Catskills Comedy

August 5, 2013


 If you’re into the whole retro Catskill mountains, do yourself a favor and catch a new documentary “When Comedy Went to School”.  The film tells the history of comedy, particularly Jewish and particularly Catskills. Made me wish that I could get in my Grandpa’s Nova and travel up Old 17 to The Borscht Belt, stopping at Red Apple, of course.

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How Not To Tape and Mud Drywall

January 8, 2013


We all have our skills and limitations. For me, that limitation is drywall and plastering. I hate it like poison, which is probably why I’m not very good at doing it.

The correct way to tape and mud is to build the joint compound up 3 to 4 times while feathering it out with each coat. But that means 3 to 4 days between dry time and who has patience for that? I’ve learned the correct way to do it. And sometimes I do try. I really do. But it’s not so easy!


You smooth one area out and the adjoining area gets messed up. The mud on your knife gets something in it and leaves a streak in your perfect layer. The tape bubbles.

That’s what sandpaper is for. They say a good plaster or taping job requires very little sanding. Well, at least you can make a bad job look decent with tons of sanding.

Watch the videos below for the correct way to tape and mud. Let’s see how well you do.


Building Stairs

September 27, 2011

After six years of procrastination, we finally replaced our dangerous basement steps that were about to collapse.

Pre-cut stair stringers can be purchased in many lumber shops. This video kicks off after hubby measured and cut his own stringers. Project is for an intermediate skill level DIYer. Beginners can do it if they’re good at math. I suck at math, therefore, I would not be able to install stairs.

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Curb Your Enthusiasm, New York

April 13, 2011

If you haven’t heard, “Curb Your Enthusiasm“, season 8, takes place in New York. Welcome home, Larry David! We don’t mind you filming here because we love you!

You know how New Yorkers are. We get annoyed when we have to cross the street for a film crew. We’re too jaded to get excited over George Clooney. We don’t need Hollywood taking over our city streets.

But Larry David, we can let him slide. Even get excited about seeing him. He’s one of us.

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Sidney Lumet’s New York

April 11, 2011

Over the weekend we said goodbye to one of the kings of gritty old New York films. Sidney Lumet lost his battle with lymphoma at the age of 86.

I came of age on those gritty NY streets in the 60′s and 70′s, but everyone experienced the same New York thanks to Mr. Lumet. The city was a character in his films as important as the leading role.

Instead of going on about Lumet and his movies, I’m sharing three videos of real life people: Frank Serpico (Serpico), John Wojtowicz (Dog Day Afternoon), Bob Leuci (Prince of the City).

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Feed the World

December 17, 2010

Remember Band Aid back in 1984? Then the Americans tried to do a version of it which sucked. Anyway, I was just reminded of the Live Aid show in 85. Check it out…Sting was still hot. Freddy Mercury and that guy from Big Country were still alive. Bono had a mullet. Paul Weller didn’t look like a scary old lady with frosted hair. We knew the name of that other guy from Wham.

Good times. Good times.


Coney’s Last Gasp

November 15, 2010

Yesterday was such a beautiful day that we decided to visit Aunt Elaine in Coney Island and have a stroll along the boardwalk. We happened upon the final last call (maybe) of Ruby’s and Paul’s Daughters (aka Gregory’s). Their leases have been terminated to make way for the Disneyfication of Coney Island. Amusing the Zillion and Sheepshead Bites have the full story.

I’ve mentioned here before that I lived in Brightwater Towers across from the aquarium during my teen years. I was still there, living with my parents, when I took up photography. To this day, my favorite place to shoot is Coney during the winter months, when it’s desolate. The decay is what makes it beautiful.

Coney Island’s appearance (or lack of) is not what makes it special. The people do. Like the lost Times Square of the 1970′s, Coney is home to a vast array of eccentric souls. The geriatric handball players. The big Russian guys swimming in sub zero temperatures. The ladies with hair to match the candy apples.

I like to think that they will remain. The courts, the water and the boardwalk will always be there for them. As gentrification spreads around the neighborhood, they will probably be priced out or bought out though.

Who knows? Maybe one day Florida will be become the new Coney Island. Oh right, a bunch of them are down there with my mom already. And you know what? It’s really not the same. :(

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Rant Van in Brooklyn

November 2, 2010

So, I was driving down 9th Street near Smith and I see this “Rant Van” in front of me. Curious little thing that I am, I googled them when I got home and sho’nuff, Rant Van is exactly as the name suggests.

The venting service is the brainchild of Mad Props Productions. I don’t know if they drive around and people flag them down like a taxi or if they park somewhere. This is the first I’ve seen of them and the video archives only go back to October.

Awesome idea, no?

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