Archives For Shit Is Cray

On New Year’s Eve in Manhattan, Kansas, or “The Little Apple” as it is affectionately known, the citizens and students hip enough to not go home for the holidays gather on the corner of Manhattan Avenue and Moro Streets in Aggieville to ring in the new year. Aggieville is a really adorable part of town full of collegey gift shops, restaurants, and bookstores, so named because of the agricultural school at Kansas State University. One minute before midnight, the locals, led by Kansas dignitaries count down until their “ball” a paper-mache apple falls to the ground, There is a laser show, a DJ, and a full-on block party.

Manhattan is a small college town. Everybody seems to know each other. Kids grow up in Manhattan, go to college in Manhattan, get jobs in Manhattan, and raise their families in Manhattan. But despite this or perhaps because of it, the town is quirky and has a lot of character. I tell you about the “apple-drop” in Manhattan, Kansas because it shows what a funny little town Manhattan is. I need a good ole view of mountains or my heart breaks, but Manhattan is aight.

We spent 2 nights in Manhattan visiting the family of a friend of Christine (my travel partner and photographer on this journey). The Coffeys were delightful and did the best to show us a great Kansas time. We even went sailing. Which is pretty rare in the Midwest, you know, with the lack of oceans and whatnot. But we did it. And if you can steal a sailboat from a wealthy relative you should do it to. But maybe not in Kansas.


In the words of Samburg, “I’m on a boat”

Two nights and one day was an adequate amount of time to get a feel for the place. I saw the prairie, I saw Aggieville, I had a good look at Kansas State, and I sampled the delicious restaurants of Manhattan. Manhattan, Kansas is seriously a mecca of good food. We dined at Tallgrass Taphouse, and that bar food was better than any bar food I tasted in Philadelphia. No offense to my favorite Philly joints. In conclusion, I determined that Manhattan wouldn’t be the worst place to go to school if your parents would visit every so often and take you out to dinner. Especially if you just like hanging out with white people, because Manhattan is full of ’em.

Kansas brewery

Glorious flights of Kansas beer

The prairie is really incredible in a very flat way. All of those gosh-darn grasses. I read something on a prairie overlook that said there are hundreds of grasses, and wooded plants. I think of teens stuck in Kansas dreaming of more, feeling crushed by the weight of all that flatness, but then looking at tall those grasses and being OK with it. “Hey this sucks, but at least there are a lot of different types of grass here…it makes me feel like I live in a magical place.”

prairie grass

Home, home on the range

The best thing about Manhattan, besides the mind-blowing prairie grass, is Varsity Donuts. VD is located in an old drugstore in Aggieville and still has the interior of a drugstore. Doughnuts are delivered to baked college students by vintage bicycles. I wish there was a Varsity Donuts in whatever town I live in for the rest of time. It is delightful. Just look at those windows.


Varsity Donuts

What a dream

In case you haven’t figured it out/care, I did not actually just leave Kansas. I am currently residing on a very comfortable couch in Los Angeles. But let’s all just keep pretending we’re still on the road. Let’s go back to the days Pope Francis was in Philadelphia. Because that was the weekend I  was in Kansas. I gotta say, it would have been nice to walk the car-less streets of Philadelphia, but I had such a great time giving the Mid-western lifestyle a side-hug for a little bit and walking the also not-crowded streets of Manhattan, Kansas. I ended up feeling like I wasn’t missing much. Philadelphia is a great city. Any idiot who says differently is just someone who can’t see beauty in mildly dirty places. That being said, I’m done with Philly and ready to get sucked dry by Los Angeles. One could say I tried so hard to escape the Pope, I moved all the way to California. Stay tuned to hear about my adventures in Colorado, a place mostly run by three things: outdoor activities, beer, and marijuana.

Escape the Pope

Serious about Escaping the Papacy

Travel Tip: Budget in some time for a train to block your route. I waited about almost fifteen minutes for a train to go by. It was whacky.



All I knew about Omaha before I went there was that steak was a big deal there and the pig in the movie Gordy was going to go to a factory farm there before he was rescued because he can talk or do magic tricks or something like that.

After I left Omaha, I learned a few things about it.

  • there is a brewery in Omaha called Upstream, Let me just tell ya, an Upstream beer was just the ticket after the long still-not-quite-as-flat-as-I-was-expecting drive to Chicago.They have Omaha steaks if you’re trying to go big or go home, but if you ain’t, get yourself one of those falafel sandwiches. Admittely, I stayed away from the falafel because of some sort of Yankee snobbery. But when my SUPER AND AMAZING HOST Santi, let me taste his falafel, I was so grouchy with myself.  I can’t remember what I ordered, it was nothing, unmemorable. The falafel is the one that got away. Don’t make the same mistake as me.
  • The Omaha Zoo and Aquarium is DOPPPPPPPPE. I have very conflicted opinions on zoos, harboring such thoughts as, “Is it OK to hold those animals in captivity?, It kinda seems like they’re feeling OK at least they have food.  But freedom is so important.” It’s a real whirlwind. The zoo at Omaha almost made me forget all my concerns. Most of the animals at the zoo had large enclosures… I am no zoologist, but they seemed like they were doing OK. There is a desert dome and a rainforest and soon they are going to have a savannah situation that will have elephants and giraffes.

The Omaha biodomeDamn it’s hot in the deserts of Omaha

  • There are a whole bunch of hospitals and medical schools in Omaha. So if you’re a hypochondriac who loves zoos…might be the spot for you.
  • People are really into pork. Which is a pretty common theme in the Midwest, but in Omaha i ate my very first skillet and i must say never have I enjoyed pork quite so much. For those of you who don’t know, a skillet is a meal cooked in a pan all together one swoop: this one had home fries, and tomatoes, and eggs, and that oh-so delicious pork. If someone else was crazy enough and would go with me, I would drive back to Lisa’s Radical Cafe in Omaha right now just to taste that glorious pork once again.


You blurry, traif masterpiece.

I don’t want to poop too hard on small towns in this series. I understand that some towns can be just as interesting to live in as cities. I understand that as a city-dweller I am a snob. Even knowing all this, I gotta say there is not much going on in Omaha. Sorry, Omaha.

Well, America, tune in next time when I tell ya all about Manhattan, Kansas and further try to convince you that the midwest is sweet. In a very, very boring way.

  NebraskaHalfway there!

Travel Tip: Traveling is tough when you want to drink a lot but you have a budget. I suggest always selecting beers with a high alcohol content. IPAS will give you more bang for your buck.

I’d like to start of the Chicago portion of this process with this fun fact about Chicago: according to some Chi-town residents, Chicago is not called the windy city because it is next to a giant and crazy amazing beautiful lake which causes great winds but because of the hot air of the politicians. All I have to say about that, is politicians are windy everywhere. But not every city has a ginormous, bluer than the bluest blue, lake of wonder.

Lake Michigan

Only Mildly Edited for Instagram!

After a long journey between the abysses (plural of abyss? I don’t know.) that are Ohio and Indiana, in which I listened to hours upon hours of some sort of true crime show on XM radio, I made it to Chicago right during rush hour. Nothing like a rush hour when your bladder is full, am I right? My goal for the day was to make it to Chicago with enough time to settle into my friend Sean’s home and then speed off to an improv show at The iO Theater. I was lucky enough to see Bunk Seven, a Harold team comprised of several talented individuals including a few buds of mine from the olde Temple U days. I used to watch these kids perform in sketch and improv all the time back in the day and it was really exciting to see how they had improved in their craft over the years. If you’re in Chicago and searching for a good improv show. I’d head over to iO.

The first half of Saturday I spent cruising Lake Michigan with My Sweet Genevieve. I’ve definitely got a thing for bodies of water, when I travel I always try to hit one up, but Lake Michigan may have marked it’s space in my heart as my favorite. I spent most of the time at Lake Michigan just wandering Lake Shore Drive but I did spot a delightful trapeze school and Belmont Harbor Dog Beach. Aaaand parking was free between Labor Day and Memorial Day. Magical place, Chicago.

Belmont Harbor Beach

The one on the left is kept trying to mount everybody.

The next half of I headed over to Evanston, where Northwestern University is located, to meet an old high school buddy who I hadn’t seen in five years after we got into a small fight over nothing and I told him “I would never speak to him ever again”, Joel. Apparently when I need a place to stay, I’ll forgive anything. We walked around the cute little town where there was some sort of art festival. In the few months that it’s warm in Chicago, there are a lot of art festivals in Evanston so if you’re headed that way, take a gander. It’s also worthwhile to head to Evanston for the cute shops/restaurants and beautiful Northwestern campus. While I was walking through there I couldn’t help but think “this could have been my life…why didn’t I transfer to Northwestern when Joel did? I’m a fool.” But then I remembered that Chicago is freezing and everyone here thinks they are the next Tina Fey and I decided Philly had been a good choice of place to grow into the fledgling adult I am today. Besides, Tina is from the Philly area so if I want to be the next “her” I’m just as on track as the Chicago kids.

The next day Genny and I headed to brunch at Tweet, near my one true love Lake Michigan, with some Chicago buddies and the lady who would be joining us on the rest of our travels, Christine. Tweet was everything: the decor was cuter than a place Cinderella would spruce up, the food was yum yum, and the cocktails were works of art. Meanwhile, the staff was really accomodating, allowing a gazillion of us to sit outside at a huge table and providing complimentary coffee while we waited to be seated.  The only downside was that Genny had to sit on the outside of the gated seated area, something her anxiety-ridden little brain could not handle. She spent most of the meal whining at me with her paws propped up on a flower basket attached to the iron fence.

Flower Pup

Like so.

After brunch, Christine and I stopped by Lake Michigan for a brief photo-taking session and then went on to Wicker Park.  Everybody told us Wicker Park was cool, so we went for it. And it was pretty cool. The actual park at Wicker Park is nice and it’s fun to walk in a specific neighborhood in a city because I like the ungodly combo of people-watching/architecture. I was slightly disappointed that most of the stores seemed like chains, but who am I to make comments about window-shopping? The only snag in our little Wicker Park journey was was that we missed The 606, which is an abandoned railroad track turned aboveground park. Right after I returned from Wicker Park, one of my friends informed me this park existed and I was sad. So sad.

That night Joel took me out with his Chitown buddies to Rosa’s Lounge, a jazz and blues club.  I had been told that Green Mill Cocktail Lounge was the jazz venue I wanted to see, once frequented by personal heroes of mine such as Al Capone, So at first I was a little bummed we were going to some place I had never heard of. I proceeded to get more grouchy when the cover charge was $20 when it is usually $12. But they served $15 pitchers of Stella and the music just got better and better as the night went on. The crowd was whacky: full of locals who have been going to the bar for decades, couples who were making dance babies on the floor, and the occaisonal crew of young music enthusiasts such as ourselves. The bartenders seem to know everyone at the bar and I ended up getting a free shot from one of them for some reason.  Around 2 in the morning after dancing for an hour straight to the riveting tones of a man who sounded a lot like an Evangelical minister, we decided it might be time to finish the night. I later found out you aren’t allowed to speak at all during the sets at Green Mill, so in hindsight I’m pretty stoked on Rosa’s.

This is a video I found on Rosa’s website

The next morning, after falling asleep at the ungodly hour of 4 AM, I woke up at the even ungodlier hour of 8:30 to pick up Christine and make our way to Omaha, where we have a friend in medical school. Im going to just throw at this pro-tip that driving in unfamiliar traffic when you are exhausted is not actually the best idea. At one point I made a grievious traffic error in which the backseat of my car toppled onto Genevieve after a very ferocious jolt. Thank G-d my veterinarian prescribed the pup some Xanax or she would have heavy-breathed her way across America after a seat attack such as that.

With Chicago under our belts, we began the not-as-flat-as-i-was-expecting journey through the Midwest. Stay tuned for Omaha and Kansas, the midwestern hot-spots that I will try to convince you are not as terrible as they sound. It’s going to be a blast.

Mission from God

“We’re on a mission from God”

Travel Tip: Never travel during vacation season so you can always find free parking wherever you go.

Hey gang.

Some of you might not know that this very blog, this sweet lil aseemblage of the written word we all love so, had its beginnings as a travel blog. If you’re a recent bandwagon baby or only just stumbled upon Hipster Jew while googling “hot Jewish MILFS”  and were unaware of the HJ  genesis, that’s OK I also didn’t know. When I was informed of the babyhood of the blog I hold dear, I did some cyberstalking research and found some old travel content: a series on Chicky’s Birthright adventure. I just want to make sure you are all well-rounded readers of Hipster Jew content (even the Jewish MILF Googlers).

Anyway, at Hipster Jew, we like to party like it’s 2010 all the time (“heyyo someone pass me the jungle juice,”Did anyone bring the speakers for my Ipod”) so it should come as no surprise that we’re bringing the travel blog back. This time, your friendly neighborhood Schlitz Lipz is going to be sharing an extensive series on my travels across these Americas. That’s right, I left the bitter Northeast for the bright lights and broken dreams of Los Angeles and now you get to hear all about it. Or you can just read this article from The New York Times about New Yorkers fleeing for the West. it’s basically the same thing I’m writing but much, much shorter and with ten times better grammar. See, I care so much about your literacy…it’s almost humbling.

Continue Reading…

Happy 4th from me, @gigihadid, @marhunt, @britmaack, @serayah and @haimtheband :)

A photo posted by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

T-Swift, Haim, and a bunch of other people had, what looks to be, the perfect fourth of July. Does anyone know how I can get in on this? I know I have a lot of connections. I feel like it’s my right to hang out in Rhode Island with a bunch of good looking people. Who do I snapchat to get in on this?

T-Swift, please invite me next time (not desperate)

Math, you cruel uncaring mistress! You just couldn’t keep it a secret, could you? You just had to let everyone know that Hipsters do in fact look kind of the same, sound kind of the same, dress kind of the same, eat kind of same, and smell kind of the same (thanks Toms products). Yeah, you heard some news you already guessed if you’ve read this blog once, or stepped outside in a town not full of bros. Hipsters are all the same person. Friends with one hipster, you’re pretty much friends with them all.

“You need people who want to be different,” said Touboul in an interview with Reuters. “In the end, because they are too slow to detect the trend, they synchronize and they all do, and all these people that want to be different they all do the same thing at the same time.”

Touboul published his findings in a scientific paper titled “The hipster effect: when anticonformists all look the same.”

He said the mathematical model is interchangeable with other social groups.

Wait…what? The mathematical model works for any social group? Why not call it the Juggalo Paradox, or the Salmon Short Paradox, or even just the Lumberjack Paradox? It’s like someone knew that calling it the Hipster Paradox would get me to click on the link, then write a silly diatribe about it…

Just like all the other Hipsters have already done. DAMN IT YOU WIN AGAIN, MATH

// Usa Today

Fellow Jews, the patriarchy’s been messing with Cousin Sarah (Silverman) and that’s just one step too far for me. Patriarchy, you angered me when you instituted street harassment. When I found out about the prevalence of on-campus sexual abuse, I shook my fists in rage.  I almost fell into a diabetic coma of disdain when I read about all the crap Florida does to ladies..  But this, THIS IS TOO FAR, PATRIARCHY.

Recently, Sarah admitted that she had been paid 1/6 of what a male colleague was paid at a comedy club in New York. And yea, the owner is saying it’s not because she’s a woman that she was paid less…but she’s not the only lady who gets paid less for her efforts. So regardless of what he’s saying, the issue cannot be denied. The rest of us, as a standard, get paid 78.3 cents for every dollar a man makes.

Cousin Sarah

Sarah’s unimpressed with you, Patriarchy.

When Sarah cries, we all cry. I’m crying right now. Let’s fight the patriarchy, yo.

Well that happened. Anyone from L.A. want to corroborate this story? Are L.A. Kosher Delis this sexual? This hairy? This Jewish? This 1980s?

If so, I’d like one ticket to L.A., please.


When the party’s breakin’ up and the clubs are closin’ down and the City of Angels sleeps There’s only one place in town me and the boys will be found, got a jones for some savory meats

Canter’s rocks the noshes down in Hollywood, but I love my Jerry’s valley dolls And my baby gets a thrill for a Langer’s kosher dill, and she’ll cream for Greenblatt’s matzo balls

LA! Deli! Where the after party’s ragin’ in my L.A. town LA! Deli! The pastrami’s pillin’ high while you’re comin’ down LA! Deli! Eatin’ corned beef and eggs ’til the break of dawn LA! Deli! You don’t have to be a jew to get your rock ‘n’ roll kibitz on

Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 12.16.17 PM

I have been spending much of my day reading Wikipedia articles, when I decided to read up a bit on our lord and savior David Berman, when I noticed this one line…

On 8 January 2015, Bob Nastanovich posted a photo on his Facebook page claiming that the Silver Jews are practicing again.

January 8th? Thats today! I quickly went to Bob’s facebook page and low and behold… Silver Jews, together again! I don’t care if they were only posing for a photo. Just the thought of Silver Jews getting back together makes my day.

We’re a week into 2015 and already this is a better year than 2014/

It’s a McSweeney’s Internet Hanukkah!

Ever wonder what the best and worst Hanukkah films are?

Hint: Not the Hebrew Hammer