What to avoid in NYC. Tip #2: dining options

If you walk north on Seventh Avenue, just before you enter Times Square at 41st Street, you’ll be greeted on the northwest corner by this:


[Edit: Jason made an astute comment that‘s worth mentioning. Do you see that giant plastic illumined lobster? It slowly rotates! It’s simply awful. It’s hard to be tacky in Times Square but they’ve managed.]

And by on the northeast corner by this:


First, let me state that I am neither anti-chain restaurant, nor a “foodie“ (I hate that word). I am as far away from a food snob as you could possibly get, which is a shame since some of the finest restaurants on the planet can be found here. I have nothing against the Red Lobsters and Ruby Tuesdays of the world. (Or McDonalds’s, for that matter.) They all serve a purpose.


If you’re going to spend the time and the money to come all the way to New York City, for the love of GOD, please don’t eat at the Red Lobster. I beg you. Save it for the mall. There are hundreds, nay, thousands of places to get a good cheap meal in the city. And this notion that you have to be a “local” to know where the good joints are is a load of horseshit. Get yourself a decent guidebook.

I know that familiarity breeds comfort and it‘s always easier to go with what you know. But if all you’re going to do is eat at the TGI Fridays on 48th Street in Times Square, then you’re wasting your vacation time and dollars. You were courageous enough to come to NYC, so step out of your comfort zone. Don’t eat at the Red Lobster!

In New York freedom looks like
Too many choices

New York

Open season

kyptileThe fall theater season got underway last week and the first sampling, from the almost always reliable David Mamet, left me a little cold. Two Unrelated Plays is about to open at the Atlantic Theater Company. It’ll be interesting to see what the professional critics have to say.The first play, School, was a brief :15 minute conversation between two teachers. It was a primer of Mamet syntax; half finished sentences, partial thoughts and colliding lines. You either love it or you hate it. When it works it’s magic. I saw Ron Silver and Joe Mantegna in Speed the Plow when it opened [mumble-mumble] years ago. They found a groove and watching them bat lines back and forth was like watching a really great tennis match. That sort of timing was missing from this first piece. And the subject matter seemed trite.

The second play, Keep Your Pantheon was an enjoyable farce but I don’t think it’s going to win him another Pulitzer, that’s for damn sure. It’s a comedy in the mistaken-identity-double-entendre-Borscht-Belt-humor vein and it was fun but the lead actor got on my nerves to the point of distraction. I think he was *suppose* to get on my nerves, but probably not to where it took me out of the story.

Okay. That’s a start. Next up: Carrie Fisher and Sienna Miller. Not together. Separately.

Gratuitous family post

This post is specifically for family lurkers who live 500 miles away and never get to see The Daughters [or Mrs. Wife and I, for that matter]. The rest of you might find this too saccharine. It almost verges into mommy blog territory. *Shudder!*

Here are the little darlings on the beach in Asbury Park flying a kite. It’s off-season and living on the Jersey Shore is suddenly a pleasure. The beaches are gloriously empty and, more importantly, there’s NO shore traffic. Would it be wrong for me to spread rumors of an epidemic next June to keep the seasonals away?



Mrs. Wife has no experience flying a kite, so it’s a lucky thing she brought an old pro like me along.


Here’s a rare full-frontal shot. I assume that only family members have made it this far into the post, so there’s no fear of outing the kiddies to the general public.


The Unbearable mind reading game

I was in Barnes & Noble picking out a few books for The Daughters and came across this end display in the pre-teen literature department. It’s a series of books that tell the story of people who devoted—and in some cases gave—their lives fighting for the rights of the oppressed. They were great humanitarians who were beacons of hope for the poor and the disenfranchised.

In my humble opinion, one of these books was slipped in as a joke. It’s almost shocking in its inclusion. Click on this pic and see if you can figure out which of these books does NOT belong. C’mon! Play along!


A happy problem

Let’s say you find yourself in midtown Manhattan with a few hours to kill (as I do). Would you visit the recently opened:

Georgia O’Keeffe Abstraction exhibit at the Whitney;

or the Kandinsky retrospective at the Guggenheim;


or Monet’s Water Lilies at MoMA?


It’s a feast for the eyes. It boggles the mind. It’s an embarrassment of riches. It deserves a whole new cliché.