Win/win

We love you Ryan oh yes we do.
We were waiting for a contestant, like you.
Your voice melodic, your answers strong.
Take center stage where you belong.
Your knowledge varied.
Your style so calm.
Mr. Long you got the Charm.
We wait and listen and hold our breath.
Then your answers beat out the rest.
Your had us going with your good luck charm.
A special something, it adds a psalm.
When we’re not home, we tape the show.
We skip dessert and say “let’s go.”
You bet $2,000 when asked to gamble.
From category to category, your knowledge does ramble.
Dear Ryan Long, you’ve got the chance.
Bring home the bacon and watch us dance.
Oh yeah!

Got Game?

Jeopardy, Jeopardy, where art thou Game?
In a world filled with horror, absurdity, disdain.
We rely on the 7:00 hour on the screen.
Devoted, and forthright the answers are gleaned.
Holzhauer, Ammodio, Amy, Mattea strong.
Make room on the set for Mr. Ryan Long.
When The Daily Doubles come up on the board.
Make it a “truly”- the answer will come along.
30 seconds later with an answer in place.
The “Think” music so familiar for the answer a race.
A break from harsh News- that’s so tough on the print.
Let’s play along, in the absence of a hint.
The contestants phrase their response as questions.
The clues in the form of answers, no suggestions.
61 questions a game will be called.
Jeopardy, O’ Jeopardy we are always enthralled.

No “Pulse“ Nightclub- Orlando, Florida-

Today Uvalde, Texas- 18 Children 3 Adults Dead-

“That certain night , the night we met, there was magic abroad in the air. There were angels dining at the Ritz- “And a Nightingale Sang in Barclay Square.” Words by Eric Maschwitz, music by Manning Sherwin. The song was written in 1939 in a French fishing village Le Lavandou right before the outbreak of the Second World War. Fast forward— On a steamy week-end eve you get dressed, put on your lipstick, turn off your music and walk out the door. You look forward to debriefing the week with a friend and meeting some new friends. You’re all set to chill in a high energy, safe haven club, on your local Barclay Square- the nightingales were singing. Dry martinis, familiar faces and music you listen to at home and know every word to. A perfect design for a five-star time. One would think. And then the World According to Garp doesn’t happen. No Lin Manuel, THESE senseless acts of tragedy are what is “promised.” Our promised land nearly 70 years after World War Two- on the the doorstep of World War Three. “Praising Isis, Gunman attacks Gay Nightclub, leaving 50 dead in worst shooting on U.S.Soil. Yes, on U.S.soil again and again. We scream in horror, we cry in disbelief as one more lunatic walks into one more gun shop and puts down one more stolen credit card. We then pay dearly for the laws that govern the strongest nation on earth. We pray for the insane and fund them in jail after they take away our freedom of choice, as to which place to dance the night away–that takes our Life away. In concentration camp like fashion we become prisoners of the loose cannon, suicide bombers who live to die. The adage of ” do guns kill people or do people kill people” is center stage again today.. One avenue for slaughter is 18 year olds being allowed to buy murder weapons. How long is congress on sabbatical from revising laws on buying over the counter rifles in a store that houses beef jerky too? Dear G-d please look in our direction. We need our backs covered and we are willing to double down for this.

The “tenor” of Mandy Patinkin

Bluebirds Fly!

Mandy Patinkin admired from afar.

As Che in Evita the consummate star.

With your “Criminal Mind” you gave Chicago such Hope.

As Carrie’s Saul Berenson you widened her scope.

The Homeland would be safer if you exposed the truth.

With your focus on song, your loyalty strong.

You could sing from any page from The Book of Ruth.


No walk in The Park on a “Sunday Afternoon.”

You broadened our view as Seraut with his brush.

The regulars gathered round in silence and hush.

In awe as Che sang to Eva Perron.

Ah! But our breath was taken,

As Avigdor to Anshel you starred.

Never disputed you had us at Talmudic.

Yes, all of us from wide and from far.

Inigo Montoya you blew us away.

Show us your hand with six fingers, please do.

Took us Over the Rainbow left hope from the start.

From there we won’t sway,

You’ve stolen our Heart!

Brighton Beach Memories!

After a Neil Simon retrospect week-end-

Goodbye Eugene- hearing the news of your passing has given us the “Biloxi Blues.”

Whether we were “Barefoot in the Park, while “Lost in Yonkers or hitching a ride home from “Brighton Beach” we waited to hear Jonathan Schwartz “Playing our Song,” on WQXR American Standard Radio. Marvin Hamlisch played Carole Bayer Sager’s lyrics to his music with his particular Zip-a-dee-doo -dah enthusiasm. We swayed along and knew all the words. Your collaborations with Mike Nicols and Gene Zaks prolifically chronicled  our youth. Oh Neil, we got hooked when we read your name amongst the credits as we watched Sgt. Bilko, played with such guile on The Phil Silvers show. We waited to hear your interviews with Joan Hamburg on 77 WABC to learn what play was next to be “Broadway Bound.” Her interviews typically came at the end of her show after the bargain shopping and food segments. Even if we left the house to spatzere around our favorite thrift shops we heard your familiar very New Yawkish sounding voice broadcasted live. The two of you had a repartee we so enjoyed although we considered you quite the “Odd Couple.”

We marveled at the big city duplex apartments with sunken living rooms, and gilded cage appeal that set the stage for many of your books. Was Willy’s (Walter Matthau) apartment at the beaux arts Ansonia really that big? We thought it could possibly the best pad ever to play hide and go seek. Did Jane Fonda actually run around “Barefoot in the Park” as she pleaded Robert Redford to try again to save their marriage? We wanted to live in her apartment as soon as we moved to the Village. We knew we didn’t want to live uptown and become a “Prisoner on Second Avenue.” We weren’t  sure you could top the episode when Felix Unger walked into Oscar Madison’s cluttered apartment to try to get back together with Gloria. Then you did when you had Molly Picon threaten to keep her head in the oven over the troubles with her bachelor sons.

Our take away quote of yours is “ if you can go through life without experiencing pain you probably haven’t been born yet.” RIP Neil Simon- we’re sure you’ll be filling them with laughter in Suite 203-04 during your “Chapter Two.”

A small investment in Friendship!

Showcase their talents.

Live in their special moments.

Listen to their fears, minimize the anxiety surrounding them.

Bask in their glory.

Design the Marquee -with their name in lights.

Display a tiny gesture to help shine their accomplishments- a memory for life.

Cry for their disappointments,

Smile for their joy.

And laugh all the way to the friendship bank.

You got this!

Refuah Shlema

I million people dead from Covid.
The twice impeached, disgraced ex- President banking on Elon Musk to let him out of twitter jail.
A 50 year standing Law for women to make decisions about their well being – about to be overturned- you aren’t serious?
My body. My choice.
The economy reeling out of control as a result of the groundwork laid by the twice impeached, disgraced ex-president.
The Russo Ukrainian War with a Hitleresque despot at the helm spinning out of control.
Interest rates at an all time high.

And yet —the daily complaints about the new striped hammock that you ordered to be overnighted came in with the wrong colored stripes.
Or you could only get a 5:30 or 9:00 reservation at the new Italian restaurant in Chelsea.
How bout the diamond stud earrings you wanted to give to your daughter won’t be ready for her Sweet 16.
And oh, wait- the 75 inch television you wanted for the newly renovated family room can’t be mounted flat on the wall. Really?
So you get to the window of Music Man and learn that Hugh Jackman isn’t in it that night- now what?
So one day at a time, as fires are being put out in our daily lives, we flip it and decide not to complain that Zabars sold out of their chocolate babka and that the privilege of choosing a different dessert is just that! Shabbat Shalom.

B.N. Before Netflix-

 On some “Grey” days we binged as Mc Dreamy took care of Don Draper

 and diagnosed it as just too much day drinking. We were left confused after Sam Seaborn ( Rob Lowe) exited the West Wing, while salivating over Carmela’s “Sunday Sauce.” Yum to those meat-a -balls.

When corned beef and pastrami meet on the corner of Potato Knish and Dr. Brown’s Soda. They bump into the Salami on rye with deli mustard sandwich and all get ready to watch as Mr. Ed whispers to Ozzie and Harriet a cute story about (ok who remembers their neighbor?) Thornyp- Played by Don Defore. Yup! They are meeting over at Donna Reed’s house to watch the Beaver and his brother Wally take on Ken Osmond a.k.a. Eddie Haskell in a game of H-O- R- S-E, in their driveway. After a pot luck dinner with bread pudding for dessert they will sit around the piano and sing out loud with My Little Margie, Aunt Bee who is getting a ride over with Barney and being escorted by Opie. Oh “kay” then. They take out the game of Clue and wait for That Girl ( Marlo Thomas) to be Bewitched by (Elizabeth Montgomery) all the while Ann Sothern, who came with Don Porter is taking the minutes of the day until Eddie Albert shows up with the fur clad, diamond bearing Eva Gabor from their Green Acres Pad. A good time was had by all and in their game of Clue they played until Jim Backus announced “I Married Joan,” and they all agreed that everyone Loved Lucy. The category is Sitcoms in the Sixites. We’ll take Columbo for $1000.00 Please. And I quote – “Just one more thing. There’s something that bothers me. One more question to my Wife. What did you pay for those shoes? Make it a great Wednesday.

Euphoric Recall Moments

From the Madeline Murals at the Carlyle, and foie burger at Minetta Tavern, We Love New York.
A stroll through the Modern
buying clocks with big numbers at the gift shop.
We Love New York!
With euphoric recall we remember the Days of Comedy Clubs and “Arthurs“ jazz club , two drink minimums, laced with “sunshine and sodas and beer.” Oh the crunch of multi colored leaves as we strolled across the park in Autumn to have lunch at The Boathouse.
Ah, yes NYC.
From Drinks at the bar at The Four Seasons before the variegated visuals of the flowers and soufflés at Grenouille, we Miss our golden New York. Memories of dancing at El Morocco and Le Club before backgammon in the backroom at Cavalleros, priceless. We closed the night before with an early breakfast at The Carnegie. How about the days of sitting on an auxiliary seat in the back of yellow cabs with leg room, en route to an underground Allen Ginsburg poetry reading in a dive on Astor place near Tompkins Square Park. ”I took a deep breath and listened to the bray of my heart. I am. I am. I am.” Poems by Sylvia Plath inspired us to walk down to the Hip Bagel. An infamous, artistic guy named Shelly Fireman had a vision we jumped onto. We heard about him and his multifaceted interests. A perfect panoply of his Peter Max Art, knowledge of herbal cures i.e. Dr. Giller and his cocktails known as ACE (adrenal cortex extract) and the smoked fish from Barney Greengrass. We couldn’t help but prophesize that he would find a unique recipe for success through the perfect antipasto in the most lyrical of neighborhoods. He would breathe garlic into locations housing music, art and the sounds of Placido Domingo. Good guess, indeed. Moving on now to the long ago delights of Steak Diane at Quo Vadis before it became The Post House. A little black jack and throwing dice at a private after hours gambling joint in a townhouse on 72nd and Park. Brass, red carpeting and pink walls added to the late night fantasy of downing Harvey’s Bristol Cream and suffering the after effects the next morning. Bromo- seltzer set up on our nightstand could have served as the back drop of an Andy Warhol painting. B. Altman’s, Rita’s Blue Tent Dress Shop on Madison Ave and accessories and Mini Dresses at Bendels was our idea of a perfect Saturday shop around before lunch at Yellowfingers or Daly’s Dandelion. Sunday Mornings of counting Ninas on the cover of The Sunday Magazine section through the distinct brilliance of Al Hirschfeld, was the precursor to lunch at Maxwell Plum’s. Oh those Eggs Benedict and mimosas under the kaleidoscopic stained-glass ceilings imagined and realized by Warner LeRoy. What a treat before grabbing the latest Woody Allen film at The Paris Theater on 59th Street. In the way, way back of the memory bin, the Pate at Brussels, anything at Le Bernardin- and the pasta at Joe and Rose (favorite of the Kennedys) were all pieces of our we Love New York Days.
So just for today, we will brush off our blue suede shoes, pick out a paisley blouse, grab an old hermes belt, add a touch of Shalimar and dream of the Date-nut bread sandwiches at Chock Full o’ Nuts. Make it a memorable “Monday” in New York.”

The Exodus of Gefilte Fish

Dear Rabbi Kraus,

At one point during your sermon, I looked up from the siddur to the sounds of children entering the sanctuary. Ah! that familiar sound exhumes an immediate sense of playful wonder. Well Dear Rabbi, one of my take aways from the prayer service yesterday as you referred to it in several different ways, was why were the Pesadich dishes and pots being returned to their less than perfect corrugated boxes in an over and out manner? Goodnight Moon, Good-bye Gefilte Fish, for now. Was it that the packing up of green glass plates and silverware (that had a fork tooth bent) was taking away the celebration of our remembrance of the liberation from slavery and the “passing over” of the forces of destruction? Or was it more traditionally symbolic of putting aside for now a communal, elongated shabbat dinner with the mellifluous sounds of hungry children? Ma nishtanah halailah hazeh mikol haleilot? Hench, my inner child connection, during your prayer service that connected me to Passover. 

Thank you for introducing me to your wife Rachel. Albeit a quick hello with a suggested promise of more to come, her warmth is saturating. She told me she was very glad that I came and I answered I was glad I “showed up.” More often than not that is all it takes. 

It was telling for me to make her acquaintance after listening to your strong sermon for several hours. I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie -The Way We Were- starring Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford. There is a well known line toward the end where they meet up many years later, after having shared a tumultuous and deeply loving relationship (not Beshart.) They both are with other people and Robert Redford introduces her to his wife. She says to him as they stroll for a moment together- “your girl is lovely Hubbell.” 

Rabbi, your wife is lovely. The sounds of your children connected me to my Passover relics of elongated sedars, chocolate covered matzoh and yesterday I found the Afikomen. bh, Judy Gomberg