Friday, September 25, 2009

UN Watch 2009 - food stands are back, required to show support of US.

Back in New York, oh the lifestyle of a traveling salesman. The good news is that all of the food trucks around my building in midtown are back to their normal locations. The strange news is that many are showing otherwise unseen signs of patriotism. Maybe it's the warmer-than-fall-should-be weather. Maybe there was a sale on flags. Maybe it's because the Man said so. Whatever the reason may be, it's no secret that seeds of patriotism have been planted, watered and nurtured into wonderful little flags. All over town. We've got a while to go until Flag Day, people.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

UN Watch 2009 - Lexington Ave gets the up and down treatment.

I stepped out of the office this afternoon planning to catch a cab to LaGuardia. HA! Nice try, commoner. What was I thinking?

This is what Lexington looked like - a parking lot. Apparently the President was close by so every car making its way down Lex was double and triple checked for booby traps. I was lucky enough to catch a cab over on Park Ave, where I instructed the driver to avoid everything to the south and east of us. It was a lovely ride to the airport. Next stop - Buffalo.

"I'm going to look at you while you look under the car. That's right. Great job."

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

UN Watch 2009 - missing garbage cans.

Seriously, if I wanted to hurt someone of political importance, I wouldn't blow up the trash bins on Park Avenue. Maybe the trains underneath, sure. But garbage cans? Really?*****

This town is known for its smells, its piles of garbage on weekday mornings, and its homeless, but one thing you can always count on (much like the above three) is being able to find a can on every corner. Finish your apple on the way to work? Kindly toss the excess into the nearest corner can. I've walked around other cities (namely Philly) for blocks with garbage in my hand, fruitlessly hoping to save the earth like I was always told.

*****Hey Big Brother, I was only kidding!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

UN Watch 2009 - who stole the gyro?!

I was working overtime today as usual and needed a hearty meal to make it through the day. No, not steak and potatoes. Ma, hold the meatloaf. I'm talking street meat. No problem, right? Wrong.

Apparently street vendors are threats to national security, as EVERY FREAKIN' ONE AROUND MY BUILDING WAS MISSING. Not cool, Uncle Sam/U.N./NYPD. Not cool at all.

Completely unrelated - this was dinner. Bangin'.

Monday, September 21, 2009

UN Watch 2009 - global affairs consume midtown.

If you want to know every detail of the ongoing UN General Assembly meetings, try one of these. If you want to know how this thing seriously messes with the everyday midtown'er, stick around here.

Long story short, police are everywhere. Horses. Slick bikes. Towers (got yelled at while trying to photog one of them). This officer was out front of my office with 100+ of his best friends. Considering Park Avenue is 4 streets away from the UN, I can't imagine what the coverage is like over there.

Stay tuned for more on how this political pow-wow is affecting the common (wo)man.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

That was fast.

Looks like another weekend has come and gone. Tomorrow. Is. Monday.

Philadelphia's City Hall at night:

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Cruising to victory, Penn State answers some questions but lets other resurface.

I was in Happy Valley for the Penn State / Temple game today. Today's to-do's included:

Early tailgate
- done. Well done.
Cheap ticket - yes ma'am.
Post game tailgate - see below.
Sunburned neck - don't see below.
Afternoon SBS shopping spree - check.
Table at the Cafe - credit card roulette!

What a fantastic day. Before I deliver the unnecessary review of the game, let me just say that there is something great about doing these smaller, less important games. The tailgating lots were fun but not overly frat-tastic. Families return for ridiculous tail gates. The Cafe doesn't charge a cover. Yes, folks - the Temple game was worth it. And here's why.

It was great to see the team live. As much fun as non-HD Big Ten Network coverage in a loud bar in the East Village may be, there's nothing better than sitting up high and taking in the team's progressions in person. Coming in to this game relatively untested, I was concerned with the offense's inability to punch it through on the goal line (if you can't get it in against Syracuse you're going to fail against Michigan, Iowa, and OSU). Don't forget that pre-season Heisman dark horse running back Evan "I punch holes through your throat then take your girl home" Royster hasn't been able to find a hole bigger than an amuse-bouche. But alas, apparently the boys in blue are screwing their heads on tighter and are beginning to light some fires for next week's showdown. Royster ran for 100+ and a TD and the defense held the Owls to two field goals (but got burned on a terribly executed Cover-3 spread to start the second half). On the other hand, stud LB and future Wolverine slayer Sean Lee limped off the field and didn't return, while captain and quarterback Daryl Clark took too many hard hits coming from a team like Temple. Shape up boys! There's apparently a game next week that means something.

It's no secret that I have an easy time writing small novels about my Penn State weekends, but I must not leave out my newest tailgate staple. Chicken Chow Chow, anyone?

  • Grilled or boiled chicken breasts (no need to season beyond salt & pepper)
  • Two packages of Stoufer's stuffing
  • One can of Cream of Anything (mushroom, chicken, etc.) soup

  1. Cook the chicken. Once done, slice, tear, pull, whatever. Make it edible without a knife.
  2. In a tailgate grill ready container, mix the stuffing, soup, and chicken. Cover with tinfoil and throw on the grill ready to serve.

This was a staple at the family tailgate I attended and I must say - holy crap. Easy, comforting, and hearty. Hey younger brother, come out of blog hibernation and try to improve this one for me. Six points for incorporating instant mashed potatoes.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Planes, trains, and automobiles. No. Really.

Current location - Buffalo, NY
3:45am - Up. Groan.
4:27am - Rental car returned.
4:32am - Checked in to Delta flight.
4:45am - Through security. Anchor Bar is closed. Damn it.
5:15am - Delta flight attendant feels the need to use the intercom on an 18 person flight. Honestly, what is the point? I don't ever remember Mrs. Karns using a microphone in 3rd grade and she had 25 rowdy kids. Half the passengers are sleeping business(wo)men and the rest are giddy Buffalonians on their way to some far off sunny destination (I even saw one of these).
5:20 - 6:45am - Snooze.
Current location - Big Apple
7:17am - Cab to the office. Yes, the "office" is a synonym for home. I surpised I'm not paying rent yet.
7:46am - 1:30pm - You know the drill.
2:11 - 7:30pm - Commute. Train to Harrisburg. Carpool to Happy Valley. Wooooooo.
Current location - Pennsylvania

So yeah - this is all you're getting today. Cheers!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Buffalo round two.

Currently driving to Buffalo for a 5pm presentation but stuck in traffic. Hopefully I make it. Look, blue skies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you've ever been to Buffalo, you'd know this is really worth the 17 points and the attention.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The marathon is over.

Finally, this day is no more. After shaking countless hands while standing for 12 hours, the marathon that is today has come to a close. For obvious reasons this post is quicker than Ernie Anastos' self control. Here's a quick shot of an old building. Two points if you know what it is. Negative 17 points for ever having been in Binghamton long enough to learn what it is.

My guess is the town hall? Don't judge - this was taken from a parking deck. I'll check it out next time I visit the Cloudiest Place on Earth.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

You shouldn't judge a watering hole by the strip mall it calls home.

Ohhhhh Binghamton. Work has brought me to the Cloudiest Place on Earth for the next three days. I joined my coworker for a cold one at the safest bar in town, the Ale House. And by safe I mean free of hammered college coeds and potential future interview candidates. "Oh hi, Susie! It's great to see you again. Great job dancing on the bar last night, by the way." Awkward.

Why is the Ale House so spectacular? Well I'm glad you asked, my friend. Behold, the pro's and con's:

  • They trademarked the saying The Beerjoint of Your Dreams.
  • The kitchen is open late and makes a great burger.
  • When you've had one too many, there's the mattress shop next store. Please, kick up your feet.
  • Did you click on their website?!
  • The facade resembles a boardwalk.
  • Did I mention the beer? 36 rotating beers on tap, ranging from favorites to local breweries.

  • Being that it's in a strip mall, it is nearly impossible to back out of a parking spot and not end up on the highway.
  • No really, it's actually pretty $%*@ing dangerous.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Let the travel begin.

Where did summer go?

My travel schedule for work began this morning and will take me right through to the end of the week. I stopped by the office before flying to Buffalo and was able to catch this shot out the window. Queens is in the background.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Fashion police needed at Macy's.

I almost forgot about this picture, which although grainy is just too good not to share. While trying to find my out of the maze that is Herald Square's escalator network, my friend pointed out the matching couple in front of us.

Ladies - don't ever think this is a good idea.
Gentlemen - run.

This isn't Kansas anymore. Nor is it Jersey.

Here's the late-night view from a bar in Williamsburg (name unknown). The bar achieved instant hip status among the locals by being cash only. Seriously people - take plastic. Many New Yorkers - myself included - carry a metro card, two dimes, and a will to survive in our pocket. Please give us a way to pay for our beers. We're already getting jacked by the prices, why rub it in with the $2.50 service charge that your uber-convenient ATM steals?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Five ways to step back in time.

One of these is not like the other.

I came across these phones in Grand Central tonight. The question remains - do you have enough change to place a call?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Thank you.

This picture was sent to me by my old buddy Luke who is currently stationed with the Air Force in Utah. "Taken by a buddy while flying across Iraq on Sept 11."

To the men and women here and abroad who chose a career in the armed forces - thank you. For everything.

Today will always be "that day."

Today was not Friday. Sure, you might have a happy hour to attend after the long work week, or perhaps you have dinner plans somewhere with someone. Yes, it's the completion of the first full week following Labor Day weekend. And yep, there's a chance of rain. But we all - hopefully - remembered what happened eight years ago on that Tuesday morning.

While the major news networks monkeys tried to drum up ratings on the spark of speculation in the river, the local news networks here covered what they always covered - the ceremony at Ground Zero. Simple yet powerful, the coverage of the name readings seems to shrink every year. Inevitably life moves on. Concerts take place. Movies debut. Heck, I'll be down south next year. But we should never forget.

I snuck downtown tonight to see the lighted towers and pay my respects. I believe this is the first year that the lights were not actually at Ground Zero but rather were on a nearby parking garage...the change of location due to progress on construction of the new tower.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Catching sleep on the 6.

Late night ride home after work.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Dinner for one was more than enough for two.

Alarms buzzes. Groan. Snooze button. Buzz. Moan. Snooze. Buzz. Whimper. Up. Shower. Shave. Sportscenter. Iron. Sprint. Subway. Wait. Train. Union Square. Cramped. Grand Central. Still cramped. Up. Office. Work. Work. Work. Apartment hunting. Disappointment. Home. Beer. Laundry. Dinner. Laundry. Home. Fold. Sleep.

Ahhh, dinner. Odessa Cafe is a 24/7 diner on Ave A, located conveniently between my apartment and my laundromat. Three eggs over easy, potatoes, bacon, and toast? Game, set, match. I hope to come back in my next life as the proud owner of a diner.

In other news, kudos to Jeter for tying Lou Gehrig's record tonight. Click here for highlights.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Time to get back on track.

Between sickness, summer ending, work picking up, and me making poor excuses, this place is finally getting updated. I've been taking pictures on a daily basis but have found neither the time nor the motivation to post. Until now. Starting with today's post I will continuing going forward and by way of magical blogger controls I will update the missing dates. Stay tuned.

Tonight's picture comes from the wet sidewalks of Herald Square. I caught the puddle's reflection out of the corner of my eye as I navigated busy 32nd Street. Despite the hordes of Penn Station-bound commuters in my eye, I snapped a few quick (albeit fuzzy) shots. I have a less-than-perfect eye for water reflections, but this one was too colorful to pass up.

Feels good to be back.