Entries Tagged as 'Riverdale'


One would think, leaving NYC after 21 years and moving back to the area where I grew up, Reading, PA, that I would indeed feel a sense of failure. Oddly, I don’t. Instead, I feel something that feels more like completion.

No, I’m not saying, “I’m home, dig a hole and throw me in; life it over.” Not that kind of completion; not an ending. Rather, more a sense that the adventure that I was on is now over and there is a new adventure to experience.

Lord knows, in my years in NY, I did more, experienced more, than I would have ever imagined, growing up outside of Reading as I did. It has been an amazing ride: wonderful people, amazing places; a fantastic ride.

Recently I uploaded a list of what I’ve been doing theatrically since 1974, here’s the link. It was wonderful to look back over the years to where I’ve been, where I came from.

And now, on to the next adventure. It’s very exciting. At the moment, it’s also very wacky; living in my childhood bedroom in my parent’s home. I’m here alone, as Jamie is finishing up his job in NY – he was “job eliminated”. He’ll be here next week. I’m going up to haul him and the cats and some luggage and, perhaps, a friend’s daughter home to PA.

We, Jamie & I, not our friend’s daughter, she’ll be staying with her parents, are staying with my parents until our place in NYC sells. Hopefully that will be soon; it’s a really wonderful co-op apartment in a great building. We put a lot of work into it. I’m especially sad to give up my fabulous kitchen that we designed and built, but hey, now we can do it all over again…

And, should you be in the market for an apartment in NYC, here’s a lovely one. I’m sure you’d be happy there, I know we were.

So it’s time to move on to the next adventure. That’s what the falling dominoes of the last six months or so are saying anyway.


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As in Cell Phones. As in… cripes I don’t know, bane or boon. Oftimes something can be both. And the cell phone is the perfect example.

Ok, I had a long, hard week. I ended my work day extremely cranky. Met Jamie at our local Mexican restaurant. Had a couple margaritas. Got buzzed and pissed off as they, the restaurant, never fails to rip us off and tonight was no exception.

So I meet Jamie for (theoretically) Happy Hour. I order a margarita, the barkeep asks, “On the rocks or frozen?” “Up”, I say, as that’s my preference. And off she goes to prepare Jamie (as he’s been moved to switch from Cerveza) & my drinks.

We are planning to move to a table and have dinner after we finish drinking.

I finish mine more quickly then Mr. H., as usual, and order another.

As we then finish together, we ask to settle up at the bar before we move to the table. The check arrives. It has not been a happy hour for us. We have been charged full price for our margaritas. Jamie queries and we are informed that the Happy Hour margaritas are only of the “on the rocks” or “frozen” kind; “up” does not qualify for the Happy Hour discount.

Jamie calmly informs the barkeep that we were not informed of this odd distinction. He requests that since we are staying to have dinner, could we let this slip as we were not informed of this non-icy anomaly? No, I’m sorry you were not alerted to this, but no, the check stands.

Really? Really? Yes, really.

Now, this is a place, and we discovered this the hard way – on returning for our second meal and examining the bill more closely, as the first time didn’t make much sense, but what the hell, we had a good time and were buzzed so it didn’t matter that we seemed to be paying too much – that automatically adds 15% to the bill. This is very odd in NYC. This is also detrimental to the waitstaff, at least when dealing with J & myself, as we’ve both been waiters in our pasts and tend to tip very well. But hell, if the tip is added to the check, which we find really irritating, we’re not about to leave any more. Live and learn.

So, tonight, after being again screwed by this restaurant – it would have been so very easy for the barkeep to say, when I ordered my margarita up, “You know, that isn’t a Happy Hour margarita permutation” (of course, she wouldn’t have stated it that way; yes I’m sure about that) – we decided not to have dinner there after all.

Jamie was in the mood for some tasty red meat. That gave us two immediate options: Jake’s Steakhouse, just next to the annoying Mexican restaurant or The Riverdale Garden, a short walk away. We opted for The Riverdale Garden. We like it there. The staff is lovely. The garden is lovely. The food is lovely.

So, in the end, everything worked out well. We had a much better, if more expensive, meal than we were planning on.

What did we have? We split the excellent Red & Yellow beets with camenbert and roasted hazelnuts. Then J. had the delicious, beautifully charred Hanger Steak. I had the incredibly tasty Wild Boar with figs and a yummy cold white bean salad.

For the wine, we had Domaine des Deux Anes (House of the two asses – donkeys, that is), a naturally produced wine from Corbieres, Languedoc Rousillon. It was… ok. A bit too tanney and high in alcohol content, 14.5%, for me. The alcohol pretty well drowned out the pleasure of the fruit. I prefer a lower alcohol content with more depth. Now it sounds like a horrid wine and it wasn’t, it was perfectly passable, just not to my taste. And that, as my late dear friend Bob used to say, is what makes the phone book.

Dessert. Jamie had the pecan pie. A mound of pecans in a delightful tart crust with a side of praline ice cream. I had “Mom’s Chocolate Pudding” with Chocolate Pretzel Bark. My mom, and I love her cooking dearly, never made chocolate pudding like this. Not sweet, just delicious chocolate-y richness, topped by a dollop of whipped cream surrounded by a tasty crumble of, well, pretzel bark; bark being the catch-all for any flat, broken up chocolate with some ingredient mixed in.

Finished it all with a nice cup of French press coffee and then waddled home. Jamie to bed – how he goes immediately to bed after a large meal is beyond me, I need to digest – and I to, well, here.

And there it is, the happy roller coaster that we call life: an annoying day at work followed by a couple tasty margaritas followed by an annoying incident followed by a wonderful meal.

Not a bad ride at all. Of course, now I haven’t spewed about cell phones. Ah well, tomorrow is another day.


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Overly so. Extremely so. “One waffer thin mint” so (as the line goes in “The Meaning of Life”). But, oh, so good.

Jamie will outline the dishes in a post soon to come, but in the meantime, what a wonderful meal! What an extensive meal. Oh, so good.

If you can, I urge you to try The Riverview Garden. The food is lovely. The people are lovely. The wine is lovely.

It is in a difficult location, but if you’re willing to travel (and you so should), I urge you to do so; you won’t be disappointed.

More later. Now, after eating for 4 1/2 hours, I’m pooped.

I am so useless at work tomorrow. That is, unfortunately, until tomorrow comes, when I’ll be my usual, responsible self.

I so need a night of drag.


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Yes, happy birthday to me and all the other birthday boys and girls around the world.

It’s odd to think how old 45 seemed years ago. Now that I’m there, I’m finding it pretty darned delightful!

Looking forward to dinner tonight at The Riverdale Garden. Yummm…

Anyway, happy birthday to us all!

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Quick, before I go to bed.

Busy day. Up @ 6 to go, yes, back to Ikea to order the new cabinet for the kitch and pick up some shelves (which look great, pix tomorrow – “sure, I’ve heard that one before” – shut up). Cabinet is coming 9/14 or something like that. Whoo hoo! Another day of multi-boxes from Ikea!

Got back home ’round 1:30. (Had no Swedish Meatballs, didn’t feel like having them stick around all day inside me screaming, “Let me out! Let me OUT!”) Found the blinds had arrived. Put up the shelves on the island, but first had to cut them – very badly, but fixable (bless you Ikea and your idiot-proofness!) – to size. Jamie installed the new upper rod in the closet to double the hanging space – for when I’m ready – no silly, just kidding – so we can move some of the clothes out of the computer closet!

Found it near impossible to install the blinds as there is an existing wooden header/valance which will be lovely at hiding the blinds when they’re in the up position once they’re installed, but makes the installation process difficult. Will be less difficult when I buy a bit extender thingy for our drill.

Found that we hadn’t thought out the solar panel for the living room project very well. The panels run on a track. The track needs to hang, in our case, above the decorative molding framing the window. We chose the 63″ length without accounting for the 6 or so inches extra needed to hang the sucker. So either the panels will be 6 or so inches short of the bottom of the window (don’t think so) or the unit is going back to Jacque PennĂ© and we’ll just get two more blinds which, in the end, will be far less intrusive and the decision we should’ve made from the start.

Jamie hung some of our food/eating pix in the kitchen. The Mets won.

We went to The Riverdale Garden to make a reservation for my birthday dinner on Wednesday (45, how did that happen?!). It’s a great restaurant, really fresh, local ingredients, a fairly inspired chef, and for my b’day dinner, the 15 course tasting menu. So I like good food, so sue me.

Then a stroll to the Johnson Ave. area, the bustling(?) center of our little corner of the world. Stopped in at a great pub, An Beal Bocht Cafe where they’ve got Guiness on tap, a friendly staff, great music and an all-around good feeling. I sense we’ve found our new hangout.

After a couple of Guinesses or Guinei, as Jamie says, we stolled up to Johnson Ave. proper and had an excellent dinner at Salvatore’s of Soho. Jamie had the Penne Puttanesca, which he loved and I had the Italian Sausage and Broccoli Rabe, which was excellent. Definitely a go-back place.

Then we walked home, Jamie to bed and I to the computer. All in all, a brilliant, productive day!

Tomorrow we paint the floorboards. Fun…


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