songbird's crazy world

life in and around NYC is insane

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Lewis Black

So we were so excited to hear Lewis Black was coming back to Westbury Music, NYCB Theater at Westbury.The foul-mouthed comedian is one of Drew's favorite performers.

We had great seats for Friday night's performance.  Westbury is theater-in-the-round, i.e., a circular stage surrounded by seating.  We sat on folding chairs in what would otherwise be the orchestra pit, so we were close enough to touch the stage.

Black's opening act is John Bowman, who does most of his routine wearing a 70's-teen-idol wig, which he later manipulates to make a political statement. (Hint: which politician is known for his ...unusual and unique.... hairstyle?)

And then, the man himself took the stage.

Overall it was a great evening of comedy.

We did have one issue, the couple seated next to us. the guy was OK, but the woman ....

How do you pay good money to see a comedy show, and then talk through the opening act?

And the woman apparenlty had too much to drink.  During the first half of Black's performance, she was laughng hysterically every time Black opened his mouth.  Halfway through the show, however, she told the guy  that she had to use the ladies' room. And she never came back.    After awhile he kept looking at the door, as if he was wondering if he should go look for her.

It was a fun evening, and I think we'll be seeing Black again if he comes back to Westbury.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Product review — hair butter

It’s “dry skin season” again.  The temperature drops, and suddenly my skin feels dry and rough.

And lately I’ve noticed that my hair feels dry, too.  Almost like straw.  Thick and tangled and difficult to comb/style.  

So when I saw this product, I had to try it.

The label says you can use hair butter as a deep conditioner in the shower, or as a leave-in treatment, or even as a skin moisturizer.

The product is thick and creamy, and has a subtle coconut fragrance.   I used it as a deep moisturizing treatment in the shower.  My hair was soft, shiny and easy to comb and style.  

I didn’t try it as a leave-in, I thought the product was too heavy for that purpose.

And while the product did soften the dry skin on my elbows, I have other lotions and creams that are more effective on dry skin.

Overall a decent product, and I will be buying it again.

Sunday, November 18, 2018


The bag-shoving incident that I blogged about yesterday was only part of Thursday night's misery.

The region got hit with its first snow of the winter.  That's way too early around here, I don't remember it ever snowing before Thanksgiving when I was growing up, but in the last few years it's happened more than once.  (Thank you, climate change.) 

So it was the first storm of the season, and the snow totals, while relatively modest, were much higher than forecast. ( My corner of Long Island got about 5 inches, I think.)

The commute home was miserable for everyone.

Jen told me her drive home, usually about 30 minutes, took an hour and a half. 

One friend posted on Facebook that she and her husband were driving into Manhattan to see a show, but got stuck in terrible traffic and missed the performance.  Another spent hours in her car, driving to the airport, only to discover her flight was cancelled. A third posted about her son's school bus getting stuck in the snow right in front of her house.

My commute is primarily mass transit.  Thanks to the subway delay, I missed by usual LIRR train, which leaves Penn at about 5:50.  The next train, the 6:20, was cancelled, so I didn't get on a train until 6:50.  the trip usually takes about an hour, but due to bad weather and broken crossing gates, it took over 90 minutes. 

By the time I reached my station, the snow had turned to sleet.   Slogging through a slushy, icy parking lot is not fun.  I'd prefer plain snow to that awful mess.  But it was fairly easy to clean off the car.

It started to rain as I was driving home. I live in a wooded  area.  The trees were covered with wet snow, and when the rain hit, the snow ...and the leaves... started to fall to the ground.  Fun, fun.

And then Friday morning in lower Manhattan:

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Tales from the commuter front -- don't engage the crazy

To understand the story, you need to know what a NYC subway car looks like.

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You're not going to find a train looking this empty during rush hour.

During rush hour, it starts to look more like this:

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And then there's this:

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You see how those who are standing are holding onto the metal bar, knee-to-knee with those who are sitting?  That's typical of rush hour.

I usually get on the train at Wall Street, which is the first stop  the train makes in Manhattan as it comes from Brooklyn and heads up to the Bronx.  The #2 and #3 trains run express, so it's just five short stops to Penn Station and the LIRR.  Most nights I get a seat.  The train usually fills up at the next stop, Fulton Street.  By the time we hit Chambers Steet, the train starts to feel like a sardine can.

Thursday night was no exception.  I found a seat and settled in for the ride.  But it was a bad night on the uptown  7th Avenue subway.  There were signal problems in Times Square, so all of the express trains were diverted to the local track.  This did not go over well with rush hour commuters, so the mood in the very crowded car was less than ecstatic...

A petite woman in business attire got on the train at Chambers Street and found  herself a place to stand. She was knee-to-knee with a burley man in a baseball jacket and hat. The man was several seats away from me, so I didn't see what initally happened, but I pieced it together based on what each of them said to the other.

Apparently the woman was carrying some type of bag, probably had it dangling from her arm.  Apparently the bag hit the man's knees.  Apparently he shoved the bag off of his knees.

She took  exception to his actions, and said: “You could have asked me politely to move my bag.”
He let loose an expletive-laced tirade about her behavior, that she should know how to behave in the subway.

She responded to him in a firm, quiet voice, that she did nothing wrong. He simply could have asked, and she would have moved her bag.

At this point, everyone in the train car was sympathetic to her.

But she was not not ready to move on. She never raised her voice, but she engaged him in a debate that quickly moved from the immediate issue — her tote bag ands proper etiquette on the subway  — on to comments about each other -- race, socioeconomic class, world knowledge, privilege and the like.

By now, neither of them was getting any sympathy from the rest of the passengers.

She turned her back, and he stood up and continued his rant. She turned to face him again.  He continued to yell, and actually shook his finger in her face. I  was almost certain he was going to hit her.

Eventually she moved away from him, and he stopped yelling.

But I was so happy when the train reached Penn Station.

Friday, November 16, 2018

#skywatchfriday Lincoln Center

The Metropolitan Opera House -- loving the evening sky.


Thursday, November 15, 2018

More tales from the commuter front

When you keep your commuter train pass, your subway fare card, your company ID/building pass and desk keys in a separate wallet, and you leave that wallet at home, you know you’re in for a very loooong day.

Do I look old?  Or sick?  I’ve had several people offer me seats on the subway, and the other day a young man asked if I needed help carrying my briefcase down the stairs.

The most annoying thing on a crowded train is the person carrying on a 25 minute cell phone conversation ....

....or maybe the guy with the headphones playing his music so loud that everyone else around him can sing along ...

...or realizing there’s chewing gum all over your pants because some lazy slob stuck it under the seat....

When the subway train pulls into the station, and it’s so crowded you can’t get on ...Tuesday morning I had to let three trains go by, was finally able to get on the fourth train. Standing room only, of course.

If the railroad train you’re on is older than your daughter-who-lives-in-Manhattan-because-commuting-sucks, it’s no surprise when the train breaks down one station away from your destination.  I thought they took these derelicts out of service.  I had to call Drew and ask him to pick me up.

Had a meeting on Long Island last week, and told a coworker I’d pick him up at the train station on my way.  He wound up taking an Uber because the trains weren’t running — there was a broken rail.

Though I did get lucky the other morning.  As I was walking through Penn Station towards the subway, the lights flickered.  I found out later that the LIRR and NJ Transit lost power in the tunnels, and both railroads had to suspend service.  Had I been on a train, I would have been stranded.

But on a much more serious note ...

Anyone who takes the 7th Avenue subway (that would be the #2 and #3 trains) from 34th Street-Penn Station knows how horribly crowded that station can be.    And now the station is undergoing renovations, with several stairways blocked and out of service.  I’ve been saying someone could get hurt or killed ...and I was right.  Elderly couple was walking on the platform, with plans to head across 7th Avenue to shop in Macy's flagship store.   Harried commuter rushing to catch a train pushed the couple out of his way.  Elderly couple fell down, the husband hitting his head on the concrete floor.  He died about 10 days later.  Scary ...

Wednesday, November 14, 2018


Subway Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

When you order food from a chain restaurant, you pretty much get what you expect. subway offers a variety of hot and cold subs, salads, soup, and even a few breakfast items.  Cold subs can be ordered "toasted", which allows the cheese to melt. 

The succes or failure of a particular location depends upon how the store is run.  This location is clean, well-stocked and appropriately staffed.  I would not hesitate to order form this location.

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