Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.

03 July 2007

NYC, The Mets, The Daddies, Marky Mark, Hockey its a Corucopia of Topics For Your Reading Pleasure!

The past week was a pretty busy one for the Don. On the 24th, I celebrated one year of marriage, or as I saw one year without having to go O.J. on the wife. To celebrate, we took a quick overnight trip to New York City baby! We had tickets to watch my favorite team the Mets play at home against her favorite team the Cardinals. We got an early start on the 25th and made good time to the big city...right up until my directions had me going across Manhattan...which added another hour or so onto the trip time. All in all, we made solid time once we got to our hotel in posh Jamaica Queens. After checking in and unloading the car, we headed for the subway for some good ole Americana cuisine in the heart of NYC. Actually we ended up in the artsy-fartsy Greenwich Village to get some good ole authentic Fish 'N Chips from A Salt and Battery . The wife and I had been looking forward to trying this place ever since we saw my man Bobby Flay challenge the owner in a "Throwdown" on the Food Network. I ordered some Haddock and Bren had the Cod. We actually split an order of large Chips, since surprisingly enough there wasn't an actual "Fish 'N Chips" combo on the menu. I tried to understand that, but then again these are the Brits. You know, the ones who brush their teeth with a BBQ Grill brush and have no idea what a dentist is. Either way, a can of Coke for me and a Ginger Beer for Bren rounded out our lunch. Grand total...30 bones! Welcome to NYC! 30 bucks for 2 somewhat small pieces of fried fish, a "large" order of glorified french fries and 2 12 0z. cans of pop. Luckily the fish was phenomenal and so were the chips! It was worth the price for the food, the experience and to say we have been their.

After I got done washing dishes to pay for lunch, Bren and I head back out into the city. The last time we were there, we hit almost everything from Little Italy North to Central Park. This time while we had time to kill before the game we headed South. Brenna wanted to at least be able to see the Statue of Liberty so we jumped on the train and headed South. We got off at the World Trade Center. It was a humbling experience looking out into a big empty void where 2 of the largest buildings in the world once stood. It was good to see construction on the new Liberty Tower going on though. After touring the area we headed down to Battery Park where we got to see the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and enjoy the park itself. From there we rounded the tip and headed back north to the Fulton Fish Market and the 17th Pier on the South Street Seaport. From there we headed back into Central Manhattan until we decided to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. A very cool thing to do. Had some great views of the city while suspended over the middle of the East River! Once we finally got off the Bridge walkway in Brooklyn we hit the Subway looking to head to Queens to go to the game. Well, there was no Direct line between Brooklyn and Queens which was bullshit so we headed back into Manhattan where we transferred to the now famous from John Rocker Number 7 Train . Our stop, Willets Point - Shea Stadium!

It was good to be back in a Major League Park again. I was looking forward to chowing down a Nathan's Famous. The only place a hotdog tastes good is in a baseball park. Unfortunately, Nathan's just wasn't up to par. I guess I gotta give Joey Chesnutt more credit for eating 59 of those fuckers in 12 minutes. However the beer and peanuts were good and so was the game. The Mets offense forgot to show up scoring 3 hits in the game while the Cards had 8. At the end of 9 innings though, it was tied at 1 as we entered free baseball! In the bottom of the 11th Shawn Green stepped to the plate for the Mets and launched a shot to right field. Looking for a walk-off, the crowd of 40K plus was disappointed as the ball sailed foul. No worry because just as we all had sat back down green sent an offering soaring into the night air hitting the score board in deep right field for a walk-off home run victory!!! Tough break for Brenna, but I was happy at least!

After the game it was back to the hotel and the next morning we made our way back to Rochacha. Made great time getting back and in all had a great time.

Keeping the busy week going, on the 28th, my favorite band the Cherry Poppin' Daddies hit Rochester for a concert in the High Falls area. The Hesh in me was ecstatic because not only could I see the Daddies, but the concert was free as well. Steve Perry and the boys put on a great show playing for over 2 hours. Not bad for a free show. Keyboardist Dustin Lanker was classic on the board. My man was a spazz and great to watch. The Daddies hit just about every song I wanted to hear and then some. The best part about the show was the fact the Daddies didn't dick around with the music. Its not a secret that I as a rule I despise live music, especially concerts from well known artists. Too many times the singers or bands invoke their "artist creativity" to completely fuck up a song. Listen asscan's...I'm at your concert to hear the music that made me like you in the first place. When you start changing shit around in a live environment 99% of the time it sucks. This goes for rappers, hair bands, country artists, legends, rock 'n rollers, everyone. Thankfully The CPD's didn't do this. It was a hell of a show and one of the best concerts I've been to in a very long time. Hopefully the boys from Eugene Oregon make it out to the East Coast more often!

Through the wonder that is Netflix, Bren and I watched the movie "Shooter" last Sunday. While the plot may not be entirely plausible, the movie itself was very good. This got me to thinking...Mark Wahlberg (of Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch "Fame") is a damn good actor. In pretty much everything I have seen him in, especially recently dude has been solid. From "Three Kings" to "4 Brothers" to "Shooter", even in that horrid movie "The Departed" he was excellent. I remember being in High School and horrified every time "Good Vibrations" was heard. All he was was Vanilla Ice who didn't get worked over by Suge Knight. Another white rapper who gained fame with the teenage girls of the time, but not with true rap music fans. Somewhere along the lines he dropped making records and started acting. Thankfully for us and to his credit he hasn't used his fame as an actor to return to the mic and drop another "album". I mean in a time when Paris Hilton is making records, it has to be tough not to hit the studio and cut a new record. As long as Dirk stays out the studio, I'll continue to see his movies and give him the credit he now deserves.

This past weekend was a bad one for all Buffalo Sabres fans. Despite the Sabres choke job this year in the playoff's, the team was poised to matter for a long time. The HSBC Arena in Buffalo is sold out for every home game and there are another 10-15,000 fans watching on a big screen in an overflow area as well. Canuck teams don't even get that. A town sick and tired of watching their football team get mismanaged right into the ground finally had something to cheer for...until as I said this past weekend. Buffalo's co-captains, both free agents left for greener financial pastures with the Rangers and Flyers. Pretty sad actually. All the Rangers can offer is a shitload of cash and not much chance of a Stanley Cup. Philly offers a ton of cash and the ability to get mercifully booed by Philly Fan after a bad night. Stanley Cup not in their future. Buffalo however had everything going for it. While they are a small market team that doesn't generate the revenue that the bog boys do, they have been turned into a solid team by Owner and Rochestarian Tom Golisano . He has turned the team into a winner from a team that was on the verge of bankruptcy and a move to some southern U.S. city. He helped to create something we can all be proud of. Even Hockey's year layoff didn't kill support for the Sabres like it did in several other cities. But this is bad news for the Sabres. Losing 2 of the best players on the team weakens the team. They might still be a playoff team, but they are no longer a Stanley Cup team now. Sports fans are fickle. Things like this will turn off the casual Hockey Fan such as myself. Like with the NBA, I was a big NHL Fan back in the '80's and early '90's, but the game changed...for the worse. It just didn't capture my interest like is did before. Almost all Hockey teams are facing this, and this is why they are struggling to hang onto major sport status. Baseball, Football, even the NBA with its 30 plus million a year players can get away with this. Hockey can't. It's too bad that the players don't realize this. If they don't, fans like me will dry up and the diehards that are left won't be enough to keep things going. At that point there will be no more 52 million dollar over paid contracts being handed out. Soccer on Ice will dry up, and NASCAR will officially replace Hockey as one of the 4 major sports.


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