Saturday, July 26, 2008

No Pictures..., No Camera

My stars must be misaligned when it comes to my pictures. My friend, Mark, tells me that the ones stored on my NAS are crawling back into view, albeit very slowly. He said about thirty have been recovered so far. Of course I have several thousand so it may take some time.

A bit worse was the loss of the pictures I took last night, and the camera that I took them with.

The Mysterious Chinese Woman and I headed out to Coney Island to have beers and hot dogs at Peggy O'neil's. This was an event sponsored by my friend Sean Murphy and it was a lot of fun. We never did get hamburgers though because they started the coals too late and never really got them hot enough. Oh well, hot dogs and ball games kind of go together anyway.

Before going to Peggy Oneil's we stopped into the Freak Bar which in the past never seemed to be open when I was around. Quite frankly, it isn't much. Kind of like an unfinished basement, lots of cement and exposed wiring. I think they are remodeling, but who knows.

The bar is fairly small and adjacent to, you guessed it, a freak show. As a result they wouldn't let you take pictures even though the show itself was behind closed doors and you had to pay an admission to get in. Well, the picture thing really didn't make much difference anyway, as it turned out.

Just about everyone in the bar had tattoos, lots of tattoos. In fact one of the customers was a tattoo artist. The woman who was with her didn't have any visible tattoos and I mentioned that she seemed a bit out of place. Then she pulled up her shirt and showed me her back. Believe me, she fit right in.

We had great seats for the game, right on the third base side just a short distance from third base itself. You got to love minor league baseball, these seats sell for just ten bucks.

The game itself was fun too. The home team, the Cyclones, jumped out to an early lead but then the Staten Island Yankees roared back in the top of the ninth to pull within one run and give everyone heart attacks. But, the Cyclones prevailed.

We headed back to Peggy O'neil's for a post game beer and the place was jammed. It is a fairly large bar too with a big outside area. There must have been several hundred people jamming the place. It is a great location, literally built into Keyspan Stadium so it is a natural place to go for a post-game drink.

As we headed back to the subway I decided to stop into a place for a nightcap. Nice bar on the main floor and they said there was another one upstairs as well. This place was also full, but a lot of people, couples and families, were eating dinner even though it was kind of late. The Mysterious Chinese Woman said she was a bit hungry so we ordered a Codfish Cake appetizer. Really good with quite a bite to them. We decided to go back again one day and have a full dinner. The menu has a Jamaican feel to it and the goat looked interesting.

I had ordered a Maker's Mark Manhattan, straight up. Something must have gotten lost in the translation though because I ended up with a healthy slug of Maker's Mark in a small brandy snifter. The bartender looked like he knew what he was doing though, making fancy drinks and pouring out of four bottles at a time. I don't think he heard the Manhattan part, but that was okay, I wasn't going to bother complaining.

Unfortunately I don't remember the name of this bar and restaurant. I took a picture of it with the name but, alas, that isn't helping me now.

We got on the subway and here is where I think my mistake, if you can call it that, occurred. I took a picture on the subway and I think my camera caught someone's attention. I put the camera back in my pocket and as I switched trains at the Atlantic Avenue station someone must have picked my pocket as I walked through. Bummer. I ordered a new camera today and I have a backup so it is really the loss of the pictures that bugs me, and my own carelessness. It is funny because I usually keep my left hand in or touching the pocket where I carry my money and credit cards. I guess I wasn't thinking about the pocket with the camera in it. Whoever got it must have been fairly slick though, I didn't feel a thing and the camera isn't as light as a billfold. What also bugged me is that the Mysterious Chinese Woman had made a neat cover for it out of fabric from an umbrella and that, of course, is gone too. She said she would make me another one though.

Well, that is my sad saga. I had promised Sean that I would post pictures of his party too, so I apologize for not being able to do so. Also, apologies to Danielle, the bartender at Peggy O'neil's who graciously posed for me. A real cutie, too. I had some really cool pictures of the fireworks after the game as well.

I am heading out to the Equally Mysterious Sister's house then heading to Princeton for dinner. We are spending the night and then tomorrow we are going to Lambertville for a champagne brunch to celebrate another sister-in-law's birthday. Her big five-oh, but I don't think I am supposed to mention that.

With a bit of luck I will get her copy of the European pictures and will be able to resume posting about my trip soon.

Both my brother and his daughter, my niece (of course) have started blogs. My brother lives in Brainerd in Northern Minnesota and is heavily into kayaking.

  • Marty Rambles On

  • My niece, Katie, is big on adventure camping and that is what she wants to do with her life. She is heading to Alaska where they have a two year graduate program in this field, supposedly the best one in the United States, and probably the world.

  • The Venture North

  • My niece, as you can see, sometimes writes on subjects similar to the ones that I cover, namely bars. I have been trying to dissuade her, or at least get her to drink something other than things like Key Lime Coke (Absolut Vanilla, Coke and two lime wedges) White Russians, and Peppermint Schnapps. Not all at the same time though. At least I hope not. She did try an interesting beer, South Shore Herbal Cream Ale.

    Friday, July 25, 2008

    Octopus For Breakfast

    My pictures from Europe, and from the last five years, are crawling back one small pixel at a time. My friend, Mark Winkler, is helping me recover my data. Apparently, although NAS, or Network Addressable Storage, is becoming more popular, data recovery procedures are not yet firmly in place and the devices are not all that forgiving if you make a mistake. Mark will probably be the leader in his ability to do recover lost data.

    Lets start with the fact that my 1 million gig Lacie drive is actually two 500,000 gig drives linked by some obscure Liunx program. Your data seems to be distributed between the two drives and, if you do something stupid like I did, you cannot easily recover the data.

    But, enough of all that. Mark, who has been doing more work than anyone has a reason to do, is slowly piecing together my lost data. In partial payback I took him out for dinner last night at my now favorite neighborhood Italian restaurant, Queen. No pictures though, we were on a break.

    However, I did take home leftovers, and my breakfast this morning was the remains of a most excellent octopus appetizer. Delicious. Tender as could be and served in a flavorful and spicy tomato sauce. You could make a meal of this. I ate half at the restaurant and took this tentacle home for breakfast.

    If I Laughed, Would It Come Out My Nose?

    Considering some of the Discovery Channel programs I have watched, I am probably eating something that once was smarter than I am. Of course, with me, veal would probably fall into that category.

    Going to Coney Island tonight for a Cyclones (Mets farm club) Staten Island Yankees game. I should be posting about it tomorrow, or Monday. Tomorrow I head out to New Jersey so it depends upon when I get up and how early I leave.

    Monday, July 21, 2008

    Robin Des Bois - Sherwood Cafe

    Lacie and Mark are still together so no pictures of Rome. As a last resort I will pick up a copy of them this weekend from the Equally Mysterious Sister. I made a copy on a CD for her.

    The Saturday before the Bastille Day celebration in a nearby neighborhood the Mysterious Chinese Woman and I decided to go to a neat French restaurant, Robin Des Bois - Sherwood Cafe. This was the first time I have ever eaten there other than for brunch. I don't know why I haven't gone more often, maybe because it is at 195 Smith Street and I have to walk by Bar Tabac to get there. I will be going back again though, that is for sure.

    Although this restaurant isn't far from where I live, it is a bit exclusive. Almost a gated community.

    Luckily, I Am An Honorary Neighbor

    You know immediately you are in a French neighborhood. In most neighborhoods there are old appliances sitting on the sidewalk.

    Foosball, Anyone?

    You have to look sharp to find Robin Des Bois - Sherwood Cafe because, despite its long and fancy name, it looks kind of like a second-hand store.

    Deceiving Appearances

    Looking closely you could see that they were promoting tomorrows Pentaque tournament.

    Beach Pentaque

    There is a funky bar up front along with some tables for dining. The second-hand store look is carried out throughout the bar area. Kind of a funky look, like you might find in a bistro in Montmarte.

    The Bar

    It was a nice evening so we decided to head to the patio in back that most of the dinner patrons had also chosen.

    Quite The Patio

    We picked a table in the back and I ordered a couple of Duvels. Regular readers of this blog will already know all about Duvel. In a nutshell, it is a most excellent Belgian beer. Duvel is Flemish for Devil, and if you drink too many of these you may be paying the Devil in the morning.

    Duvel May Care

    Quite The Head

    Down The Hatch

    The menus featured 1950's style pinups, which seemed to fit right in with the rest of the decor.

    Beach Party

    They have a typical French bistro style menu; mussels, hanger steak, the usual. They do have some interesting specials such as chili-rubbed pork with couscous. I decided to have something typical so settled for the hanger steak.

    Nicely Done

    It was a good sized piece of meat, much thicker than you usually get. I ordered mine medium rare and that is just the way it came. If I knew the steak was going to be this thick I probably would have opted for medium because hanger steak, by its nature, is a bit tough. This was a very good cut of meat though so it was pleasantly chewy. It was delicious.

    It came with green beans and scalloped potatoes. The beans were fresh and crisp and the potatoes were a nice crispy brown on top. A winner all the way around.

    The Mysterious Chinese Woman had some kind of a seafood medley and she said hers was very good as well and she would certainly order it again.

    A Medley Of Seafood

    Robin Des Boise sits right in the middle of a large French community so this place is a lot more authentic than most places in other neighborhoods. Just about all of the help here are French as are a large number of the patrons. Definitely a place to go to, either for a meal or a drink. Just a lot of fun with really good food. And the prices are reasonable as well.

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