life in and around NYC is insane

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Pink carpet evening

So thanks to a friend who has an annual subscription, I am discovering a love for the ballet.

Last week we went to the gala, the opening of the season for the New York City Ballet.  It's a huge fundraiser for the company, the glitterati of NYC society pay upwards of $1,000 to attend a cocktail reception before the performance and a benefit dinner afterwards.  And those of us who sit in the theater's upper rings get to watch them party.

Welcome to Lincoln Center.  The Metropolitan Opera House dominates the scene.  When I see the opera house I think of that scene in Moonstruck.

The glitterati on the pink carpet enjoyed an outdoor cocktail reception.

Look who was hanging out on the theater balcony.

Apparently the New York Philharmonic has a program featuring the music from Star Wars.

The party continued in the upper lobby of the theater.  

You can't take pictures inside the theater during the performance.  It's better that way, you can focus on the dance. There were four pieces.  The first three were a bit edgy, incorporating elements of modern dance into the choreography.   The final piece was more traditional, with Stravinsky music, strictly ballet movement, and classic harlequin costumes.  I think it was my favorite performance of the evening.

Yes, NYC, where you can find art and culture.

Even in the subway.  Look at the murals on the subway walk.

We have tickets for another ballet in February.  I can hardly wait.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Rainbow 🌈 over the ballpark #skywatchfriday

Wednesday night in Bethpage Ballpark in Central Islip, NY.  The rainbow appeared for just a few minutes, just before the start of the game.

I hoped it would be a good omen for  the Ducks, but alas, they lost ...


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Game day

So guess where we were on Sunday?

Here's a hint:

Yes, yes, we were....

Yeah, that's Citi Field.  Ersatz Shea is finally starting to feel like home.

The weather sunday afternoon:

Can you believe that?  On September 24? 

So it was an afternoon over overpriced hot dogs, overpriced burgers and fries, giveaways, song singalongs...and a little baseball.
We always drive to Citi Field, and park in a lot across the street from the ballpark.  the police won't let you walk across Roosevelt Avenue, you have to go up to the el -- the elevated train -- to get across. 
Sunday was part of "fan appreciation weekend", so there was a lot going on outside the ballpark. McDonald's was giving away t-shirts, someoneelse was giving away Mets tote bags, children could make use of the bounce house, stuff like that.
The main entrance to the ball park:
(Yes, that's my  thumb in the picture...)
And the Home Run Apple from Shea:
The salute to Mets players, both current team members and past heroes:

Number 3, Bud Harrelson.
NYPD is using smart cars these days:
The swag:

We also got refrigerator magnets with next year's schedule, and a scratch-off card -- we each won a $2 gift card to Dunkin' Donuts.
Inside the rotunda, there's a salute to Jackie Robinson:
If you look at the map from my iPad, you'll see just how close Citi Field is to La Guardia.  Really, the flight path sometimes goes right over the ball park.  You haven't lived until you've looked up and seen the underbelly of a jet, close enough to read the word "Delta" as it flies overhead.
Here are some of the planes:

I even caught the shadow of a plane on the field:
The retired numbers.  42 for Jackie Robinson, 41 for Tom Seaver, 14 for Gil Hodges,  37 for Casey Stengel and 31 for Mike Piazza:
Shea, of course, for William Shea, who was so important to the franchise in the early 1960's.  and the microphone is for Mets broadcaster Ralph Kiner.
During the 7th inning stretch, you'll see our mascots leading the sing along:

 And later we enjoy singing our favorite Billy Joel song:

Think this guy's a fan?
Nimmo hit a home run!

 Hard to tell, but yes, that's DeGrom on the mound:

That pedestrian bridge under the scoreboard?  It's called the Shea Bridge, but New Yorkers know it looks just like the Kosciusko Bridge, the bridge that connects Brooklyn and Queens. 

It was a great game.  Ultimately the Mets lost to the Nationals, but they kept things interesting all the way to the bottom of the 9th.


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

This week's questions from Joyce.

1. What pets did you have while growing up? Tell us a little something about them.

We had a dog, a poodle named Pepi.  He was a miniature poodle, just a bit bigger than a toy.  whenever he visited the groomer for a haircut, he'd come back with ribbons in his hair and smelling of perfume, and he'd be so prissy, in a "look at me" kind of way.

 2. What is one thing you absolutely must accomplish today?

Want to see the list?  It's kind of long.

 3. Where were you ten years ago? What were you doing there?

September 27, 2007 was a Thursday.  I was working in an office in Jersey City, NJ back then.  If 9/27/07 was a typical day, I would have been at my desk most of the day, maybe a meeting with other members of my department, and if the weather was nice, probably ate my lunch outside, on the pier -- great view of lower Manhaatan from that location.

 4. September 26th is National Dumpling Day. Did you celebrate? Apple dumpling, xiao long bao (steamed Chinese dumpling), chicken and dumplings, pirogi, matzoh balls, or gnocchi...which dumpling on this list would be your dumpling of choice? Have you ever made homemade dumplings of any kind?

I grew up eating home made matzo balls and kreplach (sort of like a wonton or a pierogi, usually filled with beef, that is  served in chicken soup), recipes my grandmother learned growing up in what is now part of Poland.  I don't know how to make either of those.  My sister is the one who makes the matzo balls now.

 5. 'There are two kinds of adventurers: those who go truly hoping to find an adventure and those who go secretly hoping they don't.' William Trogdon

So which kind are you?
I'm looking for a little adventure.  Nothing too dramatic, but definitely something out of the ordinary.

 6. Insert your own random thought here.

If anyone wants to buy me a present, the fitbit Ionic seems about right ....

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

another this and that

Right now we are experiencing a heat wave more appropriate for the end of August than the end of September.  Much as I love summer, I'm not thrilled.  I am ready for fall. 

I kind of feel that I missed fall last year. Drew and I took a two week vacation in October; we went on a Caribbean  cruise (thank goodness it was last year and not this year) and then spent some time in Florida.  And two years ago ... well, my father died in early October, and the rest of the month was just a blur. 

Well, the forecast does say that we should start to cool off later this week...

Not happy with myself right now.  I have slacked off on diet and fitness, and I've gained a few pounds.  I used my injured knee as an excuse.  Can't do that.  I have to get back on track. 

Jen is loving her new job.  She's front desk at a busy doctor's office.  So she's learning all about insurance, co pays, referrals, preauthorizations...and she gets to wear scrubs to work.

Becca, I think, is looking for a change.  She's been at her current job -- she's a paralegal in a law firm -- for three years now.  I think she's planning to go back to school for a Master's in business. 

Grumble grumble ... the office building where I work is being renovated. Major inconveniences every day.  The biggest issue right now is the cafeteria. It closed a few months ago and will reopen next month udner new management.  I'm sure it will be great -- I love what they did to the gym -- but for now it's a royal pain....

As for the job itself...I'm swamped.  I'm so busy lately I can't seem to come up for air.  Consider that job security.

I've been doing a lot of volunteering lately.  Some of that will slow down after election Day.  but until then ...

Busy, busy busy...

Some days I just want to go home and collapse in front of the TV...

So the new TV season ...I am still liking The Orville.  It's quirky and subtle and amusing, and a real love  letter to Star Trek.  Better, in fact, than the newest incarnation of my favorite.  I'm still not sure how I feel about Star Trek: Discovery.  I'll have to watch a few more episodes before I make up my mind, I guess. Looking forward to another season of Designated Survivor, I'm enjoying the political intrigue.  And I'm excited about the new season of Survivor -- my guilty pleasure.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Grecian Grill

Grecian Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I love, love, love Greek food.  I'm always looking for a good place to satisfy my craving.  Grecian Grill got a good write up in the newspaper, so I figured we had to try it.

Located on Main Street in Farmingdale, the restaurant is small -- I counted 10 tables -- but does not feel crowded.  Service was friendly and efficient. 

We started with the saganaki appetizer, two large slabs of fried cheese served with pita bread.  You can't go wrong with fried cheese.

Next came Greek salad -- a large portion consisting of iceberg lettuce, sliced tomato, cucumber, red onion and feta, topped with  an olive and a pepper, served with viniagrette on the side and accompanied by warm pita. 

I had the mousaka -- layers of potatoes, eggplant, ground beef and bechamel sauce, topped with a bit of tomato sauce and served with a side of seasoned rice. 

He had the mixed grill -- lamb gyro, chicken souvlaki and pork souvlaki, grilled vegetables ( onions, mushrooms, red pepper and zucchini) over a bed or rice, served with tzatsiki, of course.

Food was fresh and tasty, portions were substantial.  The baklava was tempting, but we were too full.

They serve beer and wine, including Greek wines.

A nice meal for a good price. 

Saturday, September 23, 2017


So the other day I took my mother for a drive, just to get her out of the house and give her a change of scenery.

I drove down to the beach, to Robert Moses State Park.    I chose Robert Moses because it's a pretty ride.  There's a huge bridge that takes you across the Great South Bay from Bay Shore to Captree Island, a drawbridge that connects Captree Island to Jones Island,  and a third bridge that connects Jones Island to Fire Island.  When you're crossing the bridges you get excellent views of the water and the barrier islands.

When you get to Robert Moses, there's a lovely water tower.  It's not as nice as the water towe at Jones Beach, but it's interesting nevertheless.    You can see the Coast Guard Station and the Fire Island Lighthouse -- it was overcast that day, and we could see the light flashing against the gray clouds above us.  While the dunes separate the parking lots from the beach, there are gaps where you can see the water.  We saw people on the beach, we saw seagulls in the parking lot, we saw geese on the side of the road.

And my mother said to me:  "I've never been here before, I'm glad we came."

Sigh.  Long ago, when I was in college, I had a summer job at Robert Moses, and she used to drive me to work.

My sister took her for a ride to Robert Moses several times during the summer.  She doesn't remember.

The other day she asked Jen, "What grade are you in now?"  Jen is 26, a college graduate with a full time job.

And the conversation a few nights ago:  "No, Mom, we don't have to go home.  We are home.  This is your house.  You've lived here for 50 years.  No, you don't live there anymore, you sold that house fifty years ago.  I'm your daughter.  H is my sister and your daughter.  F and A are my sisters and your daughters.   No, Jen is my daughter and your granddaughter, and she's upstairs sleeping.  Becca is my daughter and your granddaughter, and she's in her apartment in the city.  No, Daddy died two years ago.  No, your mother isn't here, she died 20 years ago..."

And five minutes later, the same conversation.  And five minutes later, a third go-round.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

Many dementia patients get frustrated, angry and upset when they have trouble thinking, understanding and remembering.  That was my father.  He had days when he was furious at the world as he felt his mind slip away from him.

 But my mother seems content, even happy, most of the time.

For some reason I was thinking about Rosh HaShanah 2015.  My father was in the hospital, in the final stages of his illness.  He would die just a few weeks later.  We didn't have a holiday celebration that year, but the young Rabbi from the Chabad came by, gave us apples and honey, offered to blow the shofar (we said no, the noise would disturb my father), and promised to say a mishaberech, a prayer of healing, for my father.

My mother was starting to exhibit the signs of dementia, but she was still the person she'd always been.

Two years later, she is so frail, so fragile, so lost.

There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that prepares you to deal with this kind of change in your parents.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Up close and personal. -- #skywatchfriday

An American Airlines jet about to land at JFK.

Yes, I got bored on the Belt again.


Thursday, September 21, 2017

And finally, the museum

As I said, it's small.  The buildings were all trucked in from other sites around the island.

We saw a blacksmith, a hat maker and a couple of stores, a church, even a farm.

The buildings are all furnished with period pieces.

This building was originally located just a few blocks from the first house I lived in.  There's a park and public pool on the original site now:

Drew was able to get some authentic birch beer there.  Another shop sold old fashioned candy sticks, I got a cherry and a butterscotch.

You could see a touch of autumn color:

The gazebo in center of town, we saw a band playing music:

A real working farm, complete with animals:

The geese had attitude.

There was also a "Rough Riders" encampment.  Remember that Long Island was Teddy Roosevelt's home.

This horse reminded me of a horse I rode when I was a kid:

There was a church, of course, and even a cemetery:

Talk about anachronisms.  There's an armory museum on site.  They brought some of their vehicles onto the Village potion of the property.

Yes, it was a very full day.

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