Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Birthday Dinners - Exam Results - What I Did Last Summer - Airline Highway - The Yankees

Wednesday==>What an emotionally charged and draining couple of days it has been for your favorite Big Apple blogger. So much was going on in his life that he was unable to find the time to post yesterday ... so ... let’s get started with Monday and move on ...

The highlight for Monday was a Birthday dinner with John Scott Reed aka Fabson at the trendy steakhouse, Strip House, located on East 12th Street in the Union Square area.

The Strip House is really upscale: “Experience the combination of charred cuts, perfectly paired with decadent sides set in a siren-red interior where old-world glamour meets modern style and sophistication.”

We had a great time. The food was super-excellent. Our appetizer was roasted bacon and then we shared a huge porterhouse steak, with sides of goose fat potatoes and charred broccoli. Desert was creme brulee.

Trust me ... it has been a long time since I had eaten this much food.

As wonderful as the food was ... the highlight was the facetime and catching up. Scott has just returned from a FacebookNY business trip to Israel and he was able to share some, but not all, of the details with me. WOW!!

So==>thanks Scott for a wonderful time.

Moving on ... 

Monday was an emotionally driven day, starting with my semiannual checkup with my heart doctor, Dr. Fred Feuerbach, who practices with New York Cardiology Associates on East 61st Street.
Fred was my treating physician when I was admitted to the hospital back in June 2001 due to congestive heart failure. He saved my life. I have seen him regularly since then and we have developed a friendship that goes beyond the doctor/patient relationship. It has been a pleasure for me to witness his two kids, Little Leo and Anna, growing up.

This results of the EKG and other tests were, in his words: “Bill is doing well. No change clinically.

There was, however, a major downside. The fasting bloodwork results indicated a substantial increase in my PSA level, which had been stable for the past 5 years. Luckily I have an appointment next week with my urologist and we will address this issue, of course.

I have to admit that it was very emotional when I took the selfie.

So==>Thank you Fred for your professionalism and friendship. I am here today because of you.

Then, at 1:00pm I met up with my friends, Dian Crystal aka My Lady, Marty Kosarik aka Whatever, Vera Olichney, Julie Miller and, later, Cathy Altholz, at our favorite Ethiopian restaurant, Meske, on West 47th Street in my Hell’s Kitchen ‘hood. They were also treating me to a Birthday dinner.
In the photo it is, left to right, Vera, Dian, Marty, Julie and moi. Unfortunately, Cathy didn’t arrive until after the picture was taken.

We each ordered the usual, the Vegetarian Platter, and it was AWESOME as always. Then, for desert was this unbelievable multilayered chocolate cake ...
When they finally tired of stressing that I was really nothing more than an “old-fart” the conversation turned to things much more interesting, including the just announced Tony Award nominations. Needless-to-say, everyone had a different opinion, especially regarding the snub given to Harvey Weinstein’s “Finding Neverland.”

It was a great time ... so==>Thank you everyone, thank you, thank you!!

Then, for the evening, I had an Off Broadway show, in very early previews ...

7:30==>WHAT I DID LAST SUMMER - “With her husband overseas near the end of World War II, Grace fights to save the splintering bonds of her family by taking her teenage son and daughter to spend the summer on Lake Erie. She finds that her attempt to restore normalcy may have only fractured their relationships further.” (Off Broadway - complimentary ticket)

Billi Pod’s report card==>A.

This comedy/drama is from the gifted playwright A. R. Gurney, who is the Playwright-In-Residence at the Signature Theatre.

It is well written, emotionally involving and extremely well-performed. Yes, there is a lot of yelling, screaming and cussing, but the characters are all likeable/believable and that makes it OK/tolerable.

The staging is incredibly complex and too difficult for me to even attempt to explain. It is all enhanced by an on-stage drummer.

The cast is excellent, headed by Noah Galven as the 14-yr old Charlie and Kristine Nielsen as Anna Trumbell, the wildly spiritual art teacher who tries to expose Charlie to "radical" ideas about life and love.

Billi Pod says==>see this show.

This show is playing at the Signature Theatre on West 42nd Street, has a running time of 2:00, with intermission, and runs through June 7th.

Before the show I ran into my friends Michael Pederson and Dennis Dohman and that was nice. Later Michael gave the show an A and Dennis a B.

I plan to treat them to a “Thank You” dinner sometime next week, so stay tuned.

Now ... on the sports scene ... for you Marty ...

Last night out at Yankee Stadium, The House That Greed And Ego Built, the Yankees beat the Rays 4-2 as Chase Whitley (who???) won his season debut.

I made it back to the apartment in time to watch the final innings of the game.

There was also some very bad news==>our ace Masahiro Tanaka was placed on the 15-day DL due to right wrist tendinitis and a slight strain in his right forearm.

So, my loyal and faithful readers and followers, I hope you understand why I was unable to post yesterday. 

Moving on to today ...

At the moment my plans are to stay in this afternoon to watch the final game of the YANKEES/RAYS series, @ 1:05pm from the stadium.

On the mound for the Yankees (13-8) will be Michael Pineda (3-0) vs. Drew Smyly (0-0) for the Rays (11-10)

Then ... for the evening will be another Broadway show ...

8:00==>AIRLINE HIGHWAY - “In the parking lot of The Hummingbird, a once-glamorous motel on New Orleans’s infamous Airline Highway, a rag-tag collection of strippers, hustlers and philosophers have come together to celebrate the life of the iconic burlesque performer Miss Ruby, but she isn’t dead yet.” (Broadway - complimentary ticket)

This show opened to very mixed reviews although it got a very positive one from the NY Times. I thought I would give it a shot.

It is playing at the Friedman Theatre on West 47th Street, has a running time of 2:15, with intermission, and runs through June 4th.

Advance alert==>I probably will not post tomorrow because I have something very different scheduled ... in the early afternoon I will take the Metro North train up to Pace Law School in White Plains, NY, where I will meet up with soon-to-graduate law student Justin Allen Pifer. He will give me a tour of the school and then I will become one of 6 “jurists” in his final moot court trial. How ‘bout dat. I will, of course, fill in all of the details in the next posting, whenever that will be.

OK, my loyal and faithful readers and followers, you are now up-to-date ... finally.


Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>4.22 miles (or, 9,231 steps)

Total mileage for 2015==>461.14 miles (average 3.91 miles per day)

Billi Pod
“Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.”

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Visit - Dinner With John Scott Reed - The Subway Series

Monday==>As you loyal and faithful readers and followers know ... today, being Monday, is your favorite blogger’s usual errands and chores day ... so ... we need to get this posting underway so he can address his to-do list ... so ... we will start with ...

Billi Pod’s report card on yesterday’s Broadway show ...

THE VISIT, Claire Zachanassian (Chita Rivera), the worlds richest woman, returns home to find the man (Roger Rees) who had captured her heart and then cast her aside and shattered her dreams. What she does next shocks the town to its core==>A

This show is built around and sustained by the presence of Chita Rivera who is on stage for almost all of the performance. Her voice is still excellent but it is her presence that enraptures the audience from the moment of her dramatic entrance to the final climatic scene.

Even though her character is missing a limb, the highlight of the show is when she performs a gentle ballet with her younger self.

The music and lyrics by Kander and Ebb are emotionally involving and the cast is excellent.

The story line, is, of course, very troubling as it deals with the “vengeance is mine” theme and the battle between goodness and tons and tons of money.

Spoiler alert==>it does not have a “feel good” ending.

My comp. ticket was super-excellent, row G in the center orchestra section. 

Billi Pod says==>see this show.

It is playing at The Lyceum Theatre on West 45th Street, has a running time of 1:35, without intermission, and is an open run.

When the show was over the weather was super-nice, so I did a very pleasant walk and wander session in my Hell’s Kitchen ‘hood.

Then, for the evening was, of course, the rubber game of the YANKEES/METS Subway Series out at Yankee Stadium, The House That Greed And Ego Built.

The Yankees won 6-4 on a HR from A-Rod and sloppy fielding from the Mets.

These are the headlines in today’s papers ...

Bombers blast Mets - Take series crown.
front page of the NY Post

STILL THE KINGS - Yankees outlast Mets in ugly finale to win Subway Series.
back page of the NY Post

E TRAIN - Yanks take first leg of Subway Series thanks to Met gaffes, A-Rod HR.
back page of the Daily News

And, in the Gray Lady ...

Mets Drop Deciding Game of Crosstown Series After Committing Multiple Fielding Blunders.
inner sports section of the NY Times

No matter because a win is a win.

Tonight at 7:05pm, at the Stadium, is the first game of the 3-game series against the Rays

On the mound for the Yankees (11-8) will be Adam Warren (1-1) vs. Nathan Karns (1-1) for the Rays (11-8).

The Bombers and the Rays are tied for first place in the AL East.

Moving on ...

Today will be the usual errands and chores and then for the evening ...

Around 8:00pm I will meet up with John Scott Reed aka Fabson. He is treating me to a Birthday Dinner at a restaurant of his choosing.

Really excited about this because we have a lot of catching up to do and I can’t wait to hear the details of his recent business trip to Israel.

Last week was really interesting. Despite having lots of stuff on his mind regarding the upcoming move, the Subway Series on TV, and his 81st Birthday, your favorite Big Apple blogger saw three Broadway shows: Living on Love (with Renee Fleming), Fish In The Dark (with Larry David) and, The Visit (with Chita Rivera). Not bad ... not bad at all!

Advance alert==>tomorrow’s posting will be delayed because Billi Pod has a 10:00am appointment with his heart doctor for his 6-month checkup. Then, at 1:00pm is a Birthday lunch at Meske with Dian Crystal aka My Lady, Marty Kosarik aka Whatever and Vera Olichney


Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>5.30 miles (or, 11,580 steps)

Total mileage for the week==>27.19 miles (average 3.88 miles per day)

Total mileage for 2015==>453.90 miles (average 3.91 miles per day)

Billi Pod
“Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.”

Sunday, April 26, 2015

SORRY - Major Moving Decision - Keen Teens - The Visit - The Subway Series

Sunday==>Please forgive me for not posting yesterday. A lot was going down, including making a final decision on a mover for my upcoming move down to The Sunshine State in late May. I just wasn’t in the mood to sit in front of this ‘puter and write ... so ... my bad ... I’m sorry ... please forgive your favorite Big Apple blogger.

So ... why don’t we just get started with the important stuff ... starting with the mover decision ...

Yesterday afternoon I had an almost 90 minute meeting with a representative from Mayflower Movers. He showed up with a tablet and began a detailed, and I mean detailed, inventory of everything that I plan to take with me. He measured stuff and took pics etc etc, feeding all that data into his tablet, with proposed moving dates of May 20th or May 27th. That info was then downloaded to Mayflower HQs.

They then emailed me back a “firm quote.” As I had anticipated the May 20th date was much much cheaper than the 27th.

The quote was the 4th I had received from companies that had sent over reps for “walk-throughs” and ... they were all within a couple of hundred dollars of each other.

I really liked the Mayflower rep and the dealings I had with their HQs ... so ... I took a deep breath and told them that we had a deal for May 20th.

On Monday I will clear the date with our building super and then sign the contract.

Assuming that date is OK ... I will move the stuff out of PHC on May 20th but not leave the City until the afternoon of May 21st ... so ... stay tuned for more info.

I can’t tell you how happy I am to have this part of the move done. But, man ... did I feel emotionally drained when the rep finally left.

As planned, I stayed in for the remainder of the afternoon to watch game two of the YANKEES/METS Subway Series @ 4:05pm.

As you loyal and faithful readers and followers know ... on Friday night the Yankees won 6-1 on two HRs from Mark Teixeira and a stellar outing from Michael Pineda. This win broke the Mets’ 11-game winning streak.

Well, in game #2 it was all Mets as they kicked our butt 8-2 as our former ace CC Sabathia stunk, and that is putting it mildly. The Mets pitcher, Matt Harvey, basically shut down our bats. 

Oh well ...

For the evening I scored a ticket to an Off Broadway show in my ‘hood ...

8:00==>2015 KEEN TEENS FESTIVAL OF NEW YORK - “Three World Premiere one-act plays written by professional playwrights specifically for teenage performers.” (Off Broadway - full price ticket)

The three plays are: 

OLD FOLKS - “Set in a retirement home, it deals with how perceptions of the elderly are often wildly different and sometimes totally incoherent.”

THE LOST GIRL, OR FIRST CHAIR - “Perhaps the quest to become the First Chair Violinist in your High School Orchestra is worth the effort, or is it?”

THE ASTONISHING AND DANGEROUS HISTORY OF MAZEFIELD THE FROG - “A loner/outcast/unpopular girl becomes involved with a talking frog who is seeking to end the World as we know it, which may not be so bad.”

Billi Pod’s report card==>A.

This is the 5th consecutive year that I have seen this talented company perform. They bring together well-known playwrights and teenage performers.

The ensemble cast was excellent. Their talent and energy flows from the stage and totally engulfs the theatre. It is fun just being a member of the audience.

It is being performed at the Theatre Row Complex on my West 42nd Street block, has a running time of 1:30, without intermission, and the remaining performances are: Sunday @ 2:00pm & 8:00pm.

OK, my loyal and faithful readers and followers ... let’s now move on to Sunday ... starting with ...

The Broadway show ...

3:00==>THE VISIT - “Claire Zachanassian (Chita Rivera), the worlds richest woman, returns home to find the man (Roger Rees) who had captured her  heart and then cast her aside and shattered her dreams. What she does next shocks the town to its core.”
(Broadway - complimentary ticket)

This show is the final collaboration between Broadway legends John Kander and Fred Ebb, who teamed with Tony Award winner Terrence McNally. It opened on April 23rd to generally favorable reviews.

It is playing at The Lyceum Theatre on West 45th Street, has a running time of 1:35, without intermission, and is an open run.

For the evening I plan to stay in to watch ...

8:05pm==>YANKEES/METS, game three of the Subway Series from Yankee Stadium, The House That Greed And Ego Built, carried on ESPN.

On the mound for the Yankees (10-8) will be Nathan Eovaldi (1-0) vs. Jonathon Niese (2-0) for the Mets (14-4).

OK, my loyal and faithful readers and followers ... you are now up-to-date ... so ...


Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>1.89 miles (or, 4,138 steps)

Total mileage for 2015==>448.60 miles (average 3.90 miles per day)

Billi Pod
“Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.”