Saturday, February 17, 2018

"Hey!"

Went to Italia Mia the other night.

Tony, the owner was holding  court in the kitchen. He was talking to one of the customers who stood on the other side of the counter.

We were in a booth on the other side of the restaurant but could CLEARLY hear every word. Just a guess but I think they were both talking about the old days ... in Jersey. Reminded me of the old Abbott and Costello routine, "Who's On First?" except that they never got off first base.

" Hey Tony ... remember Aldo?"
" Yeah."
" Yeah. Aldo  ... remember?"
" Yeah I know Aldo."
" He worked in the restaurant right?"
" Who?"
" Aldo."
" Oh yeah. Aldo."
" At the pizza place right?"
" Aldo?"
" Yeah."
" Yeah at the pizza place."
" Hey ... did you know Gianni?"
" Yeah. I know Gianni."
" I thought you might know Gianni."
" Gianni."
" He had a brother right?"
" Who?"
" Gianni."
" Gianni?"
" Yeah ... I think it was Mario."
" Mario?"
" Gianni's brother. Mario."
" No."
" No?"
" No. Don't know no Mario"
" What do you mean? He was Gianni's brother."
" I don't know no Mario."
" He was Gianni's brother."
" You mean skinny Mario?"
" No Mario wasn't skinny. He was fat."
" That's him ... Skinny Mario."
" No ... fat Mario."
" Yeah. We all called him Skinny Mario."
" Why did you call him Skinny?
" I don't know."
" He was Gianni's brother?"
" Maybe. I don't know."

At this point in the conversation, Deb and I were cracking up. Tony saw me laughing. He looked over at me and said. "Hey Joe (always calls me Joe or just HEY) You know this-a guy?"
" Which one ... Aldo, Gianni or Skinny Mario?"
"No ... this-a guy."
"No."
"He drive-a me crazy this-a guy. Always bustin my chops, this-s guy"

We all have a laugh together and after a few minutes, Tony's friend says ..."Hey ... you remember Little Paulie?"

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Christmas Vacation Part 6

On our last night in New York, with the temperature dropping to 11 degrees, we shuffled into the Brooks Atkinson Theater to see Waitress.

Very cool show. Jason Mraz was in it and was a surprisingly good actor. The music was good and the cast was very talented.

But truly, the guy who stole the show was an actor named Christopher Fitzgerald. He played the boyfriend of one of the waitresses and was so funny that he had everyone in the theater laughing so hard,

Well ... time for bed (and heat) and then off to the airport and home for the rest of the holidays. Happy New Year to all!  (eventually).

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Christmas Vacation Part 5

It is COLD!

I'm inside now trying to feel my face ... man. It's 20 degrees and wind chill is zero. LOOOONNNG way from Florida.

Yesterday was pretty cold too.

We took the subway to our Matinee play: Come From Away. It's the play about all the 9/11 airline passengers who had to land in Newfoundland.

It was a musical.

I wondered before we got there ... how do you make a musical out of Newfoundland residents and airline passengers in a stressful situation?


My answer came soon after we sat down in the theater as the band took their places.

It was FANTASTIC.

The cast was real. They looked and acted like townsfolk and like displaced passengers. The dialogue and the music was spot on.

Made you move to Newfoundland.

GREAT SEATS too.

After the show ... we went to dinner. (all we have done is eat!). This time it was Gotham Bar and Grill.

We had a corner table and another excellent dinner. Another winner.

This time ... they had a message for Debbie.  (Just because they can't spell anniversary ...  nobody's perfect)

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas Vacation Part 4

I admit I was skeptical.

The restaurant we had reservations with last night was in Brooklyn. We had to sign a contract way before we came. I promised money, my first born child, sent my last three pay stubs .... okay, maybe I exaggerated. It was only my last two pay stubs. 

Anyway, it was touted as one of the best restaurants in the world. Pretty heady stuff, right?

Well ... It WAS all that and more.

The River Cafe sits at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge and overlooks Manhattan. We had a front row seat ... a window that had the most magnificent view of the city you could have asked for. When we walked up to the restaurant, I took a picture of Debbie in the courtyard.

Breathtaking ... and the view was nice too.

It was cold last night ... in the 30s. But you didn't notice it with that background. The restaurant was beautiful inside ... intimate, warm and not at all stuffy and arrogant (I guess I was kinda expecting it to be cold and formal and pretty full of itself ... what a great surprise).

The wait staff was perfect.

They were attentive but not in your plate and hovering. Deb noticed they were all attractive and very polite. They didn't rush you but were there whenever you needed them.

Then came the best surprise.

The food was incredible.  It started with our chef sending out a duck appetizer, followed by oysters for me and smoked salmon for Deb, followed by goose (duck duck goose) and gnocchi. Deb had the Wellington for her main course and I had the Lobster.

They were all presented beautifully and the flavors were incredible!

Melted in our mouths!

I can't say enough about this place. You have got to go there next time you're in New York. I can see now why you have to reserve a table waaayyyy in advance and why you have to commit to giving up your first born child if you don't follow through.

By the way ... The dessert was pretty cool too. Trio with a chocolate Brooklyn Bridge in the center.

And of course it was our Anniversary ... again!

 

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas Vacation Part 3.5

Just a quick update.

Because it’s Christmas Day there’s not much open. We were supposed to see a Knicks game but it didn’t work out (which was fine because we needed some time to shop and dine). This trip is costing me a fortune.

I found two great places to shop and to dine this afternoon.


I told Deb to spend whatever she likes.


Christmas Vacation Part 3

Christmas Eve morning at Radio City was a cold blast from the past! The line stretched around the block ... it was worth the wait.

Incredible production ... even 3D of Santa flying in to Manhattan  ("There is a Santa Claus ... There Is a Santa Claus" Said the little Jewish boy yesterday.)

The Rockettes haven't lost a step (haha). They boarded a bus on stage and took a ride through Times Square.

Then it snowed.

Not outside ... inside. That's right it snowed all over us with little flecks of white paper.

It's a Christmas miracle ... I didn't take pictures of the manger and the camels and the sheep and that stuff. Debbie took 734 shots of that if you want to see them.

I took the important stuff ... like Santa and his friends.

We took the subway back to the hotel ... changed clothes and then went to a cool place ... One if By Land. Two if By Sea. It's actually Aaron Burr's Carriage House. I kept singing "I am not throwing away my shot" (from Hamilton) in my head. This was quite a romantic spot for dinner!

Food was delicious and the atmosphere was great. Throw in a couple of roses and a few candles and you've got yourself another romantic night out on the town!

I should know being Mr. Romantic (as Debbie calls me ... not). But I was last night. This is the second night we celebrated our anniversary (12/21). We have a few more restaurants to go.    

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Vacation Part 2

We toasted to New York at the Cafe Carlyle in the Carlyle Hotel last night.

Cool place.

Now that Old Fashioned(s) (the drink that apparently my son even drinks) are in style with the younger set ... places like Carlyle are brimming with millennials and fans of Mad Men ... which is pretty much the rest of the world.

Opened in the 50's, it's the authentic Manhattan backdrop of the classic cabaret, Café Carlyle is known for headlining incredible talents; including Laura Benanti, Alan Cumming, Judy Collins and Woody Allen, who regularly appears with the Eddy Davis New Orleans jazz band.


Steve Tyrell is the headliner for the holidays. Been here for many years and took over for Bobby Short when he died.  He's done a ton of collaboration, producing and recording of soundtracks, standards and movies ... was the wedding singer in Father of the Bride and he won Grammys and an Emmy or two. Wait ... we won an Emmy (but his is probably bigger ... anybody remember Chicken Named Mac? Sunshine Serenade? I'm Not a Little Ant?) I was gonna tell him ... but he was busy singing. Backed up by a group of exceptionally talented musicians, he crooned his way through the 10:30\PM show with us looking right up his nose ... GREAT SEATS thanks to a very good friend.

By the way ... no pictures of the performers were allowed during the show ... you have to trust me on this one. (It's a stretch huh?)

Wonderful way to kick off our Christmas week in New York.

Tomorrow ... Radio City and the Rockettes.