WHAT’S BETTER THAN 1ST PLACE?

WHAT’S BETTER THAN 1ST PLACE?

Welcome to Junior’s!

Hail a taxicab anywhere in New York City and tell the driver, “Take me to the best cheesecake in New York.” Odds are you will end up at the corner of Flatbush and DeKalb Avenues in Brooklyn, at Juniors. Junior’s landmark restaurant is known as the home of New York’s best cheesecake. For decades, Brooklynites (and other New Yorkers) have come to eat, laugh, and kibbitz (argue) over cheesecake. In the 1950’s, an entire generation came of age at Junior’s, that’s me. Their cheesecake was as important as the Brooklyn Dodgers…the Fox Theater…Coney Island…Brighton Beach. Today loyal customers still come –from all over and all walks of life. Famous mayors. Presidents. Hall of Fame athletes. Authors, singers, like Frankie (the crooner) and Eddie Cantor (Mammy), movie stars. In fact, it’s as true today as it was 60 years ago when they started, “You haven’t really lived until you’ve had cheesecake at Junior’s.”
Christmas Swirl

Inside Junior’s at Foxwoods

 

Cheesecake

Cheesecake

All dressed up for the holidays, The Original New York cheesecake swirled with real strawberry puree, topped with red and green chips and wrapped with yellow chiffon cake on the sides with a beautiful Christmas tree pattern. Junior’s and cheesecake are synonymous. You say cheesecake, and you knew you would be dining at Junior’s. You say Junior’s and you knew your would be eating cheesecake.

Here come the cheesecake

Here come the cheesecake

Junior’s is a restaurant chain with the original location at 386 Flatbush Avenue Extension at the corner of DeKalb Avenue in Downtown Brooklyn, New York City. Other locations include Times Square area and the lobby of the MGM Grand Hotel in the Foxwoods Resort in Ledyard, Connecticut. The restaurant was founded by Harry Rosen in 1950. According to the restaurant, it was named Junior’s after Rosen’s two sons, Walter and Marvin.

Coney Island mural

Coney Island mural inside Junior’s

According to GO Brooklyn, “At that corner of Flatbush and DeKalb avenues in Downtown Brooklyn, there has been a diner run by the Rosen family since 1929. In 1950, the name was changed to Junior’s, and it has been serving its famous cheesecake and other goodies ever since.”

Bakery

Bakery

Rosen worked with master baker Eigel Peterson to create the cheesecake known today as “The World’s Most Fabulous Cheesecake”, based on a recipe that was in the Rosen family for three generations. In addition to cheesecake, Junior’s features deli sandwiches (particularly corned beef and pastrami), ten ounce steakburgers, cheese blintzes, and unique onion rings. Fans of the restaurant are not limited to Brooklynites. A Kuwaiti prince was known to have taken several of Junior’s cheesecakes back with him.

So what’s better than 1st place? Cheesecake at Junior’s, that’s what’s better than my dance competition placement. Well, almost. I had no idea there was a Junior’s restaurant at Foxwoods. Tom, my hubby said, “We’re going to have breakfast at Junior’s. I had no idea that was the famous Junior’s, and neither did my mid-western husband. We rounded the bend from the smoky casino, and low and behold, right in front of me was my most favorite New York restaurant that I ate at for years and years and years.

The waiter gave us menus. I looked it over and with sad eyes, I looked up and asked the waiter, “Where’s the potato pancakes?” He said, “On our lunch menu.” I named lots of other dishes that I remembered. He said, “You know Junior’s. Impressive!!!” I kid you not, I remember it well, just like the song sung by Maurice Chevalier. They have Junior’s in Florida and of course I ate there too. So I asked him if I could have a potato pancake with my breakfast, with sour cream. A big breakfast later, I asked, “Will you wrap up cheesecake to take away, and how about one of your New York bagels with cream cheese and tomato?”

logo

logo

bagels bagel-w-stripes

Happy Thanksgiving! Remember to have cheesecake.

 

 

 

 

 

Now that the holidays are here, maybe you will have time to enjoy a good book. Here’s a little bit about my novel:

If you like romance, and you like rip-roaring adventure, Indigo Sky is for you! Shopping at Tiffany’s, getting caught up in the New York Draft Riot, the Civil War, and the wilds of the Great Plains. Enjoy the holiday with Gail Ingis’s Indigo Sky. Sign up for my weekly blog by December 17th, and three of you will win a copy of my ebook.

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1K4GVQA

Amazon Buy Link: http://amzn.to/29NYE5w

Artist Page:      https://artist.gailingis.com/blog/

Facebook:        https://www.facebook.com/gail.ingis

Goodreads:       http://bit.ly/29Pem1S

Trailer:              http://bit.ly/2dSPN40

Twitter:           http://twitter.com/gailingis

Website:           http://www.gailingis.com

Blog:                         https://artist.gailingis.com/blog/.

 

 

BALLROOM COMPETITION DONE!

BALLROOM COMPETITION DONE!

Done Deal, this competition. I did it! The dancing competition at Foxwoods this past weekend was fantastic. Up at 5:30 a.m. for makeup, then hair up, then dress up. I glanced in the mirror, who is that?

Queen of the Ball (but really, that's me)

Queen of the Ball (but really, that’s me)

But you see, this is my exercise workshop. I never could stick to a gym. Tennis was always my sport, but now that I’m bionic, dancing works better. It can be strenuous, but it’s not dangerous. Dancing is great for the heart. You can raise your heartbeat in five minutes of dancing, as if you were running. After fifteen months, I’m in better shape than ever. Like Mom never said, “Stand up straight.” Didn’t your Mom say that? Now my dance teacher tells me the same thing.

Gail & Henry, the teacher

Gail & Henry, the teacher

Henry doesn’t have a stick, but he has Monika who comes along and pulls my head off my neck, then pulls my arms out of my sockets, pushes in my tummy and then says—with emphasis—Stand. Up. Straight. Like I never heard that before. It’s then that Henry takes my head and places it into this odd position so I can’t see his face anymore, and says, “There, that’s good.” Then I say, “Where are you, Henry? I can’t see you anymore.” Monika then puts on the music and Henry whirls me around the room and tell me to look up, but don’t let the white of my eyes show. OK, enough. But honestly, maintaining good posture, stretching your body, standing all-pulled-up is good for your health. You see, you are not just moving your body; you are controlling your muscle movement. Guess what? You eventually get endowed with muscle memory. Yup, it’s true, you remember to stand up straight . . .

After the ball, the banquet. You get to wear a new get-up.

After the ball, the banquet. You get to wear a new get-up.

I have come to realize that this sport permits me to enjoy a range of mobility, balance and flexibility that had begun to diminish. The patterns and methods challenge your mind, sort of like rubbing your head and patting your stomach simultaneously. I intend to continue dancing, if for nothing else, the challenge. I don’t need a competition to be inspired to achieve excellence. No matter how long it takes, excellence is my goal. I love to dance, so dance I will. One dance pattern after another, perfectly matched to music as I seek perfection. .

Hubby Tom, my date & me

Hubby Tom, my date & me

If you know anything about dancing, you know that the cha-cha, the hustle and swing (lindy) can be strenuous, but did you know that a properly-done waltz or a properly-done fox trot can also be physically exhausting. There’s more control involved. Just practice this, stretch your body straight up, keep your shoulders down, hold in that tummy and . . . well, just that for a few minutes. Imagine moving around the room at the same time. Dancing attracts folks who want more than exercise. Who has ever considered dancing as exercise? Have you? Dance enriches and inspires all of us by immersing us into the beauty of movement and music. Tell me, do you want to dance?

BALLROOM COMPETITION

BALLROOM COMPETITION

Double Dutch jump rope

Double Dutch jump rope

Competition begins in Kindergarten:   Where you compete in jump rope, remember double dutch?

Relay races, finger painting pictures for the teachers to tack to the bulletin boards.

Kids fingerpainting

Kids fingerpainting

In third grade you compete in spelling bees, in high school you compete in basketball, baseball and tennis, etc., etc., etc. Compete in art, compete in music, compete in academics. Our grandson majored in engineering and pulled a 3.8 GPA through college. He was honored at graduation. Now that’s a competition that really paid off, got a fab job before he even graduated.

Another competition! Haven’t I had enough competitions in my life? What possessed me to even think about a competition? My ballroom dance instructors, Monika and Henry, that’s who.

Dress up, best part of the competition.

Dress up, best part of the competition.

I managed to say no for over a  year. As you can see I relented. Alas, this crazy world of dance competition costs a small fortune. Fees for everything: Fees at the dance hall, judges fees, fees to  watch others dance, and what about professionals doing my hair and makeup, like I don’t know how, really? Special dance shoes for smooth steps; my dress, alterations, I got that one, after a consultation with a seamstress. Thank goodness I know how to sew. Then there’s the  hotel and food. It’s like taking a world cruise.

Rolling my eyes, I ask, what will I get from my dance competition?

Not so difficult or sad or bothersome if we make it fun, a learning experience to reach higher heights, better competency. How far do we take anything we do? Pardon the cliché—anything worth doing is worth doing well, or doing poorly until you learn to do it well.

Cinderella for one night

Cinderella for one night

So yes, I have been working towards a ballroom dance competition, but it’s no different from working hard to be a better dancer. Did you know that these dance studios work with a syllabus like they use in academia. Scoring from the judges are between proficiency and advanced. I love learning.

I don’t need to compete. I don’t need a trophy. I don’t need a certificate of accomplishment. I only want to be the best I can be. Am I where I want to be? No, I’m never satisfied. So I am also studying ballet to learn how to create a body structure that will enhance my performance in ballroom dancing. I am exercising to limber up my joints. Health improves. My ballet teacher is actually a trainer. I will keep dancing no matter the outcome of the competition. I especially enjoy dancing in the clothes specifically designed for this purpose. Do you love dressing up?

News: To bring you up to date about my novel, some good news: On Amazon, October 29, 2016, I am happy to report my book, Indigo Sky, made #16 in the top 100 category free Historic Fiction.

#16 in Amazon's top 100 category free Historic Fiction

 

MOONBOWS OVER YOSEMITE FALLS

MOONBOWS OVER YOSEMITE FALLS

Trail Map   ·   Photos   ·   Reviews

Lower Yosemite Falls

Lower Yosemite Falls

There’s always more to discover about Yosemite. I’m writing a sequel to Indigo Sky, so I’m researching building a home there in the nineteenth century. In Indigo Sky, Rork, a successful artist and his wife, Leila, a dedicated mother and community leader, built a home in lower Yosemite and raised more than their children, they raised a village.

Building in Yosemite in the nineteenth century around one of those cedar trees.

About those lower falls:

Why See Yosemite Falls?  It’s a waterfall so high it has to take a break and rest twice in the course of its descent. It’s a 2,425 foot tumbler, tallest in North America and fifth tallest in the world. Ten times taller than Niagara or Shoshone Falls, nearly twice as tall as the Empire State Building, it’s about the height a 200-story building would be, if somebody ever built one. The lower fall is the shortest section of the fall, but it’s still 320 feet (98 meters) high.

Best Time to Visit:  In the spring, when water is roaring off the falls and the breeze it creates at the bridge underneath the falls will blow your hat off.

Worst Time to Visit:  In the early fall and late summer, by which time the falls have often dried up altogether. Visit the Yosemite Falls webcam during California daylight hours to see how much water is currently flowing over the falls. Watch the streaming version of the webcam. The webcam only shows the upper falls, but savvy outdoorsmen can infer that if the upper falls are dry, the lower falls will be as well.

Yosemite Nature Notes: Moonbows

On clear spring nights when the moon is full, photographers gather by the score at the lower falls to see the moonlit rainbows that span the water, a phenomenon known as a moonbow, the world’s most romantic portmanteau. Yosemite Nature Notes Episode 15 explores moonbow fever and includes lots of lovely footage of moonbows shimmering in front of waterfalls and starry skies. Even the most kitten-kicking of cynics should watch the first two minutes to see a few examples.

Can’t-Get-Enough-Yosemite-Nature-Notes Dept:  You can find the entire YNN series here, though the first thing you should watch after this video is the Making-of-the-Moonbows-Episode episode. Ranger Bob Roney, interviewed in the film, has his own Twitter feed, as does YNN creator Steven Bumgardner. Yosemite Nature Notes itself also has a feed.

Thank you Wikipedia: History of Yosemite

Click this for lodging, places to stay to celebrate an anniversary, birthday or even just for r&r.

Raise your hand if you have been to Yosemite at night looking for moonbows? Would you rate the experience as one of your top ten?

I’m writing that sequel . . .

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