Thursday, May 31, 2012


My Recent Life According to My Yelp.com Reviews

I recently had to take some time off from my job due to carpal tunnel syndrome, which, for the record, is little like crumpling aluminum foil between the tendons in your wrists and then sticking your arms in a microwave.

I’m not trying to sound brave or anything. As an athlete, this is by far the dorkiest injury I have ever sustained — worse, even, than my most embarrassing ski-vacation-injuries. Including the time I skied into a tree and got my head stuck between the trunk and one of the branches, and then started breaking out into a rash from the pine needles while my family snapped photos and laughed and pulled roughly on my ankles. Or the time when I was twelve and really wanted a goggle tan and secretly eschewed sunscreen and got second degree burns all over my face (read: swollen skin and large yellow blisters), and looked so absolutely terrible that my family made me wear a red bandana for the mountain-top-Christmas-photo, like a bandit.

Anyway, below I have provided some of my recent Yelp reviews to give you an idea of how I’ve spent my time off.*

Has Beans (.01 miles)

The coffee at this place was so potent that I nearly shit my pants upon finishing. Luckily, it had a bathroom. 4/5 stars

BAGELS (.01 miles)

There was no bathroom at this place, and I had to leave right in the middle of a particularly gripping chapter of The Hunger Games in order to change my pants. 2 stars

South Bar (.01 miles)

Too much coffee lately (the air around me was starting to vibrate!) so I decided to start reading Catching Fire at a nearby bar — a place I know is cool because I once saw Jesse Eisenberg here holding a tambourine. A little dark for my reading purposes, but also much emptier during the day, and especially during the morning hours. It’s like I own the world. 5 stars

Black Horse Pub (.1 miles)

Apparently South Bar wasn’t actually open sometimes when I went there?  The assholes started yelling at me about using the back door “outside business hours” (read, 9 a.m.), so I knocked down their rating from 5 to 0 stars.  Gotcha, bitches.

Anyway I went a little farther north to this place, the Black Horse Pub, and at first they left me alone, but after a few chapters of Mockingjay, the bartender, who was this totally nice guy at first, got all up in my nuts about actually ordering something. Ugh. At the same time, he had bright blue eyes and a face like George Clooney, if George Clooney were covered in tattoos and had his nose pierced like a bull, so I got a Bloody Mary, and it’s sooooo good!!! FUCKING SPICY!  4 stars

Black Horse Pub (.1 miles)


Civil Wedding Officiants (9.4 miles)

Um, so Edward and I apparently went to this place? I have a certificate of marriage from them and vaguely remember us going in and demanding to be “gay married toot sweet.” Also Edward’s last name is Butt, so now I’m Kathleen Butt. The whole thing is pretty foggy but the handwriting on the certificate is clear and I don’t think anybody yelled at me for vomiting on the alter. 3 stars only because I probably wouldn’t have gotten married had I not been black out drunk.

NYC Divorce Lawyer (4.8 miles)

Something I didn’t know about Edward: he’s Canadian. At first he said no way about going to see NYC Divorce Lawyer, because of citizenship, etc., but then I threatened to call immigration — which was probably a bitch move, since apparently the marriage was my idea. Anyway, now he says I’m no longer welcome at the Black Horse Pub — not even for a thimble of Bloody Mary. "A thimble." His words. On the bright side, annulments only cost $25!!!  5 stars

Black Horse Pub (.1 miles)

Don’t go here. The service is literally horrible.

*The distances measure the distance between the reviewed establishment and my apartment.

Kathleen Hale is the author of Eat Me Gluten, and has written two young adult novels, the first of which is forthcoming from HarperCollins in 2014.  

Photo via Flickr/floridagirlindc

52 Comments / Post A Comment


Hey, I got second-degree burns on my leg once! It was entirely by accident, though; I was on a date with my long-distance boyfriend in college, and we went to the beach in Santa Cruz in March at midday and spent a good two hours making out in the sand, and foolish little college frigwiggin didn't even think about sunscreen until she was on the bus back to campus and realized she was as red as a Solo cup. My leg got blistered like your face! And smelled like a wet dog and hurt so bad that the campus health center gave me some major painkillers so I could sleep, which resulted in me missing a final for The Future of Rainforests. Damn you, ultraviolet radiation! *shakes fist impotently at the sky*

Heat Signature

@frigwiggin Oh, burn stories! I got a second-degree sunburn on my chin and forehead when my husband and I went to Cancun. I didn't put any sunblock on my face (worried about zits) and then fell asleep underneath a cabana-type thing. The sun shifted (as it is wont to do), and blammo! Serious sunburn on the first day of my trip that resulted in sheer misery for the rest of the week. Memories!

Lila Fowler

@frigwiggin Banana Slug high fives!! (Sorry about your leg. OUCH.)


@frigwiggin Fiat Slug! I once got really burned my frosh year because we organized a anti-Iraq war protest and we all forgot to wear sunscreen. But we got really delicious Chinese food that night, so it was all okay.


i get this really weird guilty pleasure out of reading obnoxious or rude yelp reviews. it's like, i've always wanted to send people messages before saying take me with you when you go to restaurants because i seriously want to see how you behave in real life.


@roughe I once saw a Yelp review from someone who downgraded a place for giving her free juice. I assume it went like, "This... This is my cousin, you monsters!"


@roughe Ohhhhh, I derive so much fun from this. The longer the review, the better. I want to know what kind of ass-kissing service and food of the gods would warrant four or five stars from these people.

Faintly Macabre

@roughe There's a bakery/cafe in Boston that is justifiably pretty famous and generally packed with exotic geniuses discussing crazy math and international policy. It's the kind of place you go either to talk or stop in for a coffee and cookie if you're alone. There is a one-star review on Yelp from a guy ranting and raving that the place has no outlets. That is the entire reason he gave it one star--he says, "It is with great regret that I give [bakery] a one-star rating (I tried to give it a zero, but apparently this is not an option), because the baked goods, food and coffee are exceptionally good."

(On looking, someone else gave the bakery 1 star because they weren't allowed to buy things 45 minutes before they officially opened in the morning.)


@roughe I love reading negative reviews of my favorite bars. The one for my "local" calls everyone who goes their a "loner or a weirdo." For another bar, one of my friends was called "short, brunette, wrist-tattoo-sporting Scrooge...who seemed best fitted for the counter at the DMV".


@roughe I love ridiculously bitchy yelp reviews! My favourites are from crazy foodies who get offended when they get free bread or from people who are outraged that if they go to a popular restaurant or bar at 8 pm on a Saturday it'll take their food more than 10 minutes to get to the table.


@roughe It's not even just Yelp. I'm going to an AirBnB soon that got 5 stars from everyone, EXCEPT from one person who wrote this long whiny rant about how there were no supplies in the bathroom...? No, dude, you bring your *own* supplies. What did you expect, the Hilton?


@Faintly Macabre wait, I've lived in Boston for X years and I can't place this bakery. PLEASE SHARE!!!!

Faintly Macabre

@beeline96 Well, the location I'm talking about is in Central Square/Cambridge, but I didn't want people thinking England. It's Flour Bakery. Their french toast and apple snacking cake are SO GOOD. (And it really is full of gorgeous foreign geniuses, as well as some standard MIT nerds.)



Bagel place: used to be good and they used to give you fresh warm bagels, now...I really avoid it.

Has Beans: I don't really get this place. They serve coffee and beer. These products serve opposite purposes. Usually go to Southside instead.

South: I like it until 10ish, then all the jerks from Freddy's come over to use the bathroom. Don't look for Pictionary on the game shelf, I stole it while I was drunk.

Black Horse Pub: I don't know...I really want better from this place. The food is really quite terrible and the waitress once put her tits on my boyfriend's arm and tried to whisper in his ear right in front of me. Plus they make a terrible bloody mary. Okay, I'm being too kind: this place sucks unless you just want to watch soccer and have your arm used as a tit shelf.

I am not yet married or divorced so I'm afraid I can't comment on the other two.

You forgot a review for my favorite South Park Slope store: I Want A Breast Pump.


@parallel-lines Oh hey this is also my neighborhood, and I too love South while the sun is still out. Also--waaay to have a multi-colored sign to get your point across I Want a Breast Pump. tee hee.
P.S. the Bloody Mary's at Korzo are much. better. And quite strong.


@ap_physics I had a friend who worked at Korzo and now I know too much about the place and can't eat there :/

My favorite local bloody is at Applewood because they give you a beer back.


@parallel-lines - Another former South Sloper! I used to love Black Horse sooo much. I once saw a bunch of police ER'YWHERE in the hood when I was going there for an after-work drink, and heard the wildest sentence of my life from a waitress:

"Lemme get a glenlivet for The Mayor!"

Hizzoner and a bunch of his staff were all there at my local bar! I felt like Jay-Z.


@leon.saintjean But you're in Greenpoint now, right? Sigh...I left my heart there, totally priced out. Black Horse has definitely gone downhill since there's more competition in the neighborhood now, it's always really empty. You should see what's become of Buttermilk--they gave it a hideous makeover.


@parallel-lines Nooooooo......Korzo really? Where's Applewood? Also yes, Buttermilk looks like my Aunts finished basement in the 80s' minus her sweet Freon-spurting air hockey table


@parallel-lines - Yeah, I'm a greenpointer now. I moved in the fall of '10. Last time I was in the South Slope was a date about a year ago - we actually started at South, come to think of it. Really, the thing I miss most is Eagle - between the awesome butcher there and the beer selection....sigh.



Korzo's is so amazing! I haven't had their Bloody mMry's though. I'll have to get one next time I'm there.


@parallel-lines I just moved from South Slope and now I am South Slope-sick from all this talk.

I happen to love Buttermilk. It's a great place to drink a beer during your wash cycle at the laundromat. Let us also speak of Sidecar and the fried chicken. I also never went to South out of some strange loyalty to Freddy's.


@parallel-lines South Slope represent! You must try Sea Witch! The food is decent and decently priced, the bartender is sort of a jerk, but the back yard. Oh my the backyard. Sneak peek: water. feature.


@DairyCat I did try it--food was pretty good but what is up with that bartender? It was, like, a 20 minute wait for a beer!


... I don't know what to believe anymore.


that's so funny! the goggle tan is also my goal for this summer! I'll try to learn from your mistakes and achieve it in a more incremental fashion.

The Lady of Shalott

My only question: why is the photo to this article not the (I'm assuming) amazing family mountaintop photo with the author wearing a red bandit bandanna?


I would go anywhere with Jesse Eisenberg and a tambourine.


@likethestore I am so curious about this. Why did he have it? Was he playing it? Was it his? Was it a friend's?


@likethestore Seriously. I would prefer not leaving my apartment, and having Jesse Eisenberg and a tambourine come to me instead, though.


@likethestore Right? Sign me up.



Reginal T. Squirge

How could something be figuratively horrible? Asking for a friend.


@Reginal T. Squirge "horrible"


I love this article, but I also wanted to tell you that I love your blog! It is amazing! "High fives" for gluten sensitivity! (Scare quotes because it sucks.)


Wait, carpal tunnel? In a young person?? I had no idea this could happen! Does it go away?


@hotdog I was struck with it at the age of 21, from what I understand it's that there is a literal tunnel of bone that nerves in your wrist go through. In some people this is fairly narrow so if you irritate the nerves they swell up, have nowhere to go, and it hurts like crazy. So you're stuck with it forever. In college they just told me to type less (I was doing an English degree, so no). After exams that year I ended up not being able to move my arms much for a couple of days due to horrific shooting pains. So far it's not been too bad typing everyday in an office as long as I've got an angled keyboard and wrist rest things, occasionally I have to submerge my arms in cold water (offices are generally short on ice packs).


@hotdog It can be genetic, I've had it since I was 22 and my mom and grandmother both have it. Apparently it NEVER GOES AWAY, and I'll probably have to have surgery eventually, especially as I continue to type constantly, rock climb and never, ever sleep in my brace.

Daisy Razor

Kind of off topic, but god bless your blog. My kid is GF and the painful, humor-free sincerity of most GF blogs kills a little bit of my soul every time I go looking for a recipe or product review.

Rebecca Pederson@facebook

I give this post five stars.


@Rebecca Pederson@facebook I'd give it one. It's really well written and engaging and funny, but it doesn't have any outlets.

Springtime for Voldemort

That Bloody Mary in the picture looks sooooo good. Like, too good. (Do I have time for a quick one before my class in 20 minutes? Probably not...)


I like you! Write more things here!


@HeyThatsMyBike i concur!


This is a good post. But also:

You live in my neighborhood! High five, yo! I am a dork for puns, but Has Beans makes me giggle every time I walk by it. Which is every single day, since it's on my way to the subway.


One year for Halloween I dressed up as an 80's "ski bunny" (complete with skintight neon onesie). I gave myself this awesome faux goggle-tan with loads of bronzer and blush. This was surprisingly easy to do because I have had so many REAL goggle tans. Seriously my favorite Halloween costume ever. (And cheapest, because my parents have some truly tragic ski gear from this era).

Dog Ballou

I just laughed out loud picturing you as a bandit in your family's Christmas photo. Please, please post that.


@And I Was Like I laughed so hard I had to clean the Subway Sandwich particles off my screen. That picture would be epic. Good stuff!


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