Friday, February 28, 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Went to B.B. King in Manhattan to see Keiko Matsui perform.  She was absolutely fabulous!  Here are videos and photos.

Monday, February 24, 2014


I just got this!  Wonder what it's all about!


“Ladies and gentlemen, tonight's the night, the most anticipated event in our lifetime.  
Over four billion people will be watching this unprecedented world telecast.
Get ready for the earthquake.”







On Monday, March 3rd Waldorf Press will internationally release the paperback version of the already highly successful (Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, LuLu) novel, “SAVING THE KING,” about the number one best selling artist and arguably the greatest showman to ever step on a concert stage – ELVIS PRESLEY – an über talent who was worked to death by a greed-soaked manager and an insatiable public sampling their first sumptuous meal of fame and the instant satisfaction uncut celebrity can deliver.

But that is not what the novel is about.

And it’s not what all the hoopla about the novel is about.

George and Christine Gomez’ “SAVING THE KING” will take you on a journey of “what if” and allow you to imagine a world where Elvis Presley is granted a second chance at life; a life without amphetamines, sedatives, barbiturates, Demerol and dilaudid; a life without heart-demolishing junk food; a life without enslaving management; a life without the cannibalizing press corps, a life with what normal people have – hope, health, honesty, forgiveness, love and God.  

“SAVING THE KING” gives us back Elvis Presley before the Dr. Feel-Goods and the drug dealers devoured him.

Imagine that world.   If you can.   It’s an inspiring journey.

“SAVING THE KING” was first written as film script, which is being chased by several outlets as we speak.

Waldorf Press’ Barbara Terry was tipped off to the igniting energy building around the film script.  She approached the Gomez’ as to the possibility of a novel.

The answer was a resounding YES. 

“SAVING THE KING,” the novel, is an explosion set to detonate on Monday, March 3rd – in bookstores everywhere,


“SAVING THE KING” opens in 1956 at the venerable Ryman Auditorium where a young Elvis Presley saves a defenseless ten-year-old boy from a menacing stranger after a sold-out performance, launching a chain of events that ultimately lead to a mystical encounter with an Angel who sends Elvis on a journey that redesigns his destiny.  The young boy re-enters Elvis’ life as a rich and powerful international business man who devises a brilliant but shocking plan that forces The King to confront his demons and his addictions as a small army of therapists, counselors, dieticians and trainers deliver us back – The King.  There are many enticing threads to this totally engrossing story, such as the involvement of Johnny Cash who helps orchestrate the plan while a down-and-out Memphis reporter investigates the mystery of Elvis' “death,” getting much too close to the truth and THE STORY OF THE CENTURY.  As the tale unfolds, the reader will be transported to the magical days when The King of Rock ’n’ Roll held court from an unchallenged throne and when music became the planet Earth’s intoxicating common language and its most healing commodity.  If you listened.

“SAVING THE KING” is not only a story about Elvis Presley.  It is also a story about fame, despair, greed redemption, faith, responsibility, family, friendship, loyalty, forgiveness, hope honesty, love and God.

It’s breathtaking.

It’s a page-turner.

It moves at the speed of lightning.

It’s why Hollywood is all over it.


George and Christine Gomez are the writing team that bring us Saving the King, a drama-fantasy about Elvis Presley and what might have been if a wealthy fan had stepped in to save him before it was too late.  The story was conceived by George when he first heard of the King’s death in 1977 but really took life over the last few years as he and his wife Christine began to collaborate, breathing life into the story.  They have created a very endearing story about Elvis Presley that will mesmerize the reader and bring the King back to all his glory.  The couple each have two children from previous marriages. George’s two children, Lane and Atalie have each blessed him with grandchildren.  Christine considers herself blessed to count her two daughters, Alicia and Teresa, among her closest friends.  George is a Cuban-Dominican and was raised in Nashville since the age of 3. He works as a registered nurse in the psychiatric field. He is an avid golfer and a movie trivia buff.  Christine is a California native and works as a software developer for one of the nation’s premier national laboratories. Together, they have created a truly heartwarming story that will leave Elvis fans everywhere wishing for more.


Went off to Fairway on Sunday morning as a needed a few things....milk, eggs (had a rain check to use), cat litter, batteries, lox.

Forgot that tastings are a happening there.  Tasting station are set up.   First one was in the deli dept. but I wasn't up for pepperoni...I think that's what is was.  Stopped to get lox pieces then to the cheeses.  Fresh mozzarella was being made.  They added some more items to this particular area.  Tasting of two cheese spreads.  It said, "cheddar cheese and mozzarella".  Didn't read the "hot" part.  I then asked for a taste of the mozzarella that he was making to calm the "hot".  Mmmm...nothing like fresh mozzarella.

Decided to see if there were sample at the bakery counter since I had to pass there anyway.  Not sure what I had but it certainly was delicious!

Sushi counter was on the way to where I needed to go.  Tasting there, one across the way.

That woman in the blue?  That's their "greeter" Annie.  Seek her out if you need assistance anywhere in the Douglaston store.  As it turns out, she is responsible for setting up all of these tasting stands. What a smart idea!

Next was some Fairway pasta.

One place that you can always taste is where they make the popcorn snacks.

Had to get ice cream...Three Twins.  Didn't know what flavors to get to I bought 4...Mint Confetti, Chocolate Orange Confetti, Cookies and Cream, and Chocolate Malt.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014


With several regions in Italy, pasta, pizza and tomato sauce are more of a former American style of cuisine as I learned from savoring a tasting by Executive Chef Michael DeGeorgio, of Vetro Restaurant and Lounge in Howard Beach.  The menu explains the course, what area it relates to and why as well as my take on these items.

Cannellini and broccoli rabe puree and burrata, from the region of Puglia.  White beans, broccoli rabe, garlic and oil cooked into a rich puree with toasted bread and tomato salad. It is plated with Burrata mozzarella, as well as an apricot and pear salad.  “Puglia is noted for having the best olive oils, vegetables, beans and seafood.  A heavy soup was made in the home.  Burrata, was created in this area.”  This course is to be eaten with a combined taste of each to savor the creaminess of the burrata, bitter and salty broccoli rabe, and sweetness of the fruit. 

Ciuppin, from the region of Liguria. Halibut, shrimp, clams and calamari cooked with tomatoes, chili pepper, garlic, and olive oil on toasted bread.  “This is a more northern area with small but fruity olive crops.  Seafood comes from off of the Northern coast. Cioppino, as it is most known, was actually created here.” I consider this to be a “seafood stew” rather than a “seafood soup”.  This dish is served with a whole red chili pepper, which I quickly removed. 

Spaghetti Calabrese from the region of Calabria.  Spaghetti sautéed with roasted eggplant, artichokes, peppers, chili, sundried tomato, anchovies, garlic and oil.  “The area is known for seafood, and a variety of peppers that include the short red chili pepper, green finger bell pepper, and cabernet. Many vegetables are grown here. With a location near Sicily, spicy stews are prominent.” 
“I keep a huge pot of boiling water on the stove and scoop out a small potful for each pasta dish that I cook.  This way the cooking method begins with boiling water to which I add the portion of pasta.  I prepare the sauce beforehand using only fresh vegetables.  When the pasta is cooked to the customer’s order, al dente to just about fully soft, I place the sauce in a pan, add the pasta and sauté until the pasta is totally coated. Pasta should always be cooked this way rather than plating the sauce over the pasta”.  

I was invited into the kitchen to watch the master watch and explain the preparations, requesting to eliminate the chili pepper and garlic, opting for some shallots instead. 

 Sogliola di Sassari from the region of Sardegna. Pan roasted halibut with lemon, tarragon, olive oil and bread crumbs. “Tarragon is an herb that is much used in Sardinia, a small island, where seafood is also prominent.  They don’t actually have halibut, but a similar smaller fish.”  The dish is served with water cress, “netted” lemon half, and fresh tarragon.   It is a perfect way to make use of the tarragon.  

Lombata di Vitello from the region of Velle di Aosti.  Rib veal chop grilled and stuffed with lump crab meat and wild mushrooms.  Served with Fingerling potatoes and broccoli rabe.  “This is one of my signature dishes sometimes offered on the menu.  Velle di Aosti is known for having finer meats and wild mushrooms.” 

That's Chef Michael on the left and owner Frank Russo, Jr. on the right. 
These courses are not offered on Vetro’s menu. I did try one of Chef Michael’s signature dishes, Lobster Cappuccino made with Maine lobster, tomatoes, cognac and foamed milk that is served with a pastry stick. 

Vetro, owned by the Russo family, is located at 164-49 Cross Bay Blvd., a few blocks from their catering Russo’s on the Bay.  Expect high quality food and fine dining at Vetro.  


k.d. lang may have been a bit skeptic about her Broadway debut until she found the perfect show,  After Midnight.  This much earned number 1 musical led by the Jazz at Lincoln Center All Star band is loaded with dance numbers and lots of movement.  k.d. , however,  didn’t have to learn lines or choreography.  She simply had to be herself performing four jazz numbers.

After Midnight takes us to an era of the old Cotton Club, where singers were the featured guests as k.d. was chosen to sing, “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love”, “Stormy Weather”, “Zaz Zuh Zaz” and “On the Sunny Side of the Street”.   The first two were total solo.  “Zaz” got some of the cast joining in song, while “Sunny” gave us not only two female dancers but k.d.  doing a short “ballroom” with one. 

After Midnight has a “host”, the second featured “guest star” .  Psych fans will recognize Dule Hill.  In fact there was a presentation of “Psych, the Musical” on USA network.   Dule told me that this is what prompted him to be in the show that allows him to show off both his singing and dancing talents.

What can you expect from this show?  Duke Ellington music along with others such as: Ted Koehler & Harold Arlen; Sippie Wallace; Dorothy Fields & Jimmy McHugh; Harry James & Ben Pollack; and Cab Calloway &Harry White.  

You can also expect an hour and a half of some of the best jazz, tap and swing dancing going.   Did I forget the singing?  Can’t miss Adriane Lenox, Karine Plantadir and Dormeshia.  Into America’s Got Talent?  Julius “iGlide” Chisolm may have not made it to the top on that show, but he certainly gets to show off on this one.

What an ending!  Tap Mathematician/”It Don’t Mean a Thing” has Jared Grimes doing the tapping with the band backing.  The Company first joins in the songs “Cotton Club Stomp”, followed by the entire cast (although I didn’t spot k.d.) with “Freeze and Melt”.   Just when you think the show is over, The Jazz at Lincoln Center All Stars are moved up to the front of the stage with “Rockin’ in Rhythm”.   

k.d. will be featured until March 9th.   I’m not sure who will be doing these numbers in between as Toni Braxton and Kenny “Baby Face” Edmonds will be there March 18-30.  Vanessa  Williams gets her turn April 1st through May 11th.

After Midnight is at the Brook Atkinson Theatre at West 47th Street.