life in and around NYC is insane

Sunday, April 30, 2017

his and hers

Well, Drew had his first experience with an Urgent Care Center yesterday,

Awhile back, I bought one of these:

It's used to apply lotion to hard-to-reach places, like your back.

The handle slides into a slot on the head.  When I broke the handle, a piece got jammed in the slot.

On Friday I got a replacement handle.  On Saturday I asked Drew to get the broken piece out of the slot so that I could insert the new handle.

He did.

With his pocketknife.

And he sliced into his left thumb.

Six stitches later ...

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Jones Beach -- sun, sand, surf and high finance

So, since I can't do yoga (the stitches are starting to itch!), I have to get my exercise by walking. Good thing I like walking.

So it was 82*, and the beach was calling my name.

Jones Beach is so different in warmer weather, so many people out and about.

It felt almost like summer.

So now it's time to address the annual dilemma. Do I buy a parking pass?

There's no parking fee at state parks during the winter, but it's $10 a day during the summer months. The fee is collected until 4 PM. Usually, in summer, I wait until after 4 if I want to walk at the beach.

But if I buy an annual pass ...

It's $65 for the annual pass.

The break-even point is seven park visits.

Is it worth the expense?


Friday, April 28, 2017

more this and that

Did you get to try the Starbucks unicorn?  I waited to long, I didn't get to Starbucks until the last day of the promotion.  The barista told me she had run out of the blue powder, the sour concoction that they were sprinkling on the whipped cream.  She still had a ton of the pink stuff, though, so she made me a vanilla frappucino and colored it pink.   Yummy, but a huge calorie bomb.  I won't be doing that again any time soon.

Pet peeve of the moment.  I work in a "green" building, which means that the owner has reserved two parking places  right near the main entrance for "hybrid vehicles".  I drive a Prius, so I can park in the reserved spot, presuming no other hybrid owner gets there before me.  The building management is doing extensive renovations right now, and they've placed a dumpster right near the door.  Yeah, right in the spots usually reserved for hybrid cars.  No fair!

Work has been very stressful.  New files, new responsibilities, hectic pace.  I'll manage.

I've been so preoccupied with Drew's medical issues that I forgot to worry about my own.  First, good news from the periodontist: I can go back to using my electric toothbrush, and I can start flossing again. Next, I had blood work done, my annual physical is next week.  And finally, the dermatologist removed a small cyst from my arm: I'm fine, but can't do any heavy lifting or upper body exercising (no yoga!) until the stitches come out.

Yeah, I'm really missing my yoga class.  Class was cancelled during Passover (it's at the JCC, after all) and I missed a class while we were in Philadelphia. And now I'm not permitted to go.  So I'll be getting my exercise by walking.  At least the weather is turning nicer, so I'll  be able to do some of that walking outside.  The beach is calling my name.

Sad news from Becca.  Her boyfriend broke up with her on Tuesday.  It was a long term and serious relationship.  She doesn't want to talk about it, but you can see the misery on her face.   Jen is a supportive sister -- when she heard what had happened, she jumped into her car and drove into the city to be with Becca.

They're going to Disney World together in a few weeks.  Becca  originally planned it as a "heart balm" trip for Jen, when she and her boyfriend broke up.  Jen and her boyfriend reconciled, but the girls decided to go on the trip anyway.  Sad irony, isn't it?

Sigh.  Wish I could go too...

Thursday, April 27, 2017

another this and that -- the Philadelphia version

I'd forgotten just how close Philadelphia is to New York.  It took exactly two hours to drive down there, a little longer to drive home because of the traffic.

Can I say how much I love EZ Pass?  Saves time and money!

I loved our hotel.  The Wyndham is right in the historic district.  We had a great room, with amenities including a coffeemaker, microwave and refrigerator, very convenient for a longer stay.  I enjoyed using the fitness center.  the on site parking was nice, the on site restaurant was merely adequate.

Happiness is a disposable shower cap that comes with a terry cloth ponytail holder.

We really packed a lot into our tourist weekend.  We never got a chance to do anything touristy during the week, the hospital stuff kept us very busy.  But just staying in the historic district, driving past the Liberty Bell every day, was an exciting change of pace.  I took photos with my point and shoot, Drew took photos with his phone, having left his very expensive toy  camera on the living room couch.

I brought my work laptop, but forgot my mouse, and had to find a Target so I could buy a new one. Didn't get as much work done as I would have liked.

There were three Dunkin' Donuts restaurants within walking distance of the hotel.  So, of course, the morning I was craving my French vanilla coffee,  I chose the Dunkin' Donuts on Market Street, right across from the federal courthouse -- my peeps!  I was in that courthouse more than once, back when I had business dealings in Philly.

Hoagies and heros and grinders and subs, oh my!  We did get cheese steaks one night, but somehow never had that other famous Philadelphia staple, the soft pretzel -- as I remember, the pretzels in Philly are a bit different from what we find in NYC.

It doesn't take much to make us happy sometimes.  On the way home, we stopped for lunch on the New Jersey Turnpike. We were excited to find Roy Rogers amoung the fast food offerings.  We no longer have Roy Rogers on Long Island.  Love their roast beef and fried chicken.

Yes, there was a lot of stress.  There's always stress when you're dealing with medical issues, and the reason we went to Philadelphia was because Drew's condition requires a specialist's specialist.  We spent five days at the hospital, Drew was put through a lot of tests. The doctor is recommending a new "cocktail" of medications for Drew, and if that doesn't work, there's a surgical solution.

So we will be heading back there in a few months.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The National Constitution Center

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Powerful words, the culmination of efforts that began in 1776.  The ideals of the Enlightenment, that the authority to govern comes, not from divine Providence, but from the consent of the governed. 

The National Constitution Center is a museum devoted to the United States Constitution, how it was drafted and adopted, how it was interpreted and amended, how it delegates authority to all three branches of government.

The main gallery shows the hsitory of the constitution, starting with the Constitutional convention, and walks you through all eras of American history to show how the Constitution affected our government, and how social and political movements affected the Constitution.

A few law books -- looks like a homework assignment I had back in law school.

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Yes, those are Federal Reporters, the books that contain decisions  written by Federal court judges.

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In the Signer's Room, you will find statutes of each of the men who signed the Constitution at the Constitutional convention.

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Dr. Franklin, I presume.

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My favorite exhibit was the temporary display about Prohibition, how the Constitution was changed by the 18th amendment, and how the 21st Amendment repealed the 18th.  The social and political movements that addressed America's drinking problem, the responses to Prohibition, and the politicking that  created, and later repealed, Prohibition.

Carry Nation and her hatchet:

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The Volstead Act:

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Inside a Speakeasy:

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We learned about bootleggers and rum runners, and how the culture of the 1920's was so very different from what had gone before.

I got to pose with gangsters!

An interesting and worthwhile museum, we both enjoyed it.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell

If you do nothing else in the historic district  of Philadelphia, you must see Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, symbols of our country.  Independence Hall was the site of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, and the site of the Constitutional Convention in 1789.

You need timed tickets to enter Independence Hall.  The tickets are free, but we paid a small service charge to order ours in advance.  The timed tour takes you into the two main rooms of Independence Hall -- the room where Congress met, and the court room across the hall.  Also on site is Congress Hall, where Congress met when Philadelphia was the capital of the United States, and a small museum with rotating exhibits -- we saw an exhibit on the Peales, artists who painted many portraits in colonial times and ultimately opened an art museum in Philadelphia.

Independence Hall:

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George Washington:

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Congress Hall

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The court room

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And the room where it all happened.

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Inside Congress Hall, the House and the Senate had separate chambers. The House:

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The Senate, and conference rooms:

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Entrance to the Liberty Bell

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And at night:

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Monday, April 24, 2017

Old City Pizza

Old City Pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

We were looking for a casual place to grab a quick bite.  This place was around the corner from our hotel.  Clearly a "mom and pop" type of place, very no-frills, just a handful of tables.

The menu includes burgers, Greek specialties and hoagies and grinders (Can someone please explain to this New Yorker the difference between a "hoagie" and a "grinder"?  Back home we call them all "heros" or "subs".)

I ordered the "spaghetti with veal parmigiana", a generous portion of spaghetti topped with a modest portion of veal, not bad for $9, and very tasty.  Garlic bread was tasty but not greasy.

He had a burger -- the burgers are cooked fresh, but not to order -- they won't serve it medium rare.  The burger was topped with bacon and mozzarella cheese.  the fires were hot and crisp.  Cole slaw was merely OK.

Another night we did take-out.  Loved my meatball grinder -- a huge sandwich -- but the mozzarella fries were "meh".  Pizza -- the "mega slice" is the equivalent of two ordinary slices. Very satisfying.

Overall a satisfactory experience.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Ethnic colonial history

This is what we found right next door to our hotel:

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Congregation Mikveh Israel dates back to 1740.  Drew was especially proud, the congregation was founded by Sephardic Jews and he is of Sephardic heritage.

The congregation honors Commodore Levy:

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Also honored is Haym Salomom, a Revolutionary War patriot.

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And there is also a monument to a hero of the raid on Entebbe, Jonathan Netanyahu. Yeah, that Netanyahu, brother of the current Prime Minister.

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And then we found another interesting statue a block away, in front of the Jewish museum.

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