Tuesday, November 26, 2013


AS OF November 26, 2013

November 29-30              The Musical Box
December 1                       Trace Adkins Christmas Show
December 3                       The Fresh Beat Band
December 4                       Kenny Rogers Christmas & Hits
December 5                       The Fresh Beat Band
December 6                       Cedric The Entertainer
December 7                       Paul Anka – Songs of December and the Hits
December 8                       Snow White's Christmas
December 11                     ThePianoGuys
December 14                     Holiday Doo Wop Extravaganza
December 15                     Max & Ruby in The Nutcracker Suite (1PM & 4PM)
December 18-21               Theresa Caputo – Long Island Medium
December 28                     TNA Impact Wrestling
December 31                     Mike Epps: New Year’s Eve
January 11 & 12 John Pinette
January 18                          The Temptations & The Four Tops
January 24                          Classic Albums Live! The Dark Side of The Moon
February 7                          Masters of Illusion
February 8-9                      All You Need Is Love: A Beatles Tribute Concert
February 14                        The Tenors Valentine’s Special  
February 15                        First Annual “Louder Than Love” Valentine’s Ball
February 16                        70s Soul Jam - Stylistics, Dramatics, Harold Melvin's
Bluenotes, Blue Magic, New Birth
February 21 & 22              Bob Weir & RatDog
February 27                        Mike Birbiglia
February 28                        Deepak Chopra “The Future of Well Being”
March 1                              Zappa Plays Zappa
March 2                              Jack Hanna – Into The Wild
March 22                            Spring Doo Wop Extravaganza
March 28                            Jim Belushi & The Chicago Board of Comedy
April 3                                  Wayne BradyThe What’s My Line” Tour
April 5                                  The Music of Led Zeppelin performed by the Windborne
Symphony and vocalist RANDY JACKSON
April 24 & 25                      Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
May 3                                  ABBA The Concert
May 7-9                              The Moody Blues
May 16                                Golden Boys starring Bobby Rydell, Frankie Avalon & Fabian

960 Brush Hollow Road | Westbury, NY USA| 11590

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Here are a number of videos that I took of a show called, Legislative Acts performed by politicians of Queens County in New York City.

Go here for the article.   http://www.timesledger.com/stories/2013/48/legislativeacts_all_2013_11_29_q.html

Friday, November 22, 2013



2nd YEAR

Partners With


November 22 – December 15

On The Magical Streets Of The City of Lights

Here It Is One More Time

Bring A New Toy For A Tiny Tot & Take THE RIDE For Free


THE ICONIC 2nd Year HOLIDAY RIDE is all but Sold Out.  Everybody knows this.  Especially CEO/President Richard Humphrey who has just announced that he is adding fifty (50) extra HOLIDAY RIDES so that he can make three hundred (300) complimentary seats available to RIDERS who arrive at THE RIDE’S Box Office (234 West 42nd Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue – directly beside Madame Tussauds) bearing a new toy valued at $25 or more for a very deserving child.

The gifts will be collected and distributed by THE MARINES TOYS FOR TOTS FOUNDATION; one of the most admired and accomplished organizations in the world and one that THE RIDE is honored with which to be partnered.  HONORED!

The TOYS FOR TOTS initiative will run from Friday, November 22 through Sunday, December 15.

THE RIDE Tickets are valued at $74.   Patrons may present their toy/gift at the time of purchase and receive their ticket in exchange for their charitable donation.

THE ICONIC 2nd Year HOLIDAY RIDE will run through January 5, 2014.

The happiness that THE MARINES TOYS FOR TOTS FOUNDATION will deliver throughout New York will last far past January 5, 2014.

About Marine Toys for Tots Foundation
OVERVIEW: Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity is the fundraising, funding and support organization for the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program.  The Foundation was created at the behest of the U. S. Marine Corps and provides support in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding with the Commander, Marine Forces Reserve, who directs the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program.  The Foundation has supported Toys for Tots since 1991.

GOVERNANCE: Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is governed by a board of directors, all of whom are successful business leaders from throughout the nation.  All directors served as U. S. Marines.  The Foundation’s professional staff is headquartered in the Cooper Center, which is located just outside the main gate of Marine Corps Base, Quantico, about 35 miles south of Washington, DC.

PRODUCTIVITY: Over the years the Foundation supplemented local campaigns with tens of millions of toys valued at hundreds of millions of dollars.  Additionally, the Foundation provides approximately one million dollars worth of promotional and support materials to local campaigns each year.

MISSION: The mission of Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is to assist the U. S. Marine Corps in providing a tangible sign of hope to economically disadvantaged children at Christmas.  This assistance includes supporting the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program by raising funds to provide toys to supplement the collections of local Toys for Tots campaigns, to provide promotional and support material and defray the costs of conducting annual Toys for Tots campaigns.  Other Foundation support includes providing administrative, advisory, financial, logistic and promotional support to local Toys for Tots Coordinators; managing funds raised and monies donated based on the use of Toys for Tots name or logo; providing other support the Marine Corps, as a federal agency, cannot provide; and conducting public education and information programs about Toys for Tots that call the general public to action in support of this patriotic community action program.

GOAL: The primary goal of the Foundation is the same as that of the overall Toys for Tots Program: i.e. –  to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them into becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens.

OBJECTIVES: The objectives of the Foundation are the same as those of the overall Toys for Tots program: i.e. –  to help less fortunate children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas; to play an active role in the development of one of our nation’s most valuable resources – our children; to unite all members of local communities in a common cause for three months each year during the annual toy collection and distribution campaign; an to contribute to improving communities in the future.

ACTIVITIES: The Foundation engages in two categories of activities: Program Services and Support Services.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013


I recently received this email. "Would you have a few minutes to meet next week with Astronaut Tom Jones and Andrea Farmer of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex? Tom and Andrea will be in New York Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 20 and 21, and hope that you might have time to talk briefly in person. Tom and Andrea would like to provide an update on the latest at Kennedy Space Center and the Visitor Complex including: the new $100-million Space Shuttle Atlantis attraction; KSCVC’s continuing commitment to edutourism and STEM education; upcoming launches and the future of the space program."

It sounded interesting enough but not really up on going into Manhattan lately.  "That's okay. They'll come out to you".  WHAT...come to Queens?  Meet at my home?  A restaurant?  Then I thought of the perhaps place...the New York Hall of Science at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.  That place has been around since the 1964 World's Fair and for the same reason.  Lots of renovations since, naturally.  One particular area outside of the building itself is called Rocket Park.  Two actual rockets including one Gemini that went to outer space. 

All set up, I got there early to get a quick tour and figure out where the interviews and photos would take place.  Met with their p.r. person Mary Record to chat then off to see their latest 3-D movie about Monarch butterflies.  Only one at the 11 a.m. showing as the place was packed with school kids checking out all of the hands-on exhibits. I tried really hard to catch a butterfly as they were flying directly in front of me.  No use! Absolutely loved the movie. 

I looked out a window to see these two rockets and something in between.  What are they?  One of the fabulous staff came by to explain. 

Mary and I continued to explore places for later photo ops.  When Tom and Andrea arrived, we went directly into the cafeteria to grab lunch and bring it into a conference room.  After chopping and schmoozing, it was time for some interviewing.  I video-taped both interviews.  The first one was to talk about who Tom is and what he had done. 

Here is the video.

The next part of the interview was about the Kennedy Space Center and both Andrea and Tom gave me the lowdown. 

Onto some of the photo shots before we go outside, Tom changed into his official jacket. 

He absolutely loved looking at this module.

Had to get in this particular sign.

We then went upstairs to where the astronaut photo cut outs were located.

Into the Rocket Park we go.

“What a wonderful welcome we received from our space and science friends in New York,” Andrea  later commented. “It felt like being home in Florida as we saw the might Gemini titan and Mercury Atlas at the entrance. Astronaut Tom Jones and I were impressed with the many interactive displays and exhibits, and the welcoming and knowledgeable staff. It's no wonder so many young people flock there to learn all about science!”

Tom had this to say. “Growing up during the Space Race of the 1960s, I followed each space shot involving our astronauts with intense interest. Coming to the Hall of Science, site of the ’64 World’s Fair, brought me face to face with those icons of the Space Age standing tall in the Rocket Park. Back then, I would have turned over my little brothers to have been able to visit the Rocket Park back then! Fortunately, I didn’t have to trade them in—during my visit. I was able to explore the Mercury-Atlas, the Gemini-Titan II (built two miles from my boyhood home in Baltimore), and the Mercury 1 space capsule display inside the Hall. My pilgrimage to the Hall reminded me of the excitement I felt as a budding scientist and aspiring pilot.  Just as these early spacecraft at the Hall of Science inspired my journey to the stars, young explorers can go to Kennedy Space Center’s Visitor Complex and see the spaceship I flew at the Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit. The Hall of Science—the Kennedy Space Center—these are places to learn about amazing discoveries, epic achievements, and to inspire our young people to a bright future in space.”

Time for them to depart back the Manhattan.  I even got a signed copy of Tom's book as well as a NASA sweatshirt and a few other goodies.  Now I want to got to the Kennedy Space Center and see it all.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


No, I did not devour everything obtained from last shopping.  I want to stock up for a few weeks as there is much news to cover for both the newspapers as well as my radio show.

Found another brand of milk called Sky Top Farms.  Not only is it organic, it is not homogenized. The cream goes to the top of the container.  Now, that's the way I remember my milk when it was delivered in bottles.

Over at the butcher counter, I spoke with Rich who told me that all of the Dry Aged Porterhouse steaks are not the same. What?  It depends upon the cut that you get...first, center.  Is there a "porterhouse"  pork chop?  Sort of.  The center cup chop also has a part similar to the T-bone tenderloin and strip, labeled as "corn fed center cut".  Got a package of rib tips from the shelf area.

Fairway's brand of chicken is antibiotic-free.  Picked up a whole chicken, chicken thighs and a package of chicken backs to make a stock.  

I bought more of the lemon sole.  They had wild caught fresh flounder filet as well.   Thought I'd stick with what I already enjoyed.   Purchased about a half pound of dry sea scallops.   After reading about the difference between the "dry" and "wet",  I will forever make sure that they are "dry".   I'm sure that the dry are always more expensive wherever you shop.  Will interview the fishmonger on how you can be sure you are purchasing the fish that is labeled.  

Got a few organic apples to experiment with in terms of making a cranberry-apple sauce or just juicing the two.  Chose a fuji and a gala. 

Food tastings going on in most of the areas.  You can expect this most Saturdays and Sunday at this location in Douglaston. 

Friday, November 15, 2013


Light the menorah candles with colors of orange and brown as we celebrate an unusual Jewish Holiday, Thanksgivukkah.  The Hebrew year of 5774 has the first day of Hanukkah falling out on the American Holiday of Thanksgiving, November 28, 2013.  How can you combine the two?  
Start with the kosher turkey, the food that takes the longest to cook.   If it is not as important to have a kosher turkey, then buy one that has not been fed additives, etc.  Kosher the fowl by blanching it in boiling water with kosher salt.  

Prepare the stuffing.  Thank goodness the first night of Hanukkah falls out the night before Thanksgiving.   That challah bread that you bought?  Let some of it get a bit hard.   There are over a hundred recipes for stuffing (or dressing).   Just make sure that a sausage stuffing doesn’t involve one made with pork.   Deep frying the turkey would remind us of the burning oil.   In case you’re already ferklempt, miracle of oil for one day burnt for eight.  

As much as you are addicted to grandma’s chicken soup, opt for one made with butternut squash using a kosher chicken stock or make your own using the turkey neck.  If the neck is requested during the meal, tell them that Elijah stopped by for a nosh.  See if the person realizes which holiday it is.  If they are still looking like a deer staring at headlights, say...”Have a piece of challah bread. There’s no maztoh.”

Chopped liver is a must.   There is no way that you can substitute turkey fat for chicken fat.   How friendly are you with your butcher?   If you can’t get chicken fat, make sure you fry the chicken livers and onions in oil…to remind us.  What’s more important is that the chopped liver is in the shape of a turkey head with a sign nearby saying, “What am I – chopped liver?” 

Make use of sweet potatoes by using them for the latkes that must be fried….remember?   Prepare a compote of cranberries and apples for the sauce.   Don’t fry any of it.   How about a sweet potato kugel?  Can’t use butter.   I guess you’ll have to make it with oil.  

You will certainly need to make a salad to help digest the food.  Throw in some pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries.   Bring out some balsamic vinegar.   When they ask for the oil, tell them there’s no more left and say, “I’m thankful that we don’t have to put wax in all of the meals”.  

Sundown begins with lighting the menorah and a prayer over the wine.   Ask a guest, “Would you like a little wine?”   Upon hearing a “yes” you say, “Oy, I’m so tired from cooking this meshuggeneh meal”.  Wine sounds like “whine” and meshuggeneh means, “crazy”.

Now, before you fall asleep from the tryptophan, play the dreydl game.  Fabricate one by carving out a gourd.  Make sure that you have a pointed bottom and the four Hebrew letters (that are also numbers).   Take a few long sweet potatoes and cook so that they are not too soft.  Cool, slice and dip in chocolate for the “Thanksgivakkuh Gelt”.  

Now, you get to sing The Dredyl Song” with the following words.  “I have a little dredyl. I carved it from a gourd.  This year bring us Thansgivakkuh.  And gelt I could afford.”  

Don’t bother cooking dessert.  Buy some pints of Graeter’s Ice Cream. It’s certified kosher.   By the time you get to eating it, there is enough time that elapsed between eating meat and dairy.   Fairway Market in Douglaston carries a variety of this most delicious and “no palm oil” treat.  

If the above gave you chuckles and don’t want to cook, take advantage of Fairway’s catering menus. You can opt for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah (kosher style) or a totally kosher meal for the combination of 50 or so people that you would have spent Thanksgiving and Hanukkah with.

A tasting of their Thanksgiving menu was offered to shoppers and included two soups, butternut squash, sweet potatoes,  turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and two pies.  No challah bread or chopped liver was offered.  Find the menus on their website of www.fairwaymarket.com

Have a happy holiday and always recall the chant of Jews everywhere.  “We fought. We won. We eat”. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013


It's no surprise that I love to shop at Fairway Market.  This day I had a particular reason for each of the items that went into my shopping cart.

I had tried a few brands of cold brewed coffee, including Trader Joe's and Grady's.  Neither brands had a decaf so I made my own.  Not the most difficult to do.   Coarse ground coffee in a pitcher adding cold water and letting it stand for about a day.  Strain and place in container.  It was good but I wanted to do a few using Fairway's coffee...one with a light roast and one that is flavored.  With the decaf that I tried, the grind wasn't correct.  Stumptown Coffee Roasters in the cold brewed brand that is sold at Fairway.   I mixed with milk, as I usually  do, and tasted horrible and far as my palate was concerned.  Hated to waste the Local brand milk.  Oh, oh...my mistake...I just took a swig of the milk and realized that I might have gotten a bad one.  Took a little swig of Stumptown and it tasted great.  Now I know why Justin (one of the floor managers) said that he likes to drink it plain.  I called Stumptown to inquire and told that they use a blend of African and Latin American beans.  I guess I didn't look at the label because although it is cold brewed, it is not concentrated.  They cold brew it and add filtered water to the concentrate.  A bottle will cost you $4 for 10.4 ounces.   Will follow up when I use Fairway's brand of coffee.   If you get to the coffee area at the right time, you can watch the coffee beans being roasted.

Over at the meat department.   If you've recently indulged at a superb steakhouse restaurant and ordered a Porterhouse steak for two, the cost for the steak alone would have been close to $90 (plus tax and gratuity).  Hopefully you've gotten a dry aged steak.  So how much of a cost difference is it by purchasing the same size-weight at Fairway's butcher counter where they have dry aged steaks?
As a comparison, Uncle Jack's Steakhouse charges $94 for the 48-ouncer, which calculates to about $34 per pound. If ordering nothing else, two people can eat this in one sitting.  However, I'm guessing that it's the most "doggy bagged" item on their menu.  As for Fairway's steak, it was about $31 per pound and you can dine wearing jeans...but it is suggested that you tip the cook!  Fairway Market has their own "Peter Luger type" steak sauce.  Got a wild mushroom blend to go with the steak and another recommended Fairway product, a Carolina BBQ Sauce.

The price comparison is one thing, the quality is another.  Keep in mind that Uncle Jack's specializes in steaks and if you are dissatisfied, it will be dealt with at their restaurant....and hopefully other restaurants that you have that type of  a steak.   Cooking it at home, can you return it if you are dissatisfied?   Yes, but only if reasons are that it is spoiled...stuff like that.  Call customer service first and make sure you keep your receipt and label.  

Another meat thing.  This one is was due to  Larry's Southwestern Sauces going great with making chili con carne.  Fairway butcher uses a chuck that is specially ground for chili. Thicker grinding.  Saute the meat, ditch the fat and add the sauce.  I wonder how it would taste on challah bread!  Forget the beans.

Over at the seafood department.  Although I do love fish...not all...I'm not the best at cooking it.  One thing about getting seafood is that much of it is thawed, which unless I cook and freeze, cannot be re-frozen.  Today they had Lemon Sole and grey sole both wild caught and fresh. I was told that the Lemon Sole is milder than the grey...very white in color.  As I ordered it a shopper next to me commented on how high the price was per pound...I think it was about $18 per pound. He said something like..."you must be rich".  I said, "I just like having the best. That's why I shop here." Got 4 pieces that was less than half a pound. Looking forward to pan frying it.

UPDATE:  Pan fried it and sooooo worth the price.  Two pieces with the rest of your meal is perfect! Enough protein.  Fresh filet flounder and lemon sole is an unfortunate "luxury" these days.  A serving of two pieces comes to little over $4.   With the kale salad (see below), the dinner for two people would come to less than $16.  Broiling the sole would make this one of the most healthy and tastiest dinners going!  The filet is quick to cook and easily half the price of eating at a restaurant.

Why is it so expensive?  I asked Dennis Bland, the fishmonger and here is what he said.
"Lemon sole is actually a pseudonym for large flounder,  We use large Georges Bank Fillets which the fishermen have to travel quite a distance for the fish that combined with the time, weather, seasonality and quota’s  all play a part in the price. 

Our cost also increases because we select only the best of the best and it is hand selected by our purveyors on a daily basis.  The fish is still in rigor when it is received at our stores because we do not let it sit on the docks or in the markets for days as soon as it is landed by the fishermen it is on its way to our stores.

We chose to run with the lemon sole sale last week because the fish were fresh off of their spawn making the fish nice and firm and large in size."

I have tried Nutella and Fairway's imported hazelnut spread.  Here is another spread made from biscuits the sweet cracker types that you get on the airplane.  Would never use it as a spread...eat it right from the jar.  May try it with some Graeter's Ice Cream.

Let's get healthy as I check out a sign regarding Fairway's Signature Salad made with kale.  Request a chopped salad and it usually begins with your choice of greens.   Kale is the greens being promoted.  What's in the salad?  Cooked butternut squash with dried cranberries,pumpkins seeds, and goat cheese.  You can add other items to it.  I requested shrimp.  "Anything else?," she asked. "How about bacon"?  There was this pause as she then said, "That's not too healthy" (I understood, considering that I just ordered a particularly healthy salad).  I then opted for some grilled asparagus as the smile returned to her face.  It was then all chopped up and put in a "to go bowl".   It seemed to weigh quite a bit and certainly enough for two full meals of which the shrimp became the protein.  I don't know about you, but if I went to a restaurant this salad would have been twice the price.  The cost?  $7.41.


I attended a cooking demo and dinner at the Fairway Market's Cafe on Broadway and 74th Street as Chef Mitchel London shared his recipes and secrets to cooking Thanksgiving dinner.

Prior to the cooking demo we were treated to a glass of wine and passed around hors d'eouvres of Fairway's smoked salmon (lox) on black bread.  I actually did a tasting of various smoked salmons at Fairway and determined that their own brand was less salty and less expensive than the others.

Apple pie was the first item to work on.  Why dessert to start?  It was to be the finish for our dinner, so it had to be prepared perfectly and baked.  His secrets on  making a great apples pie? Don't use lard in the crust....butter is better.  Don't buy a ready-made frozen crust. Cut the apples in thin slices.


We then went on to talking turkey stuffing.   Chef Mitchel does not believe in stuffing the turkey but rather making it separately.  Concern about any possible salmonella.  Does it make a difference in taste?  Somewhat.  You may not be getting all the fat drippings but some of these drippings will be used in making the gravy.  Two dressings were demoed, one using corn bread,  Since each of the items had been pre-cooked, we were all given a sample to taste.  The second dressing included mushrooms and sausage, which went into the oven.  That one was delicious as well.

Yes, there was a talk about how to cook a turkey and suggestions of what to use (including butter).  Although it left the demo table, we were not sampling as it was not part of our final dinner.

Cranberry relish was next on the list.  I will do my best to duplicate using oranges...although I believe it is the rind that is made use of.   Passed around tastes of this was delightfully experienced.

When it comes to candied yams, Chef Mitchel believes in yams, vs sweet potatoes.  Sugar and lots of butter.  They were prepared in front of us, cooked up and got a sampling. OMG!

There were many questions from the attendees, all of which were answered.

Here is a peek at the baked apples pie and candied yams.

As for our dinner, our plate was full with baked chicken, baby carrots, corn bread stuffing, peas, small white potatoes and gravy. More wine with the meal or bottled water if we wished.   Warm apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream topped the meal.

I look forward to the next food demo.  For Thanksgiving recipes, go to www.fairwaymarket.com