songbird's crazy world Long Island restaurants NaBloPoMo May 2015

songbird's crazy world

life in and around NYC is insane

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Weight Watchers

Much as I love my Fitbit, movement is only part of the equation.

I'm back at Weight Watchers.

I'm actually doing well on program.  I've lost 16 pounds since March. 

It's starting to feel good.

Friday, May 29, 2015


Yes, I'm really getting into the fitness thing. 

I was never much of a gym rat.  I disliked gym class, I was never any good at sports, I'm not very coordinated. I like swimming and walking. 

Six years ago, I lost 70 pounds.  Gained it all back, unfortunately, but at least I know how to do it...

I walked it off, with occasional forays into the pool.  Back then, I was still a member of the Y, could use their pool and their track, though I avoided the rooms with all the fancy equipment -- too insecure to use the treadmill or Stairmaster....

 I don't really have a place to go to swim these days, but walking...well, all you really need for walking is a comfortable pair of shoes.

In nice weather -- spring through fall -- you can walk almost anywhere.  go to the park, go to the beach, or just walk through your own neighborhood. 

I'll have to make a Plan B for the winter, of course, but that's months and months away.

In the meantime, I'm enjoying my strolls on the boardwalk.

Can I sing the praises of my Fitbit once again?  It keeps me honest and it keeps me motivated.  I've been walking a lot more since I put that thing on my wrist.  Maybe it's because I love electronic gadgets. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

On the Twentieth Century

A very funny musical,  On The Twentieth Century, is currently playing on Broadway.  Book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, music by Cy Colman, starring Kristin Chenoweth as Lily, and Peter Gallagher as Oscar, Andy Karl as Bruce, Mark Linn-Baker as Oliver, Michael McGrath as Owen and Mary Louise Wilson as Letitia.

Combining screwball comedy with beautiful song and dance, it tells the story of a behind-the-scenes relationship between Lily, a temperamental actress and Oscar, a bankrupt theatre producer. Oscar is responsible for Lily becoming an actress, but she left him and the theater to pursue a movie career in Hollywood. On a luxury train traveling from Chicago to New York, Oscar tries to convince the glamorous Hollywood star into playing the lead in his new, but not-yet-written play, and perhaps to rekindle their romance.

The revival was staged by Roundabout Theater.  Drew is a Roundabout subscriber, and got the offer for tickets long before the show opened.  I had seen the original 1978 production, which starred John Cullum (one of my favorites), Madeline Kahn, Kevin Kline and Imogene Coca.  Of course I wanted to see the revival, so we got our tickets long before anyone knew how good the revival would be -- 5 Tony nominations (the original had 9 nominations and won 5 Tonys).

Some of the highlights of the show: the tap dancing porters forming a "train"; Letitia's big song, "Repent" (where she is convinced that there are "dirty doings going on" everywhere); and Lily's overblown "Veronique".

The night we saw the show, one of the set pieces malfunctioned, and the actors incorporated that problem into the story and made it humorous.

Chenoweth deserves the Tony (I hope she wins), Gallagher should have been nominated.   I loved seeing Mark Linn-Baker again, he's always been a favorite of mine.

Definitely a goodnight of theater.

(We saw the show Memorial Day weekend, which is also Fleet Week in New York City.  Good to see all those men and women in uniform enjoying a visit to the Big Apple!)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

John's Pizza

John's of Times Square on Urbanspoon

A return visit to John's of Times Square.  Conveniently located on 44th Street in what was once a church, this is a lovely spot for pre- or post- theater dinner.    The place is always busy.  We got there at 5 PM on a Saturday and had a 45 minute wait.

Although the place is famed for its brick oven pizza, this time around we opted for chicken dishes.  I had chicken scampi served over a bed of pasta, Drew had chicken marsala.  Both were excellent.  We shared an order of garlic bread with mozzarella -- also wonderful. 

Service is, well...adequate.  Nothing to complain about, but nothing remarkable either.

Two things to keep in mind, if you go.

The wait staff wear shirts that say "no slices".  And they mean it.  If you choose pizza, you must buy a whole pie.  They do not sell pizza by the slice. 

And if you're going to drink a lot of soda, order a pitcher.  As per the menu, they do not offer free refills on soft drinks. 

But the food -- especially the pizza -- is worth the trip.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Another this and that

So Becca spent a week in Punta Cana with the boyfriend I'm not supposed to know about.  From the pictures she posted on Instagram, he looks like a nice young man.  I suppose I'll get to meet him soon.  She says she had a great vacation.

Jen didn't see her boyfriend at all this past weekend.  He bartends on Fire Island, and it gets crazy busy on holiday weekends.  She spent her time with her friends. Lovely picture on Instagram of Jen and one of  her friends playing miniature golf.

Drew's annual Memorial Day barbecue was fun.  Smaller crowd than in previous years.  Shelley didn't come, of course.  Maybe for the July 4th party Drew will take Marvin out of the nursing facility on a day pass, but this time around ... And other friends have moved away.  Drew grilled burgers and hot dogs,  I made the pasta salad and the caprese salad, we had chips and dips and cheese and crackers, and cake and ice cream for dessert.  Too much food!  But good company, good times. 

Poor Duchess spent the whole day locked in the spare bedroom.  We didn't want her underfoot, especially when everyone was going in and out of the house all day.  She is not an "outdoor cat".  She got her chance to socialize later in the evening, when most of the guests had gone home and the party had moved to the living room. 

I didn't take any photos at the party. But we all spent a good deal of time sharing pictures of our cats and dogs.  So after the party was over, I took a picture of Duchess and posted it on Facebook, and tagged the friends who were at the barbecue.

Doesn't she just look like she's about to make a sarcastic comment? 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Tomorrowland (spoilers)

"There's a great big beautiful tomorrow
Shining at the end of every day
There's a great big beautiful tomorrow
And tomorrow is just a dream away ..."

Let's be very clear about this: I would be content to watch George Clooney read a phone book. So any movie starring Clooney is fine with me.

Better still is when the movie is actually enjoyable. And yes, I enjoyed "Tomorrowland", Disney's latest movie based on a theme part attraction.

A bit of background:

I am from the generation that watched "Wonderful World of Disney" every Sunday night. We heard Uncle Walt tell us what a wonderful world we'd have in the future. We saw him talk about EPCOT, which he planned to build in Florida.

And because I grew up on Long Island, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to visit the New York World's Fair in 1964 and 1965. "it's a Small World", the "Carrousel of Progress", audio animatronics, Disney was a large part of the Fair.

The movie opens with the two main characters, Frank (Clooney) and Casey (Britt Robertson) telling their story. Frank's story begins in 1964, when, as a young boy, he takes the bus to Corona, Queens ... I knew even before I saw the Unisphere... He was headed to the World's Fair. Young Frank is an inventor, and is recruited to travel to Tomorrowland...

Fast forward to the present, where high school student Casey is growing up in Florida. Her father, a NASA engineer, is in charge of dismantling a launching platform. Casey dreams of fixing the world's problems. Casey is given a mysterious pin from the New York World's Fair, which shows her a vision of the future. Chased by audio animatronic soldiers, Casey must seek out Frank and journey to Tomorrowland and (you guessed it) solve the world's problems.

The movie presents a vision of the future full of hope and optimism, consistent with Walt's dream. The villain of the story (Hugh Laurie) isn't a truly evil man, he's just lost the spirit of Tomorrowland.

You can see the effect of the Disney-Lucasfilm merger in the special effects. Nice touch.

And I kept imagining the ride Disney will build for the parks ...

Fun film. Add a star if you're a Disney fan.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Lovely spot for a wedding

Sunken Meadow has a lovely restaurant/catering facility, right on the boardwalk.  The other night I spotted...well, some lucky bride and groom will have a fantastic wedding album.



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