Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Architecture Worth Saving

Despite all the glossy adverts showing KL's modern skyline,which I have to admit is rather impressive there are still a few areas of older buildings that although disappearing fast are still visible and nice to see.
I recently took at Sunday morning stroll along Jalan Ampang,not the bit with all the embassies and condos but at the beginning,near to China Town and the big Maybank building at Pudu Raya.
There was little traffic and is was a pleasant and shady walk admiring the architecture.
How much longer these old shophouses stay standing is anyone's guess.
Recently,The walls of Pudu Jail were demolished and people only made a fuss about it after it had happened.The same thing happens whenever an old building is destroyed in the rush to build modern office blocks,hotels,shopping malls,hotels or condos.
I know that lots of older people in this part of the world equate old buildings with times of hardship or poverty but to most visitors and an increasing number of locals they are part of the social history of Kuala Lumpur and need to be preserved.
There's not much in KL that is over 100 years old-so if you see an old building,take a picture as it may well not be standing when you're next here!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Watching The World Cup, Changkat Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur

I'm sure that all cities in the world are putting on a good show for the World Cup and KL is no exception.
All along Changkat Bukit Bintang just about everywhere is showing it,some of the coffee shops like SK Corner are even showing matches in HD.
Gypsy Bar,which is not really a sports bar at all airs matches with commentary (inside) for some the main matches and then plays music for the remainder. This can be a good thing when the match is boring or those bloody vuvuzela pipes become too annoying.
I find the aircon inside just too bloody cold now that they have doors at the front and sitting outside on the new bar stools is still the best option but you don't get the sound.
Most other places along the street have commentary throughout.
I was at Havana for the Holland v Denmark match-along with about 300 orange people and one lone Dane.
It was a good atmosphere but it was totally spoiled by the fact that the staff just couldn't cope with what was about 10 times their normal Monday night crowd....Even though they knew of the Dutch invasion.
My first beer was served in a warm glass-yuck!
My second beer was served in a plastic glass as they had run-out of glasses-double yuck!
There was no third beer as I decided to go elsewhere.
Note: Havana now has a Happy Hour price of RM 10 for a small Tiger.
I saw the second Dutch game at Healy Macs and I must say that I quite like this place and may have been a little harsh on my earlier review.
Apparently,all draft beers are served at Happy Hour prices all night long (and have been for a while)
A bucket of Tiger Crystal is RM 55 for 5 and they were even promoting Bavaria Beer (remember the Dutch models all dressed in orange mini-dresses) for RM 49 for 4 beers.
A pretty good atmosphere and good service.
I was also here for the brilliant Canadian GP and have to say that the quality of their Tiger Draft is amongst the best on the street.
Yeah, Healy Macs seems very good for sporting events.
And it's RM11 for a Tiger all night.
Which is nice.
All we need now is some good footie from England to go with it!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Great Beach Club Rip-Off!

Don't get too excited....this isn't about the girls taking their clothes off.
Although I hear that some of them will.....and frequently do.
No, it's about the ridiculous and exorbitant new prices at Beach Club.
The all-new staff mumbled something about new prices for the World Cup, in which case every footie fan who goes there is going to get overcharged and ripped-off.
In my opinion.
A "Happy Hour",if you can now call it that, bucket of beer now has only 4 bottles and sells for RM65 ,that's RM 16.25 per bottle-at happy hour until 9pm. (it used to be RM72 for 6-and even went down to RM55 last December)
Happy Hour price for 1 bottle is now RM17.50

After 9pm you will have to pay RM27 for one bottle or RM88 for a bucket of 4.
This is ridiculously overpriced.
I have no idea of the rationale behind the new pricing policy-and all the staff were new and a bit difficult to chat to but it seems to me that it's pure exploitation.

I'm quoting the price of bottles of beer as I don't quite trust the draught....it used to seem a bit watered-down and the glasses were usually dirty. trust me,you wouldn't want to drink it.

The place wasn't busy at all on the Sunday I was there and yet they implemented the cover charge at 9pm on the dot and then shut the wooden doors on the outside at 9.30pm.

Maybe the owners are thinking that they will get extra-busy over the next few weeks and it's a good chance to fleece the patrons-but if it's their new permanent pricing structure then I can't see me going there again-which is a bit of a shame as some of the scenery was "interesting" but not at those prices for a beer-after all,we have to have (at least some) principles...

Update 23/8/10 The price for a Happy-Hour bucket of 6 Carlsberg is back to a reasonable RM 69.
So it seems that they were just profiteering from the World cup...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Gypsy Bar vs The United Nations

After a really great weekend spent propping-up the bar at Gypsy Bar I got to thinking the other day that one of the things I like about the place is that you get to meet all sorts of people.
In the last year or so I have met with,and drank with people from:

Egypt,Finland,France,Germany,Hungary,India,Indonesia,Iran,Ireland,Italy,Japan,Macedonia,Malaysia (obviously-and includes ethnic Chinese,Malay,Indian and Sarawakians) Mexico,Netherlands,New Zealand,Norway,Peru,Philippines,Russia,Saudi Arabia,Serbia,Singapore,South Africa,Spain,Sweden,Thailand,Turkey,UK,USA,Uzbekistan,Vietnam,Yemen and Zimbabwe.
And we all got along. Well, most of the time anyway.
Screw the UN.
If you've got a problem to solve go and have a chat and a beer at Gypsy Bar.
We're now working on that North Korean submarine that blew-up the BP oil well in the Gulf of Mexico.....