My Rhodesian Ridgeback at Rockaway

Big Phil wanted to mix it up all day in striking contrast to his typically docile demeanor.

He caught my right hand with his teeth when I threw the soft low straight right jab. I’d usually jump him at that point and take him down, but I wasn’t in the mood and my hand was hurting. Score Round 1 for Big Phil


Please take a look at my Water Ionizer on eBay — I bought thousands lol

https://www.ebay.com/itm/313585230331?mkevt=1&mkcid=1&mkrid=711-53200-19255-0&campid=5338273189&customid=&toolid=10001&pub=5575378759&icep_ff3=1&ipn=psmain&icep_vectorid=229466&kwid=902099&mtid=824&kw=lg


Mid Hudson Valley Hammy

Please click the king to read my 5 star review of State Line Lookout Cafe:

https://www.yelp.com/biz/state-line-lookout-cafe-alpine?hrid=5QYZx9K3ohLVDkjvJLWCAA&utm_source=ashare&utm_campaign=android_review_share_postreview&ref=yelp-android


Dean’s Seafood..

Please click the link for my review of Dean’s Seafood..

A five star review of Deans Seafood by Glenn Van Nostrand..

https://www.yelp.com/biz/deans-seafood-bay-shore?hrid=5VeGIb0NTQUTFQNKzTYphA&utm_source=ashare&utm_campaign=android_review_share_postreview&ref=yelp-android


“Rhodesian Ridgeback walking in Southampton on the beach – Runs Away from the Water.”

Please click the link for a little Memorial Day weekend laugh as Big Phil runs away from the water


I met Cuppone on Austin Street.

“Fine casual” has such a beautiful sound doesn’t it? Just marinate on those two words for a moment – and for myself, I am quickly transported to the trattorias in Romana, wandering around smelling the fresh ingredients where (arguably, yet I believe that there is no argument here) the best pizza in the world is found, where the pizza symphonies play in your mouth after the meal is complete – the satisfying flavors lingering and the thoughts of the return.

 I started with the words “fine casual” because, I am sad to report that this is an uncommon term to me – but I have been awoken. We certainly are a city of multiple pizza establishments, and no to point the un-sauced side of the ladle at anyone, but after my 2.0 pie at Austin Pizza, I am finding all the other pizza places to be in overabundance in terms of – lack of imagination – too greased and predictable.

My preference was always that crispness of the pizza crust, and as I read more about my 2.0 Austin Pizza as I chowed down with Ma Dukes who said “it’s the best she’s ever had (old school Canarsie Brooklyn gal where the best NYC pizza is said to be built) as we scrolled their beautiful website, we began to understand the balance in what Chris at Austin Pizza focused his fifteen year vision on creating. The notion of not over topping – its pizza physics and poise in terms of the slow subtle flavor introductions, just like the symphonies I mentioned.

That bright yet light tingle, tangle, tongle of natural cheeses, modulating and elevating and rocking you into its tasty groove of true Italian pizza, with the classic New York crispy underside by also blending Italian flours and a classic process of fermentation.
I absolutely adored the balance of my 2.0’s not being under topped either as each bite has to be structurally sound for topping weight – supported deliciously with every mouthful.

This is the moment when the toppings really sparkled for me – the moment that I got its beautiful creation of classic meets modern, what customers have referred to as “Neo NYC Style” not just locally, but in the greater pizza world. My best quick snapshot description would be as if you bought a New York slice of pizza in Romana Italy, again, what is universally accepted as the home of pizza – even the little green people will say the same..

Yet these higher costs which are clearly incurred are not noticeable to the price points on any of the pies you can buy. And to run the numbers of Austin Pizzas ingredients versus the traditional standard ingredients would be an exponential difference, but let’s not talk cost, let’s talk more about the pizza. The most popular pizza item on the menu is the Truffle Pie, available by the pie and – the slice. This pie is specially made with ground truffles instead of the standard truffle oil and all of the red sauce pies are made with imported Italian tomatoes which are certified USDA organic — all in an effort to bring the best product to Forest Hills.

I do want to take a moment to talk about the star of the show, other than the fabulously friendly staff — that being the oven. Shipped from Italy to the shores of New York harbor on a special container, then directly to Austin Street, this electric oven is made by hand in Italy. The Cuppone has a beautiful classic design, a beautiful ultra sleek and modern look and it’s full of functionality – I know, I was watching it closely. The fans to regulate the best consistent temperature, the programming to deliver a precise flawless pizza every time – so, goodbye gummy burnt bottoms and hello to crisp and light and tight bottoms.

  • Photo of Austin Street Pizza - Forest Hills, NY, United States. Beautiful Sicilian Pepperoni pie.Beautiful Sicilian Pepperoni pie.
  • Photo of Austin Street Pizza - Forest Hills, NY, United States. Margherita Pesto

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