Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Blogger Meetup (Patti)

New York City is a powerful magnet that draws people from far away. Which is great for me 'cause I live near the city and can pop in when friends visit. Tonight I went in to see Patti who blogs at Not Dead Yet Style. I've met Patti in person before and consider her a good friend. She lives in Florida and comes to New York often.

We dined at my favorite spot (Russ & Daughters) where we ate delicacies like pastrami-cured salmon, caviar, deviled eggs, matzo ball soup and babka french toast.

We talked about our lives, politics and culture. Of course we also gossiped about our blogger-friends like Suzanne, Sheila, Lynne, Megan Mae and Tiina. I told Patti about my girlfriends Aimee and Jen. We had a lovely conversation.

I can't walk around New York without taking pictures, so a few are below. Have you ever visited New York?

Friday, May 27, 2016

Holiday Weekend

Here in America, this weekend is not only a holiday, it's the start of Summer festivities. Millions of people will hit the road to visit places and have outdoor fun.

I'm riding my motorcycle to Rhode Island which is a half-day away. My niece graduated and is having a party. Her two older siblings had similar parties the past few years so I know what to expect. It's a nice occasion for me to catch up with my (late) brother's wife's family who live in RI.

What are you doing?

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?

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Scranton, PA

I finished a big trial on Thursday and, as soon as I was freed from that, I started to plan my next motorcycle trip. Exploring new places is good for my soul.

With only a day to put one together, I looked for a destination that (i) was unknown to me; and (ii) was a half-day ride away. That amount of distance gets me into a travel-mood but allows enough time for me to play off the bike.

I stared at maps and consulted the interwebs. I selected Scranton, Pennsylvania mostly because it gets rave reviews for a park on the edge of the city. I journeyed off yesterday morning, arrived early afternoon, and spent the day in pursuit of enlightenment. Here is my report...

Scranton! Wow! A city with its own waterfall. And tree-house. The Nay Aug Park on the edge of town is amazing. These pictures demonstrate that if my word is insufficient.

Sadly, my exhilaration at the park's beauty disappeared when I entered town. The city itself is dead. Which is ironic because Scranton's nickname was the "Electric City," a title it got from being one of the first places in America to install electric lights in 1880.

A century ago, coal and steam powered industry here but now that's as obsolete as vaudeville. Beautiful buildings were erected which are dormant. Over half of retail space is empty and, on a Saturday night, the town snoozed. The streets are deserted and feel eery.

Due to an overwhelming paucity of excitement, I abandoned Scranton at dinnertime and sought nightlife in nearby Wilkes-Barre. Fortunately there is more energy there. Good restaurants and a more vibrant vibe. I had a fabulous meal of Indian food, wandered around Wilkes University and explored the downtown area.

I'm glad I visited Scranton. As Pee-Wee says, there are some things they don't teach you in school.







Friday, May 6, 2016

Crazy In Pink

Two weeks ago, I spied a pink tulle skirt that I couldn't resist. I wasn't sure how to wear it but I added it to the arsenal nonetheless. Today, I ran across a cute faux moto-jacket top in a new retro-style store in my town. The pieces were destined for each other.

What do you think?




Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Cheddar Cheese

In my life, I've had a dozen jobs -- but without doubt my favorite was a part-time gig I did selling cheese. On evenings during law school, I went into a cheese shop and spent several hours selling and tasting 356 varieties of cheese. The owner encouraged us to sample the cheeses so we could recommend them to customers. I arrived hungry and ate ridiculous pounds of cheese instead of dinner.

Cheddar cheese is probably the most common, beloved fromage in the world. (Cue Monty Python skit!) Normally, I buy Cabot brand cheddar which is made by a cooperative of dairy farmers in upstate New York. It's exceptionally-tasty and reasonably-priced. But, this week, something new caught my eye.

Reading a flyer for Trader Joe's , I noticed a description of their "Unexpected Cheddar Cheese" and was intrigued. They say the cheddar has not only the familiar flavor we love but the crumbly texture of hard cheese like Parmesan. Curious, I made my way to the store and picked up two chunks.

It's true -- their Unexpected Cheddar Cheese is both tasty and unusual in its texture. I enjoy it a lot and am sure you will too. The cheese won a recent competition against seven other popular brands.

Best of all, the cheese is inexpensive -- only $3.99 for a 7 oz bar.

Do you like cheddar cheese? What's your favorite?

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Time To Dance

I have a confession -- I love dancewear. It's so pretty. Femininity taken to the edge. I subscribe to dancewear catalogs and e-mail lists just to admire the costumes.

I saw this slinky jumpsuit and couldn't resist. It's so stylish. I love how it creates a striking silhouette. To focus attention on its outline, I photographed it in black-and-white.

What do you think?





North Fork

I had a glorious time yesterday riding out east. I cruised to Greenport on the North Fork of Long Island.

Here are a few photos I took. Do you like any?