Friday, December 31, 2010

Froggy New Year!


Hau'oli Makahiki Hou!

Soggy, Froggy Best Wishes to all for a peaceful, happy, healthy, paddley, saily, rowy, swimmy, doodly, painty, bloggy, photog-y New Year! Any or all, whichever you like best! 2011, here we come!

Love, Bonnie

image found at http://www.frogstore.com/ - for all your froggy needs! Ribbit!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The End of the Story (honest!) plus a good laugh from a friend

One last blizzard post - things are finally getting cleared now.
Well, it's still not perfect,



but it's getting better now!



Made my last hike (at least this time, and knocking wood & crossing fingers as I type -- do you know how hard it is to type with your fingers crossed?) to the relatively distant Flatbush stop to catch the subway this morning.



Fortunately it was another pleasant day, and it's really not a bad walk at all for a halfway fit person (I've been exaggerating when I said it was a mile, it's more like 4/5ths of a mile) but I was still very glad to find out that "my" train, the Q, was back in service today!

It was being reported as up and down throughout the day. I think that if it had been running at the time I left for work, I probably would've gone to Flatbush anyways, just because when they're restarting a line after several days off it seems likely that there would be glitches. And there were - at the time I was heading for home, the Manhattan-bound trains were running on the D line due to some electrical issues (ok, there could be one last walk tomorrow, but as I mentioned my fingers are crossed), but the downtown was reported as running slowly, but still, running! running is good! So off I went to Canal Street. I was singing to myself as I left the building,

"And he never returned,
no he never returned,
and his fate is still unlearned..."

but really, things sounded good - and they were. Things were a bit slow, there were a lot of people on the platform & the first train was a bit crowded...


and the next one didn't get there for a while -

but look - it got me home! YAY!


And I'm seriously hoping that that's the end of the oddness! It all threw a few monkey wrenches into a few plans, but nothing that couldn't be rescheduled & in the final analysis, I was pretty lucky - a lot of people had a very bad time, but I can't rate my personal experience anything higher than "mildly inconvenienced".

And with that, I'm now bored with snowblogging & it's time to change the subject. Check out this video!

As a non-hip, non-young, non-wearer-of-ironic-glass-frames who nevertheless resides in Brooklyn & enjoys the ready access to artisanal street cheese one automatically obtains by doing so, the loony stream-of-Brooklyn-conciousness ramble totally cracked me up.

Thanks David!

Monday, December 27, 2010

An Eventful Holiday Weekend.

Quite an eventful holiday weekend, all in all! TQ moved to Brooklyn on Thursday the 23rd. I had him over for dinner afterwards & then on Christmas Eve Day we went to his new place & unpacked. Christmas Eve, we had the most amazing dinner at Purple Yam. It was something like an eight-course meal, with the main event being the most scrumptious spit-roasted pig, which they made in the restaurant's garden -


They had very nice live music (including a few selections from A Charlie Brown Christmas - still a little incredible to think that CBS wasn't really sold on the Vince Guaraldi Trio, can you imagine any other music working as well?) -


and this is the final course, a lighter-than-light lemon souffle - we actually tried to leave after the ice cream, because we were too stuffed to eat another bite, but TQ went to thank Amy (one of the owners) for a wonderful dinner & she wouldn't let us leave without trying it! I'm glad, too, we certainly didn't need it, and we couldn't finish it, but oh, how delicious.

Christmas Day we slept in a bit & then (as I'd mentioned) headed out to the club for an afternoon paddle.


It was a wintery day, although beautifully quiet. We ended up doing around 9 or 10 miles at a nice steady clip, going around the smaller islands of Jamaica Bay with a lunch stop at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge (I wanted to scout the take-out prior to taking a special guest, a gentleman who's writing a guidebook for Long Island Paddling, on a paddle next week - it's an easy one but I do like to double-check).

Probably not enough to work off the excesses of the night before but it still felt good - and it's always incredible to have the bay entirely to yourself.
We only saw one other boat out from 2:00 launch to twilight landing

And it was Marcus Demuth on his Epic V10 surfski -



And we didn't see him for very long!


Seriously, we were laughing because we didn't launch a terribly long time after he paddled off, and we are not exactly slouches as sea kayakers go, but by the time we came out from under the bridge at the basin, he was nowhere to be seen. That's fast.

We went on to have a great paddle & then the final stop of the evening was at this wonderfully over-the-top Christmas display in Canarsie -







Nice festive end to the day.

Boxing Day, we were supposed to go to Queens for lunch with an old friend of mine. Unfortunately he had to cancel because he wasn't feeling well but I think that it was probably for the best that we only went to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden instead - we'll reschedule the dinner & as it was, I took this picture right around the time that we were supposed to be at J's.
TQ's a good driver & getting home from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden was not a problem but getting home from Queens might have been trouble.


So of course that was the Great Boxing Day Blizzard of 2010.

And yes, I did take more pictures. Of course!

I've put up 3 blizzard galleries on Picasa -

First was more from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. It was interesting, they had some areas open that are usually closed in the wintertime - we wondered if maybe they did that as a special treat for those of us who come out to visit the garden on a cold & snowy day.
From Boxing Day Blizzard, Brooklyn Botanic Garden



This afternoon, TQ & I went out to get some lunch, pick up a snow shovel if the hardware store had any left, and see if there was any way for me to get to work. Of the three goals, only lunch worked out, but I did take the new camera along, got some nice pictures, and despite the lack of snow shovels at the hardware store, we did manage to get the Mighty Taurus more or less cleared out through kind loans of shovels from neighbors. We started with TQ wielding this broom but we did end up with shovels for both of us. Thank you neighbors!
From Boxing Day Blizzard - Day After, afternoon walk


I've posted the best of the "morning commute ha ha" pictures here, I'd grabbed the Optio because I was actually going with the intent of going to work - you saw how well that worked out but as usual I had fun taking pictures & there were a few more too.
From Boxing Day Blizzard - Rush Hour


Tomorrow? Fingers crossed for getting back to work.

Morning Commute (Ha Ha)




















No trains this morning. No surprise, I figured I'd try to get to work but I didn't have very high expectations. It's turning into a beautiful, if cold, day out there but we get as much snow as we did last night, it does play havoc with all of the outdoor sections of the subway. I'll try again in a couple of hours. In the meantime, what a strange & quiet morning to be out & about & of course I couldn't resist pictures - there were very few cars even trying it, and with the sidewalks all being knee-deep the pedestrians took over the avenue. All very quiet with no cars or subways, just the wind in the trees & the scrape scrape scrape of show shovels.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!


Christmas Day paddle 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

My Co-Workers And I Are All Lucky That There Are Not More Children Like This.



we'd all be out of a job...

POO!

egads...

TQ is moving to Brooklyn.

Today.

Quite possibly as I type these words.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Perspective

One might think that bellows of "HEY A**HOLE, SHUT THE F*** UP!" would universally be something that one would rather not hear on one's block, especially at 11 pm. But when the a**hole being thusly addressed has been persistently confusing his car horn with a doorbell for ten minutes, oh, it's like music!!!

Ah, city life...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lunar Eclipse

The view from Brooklyn, NY, from somewhere around 1:45 AM to 3:30 AM:





asking things of my little Pentax that it was never intended to do - still, gives some idea of the wonderful show tonight in NYC. I'd gone to sleep already but I woke up right around the time it started & after that I had to watch.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - Hawaiian Style!



Another blast from the past - thanks to Joe again!

Funny thing was that I was singing this song to a friend as we were looking at the NYC holiday windows yesterday. Couldn't remember past 5 Big Fat Pigs (which, by the way, is more properly sung with 2 pig snorts after the Pigs, thusly: "Fiiiive Big Fat Piiiigs, snort snort") - came home & there was the whole thing on Facebook. Awesome.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Chee! And Huli Huli, and Huli Huli Huli!

1. CHEE! This blog spent 24 hours as Bonnie's Bubbly Broadway Blog and I didn't get one bit of flack about it! I don't get it! Of course, that in honor of an absolutely fabulous evening at the theater & maybe that was just so obvious nobody thought it was worth saying anything about. Anyways. Back to normal now. Food and boats, boats and food, la la la!

2. Look, Joe from the Horse's Mouth sent some HULI HULI CHICKEN!


3. "Huli" also applies to boats. Huli, huli, huli!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC Bernadette Peters Performs Send In The Clowns



Bernadette Peters made me cry last night. And laugh, and cheer, and pretty much everything in between. Fantastic.

Post-show glow still hanging on. To borrow my own Facebook status:

Got a brilliant reminder last night of how completely a great show performed by great performers can transport an audience. Not that I'd ever entirely forgotten, but it's been a while since I can remember having a theatrical experience as rich as the one that Bernadette Peters, Elaine Stritch & the rest of the cast of A Little Night Music gave me last night. Standing ovation, well earned.

PS: Award for the biggest LOSER in the place last night goes to the donkey's-bottom whose cell phone started ringing (Pink Panther ring tone) just as Ms. Peters was launching into the opening bars of "Send In the Clowns". *@#!!!

A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC: Elaine Stritch Performs Liaisons



Wonderful...

A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC: Bernadette Peters Performs You Must Meet My Wife



Fabulous...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Remember, darling?

That's the song from A Little Night Music that's running through my head right now. It's a pleasantly anticipatory sort of thing; thanks to a friend who has access to less-expensive tickets to Broadway shows I'll be seeing that tonight, with Bernadette Peters & Elaine Stritch, of all wonders. Haven't been to a musical in ages, but this is one I've loved for a long time (saw it in London must've been, yikes, twenty years ago and clearly recall just floating out of the theater - I admit it, I'm a sucker for Sondheim), and seeing these particular actresses in it? Oh my. So excited.

But that's only partially why that song is in my head...It was actually triggered by a good laugh I just had, courtesy of my site meter, and I just had to share it here on this bitterly cold December day.

Remember?

Monday, December 13, 2010

"Ono"-rable Mentions - More Good Things to Eat In Hawaii.


So, last week I went through some of my favorite local foods & places to eat on Oahu - but I kept it to my real favorite top 5 Island foods - the ones without which a trip home just isn't a trip home.

In the interest of getting to bed before 2 am, I decided to leave a few others for another post.

Here it is now!

Kicking it off with: Giovanni's White Shrimp Wagon

This actually is said to be the Original Kahuku White Shrimp Wagon - although sometimes it seems to me that White Shrimp Wagons are the Oahu equivalent of Manhattan's own pizza of mystery. Which is really the original? Ray's? Famous Ray's? Original Famous Ray's? Ray's Original Famous? Original Ray's Famous? Famous Ray's Original? AUGH!

A plethora of shrimp wagons have appeared on the North Shore, taking advantage of the constant supply of fat fresh shrimp available at the shrimp farms out that way. These are not on my Proustian list for the simple reason that they didn't really turn up until the early 90's, when I was already gone, but people LOVE them, rave about them, swear by their favorites, and when I drove past this one this year I seemed to remember it as being the one that my sister had turned into a pilgrimage one year based on something she'd read in a guidebook. My dad & I were far less interested in famous shrimp than in getting out to see the big surf that had been forecast that day, so we took a separate car & that was the time we stumbled on the Quicksilver Eddie Aikau Big-Wave Surfing Contest - just one of the most famous surfing contests in the world that's all - by pure dumb luck. This time, it was July, two foot swell if that on the North Shore so I was a little more ready to be distracted by food I'd heard was good. It wasn't too crowded so I turned in and tried the shrimp (first photo in the post) and they were indeed delicious. And as far as the question of which wagon was first? Well, according to this article, this actually was it.

****************

A Couple More Local Joints in Aiea, Both Way Older Than The Oldest of the Shrimp Wagons:

Aiea Chop Suey -

This is where I learned to use chopsticks. My family came here all the time and my sister and I would practice on the ice cubes in our water. :D Great food, inexpensive too - same sort of prices as the takeout joints in my neighborhood but there is no comparison on the food. A quarter of the grease, ten times the flavor. The one thing is that it's best to eat here with a crowd, preferably big enough to sit at a big round table passing around a dozen different dishes. I came for dinner after my Aiea Loop Trail Hike & it was wonderful being there but it was also kind of sad eating there alone.

M&M B-B-Q

This is right next door to Aiea Manapua & Snacks & seeing both of them still alive & well there next door to the library, looking the same, sounding the same (squeaky screen doors!) and serving the same good food they did when I was a kid makes me happy every time I go there. When my folks were still in Aiea, M&M would usually be the first stop for a plate lunch - combination plate, two scoop rice & macaroni salad - no silly stuff like vegetables!

This time, it worked out that with Aiea being a little harder to get to, I had to focus my hometown dining a bit more than usual, and although I do love M&M, I'd already had my plate lunch out in Kailua. I was only here for the manapua. M&Maybe next time.
*******************

Kua Aina Burger, Haleiwa

I have a friend at work who's married to a guy from Oahu. When she heard I was going out this year, one of the first things she said to me was "Have a Kua Aina burger for me!"

And I said, "Kua who-a?"

Another one of these weird things where something's become wildly popular since I was taken away & I never heard of it! But it being a favorite of R. and her husband, and so highly recommended, and since I was totally planning on at least a stop in Haleiwa anyways, I agreed.

Well, it is one heck of a burger, VERY good, very big, very juicy - just try to get there before the tour bus pulls in, like I was lucky enough to do!

and the best part is that if R. hadn't told me to have a Kua Aina burger for her, or if I'd gotten there 5 minutes later when the line was out the door and down the sidewalk, I would've missed the amazing honu safari I had afterwards - because I was really only there for the....
****************
SHAVE ICE!

And if I'd just had the shave ice, like I would've done left to my own devices, I would've just gotten back on the bus & ridden on to Waimea Bay without ever realizing I was passing dozens and dozens of beautiful sea turtles.

As it was, I was too stuffed for shave ice after that great big burger, decided to go for a walk along the shore to work up an appetite, and that's when I started to see all the turtles & ended up hoofing it to Waimea instead. Totally awesome & worth sacrificing my Aoki's fix.

Yes, I did get shave ice, as shown above - but that was a plebeian Waikiki variety where your only choices for the syrup were pineapple and strawberry. At Aoki's (actually at any really good shave ice place) they make their own syrups & the flavors go from the standard-issue lime, lemon and cherry to tropicals like lilikoi & lychee to weird stuff like bubble gum & cotton candy. If this was a picture of an Aoki's shave ice, it would be 3 colors at the very least!


Aoki's is a relative newbie compared with their far more famous neighbor, Matsumoto's, which has been around for over 60 years.


Don't know if they were selling shave ice all that time, but that's what they've become most famous for...look at the line!

I don't know, maybe if I did a blind taste test I would find out that I actually prefer Matsumoto's to Aoki's - but somehow I find that given two really high-quality shave-ice shops, I will always always pick the shave ice from the one with the five-minute wait instead of the 20-minute wait!

And then there's these poor dudes, just a couple of blocks away. Need to hire a publicist or something...

Anyways...Aoki's, next trip. Yup.

Getting pretty late, but almost done - I'll just wrap this up with:

The Scrumptious but Elusive Huli Huli Chicken

Furst you take der chicky-chicky. Coom ere, chicky-chicky...

Naaah, just kidding. This is a happy feral chicken who lives near the Aiea library - probably a direct descendant of the birds I remember crowing in the yards in the little row of houses behind the library. The houses are gone, replaced by a few more mini-mall type things behind the one that houses M&M and Aiea Manapua & Snacks. But I laughed to see that the chickens live on.

Huli huli chicken is real, and it really is slightly elusive - hence the lack of actual pictures. Huli huli chicken is generally sold as a fundraiser for schools. It's a little bit like Girl Scout Cookies - you get your book of tickets or whatever & you go from door to door selling them to all your neighbors. On a preappointed day, the guys from Pacific Poulty (the company that started it all) show up at your school, grills & birds in tow. The kiawe-wood charcoal is lit; the great double-sided handled grills are loaded up with chickens deliciously seasoned in a special teriyaki-like marinade, and when the coals are ready, a frenzy of grilling ensues! Parents & kids who've volunteered for the day organize the drive-through where the patrons come to pick up their birds; the cooking is handled by the professionals - big strong folks - they have to be to keep those big grills flipping all day. The flipping-over of the grills is actually where the name came from - the turning is done by a couple of cooks working together. To make sure the turn is coordinated & the twenty chickens in the grill don't go spilling into the coals, they yell "Huli!", which is the Hawaiian word for "Turn over" (also applies to outrigger canoes, hee hee!). Hence huli huli chicken.

One of the nice things about huli huli chicken is that even though you can't get it just every day, it does freeze well. The last couple of trips I made, I got some because my folks had some in the freezer for me. This time, though, I was on my own. I thought surely in this day & age, there would be some kind of hulihuli.com site that told the locations - but no, Pacific Poultry has resisted the siren song of the net.

Resisted? Heck, with a product as popular as huli huli chicken, they don't need it.

However, on my next trip, I will go armed with the number of the Huli-Huli Hotline - 1 (808) 841-2828, which I found in this very informative article about huli huli chicken. He does say mesquite wood - maybe that's a change from when I was a kid - but other than that, it's a good history of this onolicious local fundraising tradition.

And I got a good laugh out of that because I had totally forgotten about the 1981 Iolani world-record chicken grilling - that was my high school & I think I volunteered that day!

Pure poultry-in-motion!