Friday, August 20, 2010

New Name For The Nets

As many of you probably know, the New Jersey Nets have been bought by Mikhail Prokhorov and will be moving to Brooklyn (right down the street from me) in a couple of years.  The papers have been filed to change the name, but no new name has been selected, that we know of.

Here are a few of my suggestions:

It seems like the Brooklyn Nyets would be a natural.

Brooklyn Bombers would be cool, but that is probably politically incorrect these days.

Given the controversy over the traffic congestion the new arena is supposed to cause the Brooklyn Jammers might not be bad.

And, of course, the Brooklyn Shooting Tsars has a certain ring to it.

Feel free to pass along any suggestions.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Oceanario

We headed out to visit the Lisbon Oceanario one day and it was a fun little trip.  As usual it started with a subway ride, and I did like the artwork at the stop where we got off (no dirty thoughts, we just got off the subway).

Artwork On The Walls

I like aquariums, although I have grown a bit weary of the one at Coney Island.  It has a bit of that shabby, run-down look to it and is not nearly as well maintained as the Lisbon Oceanario which was built for the World's Fair that was held here (Lisbon) in 1998.

The Lisbon Oceanario

It is the world's second largest aquarium, the largest being in Osaka, Japan.  That information is from the TimeOut guidebook, so it may or may not be entirely accurate.  Another guidebook simply said it was the largest in Europe and one of the largest in the world.

There is a large central tank and then four smaller ones that represent the Arctic, Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans.  Each of the four smaller tanks are topped by a room that represents the coastal area of the respective ocean.  Very nicely done.

I liked the large sculpture, made out of crushed cans, that loomed over the entry.

Soda Nice

Ready For My Close-Up

We got the headsets so we could get information on the stuff we were looking at.  I learned that the Arctic Ocean is the only one that is surrounded entirely by other bodies of water, no land.  Interesting, I thought.

Oh, and I learned that sea otters have a little pouch under their front arms, or legs, where they can store things.

Mr. Otter, Just Chilling Out

I am not sure what was going on here, but it looked like a naked twister party I was at once back in the sixties, or was it the seventies?  All I remember is the smell of baby lotion.  Ah, those were the days.

Whose Turn Is It Now?

The Mysterious Chinese Woman seemed to be bonding with whatever kind of fish this was.

Pucker Up

I always like looking at the penquins.

Cute Little Things

I don't remember what these were, but they were extremely loud.

Loud Birds

And, of course, there were little things for the kids as well.

Look Ma, I Can Swim

I mentioned how clean this place was.  They have divers go in every day to clean out the tanks, and it really shows.

The whole area around the Oceanario is very nice with shops and apartment buildings or condos or something that look like they would be spectacular.

What A View

And all along the river, or ocean (I never could quite keep them straight) were little parks and more sculptures that, I think, were also left over from the World Fair.

Lions And Tigers And Giraffes, Oh My!!

I am not sure who this guy was.

Maybe The World Fair Mascot

There were a number of these fountains that were supposed to be water volcanoes.  If you weren't careful you could get a bit of a soaking when they "erupted."

Lying Dormant, For The Moment

There was a marina not too far away with a bunch of outdoor restaurants that were just perfect for a light lunch and a beer.  I asked a woman sitting at one which one she recommended.  She pointed us to this one and it was a good call.

Reminded Me Of Brighton Beach

I am not sure why I didn't take more pictures of the food.  I do recall it was quite good.  Of course I did manage to get the requisite picture of me with a beer, though.

To Be Expected

There was this sky-ride going off to somewhere, but I couldn't seem to drum up any interest in taking it.

Who Knows What We Missed

That is a pretty spectacular bridge in the background.

On the way back to the subway we passed another little park that was built like a marshland.

Another Little Park

It looked like there was quite a bit of new construction that had just been finished and was waiting for tenants.  A whole row of places with what looked like commercial space on the first floor and residences up above.  They were all empty, though.

This was a nice day-trip and, if you are ever in Lisbon, should not be missed.  Fun for all ages.  And, if you plan on going to Europe, I highly recommend Lisbon.  I put it right up there with Paris and well ahead of Rome.  Just my opinion, of course.

I will sort through my photos and see if I have enough for one more post about Lisbon, kind of an odds and ends sort of post.  We shall see.

Heading out to Staten Island this evening to see my beloved Cyclones play the hated Staten Island Yankees.  The Cyclones are tearing up the league this year and definitely play-off bound.  Unfortunately, I will be in Germany and the Czech Republic when play-offs are going on.  I am trying to work up the courage to wear my Brett Favre Jets jersey tonight.  Maybe not. 

One Of Those Mornings

You ever wake up, look at the newspaper, and then want to jump right back under the covers?  This morning was one of those mornings and I don't know which of this gallimaufry is the worst:

Brett Favre un-retiring but once again swearing this will be his last year.

Lindsay Lohen getting $1 million from OK! magazine for her first post-jail-and-rehab interview.

Steven Tyler becoming a judge on American Idol.

I promise, I will post about my visit to the Lisbon aquarium later, after I recover.  Now where is my whis..., er, I mean coffee.

Oh, "gallimaufry" is a new word I learned today.  Came across it while reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.  It means a jumble or medley of things and comes from the archaic French word "galimafree" that means 'unappetizing dish.'  I know this is why you read this blog, for these little tidbits of information.

By the way, I am about a third of the way through The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and am enjoying it a lot.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Random Musings

I haven't seen any figures released for the attendance at the Jets/Giants (or was it Giants/Jets) pre-season game.  I wonder if that is because they were so low?  Can't say for sure, but from watching the game on television and seeing pictures in the newspapers it looked like there were a lot of empty seats.

Brett made a visit to Minneapolis in a private jet painted Vikings purple and gold, so I guess once again he may be un-retiring.  And it seems like only yesterday when he tearfully retired from the Green Bay Packers and professional football.  And then the Jets and professional football.  Gosh, how time does fly.

My hero is the owner of the Oak & Iris Cafe who cancelled his weekly sing-alongs because parents couldn't, or wouldn't, control their children.  He said out-of-control kids danced on tables, broke dishes and pulled bottles out of a refrigerator and threw them on the floor.  Parents, of course, were outraged and one said "To set yourself up as kid-friendly and then be appalled by a normal range of kid behavior seems bizzare to me."  What seems bizzarre to me is what parents now consider to be a normal range of "kid behavior."

With high school graduation rates less than 60% in many states, I am surprised our unemployment rate is as low as it is.  It amazes me that noone seems willing to connect the two.  The United States no longer has many jobs for people with less than a high school education.  And we don't seem to do a very good job of educating our young.

People who continue criticising the building of a "mosque" at "ground zero" have, apparently, never visited downtown Manhattan. The proposed "mosque" is in a run-down area, an area with strip clubs, bars, adult video/bookstores, tacky souvenir shops and vacant buildings, that is two blocks away and cannot even be seen from "ground zero."  Whether you are for or against the building of this Islamic culture center, and, yes, it does contain a mosque, is not the point.  The point is that it is not being built at or across the street from "ground zero."

Given that it is legal in New York for women to go without tops, why don't I see more bare-breasted women?

Why is the legal drinking age in the United States so much higher than anywhere else in the world where drinking is legal?

Tomorrow I will post about my trip to the aquarium in Lisbon.  Did you know that the ocean sunfish is the largest bony fish in the world?

Bigger Than The Sunfish I Used To Catch

And, before everyone jumps on me for "defending" the building of a mosque in downtown Manhattan, read what I wrote more carefully.  You will notice the only thing I did was criticise people for mis-representing where it is being built.  Kind of like when I get upset at my brother-in-law for saying I live in Brooklyn Heights when I actually live a block away in Downtown Brooklyn.

And why do you spell "criticise" with an "s" but "criticized" with a "z".  Or am I confused about this?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Finally, after too many distractions, back to Lisbon.  This time a day trip to Estoril.


Estoril was once a grand resort for titled Europeans and its casino, supposedly, was the inspiration for Ian Fleming's Casino Royale.  The lustre has faded a bit, but it is still a very nice beach with several night clubs and beach-side restaurants.

It is a relatively short and inexpensive train ride from Lisbon and that is how we went.

As usual, the trip starts with a subway trip, this time to the train station.

It Was All Just A Blur

Apparently the move to install machines is not limited to just the subway stations but also includes the trains as well.  There was some confusion but they did have someone helping people figure them out.  Still, it was a bit hectic.

Confusion Reigns

But, it was an orderly confusion so it wasn't too bad.  And before we knew it we were at Estoril and disembarking.

Off The Train And To The Beach

And To The Beach

And a mighty fine beach it was.  And, surprisingly to someone used to the crowds at Coney Island, uncrowded.

Beach Pictures

Right by the train station there were a few places that sold your typical beach stuff: plastic pails and shovels, suntan lotion, sodas, snacks, the usual.  I just bought an English language newspaper.

There is a really nice and long boardwalk that we strolled along, and even a little walk-up bar.

All Of The Amenities

After strolling for a bit we got a bit peckish and went looking for a place to have a little nosh.

Bolina Fit The Bill

Nothing like sitting by the sea and eating seafood.  This place really did hit the spot and, after walking the beach, the Mysterious Chinese Woman was ready for a beer.

Slaking Her Thirst

Breaking from tradition, I seem to have opted for wine.  Maybe I had a beer earlier, I really don't remember.  Or maybe this is a beer.

Who Knows?

And the food was quite good.  But then almost everywhere we have eaten in Portugal has had very good food.

The Mysterious Chinese Woman had some kind of a seafood shishkabob.

And Potatoes

The Mysterious Sister-In-Law opted for shrimp.

Fresh From The Sea

I Had Clams

After we ate the Mysterious Sisters headed off to, well, wherever Mysterious Sisters head off to.  I think they were going shopping.  Probably wanted to buy some plastic pails and shovels and play in the sand a bit.  I opted to stay behind and have some port while I read my newspaper.  And get sunburnt.

This Is The Life

Estoril must change once the sun goes down.  I suspect that is when the nightclubs start to crank up and the younger crowd moves in.  I read in the paper that there were some problems here earlier in the week when members of a couple of gangs got into it.  And as it got later the number of police in evidence increased dramatically.  But all was peaceful while we were there and we had a mighty fine day.