Saturday, September 19, 2015

We're Not Snowing You, Summer's Over!

In case you didn't get the memo, Summer is (unofficially) over for 2015. At least there are some highlights of the period surrounding Labor Day such as the new TV season, (Steve's Stone Cold Picks: The Muppets, Life In Pieces, and Heroes Reborn.), the MLB Playoffs, (In the immortal words of NFL coach Jim Mora: "PLAYOFFS?!? PLAYOFFS?!!? IT'S TOO EARLY TO TALK ABOUT PLAYOFFS!"), and,  the US Open, the highlight of the tennis calendar.

Ye Blogger had the pleasure to attend the Open this year, and although I couldn't pronounce, let alone remember, the name of the doubles participants (Men at Louis Armstrong Stadium, Women on Court 17), I still had a great time. If you're a real tennis fan, or a sports fan in general, you have to see the US Open in person at least once. The Open is the fourth in a series of annual marquee events called the Grand Slam, (The others are the Australian Open at Rod Laver Stadium in January, the French Open at Roland-Garros Stadium in Paris in May, and Wimbledon at the All-England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, SE 19 London at the end of June and the beginning of July.) For the past twenty years or so, it has been played at the United States Tennis Association's National Tennis Center on the former site of the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair, a veritable small town where people eat, breathe and sleep tennis. (Don't talk love here, it means nothing.) There's a veritable plethora of dining options at the Open, from the standard burgers and fries at Pat LaFrieda's Hamburgers to paninis and salads at the American Express Fan Experiences, where you can also play simulated games against Maria Sharapova and see a traveling exhibition from the International Tennis Hall of Fame, and Wilson, Ralph Lauren, the US Open's own boutique for merchandise from Nike, 47 Brand and others, and a bookshop specializing in everything from histories and bios to books teaching the future Martinas and Jimbos of the world everything there is to know about tennis provide retail therapy. Log on to for information on how to get tickets for 2016 and get tickets from fans. Despite her better efforts, defending woman's champion fell to upstart Roberta Vinci who later fell to Flavia Penetta, and Roger Federer was aced by Novak Djokovic. As they used to say in Brooklyn, wait till next year.

Of course, the end of summer also means back to school and back to work. When I'm not fighting a never-ending battle for truth, justice, and a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame for Scott Shannon,
(Hey, Ryan Seacrest and Casey Kasem got theirs, he deserves one of his own!) I'm disguised as a mild mannered messenger for a Great Metropolitan Messenger Service in New York City. Among the various and sundry companies we deliver to are two of the best known media companies in the world, Hearst Corporation and Advanced Magazine Publishers, d/b/a  Conde  Nast, and I have a little beef with them, which is best saved for a future blog, because next week, Yours Truly will fly off to San Antonio and Austin, Texas for a little post-Summer R&R. This could be one of my better vacations. As many of you may recall, last year I decided to visit Albany,NY to get some American history. I DID see the beautiful New York State Museum and Library and get a great tour of the State Capitol, and don't get me started on the Paul McCartney concert at the Times-Union Center, but tourists to that particular area of New York State are likelier to visit Cooperstown for its museums, operas, and the National Baseball Hall of Fame than Albany, for whereas Austin has the LBJ Presidential Library, the Texas Music Museum, Austin City Limits Live (inspired by the hit PBS music show), and tons of comedy clubs and music venues, Albany has the T-U because Procter's Theatre, a staple the silent movie days, is currently closed and other venues, such as the Saratoga Performing Arts Center and Tanglewood, are a pretty long drive away. (Besides, ACL is one of the best shows to come from San Antonio's KLRN and the most exciting TV show to come out of Albany is highlights of the day's legislative sessions. YAWN!)

Watch this space for complete and comprehensive reports. I promise y'all will not be disappointed!

As for this immediate weekend and how it affects New York baseball, I'm rooting for the Yankees (to beat the Mets) and the Red Sox (to beat Toronto so THEY may fall out of first place and the Yanks have a better shot at the playoffs.)

Until I talk to you from the Heart of Texas,  I hope you take a cue from Humpty Dumpty and HAVE A GREAT FALL! (And all you fellow Jews, HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope you had a Happy Rosh Hashonah and you had a good time. If you had TOO GOOD a time, you may have to apologize to the Boss on Wednesday!)

Steve out!

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