songbird's crazy world

life in and around NYC is insane

Monday, September 25, 2017

Grecian Grill

Grecian Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I love, love, love Greek food.  I'm always looking for a good place to satisfy my craving.  Grecian Grill got a good write up in the newspaper, so I figured we had to try it.

Located on Main Street in Farmingdale, the restaurant is small -- I counted 10 tables -- but does not feel crowded.  Service was friendly and efficient. 

We started with the saganaki appetizer, two large slabs of fried cheese served with pita bread.  You can't go wrong with fried cheese.

Next came Greek salad -- a large portion consisting of iceberg lettuce, sliced tomato, cucumber, red onion and feta, topped with  an olive and a pepper, served with viniagrette on the side and accompanied by warm pita. 

I had the mousaka -- layers of potatoes, eggplant, ground beef and bechamel sauce, topped with a bit of tomato sauce and served with a side of seasoned rice. 

He had the mixed grill -- lamb gyro, chicken souvlaki and pork souvlaki, grilled vegetables ( onions, mushrooms, red pepper and zucchini) over a bed or rice, served with tzatsiki, of course.

Food was fresh and tasty, portions were substantial.  The baklava was tempting, but we were too full.

They serve beer and wine, including Greek wines.

A nice meal for a good price. 

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Mom

So the other day I took my mother for a drive, just to get her out of the house and give her a change of scenery.

I drove down to the beach, to Robert Moses State Park.    I chose Robert Moses because it's a pretty ride.  There's a huge bridge that takes you across the Great South Bay from Bay Shore to Captree Island, a drawbridge that connects Captree Island to Jones Island,  and a third bridge that connects Jones Island to Fire Island.  When you're crossing the bridges you get excellent views of the water and the barrier islands.

When you get to Robert Moses, there's a lovely water tower.  It's not as nice as the water towe at Jones Beach, but it's interesting nevertheless.    You can see the Coast Guard Station and the Fire Island Lighthouse -- it was overcast that day, and we could see the light flashing against the gray clouds above us.  While the dunes separate the parking lots from the beach, there are gaps where you can see the water.  We saw people on the beach, we saw seagulls in the parking lot, we saw geese on the side of the road.

And my mother said to me:  "I've never been here before, I'm glad we came."

Sigh.  Long ago, when I was in college, I had a summer job at Robert Moses, and she used to drive me to work.

My sister took her for a ride to Robert Moses several times during the summer.  She doesn't remember.

The other day she asked Jen, "What grade are you in now?"  Jen is 26, a college graduate with a full time job.

And the conversation a few nights ago:  "No, Mom, we don't have to go home.  We are home.  This is your house.  You've lived here for 50 years.  No, you don't live there anymore, you sold that house fifty years ago.  I'm your daughter.  H is my sister and your daughter.  F and A are my sisters and your daughters.   No, Jen is my daughter and your granddaughter, and she's upstairs sleeping.  Becca is my daughter and your granddaughter, and she's in her apartment in the city.  No, Daddy died two years ago.  No, your mother isn't here, she died 20 years ago..."

And five minutes later, the same conversation.  And five minutes later, a third go-round.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

Many dementia patients get frustrated, angry and upset when they have trouble thinking, understanding and remembering.  That was my father.  He had days when he was furious at the world as he felt his mind slip away from him.

 But my mother seems content, even happy, most of the time.

For some reason I was thinking about Rosh HaShanah 2015.  My father was in the hospital, in the final stages of his illness.  He would die just a few weeks later.  We didn't have a holiday celebration that year, but the young Rabbi from the Chabad came by, gave us apples and honey, offered to blow the shofar (we said no, the noise would disturb my father), and promised to say a mishaberech, a prayer of healing, for my father.

My mother was starting to exhibit the signs of dementia, but she was still the person she'd always been.

Two years later, she is so frail, so fragile, so lost.

There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that prepares you to deal with this kind of change in your parents.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Up close and personal. -- #skywatchfriday




An American Airlines jet about to land at JFK.

Yes, I got bored on the Belt again.

#skywatchfriday

Thursday, September 21, 2017

And finally, the museum

As I said, it's small.  The buildings were all trucked in from other sites around the island.

We saw a blacksmith, a hat maker and a couple of stores, a church, even a farm.

The buildings are all furnished with period pieces.













This building was originally located just a few blocks from the first house I lived in.  There's a park and public pool on the original site now:




Drew was able to get some authentic birch beer there.  Another shop sold old fashioned candy sticks, I got a cherry and a butterscotch.

You could see a touch of autumn color:





The gazebo in center of town, we saw a band playing music:





A real working farm, complete with animals:





The geese had attitude.










There was also a "Rough Riders" encampment.  Remember that Long Island was Teddy Roosevelt's home.







This horse reminded me of a horse I rode when I was a kid:




There was a church, of course, and even a cemetery:







Talk about anachronisms.  There's an armory museum on site.  They brought some of their vehicles onto the Village potion of the property.







Yes, it was a very full day.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

It's that time of year again

Tonight begins the observance of Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year.   Unlike the secular New Year, Rosh HaShanah is a solemn, contemplative holiday, part of the High Holy Days, observed with prayer and introspection.

On Rosh HaShanah it is written, on Yom Kippur it is sealed.

We are taught that on Rosh HaShanah, G-d determines who shall live another year, and who  shall die before the year is out. What fate awaits each of us in the coming year?   We ask G-d to write our names in the Book of Life and we pray that G-d preserves us in life for another year.  On Yom Kippur we atone for our sins through fasting and prayer.  Our fate is sealed on Yom Kippur.

Rosh HaShanah means a family feast.  It means candles on the table, and wine, and a round challah to symbolize the unending circle of life.  We dip apples in honey for a sweet new year.  We go to synagogue to hear the Shofar, a trumpet made from a ram's horn, and we wish each other L'Shanah Tovah, a good year.

Tonight at Drew's house we shall dine on matzo ball soup, gefilte fish, roast turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes. Tomorrow at my mother's house we will have more gefilte fish and matzo ball soup, brisket in gravy and mashed potatoes.

Placed my bakery order yesterday: cookies, cannoli, rugelach.  You should see the cute decorated cookies I ordered from Dortoni.

Here, let me show you -- from the bakery's Facebook:


Absolutely adorable, I can't wait to see my order.
 
And that's only part of it, my sister placed an order with a kosher bakery near our house.  Not sure what she ordered, but it includes challah, of course.  And I'll be stopping by Stew Leonard's for some snowball rolls and pretzel bites. 

Yes, we really do feast....

 
L'Shanah Tovah.  Happy new year, and may you be inscribed in the Book of Life.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

And more of the fair

Lots of entertainment at the fair.  My favorite was Flippenout, a trampoline act.  The members do trampoline competitions (it's actually an Olympic sport) as well as exhibitions.








I got some video of the routines.





The other performance I liked was a high diving act.  The pool and diving board were decorated to look like pirate ships. A comic routine filled with corny jokes and slapstick eventually evolved into a real diving  exhibition.










 


And the video:








But wait, there's more....on Thursday ...

Monday, September 18, 2017

Another this and that

I promise there will be more from the fair, but today ...

I saw two great movies on DVD this weekend.  The first was Blade Runner. I love Harrison Ford and I love science fiction, but somehow I'd never seen this film.  With Blade Runner 2049 scheduled to open next month, I figured I"d better see the original.  Such a dark, dystopian movie.  I found myself drawn in to the story, and now I am looking forward to the sequel.

The other film was North By Northwest, a classic Hitchcock film starring Cary Grant.  One of his better efforts.  But I knew who the "inside agent" was long before the audience was supposed to figure it out.

The new TV season is starting, and I am liking The Orville.  Seth McFarlane's homage to Star Trek is not a "laugh out loud" comedy, but it is quirky and amusing at times.  I hope it's a hit, I am so tired of falling in love with shows that get cancelled.

So the Long Island Ducks clinched a playoff berth, and will play a best-of-five against the Somerset Patriots.  Unfortunately the two Ducks home games will be Wednesday night and Thursday night, the  two nights of Rosh Hashanah, so I won't be able to go.  If they beat the Patriots, I'll try to get to a championship game.

But we've got Mets tickets, and I'm excited to be going to Citi Field.  The Mets are not in contention, of course, but the game should be fun.

But I am disappointed with the 2018 schedule.  The Mets play the Yankees at Citi Field but no at Yankee Stadium.    Guess I'l have to wait another year to see what Yankee Stadium looks like up close and personal.

Oh, well.

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