| Feast Your Eyes
Today I played in a strange quartet. It was violin, viola, cello...and trumpet! But the thing that was really amazing was the place we played. Sometimes you get lucky enough to get a gig in a place that just blows your mind for its beauty, and you are so happy just to have seen the place. This was just such a gig. Check out where we played today:
We sat under a gigantic maple tree with a spectaculalr view of the Hudson. Later on we played in a classic rose garden with old craggy fruit trees in the center. The house was also a treat to see. And the great thing is that anyone can come to this place. There is a small fee to get in, but it is well worth it.
| American Idol (Worship)
It is rather ironic, to say the least, that the show "American Idol" is run by a Brit. It does show how lame much of our country is. I could not believe that ANYONE would watch that show, let alone that it became the biggest hit. That never would have flown in the Woodstock era. People would have laughed it off of TV. They would have said, "Idol? What are you kidding?" It seems to be a sign of how "dumbed down" our society has become. If you were a rich, intelligent Brit, you would see this and realize how easy it is to take advantage of the American people and profit off of them. In the words of Pink Floyd "(We) have become comfortably numb". And that is why it would not be all that hard for the rich elites of England to team up with the rich elites over here and form hidden alliances, and work together to change laws and make treaties that will essentially take the power over the vast American wealth away from "the people" (i.e. the ones sitting on their couches watching American Idol) and put it in the control of those who come from families who are used to control (European royalty and other elites around the globe).
Interesting thesis, isn't it?
Meanwhile last night I played out at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, Long Island. We played for an Italian party. We played all the hits, Al Di La, Arrividerchi Roma, Anema e Core, Femena...but the one song that got applause was La Paloma, which is Spanish! Of course, I'd rather be playing Von Cello tunes, but these tunes are paying the bills. I suppose this dilemma has been a common one for musicians. Leonard Bernstein probably would rather have been composing symphonies, but West Side Story paid the bills! Maybe there are television executives who would lim to program music of a higher level, but American Idol pays the bills. So I guess we all bow down to the true American Idol...the allmighty dollar!
| Bildersee Royalty
Wow Steve, thanks for the link. It seems things haven't changed a bit at our old junior high school. Only the color has changed!
Edward, jolly good post old boy!
I fear that what you are pointing out may be just the tip of the iceberg. I have been reading things on line and watching videos about "The New World Order". If what these conspiricacy believers are saying is true (and I think there is at least a kernal of truth to the basic point) then we are seeing the reemergence of royal power in Euorpe and around the world. As the so called "middle class" gets battered from above and below, as waves of cheap labor "illegal" immigrants walk in to our country, as our "patriotic" CEO's move their businesses overseas to avoid taxes, unions, and regulations, as our president starts taking advantage of every loop hole to create a "Unitary Executive", as a new wave of anti-Semitism spreads throughout Europe and the middle east, and even among American "elites", as NAFTA and other treaties weaken the very concept of borders and sovereignity, as cameras are installed in major cities, and all phones are being tapped...I could go on, but I think you are starting to get the picture, there are those who believe that the royalty of Europe are aligning with the "royalty" of the U.S. and the Arab world. What we may be seeing is the creating of a worldwide system of serfdom, as the poor "drones" work to support the lavish and protected lifestyle of the "ruling class".
Simon Cowell is the least of your problems!
| now at bildersee
| Oh Beautiful, for Snobby Skies........
I'd like to wish VC and everyone a Happy Belated Fourth of July! I hope you guys had a good one. I'd now like to celebrate our nation's rememberence of our victory in the War of Independence by pondering something.....
We were fighting for independence from England and her tyranny. We did not want our mother to tell us how much to charge for tea, so we had that big party/riot thing in Boston. We did not want our mother to make plans without us....we were growing as a colonial power and we did not like that our mother was grabbing us behind the ear everytime we tried to sneak out of the house. (Metaphorically speaking, that is).
I believe I have just (very loosely) summed up the reason for our revolution, and out attitude...If I haven't, so sue me. Now comes what I'm currently pondering.....
If we Americans did not want the British to oppress, bully, over-tax, and tell us what was appropriate and what was not, than why, on our national cable channels, have they hired all of these British guys to judge ordinary Americans trying to make it big? There's Simon Cowell on American Idol, there's Peter Jones on "American Inventor", and then there's what's-his-name, the nasty, British head Chef of "Hell's Kitchen". The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC Channel 19) also has a nasty English guy judging ordinary Canadians on their spin-off show "Canadian Inventor". What the hell is going on here, and how bad is this for England's reputation internationally? How the hell did Simon get to this country and why did they let him on the "Idol" set? (Not that I care about such things, but still).
It's not that I don't respect and love the British, but really, are we Americans stupid and naive enough to beleive that people from a country we fought for independence for really are authoritative "American" talent or ingenuity, and can spot it when they see (or not)? Perhaps one contestant on last night's "American inventor" said it best in reference to Peter Jones: "This is 'AMERICAN Inventor', not 'British Judge'. I know my product will change millions of lives".
(Of course, this guy was trying to net himself tons of money for these crappy, creepy handmade dolls he called "Therapy Buddies", but I think you get my point....or do you?)
In conclusion, I say to America....it's time for us to win the revolution again! We must turn off our TV's or this time Britain will be the victor!
P.S. Aaron - I finally saw that hilarious "Shofar Idol" video last night that you had posted a link to several months ago. Thanks for the belated laugh, my friend! If I may, perhaps you should consider making a recording of some Jewish-themed comedy yourself. You could be the cellist version of Weird Al. Yep, "Peculiar Von", they'd call you.
| Behind the Times
My browser is old and is not loading the video. Damn! Now I am going to have to spend over $1000 to get a new computer! Don't you hate that?
Remember the old days when people would sit on the corner and tell each other jokes? How about this one?
A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up
her shower, when the doorbell rings. The wife quickly wraps herself
in a towel and runs downstairs. When she opens the door, there
stands Bob, the next-door neighbor.
Before she says a word, Bob says, "I'll give you $800 to drop that
After thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands
naked in front of Bob After a few seconds, Bob hands her $800 and
The woman wraps back up in the towel and goes back upstairs. When
she gets to the bathroom, her husband asks, "Who was that?"
"It was Bob the next
door neighbor," she replies.
"Great," the husband says, "did he say anything about the $800 he
Moral of the story:
If you share critical information pertaining to credit and risk with
your shareholders in time, you may be in a position to prevent
| cnn youtube presidential debate
| Life on Mars
Two astronauts land on Mars. Their mission: to check whether there is
oxygen on the planet.
"Give me the box of matches," says one. "Either it burns and there is
oxygen, or nothing happens."
He takes the box, and is ready to strike a match when, out of the blue,
a Martian appears waving all his arms... "No, no, don't!"
The two guys look at each other, worried. Could there be an unknown
explosive gas on Mars?
Still, he takes another match ... and...
A crowd of hysterical Martians is coming, all waving their arms: "No,
no, don't do that!"
One of the astronauts says, "This looks serious. What are they afraid
of? Nonetheless, we're here for Science, to know if man can breathe on
So he strikes a match -- which flames up, burns down, and.... nothing
So he turns to the Martians and asks, "Why did you want to prevent us
from striking a match?"
The leader of the Martians says,
"Today is Shabbos!"
its those spanish girls..if your used to jewish, its like finally getting some salt on that pretzel.welcome to my world.7184491125 moms 6-4 to 7-21
| War and Marriage
Well...I tell people that after you have had every fight imaginable, if you are still together, then the marriage was meant to be.
Last night we played an all Spanish music wedding for Sephardic Jews at a massive golf club by the Jersey Shore. I am constantly amazed at how many extravagant hide outs there are out there for the rich and famous. In this case, they are rich and not famous. It struck me, however, that many of the women from this community are more beautiful than Hollywood actresses and models. I wondered how that could be. Doesn't Hollywood attract the most beautiful of the beautiful. But then I realized that these girls have all the perks of the actresses without having to work! So, maybe this is even a better draw than Hollywood. It seems their main requirement is the ability to get pregnant many times...and still keep their girlish figures.
The "band" was made up of violins, violas, cello, guitar, bass, piano, and percussion. The nice thing about this community is that they always serve food buffet style, so the musicians get to eat. It was a pleasure, after a rather grueling gig, to be able to sit and eat a full meal. One guy even drank some wine while puffing on a cigar. I was the last to leave...spending some time alone under the wedding canopy, sitting next to a water fountain that was lit, sending waves of light gently around the tent.
who you kiddin? a couple getn married? no war?
where ya been the last 36 years?
after the honeymoon its all hell breaks loose----now thats terror
| Been here before
Didn't we discuss this before? You can say that an army terrorizes people in the course of fighting in a war, but what they do is not called "terrorism". Terrorism is a word used to describe what individuals do when they randomly attack non combatants (civilians) with an intent to terrorize the population. Perhaps we need a new word, but there is a difference between an army terrorizing civilians as a byproduct of war, as opposed to individuals who specifically try to terrorize civilians.
If you want to argue that the people behind the London and Glascow attempted bombings are soldiers, not terrorists, then you would have to agree that the government then had the right to send troops into their neighborhoods and drop bombs and kill many innocents people along with the guilty, as is done in war.
Meanwhile I will be at the Jersey shore this weekend playing music for people who want to make love, not war...a couple getting married.
| terror cellist
one way to sirely stop allterrorists is to give each one a uniform, then theyd be called military and their acts would be called strikes.Its a thin line between a rich countries army squad with m16 phantom and a poormans terror cell with tnt and cheststrapped bombs....give everyone uniforms and thekilling will continue but at least thered be no more terrorists.
What about the terror plot in Ibizia?
And how about London and Glascow?
Meanwhile they just nabbed a guy who lives near my parents in Staten Island who had 500 lbs. of explosives in his house. Yet it hardly made a peep on the media. Makes you wonder what else is not being reported...
| terrorist cell or terror cellist?
Twenty six insurgents with links to terror cells have been killed in Iraq.
U.S and Iraqi forces intercepted the 26 terror cellists insurgents in the Baghdad Shiite district of Sadr City.
Members of the coalition forces were told the suspected terrorists had close ties to Iranian terror networks and were responsible for facilitating the flow of lethal aid into Iraq.
The raids are the latest in a series of operations targeting militants in the district that U.S commanders say receive weaponry and training from neighbouring Iran.
The military says the weapons have included sophisticated explosives capable of penetrating US armor.
| Celebrity Cellist
Well there were some celebrities at the event tonight, most notably Claire Daines the actress. She checked out the Von Cello band for a few minutes, staring right at me. I heard that her boyfriend called her over because he had never seen anything like it...a cellist playing it like a guitar. It was cool to look out and see her. I heard that US magazine, Page 6 or the New York Post, and a few other media outlets were there. There were lots of photographers and a few people taking cell phone videos of us.
I heard the charity did very well. Our drummer is Israeli. One of the guests, who is Afghani said to him, "We are enemies". And he said, "Actually we are friends both fighting against the crazies". She was so impressed with him that she took one of his hand held drums and joined us!
| Afghan Hands
Tonight I will be playing a benefit for Afghan Hands, a charity that raises money for the widows of Afghanistan. We will have a unique version of Von Cello: cello, guitar, hand held percussion, and female vocalist. I have heard there will be celebrities at the event. More later...
What a weird webpage this has become. One minute we're talking about Holocaust survivors, and the next Benson Burgers! Maybe old Benson was a survivor himself?
Anyone remember Farrells? That was on, I think, Linden Blvd. or maybe it was Foster Ave., but it was close to where you hit that big intersection with whatever that road is that goes from the Jackie Robinson Pkwy. (which used to be called The Interboro) to Starrett City. It was in an all black neighborhood. We used to go there for hamburgers before there even was a McDonald's or Burger King. I guess my parents know about it because my mom lived around there for a while when it was a Jewish working class neighborhood.
My grandfather would take me for drives through Bedford Stuyvesant and New Lots...the whole East New York area. He even took me to get a haircut once in some weird neighborhood with a Puerto Rican barber who made a backwards curl in the front of my hair. I then pulled it out and my grandfather made me sit in the chair again and get it put back. Then I pulled it out again. Finally he took me home and we never went there again.
Looking back, I guess he brought me to his old neighborhood, but as a Canarsie kid I couldn't deal with it. Nevertheless, I found it interesting to drive through those areas, and at least see how "the other half lives". How many kids today EVER drive through poor areas? America seems to be becoming a "Tale of Two Countries".
| Before The Arch
Before The Arch Diner was around, there was Benson Burgers at the corner of Flatlands and Ralph. It was not the same spot as The Arch. It was across the street where The Crossland Savings Bank was later built. Benson Burgers. Home of the Hobie!
| to herbie
MY INVITE ES ACTIVE a toast to herbie
My dad lost his parents in the camps..he never talked about it but he was an orphan with his 4 bros and sis raised in a brooklyn orphanage.he told me his mom had died in a car accident but my cousin linda had heard she died from cancer.. we suspect it was a camp cause mt other cousin sammy heard that it was a heart attack..a simulteneous attack killing BOTH at once..
| Where's Brooklyn?
What I meant was that it was really a Manhattan upscale restaurant. They called it The Brooklyn Diner, but the name was the only thing Brooklyn about it. Although Brooklyn is now changing quite a bit, and the Brooklyn we grew up in hardly exists even in Brooklyn. In fact, the Brooklyn we grew up in is more likely to be found in Long Island or other suburbs. That is where most of the people moved.
Indeed, I was in Hewlett today with Neil. We attended the funeral of Stuey's father. His brother Mitch read a eulogy explaining how Herby escaped from the Nazis and lived in a make shift city of Jews hiding out in the woods of Belyrus. From such humble beginings he was able to move to the USA and raise, with his wife, his family of four kids, which now has produced nine grand kids!
| lunchroom 6th period
ok then,,,,i got your hint
ill invite everybody anybody from CANARSIE to lunch in that restaurant. MUST BE AT LEAST 45 yrs old......
| Manhattan Diner
There's a diner in Manhattan on 57th St. called The Brooklyn Diner. When I first saw it I thought it would be nice to get a little taste of Brooklyn so I went inside. First off, it didn't look like a diner inside....at least not from any part of Brooklyn I ever knew. Then I saw the menu! Everything was at least double or triple the price of a real Brooklyn Diiner. So I sez to the owner I sez, "Hey, whatayadoin wit dez prices here? Heh? Whatareyatryintodo? Kill me?" And I punched the fucker in the face and split!!
| Brooklyn Diners
Speaking about diners...anyone have memories of diners from your youth? In Canarsie, around the South Shore area, The Arch was the big diner. But there was also the famous Venus Diner! Over in Neal's part of town there was the Seaview Diner. There was another one in Flatbush that I remember going to often too but I forget the name. Diners were definitlely a part of the cutture.
| Mount Kisco Diner
That's it all rlight!
Here's some inside information. On the video they are coming in though the side door that no one is allowed to use!