Saturday, January 23, 2010

May I see your ID?

After a delightful day at MOMA to take in the Tim Burton exhibition I thought a nice cold one was in order. So I stopped by my local Duane Reade to pick up some Sam Adams this evening. I walked up to the counter with my purchase and the nice young female cashier looked at me and asked me my date of birth. I must say that I was indeed stunned. I could feel my brain sputtering and trying to muster a response. Was she just messing with me? I'm probably twice her age or, let's say old enough to be her father.

Apparently the cashier also noticed my pause, so she asked me for my ID. I was unable to restrain my response: "Are you carding me?" She looked quite serious and said, "Yes." I told her I could not recall the last time I was carded for a purchase of alcohol. I supplied my ID and restrained the laugh that was desperately trying to burst to life. I'm glad I did not laugh because I probably would have looked like I had no business buying more beer, and, after all, I really wanted the beer.

She returned my ID and rang up the purchase. At the conclusion of the transaction I said to her that I still could not believe she carded me. To which she said "You look very young." I gave her my best look of "jovial suspicion" and told her I was married. I smiled and left for the apartment which is a three minute walk from Duane Reade. I have to admit I rehashed the entire interaction the whole way home. Once home, I relayed the story to Kathy and Emma who both seemed as surprised as me about being carded.

I especially wanted Emma to hear the story because she thinks I'm "so old" and so that she will think twice the next time she wants to hurl her usual taunts at me that feature such phrases as "You can't catch me old man" or "Bring it on grandpa". She thinks she's so funny . . . . So short story long, I shall start using more moisturizer on my face or ramp up my alcohol purchasing at Duane Reade. I haven't decided which it will be.

May I see your ID? Yeah, right . . . .

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year 2010!

And so a new year begins . . . .

2009 was our "year of change" and change we did. Admittedly, I'm not always quick to take to change (unless I see the immediate advantages for me) but in late 2008 Kathy was accepted for her Pain and Palliative Care Fellowship in NYC and we, as a family, decided to make (very big) change and head to NYC. We understood how important this was to Kathy (and our family) so we shed our "stuff", including our cars and home, and opted for a much simpler life in the largest city in the U.S. We also knew that many of our friends and family thought we had clearly lost our minds, but we undertook this move with a clear understanding of what we were doing.

We decided that we would be open to change no matter what. Kathy and Emma are much better with change than I have been but I thought I could get the hang of it (eventually) again. I must say I could not be happier to have accepted this challenge. It has been wonderful to see how both Kathy and Emma have blossomed over the course of the past year. I am incredibly proud of both of them! Kathy seems to excel at everything and far and away is the brains of this outfit! Emma is definitely Emma! I hope to be able to navigate the NYC subway system half as well as her by the end of 2010. And although I may just be a smidge biased, she is a great kid! She beams with joy and makes her parents so incredibly proud we can hardly stand it (but, of course, we will!).

I too, have changed. I shaved the facial hair and have grown out the meager follicles that still and somewhat reluctantly reside atop my cranium. So, I've posted a new picture for the new year. I have made some new friendships, learned my way around (mostly) the area and generally seem to be "blending". I am also surprised by how much I have fallen for this city. As I have said before, I "get" this city. I still can't believe I get to take my students to Central Park for class or that I see the Chrysler and Empire State buildings everyday. The United Nations Building is just to our south and we're at Rockefeller Center all the time. I don't get tired of seeing the Statue of Liberty and the weight of feelings that occur upon seeing the World Trade Center site don't lessen with each visit. Times Square and Broadway really are something else! I feel like a "permanent tourist". I never thought I would feel this way.

So yes, our year of change has been a very good thing! I am very glad we took this plunge. We've decided to make 2010 our "second year of change." So, here's to change! I wish you a happy and healthy new year in 2010!

Friday, October 30, 2009

MusicArt gets published in Strange Maps

Alas, it is true. "World Beat Music" has officially been published in an actual book that is available in many fine bookstores. So yes, you can go to, for example, Barnes & Noble or Borders (or other small, locally owned booksellers) and find the book entitled "Strange Maps" by Frank Jacobs (published by Penguin Books) and find my "World Beat Music" on page 30. I am quite impressed!

I don't recall how I learned that my art had been included in the Strange Maps blogsite in February 2008 but it has been a great experience. Hopping onto the internet it is easy to forget that we really do live in a "global world", but the Strange Maps blog really made an impact on me. I was suddenly and unexpectedly getting attention from all over the world. Absolutely amazing!

I am providing a link to the World Beat Music entry on the Strange Maps site if you should dare venture there.

I must also say that I was very impressed with Frank Jacobs. He seemed to be a very good guy to work with.

Hope you get a chance to check out this book.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Our Interesting Little Island

Okay, so it's been cold, windy, and rainy the past several days. Cold as in 39 - 44 degrees. Just enough to remind me that it's only going to get colder, despite my preference for warm and sunny weather. I will say that although I am rethinking the need to go out and get a bunch of errands taken care of in this not-so-great weather, I do have time to reflect on what an interesting place this little island is.

There is lots of "drama" that goes on with much of it being with the department of public safety. They are quite visible during the day and quick to "over enforce" most of the lesser known and unimportant rules of the island. It's amazing how many how many DPS personnel arrive on scene if a dog is off leash, but in the late evenings when young hooligans are up to no good you hard pressed to find assistance. And, they can make a situation occur that requires their immediate attention if nothing else is going on. Many of us on the island wish this were not so, but sadly . . . .

I should also mention that, at least in our part of the island there are many wonderful residents. Most everyone is friendly and kind and genuinely all around good people. Most of congregate around the dog run or get involved with something having to do with our kids. There is a real sense of community here. If/when we move, I will really miss that.

Since we have been here, there have been a few movies filmed around the island, most recently featuring scenes with Angelina Jolie. I personally have not spotted her, but have seen the film crews quite a few times. The most attention we have received here on the island is from the movie "Soul Storage" featuring Paul Giamatti. Part of their advertisements include a website that suggests that there really is a soul storage service here on the island. It never ceases to amaze me how we can find it so difficult to tell the difference between entertainment and reality.

There have been a couple of celebrities that have lived here, though I do not believe there are any at present. Sarah Jessica Parker lived here just after the island became officially retitled Roosevelt Island (early 1970's-ish) from it's really "glamorous-you've-just-absolutely-got-to-live-here-right away" name: "Welfare Island". Can't imagine why anyone would want to change that?!
Most recently until his passing in February 2006, Al "Grandpa Munster" Lewis lived here for some time. To say he was a character is an understatement! The fact that he lived here impresses me. Okay, I am, admittedly, easily impressed. The island residents seemed to really love him still. They even named a park after him.

The Munsters was one of my all time favorite shows. This should, in no way detract from my love of The Simpsons, Seinfeld, SNL, or The Carol Burnett Show. Anyhoo, Al Lewis is a very interesting person. He always claimed to be much older (10-20 years older depending on who he was talking to) than he really was. Most people do that the other way around. He was in his mid 80's when he passed, but I always thought he had to be in his late 90's. Go figure! Also, one of the really interesting things about him was that he cowrote the song "Blueberry Hill". Who knew?! Now you do!

That's about it for now. I can prolong my need to venture back out into the rain, wind, and cold of NYC.

Monday, October 12, 2009

2 Museums in 1 Day

So it's Columbus Day and Emma has no school. What to do? Oh, I know, let's go to the Natural History Museum or the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Better yet, let's go to both. Once this idea was verbalized, the girl was only moderately agreeable. As she gets older, I'm finding many of my ideas are met with a look from the girl that just says"Lame!" But, as I am her dad and can still legally boss her around, she pretty much has to do what I say. I figure I have about three to five years at most of this type of arrangement, so I'm working it as much as I can.

So, today we headed off to the upper west side to go to the Natural History Museum and Planetarium. For those who have never been, it is cooler than words can describe. I let Emma navigate us through the subway system and must add that she really did a great job. Once we got in we were able to see the Space show. You get to recline in a comfy seat in a huge auditorium. The space show takes you from NYC up into space and through multiple galaxies. We were both astounded! And to prove how "unlame" my suggestion actually was, we both want to go back and see this show again.

I have included a picture from the walk of time that winds around the four million pound space sphere that is the planetarium. Although the included picture doesn't really show the most important detail, the glowing rectangular shape in the bottom right-hand corner is a human hair the width of which is the duration of time that we humans have been around since the big bang. The winding stairway which takes a few minutes to walk chronicles time since the big bang took place. Every four feet is a million years. It may not sound like it but it is quite impressive.

After leaving the NHM, we headed to Rockefeller Center so we could have lunch and the head over to MoMA. Once inside MoMA, we went up to the 5th floor so we could see the modern art. It is an amazing collection of work. My two favorite Picasso pieces are there: "The Guitar" (a metal
sculpture) and "Les Demoiselles D'Avignon". Emma also got to see (but not touch!) Van Goh's "The Starry Night". It was very cool to see her appreciate it. Last time we were there (July?) she got bumped into the painting which brought security scrambling and left Emma with images of being sentenced to Alcatraz.

We both enjoyed our day together, so I guess my idea wasn't all that lame after all. She hasn't actually gone so far as to say that, but I, as her dad, can tell . . . .

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"I'm Sailing!"

This could almost be a still from a movie about the ever-so-wacky adventures of Plaky called "What About Plaky?" Alas, it is not. But, yes, that is me actually steering an 1890's style schooner in NY Harbor (the busiest harbor in the world!). Fortunately, I was only steering for a brief time. There were actually many other guests sailing that Sunday evening and it was a wonderful sail. The actual captain of the vessel is standing off to the right in the picture. That is Captain Cait and she is a Doctoral Student at Hunter and was my Teaching Assistant this past spring. She is not only incredibly smart (quite true!) but an all around wonderful person who also happens to be one of only a handful of female captains in NYC.
The steering of a schooner (and sailing) is quite therapeutic. I understand why people find it so relaxing-because it is. There had been a light rain by the time we set sail (6-8pm) and it was really great. Kathy and I had sailed with our Houston friends Darron and Jen back in June and really liked sailing around the NYC Harbor. I wanted to take Emma out for a sail around the Statue of Liberty because, well, I just don't get tired of seeing her (the statue). Emma also brought along her friend Catherine and they seemed to really enjoy the sail. Kathy and I loved it also. It was quite romantic being out in the quite harbor, seeing the Statue, and the Manhattan skyline at sunset.

Since my last post we have done all sorts of things. Classes have started back up and I am teaching States of Consciousness again (I love it!) and an Intro to Psych lecture (100 students approx.) and it too is rockin'. Kathy and I went to Boston for a wedding and really liked "Bahstin". I had forgotten that they have a complete disregard for the letter "R" when placed in the third or later position in any word. For example, "yard" is pronounced "yahd". It's quite interesting. We did get to see the graves of John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and Paul Revere among others. We walked through Boston Commons and swigged down beer at Cheers. The wedding was beautiful and Boston was just beautiful.

We experienced the 9/11 anniversary in NYC (amazing security everywhere) and the huge United Nations get together of world leaders. Have never experienced security measures such as those. It was almost overwhelming. Have also visited Governor's Island and very impressed by that. It's beautiful!

We are entering fall here and the weather is cooling. We are looking forward to experiencing an actual fall season for the first time in a very long time. We are likely going to rent a car and take a drive up through New England. Then, our sights shall turn to January and our next move. Our "year of change" seems to be flying by.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


It's been too long since the last post so thought I should find something of at least minimal interest to blog about. I have been spending all possible free time in the studio doing some creative stuff while Emma is on vacation. I have found most of the studio time has been spent reading rather large software instruction manuals as opposed to producing something in tangible form. I must admit however, that although I am not adversed to reading directions, I'd just rather do the creative stuff than work on an advanced degree in computer science. I must also admit that actually reading and understanding the directions is quite valuable.

So Emma has been on her first vacation without parents to supervise her every second. Suffice it to say she has been having a great time but clearly we all miss each other. While she has been away, Kathy and I have been actually spending some quality time together doing "stuff" that Emma would not enjoy. We've been out to some interesting restaurants located throughout the city, have been able to stroll along the Bowery, which just a few years ago we would not have been able to do safely. We saw some interesting galleries including the Morrison Hotel (way cool!), went into the old CBGB's location which is now a John Varvatos high end trendy clothing shop. My big learning experience there was that my trendy clothing wearing days that never were are now some sixty pounds behind me. A little disappointing, but I'm okay with it.

We also had a nice Friday evening Greek restaurant dining experience with our friends, Elizabeth and Stephan Mayer, over at Uncle Nick's in Hell's Kitchen. The food was wonderful, especially the grilled octopus, the conversations were fun and filled with laughter and the company was excellent! After dinner we wandered up to Columbus Circle, parted company and Kathy and I walked back along Central Park South to the tram. We had such a wonderful time.

Although it has been hot, humid and generally oppressive these last few days, Kathy and I decided to have one last night out before the girls returns home. We decided on Morimoto's Chelsea. Okay, I think 14th and 10th Avenue is still Chelsea, but I could be wrong. Masaharu Morimoto is an Iron Chef on the Food Network, though from I don't think he is actually made of iron . . . . .

He doesn't seem to say much but he makes some very cool looking food inventions. I'm not really one to do restaurant reviews, but I think Morimoto's warrants a review. This place is very cool! I'm sure if you are interested in seeing pictures (we didn't take any) of the interior there are many to be found online. The food was truly exquisite! We had various sushi and sashimi appetizers, Kathy had the Yellowtail that cooked in the bowl at table side, and I had the trout. Everything was like (fish) "buttah". Sometimes there is a difference when you pay a bit more, and this is one of those times!

As for the drinks, they too were fabulous! I'm not sure what Kathy had but it contained a lychee fruit, which for some odd reason I thought was a shrimp. Perhaps that's attributable to the minty gin and soda beverage I was consuming. I enjoy a good slightly dirty, dry gin martini. I can tell a good one from a not so good one (Kathy makes the best by far!), but opted for this minty drink just to be different.

After dinner we went downstairs to take a look at the bar. Okay, when you think really cool and hip New York City bar, this would be it. Again, I'm sure there are pictures on line. However, the real story here is the downstairs Ladies restroom. I do appreciate a clean restroom and I generally know where they are in most major cities (I still think that's a book I could sell to a publisher!). The men's restrooms at Morimoto's were very clean and earned my seal of approval.

The Ladies restroom was apparently something else, complete with infinity mirrors and lots of buttons that produced waters, air and possibly even a Cirque de Soleil performance. Let's be clear, I don't know this for certain as I did not go in, though I am considering dressing as a woman so that I can see what all the hubbub is about. I shall not steal the thunder from Kathy as she's the one who actually experienced the "performance" and will be blogging about it very soon. Even I will be reading her account of the festivities.

Next blog entry will be about Roosevelt Island's own, late-great Al "Grandpa Munster" Lewis and possibly, the new movie about Soul Storage that takes place to some degree here on our own little island. Adieu!