JAX Inn Diner

Anyone driven from the north east to Florida? Well, many miles before Dillon S.C. you begin the broadside barrage of highway billboards pitching a Mexican themed establishment called South of the Boarder. Watching my prospective waitresses wandering past me gave me the same feeling, one of confusion and annoyance. So after a few accelerated hand gestures (Italians are particularly skilled at this) towards the front, and after a few tennis volleys of heads, I was properly addressed. And in that twisted mind of mine, I’m disappointed that I didn’t buy enough fireworks, enough to declare war on Canada, so I could really expressed my presence as my wait continued.

I’ve probably consumed enough homefries to write a novel about which would include my continual exasperation of never receiving them extra well done, no matter where I am dining, no matter the server, it’s a worthless exercise. Jax had two peppers inside, green and yellow and that raised my spirits some because the undercooking tradition continues and another notch is scratched into my skin.

Sausage links, here’s another common breakfast attendee of mine, not dry inside, but not moist but a snap to the casing which I always listen for and I’ll put it up to my ear along with hotdogs when I’m alone at home.

Three eggs of magnificent sunshine yellow seeped slowly after a single fork tine incision and perfectly placed rye bread was set to begin phase one of absorbance, home fries securing the outer perimeter. And it’s important to point out that my parents never gave me the ” don’t play with your food” speech.

  • Photo of Jax Inn Diner - Jackson Heights, NY, United States. It's a 3 egg kinda day..It’s a 3 egg kinda day..

All Faiths Cemetar

When I look into a cemetery, I wonder how many people would be still alive if deadly situations didn’t drop upon them, like a Bosendorfer from beyond. So many things that can just pull the carpet of life out from underneath your believed firm footing and it’s so darn permanent. As Bilbo Baggies so eloquently put it “it’s a dangerous business going out your door, you step on to the road — and if you don’t keep your feet — there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

All Faiths Cemetery is quite beautiful just after goddess Khione has come to sprinkle her snowdrops, there’s something cleansing about it and perhaps spring wants to arrive early as the frost pushed back against the headstones and cast it’s saturated presence among the still and quiet landscape of short and wide leafless trees and short rolling snow covered swails.

My dear friend was returned back to the earth after giving this planet 73 years of dutiful service. Jimmy Chen taught me so much about not firing up about life’s difficulties and I’m Mr. Fire and I burns so hot, you’ll feel the heat emanating off me if your standing next to me and my temperature of anger is rising to pop the mercury. And although Jimmy’s spoken English wasn’t great and my Chinese is limited to counting to ten — thanks to Shaolin Prey Mantis – Northern style, we always got each other, we always did, we understood each other, our communication was special.
He taught me peace first before living a peaceful life, he taught me the steps, something not a parent, a priest or a witch doctor could have done to this man.

Life is really to short y’all — we all hurt, but treat people with kindness, we get only one go at this thing we call life and to reach our true happiness, we must serve others. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m still a bit touched between the headphones and when someone behaves inappropriately – yea, I fantasize about slamming my banger into his neck because I used to be a tad reactionary and sadistic which isn’t a good combo, this isn’t bragadocious, it’s a confession of a fool. But I think to myself in these moments as I smile and slide my hand slowly upon the handle “what would Jimmy tell me to do.” as I release my grip.

  • Photo of All Faiths Cemetery - Middle Village, NY, United States. On the South side, with Metropolitan Avenue to my rear. Close to M train and 54 &31 busses 4 non drivers.On the South side, with Metropolitan Avenue to my rear. Close to M train and 54 &31 busses 4 non drivers.

JAX Diner & Imaginary Fireworks.

Anyone driven from the north east to Florida? Well, many miles before Dillon S.C. you begin the broadside barrage of highway billboards pitching a Mexican themed establishment called South of the Boarder. Watching my prospective waitresses wandering past me gave me the same feeling, one of confusion and annoyance. So after a few accelerated hand gestures (Italians are particularly skilled at this) towards the front, and after a few tennis volleys of heads, I was properly addressed. And in that twisted mind of mine, I’m disappointed that I didn’t buy enough fireworks, enough to declare war on Canada, so I could really expressed my presence as my wait continued.

I’ve probably consumed enough homefries to write a novel about which would include my continual exasperation of never receiving them extra well done, no matter where I am dining, no matter the server, it’s a worthless exercise. Jax had two peppers inside, green and yellow and that raised my spirits some because the undercooking tradition continues and another notch is scratched into my skin.

Sausage links, here’s another common breakfast attendee of mine, not dry inside, but not moist but a snap to the casing which I always listen for and I’ll put it up to my ear along with hotdogs when I’m alone at home.

Three eggs of magnificent sunshine yellow seeped slowly after a single fork tine incision and perfectly placed rye bread was set to begin phase one of absorbance, home fries securing the outer perimeter.

And it’s important to point out that my parents never gave me the ” don’t play with your food” speech.


Rip Van Winkle Country Club & Brewery.

“Among the Catskills, a disjointed member of the Adirondacks, there lives a simple and good natured fellow named Rip Van Winkle”. – Washington Irving. And I can continue to quote much chapter and verse of this posthumous writing as the writing is near and dear to my heart – the gallantry shown at Fort Christina  and more, the true founders of New York and I wish the good Peter Styversant were here today to drop a heap of learning about America on you who don’t understand not just NY history, but America! Love it or be gone.

Arriving at 5:45, I hadn’t inquired as to what time the first tee ball hits the air, turns out it’s about 8:00am. So I practiced my sneaky bump and runs, flips and flops and Texas toe downs. And player worth his salt has to know a multitude of great escape shots.
So I lead the field being put out as a single with twins and fours amassing behind me and being 2 years removed from the short grass (due to injuries) I was a bit nervy on the 1st tee, nobody knew who I was, everyone else knew each other.

Fortunately I ripped a low 3 iron cut stinger and I was off, still walking and carrying my bag, adding layers and subtracting layers as it was nippy in the mountains.
I love the classic shallow and square bunkering design originally popular with architecture from the 20’s and 30’s. The greens rolled true but I couldn’t buy a putt, not much break out there and putting off the second collar is doable.

The fairways were in the shape to be expected for early season golf, what I should have done was pay closer attention to the unseen creeks that protected some greens and ran out along the sides. But I was the first player and I needed to set a good pace out there.

Overall, the course played extremely fair, I can’t give the staff enough credit for such fine service for me, attentiveness and extremely friendly.

  • Photo of Rip Van Winkle Country Club - Palenville, NY, United States. Shot from the opposite side of the banquet hall.Shot from the opposite side of the banquet hall.
  • Photo of Rip Van Winkle Country Club - Palenville, NY, United States
  • Photo of Rip Van Winkle Country Club - Palenville, NY, United States. 8th hole - Par 3 - 168 yards. That's my Bridgestone between the square bunkers, flew it right over the top. Bad caddying by me.8th hole – Par 3 – 168 yards. That’s my Bridgestone between the square bunkers, flew it right over the top. Bad caddying by me.

3200 Rt 23A
Palenville, NY 12463

Rip Van Winkle Brewery

o think that I’d not follow the round of golf with a few pints is mere folly – it’s just pure boulderdash. Unfortunately Rip Van Winkle G. C. was not cable connected due to an apparent scrape of a discrepancy with the fine conglomerate by the name of Verizon, so the pub area wasn’t geared up for such a situation.

I was hankering for something greasy, crispy, hot and wonderful with a cold, hoppy happy chaser typicality served in a clear 16oz module and to lay a but of action in the singles matches for the WTC Match Play Championship.

And afterwards I wanted to hear stories of witches and ghosts, ghouls and goblins as the Hudson Valley (both upper and lower) has been known to have it’s share of things that do more at night than go “bump”.

I envisioned Rip walking in and bellying up to the bar telling a tale about that most pestilent little piece of field iof his, the patrimonial estate, and it’s inevitable  whittling away, acre by acre, yet with a kind smile as Rip maintained his happy and well oiled disposition.  Idle and careless? —  perhaps, but certainly a fellow that I’d enjoy having a Belgian wheat beer with, a tavern companion if you will.

On this day I had Kayla serving and pouring so a ran my eyes across the top with little patience due to a whistle that needed immediate wetting, to read much further in and down. Mountain House Helles was first, a golden colored hoppy German brew with a light refined finish.  Second was the Rip Van Wit – a sexy Belgian unfiltered wheat beer with hints of tarragon and orange peel. Third – The Winkle Lager a bit malty for a German pilsner, the Zuper Zazzer hops giving off a pleasantly bitter finish. All brewhahas came in at $6.00 or less!

Honey Habanero wings were too attractive to read to pass up and I always tend to try a new wingy flavor but nothing with fish oil, I find it putrid and just plain weird. After a crisping up, both wings and legs has no bone bleeding (the purplish hue in the bone) showcasing the quality and I so believe I received fourteen — for $12.00. I didn’t get the habanero heat,the one my internist keeps telling to to “cease and desist from consuming” but a pleasant app to start with.

Finishing with a garlic white cheese pizza whose name is currently evading me, pizza oven to my right with full court activity of new doughs going in, pretty colored topped ones coming out, you could just float away upon the bubbly ingredient vapor trails that followed in their wake.

  • Photo of Rip Van Winkle Brewing Company - Catskill, NY, United States. Rip Van Wit. Belgian style ale - coriander & orange peel.

4545 NY-32
Catskill, NY 12414


Water

The Land of Shadow (Source) In today’s Lord of the Rings passage we read: The water was cool but not icy, and it had an unpleasant taste, at once bitter and oily, or so they would have said at home. Here it seemed beyond all praise, and beyond fear and prudence. They drank their fill, […]

Water

Far Out Funeral Home.

Probably best that I spare y’all the sadnesses of this day. But I can tell you that sadness and depression isn’t just a state of mind, it’s far more. Foolish me, Mr. Machismo – Mr. Opinionated would tell others (thankfully not the deceased) *tell your problems to a therapist or Jesus, then go run a mile, you won’t be sad after that.* Gosh what a foolish thing to say.

Walking through the parking lot it started to rain again, one of those slow and musty New York rains that has a certain meanness to it that ya just can’t define. And it gave the parking lot an oily greasy look to the blacktop pavement and the street beyond had an unhealthy glow.

This young man, three years my junior, brought me eggplant parmesan every week because I told him how much I loved his. He did use three chesses Locatelli Romano, Parmesan and Granna Padanna, delivered hot to my door. He wrote my mother one of the most sincere Get Well letters years ago after she had sustained an injury.

To kneel up upon him was about as sad as I’ve been in a good while, my female friend was flowing like Niagra, not a dry eye in the house, but enough of this.

If cremation wasn’t my choice, you can be rest assured that I’d be a handsome and proud corpse in any coffin within the walls of this beautiful funeral home, it didn’t smack of sadness, the paintings, the six foot oval in wall fish tank, flowing staircases, ornate carpeting. Then to enjoy watching from above ground (maybe below, not completely sure about that just yet) my pictures being fingered and smiled at by my loved ones — laughing and crying with my favorite music playing throughout. Lots of the Greatful Dead was strumming away with words that glow on this sad evening.

My family owns a bunch of plots atop a beautiful hill with a variety of trees and they aren’t thrilled of “that crazy cremation idea of yours” anyone wanna buy a grave? I’ll hook you up — but then your stuck with my family for eternity and I can assure you, that probably ain’t no picnic. I am beginning to rethink this decision and it’s in part due to Branch’s modern touch.

One wide and long room dwarfed any of the Brooklyn and Queens showing rooms, appropriate social distancing, cards to write find memories of the deceased. I filled up two which revolved around sneaking him into some clubs years ago, I was 22 he was underage and I had the best (fake) extra ID. It was the right of passage to be indoctrinated into acceptance with the older crowd and some light good ‘ole boy hazing, only two are chosen and I was one when I was the young whipper snapper — shocking, right?

BRANCH FUNERAL HOME

551 Rt 25A
Miller Place, NY 11764


Is it a Pastry — or an Empanada?

It’s likely deja voux as I’ve seen Jessy’s place before and as I think about it now, I may be recalling a YELP dream, my very first. It’s coming back to me now — I recall thinking then saying to someone in my dream “I am horrified at the stuff he writes, it’s pure muck & I think it’s ignoble and I can not and will not be on and cordial terms with someone whose writing I despise”. And I do believe I was referring to myself but either way, I know I’ve seen Jessy’s Pastries so that’s certainly reason enough to reverse rig and throw down some coinage.

I have this thing (who am I kidding, I have many “things”) which is to say that I read ever notice  announcment taped or hung before I enter and continue to read them all before I address anyone. And sometimes the workers are addressing me so I raise a slow and polite one and a half finger “just one moment please” hand sign to about mud face height.

And I read that ‘all empanadas are baked and made from scratch w!o any additives or preservatives and are baked fresh daily and — there is an Easter egg hunt coming up in Eisenhower Park next weekend.”

Two for $7.00 mix and match with chicken and beef seemed the logical first time bet and the counter woman explained in a non scatagorical way the popularity of the other offering.

Buffalo Chicken, Queso with Sweet Plantain Mac and Cheese, you get the point, the options are tremendous. There is no eating inside, it’s all take out but feel comfortable in that there is no wait time save previous customers. Once pulled from the case, set inside the cutest little box, a perfect fit with your salsa verde and roja snuggled up inside with napkins and a menu.

Be careful of an aggressive first bite as inside temps will bite you back and leave you wishing you had approached with more softness, I bit some where in-between so fortunately, no damage was done.

JESSYs PASTERIES

3212 Long Beach Rd
Oceanside, NY 11572


Lunching with Drax

When Dracula asks you to lunch and you step along the path away from Borgo Pass and continue north to dine at what was once many times and for many years a multitude of assorted food eatery’s, so there is a palatable haunted hesitation. So my friend does look like Dracula and this is a nickname clad neighborhood and everyone’s got one and in my writing mind, there is only a small gulf between fact and fiction so it only reasons to me to use nickery names along the way.

A cheery young fellow with prim governess inquired about my meal pleasure “chicken, steak or seafood” to which I replied in kind “steak and seafood sound delightful” the finger of his darted upon the Tallarin Verde – a Peruvian pasta with grilled steak and a golden colored baked potato. Drax ordered the Ceviche De Pescado and we split the order which was prepared and plated and served quickly.

Still paying last night’s piper, I purchased a few 8oz bottles of red and white wine from next door careful to keep my shenanigans to the hip as two families set themselves like a pair of parenthesis around my table and their little buggers found my peach button down a wonder of their attention. Perhaps it was the creamy verde green sauce I dropped that was now dribbling down between button and button like lava doing the Streif at Kuttsbuhel, the contrast was striking.

Thin profile and packed with flavor, the steak was splendid but I got the fatty end, so carving out that section was sad but I could see the seasoning very well upon it’s translucency. And even though I try to avoid different foods touching, the wetish pesto made no mark upon the beef which made me happy, come on, let’s get happy..

Server switch and the pretty lass turned her hand as if holding a knob asking about the spice volume for our Ceviche and Drax motioned with his own air knob that “somewhere in the middle was fine” as an acoustical version The Sound of Silence was playing with windpipes — not in my head, it was actually playing over the sound system.

The purchase of dinners and lunches is one of my more expensive vices, minus narcotics,  that I find myself indulging in — but all told — the prices were quite reasonable — the lunches unfortunate expense will be dry-cleaning my Italian shirt which was aslop with the various reminders of my late lunch with Dracula.

Photo of Don Pollo - Queens, NY, United States. Half portion, Ceviche de Pescado.
Photo of Don Pollo - Queens, NY, United States. Half portion, Tallarin Verde (steak and pesto sauce) $15.00
Photo of Don Pollo - Queens, NY, United States
Photo of Don Pollo - Queens, NY, United States


Return to BEAR Mountain

The state was much younger and kinder a place to live and an hour trip north might as well have been a trip to Maine’s Northern wood, or the outstretches of the Midwest prarie – for you see, this was many years ago. And to a seven year old, I watched with tremendous anticipation until the date on the calendar reached the square with BEAR MT penned in.

My evil sister (affectionately refers to as Sister Sledge – as in Hammer) told me that The Bear was imprisoned under the ski jump and had no hope for release. So now I really couldn’t wait, for it was to be my job to free The Bear, no matter the cost.

The ice skating rink — where all your troubles just seem to fade away into the atmosphere, into the stars that shine a little light down upon you on a clear night.
As gregarious as a family as I was born into – we all  (Dad, sis and I) all had our own ice skates. I loved the feeling of lacing up, the steel blades first contact with the cool shiny ice, the scarf fluttering behind your shoulder. And what a special treat it would be if a little snow vegan to fall, music lightly cascading in the back, floating across the sky.

Sleigh riding on my Arrow, belly down and turning mechanisms well oiled and no brakes to prevent a forward plunge into the parking lot of thethree early teens stacked up upon each other. There were hay bails, very cold and therefore with little to no give and I face planted once, like a ram rod (the bottom layer always gets more impact it seems) and the hay swiped bloody scars across my cheeks, it was awesome!

There was cider in the lodge and I recall sipping on one by the hearth of the fire. Feeling my cheeks warm, the cinnamon swizzle sticks aroma and the woolen sweater holding me like a blanket. Yes, those were some of the best days.

  • Photo of Bear Mountain State Park - Bear Mountain, NY, United States. I do not believe we'll be dining out this afternoon.
  • Photo of Bear Mountain State Park - Bear Mountain, NY, United States. Red Flag.. that means UNSAFE
  • Photo of Bear Mountain State Park - Bear Mountain, NY, United States

Solar Roof Rack. coming soon.

Yesterday I drew up this sleek, low profile rack system in my head — the rack to support my new and structurally sound 100 watt panels (x 4 panels = oh yea, 400 watts) to the rigs roof, matte black for the stealthiest effect. And as funny as it is to think about for a moment – the downside of a flimsy and non permanent structure would inevitably end in a monocrystaline guillotine to the unfortunate driver (or passenger, or both) behind me, once we were at a cruising speed in or around — say — 70 miles per hour.

So I needed bolts, big bolts and what better place to buy big bolts than at a big bolt manufacturer? Not to mention the thickness of the steel I bought for the frame looks as thick as something that may have been used in the rail road industry, to affix the metal wheels to the track.

Now the rack is growing much against the rendering I drew the evening prior at my desk with Dewers and Marlboro Reds (and good Lord knows what else) for inspiration and more crumbled paper balls surrounding my waste basket into the morning hours.

Remeasure Glenn, make it work Glenn — what are you doing Glenn? So once the voices quited down (it’s like they’re playing Bridge up there sometimes) I drive just a few miles to Tanner and this is when the plan started to come together.

Charlie encouraged me to take bolts out to the rig, size them for the retrofit and welcome them to the power generation system atop the urban assault vehicle. Everything I needed to tighten up and lick down, all under one roof!

Photo of Tanner Hardware - Maspeth, NY, United States
Photo of Tanner Hardware - Maspeth, NY, United States
Photo of Tanner Hardware - Maspeth, NY, United States