life in and around NYC is insane

Friday, June 30, 2017

#skywatchfriday Evening on the Hudson


Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Intrepid, part 2

There's a temporary exhibit at the museum about drones.

Yes, drones.

That's an anti-submarine helicopter drone, the Navy used them from 1963 until 2006.

If this WW II radioplane factory worker looks familiar, she  is...

Yes, that's Norma Jean Mortenson, later known as Marilyn Monroe.

In 2013 Lady Gaga had an album release event, and she was flown in by drone:

Amazon delivery by drone?

The future:

And some humor:

And, of course, we went up to the flight deck.

The Growler, a submarine:

On the hanger deck, a ship's propeller:

And we got this little toy when we filled out a customer survey.  It's squeezable, like a stress ball.

Overall a fun evening.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

Among the museum memberships that Drew enjoys is a membership at The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.  The USS Intrepid, a WWII aircraft carrier, is now a museum located at Pier 86, 46th Street and 12th Avenue, on the West Side of Manhattan.

We visited the museum in 2015   and again last year.

This year we attended a "members only" evening. After the museum is closed for the day, members are invited to view exhibits, participate in tours, etc.

This time around, my attention wandered to The Intrepid's current neighbor:

That's the Insignia, a small cruise ship  -- capacity 684 passengers.  I believe she's sailing to New England, Canada and Bermuda these days.

And then we went aboard the Intrepid.

The tour Drew really wanted to do:

Yes, we got to go inside, see the passenger compartment:

And the cockpit:

Can you imagine flying in this thing?  The signatures in the cockpit are from the crew that holds the records for the fastest Concorde flight across the Atlantic --  2 hours 52 minutes.

Great tour.

As for the rest of the evening?

More to come tomorrow.

Monday, June 26, 2017

another this and that

Well, it's officially summer.  And to celebrate the season, Drew and I went to dinner at Joe's Crabshack.  We're not food snobs, we enjoy chain restaurants.  We do go to local seafood places, too.  But we like the beach bar/party vibe at Joe's, and the steamer buckets ... yummy.

So the Empire Pass turned out out to be a good investment.  I've already used it three times, and it's not even July yet. The "break even" point is 7 visits, and I think I'll get my money's worth.

Yesterday I spent some time at Sunken Meadow, it's so different on a summer Sunday.  Very crowded, lots of families.  But I still managed to get a walk done.

Becca posted a whole bunch of pictures on Facebook and Instagram, enjoying herself with friends at various locations in NYC.   Her summer is off to a great start.

Jen starts her summer job today, she's a camp counselor.  She's part of the team that handles the rock wall and zip line.  She's got plans to visit a friend in Rhode Island this weekend.

My office is super busy right now, slowing down for the summer is a fallacy.  I am so looking forward to a four-day weekend.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sweet Hollow Park

It's a brand new park, just opened.  A small neighborhood park.  About 8 acres.

There is a playground.

A basketball court.

Tennis anyone?

And what they call "passive parkland", just grassy areas and gravel pathways where you can walk.

A nice park, to be sure, but nothing special, nothing blogworthy...

Unless you realize that this used to be Meyer's Farm.

When I was a child, my dad would take us to Meyer's Farm every October.  It was a "pick your own" pumpkin farm.  We'd pick out a few  pumpkins, then take them home, paint them, and display them on the front porch for Halloween.

By the time Jen and Becca went to Meyers, they  had added pony rides, hay rides and a bounce house.

We were sad when the farm closed, but there are other farms in the area...

tThere was talk that the farmland would become a housing development, or maybe an office building.

The "passive parkland" was once a pumpkin field.  And the playground sits on the site of the farm stand, where you could buy fresh produce, decorations, etc.

Sweet memories.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Do you swim?

Just got back from a swim in the community pool.  Drew gets a pass to the pool every year.  He's not much of a swimmer, but he knows I love it.

I learned to swim when I was a child.  My dad, a teacher, earned extra money in the summertime at a day camp, and my sisters and I attended the camp.  Campers went swimming twice a day -- one period of swimming instruction, and one period of free swim.

After my dad stopped working at the camp, my parents decided to put a pool in the back yard -- an in-ground pool, complete with filter, heater, diving board ... hours of summer fun, pool parties...

But pools are expensive, and require a lot of labor.  the last time we opened the pool for the season was 2011.  My father got sick in 2012, and we never opened the pool that summer.  Or the summer after that.  Or the one after that.

I joined the JCC this year, and I have access to their indoor pool.  It's great. But it's not the same as swimming outside, seeing the sun reflecting on the water, enjoying a hot summer day.

Friday, June 23, 2017

#skywatchfriday -- Jones Beach

The famed Water Tower at Jones Beach.

It can mean only one thing:  another glorious afternoon on the boardwalk.

I love to watch the changing cloud formations:

Hey, aren't you guys supposed to be up in the sky?

Well, that's a little better:

And even closer:

Now you've got it!


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Deja vu -- Ducks part 2

So the rain-out was Monday night, and the Ducks played a double header Tuesday night to make up for the lost game.

Atlantic League rules mandate that double headers are 7-inning games.  Game one started at 6:00.  Lots of crowds for that one, there were kids on the field to sing the national anthem, we honored our veterans, played silly games.

We had great seats, of course.

Great game, the Ducks beat the Patriots.

Game two didn't start until after 9:00.  And...the Ducks didn't win.

this is what it looked like during the bottom of the 7th.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Joyce's questions this week focus on summer.

1. The first day of summer rolls in later this week. What are ten things you'd put on your list of  quintessential summer activities? Will you try to manage all ten this summer?

Not sure I can come up with ten.  But summer means swimming in a pool, trips to the beach, backyard barbecues, baseball games, the Renaissance Faire, day trips to interesting places, going out for ice cream or Italian ices, buying tomatoes or corn or whatever from a local farmstand...all of which are very, very doable.

2. Do you collect seashells when you're at the beach? What do you do with them once you get them home? What's your favorite place to comb for seashells? How many of these 'best beaches for hunting seashells' have you visited? Which one would you most like to visit?

Calvert Cliffs State Park (Maryland), Jeffrey's Bay (South Africa), Sanibel Island (Florida), Shipwreck Beach (Lanai Hawaii), Ocracoke Island (North Carolina), Galveston Island (Texas) and The Bahamas

I live on Long Island, I go to the beach regularly, and yes, I do collect shells occasionally.  I've got a few in my office right now.

Of all the famous beaches just mentioned, I've been to two.  (1) Drew and I took a cruise to the Bahamas on our honeymoon, and we did spend time on a beach there, but I don't recall bringing any seashells home. (2) Drew's parents moved to southwest Florida when they retired, and we visited them a few times.  We made two trips over to Sanibel Island.  The first time, we never made it to the beach -- it started to rain shortly after we got there.  The second time, Drew had a fender bender in the parking lot, which put a real damper on the day.  

Of all the rest, I think I'd like to go to Hawaii next.

3. At a snail's pace, shell out money, come out of your shell, go back into your shell, drop a bombshell, happy as a clam, clam up...which 'shell' phrase could most recently be applied to some event or circumstance in your life? Explain.

The phrase is "clam up" and it's very simple.  I really, really dislike someone, that person has become very annoying, but discretion being the better part of valor, I say nothing.

4. What summer activity do you dislike? Why?

I can't really think of anything at the moment.  

5. What's something you see as quickly becoming obsolete? Does that bother you?

Paper.  The printed word.  And no, I am not upset.  I'd rather live in a paperless environment, with documents existing as file folders on my computer.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

It's a beautiful summer day, so why am I spending it at my desk?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Deja vu

So last night we headed over to the ballpark to see our Ducks take on the Somerset Patriots.

We weren't sure there would be a game, the weather report called for thunderstorms.

 It was Northwell Health night at the ballpark, which meant the first 1500 fans to go through the turnstiles got a free t- shirt. Fans who visited Northwell's tables could also get a drawstring backpack, sunglasses, bandaids, and lots of literature on health-related topics.

We collected our swag, had dinner in the Duck Club, and settled into our seats to watch the game.

And then, during ...well, it must have been the top of the 4th, this happened:

Eventually the game was called.  They're playing a double header tonight.  And yes, we are going.

Monday, June 19, 2017


It took me an hour and twenty minutes to drive the 41 miles from my daughter's apartment to my house.  And that was the shorter trip.  Going from my house to her apartment took over two hours.

Becca lives on West 43rd and 10th, in the heart of Hell's Kitchen.    She was Home for Father's Day, and had far too much to carry back to the city for the LIRR to be a feasible option.  "Mom, can you drive me?"  It has a familiar ring to it ...

You don't want to drive from Long Island to Manhattan on a Sunday night in the summer if you can avoid it.  Trust me on that one.

It seems like half the population of NYC spends its summer weekends in the Hamptons or on Fire Island, and they all drive home on Sunday night.

Add to that the extra traffic from Father's Day, a couple of accidents on the road, and the major construction project that has one tube of the Midtown Tunnel closed, and you've got a recipe for a miserable ride.

So we took the 59th Street Bridge, and rode across town through a Central Park.  

Driving in Manhattan is not exactly my favorite thing ...pedestrians who cross against the light, taxis that cut you off ...that idiot who made the left turn from the far right lane...

Ah, the things we do for our children ...

Saturday, June 17, 2017

another this and that

Well, it's summertime, and that means fewer workouts at the gym and more long walks at the beach.   Nothing beats the smell of the sea on a hot summer afternoon, or seeing  the sun set over the ocean.

The community pool opens this weekend, and Drew got his pool pass the other day.  I've been making good use of the indoor pool at the Y, but I really prefer to swim outdoors.

Drew's annual 4th of July barbecue is in the planning stages.  It won't be on the 4th this year -- we have other plans.  Instead, we will party on the 2nd.

It seems a shame that Drew uses that beautiful grill only three or four times a summer, when he's hosting a party. I suggested that we stop eating out so often, and use the grill instead.  Burgers, steaks, chicken...yum...

And instead of going out for seafood...there's a local supermarket that sells "a clambake in a bucket"; it comes with a whole lobster, potatoes, corn and either clams, mussels, or a combination of the two.  If that doesn't spell "summer"...

I'm thinking I'd like to go back to the Bronx Zoo.  Drew has a membership with the New York Wildlife Conservation Society, and that includes access to the city's zoos (Bronx, Central Park, Flushing Meadow in Queens, Prospect Park in Brooklyn, and the Coney Island Aquarium).  The last time we went to the Bronx Zoo, it was a very soggy experience -- it rained on and off all day.

And Drew wants to head over to Coney Island for the aquarium.  I haven't been to an aquarium in awhile, should be fun.

I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and sky...

Friday, June 16, 2017

#skywatch Friday -- The Long Island Ducks Dine on Bluefish

Yes, that's how the evening ended.

We are baseball fans.  Drew and I have been rooting for the Mets since 1969.  We joke about how we tried to raise our children right, but they succumbed to peer pressure and became Yankees fans.  (Honestly, though, I don't hate the Yankees.  My mom grew up in the Bronx, in the shadow of Yankee Stadium.  My parents' first date, my dad took her to the stadium to see DiMaggio play.  If my Brooklyn-born, Ebbets-Field-is-holy-ground, Dodgers-loving father could go to Yankee Stadium, the Yanks can't be all bad...)

But the cost of a visit to holy, Citi Field...I don't feel like selling my first-born child to afford a ticket to a baseball game.

Enter the Long Island Ducks.

The Ducks play in the Atlantic League.  It's an independent professional league, made up of 8 teams in two divisions.  Bud Harrelson, who played shortstop for the '69 Mets, is a part owner of the Ducks.

For roughly the cost of a movie, you can get some fresh air and see a baseball game.  We usually see at least 7 games, we like to see the Ducks play each of the other teams in the league at least once.  We try to choose games with a giveaway, like a t-shirt or a backpack, or we'll pick a night where there's a fireworks display after the game.

We like to sit in the upper deck, behind home plate, because it gives us access to the Duck Club, a restaurant with table service, a decent menu and a full bar.

Our first game of the season was June 10, when the Ducks hosted the Bridgeport Bluefish.

The Port Jefferson Ferry advertises at all the Ducks games.  The ferry travels between Port Jefferson, Long Island and Bridgeport, Connecticut.  So I guess you could say we saw part of the "ferry series".

Here's the view from our seats:

Yeah, that's a lot of children on the field.  You put kids on the field to perform the national anthem, their parents have to buy tickets to the game...

The park has about a 6,000 seat capacity.  You can see just how small the ballpark is:

The Bluefish:

Our Ducks take the field:

Batter up:

Our mascot, Quackerjack:

Because it was fireworks night, we got a short burst of red fireworks during the singing of The Star Spangled Banner ("and the rockets' red glare..."), and each time a Ducks player hit a home run. (There were two that night.)

The Ducks won, of course.  And then it was time for the fireworks:


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