Thursday, June 14, 2012


VINYL vs. iTunes:  While taking a short lunch break, I was downloading some music on my phone which prompted a great conversation with someone at work. 
We discussed a time when buying and listening to an vinyl record was an actual experience.  Dad would drive me to Town & Country Music, a local record shop.  Sometime I knew exactly what I wanted, sometimes not. 

After my purchase, I’d get into the car and immediately tear off the shrink-wrap.
Maybe it was a “concept” album, or contain something other than music?  Maybe.
Would there be lyrics, a poster, a booklet?  (Sometimes there was even a T Shirt iron on, like in the case of CHICAGO VIII! )

Needless to say, I would have all these questions answered out before getting home, slapping on the KOSS headphones and listen to all the cuts, both sides, to “experience it”. 

Something that can’t be done today. 

After multiple plays, even with all the slight cracks and pops in the background, they somehow became a part of the song itself after a while.
And you accepted it, like a good friend. 

I love the immediacy of iTunes, but the ease of disposability bothers me. 

This is probably why I can’t part with my vinyl from growing up. 

They somehow are and will always be a part of me.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Polynesian Style Chinese Restaurants were among my favorite places to eat out in back in the 1970s-80s.  They were extremely popular all over the US, but here in the northern NJ area there were a few spectacular ones.  One such place…


WOW.  If I could only get into a time machine, that is one place I’d want to go back to!

I know it closed years ago surrounded by rumors of health department violations and tax issues. 

In trying to search it out online as I was certain I’d find some photos on the web… but the closest thing I could find was a posting HERE. 

It seems as though the name may have been changed to TIKI.  The drawing (above) was a dead giveaway, and the vintage looking menu (below) was so typical of the way the menus looked in those days.

The restaurant was decorated with tribal masks and bamboo hut booths complete with thatched roofs were all around.  Waiters were dressed in uniforms and linen tablecloths and napkins decorated the tables.

This was the first Chinese restaurant that offered a smorgasbord.  Of course you could order off an a la carte menu, but why would you? 

Don’t even think it was similar to the millions of Chinese Buffets of the current day.   This one was amazing to say the least.  It was made up mostly of your typical Chinese-American dishes but also some with a very upscale twist. 

I couldn’t get enough of there “HAWAIIAN STEAK” which was cubed tips of beef that were marinated in a pineapple juice and white pepper.  I have tried to mimic this recipe but with no luck whatsoever.  Barbeque spareribs by the truckload, batter dipped colossal fantail shrimp, succulent egg rolls and the best fried rice ever!

These were just a few standout items.

At $11.95, which was really expensive in 1975(!) THE ORIENTAL LUAU was reserved for special occasions like birthdays…

But my Dad did get his moneys worth.  I surely ate more than enough for one person!

If anyone has any vintage photos of this great restaurant, please send them to, and I’ll post them here.

PS-I did find something funny on the web.  A comment from a woman that reads:

“When I was a child, my parents would take me out to this restaurant in Old Tappan, NJ called The Oriental Luau. Back then if you were 10 years old, they charged you the "adult" rate of $11.95. Since it was a buffet, my father felt that I should eat what he thought was $11.95 worth of food (this was in the mid-1970's) One time, he told me I did not eat enough and I better eat more or he would not bring me back. So I ate more, proceeded to feel sick, went to the ladies room and barfed.

This was the only and only time. I don't allow anyone to bully me into excess, it hurts too much.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


My friend Kathleen has been fascinated with these abandoned Amtrak trains for a while and recently her, Sylvia, Fred and I went there to take some photos.  This is one of the coolest places around!

Monday, November 22, 2010


Goddess of Pop, Cher, was immortalized on
Hollywood Boulevard
when she sunk her hands and feet into the cement in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre on Thursday.
Her mother Georgia Holt and son Chaz Bono witnessed the ceremony.
"This is more special than you can possibly imagine because when I was 4 years old my mother and I came to this theater, actually my dad too, saw 'Cinderella,'" Cher said, recalling her childhood experience. "I said to my mother, 'When I grow up I'm going to do this.'"
The El Centro, California native is a recipient of an Academy Award, a Grammy Award, an Emmy Award, three Golden Globes as well as a Cannes Film Festival Award and a People's Choice Award for her work in film, music and television.
Her latest film "Burlesque" will hit theaters six days later in North America movie theaters. She plays a club owner and star-maker opposite the heroine -- played by up-and-coming singer Christina Aguilera as a small-town girl who strives to make her way up to a Los Angeles burlesque club to pursue her dreams.
Cher rose to stardom in 1965 as one half of the pop rock duo Sonny & Cher with the success of their song "I Got You Babe." She then worked as an established solo recording artist and is the only female solo artist to reach the Top Ten of the Billboard Hot 100 in each of the previous four decades.
Cher was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1984 when she played in "Silkwood," a drama based on the harrowing account of whistle blower Karen Silkwood. She played a lesbian in love with the heroine played by Meryl Streep, and her first-rate portrayal marks the beginning of her Oscar career. She also starred in a number of popular films including "Mask" and "The Witches of Eastwick" for which she was crowned the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1988.
Cher hit the jackpot when she starred as Loretta Castorini in "Moonstruck," winning an Oscar for best actress.
She also appeared on small screen and was successful playing a star in 1971 with "The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour," a variety show for which she won a Golden Globe.

Friday, November 19, 2010


I have gotten a bunch of inquiries regarding my recent post where I showed some photos from my night in Georgetown.  I ran across a blog which has some fantastic info on the film including this piece on the "MacNeil Residence" 

The blog doesn't seem to have been updated recently though...  CHECK IT OUT!

Compare the above screenshot (appears at time code 28:49 in the "Special Edition" version of The Exorcist) of the "McNeil House" with the actual structure as it appears today (below), minus the built-on mansard roof and side wing created for the film. While the screenshot is a bit vertically compressed, the core of the house and portions of the front gate are easily recognizable in both images.

If you've seen the actual house in Georgetown, you may wonder about the film's logistics regarding characters Burke Dennings and Damien Karras being flung from an upstairs bedroom window down the "Hitchcock Steps" - in reality, the windows are are a good 20 feet away from the fence surrounding the house! In addition, an early scene in the film is set in a full-height attic, which the actual building doesn't appear to be able to accomodate above its second floor.

That's where the made-for-the-movie side wing addition comes in. By extending the house closer towards the 'Steps,' and building a full attic height mansard roof, the film's creators built a visual setting faithful to the novel. [Top image © Warner Brothers Corp., lower image on Flickr under
Creative Commons 2.5.]

MY PHOTOS:  A much creepier place at night!