life in and around NYC is insane

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ellen's Stardust Diner

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Monday, May 30, 2011

Guess what?

We bought tix for another Ducks game ... Going in July.

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Saturday, May 28, 2011


Fun movie.  Nothing remotely serious -- what else would you expect from a comic book?  Stay until after the credits roll for a bonus scene.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Had a great time tonight

Small, intimate ballpark ... typical ballpark food (gorged on hot dogs, fries, crackerjacks) ...silly contests between innings (make yourself dizzy while spinning around a bat then try to run)...lots of local color (the band from my daughters' middle school played before the game)...didn't know any of the players but rooted for the home team anyhow...had a fly ball sail over my head ... Drew came thisclose to catching a foul ball ... got to see an old favorite coach first base ... decided a kid blowing a quacker is more annoying than a vuvuzuela ... worth doing again ...
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First Base Coach

And part owner of the team .... Bud Harrelson
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The team mascot
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There Be Ducks Here

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Let's Go Ducks!

Inside Bethpage Ballpark
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Long Island Ducks!

No, not the waterfowl, ..the professional baseball team. 

They play in the Atlantic League -- not affiliated with Major League Baseball.  Their home stadium, Bethpage ballpark,  is not in Bethpage -- it's in Central Islip. (It's called Bethpage Ballpark because the Bethpage Credit Union is its current corporate sponsor.) Passed the park dozens of times on my way to court, but I've never seen a Ducks game.

That will change tonight. 

Not sure what to expect. 

I've been to Shea, and Citi Field, for Mets games many times.  Drew is a rabid Mets fan.

but I've heard these games are less formal, and more fun.

We shall see.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fleet Week

One of the advantages of working right next to the Hudson River is the opportunity to see what's in New York Harbor and on the river.

the week before Memorial Day is Fleet Week.  There's a parade of Navy ships on the river, and lots of sailors and Marines taking shore leave in the city.

Somehow, it never gets "old".





Tuesday, May 24, 2011

never mind that the calendar says "May"

Summer has officially arrived.

Both girls are now home from college.

Becca spent the last week or so decompressing, and now she plans to head over to the mall to see if she can pick up some shifts.  Her full-time summer job doesn't begin utnil the end of next month.

Jen is also decompressing.  She won't have to start her on line classes for the Greece trip for awhile, so I don't know what she's going to do with her time....she technically had to resign from ther summer job at the day camp because she'll miss the first two weeks of camp during the Greece trip, but I suspect she'll have a job when she gets back.

But the summer is starting to take shape.

Monday, May 23, 2011

I won concert tickets! (again)

Sing along with all your favorite Doo-Wop hits at the 4th annual Ultimate Doo-Wop Show, returning to The Beacon Theatre on Saturday, June 18th!

This year's show features 11 original artists with a combined sale of over 200 million records - Jay Siegel's Tokens (The Lion Sleeps Tonight, Portrait of my Love, Tonight I Fell in Love) with their special guest, Jay Traynor (She Cried), Jay & The Americans (Cara Mia, Come a Little Bit Closer, Only in America, This Magic Moment, Let's Lock the Door), Herbie Cox & The Cleftones (Heart & Soul, You Baby You, Little Girl of Mine, For Sentimental Reasons), The Crystals (Uptown, He's a Rebel, Da Doo Ron Ron, Then He Kissed Me, There's No Other), The Reflections (Just Like Romeo & Juliet, Poor Man?s Son, Wishing for your Love),The Tune Weavers (Happy, Happy Birthday Baby), John Kuse & The Excellents (Coney Island Baby), The Jarmels (A Little Bit of Soap), Louise Murray & The Hearts (Lonely Nights), The Rama Lama Big Band (Buzz, Buzz, Buzz).

You DOO not want to miss this show!

Sunday, May 22, 2011


mini trip report -- the Bronx Zoo

Drew recently purchased membership -- that means free entry to the Bronx Zoo, the Central Park Zoo, the Prospect Park Zoo, the queens Zoo and the New York Aquarium.

It means that we got free admission to the zoo, free admission to the "extras" (like the gorilla exhibit, the butterfly garden, the monorail ride through Wild Asia...)

there was supposed to be a small group of us, but everyone else cancelled out, so it was just Drew and me.

I've always loved the zoo.  We got a great day for it, warm and sunny.  Easy ride from Long Island to the Bronx.  Place was busy but not overly crowded. 

As you walk through the zoo these days, it's very apparent what their mission is -- preserve and protect.  And educate, of course.  Lots of fun activities for the children to teach them about conservation.  Story telling, books, even a 4D movie....

We parked near the Asia gate.  As we walked in, I said "I'd love to see some peacocks today!"  there was a news story a few weeks ago, one of the peahens escaped into the city for a few days....Sure enough, the first animal habitat we saw contained antelope and peacocks.  Lots of peacocks, strutting their stuff and showing off for the hens -- who were ignoring them.

We walked over to Asia Plaza and rode the Wild Asia monorail -- that's a tour through habitats of Asian animals, including tigers, rhinos and elephants. We strolled through the Jungle World building, then headed out to the rest of the zoo.  Many of the animals are grouped by geography (Asia, Africa, Himalayan Highlands), many others by type (World of Birds, Mouse House).    Lots and lots of deer and antelope, lots and lots of monkeys and lemurs.  Speaking of escapees, we had to visit the Reptile House and see the snakes (didn't see Mia, though....not sure where she's housed right now...but then again, I wasn't really looking for her either).

Favorite exhibits include the sea lions -- they're in a pool at the main entrance to the park.  Most of them were sunning themselves on the rocks, but one unhappy fellow was swimming and barking.  We saw lions and tigers and bears, also leopards, giraffes and polar bears.  Saw one poor rhino with a missing horn.

We made lots of corny old jokes -- like "how do you stop a rhino from charging?  take away his credit card!"  Saw a crocodile and made a joke about "a croc of...." Saw another crocodile and made a joke about shoes.  Lions sunning themselves were "just 'lion' around."

We ate in the cafe. Lots of choices here, and not just junk food.  Drew had a personal pizza and I had a salad.  Expensive but not bad.

Towards the end of the day we heard a rumble of thunder, and sought shelter in the gorilla exhibit.  We were inside when the storm broke, but the poor gorllas were sitting outside.

we spent a good deal of the day walking, so by the time we got back to the car we were both exhausted!  Definitely earned our cheeseburgers at Red Robin that night!

movie review -- Pirates of the Caribbean

I really loved the first three movies.  didn't know if I'd like the 4th, without Orlando Bloom or Keira Knightly.  Johnny Depp's character was supposed to color the movies, not carry them.

I thought the chemistry with Depp and Penelope Cruz was a bit tepid, but otherwise the movie is a fun ride. Loved the Ponce de Leon theme.Harry Potter fans should look for a Richard Griffith cameo.    And the bonus scene after the credits rolled was...interesting.

I hear they're already working on the fifth movie.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Weekend plans - guess where we're going Saturday?

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Monday, May 16, 2011

weather forecast

Monday -- rain
Tuesday -- rain
Wednesday -- rain
Thursday -- rain
Friday -- chance of rain

so not happy right now. 

and feeling bad for Jen.  she's done with finals but she's got the beach house until May 23 and was planning to take advantage of the amenities.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Anything goes

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Mini trip report

Wonderful evening. We ate dinner at The Brooklyn Diner - a great burger place on 43rd and Broadway. Next we sat on the pedestrian plaza at Times Square and did some people watching. Finally we walked over to the Stephen Sondheim Theater. Interesting place - the mezzanine is at street level and you have to walk down stairs to get to the orchestra. The show ..."Anything Goes". It's set on an ocean liner during a transatlantic crossing. Even the theater ushers are part of the show - they all wear sailor caps. And the conductor wears an officer's hat as he leads the pit band through that wonderful Cole Porter score.

Sutton Foster is amazing as Reno Sweeney and Joel Grey is adorable as Moon Face Martin. The dance sequences are incredible.

I have a soft spot for this show ... I was in the chorus of our high school production. As soon as Drew told me he bought the tickets I could hear the music in my head.

Overall another wonderful NYC night.
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I went to a business seminar on West 44th yesterday. As I walked from Penn Station I realized that it was a beautiful May morning ... And the walk through the city got me thinking about a time when I still worked in Manhattan not Jersey City. It just felt like I was back in the 80's...don't know why.

At the seminar I ran into two old friends.

20 years ago, in June 1991, I accepted an offer of employment from an insurance company, and on June I left my job with a law firm to take that job. Jen was just a few months old and Becca hadn't been born yet. I worked there for 7 years before moving on to something else.

Cheryl and Mary were with that insurance company in 1991, and they're still working together - the company went into liquidation awhile back and they're winding down its business.

It was good to catch up with them - we seem to run into each other every 4-5 years.

But running into them when I was already feeling nostalgic ....

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Sunday, May 8, 2011


I had a Groupon for FTD. On Friday I placed an order for flowers for my mom. I got a confirming email. Delivery was scheduled for today, Mother's Day.

When the flowers didn't show up by 7 PM I called. After holding for a looong time, I was finally connected to the most aggravating customer service rep. He asked for the order number and my name ... And couldn't find my order. Asked for a supervisor. At first he refused. Then he put me on hold. Then he told me he couldn't connect me because all the lines were busy. Then he asked for the recipient's name and phone number.

Finally he located the order. And told me that the local florist rejected the order but no one bothered to tell me.

He offered to have the flowers delivered later in the week at a discount. I told him I just wanted a refund.

Thank you so much for ruining Mother's Day,FTD.

Oh, and by the way, the flowers my kids sent me from 1-800-Flowers were gorgeous.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

another "first"

I knew the day would come eventually.

Jen won't be home for Mother's Day.  Too much schoolwork, 3 papers due next week.  When she told me she couldn't come home, I told her she needed to take care of those papers and I'd see her the following weekend.

I won't be entirely bereft, Becca will be home.  And I'll be with my parents and my sisters. 

But there will be an empty spot at our table.

There is a picture somewhere, from Mother's Day in grandmother, my mother, myself, and my baby daughter Jennifer.  Four generations at the celebration.

We lost my grandmother when Jen was in kindergarten.

And nowmy baby won't be home either.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ground Zero 5/3/11

A day late and a dollar short.

I travel through Ground Zero every morning on my way to work.  But yesterday I didn't go to work.  So I missed all the excitement -- all the media set up to broadcast, the crowds chanting U-S-A! U-S-A!Strangers hugging firemen and police officers. Flowers and balloons stuck in the fence around the site, chalk slogans scrawled on the sidewalk (today I got chalk dust on my jacket when I inadvertently leaned against a wall.)

Today was business as usual.

But not entirely.

Most days 9/11 isn't on my mind during my commute.  It's always in my subconscious, but not something I think about as I walk from the subway to the PATH train.  It's just a construction site, a temporary inconvenient configuration of street and sidewalk through a major transit hub.

But since Sunday I've been doing a lot of flashing back 9 1/2 years.

I missed all the excitement that day, too --- could have been in Manhattan but fortunately spent that horrible day in an office on Long Island.  My friend Shlomit told me I had  an angel looking out for me.

9/11/11  is on a Sunday ... guess I'll miss all the excitement that day, too.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

I am crying and shaking

Flashing back to 2/26/93 and 9/11/01. Osama Bin Laden is dead. 9 1/2 years to get him....better late than never. I hope he spent his last moments looking into the faces of American soldiers.
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It's May!

And finally finally finally spring has truly arrived.

Loving the warm sunny weather!

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