life in and around NYC is insane

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Mystery of Edwin Drood

When you enter Studio 54 these days, you'll find that it has been transformed into a 19th Century English music hall. The cast of performers are about to perform "The Mystery of Edwin Drood", a play based on an unfinished novel by Charles Dickens. The music hall cast sings, they dance, they tell jokes, and intermittently perform the drama. While Dickens' book was bleak, the story as presented in the music hall setting has the same comic feel as a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta, full of absurdities and melodrama. The score, by Rupert Holmes (the "Pina Colada" guy) is less than memorable, but is fun to listen to. And I really enjoyed the interactive feature, voting for the murderer. Which ending you see depends on what the audience chooses. Another wonderful evening of live theater!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Interesting change. I like the convenience, but I miss my coworkers. Still, when the bad weather hit yesterday, getting home safe was not a concern. I could get used to this.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Ever get a "do-over?

Drew and I had tickets to see The Moody Blues at Westbury Music Fair last April.  He wound up going with a friend because I was in the hospital.  (Yet another reason I hate hospitals.)

Who would have thought they'd  be back at Westbury 7 months later?

Great show.

Watch "Moody Blues 11/24/12 Westbury show" on YouTube


Reinwald's Bakery on Urbanspoon Absolutely my favorite bakery. Every special occasion in our house is celebrated with cake and/or other treats from Reinwald's. Our order for Thanksgiving this year included strawberry shortcake, blackout cake, cupcakes with turkey decorations, cookies decorated with Thanksgiving themes, lace cookies and two loaves of bread. Heaven. Other favorites include raspberry mousse cake and Oreo cake.

I always drive very, very carefully with a Reinwald's cake in my car. Funny story about a Reinwald's cake. Years ago, when Jen was a tween, I booked her birthday party at a venue that did not provide cake. So I ordered a sheet cake from Reinwald's. Had it decorated just the way she wanted it. I drove from the bakery to the party venue as if my car was made of eggshells. I handed the cake to the young lady who was serving the food. The venue had a small refrigerator, about 4 1/2 feet tall, in the back room. She placed the cake, still in the bakery box, on top of the refrigerator. Later, when she went to get soda out of tge refrigerator, the cakebox fell, landing face down on the floor. The whipped cream and decorations all smeared. Cake was still edible, but not very pretty. We had to bring Jen into the back room abd show her what happened. If we had "surprised" her with the messy cake she would have freaked. We can laugh about it now . . .

Songbird Salutes the '70's

Watch "Moody Blues - Nights in White Satin Live" on YouTube

First released in 1967, it was a huge hit in 1972.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Mmmmm . . .Thanksgiving

Turkeys are stuffed and roasting, cranberry sauce is chilling, potatoes and sweet potatoes are on the stove . . .I just spent a fortune at our favorite bakery and stopped at the supermarket for those last-minute items . . . Guests arriving around 6 p.m.

Watched the parade at Drew's house this morning.  Nothing like the parade to make me feel about 4 years old again.

I feel bad for Drew right now.  He's recovering from surgery -- doctor had to repair an esophageal hernia.   Part of the recovery process is that he's on a liquid diet.  The biggest food holiday on the calendar and he can't eat.  He opted to stay home all day with his Blue Ray and his desktop.

I suppose I should write something thoughtful and deep about being thankful . . . But I'm too busy drooling over the thought of stuffing and mashed potatoes.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

banned -- update

After the uproar, the Republican students disinvited the vitriolic speaker.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Hospital waiting room

Drew is having surgery as I write this.    It's a planned procedure, he was supposed to have it Octiber 29 but a little thing called Sandy intervened.  He's going to spend two days in the hospital and then 4 weeks recovering at home.

Modern hospital waiting room -- flat screen tv, vending machines, free wifi.  And a computerized tracking board that will tell me when he's out of OR and in the recovery room.  So that when the courtsey phone rings I'll know whether it may be Drew's doctor calling.

Meanwhile it's tv and Facebook.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Bond and a burger

So last night a group of us saw Skyfall, the newest edition to the world of James Bond. After 50 years of Bond movies, the audience is very familiar with certain elements of the plot. There will be exotic locales, lots of action, interesting gadgets, glamor, witty remarks, sexual encounters, and of course a martini or two (shaken, not stirred). This movie has all of that, and a great theme song performed by Adele. It's also grittier and more human than a lot of Bond films. Our hero has weaknesses and emotions about his past, things you'd never have seen in a Sean Connery or Roger Moore incarnation.

Afterwards we wound up at the Broadway Diner, which is our "go-to" diner these days. Very happy with our waitress. Since we all ordered burgers ir sandwiches, she brought out a huge bowl of cole slaw and a plate full of pickles. Yum. She forgot to order bacon for one of the cheeseburgers, but ran back to the kitchen to get some bacon to make it right. Their burgers are wonderful, lots of choices. The cheeseburger deluxe comes with American cheese, but you can swap in cheddar, swiss, mozzarella . . . The Mexican burger comes with avocado and sides of guacamole and salsa. There are pizza burgers, burgers made wuth Angus beef . . .lots of choices. But last night I was not in a burger mood (hard to belueve, I know). Ordered a tuna salad sandwich. They use chunk light, not solid white albacore, and yes I can taste the difference. Won't order it again. Maybe next time I'll try the chicken salad. Or the shrimp salad. Or maybe I'll just stick with a burger. Broadway Diner on Urbanspoon

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Last night Becca told me she was banned from a page on Facebook.

And I couldn't be more proud!

Seems the Republican student club at her university invited a nationally-known, very right wing speaker, someone known to spew vitriol.

The liberals among the student body do not want this person to speak.  They started a Facebook page.

Becca, a political science major who shares her mother's liberal viewpoint, posted that the Republican students should be allowed to have their speaker, so that when the Democrats want someone from the left they can invite their speaker too. 

In other words, "I disagree with everything you have to say but will defend your right to say it."

University President sent out an email to the entire student body upholding the rights of free speech.

That's my baby girl.  The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Back when I was in college, a student group invited a representative of the PLO to speak on campus.  The Hillel organized a rally outside the lecture hall.  Yes, they could have their speaker, but we made sure our voices would be heard as well.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


I didn't know they name winter storms! Athena was the goddess of wisdom. Are we being taught some sort of cosmic lesson?

Sandy update

Anyone who thinks climate change isn't real needs a good, swift kick in the pants.

Yesterday we got a nor'easter.  Still dealing with power outages, gas shortages, modified public transportation from the hurricane, and now we get snow?  And the prediction is temperatures will climb up to the 60's by the weekend.  What's next, blood, frogs, pestilence?

The good news is that I have now joined the ranks of the telecommuters.  I suspect my desk has already been given to a displaced worker from our NYC office.

I felt bad for Jen last night.  She was supposed to have a romantic dinner with her boyfriend for her birthday.  Instead she got stuck in the house with us due to the storm.  Somehow takeout with your mom isn't quite the same . . .

But considering how others have more serious issues . . .there are still people in this neighborhood without electricity, having lost it during Sandy.

Mother Nature, we have had enough . . .

My back yard 11/8/2012

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

22 today

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The slow return to normalcy

A week after the stormyou'd expect most things would have returned to normal.  If only.

Yesterday I went to work for the first time post-Sandy.  The commute into the city was aggravating -- limited service on the railroad, packed trains.   Had to take a ferry to Jersey City because there was no PATH service.  Today's commute will be better, the PATH has limited service.

There are "refugees" in my office, people from our lower Manhattan offices who can't get into their buildings.  Everyone who normally works in our building but has the ability to work from home is being told to stay home.

J and her kids have moved to another location, a friend in their neighborhood will let them stay in her basement.  But last night Jen's friend Kristen slept over, her house still lacks power.

We are expecting another storm tomorrow.  A nor'easter.  The kind of storm that normally would not phase us.  But because we are still dealing with Sandy's aftermath, another storm is a very scary proposition.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The sad birthday

My friend J and two of her sons are staying with us, I've mentioned,  due to flood damage to their home.

Today J and my sisters H and A and my mother went to a funeral.  H and J have a friend L.  H and L met in 2nd grade.  L's mother passed away.   Totally unrelated to the storm, Sheila had been ill for many months.  In fact we saw Sheila in rehab while my dad was a patient there. (I didn't go to the funeral but will pay a shiva call later this week.)

Today is J's birthday.

I bought flowers in her favorite color to decorate the house.  Dinner tonight was takeout from the diner.  Later we will have cake and champagne.

Songbird Salutes the 70's

Driving around Long Island post-Sandy . . . Gas crisis!  Stations are closed, with signs reading "no gas".  A station pumping gas will have a long line of cars waiting . . .

This is temporary, it should resolve as normalcy returns.

But remember when it was the norm?

The gas crisis of the 1970's.  Buying gas on "odd"  or "even" days, depending on your license plate.  Waiting in line at the gas station.

It's when a lot of Americans switched from gas guzzlers to foreign-made fuel efficient vehicles.

There are some things about the 70's that I do not miss at all.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Sandy update

So I am at Drew's house for the time being.  Normal weekends would find me driving back and forth between my home and his, but with the gas shortage I will stay here for the duration. 

Drew's sister and uncle were here yesterday, they still have no electricity at their house.  They are not aline, over 100,000 LIPA customers are waiting for power to be restored.

A lot of my friends in New Jersey are still in the dark.

The return to "normal" is creeping along at a snail's pace.  LIRR is up and running, but not on a full schedule.  NYC subway system is partially restored. PATH service is suspended.  My boss tells me my office may reopen Monday or Tuesday but I have no idea how I will get there.

Telethon last night for the Red Cross. . .raising money for the Jersey Shore, Staten Island, the Rockaways. . .the headliners were Jon Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel -- two boys from Jersey and a Long Islander. 

At least they cancelled the Marathon.  I am a great believer in the healing power of sports, but the city was in no condition . . .

Friday, November 2, 2012


Power has been restored at my parents' house.  I am headed back there later to take care of a few things before returning to Drew's for our usual Friday night activities.  Hopefully his cable will be fixed when I come back.

I am glad I had the foresight to fill my gas tank before the storm.  The lines at the gas stations remind me of the 1970's.  Relief is coming, the stations should have a ready supply in a few days.  I still have close to a full tank and am therefore able to avoid the hassle.

Those who had to commute into the city for work yesterday had a nightmare due to limited service.  Guess my office being closed is a good thing.

We managed to get through the storm relatively unscathed.  I feel blessed.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sandy update

I write this from Drew's house.  He has electricity and heat!  No cable/phone/internet, but it's warm and cozy.  We watched a movie on the DVD player last night.

Still no power at my house.  (Yes I bailed on my parents.). F and A are there, and H came out yesterday to spend time.  Her apartment in Queens is unaffected by the storm.

Becca is at her apartment,  too.  Unaffected by the storm except for some cancelled classes.

Jen spent time at her boyfriend's house - he has a generator - but she's home now.  She may bail again later, it's cold.

And then there are the house guests.  H's best friend J, who we call family.  J's youngest son (he's 14), their dog, cat and bunny.  Not sure, but I think her 22 year old may be joining the party.  Her middle son is away at college.  J lives on the south shore.  Two houses away from a canal.  At the height of the storm she had three feet of water in her house.   Her new reality includes insurance adjusters and FEMA. As soon as she can get them on the phone, that is.

Schools around here will be closed all week.  My office remains inaccessible.   Public transit is only partially restored, and the governor ordered them to not collect fares.

This is unprecedented in the NY Metro area.

But on a brighter note - the kids still had Halloween. In New Jersey it was postponed until Saturday.  But here on Long Island we had trick or treat as usual.

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