Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Oheka Castle, Cold Spring Harbor, Foreclosure!

No more lunches like below - the Charlie Chapin Bar?  Shuttered!  The lobster salad kills no more  lobsters?  Did PETA forclose???  And, and the pastry chef's masterful take on pecan pie?  Tell me noes!

Come to find out Gary Melius, owner, has been tardy with his $3.1 annual payment to his backers since 2016 and retaliation is clearly swift and semi-deadly.  The backers named a Suffolk Co. judge as the one who is now running the receivership'

Melius, bluffster to the end, swears that nothing has changed; he's 100% in charge; business as usual.  Oheka Castle was once the largest private home on Long Island.  The story of it was interesting enough for me to write a chapter on it in my book "And the Best Blog Is:  Word of Mouth."

Insanely rich builder; sold, became a vacation spot for the Sanitary Engineers of Manhattan and then a military academy for boys and now a hotel, with restaurant and bar and tons of wedding celebrations over the years.  Long live Oheka's restaurant!  

H/T to Sonny Nogiewich, the friend there (he and Richie were clammers back in the day) who brought this appalling matter to our attention. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Sunday, January 13, 2019

January 13th - Saint Nina's Day

The Catholic Church, over time, has nominated a great number of saints.  I don't know how they recruited them as most of them came to a Very Bad End.

In any event, there was a widely-acknowledged St. Nina.  Piecing together - or rather trying to piece together her story, I ran across a variety of sources?  Opinions?  Oral reports handed down? and finally settled for the following.

Born 296 AD; died 335 AD, age 39, in Georgia or ancient Iberia.  She came there from Cappadocia only to die of torture and beheading with 50 other virgins.  What her and the other 50's offense had been wasn't included in any of this.  Tyrannius Rufinus was the King who ordered the slaughter.

The Queen readily accepted Christianity, but not until a situation appeared (dark fell rapidly and the King's hunting party was thrust into darkness)  and, in his case he thought he was blind.  So he decided to pray to Nina's God - viola!  Light immediately followed by his conversion.

None of this was what I would call conclusive evidence, but for gentle amusement Google "Saint (your name)" and see what pops up.

I only know about St. Nina because Michelle told me that there was one.  When I finally quit laughing, she sternly admonished me saying rather haughtily, "In France we celebrate our saint's day more than our own birthdays."    I started marking my yearly candle on September 29th and have congratulated her every year since.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Pool Therapy

You probably guessed yesterday that I'd be writing about it.  First what the PT doctor was wearing vis a vix my thought about his wearing a pair of board shorts to work.  He doesn't.  He was neatly clad
in from bottom up (so to speak) trainers and socks, jeans and a dress shirt, tails out.  You've seen this 30-something style (or may even dress in it) all over the place.

What was I doing in the water for 40 minutes?  In order - at about the 4 ft. deep part of the pool, put the closest hand on the pool rim and walk down the pool to the drop off spot and stop!  Or you'll get your hair wet.  Turn around and walk back to your starting point and do this 10 times.

Then same place, turn around and walk backwards, as above.  It feels funny.

Walk across the pool at the 3 ft. level and, hanging onto the rim with both hands, raise and lower yourself on the balls of your feet.

When you've done that for 30 seconds, lift your hands off of the trim and balance on one leg for as long as you can (not very in my case.)

Finally, march in place, and get those knees up!

I left there exhausted.  Shows you what kind of shape my legs are in, but after the fatigue faded a little bit, I could feel that it was doing them good.  it was the "good sore" you feel after playing a sport or running a long distance.  Not painful, but beneficial and you can sense it.  I could even feel a little easing of stiff, tight muscles.

I look forward to Monday's session at 11 a.m.

Update:  I forgot how exercise goes:  Day 3 I woke up as stiff as a board. Undeterred; will be there Monday.  

Friday, January 11, 2019

Goodie! A Learning Day!

I love learning something new - and today's knowledge will be covering swimming pool therapy for the lower back and right hip.

It's been years since I've been in a pool.  Even though I try to book us into hotels with a pool so that we can do aquarobics we rarely use them any more.   Our favorite spot for this is probably the pool at the Vagabond Inn, Palm Springs.  We get into about 3 ft. deep water and run back and forth across the pool.  Then jumping jacks, arms to propel is forward; reverse and go backwards and get out feeling quite virtuous.

I think this first session at the South Bay Aquatics in Torrance will be a little more "directed."  Every session is booked for 40 minutes, then 50 and finally the full hour.

Packing a carry-on bag with a big fat towel, my bathing suit, thong sandals felt very strange, but there's no hotel room for changing.

I look forward to this.  A stray thought - I wonder if the PT instructor gives his wife a kiss, hikes up his board shorts and goes out the door for another day at work.  I'll have to ask.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Yes, We're Eating Again

If you are getting a bit underwhelmed of late reading this, a reassurance:  we do more in our lives than eat.  Very little, mind you but other things.  For example I am about to be getting some much needed exercise when I go to pool physical therapy tomorrow (Friday) and Monday for six weeks (I think it is.)   Reassuringly the South Bay Aquatics facility, Torrance, mentions in passing that air temp there is 80; water temp is 90.   This is certainly bearable so I can cancel my search for a mink-lined bathing suit.  

Meanwhile, we did lunch with "D" at his find yesterday.  It's called Angel City Grill and catering and pick-up.  it's located behind a handkerchief-sized parking lot at 1505 Aviation, Redondo Beach.  We've passed it a thousand times as it's on the righthand side of Aviation, if you're going west.  Because all of the big windows are reflective, I just figured it was totally catering and the kitchen was behind the glass.

Not so.  The interior is a glistening white - walls, picnic-style tables and chairs, counter - you walk over and order and they bring it to the table.   It's also picnic-like- in that paper plates with a blue and white check napkin hold the food and plastic silverware is used exclusively.

What did we have?  Since it was "D"'s idea, he ordered first.  A USDA flank steak taco, grilled medium with onion, cilantro, guacamole and tomatillo salsa - $4.99    He said it was good.

Richie ordered the grilled chicken taco with tomato and cucumber chop and garlic sauce.  $4.99  He felt there might have been a bit more chicken involved in this matter.  

Never having had one, but usually considering one, I had the grilled chipotle Portobello taco with guacamole, pickled red onions (and I suspect a bit of habanero salsa) and jalapenos with citrus-infused kale.  $4.99  I ordered the kale on the side which they did and Richie and "D" ate it.  I liked the citrus sauce the sliced Portobello rested on, but next time I am going to order two, possibly three Portobellos because it was just one rather smallish one.  Runt of the litter so to speak   $4.99 - do you see a trend here?

As we'd had a light lunch I proposed that we go to the new French pastry place in Riviera Village (aka south Redondo) for dessert.  "D" begged off; other fish to fry so we sallied forth. 

Desserts by Patrick is located at 1820 South Catalina and is difficult to spot from Catalina, since it is tucked away with other buildings and a small parking lot.  

The chef/owner Patrick Mogodin and his daughter Estelle moved his patisserie in Paris here.  Somewhere over the Atlantic, he added gelatos to the menu.  We went for pastries instead and I fell madly in love with one called a Canales which is chewy-tough on the exterior and custardy soft cake for the interior.  Richie's pastry - an ├ęclair - and my canales were $4 each.      Only $8 for a trip to Paradise.  I recommend it.  


Wednesday, January 9, 2019

"I Think of It as 'Research' For Readers"

I justify my lamentable sneak attack on a meal out by the above rationalization …

Friday's Haircuts - El Gringo, 422 Main St., El Segundo   We both liked it here - Richie for the enormous machaca burrito  ($14) and my beef taco ($4)and cheese enchilada ($4)  were sizeable enough, but happily were  not as big as the 5 lb. doorstop his burrito looked to be.  The small guacamole ($5) had the chopped tomatoes, chopped onion, and a heap of cilantro along the sides of the avocado mix and you composed your own based on what you like.  
Lunch was $36.14  which included a Pacifico ($6) for Richie; water for me.  

Tuesday (yesterday's) 10:30 a.m. with "Tom" a physical therapist who will be treating leftover limping from the total hip replacement four years ago using in-pool exercises.    The first is this Friday.  I look forward to it.  Amusingly enough considering my lamentable habit of making sure I get good behavior food rewards out of almost any excursion … the map of how to get there details all of the fast food and sit-down restaurants in what looks like a wide-ranging area!  How did they know?

But, I get ahead of myself.  Yesterday post-appointment, we  went to Elephant Bar in the cluster of restaurants at Hawthorne and Torrance Boulevards.   It used to be good.  

I'd forgotten how languid the service is and since it was 11:45 a.m., surrounded by offices and medical outposts and, farther afield, Little Co. of Mary Hospital (immense) I was surprised to see the place so sparsely peopled and the same slow service.  

Richie ordered a regular Stella d'Artois beer ($7) and the Irish Pot Roast ($16.95.)  I asked what made it "Irish"? and he said succinctly "Guinness."  Generous portion and the carrots were most assured "al dente" big time.   Richie mentioned it to our server.  She volunteered to replace them, but he declined.  

My Bloody Mary ($8) came garnished with a bamboo skewer through a (had to be) foot-long stalk of celery, a mozzarella-wrapped strip of cooked bacon and a pimento-stuffed olive.    
I ordered French fries to go with our drinks.  ($2.95).  They were the little pieces that are left when the potato is cut for length.  They were cool.  They were left behind when we left.  

The coconut skewered shrimp  ($12.95)  I ordered were tasty, but they came with a wild mixture of green leaves, sliced red cabbage and no dressing.  I asked her about this and she said, "Oh, no, that doesn't come with dressing, but I'd be happy to get you a serving of salad dressing..." and rattled off about five.  The only one I heard that lingered was the first one she named - ranch - so I asked for that.  When it came, Richie used it as a dip for the French fries and I just dipped fork tines in it and ate a few bites of who knows what? greens.   Won't be dropping in there anytime soon even if this PT pool would be the next building over. Especially not to spend $47.85 for lunch

Today no appointments, but "D" wants to try a place he read about in a local paper  today at noon - Angel City Grill, Aviation, Redondo Beach.  Keep Eating!