Mayor of Village of Millbrook Being Investigated

It has been reported that Mayor Laura Hurley accidentally made personal payment(s) from the town municipal account during a time of extreme family stress, when she was taking different medications. She wasn’t thinking clearly, but when officials noticed the issue and pointed it out to her, she immediately agreed with them.
Stay tuned and while the investigation continues Mayor Hurley stays in office

Tibor Obituary, Woodstock Permit

There was a great Obituary in the New York Times today about a man who was able to get the permit for the Woodstock Festival. It, as most know, was not in Woodstock but in the little town of Bethel in the Catskills across the River.

As luck would have it, Mr. Tiber, in his capacity as president of the Bethel Chamber of Commerce — an absurd post, he later said, “because there was no commerce” — held an official permit, written by himself to himself, to hold a music and arts festival. This was the golden key that unlocked the door that opened onto one of the defining events of the era.

Elliot Tiber

A Wonderful Word-Malarkey

Malarkey searches spike after Biden’s convention speech. Of course he had no respect at all but that is besides the point.

Joe Biden spiked searches of the word “malarkey” on Wednesday night, according to trends monitored by Merriam-Webster.
During his speech to the Democratic National Convention, the Vice President roasted Donald Trump’s reach of the middle class, saying the candidate’s coining of the phrase “you’re fired” said a lot about him.

“Think about that. Think about everything you learned as a child, no matter where you were raised. How can there be pleasure in saying, ‘You’re fired?’ He’s trying to tell us he cares about the middle class?” he said. “Give me a break that’s a bunch of malarkey!”

Well I’m guilty as charged. I loved the word, knew exactly what it meant but wanted to see what the dictionary said about it. First it said “nonsense.” But then I found a great explanation even if incorrect from a cartoonist in the 1920s

“We can likely thank a cartoonist of Irish descent, Thomas Aloysius Dorgan (‘TAD’ for short), for popularizing the word. You might recall Dorgan’s name from previous discussions of hot dog … [he] helped to circulate some other words in the American lexicon, among them malarkey, hard-boiled, and kibitzer.
“When Dorgan began using the word, its spelling wasn’t settled. In a cartoon of his that appeared on Mar. 9, 1922, the word Milarkey was used as a fictitious place name. Two years later, on April 2, 1924, he used the word Malachy, apparently with its nonsense meaning (‘Malachy — You said it — I wouldn’t trust a lawyer no further than I could throw a case of Scotch’).”

Philly Cheese Steak

The Democratic Convention winds up tonight in Philadelphia. When #2 son was in school down in Philly I used to go there regularly. We would always stop at Pat’s Philly Cheesesteaks for the very best of its kind. I know Geno’s is across the street but it doesn’t compare. There has never been a good Philly cheesesteak available anywhere else outside of South Philadelphia.

There are those who say that John Kerry lost the election in 2004 when he went to Pat’s and asked for Gruyere cheese on his steak. At Pat’s there were no questions to ask. If you don’t know how to order e.g. “one with” you are immediately passed over to the next customer. The only cheese ever used came from a big heated vat of Cheese Whiz and it was slathered on the cheesesteak with a paint brush or sometimes a wooden paddle.

I finally found the right video below to teach you the basic rudiments of the one and only, Pat’s Philly Cheesesteaks

Lost New York City and a Forgotten Great Restaurant

enrico-paglieriThe below story is from an article which talks of lost restaurants in NYC. Enrico and Paglieri’s was one of my father’s favorites. It was a nice walk from the apartment we lived in at that time and my father who was a widower took his friends there often. I cant think of a restaurant like it that is family owned and still going strong. I might have even written about this before but the below story is worth the time to read.

“On a February evening 40 years ago, the possessions of a deceased 94-year-old restaurant owner lay strewn about a sidewalk on 11th Street, between Fifth and Sixth avenues, in front of a group of row houses that now serve as a student center for The New School.

Though she left behind friends and surviving family, Josephine Paglieri’s furniture, clothing, books, photographs and letters waited for a city sanitation truck to haul them away. The New York Times described the scene in a Feb. 7, 1976, article.

Presently, a young hippie came by, grabbed one of her battered suitcases and began to stuff her old books into it. He hastily selected the few leather-bound ones…

Somebody else rummaged through Mrs. Paglieri’s worn dresses. “These are great for old clothes,” she said. Other people peered inside the drawers of Mrs. Paglieri’s plain wooden bureau.

That night a large sanitation truck rumbled up the street to pick up the goods. An old olive-green velvet couch crumbled under the tongs of the truck’s crusher.

The desk fell apart when the sanitationmen tried to pick it up. A lifetime of personal papers, letters, souvenirs and stationery swirled all over the sidewalk outside the restaurant that Mrs. Paglieri used to own.

The sanitationmen shoveled and swept, and threw them inside the truck. But one photograph remained on the street behind the vehicle. It was a picture of Mrs. Paglieri as a young girl, with her family.

The driver of the sanitation truck picked it up. He glanced at it while the desk was splintering under the weight of the garbage machine, and then tossed it inside with the other garbage. He hopped into the cab and roared off, leaving behind a few papers fluttering in the wind.

An old black-and-white postcard that I picked up at the Antiques Garage West 25th Street Market led me to this heartbreaking story.

I have been collecting postcards of Old New York at an accelerated pace lately. Each postcard tells a story, usually a handwritten one on the back about a meal, a journey or a vacation. But each postcard of a long-shuttered New York City restaurant also leads me on a journey through newspaper archives and old books, seeking to recount the story of each of these restaurants, the meals they served and happy memories they provided.

My most recent purchase, the one that led me to the story about the possessions and memories of Mrs. Paglieri, included a postcard of Enrico & Paglieri, established in 1908 at 64 West 11th Street in Manhattan. The black-and-white undated postcard depicts the main dining room, with exposed brick walls, bright skylights, white tablecloths and napkins, and a giant palm tree in the middle of the dining room.

The Times described the main dining room, built at the back of three brownstone houses, as having an “out-of-doors atmosphere.” It looks and sounds as if it were a unique, gorgeous space.

The back of the postcard contains no handwriting, just information about the restaurant, including its branding as “The most popular Italian restaurant in New York City.” The restaurant was owned by Enrico Fasani and his brother in law, Paulo Paglieri.

The 1939 Dining in New York with Rector begins its entry on Enrico & Paglieri with a story about Fasani sitting in the orchestra section of a theater, watching an actor on stage struggling to eat spaghetti.

Enrico, in his orchestra seat, found it difficult to restrain the impulse to climb up on the stage and give him a lesson then and there. The event had its fruit, however, for Enrico spoke of it to his friends in theatrical circles and offered to teach the trick of it to any who might be faced with the same problem. The word soon got around, and now, when you see an Irishman consuming spaghetti with all the suavity and gusto of a born and bred Neapolitan, set it down to Enrico’s teaching and you won’t be far from right.

Rector goes on to describe a dish that he enjoys more than spaghetti, a dish “that is found like a weed in every restaurant with pretensions to an Italian accent. That is risotto. In other words, rice.”

It is cooked in butter and served with large quantities of all ingredients, and you will be amazed at the way you consume it, even without lessons. A good companion dish with contrasting flavor is a salad of mixed greens; the two dishes make a satisfying meal. A bottle of chianti is another good idea.

Enrico and Paglieri’s is off lower Fifth Avenue, on a street that retains the flavor of old New York. On the left, as you enter the restaurant is the Clover Leaf Bar, an attractive room, but the place to go is the main dining room in the rear, one of the most spacious dining rooms in New York and splendid for your purposes if you happen to be an international spy or in love. Some of the tables are so remote from all others that no one could possibly overhear your conversation except the waiter.

I love that, even in 1939, New Yorkers like Rector showed a nostalgia for the “flavor of Old New York.”

A June 24, 1946 “News of Food” article gives a good six-paragraph description of Enrico & Paglieri, which it calls “one of the best restaurants in the city specializing in Italian food.”

Back in the days when Enrico and his partner, Paul Paglieri, who died many years ago, started their venture, the menu seldom varied from minestrone, lobster diavolo and chicken. That was a concession to the customers of the time, who clamored for those dishes, Enrico explains, and who, incidentally, paid only 55 cents for a complete meal, including a bottle of wine. Though today’s patrons have more cosmopolitan tastes and the restaurant’s menu is accordingly broader, chicken is still a predominant dish, especially chicken risotto, which, of course, is stewed and served with rice cooked with parmesan cheese.

Roast chicken plays a large part, too. In fact, Enrico will point out his electric rotisserie, encased in stained glass and situated in the bar, which turns out twenty-four birds every twenty minutes. Ossi buchi, which, if you’re up on Italian dishes, you’ll recognize as veal knuckle, is another commendable specialty of the house, as is veal cutlet parmigiana.

The restaurant was purchased by the Longchamps chain of upscale restaurants sometime before the late 1960s. Longchamps then proceeded to open other restaurants with the name Enrico & Paglieri, including one at 7th Avenue and 51st Street.

Longchamps closed the original Enrico & Paglieri in the early 1970s, before the entire chain filed for bankruptcy. Christy’s Skylight Gardens moved into the space around 1975.

The closing of any restaurant is sad, as most restaurants tend to be the sources of happy memories of good meals and family celebrations. But this story took an especially sad turn when Mrs. Paglieri passed away in November 1975 at the age of 94, in her apartment above the restaurant that she and her family had run for decades. Though she was survived by three grandchildren and three great grandchildren, her friends cleared out her apartment the following February and discarded her possessions, as the Times reporter noted.

I was recently chatting with a Staten Island-based antique dealer who runs estate sales. He said he often finds that family members feel bad selling collections that their loved ones treasured. He said he reminds them that those collections will soon have a new life, with someone else who will enjoy and appreciate them. It makes me wonder why Mrs. Paglieri’s friends and family weren’t able to find a home for her treasures.

We’ll never know. But her house still stands, and I’ll think of Mrs. Paglieri any time I pass it, and every time I look at the Enrico & Paglieri postcard on my desk.”

—Vincent Gragnani

Songbird and Birdstone

Songbird is an amazing California trained three year old filly who won big yesterday at Saratoga in an exciting early race. Saratoga is one of the two great old race courses, I have to mention Del Mar as the other, for reasons that one of my readers knows well. Many will dispute this opinion but Saratoga means Summer and another time to me.

About eight years ago there was a colt named Birdstone who won the Belmont in an amazing upset over Smarty Jones who that year had won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness and was favored to win the triple crown. Birdstone went off at 36 to 1 and the night before the race there was a dinner at Belmont honoring my cousin Joe Hirsch an executive columnist for the Daily Racing Form. I sat next to a man who was the head of a national racing organization and casually asked him who he would bet if he wanted a long shot. Birdstone he replied. Now here the story gets sad. I placed a 20 dollar bet via email and watched the race as Birdstone not only won but in one of the great and exciting races in Belmont history. The person who was supposed to place the bet didn’t open his email until Monday morning… all true story.

FDR Library

There is an exhibit at the FDR Library at Hyde Park of the Pearl Harbor attack and the events of that time.fdr december 7
The notes with FDR’s changes is below. What we need is a good person in the White House and a good ten cent cigar.

For Those Who Have No Plans For The Holiday

Let’s get ready to rumble — tomorrow is the big weigh in … for the 100th edition of the Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contest from Coney Island. Friday’s event will feature a ceremonial stare-down between rivals like Joey Chestnut, Matt Stonie, and women’s contenders like Miki Sudo and Sonya Thomas ahead of the contest on July 4th.

Here’s what I could find about Miki Sudo:

Miki Sudo is a top-ranked female competitive eater: Top Female and Third-ranked in the world with men and women combined. Her most significant accomplishments are her victories in the women’s competition at Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in 2014 and 2015. Her 2014 victory in the contest unseated Sonya Thomas, who had won the women’s competition since its inception in 2011.
Sudo was born in New York to a Japanese father and American mother.[1][2] At the age of five, she moved to Japan with her family, and lived there for seven years before returning to the United States.[1]
Sudo entered the competitive eating circuit in 2013, winning a pho eating contest. In 2014 she became Major League Eating’s top ranked female competitive eater, and in 2015 reached the top three overall.

Here are two videos: Sooouee

Where Are They Now?

I have a friend from over in Ulster County who says every morning when he goes to shave and looks in the mirror, his father is looking back at him. I somehow got on a website showing how they looked then and how they look now. Both the good and the bad.I figure the Beach Boys with the hats are probably bald. Not pictured is Jane Fonda who I saw recently in Grace and Frankie or was it Frankie and Grace. She is still good looking and more important, a wonderful actor who I remember best as the girl in Cat Ballou an oldie but a goodie. I assume this post is politically incorrect but you know about political correctness these days!


Parking Tickets

I recently got ticketed for stopping on the side of the road of the Taconic Parkway. The ticket was $120 and I promptly sent a check. It was reurned as the state police no longer take personal checks, only postal money orders or cerified checks. The letter which I am sure came promptly said it had to be returned by a date which already had passed.

Maybe Robot Lawyer is the answer. The below article came from the Daily Telegraph in London so may be suspect at best but feel free to try it out. I’ve already gotten the check certified and returned it.

A “robot lawyer” created by a British teenager has overturned tens of thousands of parking tickets in London and New York.

The chat bot designed to help people dispute parking violations in just 30 seconds has negated 160,000 fines since its launch last year.

DoNotPay is the brainchild of 19-year-old Joshua Browder, originally from London. Browder, who is currently in his second year at Stanford University, describes the chat bot as “the world’s first robot lawyer”.

Users chat with the robot lawyer, which can offer advice on a range of subjects beyond parking tickets CREDIT: DONOTPAY
The chat bot, which is free to use, took Browder three months to create between school and university. “It was a huge challenge,” he said. He watched hours of YouTube tutorials and spoke to machine learning experts to create the intelligent bot that could understand human messages.

Browder initially designed the DoNotPay bot as a “pet project” for family and friends after being issued with 30 parking tickets. But after it gained traction in London he made it available across the UK and New York, with Seattle to follow soon.

“It’s really difficult as every city has different laws,” said Browder. “The US parking authorities are less likely to dismiss tickets. In the UK they’re a lot more fair.”

The bot asks a series of questions designed to work out if a ticket can be appealed, including whether there were clear parking restriction signs or if the driver was travelling to hospital urgently. After determining that an appeal is viable, it then walks the user through the steps of appeal.

It is currently only available through the DoNotPay website, but Browder is in talks with Facebook to incorporate it in the Messenger app.

Over 250,000 people have used the service so far, according to Browder. Of the $4 million (£3 million) worth of tickets overturned, about 150,000 were in London. In the UK around 10 million parking tickets are issued a year, generating millions of pounds in revenue for local councils.

DoNotPay’s service also has a selection of pictures of unclear or confusing road markings taken from Google Maps to help motorists with relevant claims.

“Many motorists leave the scene of their parking ticket without taking photos of the road markings,” he told The Telegraph after the service launched.

Browder plans to expand the artificial intelligence lawyer, which can also work out compensation for delayed flights, to help vulnerable groups navigate complicated legal systems, including people who are HIV positive and refugees in foreign countries. The latter will use IBM Watson to translate Arabic and English.

“The success of the parking tickets has made me realise this is bigger than parking charges. I think there’s a real value in providing free legal help through a chat bot,” he said. Browder is spending this summer working on his different side projects. “When I’m not working on them, I’m sleeping.”

At the moment he is working entirely for free and on his own. But he has plans to hire some designers and in-house lawyers as the chat bot lawyer’s capabilities grow.

Silicon Valley giants have all released chat bots in recent months, including Facebook and Microsoft, that are mostly designed to help users with day-to-day tasks such as ordering food, booking a taxi and organising their diaries.