Flight of the Conchords walk
Got your own wacky accent and big dreams? Follow Bret and Jemaine's path to, well, mediocrity.
Tue Jul 21 2009
Sweet Spring Restaurant. Photographs: Beth Levendis
Date: July 9, 2009 12:27:41 PM
Liked the Gossip Girl walk in your Great Walks issue—when are you going to do one for Flight of the Conchords?—T.
1. No walking tour should begin on an empty stomach, so grab your Australian girlfriend and start your slow saunter through Chinatown at Sweet Spring Restaurant (25 Catherine St at Henry St, 212-766-1777), where Bret and Jemaine nosh. You can get five steamed pork-with-chive dumplings for $1.25. With only three tables, space is tight, so you might want to get ’em to go.
2. Eat your snack just a few doors down on the stoop at 28 Henry Street, which serves as the exterior of the New Zealand duo’s apartment. Looks like the boys were deported back to Kiwi-land just in time, as the Department of Buildings has slapped a vacate order on the front door. What will become of the talking stove?
3. “Ah, Flight of the Conchords, right?” confirms the clerk at Roger TV Services (10 Montgomery St between East Broadway and Henry Sts, 212-254-7710), which is the real-life storefront of the fictional Mohumbhai & Son’s pawn shop where Bret and Jemaine’s friend Dave works. You’ll have to bring your own coffee, but you can see the side of the store where the show is filmed (it’s currently overrun with stacks of large-screen TVs, air conditioners and other electronics). For $7, you can get a DVD of Conchords season one, or any other DVD, with a bonus sticker that brags where you got it. People from all over the world stop by this lonely Chinatown outpost, the worker says—from England, Germany and (gasp!) Australia.
4. Around the corner at 232 East Broadway is the East Broadway Medical Association building, which is the faux New Zealand consulate where band manager Murray “Ginger Balls” Hewitt works as cultural attach. Check out the cool mural on the side of the building that depicts scenes from Jewish history. (FYI: The actual New Zealand consulate is way uptown at 630 Fifth Avenue.)
5. Walking makes you thirsty, so duck into 169 Bar (169 East Broadway at Rutgers St; 212-473-8866, 169barnyc.com), where the boys have hung out. Nibble on the complimentary peanuts while you consider the tiki-themed bar’s happy-hour special: A can of beer and a shot of well booze goes for $3. That’s a perfect price for a struggling folk musician!
6. If the combo of whiskey and Old Milwaukee gets you riled up, do your version of Bret’s season-one-ending angry dance across the street in Seward Park (East Broadway and Jefferson St).
7. It’s a little late to point this out, but you’ll need a guitar. Head up to Guitar Man (147 Orchard St between Rivington and Stanton Sts; 212-475-5150, guitarmannyc.com), where you can get a starter acoustic ax for your nascent folk duo ($130), and a bass guitar (about $500), too. They’ve also got a cool old organ ($700), but, sadly, the Princess Leia golden-bikini action figure (still in the box) and other Star Wars memorabilia are not for sale.
8. Maybe you’ll bump into Daryl Hall—and his sugar lumps—at Arlene’s Grocery (95 Stanton Street between Ludlow and Orchard Sts; 212-358-1633, arlenesgrocery.net), as the guys did in the first season, when you sidle up to the bar for a $3 High Life or a $6 PBR with a shot of Jack Daniel’s. Hone your funky voice and dance moves at hard-rock karaoke night every Monday at 10pm.
9. A quick jaunt on the J train from Essex Street to Marcy Avenue will take you to the second leg of the walk and might even help you elude Mel, who’s been tailing you for the last hour. Walk south on Marcy one block and vist the Williamsburgh (yes, with an h) Public Library (240 Division Ave between Marcy Ave and Rodney St; 718-302-3485, brooklynpubliclibrary.org). See where the duo performed in the stacks and where the Rhymenoceros dissed many a rapper, including Brooklyn native Jay-Z.
10. Hum “Inner-City Pressure” while you make your way along Broadway to the East River Bar (97 South 6th St between Bedford Ave and Berry St; 718-302-0511, eastriverbar.com). The duo has played several gigs here, and you could even throw a meaty barbecue in the 1,000-square-foot outdoor space complete with two public-use grills.
11. After a walk on Berry Street, end your night at Matchless Bar (557 Manhattan Ave at Driggs Ave; 718-383-5333, barmatchless.com), where the boys have performed several times. You can document the successful conclusion of your walk in the bar’s photo booth and, though experts say eating late at night gives you freaky dreams, the kitchen serves tasty chicken wings and burgers until 3am. So you know you’ll be seeing David Bowie tonight. Wear an eye patch, man.