Sunday, September 24, 2017

Super Scenic Filler Post - Colorado May 27th, Breckenridge to Buena Vista

September rattles on into the final week, with the usual work craziness threatening to slop over into October, so here's some more pictures from Colorado! The drive from Breckenridge to Buena Vista was through more drop-dead gorgeous mountain scenery, and we went through some pretty cool weather too - I suspect Colorado is one of those places where they say "If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes".

Colorado must also be a great place to be a biker of either ilk - human powered or motor-driven.

We got to Buena Vista in the early afternoon, as planned. It actually took us a little while to find the festival we were there for, as our first inquiries at the town information center got us directions to McPhelemy Park in the middle of town; there was a pond there where there were vendors set up offering kayak and paddleboard tryouts, promising but not quite what we were after. There was a food truck there selling sandwiches and wraps, and we were ready for lunch at this point, so we took advantage of that, then one of the folks at the park told us where the competitions we were hoping to catch were being held and we set off again.

Somehow it wasn't hard to tell when we'd gotten to the right place!

More pictures, not a whole lot, click on the first one for a slide show view.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Feast of San Gennaro 2017 - 91st annual!

The September rush at work carries on as it always does, with so much work piling up I don't know how I'm going to get through it, except that it always does and I always do, but last night I did manage to leave at a slightly less than heinous hour and decided to treat myself to some Italian street festival goodies at the 91st Annual Feast of San Gennaro. The stands for the festival run down several blocks of Mulberry Street starting right up near where I work, so it's really easy to just walk through a few blocks on my way to the Grand Street subway stations. I usually don't like big crowds but it's generally not too bad on one of the midweek evenings.

I got myself a braciole and a couple of zeppole (so happy to find a booth where they sell 'em individually for a dollar each, mostly they're sold in bags of 6 which is about 4 more than I need!), and stopped to listen to the live music that's always part of this event. Last night's group was The Devotions, good ol' doo-wop, people up swing dancing, seating area full of people bouncing to the beat, I could just feel the day's stress sloughing away in the fun atmosphere. Great stuff.

I listened for a couple of songs and then started off for the subway station, thinking "Well, that was fun, too bad I don't have my camera", when I suddenly realized that I did! TQ and I had met some old friends of my family at the Tenement Museum on Monday, and of course I'd brought my camera for that, but then it turned out that they didn't allow photography inside. I'd taken a few outside but hadn't rushed to get them onto my home computer the way I usually do, so the camera was still in the bag and charged. So, about face, and once more into the breach dear friends once more! This time I was mostly about getting some good photos without being all night about it (Tuesday night was a very late one at work and I was tired), but of course one of the lovely ladies at the Ferrara's booth was so nice about my picture taking I ended up getting a cannoli too. Delicious!

Funny thing too about having just been to the Tenement Museum -- I always enjoy the Feast, but I actually think that I enjoyed it more than usual this year with all of the immigrant stories from the museum in mind. According to the history page on, the festival celebrates the patron saint of the city of Naples , and was begun by immigrants newly arrived from that city in 1926 who wanted to continue the tradition they'd always followed in Italy. Amazing the way the tradition took root here and grew -- I bet those original immigrants would've been proud.

 And here are the photos I went back for. Enjoy! Click for a slideshow view. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Breckenridge, Colorado, May 26, 2017

One more look at Clear Creek in Georgetown, Colorado

Having reminded myself in my last post that I had some catching up to do on our last few days in Colorado (which were quite glorious), here's the first catch-up post. In my last Colorado post, we'd begun our drive from Lafayette to Buena Vista, and I'd gleefully dragged TQ off on a scenic train ride, which was not part of our original plans but I kinda love old steam trains, and I'd been looking at this one with a lot of interest as a possible day trip from Lafayette but written it off as a little too far, so when I realized we were driving right past it (and I was driving) I just couldn't resist. 

After that we headed on for the day's final destination of Breckenridge, which had looked to me like the perfect place to spend the night on the way to the CKS Paddlefest - and indeed it was. Click here for a Flickr album from Breckenridge - such a pretty town deserves full-sized photos! 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Pie Night at Dominique Ansel Kitchen

Jeeze, I have been doing so many fun things lately - kind of making up for the less-great-than-hoped-for summer, but unfortunately I'm in the usual September stress-out time at work, and with a couple of additional projects going on, so I haven't been keeping up with the blogging. Boo!

So there will be some catching up to, even more catching up to do, I haven't even finished Colorado, and then there was Indiana, and now there's more...well, better to be doing too much fun stuff to keep up with than not, right?

Tonight, I wanted to just toss up a quick post about a spectacular food thing that my spectacular-food-loving friend M. finally got me to go to - Pie Night at the Dominique Ansel Kitchen!

I think she's been trying to get me to do this for a couple of years. The first year, they only did one night and it was like winning Lotto to get a ticket. The second year, the menu didn't quite speak to me - I love pie, but the idea of Pie Night is that you get an hour to eat all the pie you want, and M. thinks that the menu was heavily slanted towards the dessert pies with only one or two savory pies, and I do remember thinking that might be more dessert than I could handle (I have quite a sweet tooth but there are limits).

This year, it was four savory pies (oxtail, Old Bay crab pot pie, ham and fontina, and a mushroom cottage pie) and five dessert pies (classic apple, chocolate horchata, plum blackberry almond, peanut butter, and a honey clementine orange blossom cream pie). That was perfect! Mandy was able to nab us a pair of tickets, and oh my, it was WONDERFUL. The only pie I wasn't absolutely crazy about was the mushroom cottage pie, which I should have stayed away from because I'm generally not crazy about mushrooms, and with so many other varieties I should've skipped that one to save room for more of something else.

The pies were great, the mulled wine was delicious and free-flowing, and the service was just fantastic. M. has been having some mobility issues recently (hopefully temporary); the staff couldn't have been more accommodating, first making sure that we got a table right by the door, then bringing her plates of pie so she didn't have to wait in line. And they were so pleasant all the way through -- we were the second seating on Wednesday night, and it's a very popular event, so it's a fast-paced and probably stressful evening for the staff, but they were cheerful and friendly to everyone all the way through.

And did I mention that the pies were great? YUM.

Here are some photos - I forgot my camera but M. let me use her iphone.

Hope this becomes one of our annual things!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Dust to Deliverance Book Launch/Reading Suggestion (Jessica DuLong on the 9/11 Boatlift)

For anyone who's read my 9/11 story, you know that after I fled the WTC by subway, I spent the rest of the day at Pier 63 Maritime, where owner John Krevey (now sorely missed after a heart attack some years later took him from us far too young) was able to call in some of the charter boats that would use the barge as a boarding spot to come evacuate people from Manhattan. That effort was part of a much larger one that happened all over the Manhattan waterfront, especially downtown - the maritime community was in a unique position to help those who were trapped in Manhattan when transportation shut down after the attack, and so many did. I will always be grateful that I was able to spend the day helping that way, it was the best thing I could have done after the morning was shattered.

 Jessica DuLong, who I met during my Pier 63 days, is part of the team on the Fireboat John J. Harvey, who went to help with quenching the fires in the ruins beginning that day and staying for many more. In addition to being an engineer on the fireboat, she's a very good author. 
 I loved her first book, My River Chronicles: Rediscovering America On The Hudson, in which she tells the story of how she went from working for a dot com company to being an engineer on an antique fireboat and shares reflections on the Hudson River, industrial history, and the changing role of physical labor in America.

Her next project
 has been a book about the boatlift of 9/11. It should be fascinating. It's been a long and sometimes grueling process for her, interviewing so many people who were involved and sorting through memories that are still very raw for people who were there that day, but she stuck with it and tonight I'm looking forward to attending the book launch for Dust to Deliverance: Untold Stories from the Maritime Evacuation on September 11th.

Sorry about the late notice but on the infinitesimal chance that you are a NYC-area person looking for something very interesting to do tonight, click here for details on the fireboat's website. 7:30 pm. And even if you can't, well, I ordinarily wouldn't recommend a book I haven't read yet, but I know this one will be good.

And while I'm on the topic of the boatlift - here is a video that's always worth sharing again.

Monday, September 11, 2017

9/11 post - views from four boats

With 9/11 falling after this wonderful Triple Cup Weekend, racing and celebrating the water with friends from Sebago, Yonkers, Inwood, and the North Brooklyn Boat Club, my mind is reeling a little bit thinking about how if that day had gone differently, I never would have had the chance to meet so many people who are so important to me today.

 I'm so glad I did.

Love you NY and the local boating community. WTC and Tribute in Light seen from four different boats.

My own 9/11 story.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Sunset Sail on the Schooner America 2.0

Boy, I go from thinking maybe I should let the blog have a summer hiatus because I'm not doing anything fun, to having so many things I want to share that I hardly know where to start. So many pictures, in particular -- there was the trip to the midwest, last weekend was the tugboat race, and then this weekend is the weekend of three cups - the Yonkers Paddling and Rowing Club Mayor's Cup, the final races of the Joe Glickman Cup, and then tomorrow it's the annual Sebago Cup cruising race, which I'm in but doing something a little different from my usual Sunfish this year. Should be fun!

Tons of pix to share, if I ever finish sorting them, but I'm going to start with a Flickr album of pix from a sail I took last week after the 25th annual Great North River Tugboat Race and Skills Contest (which tons of fun, as always, and my first time volunteering, so extra neat). After enjoying a post-race drink with some of the other volunteers, I decided to run down to Classic Harbor Lines at Chelsea Piers and see if I could get on the 4:00 sail. I would've if they'd still had a sail at 4:00. but they've scooted their trip times forward a little bit as the sunset is creeping up to an earlier and earlier time.

I ended up with a choice - 4:00 architecture tour on the M.V. Manhattan, 6:00 sail on the Adirondack (the schooner I used to work on back when I was part-time crew for them), or a 6:30 sail on the America 2.0, with my old friend Capt. Kat, who was one of my skippers back then. That was a bit of a wait, but I had a book, some errands, and a bit of a yearning for a nap, so that wasn't a problem. I was glad I did, it's always wonderful to sail with Kat, I actually hadn't been on the America 2.0 before so it was about time, and then the sunset was just heavenly. A sample phot above, and here's a Flickr album - it was too beautiful a night (and too many pictures) to just do blogger uploads! Enjoy!