Thursday, April 29, 2010


Tourism Sweden held a media event this week. Represented were two hotels from Stockholm; Rival and the Grand Hotel. The Scandinavian airline, SAS was on hand as well. Then there was the Western portion of Sweden being represented, along with the Ice Hotel. Annika Benjes, the Director of Public Relation for Visit Sweden was around to hear me talk about the upcoming IFAF women's tackle football game being held in Stockholm at the end of June. I got a photo of her and I.

Naturally there was food and drink. Danyel Couet, the chef from F12 Restaurant in Stockholm, presented some really tasty foods. Here are the photos of them.


I had gotten a phone call from some guy named Phil who works in the marketing department for the Manhattan Club, a timeshare in midtown Manhattan. Offer was Broadway tix, dinner or a $100 Visa card. I agreed and he said that a letter would be sent to me for the date that I had chosen. The weekend went by and no letter was received. I understand that the letter specifically says that you must present the letter in order to get the gift. I called saying that I didn't receive the letter and wanted to reschedule. This next person, Jose, says that he would make a point to send the letter on Wednesday for my Friday appointment. The letter never came and I called on Monday to reschedule. They told me that the letter was coming from Philadelphia. Now, that's really far away from New York City! They finally agreed to give me an appointment and note that I would not have a letter to hand in. Now, they did try to email that letter, but my printer just isn't doing well.

The appointment was made for 3 p.m. Due to some transit problems, I didn't arrive until about 3:30. You had to hear the arguments going for not giving me a tour due to "nobody available". I was relentless on this since I traveled into Manhattan and they were the ones who solicited me in the first place. They finally found someone.

I listened to the timeshare schpeel including this whole thing involving a point system. The woman kept asking if I had any questions and just didn't. I got it. So, we are finally ready to see a timeshare unit as she tells me that the maintenance fee is about $2,000! That maintenance fee is for a week at the Manhattan Club. gets better! I view a unit, which looks like a fancy-ish hotel room with a bath and a half, bedroom, living room and semi-kitchen. That means that there is a small refrigerator and a microwave.

Now we go to the price of buying the week of this one-bedroom unit. Would you believe $33,995! In other words, if I were to buy and spend 7 nights at this hotel for the next ten years, I would be paying $44,000. You do the math and no one says that the maintenance fee will stay the same.

The selling point is that I could trade points and get more vacation elsewhere. They tried to explain how I could do this. I didn't care. In 1982 I purchased a one bedroom unit with a bath and a half and full kitchen in Provincetown for $4100 and I have now ceased to complain that the maintenance fee has gone up to $535.

After Judy did her thing, she summoned the manager to do his thing. I still declined. The woman was doing her utmost to get me to put down a deposit to think about it. I said that I didn't want to and she said that I'd be stupid to pay more if I decided later on. They always do this with timeshare!

Well, they didn't have a $100 Visa card but handed me a check for $100. I hope it doesn't bounce. As for the's like, "The check is in the mail".

Saturday, April 24, 2010


The show In The Life was there to video and photograph the New York Sharks for their upcoming show in a few months. They interviewed owner Andra Douglas.


The New York Sharks women's pro football team took their third game against the Connecticut Crusher's at a score of 65-14, making their season so far 3-0. Shannon Wentworth, CEO of Sweet women's travel, was onhand to perform the coin toss. Prior to the game Shannon was with a group of women doing a cleanup at the park located at Floyd Bennett Field.

You will notice a photo of Shannon, myself and Andra being taken just as a Sharks play was happening.

Friday, April 23, 2010


I went into downtown Flushing, Queen's answer to a much better Chinatown. Perhaps it should be called Flushing's Asiantown. Cuisine reigns supreme when it comes to a choices of not only various styles of Chinese food, but Korean, Thai, Vietnamese and Malaysian as well. Malaysian is a combo of Chinese, Malay and Indian food. I dined at a place called Sentosa, located at 39-07 Prince Street, a block away from the Main Street subway.

Oolong tea is served. Not sure exactly what kind as I also stopped at a place that specializes in tea...later for that one. I ordered two iced drinks: Malaysian Iced Tea and Longan Ice Drink. Both were quite refreshing, especially after bites of anything that was spicy.

Malaysian food tends to be spicy so I requested "mild" and not sure if garlic being commonly used, I requested "nix" on the garlic.

Appetizers: Roti Canai, Indian pancake with a Malaysian influence. Absolutely thinnest crispy pancake. You take a piece of the pancake in your hand and dip it in a sauce that has curry chicken and potato. Soak up the sauce and then eat the rest. Loved it because the curry was milder than Indian curry tends to be.

Satay Tofu was the second appetizer. Two crispy fried tofu cakes stuffed with cucumber and bean sprouts. Served with a peanut sauce. Great for those who may frown on tofu.

Tom Yum Soup. Seafood Lemon Grass Soup. I can tolerate the spiciness of the chili paste as the "hot" hits the back of my throat and I get used to it enough to enjoy the rest of the soup. Lemon grass, lime, mushrooms, with shrimp, squid and scallop. Having had this in a Thai restaurant, I felt that the use of squid and scallops added to the flavor.

Hainanese Chicken. What a great idea. Steam parts of the chicken and serve with the chef's special soy sauce with cucumbers beneath. Will try this at home! Esther was shocked to see this being served. She was worried that it might have been one of her relatives.

Volcano Spare Ribs. No, I didn't spew lava from my mouth upon eating it. The ribs are deep fried but not so obvious. Very tender and then cooked in a BBQ sauce that the chef concocted. They need to bottle the stuff and sell it!

Beef Rendang. Extremely tender beef with coconut milk, chiles and spices (mine wasn't spicy)in a Malasian dry curry sauce that cooked over a low heat.

Seafood! Asam Fish Skate. Just look at the photo! Stew of sorts. Skate is a great fish for people who "don't like fish".

Time for desserts! Coconut Pudding. Coconut juice, coconut milk and coconut served in a coconut. They use a young coconut which makes for scraping some tender coconut meat after you eat the pudding. This one is definitely NOT for those who do not like coconut.

Finally, Pulut Hitam. It's a black sticky rice with coconut milk. Kind of like a loose rice pudding. Basically rice, coconut milk and sugar.

There was absolutely nothing that I disliked and would have eaten it all if I had a bottomless stomach. I did take leftovers home for Eunice, Esther's twin sister.

Group sitting near me was: Stephen Lin (Brooklyn), Michelle Cui, Lucie Medrano and Xiao from Flushing.


Home opener of the New York Sharks! We played against the D.C. Divas and took it 19-13. That's 2-0! It was an edge of the seat game for sure. Down to the wire it was a matter of their dropping the ball near the goal line with only seconds to go. We took the ball and took a knee. Samantha Rapoport from the NFL was on hand to do the coin toss. Samantha is doing her utmost to get girls flag football into the NYC schools.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

80 West at the Renaissance

Final destination was a restaurant called 80 West located at the Renaissance Hotel in White Plains. Executive Chef Jean-Claude Lanchais provided a tasting. Thank goodness they were small portions as there was much to savor. Smoked salmon on potato nachos with a tangy caper sauce. Baby arugula and frisee salad with seared peppered tuna, ginger dressing. Hey, just glance at the photos!

Greensburgh Nature Center

I love animals and have a habit of thinking that I can pet everyone of them. We're off to the Greenburgh Nature Center. Inside there are small caged animals. They will take out some of them to allow you to hold and pet. I held a ferret, chinchilla, hedgehog, and gekko. I wanted to pet the screech owl, but it wasn't too happy about my doing so. Outside there was this goat that they found roaming along Central Avenue. Cops picked it up. I imagined their saying, "Hey, kid, are you lost?"