Monday, June 30, 2008

Props from the NY Times

When I read the New York Times, I always pay special attention to the news from Ohio.

It's not uncommon to see Columbus or Cleveland mentioned, but imagine my surprise when I saw Defiance's name in print a few weeks ago.

The article? Excerpts of notable commencement speeches, and Defiance College's was included. Read the article.

Maria Hinojosa seems a lot more interesting than whoever spoke at DC's commencement a few years ago when my sister graduated. The speaker that year confused Defiance with Findlay in his speech.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Cincinnati Reds ... at Yankee Stadium

Who would have thought that I would feel the most at-home in New York City at Yankee Stadium?

Our friends Bill and Leslie visited over the weekend specifically to attend a Yankees-Reds game. They're fans of the pinstripes, while Paul and I obviously support the Reds. At the stadium, it looked like they were the ones who lived in New York while Paul and I were visiting!

Paul, in the lone red shirt in a sea of blue.

In all honesty, I was surprised how many Reds fans were at the game. They were sprinkled throughout the stadium-- even a couple sitting in front of us was wearing Cincinnati gear. I even saw a couple of Ohio State shirts, which warmed my heart.

The game started promptly at 1:05, but a heavy thunderstorm interrupted play and delayed the game for an hour in the middle. I rushed inside the covered part of the stadium by the concessions as soon as the first heavy drops came down. Paul, Bill and Leslie tried to stick it out, but they followed me just a couple of minutes later. They were drenched. I was barely wet.

The weather was clear and sunny for the remainder of the game, although the outcome was dark and dreary. The Reds lost, 4-1, but at least they won the series. And we saw Ken Griffey Jr.'s 601st homer.

Paul's knees are extremely sunburned from the game, so I've taken to calling him, appropriately enough, Mr. Redlegs.

I'm not particularly a Yankees fan, but I noticed I knew all but one or two of their players. I only recognized a handful of the Reds, which made me sad.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Heat wave & more visitors

When I haven't been too busy to write this month, it was too hot. But mostly I've just been lazy.

For four straight days two weeks ago, the temperature hovered around 100. It made me very glad that Paul installed our air conditioner the weekend before, but very sad that we bought only one. It's in our bedroom for two reasons: (1) to give us a cool night's sleep and (2) to drown out the patrons of the bar downstairs who are sure to loiter on the sidewalk on warm nights.

Buying a second air conditioner wasn't really an option. It's not that an a/c is expensive-- it's not-- but we don't have a place to store it this winter. I'm not even sure where we're going to put the one we have. Of course, if Paul got rid of his homebrewing supplies, we would have room for three air conditioners. Somehow, I don't think he's going to go for that.

In any case, I miss my Ohio central air. And garage.

Mom and Dad luckily missed the heat wave when they visited Wednesday through Sunday. Dad, Paul and I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge on Thursday night, and the weather was perfect. We arrived after the sun had set, so we didn't get many good pictures. We walked a bit through Brooklyn Heights, taking a look at the promenade along the East River and peaking into the popular restaurants.

Mom and Dad visited the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island while Paul and I were at work Friday. I met them after work at Federal Hall, where George Washington took the oath of office. Early that evening I led Dad on a long walk to Bay Ridge's own promenade along the bay, and of course we stopped at Little Cupcake on the way back for treats later that night.

On Saturday we went to the Whitney Museum of American Art, followed by a quick jaunt through Central Park, followed by a downpour before we could make it to St. Patrick's Cathedral. We parked ourselves under construction scaffolding, walking a few blocks at a time during the lulls in rain until we made it to the church.

This weekend we have more visitors, although I'm not sure they're staying with us. Bill and Leslie are coming into town and we're all going to a Yankees-Reds baseball game Sunday, and I'm very excited. Bill and Leslie visited in February, and it was a great weekend. Add a Reds game, and how could it get much better?

Monday, June 2, 2008

Coney Island

Sam mentioned an interest in going to Coney Island last Monday, and I was all for it. Since we were going to be driving them to the Newark airport early that evening, we decided to drive there.

That was mistake #1. It was Memorial Day, so the beach, boardwalk and ride areas were extremely crowded. Paul patiently drove down street after street looking for a spot. Finally we found one near the boardwalk in Brighton Beach, a neighborhood abutting Coney Island. It was about a 20 block walk to get to Coney Island proper.

Although the day was hot, the boardwalk and the strong ocean breezes made me cold. The rides are just off the boardwalk, and there it was hot again. I think it was impossible to dress comfortably.

The Cyclone was the first ride we came to, and the one we all wanted to ride. After dozens of visits to Cedar Point, I didn't have high hopes. Still, the Cyclone is a classic, so I forked over the 8 bucks and strapped myself in.

That was mistake #2. I should have been warned that this wasn't going to be your normal amusement park ride when simply getting on the coaster was a kind of free-for-all. There was no set line-- when the train pulled up, you grabbed a seat as quickly as you could. And previous riders could stay on the coaster by giving the workers $5 (although I think Sam said the workers were cutting the riders some deals-- two for $7 and the like).

Anyway, the view up the hill was lovely. On the way down, however, my neck snapped back and I couldn't lift my head up for several seconds. The rest of the wooden ride was jerky, of course, and that didn't help. By the time I got off, I was in some serious pain. I couldn't turn my head all the way around for a couple of days, and I only felt back to normal on Friday.

So I basically paid $8 for whiplash.

We ended the day at Nathan's Famous, obviously to sample the famous hot dogs. I had buy-one-get-one-free hot dogs (yep, I'm still a cheapskate), and Paul wanted the chili cheese dog. So I got one too.

That was mistake #3. The hot dog itself tasted fine, but the cheese was a little disgusting and very messy.

All in all, I'm glad we went to Coney Island, despite my bad impressions. There was a lot of talk that it might not even open this year, and after hearing about it for so many years I would have been very disappointed to have missed it. Still, I won't voluntarily go back for awhile, unless maybe for the Mermaid Parade later this month. It was simply a faded county fair without the animals.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...