Cash Mob At Odessa

Last Monday there was a post at Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York about a cash mob at Odessa. I’ve never heard of the phrase, “cash mob” and was intrigued. It seems that what it is, is a gathering of as many people as you can gather with the sole intent of infusing some cash into a local store. I think that’s a great idea and a fun excuse to meet people, have fun and help out the local community. Tonight’s first cash mob takes place at Odessa in the East Village. It’s going to start out for dinner and drinks at the light Odessa and then the crowd will move next door to the dark Odessa for more drinks. It sounds like a good plan to me!

And here we are at the "light" Odessa. I'm early as usual, let's see if anyone else has shown up yet.

Odessa is a classic diner with great people working here.

And here's Spike seated at a booth. Not quite a mob yet, but the two of us are enough to cause a little trouble in here!

After I sat down with Spike I found out that they were setting up an area in the back for us. Goggla had talked with Danny earlier and told him there'd be a group tonight and this is the space for us. Very nice!

Here's Danny, the friendly fellow who manages Odessa. He's a great guy.

And here's Spike at the table. Now where's this mob?

Okay, here we go, people are starting to show up. That's Claire to the left and Melanie playing dueling cameras with me. Let's sit down and get to business!

And here we are. We were a couple people short of a mob, but it was a great group of people to meet for dinner at a classic East Village spot.

The food starts to arrive, here's Goggla and Melanie seated across from me.

I got the EV Grieve Special a.k.a. the grilled cheese on Odessa's homemade Challa bread. Delicious!

Just as we were finishing dinner the Duncester showed up to help us mob up.

And here's Danny with the cash from tonight's cash mob dinner.

And it's over to the dark Odessa for a few nightcaps.

This is a nice, relaxing bar. Classic rock plays in the background and it kind of feels like you're sitting in someone's basement bar. A nice place to hang and shoot the shit with friends.

Leon was one of the bartenders on duty...

And Mike was the other. Nice guys and quick with a bottle of beer!

And the mob grows as Lindsay shows up...

Along with Shawn. Alright, let's get this party started!

I love the red ceiling and half-lit chandeliers in here.

A shot from the other end of the bar.

The cash mob at the bar.

Lindsay, Shawn and I were the last ones left at the end of the evening and Mike poured us shots on our way out.


And it's out the door to greet the evening.

One of the great things about Odessa is that it's right next door to another East Village institution, Ray's Candy Store.

And here's the man himself, Ray with the night's final nightcap, an egg cream.

Ray dug out a photo of Lindsay and Bob Arihood, a nice moment to end a nice evening! Thanks to Jeremiah and Goggla for setting this up. It was a great excuse to hang out with nice people and spread a little cash around to businesses that need it. See you all tomorrow!

117 Ave. A (Near 7th St.)

Further Reading: My Private Coney Presents: It Was Her New York, Musings by Melanie. Gog in NYC and One More Folded Sunset.

Tunnel to the other side,
It becomes daylight,
I say he's mine.
(Hat tip to Duncester for the link!)

Surprise link, click on it...I dare you!


JJ Hat Center

First off, thanks to everyone who contributed and became a sponsor here at TMW yesterday! I appreciate the support and it will help to keep this blog going! If you can spread the word to your friends via facebook and Twitter, it would be greatly appreciated! Alright, enough sponsor talk, back to the business of tripping!

Since I passed the virtual hat yesterday, I thought it only fitting to take some of the sponsor money and buy a real hat today. The only hat I own is one that my good pal and TWM commenter and sponsor Biff gave me for Christmas (along with some Metro Cards) back when I was doing the 365 bar crawl. It’s a stocking cap and here’s a picture of me modeling it in a bar (of course) back when Gene from the BBC was in town. Thanks again, Bifferoonie!
While looking for a store, I found Manhattan’s oldest hat store online. The name of the store is JJ Hat Center and from what I read, they have thousands of hats in stock. The store has been in business since 1911 and it’s set up like an old time haberdashery. I’ve never been in a haberdashery, so today’s the day! From the name of the store, I think this trip is going to be...Dy-no-mite! Sorry about that, I just couldn’t resist, okay, it’s off we go!

It's a nice day out, so I thought we'd walk there. It's a straight shot up Fifth Avenue, it'll give us a chance to see some of the storefronts along the way.

Motherfucker! There's no escape from these places!

Motherfucker, motherfucker!

Holy shitballs, the trifecta of motherfuckers! I need some local signage fast!

Ah, now that's more like it, JJ Hat Center, a store that's been in business here in New York since 1911.

Lots of hats in the store window, let's go inside and check the store out.

The store is long and narrow with dark wood and glass display cases.

Gold, sparkly chandeliers hang overhead, this is one classy hat store!

And there's lots of hats, here's a wall full of them.

Here's a display of hats on a pole...

And there's hats stacked like pancakes in a glass display case in the front of the store.

There's top hats...

And here's a flashy red hat on display.

Here's Mark, who's one of the friendly and knowledgable sales people in the store.

Look at the Don Draper hat. I should've come here before doing my Mad Men Tavern Tour!

Here's Sean, another nice sales person in the hat shop.

Sean pointed out this Blues Brothers photo, signed by John Belushi and Dan Aykyroyd. JJ Hat Center supplied the hats for the Blues Brothers movie. He said they also supply hats for most of the Broadway productions in town as well as many TV shows and movies.

One thing I learned about hats is that they're not cheap in here. Most of them run between 75 to 150 bucks. These fur hats are 450 dollars! I don't like going to a shop and taking pictures and not buying anything, but I told Mark that the hats were a little out of my price range. He told me not to worry about it and that they were happy to have me come in. They're nice people in here. When I hit the Mega Millions, it's going to be my first stop!

And so it's out the door, hatless in New York City.

Hold on...what's this on the street corner?

More hats and these might be a little more in line with the TWM budget. I doubt this guy's been on the block since 1911...the odds are he's probably just been on the block since noon, but I think we may find something here within the TWM price range.

I asked to see something in a NYC baseball cap and the proprietor suggested this fine chapeau.

It fits! Now we have an actual hat for next month's sponsorship drive. Okay, hat's all folks...ouch! See you tomorrow.

JJ Hat Center
310 Fifth Ave. (@32 St.)

Hat Vendor Guy
Corner of 16th and Fifth Avenue

Further Reading: New York Magazine, Racked and Time Out New York.

She wore a raspberry beret,
The kind you find at a second-hand store.

Surprise link, click on it...I dare you!


P.S. Cash Mob At Odessa Tonight!

There's a cash mob at Odessa tonight, It starts out at the "light" Odessa for dinner at 117 Avenue A at 6 PM and then moves next door to the "dark" Odessa later for drinks. Read more details here: Jeremiah's Vanishing New York, Gog in NYC, EV Grieve and Musings by Melanie. There should be a lot of fun and interesting people, stop by if you can!


Passing The Virtual Hat Update

I really want to thank all of you who have contributed so far, I truly appreciate it! I encourage everyone to go to the TWM Sponsor Page and check out the sponsor list so far and click on the many links there. They open a world of creative blogs, writing, photography, art and holistic wellness!

I’ll be back to tripping tomorrow and once again I want to thank those of you who contributed today!
If you can tell two or three people about this, put a link up on facebook or Twitter to get a good word of mouth going, it would help out a lot and I would really appreciate it. It’ll help to keep this blog alive!

P.S. I’ll be adding sponsors as they come in through the evening, so check back if you can and see who the new arrivals are!

Thank you for lettin’ me be myself, again.

Surprise link, click on it...I dare you!