Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Watkins Glen

Visiting Watkins Glen last year, I was gobsmacked by its natural beauty. I took Robin there this weekend to show her how wonderful the place is. We camped in the State Park which was Robin's first time sleeping in a tent since her teenage years in the 1800's.

We also visited a nearby town (Corning) which is full of glass art stores and a famous glass art museum. They had a holiday street fair going on with lots of nice offerings, some of which came home with us.

What did you do this long holiday weekend?

Monday, May 27, 2019


When I started blogging a decade ago I met other bloggers, several of whom became friends. A few became GREAT friends. Geographical distance meant nothing as we followed and supported each others' blogs.

Emma is one such friend. Amusing, smart, fashionable and physically active, Emma is the whole package. She's been a wonderful friend to me and it's fulfilling to watch her grow up.

I rode my motorcycle out to Columbus, Ohio twice to visit Emma and her husband Matt. Emma also stayed at my house for a few days during her last visit to NYC (and saw "Hamilton"!).

Other than fondness, why am I telling you about her? Well, Emma just had an article published in a major magazine about her journey into deep backwoods, armed with nothing but a tent and courage. Conquering her fears of feral swine and falling trees, Emma hiked and camped alone. It's an inspiring tale of a young woman facing challenges. The article is here.

For additional amusement, here are some funny photos of Emma over the years...

That's my bike Emma is posing on!

Emma with her hubby, Matt

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Ally Style

I spotted a cute dress that's exactly my style. In my colors. I grabbed it.

Surprisingly the dress was in Macy's, a place I never shop. I was passing through and took a chance looking at the super-sale rack. The dress was only $9.

I added a petticoat beneath it to create some volume which helps add curves to my shape. Turning a cylinder into an hourglass takes creativity.

What's your favorite style of dress?

Friday, May 17, 2019

Only In New York

Walking the streets of New York, you never know who you're gonna see. I ran into these two fellas yesterday.

Oh, and I found the coolest t-shirt! I was halted in my tracks when I saw a "gender non-conforming clothing store" downtown on Broadway. Called "The Phluid Project," it carries clothes for everyone without gender-segregation. What a radical concept.

Thursday, May 16, 2019


At the cool kids meeting last night we came up with a new word. We needed to replace "hygge" which is so 2018. (Hygge means "comfort at home.")

The new word is "niksen." A Dutch concept, it lauds the pleasure and rewards of doing nothing. Absolutely nothing. When we're idle, our bodies restore themselves and our brains find peace.

Now you know what us hipsters will be touting this year.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Outside Magazine

Holy shit! I was just notified by my favorite magazine (Outside) that they will publish a letter I wrote them in the next issue.

In it I praise a recent article they published about transgender rock-climber Nikki Smith. The article is here.


I heard a story about comedian Rodney Dangerfield's tombstone but I suspected it was a joke so I did some research. Turns out the story is true.

Here's an authentic picture of what Rodney has written on his stone...

Ever thought what you want yours to say? Mine will read, "I told you I was sick!"

Sunday, May 12, 2019

The Power of Names

Blues musicians have the best names in show-biz. True fans know their real names, many of which are as amusing as their stage-names.

Do you know the real names of these greats? (Answers are below)

1.  Muddy Waters
2.  Howlin Wolf
3.  Big Mama Thornton
4.  B.B. King
5.  Hound Dog Taylor
6.  Lead Belly
7.  Memphis Minnie
8.  Guitar Slim
9.  Peetie Wheatstraw
10. Little Walter

1.  McKinley Morganfield
2.  Chester Arthur Burnett
3.  Willie Mae Thornton
4.  Riley King
5.  Theodore Roosevelt Taylor
6.  Huddie William Ledbetter
7.  Lizzie Douglas
8.  Eddie Jones
9.  William Bunch
10. Marion Jacobs

What would you call yourself? I wanna be Blind Lemon Johnson.  :-)

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Turtle Blues

Well I'm a mean, mean woman
I don't need no one man for no good
Said I'm a mean, mean woman
I don't need no one man, for no good
I just treats 'em like I wants to
I never treats 'em honey like I should

Well I once had a daddy
Said he'd give me everything in sight
Once had a daddy, said he'd give me everything in sight... yes he did
So I said, honey I want the sunshine
And take the stars out of the night

I'm not the kind of woman
To make your life the bed of ease
Not the kind of woman
To make your life the bed of ease
But if you, if you just wanna go out drinkin' honey
Won't you invite me along please

I guess I'm just like a turtle
Hidin' underneath its hardened shell... whoa... yeah
Just like a turtle, hidin' underneath its hardened shell
But you know I'm very well protected
I know this goddamn life too well

Don't call me mean, you can call me evil... yeah yeah yeah
I've been called much worser things that, oh Lord don't you know I have...
Call me mean or call me evil
I've been called much worser things, oh thing's around
Yeah but, Im gonna take good care of Janis, yeah!
Honey ain't no one gonna dog me down... yeaaah yeaahhh

(Janis Joplin, 1968)

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Active Ally

You guys were right -- thrift-stores have a lot of active-wear. I didn't know that 'cause I never looked in those sections.

I picked up these pieces whose colors appeal to me. They make me wanna move!

Do you have active-wear?

Sunday, May 5, 2019

New Pics

Governors Island has gotten better!

They added dozens of comfy hammocks. It's been a half-century since I relaxed in one of these. And new activities are now offered like miniature golf and "glamping" (sleeping in a permanent tent). More and more art exhibits and community events keep happening. Even the food's improved: I had a bratwurst at Little Eva's that exploded with flavor and freshness.

Best of all, the Island remains uncrowded. So few people are aware of its delights that you feel like a Golden Age millionaire wandering around your palatial estate. It's a wonderful place to spend a nice Spring day.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Governors Island

The best place in New York City is still relatively unknown -- Governors Island.

After decades of being off-limits (for use by the Coast Guard), Governors Island is now a big public park with beautiful scenery, historic buildings, amazing views and areas for art exhibitions. Word hasn't spread yet so the Island is vastly under-utilized. You get there by a short ferry ride from southern Manhattan or Brooklyn.

The Island closes during the Winter. This week it's opening for Summer with a whole bunch of art exhibits and performances. I'm heading there today. Ferry rides are free this week!

Here are some pics from my last visit.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Louie Armstrong

Louie Armstrong is someone you should know. Not only did he revolutionize jazz, he invented improvisation and scat singing. He became the music industry’s first international pop star -- and for good reason. His music makes us happy! You can't listen to it without smiling.

I'm serious. No matter how blue you are, put on the record shown below and you'll start dancing around the house in your underwear. The joy is infectious.