Thursday, October 31, 2013


I was excited to hear the Cindi Lauper was performing at the Kupferberg Center at Queens College hear in New York.  Colden Auditorium is large and has great acoustics.  But that didn't help trying to watch her perform.

Let's begin with the signs all over the place saying "no photos or video".  I brought my small camera. A lot of people apparently brought their iphones and ipads.  I was seated in the last row of the orchestra.  I barely saw her as it was but now we have people standing up.

It was like people first stood up to applaud but then no one was sitting down.  They were all waiting for the people in front of them to sit.  I couldn't keep standing up.  It wasn't as if there was such excitement that people had to stand or dance at their seat or even dance in the aisles.  They were like lemmings.

The ushers did no more than simply take people to their seats.  If they were to at least motion to the people in front to sit, the other lemmings would follow.

She was good. But I was unable to see her.  I mean, I might as well have listened to a recording.

I did take some videos.  So, here they are.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


On Halloween, October 31, 2013, the Empire State Building and Clear Channel will give a special gift to New York City, and the world with a spooky music-to-LED light show. Think 16 million LED palate colors run and designed by the person who created light shows for Pink Floyd, Bon Jovi, Paul McCartney, The Olympics and Cirque du Soleil!
Beginning at 8:30pm EST the spectacle will begin for 10 minutes live for those within site of the iconic NYC landmark.  But by 10pm EST the world will be able to view the images with soundtrack live on this link

Sunday, October 27, 2013


“It’s not kosher” is a phrase you hear when it usually pertains to not being on the “up and up”.   Food wise “kosher” is a both a Jewish dietary law as well as one that rests on how you practice the religion.  The word, “kosher” derives from the Hebrew word, “kasher”, meaning “pure” or “proper”.  Simply being blessed by a Rabbi does not make food “kosher”.  

Fairway Market has a kosher catering menu.   What does it all mean?   I was able to sample and speak with Fairway’s expert Rebecca Martin as we begin with the facilities, which have to be set up so that there are no other foods around to contaminate.  Rabbis are present to oversee.  

Fish must have scales and fins.   That not only leaves out all shellfish, but one such as catfish.  Think of it as fish that are not “bottom feeders”.  The sushi menu is limited to salmon, tuna and yellowtail, keeping in mind that not all fish considered to be “kosher” should be eaten raw, such as tilapia, an entrĂ©e selection.   Let’s examine a few maki rolls.  Godzilla: tuna, yellow tail, salmon, kani, tempura style.  American Dream: yellow tail, tuna, salmon, spicy tuna, masago, scallion, sweet sauce, spicy sauce.  You get extra sauces, such as spicy mayo and soy sauce. Of course it comes with pickled ginger and wasabi.

Animals that chew the cud and have cloven hooves are okay.  So, for the sake of the menu, we are looking at beef with cows that have gone through a ritual slaughter.   No cuts of beef from the hind quarter. This excludes parts that are seen as premium cuts of beef, such as the filet mignon and the porterhouse. This also excludes all flank, sirloin, T-bone and round cuts.  Does it limit the taste?  It’s not the cut of beef but how you prepare and cook it.

Beef facon, for instance.  Think of it as bacon using beef instead of pork. Certainly a lot leaner and is a pretty good substitute.  Beef sausage can be done in many styles depending upon the herbs and spices being used with edible casings.  A company called Jack’s manufactures both the facon and sausage.  Fairway spent time researching to find the best.

I grew up on eating tongue...beef tongue and from a kosher deli.  Fairway cooks up their own and what you get is lean. Chopped Chicken Liver.  Let’s first get to the chicken livers coming from a kosher chicken.  Not only is the chicken slaughtered so that the blood is drained, if the liver has any green on it…goodbye chicken.  Chicken livers, onions, hard boiled eggs, salt and schmaltz (chicken 

Back to the beef as in Beef Spare Ribs.  They are like the size of “country ribs” when you buy the pork ilk.  It is all about the sauce regarding taste.  The ribs are totally cooked tender when they arrive.  You just need to heat them up, like the rest of the foods served hot.

Here is a great specialty…Crispy Orange Beef.  This item arrives in a cut out orange.  The sliced beef is coated and fried. Sesame seeds sit atop.  An orange sauce is prepared with some extra sauce packed.  It’s delicious. What more could you want?

Two particular items made use of mushrooms.  One was Portobello Fries. Basically, cut up Portobello mushrooms, coated with panko and fried.  It comes along with a remoulade sauce.  The other was Seared Wild Mushrooms in herbs. Great side to the Crispy Orange Beef. 

Sweet potato pancakes are quite tasty and make sure you order challah bread, while you’re at it. Challah bread goes with everything! 

Want a taste?  On Sunday, November 3, the Paramus, Stamford and Westbury locations will be giving out samples of their kosher Thanksgiving menu from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  You can find the kosher catering menu on

Tuesday, October 22, 2013



Sherri Shepherd, comedienne, actress and Emmy Award-winning co-host of “The View,” is set to perform four stand up comedy shows at the Gotham Comedy Club on Friday, November 1 and Saturday, November 2, 2013.
Her charming persona has led audiences to fall in love with her all around the world. In what has shaped up to be a very exciting and successful year for Sherri Shepherd, projects include a recurring role as “Daphne” on the final season of the CBS hit comedy, “How I Met Your Mother;” her second book—New York Times Bestseller, Plan D: How to Lose Weight and Beat Diabetes (Even If You Don’t Have It); LUXHAIRTM NOW for Sherri Shepherd wig line; and an upcoming role in “Finally Famous,” a comedy film written and directed by Chris Rock, to be released in 2014.
208 West 23rd St.
Between 7th and 8th Avenues
New York, NY 10011
Upcoming Shows:
Friday, November 1 – 8:30 PM
Friday, November 1 – 10:30 PM
Saturday, November 2 – 8:00 PM
Saturday, November 2 – 10:00 PM
For more information about the show and how to purchase tickets, please visit:
For more information about Sherri Shepherd, please visit: | Twitter & Instagram: @SherriEShepherd

Monday, October 21, 2013


Fairway Market stores throughout the Tri-State area are holding their annual “Hosting the Holiday” event in which shoppers can sample main courses, side dishes, baked goods and more from the extensive Thanksgiving catering menu and receive 10% off catering orders placed that day.

“Hosting the Holiday” takes place on Saturday, November 2, 2013 and on Sunday, November 3, 2013 between 11 AM– 2 PM at twelve Fairway Market locations (excluding the Upper East Side and Upper West Side stores).  Items available for tasting include autumn vegetable puree soup, butternut squash soup, roasted Fairway ABF turkey served with turkey gravy, roasted butternut squash, candied sweet potatoes, savory sausage stuffing, classic cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and Fairway’s own apple, pumpkin and sweet potato pies.

“We know that Thanksgiving is all about great food and family,” said Herb Ruetsch, CEO of Fairway Market.  “Our wonderful and extensive catering menu will provide the great food and give the hosts more time to be with family.”

Fairway will also be holding a KOSHER “Hosting the Holiday” event on Sunday, November 3, 2013 from 11:00AM - 2:00PM in the Paramus, Stamford, and Westbury Fairway locations. The kosher items that will be available for tasting include autumn vegetable puree soup, butternut squash soup, roasted empire kosher turkey served with turkey gravy, roasted butternut squash, candied sweet potatoes, apple cranberry challah stuffing, classic cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and Fairway’s own apple, pumpkin, and sweet potato pies.

Please go to for complete Thanksgiving menus and ordering instructions.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


It was an evening of honoring at the Hall of Fame Dinner as the Queens College Athletic Department highlighted several women, most of whose history involved playing basketball.

With Darryl Jacobs, Men's Basketball Coach, running the show, each honoree was given an award presented by a spokesperson connected to their QC sports career as we were shown a  music infused slide show of photos and information.  There were three women being honored,  Eileen MacLellan;  Majorie Larney, and  Althea Gwyn, as well as the 1972-73 women's basketball team coached by Lucille Kyvallos.

Like a scene out of  "A League of Their Own", the dinner commenced with a cocktail hour of former athletes meeting their cohorts that dated as far back to the early 1970s and many who haven't set foot on the Queens College campus since they graduated.  Hugs, handshakes, cameras, iphones, cocktails,  hor d'eouvres and a buffet dinner lead the way to both honoring the male and female athletes as well as help raise funds for the Athletic Department to include having Kvyallos' name appear in the gym.

Eileen MacLellan gave a short “thank you” after her introduction.  MacLellan was an all-around athlete competing in basketball, swimming, volleyball and softball.  She was captain of the Queens College volleyball and softball teams, being named MVP of both sports, and ultimately earned the Silver Knight Award, given to the school's top female athlete.  

Marjorie Larney approached the podium saying, “One regret that I have is that I didn’t graduate Queens College, but the knowledge that I got was better than any institution that I did attend.  I was a runner and since there was no Title IX, I joined a track club that ran in Forest Park’s Victory Field. I later met a coach, John Brennan, who told me that he could teach me how to throw a javelin and competing in the Melbourne Olympics”

Larney won the US National Championships in not only the javelin but the discus and shot put,  as well as serving as the youngest javelin thrower ever. In the 1955 and 1959 Pan-American Games, she won silver in the javelin and a bronze in the discus.

Lucille Kyvallos introduced Althea Gwyn speaking about her personal efforts during the time that she coached her. “In 1974 I felt as if a meteor hit Queens College. I was coaching but it was Gail Marquis who recruited her. Althea was a student playing in Amityville. We did not have a budget and there were no dorms at Queens College. Our manager took her in her home. Althea played basketball for Queens College from 1974-1978.

“Althea was known for her scoring and rebounding and led the nation in rebounding for both men and women, collegiate and professional for two years in a row.  She was selected as a Kodak All-American in 1978.”  As Kyvallos spoke about Althea, boasting about her basketball career, it was clear how proud she was of her.

Gwyn shared about playing on several USA national teams and that at the end of her collegiate career, joining the Women's Professional Basketball League as the number one draft pick to represent the New York Stars. 

The highlight of the evening was having Donna Orender present to hand out the NCAA 40th Anniversary Award Team of Distinction to the 1972-73 Women's Basketball Team, the Lady Knights.  Donna, not only played under the coaching of Kyvallos, but is the former President of the WNBA.  Coached by the QC Hall of Famer, Kyvallos, and led on the court by future Olympian, Gail Marquis, the team posted a 22-5 record, averaged a margin of victory of 19.9 points, and advanced to the AIAW Championship and a #2 national ranking.

“I am so honored to do this,” said Orender. “When a team melds, it stirs your inner soul and motivates you in ways you couldn’t fathom until ‘it’ happens. As a coach, the gift of molding young athletes, their minds, their bodies, their spirits; whatever it takes to convince young women that they can draw more out of themselves is a gift that coach Kyvallos gave to Queens College and to all of us who played for her.

“We all remember her booming voice, that excessive whistle, and the short raps of a broomstick. But mostly the gift of getting many to believe in one.  These thirteen young women chose to play basketball when it was not the fashion for women to do.”

The roster included Gail Marquis, Debbie Mason, Cathy Andruzzi, Maggie Hilgenberg, Maryann Jecewiz, Shirley Johnson, Yvette Pierre, Judy Milewski, Barbara Riccardi, Nance Rullo, Judy Spinal, Maureen Steurer, Racheel Wells, Nancy Ross (manager) and Asst. Coach, Connie VanHousen, most of who attended the event.  For all their accomplishments during that season, they were the first women's team ever to be inducted into the New York City Hall of Fame.

James Muyskens, President of QC, made an appearance at the podium congratulating the honorees. Much thanks was given to China Leigh Jude, Asst. VP  and Athletic Director who put the event together. 

The above appeared in the 10/25 issue of the Times Ledger....the rest is my own comment.

The event would have gone a lot less drawn out if it weren't for the men.  They say women talk too much!!!  When the men were being honored, the presenter gabbed for about half an hour talking about his own kudos as well as his sports relationship with the honoree.  Then many of the male honorees would give a drawn out description of his own QC and after QC career.   It was as if the presenter felt that he, himself deserved an award!  Good grief....leave that ego at home, guys!!!!

There was a photographer at the event, Brian Ballweg.  He set it up to have the 1972-73 pose along with Donna Orlender.  I would have gotten the same photo if I was willing to stand up on a chair as he did.

(Front, Left to right going up and back)
Lucille Kyvallos
Donna Chait-Orender (presenter), Maryann Jecewiz, Debbie Mason,
Maggie Hilgenberg, Judy Spina
(Back row-5 across) Cathy Andruzzi, Nancy Rullo, Barbara Riccardi, Gail
Marquis, Yvette Pierre

So I don't omit that men were honored, here is a photo of all of the honorees.

(left to right) Front Row: Lucille Kyvallos (presenter), Marjorie Larney, Eileen MacLellan Back Row: Anthony Migliore, Geoffrey Maloney, Althea Gwynn, Roger Ratner, Joseph Gould

On a personal note I had Lucille Kyvallos as a gym teacher one semester and playing volleyball. 

The article itself has been published in the Times Ledger...edited, of course.