Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Biggest Secret In New York

Psst... Wanna know a secret?

The largest, most fun place in New York is virtually unknown. It's an entire island that's merely a stone's throw from Manhattan -- and utterly uncrowded. This paradise costs almost nothing to visit; if you go before noon, it's free.

The secret is Governors Island.

Governors Island is a 172-acre island only 800 yards south of Lower Manhattan. It's so close you can swim to it. The Island has spellbinding views of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan. For centuries, the Island was closed to the public because it was used for government purposes, like stationing soldiers during the First and Second World Wars. After 1966, it was used as a U.S. Coast Guard base.

Recently, the Island was turned into a national park. In 2014, a first section was opened to the public and this year, in July, an impressive second section was opened. The new section is called "The Hills" and contains four mountains as high as 70 feet. Skilled landscape architects designed and built the area as a playground for adults and children. There are paths for hiking and bicycling, two 1812-era forts to explore, and four slides to go down (one of which is three stories high). The Island also offers rotating cultural and artistic exhibitions.

The only way to get to Governors Island is by ferry, from either Manhattan or Brooklyn. A round-trip ferry ride is free before noon and $2 afterward. No cars are permitted on the Island; only pedestrians and bicyclists can roam around. You can rent a bicycle there or bring your own.

The views at the Island are incredible. You've never seen New York look so good. There is no admission to enter the Island. Imagine you're rich and have your own private island.

On the way home, I stopped at one of my fav restaurants in NYC (Mudville 9) for super-hot wings and cold stout beer. Yumm. Their wings are universally acclaimed as the best in New York.

Here are some pics of my day...

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Western Ally

I'm an East Coast gal. Born in New York, educated in Boston and residing on Long Island. I've travelled up and down the East Coast from Nova Scotia to the Caribbean. During my travels, however, I've rarely headed west.

As  a result, I have little familiarity with Western culture and clothing. I've never worn any cowboy/cowgirl gear. But as I wandered down fashionable Newbury Street in Boston this weekend, I stumbled onto an adorable boutique. The sign outside said "Rock 'n Roll Cowboy Clothes." I had to check out what they have inside. Wow!

The sales-person was very friendly and the merchandise adorable. There was lots of stuff I 've never worn (like cowboy boots) and I was so into the friendly vibe, I picked out a shirt and took it home. (Wearing it below.) The store is owned by an older couple and is their only location. Most of their wares are made by them.

The shirt is 100% cotton, with real pockets and good-quality buttons (actually snaps).

What do you think? Is there such a thing as a New York cowboy?! Or cowgirl? (I believe the shirt is gender-neutral so it could probably be worn in either gender-presentation.)

Have you ever worn Western garb?

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Cool Stuff

I just got a new coffee-maker in the shape of a motorcycle helmet!

How cool is that?! The coffee-maker is from Hammacher Schlemmer.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Lady Luck

I found a beautiful gown on a thrift-store rack for only $25. (It was priced at $35 but I'm entitled to a 30% Senior Discount.) I smiled broadly just looking at the gown and couldn't wait to wear it.

The other day, when shopping in a costume-store for a moustache, I spotted disco ball earrings. A child of the Seventies, I snapped 'em up. You never know when you'll need disco ball earrings. For me, that day is today.

Here we go! What do you think?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Smooth Stroke

Everything in life is better when you use the right tool. Which explains why I just sprung for a new pool cue.

My existing stick is okay but I wanted something better. Higher quality. So I visited a local billiard store and purchased a new Cuetec Gen-Tek Series cue stick. It's perfectly balanced and smooth as silk. The stick comes apart in the middle and fits into a carrying case which makes it easy to transport on a motorcycle. I roar into town on a thundering machine with a pool-sword strapped across my chest. What a dashing image!

Every pool player needs a catchy name. Like Minnesota Fats. I use "Ally Cat" -- which makes me related to the famous Party Cat prowling Detroit. What's your pool nickname? Make one up; it's fun.

BTW, I've decided to give my prior cue stick away to anyone who will use it. The stick is in excellent condition and comes with a brand-new carrying case. If you play or want to learn, leave a comment or e-mail me (

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Litchfield Prison

I got a new job! And they gave me a free coffee mug. Orange you glad for me?  :-)

(For those of you not familiar with the TV show, "Orange Is The New Black,"
this post is a joke. I'm imitating one of its characters [Joe Caputo].