Life: October 2008 Archives

All My Sons

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When I saw that "All My Sons" was on Broadway, I was intrigued. I knew of Arthur Miller's work, thinking back to my years studying at LaSalle College High School, I remembered my English teacher at the time, Mr. McCabe, showing us Miller's "A Death Of A Salesman", starring Dustin Hoffman and John Malkovich. It really was one of those events that sparked my imagination and enjoyment of literature and theatre. Later, I went on to study English Literature at Villanova University, and eventually when I moved to New York City, I often tried to take advantage of what Broadway had to offer.

I have been to a few Broadway shows ("Rent", "Monty Python's The Holy Grail", "The Producers" "Macbeth" with Patrick Stewart), spending more time trying to get out to see Shakespeare in the Park, during the summer months. I like to go when I can enjoy it with someone special, rather than going alone or trying to get simply "friends" to come with me. But I wanted to see this for other reasons, too.

First, it had John Lithgow, who I loved in so many of his movies, growing up. I remember watching him in "The World According to Garp", "Twilight Zone: The Movie", "Footloose" (which he also filmed with fellow castmate Dianne Wiest) and even enjoying his goofy roles in "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension" or "Harry and the Hendersons". Later in life I loved watching him in "3rd Rock from the Sun" and was one of the few people who Tivo'd him in "Twenty Good Years". I always thought he was a great actor, and reminds me of a natural, someone like Dustin Hoffman or Gene Hackman.

Second, it was easy to get tickets. I just went on ticketmaster, they had tickets for almost any show I wanted and I bought a Tuesday night performance, with good seats, in about five minutes.

Third, the show has Katie Holmes, who lately has been fodder for all the gossip websites, and I think she brings a certain intrigue to the entire show - is she good? Would Xenu make a cameo?

I had to recruit someone to tag along with me, and I asked my friend Tiffany to come along for a Tuesday night show at 7pm. We tried to score seats at Becco, but they were packed and had a 45 minute wait for seats. Instead, we walked into Sushi of Gari 46, a few doors down at 347 W. 46th St.

I would highly recommend that if you want outstanding sushi with quick, excellent service before a show on Broadway, I would steer everyone towards this small sushi restaurant. The downside is that it can be a bit pricey and the portions may be smaller than you expect in Hoboken, but the high quality of the fish, the presentation and service made it worth it for Tiffany and myself.

After our meal, we went to the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre (formerly the Plymouth), only a few blocks away, quickly got to our seats, and watched the show.

I think back to all the shows I have been to, which would probably pale in comparion to many of you reading this now, and think that most of them I left thinking that they were "good". Even Rent, was a good show (I didn't see it with the original cast), and for the most part I was never floored by a show.

Maybe it was my lack of experience of "Great Broadway", but I really enjoyed the show. On a simple scale of 1 to 10, i'd give it a 9, with my humble scale. Other critics have given the show mixed reviews.

Perhaps I need to get more plays under my belt, but I felt the performances were excellent, I was drawn into the play and very much enjoyed all the characters and didn't feel anyone had a "one note performance". The show simply captivated me, and I would say that if you are someone who is looking for something different to do, and want to take advantage of what New York has to offer, this would be a great time to go out and try and take in a great show - especially that the discount ticket TKTS booth in Times Square has been refurbished.

Notes, News and More!

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To those that noticed, the site was down this morning. Our server got mixed up in a move by our hosting provider.

The hosting provider also owns If you haven't heard, is relaunching very soon (I think today), and i'm very excited to see the new changes. Everyone at Datapipe and have been a true help to my site.

Did you know that this month is my 4th year blogging in town? I'm shocked it has been that long, and it's still great to get so many emails from people. I got a great email yesterday from someone I didn't even know who wanted to add some information about my Pantry Entry:

I hope you are enjoying experimenting with your own cooking.

Your pantry list is a good one, but I do have two opinions on some of the ingredients on your list. First, boullion cubes are pure, dehydrated evil. I would suggest buying stock in a re-sealable cardboard box. If you don't think will go through it quickly enough, fill an icecube tray with the stock and freeze it. Once frozen, empty the trays into a zip lock bag. Be sure to label and date the bag to eliminate scary freezer archeology in the future. The stock cubes should last for six months.

Secondly, those "cooking wines" one purchases in a super market are just horrible mixtures of salt and something that may legally qualify as wine, maybe. With wines in a box improving, and their shelf lives of up to six weeks, keeping some of them around for cooking is a good idea. Vermouth, because of it's long shelf life, is also a good substitute for a cooking wine.

Have fun in the kitchen.

Comments - If you didn't know, something is massively wrong with my comments on this site. I got a few emails from people asking if I blocked them from commenting, and I did not. I'm not sure what's going on there. Certainly you can always email me and I always reply to people:

Eagles - yep, not happy they lost. I'm shocked because I know they are a better team than this, just can't figure out the exacts to why they are sputtering the last two games. Bad coaching? WRs dropping key passes? Still a lot of season to play to work this out, and I still think the Birds are a playoff team, just shocked we lost to the Redskins and Chicago, two winnable games. But what can you do - much like the Phillies, just gotta make it to the playoffs.

And how about those Phillies? What can you say when your team takes care of business and wins? I'm extremely happy to see the Phillies in the NLCS for the first time since 1993. Dodgers hammered us during the regular season, and it will be a tough series, no doubt. To me, it's a win/win situation. I'm just glad to see the Phillies in the post season twice in two years, and seeing our team getting better each year. Dodgers aren't going to be easy, but it's anyone's series, I think the Phillies can win if they play their "A" game.

Happy Friday!

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A nice little video (work safe, I think...there is "implied" humor here) to get us all in a happy mood for the weekend, with the Phillies up 2-0...

We are a city that loves to eat. That's easily apparent walking down Washington Street, with bars and restaurants bustling with diners every night. In the last few years, I have gotten into cooking for myself. It's a lot of fun, but one of my greatest frustrations is opening up my cookbook, reading what i'd like to make, and then realizing that i'm missing a key ingredient, so I put together a list of items that I keep in my try to keep pantry.

When I came up with this list, it's about freshness. I didn't include easily perishable items. Sure, you can have a big bag of potatoes sitting in your closet, but I have found, in my experience, that in Hoboken it was much easier just to stop in the local farmers market and grab things like that when you are ready to cook. Same is true with meat. You can, for example, get a vacuum sealer, and store cuts of meat in your freezer when ready to use them. For me, this list was about key ingredients that are great to have on hand when you are ready to cook or bake.

My first list are my Top 10. These are the standards, that you have to have for almost anytime you think about cooking:

  1. Sugar
  2. Flour
  3. Butter
  4. Milk
  5. Olive Oil
  6. Garlic
  7. Dry Pasta
  8. Marinara Sauce
  9. Cooking Spray
  10. Multi-Grain Bread

That covers a lot of what you will cook with. For things like milk, eggs and butter, I buy small quantities, so that I always have something fresh and don't feel guilty throwing away 1/2 pint of bad milk versus a 1/2 gallon.

The items would be my "basics" list:

  1. Basic condiments (Mayo, Ketchup, Mustard, BBQ Sauce, Soy, Teriaki, Worcestershire sauce, Maple Syrup, Tabasco, Peanut Butter, Grape Jelly, Balsamic Vinegar)
  2. Basic seasonings (Table Salt, Pepper, Kosher Salt, Oregano, Basil, Cayenne Pepper, Boullion cubes (beef, chicken, veg))
  3. Basic baking ingredients (Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Vanilla Extract, Yeast, Solid shortening, Cornstarch, Brown Sugar, Bisquick)
  4. Basic others (Red & White Cooking Wine, White/Red Wine Vinegar,
  5. Basic Canned Foods (Tuna, Tomatoes (Paste and Diced), Chicken/Beef Broth, Marinara Sauce)
  6. Basic canned/bottled drinks (Coke, 7up, Seltzer, Water)

Advanced Seasonings: Sage, Thyme, Rosemary, Ginger, Dry Mustard, Bay Leaves, Nutmeg, Paprika, Poppy Seed, Lemon Pepper, Garlic Powder and Cinnamon.

Advanced Items: Honey, Dried Beans, Brown Rice, Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels, Pickles (Dill Gherkins), Dijon mustard, Canola Oil, Peanut Oil, Vegetable Oil, wedge of Parmesan cheese.

Some things to remember:

  • Put the flour and sugar in an air tight resealable containers

  • Put the brown sugar in a resealable bag, add a fresh apple slice to the bag to keep it from hardening.

  • I put my Multi-Grain Bread in the freezer. I can whip up fresh tuna fish, pop the bread in the toaster and have a delicious sandwich in 10 minutes.

  • Remember with spices to get the SMALLEST container possible. Most dry ground spices last about 2-3 years, if kept airtight and in cool spaces.

Liquor Cabinent. Now, being the bartender that I am, I have to give you a list of liquors that every adult Hobokenite should have on hand. Imagine inviting someone over to your house and you can't fix them a nice cocktail? This is what I have in my cabinet:

  1. Grey Goose, Belvedere Vodka or Ketel One Vodka
  2. Jim Beam or Jack Daniels Bourbon
  3. Tanqueray Gin
  4. Captain Morgan Rum
  5. Johnny Walker Black
  6. Bacardi Rum
  7. Jagermeister
  8. Red Wine (preferably Zinfandel or Pinot Noir for more casual drinkability when guests are over)
  9. White White (always in the fridge, Pinot Grigio is the better choice for young Hobokenites)
  10. Beer (Yuengling, of course!)

Now, cordials are what make a drink a drink. I don't have all of these, but if you are having a party, never a bad idea to have the key 3 juices (OJ, Cranberry, Pineapple), i'd grab Cointreau (or Triple Sec) and some Red Bulls. These other ones are optional...but great to have on hand for mixed drinks or shots:

  • Amaretto

  • Chambord

  • Frangelico

  • Midori

  • Sour Mix

  • Grenadine

  • That should do it. Print out my list, and go over to Shop Rite at 900 Madison - you can buy everything you need right there, including the liquor.

    See something missing from my list? Email me at and I'll see if it should be added!

    Outback Steakhouse: Edgewater

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    A friend of mine invited me out for dinner a few weeks back, for helping her out with something which was important to her.

    We kept trying to figure out where we wanted to eat, with food that she could eat (she's on a diet). I was thinking of trying to eat at McSwiggan's, but most of the menu items were deep fried bar food, with few "healthy" choices. The standard visit "Court Street" was in play, since we both liked eating there, but our enthusiasm waned a bit.

    She read my blog and said, "What about Outback?"

    Mmmmmmmmmmm. Nom nom nom.

    Outback it is! We got in my car, drove over and 20 minutes later (on a Tuesday night at 7:30pm) entered the restaurant.

    We take one look around, the place is packed, with people sitting and standing waiting for tables.The entire bar, and surrounding booths were full. I ask the manager how long the wait is, and was told "25-30 minutes or you can wait near the bar and try to get a seat when someone leaves."

    My friend takes one look at me and says, "You were right, this place would do great in Hoboken. I'd eat here once a week. Look how packed it is...on a TUESDAY!"

    Eventually we grabbed a seat at the bar, and I had a 9 ounce Victoria's "Center Cut" Filet, with wild rice and asparagus. It wasn't Luger's or The Strip House, but compared to ANY steak I have had in Hoboken, it was completely worth the 15 minute drive to Edgewater.

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    This page is a archive of entries in the Life category from October 2008.

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