Sunday, June 27, 2004

NY 97 blog. Another item from the past.

June 16, 1997.

Yesterday was warm and we spent a fair park of it at a lakeside part in Evanston, but not at the beach. Evanston wants money to go there, and we object on principle. It had finally gotten above 80 F, almost 90 in fact, but it was a while in coming. On Friday, temps were almost as high, but in the late afternoon, they dropped 20 degrees or so in about an hour. By evening, it was quite chilly for June. That didn’t stop the city from honking car horns and setting off fireworks when the Bulls won their latest championship. Lots of noise. Including, in some places, shooting guns off into the air. But not too near our apartment, I hope.

My trip to White Lake, New York, was mostly interesting for the places I got to see, rather than for the fire chiefs' convention I attended. The show was held at a run-down hotel and resort called the Concord, a place long past its heyday, which must have been the 1940s and ’50s. Suffering from Catskill decline, it seems. Much of the Jewish population of New York City used to take vacations there, but no more -- too many other places are easily accessible by jet travel, and perhaps the Concord’s kosher kitchens, which the resort maintains to this day, aren’t the draw they used to be either. Even the association holding this event is going to move it to Syracuse next year, I understand.

I didn’t stay at the Concord, but at B&B down the road. It was a nice place, run by a couple of gay men, and featuring five small and well-appointed rooms. It had a spacious front porch facing the road, and a lake beyond that, and I got to spend a little relaxing time there, though not quite enough. It was also quiet. I heard that when occupied by hundreds of firemen, as it was during the convention, the Concord sounds something like my freshman dormitory used to on a Friday night.

Last Saturday evening, my publisher and I went to the 1906 Restaurant in a burg called Callicoon, NY, on the Delaware River just across from Pennsylvania. The restaurant had been set up in a building that was originally a bank -- with the founding date, 1906, in stone on the façade. I had a plate of ostrich in a brown sauce with vegetables and rice. Very tasty, a lot like lean beef. According to the owner, he gets the ostrich from a ranch in Pennsylvania. Ostrich meat is touted by such ranchers as a low-fat alternative to beef, but I suspect we won’t be seeing McOstrich burgers anytime soon.


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