829 Southdrive

829 Southdrive

A New Jersey state of mind

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Others Who Crossed The River Into New Jersey

Christmas night, 1776, months after the 2nd of July, George 
Washington and his army of 2400 cross the icy Delaware from 
 Pennsylvania to the New Jersey side.  He was immediately taken
aback by the lack of sidewalks lining the streets and lanes.  Vowing
to press on, he and his troops began the nine mile march to Trenton
to see what all the fuss was about regarding 'tomato pies'.
Something about thin crust and chunky tomatoes.

What I just said.

Another person who's recently claimed to have crossed the same 
river to settle on the Jersey side may have taken this bridge to 
get to his destination.  But I'm thinking it was a different one.
This would have made Washington's crossing a bit easier, and
it"s very conveniently located right across Rt. 29 from the park.

The mighty Delaware looking north into the stiff March wind.
That sandy area to the right is purportedly where the landing
site was for the troops that frigid winter's night.

The view looking up the Delaware-Raritan canal which runs along
the mighty Delaware.  The path is great for bike-riding, and if I had
gone 2 miles farther today than my 5 mile ride north, I would have 
reached O Docker's old stomping ground, Lambertville. There he 
quickly realized that in fact, he had moved to a foreign country.

The supposed trampled path through Washington's Crossing State
Park where the troops trudged on, knowing that less than 9 miles
from here, they'd have a quick scuffle with some drunken Hessian
soldiers, and then tuck in to a little scungilli marinara, Joey's tomato
pies, and wash it all down with some Chianti from straw bottles.

After the troops watched the bowl-games on New Year's Day,
they geared up for the next donnybrook that would take place in 
Princeton two days later.  But that's another history lesson.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Knit One, Purl Two

I've tried to sell coal to Newcastle many times in my life, so I feel
right at home with this particular accent.  Now if you'll excuse
me, I've got this dogsled full of ice bound for Alaska.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Pie's the Limit

Time to empty out the fridge and make some pizza. 
Kansas and Connecticut.  Sounds like a Final Four match-up.
 These had oysters, spinach, cob-smoked bacon, and basil.

Earlier, I had grilled some vegetables so we wouldn't feel so damn
guilty just eating decadent pizza for dinner.  I'll be picking at this for
days to come.  Monday and maybe Tuesday.  Then it will be gone.

Mommy doesn't care for the fancy toppings, so mushrooms and 
basil are more than sufficient.  A nice tea towel helped to curb the 
heat.  Eventually we'll put it away before it gets too frayed.

By now you've realized that I don't give a damn about the shape
of the pie itself.  I've done extensive research on that subject in
particular, and I can confidently report that the shape has absolutely
nothing to do with how it tastes. 

Liv's pie had chicken-apple sausage and fried red potato slices.
And it was damn good, too.  We love you Hannah, but you had
to get back to school before we had dinner.  We'll do it again.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


I sure hope Geno's is the best,

because Pat's King of Steaks was a royal scam.

That's a provolone cheesesteak wit.  I took some cherry
peppers because they were free and they filled the void
where the steak was supposed to be.  Two thin slices of
cheese were laid in the roll and bland, kind of dry meat
(not even really greasy which would have made it taste like
something) and a scant spoonful of cooked onions were
dropped on top.  The roll was decent, but the sandwich was 
disappointing to say the least.  I shoulda gone with Cheez Whiz.

This is what I was envisioning.  Photo courtesy of an esteemed
fellow blogger.  It must be a San Francisco cheesesteak.

There was a Japanese film crew buzzing about documenting
this South Philly phenomenon.  The people still come in droves;
maybe I stopped by on an off day.

And I love me a Banh Mi sandwich, which any other day of the 
year I would have rather had, but was it wise to open a place
right next to Geno's, the Best?

I threw my bike in the car that morning, hoping for a ride along
Kelly Drive after I took care of my business.  There's a Fair
Amount of Park along the Schuylkill River where one can 
jog or ride his bike.  Historic Boathouse Row is situated
just northwest of the Art Museum.

Spring of 1957, on the ramp at Crescent Boat Club,
with Dad and his fellow oarsmen ready to row.
 A day probably not unlike last Thursday.

Spring of 2012, last Thursday.  I snuck through the unlocked gate 
behind a bunch of kids showing up for practice. Roman Catholic High 
School rows from Crescent these days.  LaSalle University now puts 
in at Fairmount Rowing Association, to the right, out of the photo. 

The man for whom the road beside the Schuylkill River was named.

The sport for which the Schuylkill River is famed.

Lemon Hill Mansion overlooking the Schuylkill and Boathouse Row.

Pennsylvania Barge Club to the left, and Crescent Boat Club 
on the right, taken from Lemon Hill.

Since the ban on one-upping Billy Penn was lifted, there are now
several, much taller, freakish looking buildings gracing? center-city
Philadelphia.  And you can't even see the twisted structure that 
houses Amtrak.  Or whatever that company's called now.   

Another click-blindly-while-driving photo. The light was red and I
was inching my way up almost to the perfect spot where I could get
a clear shot.  Then the light went green and all hell broke loose.

The Rocky Ladder, as my wife's beloved Italian relatives christened 
these steps back in April of 2007.  I drove an SUV-load of them right
to the school bus unloading area, just around to the left of the 
building, and waited nervously while they ran to the front of the 
museum, videoing and snapping photos wildly while hugging 
Sylvester Stallone and jogging up the 'ladder', triumphantly waving 
their arms while throngs of onlookers cheered, thinking they'd just 
witnessed greatness. The Italians ran back to the car, and we started
 off on the bridge across the Schuylkill, but I made a sudden 
screeching U-turn, bounced over into the opposite lane, and 
raced back toward Benjamin Franklin Parkway and City Hall.
They all thought that was way cool, BTW.  

Another hold-the-camera-out-the-window shot.  That is the
Rodin Museum.  I think.

On my way back to Jersey following the directions for 676 East, 
I saw the Mole Street sign.  For old time's sake, I turned down 
and wasn't disappointed like I was three hours earlier, a good
bit south of here.  I had a hard time imagining where Kelly's
had been situated, but then again, didn't you remember your
 old backyard as being a lot bigger than it is now?

And no.  I didn't see the bell that day. 

Thirty-Five Sweet Goodbyes

Although not as impressive a wine as the chardonnay, it's still
worth a ponder.  I finally noticed there's no vintage on the label,
which says to me that the wine's a cuvee or blend.  Hey, they're
taking what they have and making the best of it, and in my opinion
they're doing a great job.

My daughter's friend's dad laid some venison medallions on me 
from a hunt last fall.  She doesn't like Bambi, so I grilled a 
chicken-apple sausage for her.  The venison marinated in soy, 
rice vinegar, garlic, onions,  ShaoXing wine, and sweet chile
sauce.  Super lean and tender.  The Annandale cab went nicely
with the grilled medallions of New Jersey roadside attractions.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Joe, E=MC 1 and 2!

By the way, that's the same barrel in front of MCYC in each photo,
and ironically, the color photo was taken 5 or 6 years earlier. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Beaton's Re-re-revisited

The back row at Beaton's.  Pardon the dumb-phone photos.
I can't tell how long ago this one was in the water last....her 
registration sticker fell off decades ago.

Rub-a-dub-dub.  Painting the garvey's interior battleship grey.
She'll be launched this week and probably moving boats soon.

Willow.  Looking at her up close, it's somewhat difficult imagining
her having been afloat only last summer, but it's nothing a fresh coat
of bottom paint can't remedy.

At the risk of using the incorrect nautical term, I'm just gonna
say that this looks cool.  You know, where the rudder connects
to the back end of the skeg.  There's got to be a name for that.

The new Beaton's store and office.

Thad, your next project boat awaits you on the sawhorses.

Looking south toward Forked River.  Way, way south.
There was a nice warm breeze blowing from that direction
and it made it not so difficult to imagine being out there real soon.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Oleander revisited

Don't wait for California to tumble into the sea.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Initial Impression

Hotel: I've been drinking in the hotel bar.

Delta:  Keep clear of me; I am 
maneuvering with difficulty.

Whiskey:  I require medical assistance.

What do your code flags say about you?
I'd really like a pillow right about now.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Hold your course.  Ready about................

Monday, March 12, 2012


If you see this flag hoisted before your five minute gun, it's time to
whip out the Flotherchoc.  You have to unclip it from 
underneath your hiking straps and actually put it on.  And you 
thought you were gonna work on your tan today....

Check out the twist and bend of that gorgeous 
wooden mast.  And those were Elvstrom life
jackets, the finest PFDs never worn unless your
qualifying depended upon them.

I'm confident that in my years of Laser sailing, at one point or 
another, I could have been seen in that exact same position.  
Entirely unintentionally however, and not nearly that far ahead 
of the pack, yet in that same position nonetheless.  And I was
probably close to if not already crying.