Just last week Bay Ridge’s own Street Sounds Music celebrated it’s annual “Gretsch Day” and for those fans of the wonderful instruments that come care of this fine company, this was the place to be on this almost Summer afternoon. Street Sounds is cited as the world’s largest retailer of these guitars and when you see the collection they offer you as a musician you can see why this is the case. This will be the third event of its kind being held at the location and it was going to be a fun filled day of special guests, food, prizes and music. Today was also the annual Mermaid Day Parade out in Coney Island but I felt my time was better spent socializing and reporting on this event. So read on dear readers and hopefully feel like you were there with us.
The store was decorated up for the event with signs whose bright colors welcomed all passerby. Here’s a shot of the shop owner Rocky Schiano and guitarist Paul Pigat.
Next up a little better view of today’s musical menu. As you can see there would be appearances by Fred Gretsch and Joe Carducci along with Miss Kim Falcon. Fred Gretsch III actually was responsible for reviving the company a little over twenty years ago and Joe is their product specialist while Kim is their official spokes model/calendar girl. Now that you know all of these details we can continue along.
A view from way up high in the sky is this visual of the 65th Street Yards which is located at (you guessed it) 65th Street in Bay Ridge. Just off Second Avenue to be exact if you were wanting to get your own peek at this in person.
I took this while gathering with friends on the Fourth of July holiday back in 2009 and I have always wanted to use this photo somewhere. Lucky for me the blog is here to showcase this kind of stuff every now and again. This train yard was something of a wild exploration area for many of the area youths way back in the day as it was unused for many years and unkempt. There were a lot more trees and even some small pond kind of regions if memory serves me correctly. It was always fun to wander around like something out of the movie “Stand By Me” and yes I used to go down there with my friends. You always feared getting caught but there was really nothing to do down there but walk around. The far end water you see is the Narrows but no one fished out of it.
It’s been in use for a number of years now, and I guess that it is better than being a vast unused space. If I ever get the chance to go down there for the purposes of photography you will see whatever results I get right here. I promise. I did manage to get a slightly different visual recently from a lower vantage point and appended it into this posting for your viewing pleasure.
Welcome to another adventure in the Kitchen With Ken and this time around I was in the mood for something akin to fish tacos. I’ve long been a taco fan but only ever had a fish taco when I went to an area McCormack and Schmidicks restaurant for their Happy Hour. The particular concoction from the kitchen of PiercingKen is probably only a fish taco in name based on the overall difference. The rationale behind this was to use some stuff in the fridge so it would not go bad and had a little bit of an idea to make my own little treats. So wash your hands and help out as I take you through this one, I promise to be brief since this was on the easy side. You will first need a small pan to bake some of our fish products in.
The other day while adventuring around the city on the way to the Book Expo America, my buddy Skeleton Pete and I saw a literal caravan of teenagers who were carrying and handing out cookies no less. This was apparently a promotion from one of the nearby hotels and they were having a blast of a time surprising the New York City workaday travelers with their offerings. Some were shouting and others singing and it was all in the name of the cookie. Not a bad way to get some attention. This was truly a great way to start the day and I made sure to secure my cookie in my bag for later consumption. I figured that it was better to be able to enjoy it while sitting down and relaxing after a hopefully productive day of journalistic tasks.
The band of merry travelers of the cookie actually handed me a couple of them, and I was not going to argue about this at all. It’s packaging was appealing to the eye and spirit and cited that “stressed spelled backward is desserts”. Talk about your level of Socratic wisdom. Once home, I did open it up to let you see just how well it was baked. It was a chocolate chip cookie and it had a lot of chunks of the stuff which is something I always prefer at the end of the day. As you can see by the image below, this was a very sizable treat and I used a penny to give you a sense of scale. Don’t worry I didn’t eat the penny in case you were wondering about that.
I’m sorry if this made you jealous but it really was not my intent. I only felt like sharing this small bit of good fortune with you readers. It sure was tasty though. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.
There is never a doubt in my mind that I get to endeavor upon a number of interesting things in pursuing my passion as music photographer and journalist but after the evening is all said and done and the goodbye’s have been said, it’s time to make the dreaded trek out to my neck of the woods in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. A lovely region that is most generally accessible by the “R” train line. This local train is reliable during the daytime but when the later evening hours happen upon us the story is an entirely different one. While only a good 45 minutes at best out of the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple, depending on the hour you are heading back to base, it can take upwards of two hours. This happened to me the other night and since the camera was being examined in its bag I decided to use the snappy Sony to snag an image of this cruel reminder of the state of affairs I was in tonight. Yes, the train runs here but “except” for late nights.
The journey involves getting whatever you can get to DeKalb Avenue where you will then need to switch for a now running local “N” Train. The “N” is not too bad a ride when it is running on time but there have been instances where I was waiting at DeKalb avenue for over thirty minutes. When that happens it downright sucks. You’ll then get off this “N” at 59th Street which lets you change for the hopefully arriving soon “R” train, but let me tell you that it very seldom is a timely thing once you get there. It’s almost like a black hole for time in the mind of the NYC commuter. The “R” train now runs as a shuttle train and goes from 95th Street to 36th and back. It does this to be able to switch sides but it really would be better if it just went from 95th to 59th and back but it does not always do that.
You might think my labeling 59th Street as Purgatory as a little unfair but your attitude will change if you ever find yourself waiting for more than forty five minutes to go a mere four stops (or even less as some people need to do). I tell you if I didn’t have more than a two mile walk and it being the dead of the night that I would walk the distance and never worry about it. Alas I do not have that luxury and must wait it out. Sigh.
While there are usually other travelers stranded with you, there are going to be some rare occasions where the train is as empty as you see in the photo above. This particular shot for example was one of those nights but I admit even this is a rare thing to find happening. I usually emerge from the car like a zombie hitting the streets with several other folks who look at hungry for sleep as I do. Depending on how tired I am at this time, the glowing beacon that is the never closing Dunkin Donuts just across the street sometimes draws me in for a late, late coffee.
It’s seldom that I will actually stick around the Dunkin spot with said coffee, unless there are guests joining me who needed the couch for the evening. Usually its just back to the site headquarters for some now much needed shut eye. Hopefully a few hours sleep will find me ready to Rock & Roll again once more.