Category: Friends

Gathering for supper

Saturday, July 26th, 2008 | All Things, Eats, Friends, Travel

By late afternoon, we found ourselves with rumbling stomachs and very few options along Route 90. Our brief detour onto Route 38 improved matters, but only slightly. After passing on a defunct dairy and a Hoffman Hots truck, we came upon Barb’s Diner in Genoa, which seemed promising — going by Calvin Trillin‘s theory that eating establishments named for people have a better-than-average chance of being good — but closed.

Even so, there was zero chance we would be eating at nearby Giuseppe’s Pizzeria. Sorry, Giuseppe.

All of which brought us eventually to The Gathering in Moravia, which we all agreed was a name less suited for a restaurant than for an M. Night Shyamalan film. We were slightly reassured by the handful of cars in the parking lot — a veritable crowd in this sparsely populated region — but slightly perplexed by the presence of a drive-thru. But we pulled in anyway, deciding to take our chances. (Plus, did I mention we were starving?)

And we’re so glad we did! The Gathering turned out to be a charming diner with a stooled formica-top counter, friendly service and a chalkboard on which were handwritten the homemade pie offerings — always a good sign. And on the menu: Chicken n’ Biscuits — made daily from scratch:

A “Rachel” sandwich, i.e., a Reuben with coleslaw substituted for the usual sauerkraut.

And of course, our visit would not be complete without sampling those pies: chocolate meringue (very first slice) and coconut cream (very last slice):

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Garage sales galore

Saturday, July 26th, 2008 | All Things, Friends, Travel

After a hearty homemade breakfast in Croton-on-Hudson, we piled into the Honda Pilot and set our GPS course for the 50-mile Route 90 Scenic Byway sale in Central New York. This annual July event began in 1989 as a means to draw visitors to the rural east side of Cayuga Lake, which is far less traveled than the vineyard-lined western edge.

S & I first learned about this event in our home state during last year’s road trip through the South for the World’s Longest Yardsale. An antiques dealer near the heart of the 127 Corridor Sale tipped us off to the similar event near New York’s Finger Lakes that he had participated in just before setting up shop in Jamestown, Tennessee. Hmm: shorter, more manageable, closer to home… I think it was pretty much decided last August that we’d be making the trip upstate this year.

The Route 90 sale wends through the historic farmland of Cortland and Cayuga counties, from Montezuma in the north to Homer in the south. Along the way, there are bucolic fields of corn and what we later determined to be soy, a few picturesque small towns, and several less-picturesque trailer parks scattered along the shores of Cayuga Lake.

Just a few hours north of New York City, it’s an entirely different world.

We started our shopping at the southern end of the route, stopping in at a few family-run barn/garage sales en route to the fields of dealers we felt sure to come across throughout the weekend.

Except such fields of treasures never materialized. Not today, anyway. The sale, such as it was, was comprised of a string of garage sales of widely varying quality. On several occasions we rolled the car slowly past the roadside tables — drive-thru style — before opting not to even bother exiting the vehicle.

If I were to have made one purchase today, it would have been this vintage Smith-Corona. I’ve always been fascinated by old typewriters — those loudly clacking, hefty relics, so economical in their keys that the lower-case “L” does double-duty as the numeral “1,” and exclamation marks are made by typing an apostrophe over a period. This one was in reasonably good working condition, too — needing only a new ribbon.

Oh no… is this what’s known as non-buyer’s remorse?

No, no. Perhaps one day I’ll have a shelf lined with these in my library or home office, but for my now, it’s enough of a challenge just to find a place to keep the towering stacks of books in my apartment.

Amish family, walking the route. I snapped this from quite a distance away, with my 6X optical zoom — is that bad?

Soon after taking the photo, as my friends and I were browsing a nearby barn sale, a flash thunderstorm rolled in and pellets of hail began to rain down from the darkened skies. I’m reasonably sure that was just a coincidence.

Check out the rest of the Route 90 Sale photos on flickr.

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Where in the world is vipnyc?

Friday, July 25th, 2008 | All Things, Arts, Events, Family, Friends, Music, Travel

Friends and readers,

As a few of you may have noticed, I have been on hiatus this past month.

After a musical Memorial Day weekend in the Pacific Northwest, I spent two glorious weeks in Hawaii, followed in rapid succession by a wedding, and jaunts to Orange County, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Locally, there was much work to do launching my community supported agriculture group’s season, a visit to Public Farm One at P.S. 1, a night of Shakespeare in the Park, a slew of birthday celebrations, a pair of sublime sushi dinners, and the Siren Music Festival in Coney Island. More, too, but you know I don’t include everything on this blog…

Oh, you wanted to see pictures, and perhaps a video or two? (Follow the links to the full flickr sets.)

P.F. 1 (Public Farm One) at P.S. 1:

San Francisco shores:

Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco:

Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, San Francisco:

de Young Museum & Japanese Tea Garden, San Francisco:

Conservatory of Flowers, San Francisco:

Coney Island, New York:

…and many more photos from O’ahu: Kualoa Ranch, Diamond Head, The Polynesian Cultural Center, and at Pearl Harbor, the Battleship Missouri and the USS Arizona Memorial.

I will be up in New York’s Finger Lakes region this weekend for the annual 50-mile garage sale along Route 90 — remember last August’s Highway 127 Sale through the rural South? — perhaps with some stops along the Cayuga Wine Trail, after which I hope to be able to buckle back down to the business of blogging as my summer tan lines slowly fade into memory.

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