life in and around NYC is insane

Friday, June 28, 2013


Sitting in a nursing home  my dad is doing another round of rehab. 

We hope he'll be well enough to come home in a few weeks.

I am watching his slow but steady decline . . .

Monday, June 24, 2013

music, music, music

Two very different concerts this weekend!

Friday night we were at Westbury Music Fair for the Happy Together Tour.  Westbury is a very intimate venue, it feels more like a party than a grand performance.  The Happy Togehter Tour is an idea of Flo & Eddie (Mark Volman, " and Howard Kaylan), also known as "The Turtles".  Each time the do a tour, they invite several acts from the 1960's and 1970's to join them on tour and perform their top 40 hits.

Opening act was Gary Lewis, who fronted Gary Lewis and the Playboys.  Gary is also the son of Jerry Lewis.  His big hits included "This Diamond Ring" and "Just My Style".  We also heard from Mark Lindsay, who was with Paul Revere and the Raiders before starting his solo career.  Also on the bill was Gary Puckett, who was suffering from a cold and not in good voice -- he asked us to listen with our hearts.  Chick Negron, the voice of three Dog Night, was the highlight of my evening.  And of course, Flo and Eddie closed the show.

Saturday night was Fleetwood Mac at Jones Beach.  The theater was under water during Superstorm sandy and needed considerable renovation.  They've done a wonderful job repairing it.  And I was pleased to note that the beach on Zach's Bay is once again accessible to by the public.  We were a bit disappointed, however, with the food concessions.  Last year the offerings included fried seafood, which is gone now.  And the hamburgers we ordered were underwhelming.

Being outside, at the beach, under the full moon -- the super moon -- was a great way to spend an evening.

We saw Stevie Nicks at Jones Beach last year, as you recall, after Drew won tickets for the show.  Loved her and we were anxious to see her again.  But I had forgotten just how good Lindsay Buckingham is!  And you could see there is real affection between them again.  Mick Fleetwood's big drum solo was amazing.  John McVie...was there.   Didn't really miss Christine McVie.

Great concert.

Here's the moon rising over the stage -- you can  see Stevie on the big screen:

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Songbird Salutes the 70's

Friday, June 21, 2013

Songbird Salutes the 70's

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


No, I'm not talking about these guys:
Or even these guys:
I'm talking about the real deal. Six legged menaces that are invading Drew's house. Again. Drew's roommate swears that there's an enormous ant colony directly under the house, that if you tore apart the slab foundation you'd find the mother of all ant hills underneath. Seriously, my new best friend is:

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

happy birthday, Sir Paul!

thank goodness for dental insurance!

So my periodontist took some x-rays and sent me back to my regular dentist, and now I am in the middle of replacing three crowns. And Becca broke a tooth and needs a crown. And Jen is still wearing a retainer after her invisiline treatment, needed because her teeth moved because she didn't wear her retainer enough after the braces came off the first time.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A very strange Father's Day

If you read my earlier post you will have surmised that Drew and I started Father's Day at brunch with our two beautiful daughters.  Usually the girls and I do brunch with Drew and dinner with my family.

But my dad is in the hospital.  He's been there over a week.  So we thought we'd bring the party to him.  Cake from Reinwald's, chocolate covered strawberries from Edible Arrangements.

Except . . .

He's in a lethargic state as he recovers from surgery, so he slept most of the time we were there.

Not that it mattered.  He's "NPO".  Nothing By Mouth.  He has an issue swallowing and they have to figure out what's going on.

It's scary.  He's old and sick.  A plethora of medical issues.  His primary care doctor gave him a "pep talk" today about staying strong and he'll be well enough to go home soon.

The Bonwit Inn

Bonwit Inn on Urbanspoon

Sunday brunch at the Bonwit . . .a Long Island tradition.  Reservations are a must, especially for special occasions like Father's Day.

There was a fruit and salad bar, a carving station, an omelet station.  Hot dishes included breakfast items like scrambled eggs, pancakes, french toast, bacon, sausage. Lunch dishes were mostly Italian -- penne a la vodka, fried calamari, eggplant rollitini.  Desserts included creme brulee and jello as well as various pies and cakes.  Loved my mimosa. 

The only disappointments were the french toast, which seemed overcooked, and the smoked salmon, which was dry and too salty.

This place is becoming our go-to place for brunch, and with good reason.  A very satisfying meal.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Southside Fish & Clam

We hadn't been to that neighborhood since before Superstorm Sandy, but tonight we ventured to Montauk Highway in Lindenhurst for a spectacular meal at Southside Fish & Clam.
This place started life as a fish market, with a few picnic tables behind the store to enjoy a lobster or whatever.  It's now a full-fledged restaurant. 
When you walk in from the main entrance the fish market will be to your left and the restaurant to your right.  It's counter service.  You order food at the counter and you're given a buzzer, which will let you know when your order is ready.  You find your own table.  Drinks, even soft drinks, must be ordered from the bar.  When your food is ready it will be served in disposable plastic dishes with plastic utensils,which you must fetch cafeteria-style on a tray from the counter.  The busboy will clear your table, but otherwise it's all self serve.
No ambiance whatsoever.  And no one cares.
The food, however, is amazing.  The seafood is inceedibly fresh and well prepared. We had a table by the counter, so we were able to see everyone else's trays, and everything looked delicious.
Our meal started with lobster bisque, a very  creamy soup served with Saltine crackers.  The soup had a very nice lobstery flavor, but I would have liked a few chunks of lobster meat. 
We ordered surf and turf. The lobster tail was broiled to perfection, the strip steak cooked to order.  French fries were crisp, not greasy.  Yum.
Yes, this place is a keeper.
Sadly, one of our other favorites, the Cattleman, just down the road from Southside . . .well, we drove past the place, and it's closed -- it's on the canal, after all, and was decimated by Sandy.
Southside Fish & Clam on Urbanspoon

Thursday, June 13, 2013


A new "shared bike" program here in NYC.   I'm not sure of the mechanics of the program, but apparently you can hop on one of these bikes and ride all over the city, then return the bike.

I was in the Wall Street area today and guess what I found:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Today I am a rock star

We ran out of canned cat food....I stopped on the way home and bought a case...all hail the queen of cat food!

Monday, June 10, 2013

baseball "marathon", or yes, we are definitely crazy

conversation one:

He:  "I'm bidding on a package on the charity site.  It's a Mets game.  Includes field level seats, preferred parking and a food voucher."

She:  "Sounds great.  Which game?"

He:  "They won't let me know until I'm the successful bidder."

She:  "I hope you get it, I love the Mets."

conversation two:

He:  "Let's buy tickets for a Long Island Ducks game.  June 8th is fireworks night.  Want to go?"

She:  "Of course.  I love the Ducks.  Loved seeing them win the championship last year."

conversation three:

He:  "I've got good news and bad news,"

She:  "OK, what's going on?"

He:  "The good news is, I won the Mets package.  The bad news is, it's June 8th.  Afternoon game."

And so began our baseball marathon.

First up, Citi Field.  Mets vs. Marlins, 1:00 PM.  Preferred parking meant we parked right at the stadium entrance, didn't have to walk far to get to the gate.  Field level seats meant front row, right at first base, I could rest my arms on the roof of the dugout.  Yes, that was us you saw every time the TV cameras aimed at the stands over the dugout -- Drew DVR'd the game and we saw ourselves on TV.  Food vouchers were redeemed for hamburgers and crinkle cut fries.  Afternoon was cloudy but warm.  And Matt Harvey was pitching!

Until he had muscle spasms and had to leave the game.  With the score tied 1-1.

After that the game became an endurance test. We left after the bottom of the 11th.  Though I think we would have stayed if we didn't have another game that evening.  We found out later the game went 20 innings before the Marlins finally beat the Mets, 2-1.  By then we were well into the third inning of the Ducks game.

We left Citi Field and drove directly to Bethpage Ballpark in Central Islip, got there around 6:00 for a 7:05 game.  Long Island Ducks vs. Southern Maryland Blue Crabs.  Again, we sat behind first base, this time in the third row back from the dugout.  This time we ordered hot dogs and soft pretzels.  I like Atlantic League ball, it's crazier than the major leagues, the between-inning events are corny and not as polished as what you get in the majors. Very exciting game.  Ducks won, 9-2, including a grand slam home run and two separate occasions where a run was scored on a wild pitch.  and, of course, a ten-minute presentation by Grucci after the game.  Fireworks are always best up close and personal.

Came home absolutely exhausted.

We'll be back for more baseball, both Mets and Ducks, but .... not on the same day. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Kitty con artist

I was most definitely taken advantage of by a feline con artist!

Mr. Kitty is my "breakfast buddy".  I cannot leave the house to ho to work until he gets his morning meal - dry cat food.  Sometimes he'll drag himself out of bed when he hears me coming down the stairs.  Sometimes he's waiting for me at the foot of the stairs.  And occasionally he'll come into my room and pester me while I'm getting dressed.

Our other cat, Redford, is not all that interested in breakfast.  Usually if I see him in the morning, he wants to go out to the yard to play, or he was out all night and wants to come inside to sleep.  As far as Redford is concerned I'm the doorman . . .

Now, dinner is an entirely different matter.  Dinner means canned cat food, those fancy three-ounce cans.  Dinner is generally served at 5, usually by my mother.  Both cats go absolutely crazy for dinner.

So how did I get conned?

We are a large family with varied schedules, so it's rare to find myself home alone.  But when I got home at 8:30 last night, the felines were the only family members in the house. And I had reason to believe they'd been home alone most of the day.

Mr. Kitty was waiting in the foyer when I opened the front door. He started his "starving kitty" act the moment I walked into the house.  That poor, pathetic meowing!  Redford showed up when he heard the Kitty man carrying on.

I felt so bad for both of them.

Of course I ran to the pantry and grabbed two cans.  Of course I gave them dinner.  The poor babies!

When Jen got home a short time later I began to tell her the story....

"You didn't feed them, did you?  Cause I gave them each a can when I got home this afternoon.  They had dinner at 4:00."

Don't let the sweet expression on that furry white face fool you.  He's a master con artist.  And our orange friend is his willing accomplice.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Cruising. . . .

We will be sailing to the Caribbean on the Carnival Breeze in August.  8 days, four ports of call.  We've booked our excursions and made reservations in the specialty restaurants.  Now all we have to do . . .is wait.

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