Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Jolly Roger

Reliable sources at sea report that Captain Jack Rackham, also known as Calico Jack, has just commandeered a powerful new vessel. Bright red and dangerous, the impressive pirate-ship is named The Jolly Roger.

Little is known of Calico Jack's early life. He began sailing the Caribbean seas on two-wheeled ships when life got boring in his thirties. Always in search of adventure, Calico Jack sets out into uncharted waters with nary a care in the world. That courageous spirit fuels Jack's new ship which can out-run and out-handle any other vessel on the water.

Some question Calico Jack's motive for speed and plunder. Jack explains that life is short so we should stuff as much treasure (of experience) into our chests. Rules of decorum are for the timid, he says, not roving pirates armed with potent weapons. And The Jolly Roger is certainly one of the most powerful ships on the Seven Seas.

Safe sailing, matey!


Friday, May 20, 2016

The Rockettes

If you're a girl who likes dance, chances are you love The Rockettes. I do. I just bought tickets to see their new show, "New York Spectacular" which opens next month.

The Rockettes are a world-famous troupe of dancers who perform at Radio City Music Hall. They've been doing it for 85 years. The Rockettes are best-known for their perfectly-synched choreography and high-kicks. 36 of them perform in each show.

I love their athletic skill -- these are real dancers, not pretty showgirls. Their costumes are always amazing. And the vibe at their shows is one of pure girly delight.

At the time Radio City was built, it was the largest theater in the world. You can't believe how impressive the place is -- the stage is actually several stages that can move independently by hydraulic pumps. For big shows, they move things around and knock your socks off.

I'll report on the show next month. Have you ever seen The Rockettes?

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Russ & Daughters

There's a cool place in Manhattan that's been in business over 100 years. It has an interesting story behind it and I went there last week.

Do you know how many companies are named "[Founder] & Sons"? Well, this store is called "Russ & Daughters." A century ago, Joel Russ traded in his pushcart and opened a food store. He had children -- but no sons. So he named his company after himself and his three daughters, Hattie, Anne and Ida. After Joel retired, his daughters took over and kept the store going. Today, the fourth generation of the family runs the place -- including one of Joel's great-granddaughters, Niki.

The store is on the Lower East Side where a large number of Jewish immigrants lived during the last century. Two years ago, the owners a cafe around the corner serving the same items for in-store dining. What do they sell? That's another story. It's an "appetizing store." What's that, you ask? Well, under Jewish law, a store that sells certain kinds of food (e.g., meat) cannot sell other kinds of food (e.g., dairy products and fish). So alongside ubiquitous New York delis were appetizing stores where you'd buy toppings to put on bagels, like cream cheese and smoked fish. Most of those stores are gone now and even once-famous delis are disappearing. 

Last Thursday I ate dinner at the Russ & Daughters cafĂ© with my friend Emily. In addition to charming conversation, we enjoyed a bissel of caviar, a trio of pickled herring canapes, and a Shtetl (smoked sable, goat cream cheese, tomato, onion and capers on pumpernickel bread). The fruit blintzes we had for dessert were light, sweet and delicious.

Visiting Russ & Daughters is not only a trip back in history, it's also support of female ownership and a chance to eat some delicious food. If you come to NYC, make sure to include it on your list. 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

My New Pirate Ship

I bought a new motorcycle! A 2016 BMW S1000R. In red, which is the fastest color.

The S1000R is a high-performance sportbike with immense power and superb handling. It generates the kind of thrills and chills that only a top-notch racing machine can provide.

"Hey, didn't you just buy a motorcycle?" Well... before you accuse me of being over-indulgent, let me explain. A decade ago I learned that a rider like me needs two motorcycles to be happy: (1) a comfortable touring bike for long-distance rides, and (2) a small, fast machine for wild bouts of hooliganism. The touring bike I got last December is perfect for carrying me to distant locations with ease. The S1000R is a different beast -- it's pure, uncompromising race-bike. Less comfortable and much faster. The S1000R is light, nimble and extremely potent. Reviewers describe it as "aggressive" and even "criminally insane." On days when I want to taste the intrinsic pleasures of motorcycle-riding, the S1000R will be my weapon.

From an aesthetic point of view, the S1000R has an odd beauty. It is deliberately asymmetrical. Not only are the bodywork-panels different on each side but the headlights are different too. To me, one headlight looks like an eye and the other like an eye-patch, which I guess makes it a pirate.

Special thanks to my friend Chris whose shop (BMW of Manhattan) is the best place in the world to buy a motorcycle. I really appreciate Chris's friendship and generosity.

Now I just need to come up with a name for my new pirate ship. Any suggestions?

Dumb Guys

Reading the news this week has me worried about humanity's future. We may be too dumb to survive.
A "man" was flying on Alaska Airlines when he was told that he couldn't have a beer. So, despite his nominal age (32-years old), he threw a tempter-tantrum. He started screaming and yelling, demanding beer. He then locked himself in the bathroom and pounded on its door. He said he might get violent if the flight-attendant didn't get him a beer. Finally the crew calmed him down ...and, like a child, he asked for hugs from the attendants. His behavior alarmed the pilot who diverted the flight and landed at an unplanned destination. The man is now facing charges.
Another man broke out of a Georgia prison in 1968 -- 48 years ago. At the time, he was serving a 17-year sentence for robbery. Since 1968, he's been living comfortably on the lam in Connecticut. This week, he was captured and returned to prison in Georgia. How'd they find him? He applied for Social Security.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Tea With A Twist

I love hot tea. I drink multiple cups a day. To add variety, I explore ways to enhance my tea and prefer doing that with natural ingredients. Like cinnamon sticks, honey, dark muscovado sugar, etc.

I just found a new ingredient and it's very nice. It is called Star Anise and I found it in Penzeys, my favorite spice-store. Anise is what gives licorice its distinctive flavor. Dropping one of these bad-boys into a cup of tea instantly transforms boring tea into a magical potion packed with flavor.

Star anise is also visually interesting as a form of nature. Some people use them in crafts. I use 'em in tea.

Try it!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


Friends are my bliss. The fact that people know me, understand me and like me is Nirvana.

Hearing from them is always fun. Getting handmade cards and gifts is even better.

My friend Kezzie (who won last year's Blog of the Year Award) just sent me a card she made herself. How cool is that?! And it's beautiful. See for yourself.

This girl sure knows who I am. I'd wear that outfit in a New York minute.

Accompanying the card came a keychain whose significance is obvious to anyone who reads my blog regularly.

Thanks, Kezzie!

Do you send mail to your friends?