit, two locations on this episode of The Layover have since moved: M.Wells and my original Baohaus location. Things move fast in NY, but I wanted to show people the places we go on the regular and are quintessentially NY. It was more about the culture than the food. In other places, maybe it’s just about the food, but there’s a soul to NY and these are the places you’ll catch a glimpse.
Tammany Hall - This is where we go in the LES to get weird these days. I brought Tony and some friends for Diddy Liquor during the shoot. What you know about that Coconut Ciroc?!?! We forgot that the Smif ‘n Wesson album release party was going on so that was dope until the cops showed up and started aggin’ on every one. Literally, there was a riot while we were shooting.
Castillo de Jagua - The best Dominican food is up in the Heights, but Castillo de Jagua holds us down in the LES. I pop in here for lunch, dinner, late night, or even just to duck the snow and have a bowl of shrimp soupy rice. If you’re visiting NY make it here or Sandy’s Lechoneria in Harlem. Get the Pernil, Rabo (oxtail), and mofongo.
Schiller’s - It’s a Keith McNally restaurant right next to Baohaus that we always went to for a night cap. The spot is legendary for Subway tile, bartenders with dishwasher shirts, and co-ed bathrooms. I also like the Pimm’s Cup and Wellfleet Oysters.
Opening Ceremony Chinatown - This is hands down the best boutique in NY. It’s internationally known and globally respected. Amongst NYers it may be a obvious choice, but if you’re from out of town, you gots to go.
Great NY Noodletown - Chinatown classic, no one hits in Chinatown without first buying girls wontons here Saturday night! Real talk, wherever you got twisted earlier in the night, you end up here for wonton noodle soup, oyster and red sausage casserole, char siu pork, roast duck, all the hit records.
DJ Soul - Downtown’s best parties are DJ Soul’s. From the reOpened party with Just Blaze at Santos to his current Good Fridays @ Tammany Hall, and THE WHUT? @ Submercer Sundays, the boy goes hammer. . I mean, come on, this is the man that put me on to Breaking Bad, his taste phenomenal immaculate.
Prodigy from Mobb Deep - P had come down to Baohaus for food/drinks before his set at Summer Jam and I mentioned to him that I was going to be on 24 Hour Layover and he was into it. So, first we called his P.O. to coordinate his availability post-7pm and the state was kind enough to Free P. I took him to Noodletown where P schooled us on the virtues of P.F. Chang’s, Popular Science, and how much he hates the Ed Koch bridge. It’s the QBORO, don’t never call it nothin’ else!
Chris Jackson - Chris is not only my editor, but one of the funniest guys you’ll ever meet. I rarely befriend producers, editors, etc. but Chris is the homie, he loves the Knicks, Marc Jackson, and Chris Mullin so of course we see eye to eye. He also edited the Matt Taibi books and The Other Wes Moore, but I know him for Decoded. Some call him Young, some call him Hova…
Kenzo Digital - Kenzo is the director of City of God’s Son, Beyonce’s 2011 Billboard Music Award performance, and most recently a Kanye West project. You can catch up on him here (http://lifeandtimes.com/the-visionaire) rockin’ that Snow Beach!
Emma Hearst - Emma owns Sorella on Allen St. and she in the hood like Chinese wings. <—-Jadakiss! She’s one of the youngest chefs in the city and I like how she’s just doing her own thing with Italian food at Sorella.
Action Bronson - Lastly, my MANS, Action Bronson. He set NY on fire this year with his Dr. Lecter tape and on 11/22 dropped the follow-up Well Done. The Barry Horowitz of rap, the Ronnie Coleman of Flushing, you don’t even know who Larry Csonka is man!NY’s holy trinity of beats, rhymes, and rice: Sam Sifton, Action Bronson, yours truly…
Eddie Huang - You can find me at Baohaus, Dim Sum Parlors, Chinese Weddings, Karaoke, Arcades, and Pai Gow tables from here to Macao. When I’m not cheffing, I’m hitting the Roor, watching my Redskins shit the bed, and wishing the Knicks drafted Ron Artest instead of Frederic Weis. Hit me @mreddiehuang . Ching chong, I’m gone…
A great sneak peek of the upcoming New York City episode of The Layover.
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