The Rooster Has Left The Building!!!
I'm off! Once again, thank you to all who have made these past years possible. For those of you who remember me when I came to NYC. Well this is the hat that I use to love to wear. I've kept it for all these years but today it is retired. Great memories that I will always hold close. I'm very-very excited about my new home, the move and my new life. I would hope you would be just as happy for me. I bid you a fond farewell friends and NYC.
Good Bye NYC!
May 18, 2009
It is not easy to scribe you this letter, then again, saying good-bye has never been easy for me. I sit here in my Fifth Floor walk-up listening to John Coltrane’s famous song, In A Sentimental Mood. How appropriate…because when I’m in need of a New York moment I throw this song on. When Coltrane plays I’m quickly transported to your bustling streets, my quiet morning runs in central park, and to my rooftop overlooking Harlem. So as of today, New York, this is our song. Honestly, how can we not have a song after a 15 year relationship? Wink!
New York, saying good-bye after 15 years makes me rather pensive. You have taught me so much about life, the world, the arts, friendship, and me. Everyday you presented me with something new: a life lesson, a new restaurant, a new friend, an old lost friend, and of course a party for good measure. Yes, New York, you were everything they said you were in the brochures and more. I drank the New York City cool-aid and loved the flavor so much that I kept drinking it year after year.
People have tried to capture you in poems, books, and movies. But between you and me, New York, they never do you justice. The beat of the express train as it races downtown at high speeds to the hustle and bustle of Lower-Manhattan is something you can only understand and enjoy by riding a packed train during rush hour. The games one plays while on that train to pass the time are fun too! I like to play the game, What Stop? A simple game where you pick what stop you think a person is going to get off at. The Suit, he’s going to Wall St. The young 23 year old recent graduate who dresses in the latest fashions in Vogue, she’s going to 42nd Street, The Conde Nast Building.
Yet, New York, as great and fantastic as you have been the New York City experience couldn’t have been possible without my crew. And although this is a good-bye letter to you, New York, I feel I have to give them some shout outs!
You have been my best friend during this incredible run. To be honest, I never really had a best friend until you came into my life and I thank you for that experience. I lack the proper writing skills and vernacular to express my deepest love and appreciation for your friendship. In the end, what I can say is you have been my rock, my shoulder to lean on, and the one person who has always believed in me. Thank you, Cucks.
Hey, Compadre. If there is someone who embraces the greatness that is New York City it is you. I remember the night we sat on the roof of the library and you pointed to the New York skyline and said, “This is why I came to Columbia…the world is here, Joaquin.” Church!!! You have been a true friend, a roommate, an ear when I’ve needed to vent, a fellow Cowboys fan, a boxing junkie like me, and of course a great person to grab “One Drink” with. Gracias por todo, Compa.
John (The General),
Juanito. Tell Sloan I said, what up? My crime partner in the city…I know you are an atheist and I respect that, bro. But I think my main man upstairs, JC, put you in my life for a reason. I can’t express to you how important your friendship has been to me all these years. You have a heart of gold and I’m always impressed how you are able to navigate between so many circles and to be loved by them all. If anyone ever asks you, Juanito, what is your best characteristic? Make sure to say this, “John Lee is a fiercely loyal friend.” Gracias por todo, General.
Daniel, Un gran abrazo, Primo. To the man who has pushed me for years to get out of the city. I write to notify you, “I’m finally leaving.” You will of course respond with, “I need to see you on the plane first…send me a picture.” A photo will be sent. LOL! D, you have showed me that life can pass you by very fast and you have to love it everyday. “Sucking the marrow out of the bone of life one day at a time” best describes how you approach life. The last minute trips to Vegas, driving in vicious snowstorms to watch Mana and our famous Sunday margarita fiestas; you truly love life, Bro. I feel blessed to have learned this lesson from you and I’m putting that lesson into action now. Gracias.
Papa, Mami y Elena,
Being away from you three has not been easy. You are my blood and never does a day pass by that I don’t think of you three. And know that not a day passes that I don’t understand and fully appreciate all the sacrifices you three have made for me to be here. Gracias, Familia.
New York, some people have come with the idea that they will beat you, only to go back to their hometowns defeated and humbled. We have had our share of battles with one another along the way…I have won some and lost many. The battle scars inflicted on me by you I don’t see as scars of failure. On the contrary, I see them as scars of growth, resilience, and they’re scars which I needed to acquire in order to grow. It is on this little island that demons from my past have been killed and some have been born. New York, know I leave you fulfilled, happy, and in peace with no traces of bitterness.
In closing, these tears I shed are tears of extreme happiness and of extreme sadness mixed together. I’m not too proud to state; it hurts me deeply to be leaving you and I’m thankful you have let me call you home for so long. Also, know that your are the reason that this boy who arrived 15 years ago on a Tower Air Flight with 100.00 bucks in his pocket has grown into a man who leaves with a wealth of experience in life. Thank you, New York and I will always love you.
Joaquin Manuel Ochoa Post Script – I will be having a going away/birthday party this Friday if you want to stop buy and have a drink with me before my departure.
7 Rivington Street
9:00pm – till the lights come on.
No-Mas Street Cred in Question
As an avid boxing fan one of the places I go to visit and get great color commentary on the fight game is NoMas
. A blog/website based out of NYC. It brings you short films on the grit it takes to make it in boxing; both on the big stage and on the local scene. NoMas also follows some of the local fighters that I enjoy watching.
Yet, the one thing that I've always enjoyed about NoMas is their shirts. They have a great selection of shirts that not many people are wearing around the city. Not to mention, they have a lot of backhanded humor and their shirts also take me back to my childhood.
So I'm a little torn by seeing NoMas shirts at Bloomingdale's this past weekend. I swear I was there for a friend and his girlfriend who were shopping. In any case, I suppose I'm a bit sad that they have gone mainstream. It was bound to happen, they have bills to pay and need to expand their market, and as I said above, they put out a fantastic product. I guess I just enjoyed finding their shirts in small hip-hop boutiques around the city.
I'm not getting paid to pimp NoMas on this site. I know the writers there and they do a kick-ass job of covering the fight game, baseball, and for some reason Philly sports. But Bloomies? The Rooster is confused today.
For those of you that call The Rooster a liar....here is the proof:
I'm the last one to put up a Vegas report. There is so much to write about and of course my main man, Derek at at PiTW (Poker in The Weeds) hit the nail on the head again with his trip report.
Thus, for many of us who have been blogging and to these things a few times there are a few things you can count on. Bobby blowing his money at blackjack and trying to get it all back at the ponies.
There were a lot of memorable moments...met some really nice people this time around. I wanted to post all these neat things that happened on this trip. But for those of us who experienced it...Grubby got there late but was there in spirit...this sums up what this community is for me. A group of friends who met through poker thing and this thing called a blog...getting together to wish two of our own the best in their new life and husband and wife.
I wanted to put the picture where they were kissing but Iggy kept popping up in those pictures.
Other note....a new name for you bloggers with twitter accounts. You are now known as "Bl-Itter" people. Joe Speaker's girl thought of that.
Oh, I had to post this picture also. We made our way to Casa Fuente.
Last Post Before Vegas
This will be my last post before Vegas. Where I will be defending my championship from last year. You know, just in case you didn't know.
I've been playing a lot of poker here at all the different Casinos in Az. Even the one where Granpa Drizz lives near. I'm not sure if he is the old man who checked raised me in the Omaha game.
In any case, got a feel for live play again and not missing the bet here and there. All in all poker can be a bit depressing when you see people playing every hand and they continue to take money out of their pocket. I got to chatting with a man who said he played with his pension check. I saw him go through 400 bucks in about an hour after playing EVERY SINGLE HAND for a while. He must have been about 80 years old it was sad...and yes, I checked raised him on the river.
I've had a fantastic time here in Arizona. But truth be told...I'm a bit bored here. Not in a bad way...just use to the pace of NYC. It is quiet here and cars drive by only once every hour. There are no one legged hookers standing on the corner and old ex-hypes asking me for a dollar at the corner bodega.
People are playing a lot of different tournaments over in Vegas.
Someone came up with the idea of me getting post-its and assigning people A,B,C,D lister blogger status. I will save some the pain from getting that bad report.
In closing, I'm excited to see all of you in a couple of days I can't lie. In some sick way you degenerates have become a constant reminder of what is odd in the world. For the first time attendees...I don't do autographs...sorry.
Poker in the Az.
This is a poker blog but I wanted to change the topic only for a few lines. My main man, Derek
at Poker in The Weeds or PiTW emailed me about the state of the NYKnicks. Needless to say we have written many emails on this topic and we both still want Marcus "Cotton" Camby on the Knicks. In any case, the whole Starbury thing has been a hot button of discussion for us. Yet, this had to be the funniest line I've read in a long time. PiTW stated:I'm waiting for Marbury to compare himself to Nelson Mandela . . . free Starbury damn it!!
For those of you following the whole Starbury drama. Well The Rooster and PiTW tend to disagree on this topic. I am of the school that from that start of the season the coach says, "You don't fit my plan for the team so you aren't going to play." Fine so Steph stays quiet and sits on the bench in street clothes because he is inactive. Then out of nowhere the trades take place which basically dump all the Knicks good players in hopes of landing L. James in 2010. Which I don't think is fair to the fans...but so be it. Then when they are short handed the coach says, "Steph, I need you to play tonight." What? Should Steph jump when the coach tells him to after annexing Steph before the season even starts. I think not. Steph is the best player on the team from the jump and he plays the run and gun style and you don't want him on your team and you coach the up and down game. In any case, before you jump on Steph's wagon...take note of this interview...guy is a trip. Video sent by PiTW:CLICK HERE
Been playing at some of the poker rooms here in Arizona. The tables are a mix of rocks and aggressive players. Kind of depends who sits at the table and such. I've hit a few of my big draws and hit some big flops. Yet the person who impressed me the most was a 80 year old lady. Serious. She was a bit of a rock but when she bet she bet her draws hard and when she would hit her flops she would mix it up with slow plays and aggressive betting. We were at the 6/12 table and she walked away a rack and a half up. She even hit a Royal Flush and got an extra 50.00 bucks from the house. Then she got a little cocky when a young gun raised her on this hand. She re-raised and smiled. When she showed her Royal Flush she looked at the young gun and said: "Grandma flopped the nuts." Of course everyone at the table started laughing their asses off.
O.K. I'm off to help my Mom in the kitchen. Have fun and remember that you might be betting into a grandma who flopped the nuts.
For those of you who haven't registered for the blogger tournament you should go and let Falstaff
know you want to play.
Of course even if you are a reader you are more than welcome to come out and play.
On another note, for the last F'en time...there is no such thing as an A-List and B-List or Z-List amongst bloggers. I got an email asking me about the status of an A-Lister. Dear God. If you are wondering what list we are...how about the F'en Geek list...we are all geeks who write about poker and our boring lives. In the words of Iggy-Cakes: The Humanity.
Moving on. One word: Arsenal. Nuff said...no chirping from the PA.
In closing, not sure if you knew but that blogger tournament I mentioned above...well I'm the defending champion. Here is the trophy and take note of the little Mexican flag in the back. Nuff said: