songbird's crazy world

life in and around NYC is insane

Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Pit Stop

The Pit Stop Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The first time I went to The Pit Stop was about five years ago, right after Guy Fieri featured it on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.  I really liked the place, really liked my meal.  But for some reason, I never went back.  Until the other night.  And now I'm wondering why it took me so long to get back here.

The place looks like an old fashioned hamburger stand.  You order your food at the counter and bring your tray to a table.  But if you think you're limited to burgers and fries.... yes, they do have burgers,  but they also have so much more.

How about a quinoa burger?  Grilled mahi mahi sandwich?  Teriyaki glazed salmon salad?  A grilled shrimp wrap with black bean mango salsa?  Or their signature dish, spaghetti squash primavera?

I wasn't particularly imaginative when we were here the other night, I ordered a plain burger (pickles and ketchup) with a side of grilled vegetables instead of fries.  The food was cooked to order, the burger was fresh and juicy. The vegetables -- yellow squash, zucchini, bell peppers and eggplant --were perfectly cooked, soft but not mushy, and served with soy sauce for dipping. 

I think I'll be making more pit stops in the future....

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


The world has gone crazy. Yet another terrorist attack at a busy airport.

This time in Turkey.

I've been fascinated with Turkey since I wrote a research paper on that country in 6th grade. Drew is even more fascinated, the Sephardic branch of his family came from Greece and Turkey.

It's a hybrid, partially in Europe and partially in Asia. The seat of many empires over the centuries, it has a unique language and culture. It is a modern Western nation ...whose citizens are predominantly Muslim.

Modern, Westernized and Muslim.

And that's why ISIS hates the Turks.

Scary, scary world we live in.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

June 28

One of the weirdest, quirkiest aspects of my life is my relationship with Drew.

I mean, how many people do you know who go through a horrible divorce, only to rekindle their romance years later? 

But then, we  broke up twice before we eventually got engaged and married.

But then, Liz Taylor married Richard Burton twice, didn't she?

But then, Natalie Wood married Robert  Wagner ...well, that one didn't work out so well...

The weird thoughts are coming at me today.

We got married on June 28.

June 28, 1987, to be precise.  29 years ago.

The life I'm living right now is not exactly what I imagined for myself 29 years ago. 

So, do I acknowledge the anniversary of a failed marriage? 

Of a marriage that produced two wonderful children?

Of an event that happened with the man I'm with now, an event of our shared past?

It's a weird day in my very weird life.

Monday, June 27, 2016

The festival

So we headed up to Tarrytown for the Dark Shadowsfestival. The show premiered 50 years ago today, so this fan convention was a "special" one.

The reason this gathering of fans took place in Tarrytown? Lyndhurst.

Lyndhurst is a 19th century Gothic Revival mansion on the banks of the Hudson River. Beautiful historical site.

It was used as the set for two movies, House of Dark Shadows and Night of Dark Shadows.

Two years ago the festival was held primarily on the grounds of the mansion. This year, most of the events were held at the Doubletree, just down the road from the mansion. The grand ballroom at the Doubletree is more comfortable than sitting in a tent on the grounds of the mansion, but you lose a bit of atmosphere, I think.

So the festival included an optional tour of Lyndhurst Friday afternoon, followed by various screenings, meetings, etc., in the ballroom Friday night and all day Saturday, culminating in a luncheon Sunday, with an optional tour of Sleepy Hollow Cemetery late Sunday afternoon.

We drove up from Long Island Saturday morning, drove home Saturday night, and returned on Sunday.

So we spent the day in the ballroom, hanging with friends and watching videos and listening to presentations by people who were involved in producing the show.

The best part of Saturday was when the surviving cast members took the stage to reminisce about the show. We saw David Selby, Lara Parker, Kathryn Leigh Scott, James Karlen ... There was also a fan costume contest and a skit prepared by fans. And then we saw a failed pilot from 2004, when producer Dan Curtis tried to revive the show.

But to be honest, most of it was boring.

I thought it was me. I mean, I like the show, but I'm not a huge fan. And because our plan to come to the festival was so last minute, I'd already made other plans for the weekend. And once I'd finished my lunch at the hotel restaurant (a decent but uninspiring turkey avocado wrap), there wasn't much else to do.

But then Drew said he thought a lot of it was "lame".

We stopped at the ElDorado Diner -- great food -- before heading home.

The luncheon Sunday was better. Food was ok -- we were all served chicken, mashed sweet potatoes, broccoli rabe and carrots, with a salad, dinner rolls, and a red velvet cupcake for dessert (they called it a "blood velvet" cupcake in keeping with the vampire theme). More presentations from cast members, a charity auction of memorabilia from the show (Drew successfully bid on a Barnabas Collins cape).

Overall it was fun, but I think that next time I'll let Drew go without me.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Kasey's Kitchen

Kaseys American Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

So I got invited to two parties, and both were held at Kasey's. 

I don't get to Rockville Centre often.  It seems like a very interesting area, with lots of shopping and restaurant choices, probably fun to explore.  But parking is abysmal at best, even with public lots available. 

Kasey's is cozy and casual.  Both parties were held in a separate party room, behind the bar. 

The first party was held on a weeknight, and the bar and restaurant were very busy.  The party room was set up to accommodate a DJ and dance floor -- seating was a bit cramped as a result.  There were passed  hors d'oeuvres during the cocktail hour.  I especially liked the caprese skewers -- cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and olives splashed with a balsamic vinaigrette -- and the buffalo chicken, which was hot and spicy but not overpowering.   The meal began with a nice salad. We were given a choice of four different entrees, some of which do not appear on Kasey's regular menu.  I enjoyed a shrimp dish. The sheet cake was good, but not spectacular -- to be honest, I don't remember what type of cake/filling/frosting.  Service was attentive, but a bit slow. 

The luncheon was about a week or so later.  This time, there was no DJ or dance floor, and much more space between the tables.  There was no cocktail hour, and lunch was served buffet style: penne a la vodka, rice pilaf, beef teriyaki, chicken cordon bleu and some sort of salmon dish, long with salad and dinner rolls. The cake, however -- chocolate cake with cannoli filling and whipped cream.  Heavenly.

I've never been to Kasey's except for these two parties, so I can't comment on the regular menu.  But given my two positive experiences at the parties, I'm sure that I'll keep Kasey's in mind the next time I'm in Rockville Centre.

Friday, June 24, 2016

So....about that convention...

As you may recall, Drew and I are fans of the 1960's Gothic soap opera, Dark Shadows.  Well, truth be told, he's the real fan, I merely like the show.  Two years ago, we spent a weekend at a Dark Shadows fan convention in Tarrytown, NY, listening to the actors reminisce, buying memorabilia, enjoying time with other fans of the show.  At that time, Drew told me he'd like to come back in 2016, for the convention that would honor the show's 1966 premiere.

Some friends of ours planned to go to this year's convention as well.  The plan was to get a couple of hotel rooms in  Tarrytown and spend the weekend. 

We sent in the money for this year's convention back in March.  Our friends received their tickets  a short time later.  But we received a refund, with a note explaining that the convention was sold out. 

Oh, well.

And then.... the guy who we planned to go to the convention with belongs to a Dark Shadows Facebook group.  A few days ago, he connected with one of the other group members, who has tickets but cannot go to the convention because of a family emergency. 

Guess who bought the tickets.

You guessed.

The plans have changed slightly.  We're not getting a hotel room in Tarrytown.  It's a 90 minute drive from Long Island to Tarrytown, we'll do the drive both days.

But yes, we're going to the convention after all.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Enough is Enough

We live in historic times.

I never imagined I would see a filibuster such as the one by Senator Murphy.

I never imagined a sit-in, led by a civil rights icon such as John Lewis, on the floor of the House of Representatives, with representatives singing "We Shall Overcome".

It's a story that knocked Donald Trump off the front page.

But the American people have had enough.

Enough of gun violence. Enough of a dysfunctional and divisive Congress. Enough of the NRA running our government, of policies opposed by 90% of the voting public.

It's time for sensible gun regulations. It's time to stop the carnage. It's time to catch up with the rest of the civilized world.

I do not envy Paul Ryan. He cannot win this battle.

#noflynobuy #nobillnobreak

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