Archive for October, 2009

Off with Your Heck! , What the Heck?, Off to Quebec!!! And the Back to Florida Again in November

October 31, 2009

After Jude Law and Shakespeare’s existential movements and after the Danes and other Scandinavians got off the stage I was left feeling ok again.  So what did I do ?  This writer ventured over to Greenwhich, Ct. (where in the library on a personal computer he sits typing this blog out faithfully now) to meet Neil at the Greenwhich Y.M.C.A where he had been watching local water polo teams compete at the olympic size swimming and spectator water polo pool.

Meanwhile, it was time to eat and we got select items as per Neil’s nutritional reccomendations at Greenwhich’s branch of the Whole Foods Supermarket chain.  So some stuff was eaten and Neil began working on me to drive him to Montreal.   You know there is no way I can do that this blogger indicated though when it came time the next day to leave he said his bags were heavy and to take him to Penn Station.  Then having driven him to Montreal before I knew I had go the Palisades mall in West Nyack, New York to send out my rent from the post office and other bills so why not keep going.  Only problem my slight cold started to get worse and thought this writer thought he had it beat after a stop at the whale whopper super strong man qigong practicioner at the aging Nanuet Mall dinosaur… but in the end it was really getting worse.
Meanwhile, our duo had to drive much of the night and in looking for a hotel (there was no way I was going through passport control in the middle of the night) at one point there was a stop in an Adirondackian town at an over priced honeymoon bed and breakfest which was passed up for the laquinta inn  in Plattsburgh (where I really began to suffer.
So after a long delay in checking out and going through French Canadian Passport control (no problem) it was time to pull over and eat at a roadside restaurant.  We had escargot, onion soup and some silly meal then made our way to Montreal though the jardin de Papillions which I had wanted to see along the roadway was now fermez .
Then after having stopped earlier at the tourist info center this dummy said lets keep going lets go to Mount Tremblant (trembling mountain in French) which I knew of from the horrible Nastasha Richardson  mishap .
So this erstwhile traveler still thought that he could make it back to where needed to be on Sunday but this was Saturday already and having made it past Montreal on rte 15 we went past space camp Laval and a strange flying saucer type of theater complex where having to  use the toilette this bathroom goer saw that the hottest ticket inside for the Quebec culturati was to see the Metropolitan Opera perform live on the big screen via a  remote satellite link.
So it turned out from the rest stop that we had stopped at at the beginning of the Laurentian mountains (the chain of which Mt. Tremblant is a part which similar in geological ancestry to their southern neighbor the Adirondacks in New York State, U.S.A) we were only forty five minutes away…. And then after many magestic turns and blazes of fall color we were on a straightaway into Mt . Tremblant centre-ville.
Once in town Neil found an Esso/Exxon station with gourmet food and this was all very exciting though I was in a rush to get to the ski area to take the tramway up the mountain if it was ouvert.
When we got there it was still light out found the tram with the car but had to go back to park it and by the time we returned it had closed for the evening.  So after just walking around especially enjoying the Helly Hansen Danish Skiwear store and a trip over to a very expensive lakeside faux chateaux hotel it was time to make it out of town which was the next adventure.
Though Neil was supposed to be  going to go back to his father’s place in Montreal that night  I could not possibly make it all the way home now at this late hour and having given up on the possibility of making it to work I held out hope that at least I would make it to the book launch at the Queens museum for Salma Arastu’s The Lyrical Line for which I wrote an essay (http://www.amazon.com/Lyrical-Line-Salma-Arastu/dp/0971955298) but all things considered we again decided to get a hotel.
Most of the hotels including the one where we ate dinner were completely booked for the evening as it was Canadian thanksgiving or the eve of therein.  Finally we found a comfort inn on a bluff off the highway in the foothills of the Laurentians on the way back to Montreal .  The room was a confrence room during the day and a hotel room at night (this suited us fine).
The next day I suggested going back to Mt. Tremblant to go up the damn tram and Neil said that I had had that planned all along.  So with plenty of time we parked saw a small church by the parking lot  and went back into the  simulated European alpine village.  Neil sat the rides out and I took first a short tram where you stand while going over among other things  a hotel, its’ empty swimming pool,  and a miniature golf course to the large enclosed cable car where I joined a Russian family for the trip up to the summit.
So when I had enough wandering around at the top of the mountain and as it were tempting fate this blooger came down he’ll being coming down the mountian when he comes… repeat….. we returned to Montreal and had dinner with Neil’s father (soup and tea for me thats all and then headed around past a million traffic pylons on the way to t he border where my filled to the max car caused me to get searched while almost out of breath from my asthma also seemingly becasue it was a quiet night becuase everybody had already come in for the Night of Canadian thanksgiving this was sunday.  So I settled in and listned while asked a million questions and then after about an hour drove into the US got gas and a sandwhich and made the ride home  while listening to the Yankees on the radio and then got home slept a bit and went to work the next day.
The next trip was back to Florida for a little more foraging.  This time I had the timing down ; finished work, parked the car, took the A train all the way from Inwood to Howard Beach for the train  to the plane, and got to the JetBlue terminal with more than enough time to savor a dining choice.

I was drawn right into Deep-Blue the Japanese eatery and had salmon salad and Crab fried rice with lots of Green tea (greatly reduces the occurence of prostate cancer studies suggest five cups or more of it therein a day that is) http://www.nowfoods.com/HealthLibrary/HealthArticles/Massey/077109.htm.

I was in deep heaven and discussed deep heaven with my fellow diners. Jay-Z  says that New York “will slip you an ambien” well hey this was ambient.  On the plane it was the Yankees in the playoffs and JetBlue to Florida is so good seems that it almost makes you want to love those ladies from Long Island worried about the power in Syosset with the painted enamel fingernails.

Meanwhile everybody on the way to the Avis car rental seemed to be a college or high school jock in the company of their father down to fish or play athletics.  The rental shuttle driver was really annoying and would not shut up like he was hosting a tour of the parking lots. Finally I got my compact car and was pleasantly surprised to find it had maximum choices with a third band of xm radio onboard.

So I drove right to the Marriott Courtyard Inn on South Congress avenue in Boynton beach which used to be the Catalina Holiday Inn.  Soon after getting right on the net there in their California contemporary style lobby with the alligator skull (which turns out not to be calcified at all but a complete well done forgery- anyone come to mind perhaps?) this traveler found out that the true life television legend Soupy Sales had passed (wrote a couple of bad soup nazi one liners in honor of him to be used later like leftovers on the bus remembered his role in the opening pages of my initial shopping mall poem and his sons Hunt and Tony who played in David Bowie’s Tin Machine band).

This was a quick trip and mostly I read of on the the Maktums the ruling family of Dubai. surprisingly my mind was at ease and  this reader made great inroads into both  “Dubai: The Vulnerability of success by Christopher M. Davidson ‘ and “The Great Bridge” by David McCullough.

I ate once in Bonefish the seafood house which s part of a chain owned by the people who own outback the steak house and remember ”

Out in the Outback
The Outbacks’ the Outback
But out of the Outback the Outback’s a steakhouse
And down under they build Westfield Shoppingtowns
from which you may need to backdown

Back out to back down to be out of the Outback
I might as well be back out or back out form the Outback
Well at least I am out -out of the Outback’

it was quite pleasant and nice to observe the Boynton Beach haute bourgeois social scene which I may or may not be applying to join depending upon my future literary , social, and or financial success.  I had the
Spinach Bacon Gorgonzola Norwegian Salmon and some chowder and was quite happy. I keep meaning to look up a location for this seafood house near me and forgetting.

My other side trip was to the Boca Raton museum of art and there this time I focused in on a mural once done for Olivetti.

One morning resplendent with bright sunshine there was a very large gathering in the Marriot Courtyard lobby made up of a Puerto Rican baseball squad readying for battle in what seemed to be a reunion gathering which was in turn a subtext for sports.  To no avail they would not quiet down.

on the way back this blogger got going early and made that aforementioned stop at the  Boca Raton museum of art and then tried to find the Palm Beach Zoo.  Also interested in another in endless series of back massages he ran into a overpriced shiatsu joint but not before accidently going into a youth theater which he thought was the place and asking the wrong question and being directed tot he therapeutic ripoff.

Then at the airport I had a few hours and bargain shopped for a meal between the Irish pub where I had had their onion soup in bowl before with fish and chips and the Sam Snead golf restaurant sports bar with its own on-site putting green where I went a nd heard a gambling and love loss tale of woe.  Though these were not only woes the whole airport seemed to be bemoaning the loss of tourist payola and in general looking for something to do.

Through to the gate then the flight was delayed and it was that upon this day this traveler would make it to the chillis nearby before final call.  he had lemonade and coca cola with tortilla chips and salsa and saw one customer return her meal and her money was soon refunded by the affable staff.

Though in Florida it was not in Nyc it was raining so the playoff clincher had been called and so it whatever was on on the personal entertainment system aboard JetBlue.  The weather had hit parts of  the Nyc metro area hard and ladies from places like Hewlett and Syosset returning to them were going on and on about it but some were i even dare say it charming.

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A Night in Svizzera, Back to work, up at the Kennedy Wake, and Jude Law in Hamlet

October 16, 2009

So I really did not look at my ticket well enough as the night flight from Zuhrich to New York turned out to be a morning departure.  So with a fourteen hour layover this traveler thought it was perhaps right to get a hotel room.  So after taking the tram shuttle to the gate and making it through passport control into the main airport he went to the hotel reservations desk and witht he intention of staying in downtown Zuhrich.

Then upon finding it was cheaper to stay at the airport Ibis he went over there with the free bus in order to save about forty swiss francs.

The woman at the desk who booked him into the hotel was nice but he thought that he still had enough time to take a train into Zuhrich and then cab it back from downtown but that was before he got to the hotel.  First he got reprimanded by the Somali shuttle van driver for climbing into the vehicle without permission but then met a  nice couple returning to the U.S on seperate flights.  He saw the train which he could have taken into town while leaving the airport and upon arriving at the hotel got his room but they refused to take or even exchange U.S money thought the bartender took euros in the lobby bar.

So after going up to my small but ample room and still wanting to go out I ventured to the Esso next door and hoped that I could buy a train ticket with my gas card which didn’t work there.  Then I decided to hoof it as far into town as I could get.  After passing the usual airport nothingness i began to get into the northern fringe of Zuhrich though by the time i made it to the Swissotel and begged the front deskman to do change money for me which when he finally did it seemed too late to take the train into downtown and so I walked looking at the quaint architecture and finally settling into a restaurant open late for a couple of kebabs.

Then after taking many I-phone pictures of the a train station, a tunnel, houses , and the Swiss I went back to the hotel and watched a bio on Prince Albert of Monaco followed by a circus where crazy horse drawn clown vehicles circled the ring.  I enjoyed very much switching channels between French, Italian, and German on Swiss television.  I also shaved and then went to sleep (the bed was quite comfortable and i felt very safe).

In the morning I received the wake up call brought my bag down checked out and then appeared for the overpirced breakfest buffet (but as everybody kept saying this was Switzerland). I then paid and caught the quite reliable shuttle van to the airport and and then there some great fun began.

The people at check in who I thought were airline employees were security so I guess accordingly I was perhaps a bit too jovial. They asked what I was doing in Switzerland and I said connecting flights from Dubai and they said where is my luggage and I said it was checked through and this they wrote down and replied with wasn’t it and then hey said it might be indicating that I had to receive the bag there and recheck it even thought the airline said it was checked through and the claim ticket attested to that nonetheless they said when I asked where it was to paraphrase perhaps lost and found.  They then asked for my hotel receipt from Dubai which I could not furnish but i did have plastic electronic door key from the Hotel Delman in the Emirate and upon producing that the supervisor said shouldn’t I have returned it to the front desk..Eventually this ordeal was over my passport got a sticker and I was onto flight check-in and I asked to locate my bag which was indeed checked through.

Afterwards I had a much needed cappucino and told the barista my ordeal and he said laugh it off as some people on a power trip. I then made it through security looked at the surrounding countryside through the large windows in the departure gate wing and eventually boarded the plane.

On the way back over to the US this tired flier had an entire back row to himself and watched the HBO movie version of “Grey Gardens” starring Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange as the two Edith Bouvier Beales and the soloist starring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr.

Going fowards a bit I then worked two day on the double decker bus and then Senator Edward Kennedey died. I got off the night before the last day of the wake and I drove up to the John F. Kennedy Presidential library at the the University of Massechussettes Boston campus on the back bay staying over night at a hotel in Pawtucket, Rhode Island on the way up.  I met a lot of great people got in and shook the hand of Jean kennedy Smith the last remaining JFK generation sibling (children of joseph and Rose Kennedy) and she said “hi i’m the sister) (of course Eunice had dided a few days prior).. I signed the registry I thought I should go as it was the passing of a whole U.S political dynasty and I recite Ted’s closing words to “the dream shall never die” speech everytime I pass Madison Square with the microphone on the Double Decker bus. I also shook the senator’s widow Victoria’s hand as she entered the building and of course saw the honor gaurd and the coffin.  My I-phone had died on the way up but to take pictures of the family at such an event might have been in bad taste anyway.

After attending the wake I drove over to Castle Island which this traveler had never remembered seeing before.

Sometime after this I saw three biggies with my groups on the tour bus starting with director  Oliver Stone on East forty ninth street in the Turtle Bay section of Manhattan where he was posted filming his sequel to “Wall Street” startring Michael Douglas (reprising his role as Gordon Gekko) and Shia LaBeouf.   There was a detour and the buses were forced to take third avenue from forty second to forty ninth thus bypassing the United Nations complex on first avenue and forty ninth street  between second and  third (the street Katherine Hepburn, Bette Davis,  Steven Sondheim, and Erfem Zimbalist Jr.  once lived upon).  Oliver Stone this erstwhile man with a  handheld microphone attached by chord to momma bus spotted the provocative social legislator standing right at the police barricade pointed him out to the tourists (who were oh so appreciative) and immediatley went into the voice of George Plimpton saying Oliver ! Oliver! Olive {for once he had been with the late sportswriter at the night club Life after GP had read from his Capote tome for his series “The Literary life” and after George asked if he could get a tour he asked the owner Roy Stillman if he wouldgive Gerge a tour and George and Roy started making small talk and Roy indicated that he had seen him here for a party for Oliver Stone and George had said “ah yes Oliver” and all these years later at a different time I was able to repeat this line]

Readers please sit back down now (even though this writer is in Florida in sight of the calcified alligator skull [[which upon further investigiation was found out to be a well studied and almost consumate replica]] and in the red, yellow, and brown Marriot courtyard lobby).   The next sighting was again witha double decker and it was perfectly set up.

We had left the South Street Seaport stop and headed past Schemerhorn Row (a former fish chandelry some of whose structures date back to circa 1807 but on the net I could only find a date firmly established for them starting in 1812) and coming up about to the Cafe Paris (circa 1873 and where Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley, Mark Twain, Thomas Edison, and Teddy Roosevelt at one time or another had all once eaten and where they had thrown a big party the night of the opening of the establishment’s neighbor the Brooklyn Bridge) in the cobble stone area between many buildings once visited by a transported Spock and Captain James Kirk on the original Star Trek series was a film set.  Then within the mass of crew was aman in a suit.  Then this tour guide, this urban scout was able to differentiate and say there is a film set ahead the man in the suit is the celebrity look.  Getting up closer it was a done up Matt Damon (I had known he was around as another tourist on another bus had shown me a picture of him on a digital camera speaking after receving some award or citation from Mayor Bloomberg on the steps of City Hall).  I was able to say to the tourists ladies and gentleman Matt Damon and have him not look up.  He heard the intro of course went about finishing what he was doing and after a delay looked up at the bus waved and then walked onto his next piece of business.

Next on the Manhattan Comprehensive all day tour going past the San Remo on Central Park West on a beautiful sunny day and giving the list of famous residents of the Emory Roth Building Victor Emanuel style celebrity tower multi tiered birthday cake Bono from U2, Billy Squier, Steven Spielberg .. right on the name Steve Martin there he was the back of his head and of course with the information flowing and the look I knew it was him he turned around  with a big smile but didn’t wave and went back into the second of two entrances along the avenue.

At some point this blogger realized that he wanted to see Jude Law in Hamlet on Broadway.  So he walked over to the Broadhurst theater where it is playing until December 6, 2009 and all seats were $116.50.  I said “no seats would be at the tkts booth?” and the woman at the ticket window returned the  no “and probably not for the entire run”.  I winced at the cost and walked away.

Later I made jokes about it in front of the Standard and Poors ( or the lack of standards and now we’re poor) building coming by on the red double decker bus after saying” this is where they say over croissants and coffee in the morning … to bbb or not to bbb” ..”now you can hear Jude Law say that on Broadway for a hundred and sixteen fifty and I will say it as part of the price of your bus ticket”.  Then one day coming off my second downtown and landing in front of the tkts booth in Times Square across from our stop at forty seventh and seventh there it was on the board only one performance for the Thursday matinee Hamlet.  The tickets at tkts are no longer exclusively fifty percent off and this matinee was thirty percent off ($83) and with the service fee eighty seven. I jumped at the oppurtunity having read glowing review after glowing review.

And boy were those reviewers right Jude Law in Hamlet is a tour de force!  First of all his physical presence the way he is able to move his frame to extend for all the remonstrations, the introspection, and action in this Shakespeare play which is above all else about the whole deck of cards.

Sure we travel with him back to remember how many figures of speech come from this great work:” this mortal coil… neither a borrower or a lender be….to be or not to be…Alas poor Yorick I knew him well”.  Alas the staging is spartan but not so stark as to replace artifice  His star in the heavens is justified bravo!