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Happy Mother’s Day!

13 May

Here’s to the Moms out there today!

Here’s my Grandmother, my Dad, and my Uncle:

And here’s my Grandmother, my Mother, and unidentified friends:

My GreatGrandmother, Grandmother, Mother and Sister:

My Sister with her two sons:

And, my Mother-In-Law, with her first son – Froggy!

Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!




My Favorite New Christmas Tradition – Crackers And Puzzles

26 Dec

Thanks to the lovely Eva, here’s my favorite new Christmas tradition:

It’s an English Christmas Cracker.

Eva has gifted them to each family member for the last couple of Christmases, and they are SO MUCH FUN.

First – a description – from this webstore:

Crackers are decorative party favors widely used in Great Britain to celebrate a variety of special occasions and festive events.

They consist of a beautifully wrapped and decorated cardboard cylinder containing a paper crown (tissue party hat), a motto (British joke or riddle), a snap (popping device), and a small gift or novelty item.

At dinners and parties, crackers are used to decorate individual place settings and are usually opened prior to serving the meal or refreshments.

The pulling of crackers and donning of the party hats creates a relaxed, festive atmosphere certain to get any party function off the ground.”

And, sometimes the little “novelty item” inside is one of these charming yet infuriating wire disentanglement puzzles. Which – in our family – gets passed around the table from person to person as we each try try try to part the pieces, then either somehow succeed or give up with exasperation.

Here’s our sequence of the events:

The pulling of the cracker:

And it breaks apart with a bang!

You root out the gifts inside.

You unfold the paper crown.

You read the joke out loud.

“What did the necktie say to the hat?”

“You go on ahead; I’ll hang around here.”

(On our paper, the punch line was cut off – the fun part was Hubby figuring out what it said. Guess you had to be there.)

We laughed and laughed!

We played for a bit with the wire puzzle,

then we hunkered down to enjoy our meal – soy-maple-syrup-marinated wild salmon, wild rice with onions, and roasted brussels sprouts. YUM.

A bottle of nice red wine with the meal, and Southern ambrosia for dessert – along with maybe a cookie or two.

It was a Wonderful Christmas Day.

Check out these Christmas crackers. They add LIFE to the party. I guarantee they’ll be a hit.

Thank you, dear Eva, for introducing me to my favorite new Christmas tradition!



Tonight – The 32nd Annual “A City Singing At Christmas” At St. Patrick’s Cathedral

15 Dec

Tonight at 7:00, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral here in Manhattan, it’s their annual “A City Singing At Christmas” event.

From their website:

Thursday, December 15, 2011
7:00 p.m.
(Preferred Seating begins at 6:15 p.m.
and is only held until 6:50 p.m.)

Featuring St. Patrick’s Cathedral Choir

Dr. Jennifer Pascual, Conductor 

The Young People’s Chorus of New York City

Francisco Núñez, Conductor

Connecticut Chamber Choir

Constance Chase, Conductor

The Cathedral Organs

New York Symphonic Brass

Celebrate this joyful time of the year with traditional and contemporary Christmas hymns and carols!

General Seating is free and open to the public.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral
5th Avenue between 50th/51st Streets
New York, NY



Yesterday’s Santa Con 2011

11 Dec

There were two locations for the Santas to meet at the start of yesterday’s NYC Santa Con 2011 – one in lower Manhattan and one in The Brooklyn Bridge Park in Brooklyn.

It was such a lovely morning I decided to go to Brooklyn. (Grimaldi’s Pizza, anyone?)

When I got off the subway, I looked around, and decided it would be a safe bet to follow these couple of red-dressed individuals.

When I arrived at the waterfront, I noticed a few more.


There’s no cheerier site than Santas under The Brooklyn Bridge!

Before I could say “HO HO HO”, there were many, many Santas.

Of course, Mr & Mrs Santa were there:

Here are 2 other Santas (or maybe Santa’s Helpers?):

I saw a mother and her young child hurry past – the mother was covering her child’s eyes with her hands. I couldn’t tell if the Santas were being somewhat too rowdy for the child to witness, or if the mother simply did not want to answer the inevitable questions about so many Santas.

This Santa had his Naughty List handy:

as well as his Nice List:

Here are three other Santas:

And The Bling Santas:

Some unique girl Santas:

and some unique boy Santas:

After I took a break from photographing Santas, and I rode Jane’s Carousel for only 2$

Ate pizza at Grimaldi’s (YUM!)

and walked across The Brooklyn Bridge back to Manhattan.

I stopped by City Hall, where there was a MASSIVE congregation of Santas.

There were even a couple of Santa Protesters.

As well as The Easter Bunny!

And The Gingersnap Man with The Cookie Monster.

Everyone was feeling the love!

I’d say it was a very successful Santa Con 2011.

I got home very happy, very full and very exhausted!




Finally, My Visit To Gaga’s Holiday Workshop At Barneys!

3 Dec

I’ve been waiting for the right time to visit Lady Gaga’s Holiday Workshop, and that time was just recently, on one fine evening.

No, I wasn’t going shopping shopping – those Gaga price tags are a *little steep* for this Little Monster’s pocketbook.

But – window shopping – that’s one of my favorite holiday traditions!

You can stare at and photograph the windows for FREE, and go to the “Workshop” on the 5th floor to ogle and photograph for FREE.

And of course, no one there objects if you DO want to buy something!

To name just a few items that are available to “pick up for a song”, there are Gaga Candles:

Gaga Press-On Nails:

Gaga Snow Globes:

And perhaps my favorite of all – Gaga Monster Cookies:

Check out the store during the holidays if you’re in NYC – 660 Madison Avenue @ 61st Street.

Or, you can check out the website (link above) if you want to shop (figuratively or literally) from afar.

Happy Gaga Holidays, you Little Monsters, you!



Winter’s Eve At Lincoln Square – The Holiday Season Has Officially Begun!

29 Nov

When I saw this sign a week or so ago, I marked my calendar.

But, when I read that Arlo Guthrie was going to perform, I knew I had to go!

Last night was the 12th Annual Winter’s Eve At Lincoln Square.

All evening long

from Lincoln Center to the Time Warner Building in Manhattan, there was music – from the Newark Boys Chorus

and Arlo Guthrie and his family.

It was great to see Arlo!

After he played a number of songs, including some holiday-themed songs such as Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, the Lincoln Square tree was lit to much fanfare.

WABC’s Sade Baderinwa and Mayor Ed Koch joined Arlo on stage to thank him for being here.

“I’m home!” Arlo said. “I’m from Coney Island.”

After the show was over, I headed down Broadway towards The Time Warner Building at Columbus Circle.

There was a clown from The Big Apple Circus

handing out clown noses to the kids

while the stars glowed overhead.

I also saw ice sculpting demos, street puppets, kids making and wearing elf hats, and food trucks giving out free cookies and hot apple cider.

It was a magical evening!

The Holiday Season has officially begun!




Tim Burton, Paul Frank & Lady Gaga – My Various Thanksgiving Day Entertainment Highlights

28 Nov

I watched a bit of TV over the Thanksgiving weekend. Some of the highlights for me:

Seeing Tim Burton and his family look proudly overhead as his balloon flew in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade

Seeing B. Boy myself – I’ve been waiting for this!

(My chagrin at NOT seeing) Paul Frank’s Julius in the parade – Hubby told me about it after the fact and I missed seeing one of my favorite characters up in the air. Thanks to this website, and UPI photographer John Angelillo for his fantastic photo:

And, ALL of the Lady Gaga Thanksgiving Special which aired on ABC. Particularly, her duet with Tony Bennett “The Lady Is A Tramp”.


You can buy a digital copy of the song here, for just $1.29, from Tony Bennett’s album, Duets II.

Hubby and I hope that everyone had a great holiday, with lots of family fun, great food, visual entertainment and thankful memories.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming…



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