Friday, September 25, 2015

#591. Saw Him again

We saw Francis again tonight, at 66th & 1st on his way back from Mass at Madison Square Garden when we were on our way back from pizza at Numero 28 on 74th & 1st. It's become somewhat of a contest to see who can spot him the most. Here's a video of him at in his Cinquecento at the same location earlier today, courtesy of our friend Ray Navakas. He's about 1 minute into the film with his little sedan (number plates SCV 1) looking comical in between all the other heavy machinery. (double click for full screen). . for more about the visit, the ABC has a good summary">

Thursday, September 24, 2015

#590. The Popemobile is a Fiat!?

Pope Francis arrived in New York City this afternoon and He and His entourage are staying nearby, on 72nd street between Madison & 5th. His route from the airport passed by MSKCC and we saw him on the corner of 66th & 1st. We were expecting either a grand, shiny white Popemobile or else some heavily fortified Escalade, but there He was, riding in the back seat of a late model Fiat sedan with window wound down and waving to the crowd. What a cool dude.
But the Upper east Side is not the only "nabe" (NY slang for neighbourhood) being affected and it really is "Fortress Manhattan" with police, barricades, flashing lights and buzzing helicopters everywhere. FYI, on Friday, September 25, the Pope will: · Address the General Assembly at the United Nations at 8:30 am · Visit the 9/11 Memorial and Museum at 11:30 am · Visit a school in East Harlem at 4:00 pm · Travel via motorcade through Central Park and along Central Park West between 72nd and 60th Streets to greet New Yorkers between 4:00 and 6:00 pm. · Deliver mass at Madison Square Garden at 6:00 pm. On September 25, there will be sporadic closures of East 66th Street to accommodate the pope’s motorcade.
Parts of Penn Station will be shut down on Sept. 25 starting around 4:00 pm in preparation for the mass at Madison Square Garden. Trains will continue to run, but if you’re entering or exiting the station in the late afternoon you’ll probably find that it takes longer to get where you need to go; please allow extra time for your commute. To make matters worse, from Sunday, September 27 to Tuesday, September 29, President Obama will also visit New York and speak at the General Assembly. We will share more information about his itinerary as it becomes available

Sunday, September 20, 2015

#589. Fabulous Phillipsburg Manor

Today started off overcast and a cool breeze but it turned into a nice afternoon, so we caught the MetroNorth train up the Hudson to Tarrytown in Westchester County, 40 minutes trip from Grand Central to go on a tour of Phillipsburg Manor, a historical site that was owned by a Dutch farming family until the Revolutionary War (they chose to side with the Loyalists, and lost the lot). But some stone buildings still stand and it is re-created as a working farm from 1750 when the patriarch, Adolf Philipse, died. we saw the old mill, the barn, the manor house and a weaving exhibit. Xavi said "it was a teeny weeny bit interesting".

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

#588. Forget the Hayneplane! It's the J-E-T-S !!!

Full credit to Jarryd for giving it a crack over here and hope he's successful with the 49ers, but on Sunday Paul went to watch the NY Jets' opening game of the season, at home vs. his team in a former life, the Cleveland Browns. The Jets' home ground - Metlife Stadium, which they share with the other NY team (the Giants) - is actually across the Hudson in New Jersey and it's a bit of a schlep out there, analogous to the trek out to Homebush, and in a similar kind of precinct.
There are only 8 home games for the season, and each one has the atmosphere of a NRL grand final. On Sunday the crowd was 79,000, with 90% Jets supporters, and the pre-game entertainment and the half-time show were spectacular. It was a lovely, late summer's day which was perfect for the tailgate parties in the parking lot and almost as interesting as the game itself.
My seat was good, on one of the try lines and not too high up, but it was a re-sold season ticket holder's seat and cost $210. FYI, they pay a $10,000 for a life-time, non-transferrable "seat license", then another amount for the season's ticket - where I was they about $25/game. So it was kind of like renting a car for the day.
The fans went home happy - after two poor seasons and trailing 10-7 at the half, the Jets scored 24 unanswered points in the 2nd half to win comfortably 31-10, and at least for now are undefeated.

Monday, September 7, 2015

#587. Happy Labor Day 2015

It's the Labor Day long weekend, marking the end of the summer season although the equinox is not for another few weeks. The weather was beautiful (sunny and hot), so yesterday we caught the train up to Rye, a coastal suburb on Long Island Sound in the commuter belt. About 50 minutes north in Westchester County, Rye has quite a nice public beach ($4 entry).
Rye is also the home of Playland, a Luna Park-style amusement park that opened in 1927 and was placed on the National Historic Register in 1987. Xavi said it was "the funnest day in the whole world". It closes for the season today. It's a pity we only just discovered it.