Tag Archives: New Jersey

Or we could fly a kite

So, Manhattan got four more inches of snow last night…on top of the eight that were already on the ground.

But the falling ice woke me up.

I don’t dwell on the weather too much — at least, not on this blog — but I have to wonder, as the local news reports power outages for thousands of residents yet again in New Jersey and other neighboring states —

ice on electrical wiresWhy don’t more cities bury their power lines?

Cost is probably the answer, but after a winter like this one — one that is not nearly over — I would think residents in New Jersey, for instance, might think of that cost as an investment.

Aren’t there lots of costs associated with fixing the downed lines after every storm? Trimming the trees around the downed lines? Lost productivity?  Lost revenue?

Lost food in the frig and freezer?

Just wondering.  I have electricity right now, and I think everyone else should, too.

Meals that matter

When Hurricane Sandy devastated portions of New York and New Jersey last October, my Upper West Side neighborhood didn’t even lose power.

To say we were lucky doesn’t even cover it.

dine out njThat’s why I am excited to have the opportunity to participate in National Dine Out Day — to eat out at one of the many restaurants that are donating a percentage of today’s sales to the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund.

And the great thing is…you can, too!  Restaurant chains across the country — in practically every state — are taking part.  Check the list to see if there is a participating location near you, and dine out to make a difference!

If your state didn’t make the list, you can still donate to the cause here.

Three strikes

No doubt — John Irving wrote it better.

In A Prayer for Owen Meany, a woman gets hit by a baseball, dies, and her son and the boy who hit the killer ball remain best friends throughout their lives.

When it happens in real life, folks are a bit more litigious.

A New Jersey woman who was struck in the face by a baseball is suing the 11-year old catcher who hit her for medical costs and negligence.  Her husband is filing a separate suit for the loss of “services, society and consortium” of his wife.

The total damages?  Close to $500,000.

The catcher’s family, who says they can’t afford the jury trial the woman has demanded, thinks Little League Baseball should help defray court costs since the accident took place during a sanctioned warm-up.

I think they should call Irving.  Maybe he can do a rewrite and give this story some heart.

Mr. Imagination

I’m in the cast of a short film being shot today in Jersey.

It’s called ‘Mr. Imagination.’


Jesse King, a student at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, is the director.  We are on location at her parents’ home, who also provided the crafts service.


It is a very happy set.

An egg in the hand

Some people climb mountains.  Others run marathons.

And then there are the people who eat emu eggs.

The latest darling of farmers’ markets, emu eggs are, on average, six inches long, weigh two pounds, and are the equivalent of 10-12 chicken eggs.

And cost $20 a piece.


Now, emus may be native to Australia, but the growing popularity and high market value of their eggs have made farming them locally a great investment.  Farms like Roaming Acres in neighboring New Jersey have over 20 emus on site (and ostriches, too).

And while empty egg shells are sold to artists and some eggs go to commercial kitchens, it’s the home cook looking to impress their friends that are driving the business.

Emu eggs — the Mount Everest of the dinner party.

Please. Stand. Still.

I spent a lot of my childhood motion sick.  Cars, boats, planes, you name it — we just didn’t get along.

But what if the very floor could give you vertigo?

Don’t laugh.  It’s happening.

Researchers in Jersey City, New Jersey have found that high contrast black-and-white carpeting is making people sick.

We’re talking headaches.  Visual distress.  Even seizures in epileptics.

Man…that boat trip is sounding better all the time.

They aren’t exactly sure why a high contrast repeating pattern can give the illusion of motion and make viewers sick.  But based on their findings, researchers do recommend that you give carpet more than a quick glance before you make any purchase for your home.

Your home?  I think this information is even more important for all the planes, trains, and automobiles out there.

Talk about a double whammy!


Yesterday I was miffed at snarky comments on Twitter and Facebook made by NYC locals who were underwhelmed by Hurricane Irene.

I wasn’t the only one.

Neighbors in New Jersey, Connecticut and Vermont who are underwater and without power were quick to snark back at their lack of empathy.

The snark resurfaced last night in live tweets about the VMAs, one of the few awards shows I don’t watch (but probably should based on the comments).

Which got me thinking… where does the word ‘snark’ come from?  How long has it been around?  And is there someone I can personally thank since it is so much fun to say?

‘Snark’ is simply the blending of ‘snide’ and ‘remark.’ I couldn’t find a date or person credited for the first mash-up of the word, but it’s a good one.

I did find lots of ‘snark’ derivations, which are brilliant in and of themselves.  I know you’ll want to add a few of them to your vocab:

  • snarkagogy — the art or science of being snarky (now, there’s a college major for ya)
  • snarkalec — someone who consistently makes snarky remarks
  • snarkasm — snarky, with an undertone of sarcasm (for advanced snarkalecs only)
  • snarkhat — if you are not usually snarky, put it on to make a snarky comment; then take off

There are a lot more at UrbanDictionary.com.  (Figured it would be snarky to not reveal my source.)


I’m okay not knowing everything.

For instance, I had never heard of the Asian long-horned beetle. Then I saw this poster in the subway.

Now I not only know what the gnarly bugs look like, but that they’re killing our trees. And we need to stop them…and never move firewood.

Never move firewood?  Okay.

Hardwood trees in my adopted state of New York have been destroyed; trees in Illinois, Massachusetts and New Jersey, too. Trees in forests and cities all across America are at risk.

I went into the subway for a ride, not an education on scary bugs.  But unfortunately, you can’t erase unwelcome memories Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind-style in real life.

So, if I have to have this tree killer’s image in my head, so do you.

If you see one, report it to 866-702-9938.  Better yet, they recommend you catch a few in a jar and freeze them, or take digital pictures.  Both will aide officials in identifying the beetles.

Got it?  Good.  Now go de-bug your brains.  Pet a warm, fuzzy puppy…or read celebrity dish in US Weekly.

That’s my plan.

Friday Concert Series

Today I’m doing background work on an American Express commercial.

We’re shooting a faux concert at a theatre in New Jersey, so there are a lot of us.  After the numbers reach a certain level, it’s more about crowd control than acting.

So, to entertain myself, I decided to adopt a different personality for the day.  None of these folks know me, so no one will realize the difference, right?

I decided to be shy and introverted…quiet even.  Keep to myself.  Not be the loud one for a change.

I’m not that good of an actor.

Amex shoot

Where’s the beef?

New York City may have it all, but it ain’t got The Cheesecake Factory.

Believe me — I was just as shocked as you.

I have to go all the way out to Long Island or venture into New Jersey to enjoy the mega menu and monster portions of this ginormous chain restaurant.

When I lived in Boston, it wasn’t a matter of whether or not they had a CCF — it was which one you wanted to go to!  Beantown residents have the pleasure of not one, but two locations.  All that, and the Red Sox, too.

But the city that never sleeps?  We have to take the LIRR — that’s the Long Island Railroad for you out-of-towners — to put our heads down into the gilded CCF trough and still come home with with enough food for four more meals.

It brings a tear to the eye.

Now, The Cheesecake Factory has created a completely new category of food  — the Glamburger — a burger too special to call ‘ham.’    Inspired by six different cities — cities which have a CCF, no doubt — these delicious-looking burgers appear to be the size of your head.

And CCF is even letting you create the next Glamburger in the “Great Glamburger Challenge.”

I don’t even like hamburgers that much, and I entered…because the winner gets a Glamorous Getaway.

Bet there’s a CCF there, too.