First and Final Thoughts on Selfies

A disturbing photo gallery from NorthJersey.com popped up in my news feed this morning. Fifty-five reader-submitted travel selfies from the summer of 2014. Almost all of them are weirdly angled close-ups, a bit fuzzy, and you can kinda see something of interest in the background, like this one submitted by Johanna Abahoonie of Seaside Heights. That’s Juliet’s balcony in Verona, Italy, or so she says.

VeronaI’m asking you to consider something extraordinary. Continue reading

Postcards from the Palate

Some places you remember for the sights. Others, for the people. And then there are those you swear you can still taste. NYC is renowned for the depth and breadth of its cuisine. The term farm-to-table truly comes alive on plates in California where simple, fresh meals can be had everywhere, every day. And then there’s New Orleans, where eating is a cultural obsession and the answer to every problem is, “Have another beignet.” Continue reading

Vacant Sty

A seagull wandered into my parents’ backyard on Tuesday. It couldn’t fly away; it was stuck with a fishing lure and tangled in the line. Wildlife control advised that seagulls are docile and suggested we wrap it in a blanket, put it in a box and drive it to the animal hospital. I stated firmly that they could come and get it. They did.

Birds terrify me so I hate the term “empty nest”.  Warm, loving and cuddly are not adjectives that spring to mind when I think of birds. They find worms, drop them down their babies’ gullets and then push them out of a tree.

But pigs I like. Rooting around in the mud. Snuggling together for warmth. Fighting together against the big bad wolf. That’s a family to me.

shutterstock_156970469 Continue reading

Ribiculous

I forgot to include “Attend a Festival” in my end-of-summer must-do list from last week. You’ve got plenty of choices; Hudson Valley Magazine listed 32 scheduled for the summer of 2014. I took advantage of Sunday’s beautiful weather to indulge my love of pork and headed to the 10th Hudson Valley RibFest, hosted by the Highland Rotary Club in New Paltz, New York.

@The Open Suitcase LLC

The RibFest is held on the Ulster County Fairgrounds, a beautiful spot in the shadow of the Shawangunk Mountains.

Continue reading

Summer’s Last Gasp

Labor Day looms, casting its end-of-season shadow over the next few weeks. The bathing suits have already disappeared from department stores, replaced by jackets and Halloween decorations. Before the chill returns to the Hudson River Valley, get out and enjoy summer’s sweet treats. Continue reading