Archive for December, 2009

New Year’s Resolution

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Organize my cell phone “contacts,” and remove the names of all the people I would hate to accidentally “butt-dial” from a nightclub at 2 a.m. Also, I resolve to (at some point) not-so-accidentally contact all the people whom I would love to accidentally “butt-dial” … but, not at 2 a.m.

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New York Deli-Talk

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

by Liz von Achen

New York, New York — it’s a helluva town. “The city” (as it’s known to suburbanites living east on Long Island) is world-renowned as the ethnic ‘melting pot’ of America. If you’ve ever visited “the city,” you’ve probably visited a New York delicatessen. Perhaps you’ve had a pastrami or corned beef on rye at a popular Kosher deli such as Katz’s Delicatessen, (known as the city’s oldest) or the world famous Carnegie Deli, a New York city landmark since 1937.

There has been much debate about which deli is “THE BEST” deli in New York, and I suspect that THE BEST deli in New York probably isn’t actually even in “the city.” THE BEST deli in New York is most likely east of Manhattan — on Long Island, nestled somewhere in the suburban sprawl of Nassau and Suffolk counties.

There is nothing quite like a Long Island deli — anywhere. Trust me on that. Many have tried and failed to recreate the magic of the Long Island deli in other parts of the country such as Las Vegas or Southern Florida. For some reason, Long Island deli sandwiches cannot be accurately replicated anywhere. It’s the bread. Actually, I’m told it’s the water in the bread which makes the bagels and kaiser rolls of this area taste so darn good.

A typical Long Island deli will feature Boar's Head cold cuts.

A typical Long Island deli will feature Boar's Head cold cuts.


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Is Fashion “Over” Skinny Jeans Yet?

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

by Liz von Achen

Some three years ago, while I was living amongst the “hipsters” and Hasidic Jews of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, I saw the “skinny jeans” trend evolve in New York, and I rolled my eyes in dread. I wondered if the arty “hipster” college-aged kids of Williamsburg, Brooklyn were aware that “skinny jeans” were nothing new.

Yes, “skinny jeans” were a trend in the 80′s, when I was a “hipster” college-aged kid myself, and I wore them — against my better judgment. You see, “skinny jeans” look great on tall, skinny-legged model types, but not so flattering on petite, more athletic body builds. Spend enough years buying into fashion modes, and you learn which trends will work for you, and which ones won’t.
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Last-Minute Shopping in New York

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

by Liz von Achen

My friend Gretchen and I got together for some last-minute shopping. Knowing that I am a bargain hunter and thrift shop maven, Gretchen wanted to introduce me to a cozy little thrift shop on Long Island, but first, we would make a stop at the local “dollar store.”

A stop at Dollar Tree was necessary to buy gift wrapping supplies. Everyone knows that the “dollar store” is where to go for the best value on gift wrapping supplies. But not everyone knows that you can score some other cool swag at the Dollar Tree — for, well, just a dollar! I mean, EVERYTHING in this store is just a dollar! Gretchen and I had a wonderful time perusing the aisles, and marveling at all the crap you can buy at the Dollar Tree — for just a dollar!

Ugly Christmas Sweater… and vest!

Yup! For a mere dollar, you could be the proud owner of an ultra ugly, but potentially warm holiday sweater. Or even a LizWear vest! Gretchen tried to convince me that the LizWear vest had my name written all over it, but I wasn’t buying it. Horrified, I shrieked, “Ack!!! That thing is hurting my eyes!”

Gretchen displays a $1 sweater for sale at the Dollar Tree in Patchogue, NY

Gretchen displays a $1 sweater for sale at the Dollar Tree in Medford, NY

Liz Claiborne vest... "But it's reversible!" Gretchen joked.

Liz Claiborne vest... "But it's reversible!" Gretchen joked.

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The Blizzard…

Sunday, December 20th, 2009
Blizzard on Long Island, New York

Blizzard on Long Island, New York

I drove from Ohio into a blizzard in New York.

I drove from Ohio into a blizzard in New York.

No worries. I am prepared...

No worries. I am prepared...

I have boots.

I have boots.

My "Florida" suv has never seen such weather!

My "Florida" suv has never seen such weather!

I guess I won't be driving anywhere today.

I guess I won't be driving anywhere today.

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Caroling Advice: Stick With Silent Night

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

by Liz von Achen

Tis the season to deck the halls and be jolly, bake cookies, buy presents, don gay apparel and party. It’s also the season for giving. Not just to those we know and love, but to those in the community who may be in need of some uplifting holiday cheer.

Since parting with my ‘diverse’ community chorus in Florida, I’ve been jonesing to perform. It’s the holiday season when we would sing at local festivals, nursing homes, etc., that I miss most. There’s nothing quite like seeing your audience joyfully singing and clapping along to give you a warm, winter-fuzzy feeling. Music is magical. It’s a simple gift, but when you share it with others who truly appreciate it, and smile and applaud in return, well; it becomes a very beautiful thing. It’s why we sing.

So, when I got the 411 that my sister’s church in Ohio was planning their annual Christmas caroling outreach, I jumped right on that bandwagon. My niece Veronica carols with the church every year, and I thought it would be really nice to share this experience with her. (more…)

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“Where’s the Event?”

Saturday, December 5th, 2009

My sis Terri and her kids, Robbie and Veronica posed for a shot to commemorate the “Great Tool Event” at Ace Hardware tonight. And to think we only went there to buy hooks to string some Christmas lights! How lucky were we, to stumble upon such a GREAT EVENT?

Robbie, Veronica and Terri in front of the "Great Tool Event" venue.

Robbie, Veronica and Terri attending the "Great Tool Event" in Akron, Ohio.

Ace employees gave us odd looks when we walked in announcing we were there for the “event.” When we asked where the “event” was, they directed us towards the back of the store. All they had there were a bunch of tools for sale, and the restrooms! — Some stinkin’ “Great Event”!

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