In the Pantheon?

No sooner do we lose Tom Wolfe than Philip Roth shuffles off this mortal coil. But I never did read Philip Roth; I was too busy raising my children and reading Barbara Tuchman. You see, I don’t read fiction other than mystery stories, which are my reading-to-fall-asleep by. Even less would I read contemporary fiction, and for me, Roth was contemporary so he’s not in the pantheon.


One Thin Penny

Our street, 69th Street (aka Bay Ridge Avenue), had trolleys running in both directions. Same goes for Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn. I remember vividly how boys used to delight in placing pennies on the trolley tracks, then they would wait for the coins to be totally flattened. But this was during the depression so they only used pennies. A nickel was a real money!

My New Favorite Photo of Myself

At my age, one prefers photos taken from a great distance away. Here is a recent photo of me taken by my daughter. She takes after my husband who would pose me against a backdrop such as a vast landscape and tell me that I was needed “just for scale”.

Tom Wolfe RIP

We just saw him on the street in New York a couple of years ago and now learn that the great writer Tom Wolfe has died. It reminds me of this cartoon…

My Mother’s Favorite Joke

You would not believe the week I just had. It was beyond belief.

But now back to the blog: Below you will see a very old photo of my mother and me taken on the rooftop of our building on 69th Street in Bay Ridge. I won’t reveal my age due to security reasons but this photo was taken in the early 1920s.

If you have moment, I also wanted to tell my mother’s favorite joke. Please click on the audio player below the picture…

The Iceman

Joe the iceman came around our neighborhood in Bay Ridge with a big ice wagon.¬†This was in the 1920s and early thirties when we had an icebox. Originally Joe had a horse and cart but afterward he had a truck. You would call down and say, “15 cents worth!”, or “25 cents worth!” He used a pick to cut off a block of ice then grab it with big tongs. He had a rubberized piece of material so he could carry the ice on his back and schlep it up the stairs.¬†We were on the third floor. Joe was Italian and a very hard worker. But don’t worry that he lost his livelihood when refrigerators came along. Joe was the one who bought the building from my father.

Father Time

What is time? Is it real or did we invent it? I’d have to say we invented it. What does the universe need with units of time? Only man marks the passage of time. But does it exist outside of its measurement?

To answer the question, let’s consult Einstein. He said, “people who understand physics know that the distinction between the past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”

With that in mind, we must remember to spring ahead this weekend and reset our clocks or the illusion will strike us right in the face.


Chicken Soup Recipe

The healthful ingredients of chicken soup.
The healthful ingredients of chicken soup.

Chicken Soup

  • Flanken (or beef short ribs)
  • Soup bones (some marrow, if possible)
  • Chicken
  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Carrot
  • Parsnip
  • Garlic clove
  • Potato
  • Leek (optional, if on hand)
  • Tomato, quartered
  • Salt to taste
  • Peppercorns or ground pepper
  • Fresh parsley
  • Fresh dill
  1. Boil a large pot of water, or water mixed with chicken stock.
  2. Add the flanken and soup bones, some salt and peppercorns. Keep skimming off the matter that rises to the top of the soup. Continue cooking for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken. Skim off as much fat as possible. Cook another 30 minutes.
  4. Clean and cut up all the vegetables and add all, except the parsley and dill. Cook about 20 minutes.
  5. Add parsley and dill, cover and cook another 10 minutes.

I have listed ingredients in the singular but amounts will vary in accordance with the amount of soup required.


The Definition of Chutzpah


I have just learned from an actual accountant that the IRS has been hacked and codes used for electronic filing have been compromised.

Now, is that chutzpah or what? How can they think they will get away with that?

I have a feeling this is not going to be pretty.

The Inaugural Explained in Yiddish


I am not going to spout my opinion of the President. I won’t politicize or pontificate. I will bite my tongue and not say a word. But my mother, if she were still here, would have said something in Yiddish at a time like this:

Es iz a lebedike velt.

Click the audio player below to hear me explain it as best I can…