Saturday, January 31, 2009

Snowfall at Nathan's

I really like this picture. Remember the steamed windows?

Snowfall at Nathan's
Originally uploaded by Trish Mayo

Now For Something Completely Different

I wanted to post a little story about a part of my life that my friends in NY can also experience but I'm getting a little a head of myself.

This September will be 40 years since I left Coney Island to attend Arizona State University. 40 YEARS! Unbelievable. It really doesn't seem that long especially with all the reconnections as a result of our blog. When I first came here, there were very few Italian and Jewish delis. Italian food wasn't a problem once my family moved here in 1972 and now that Phoenix is our 5th largest city, there are really good delis and restaurants. When I was a freshman at ASU, I discovered Mexican food. I knew nothing about it except I had heard of tamales and tacos. I had the good fortune of having a roommate who was Mexican and was from a little mining town east of Phoenix. I used to go home with him on weekends sometimes and his family introduced me to authentic Mexican food and I was hooked. There are many different types of Mexican food and I experienced them in traveling extensively throughout Mexico over the years. The restaurants in Phoenix (think of all the pizza places and Italian restaurants in NY and you'll get an idea of how many Mexican places are here) run the gamut of regional styles: Sonoran, Tex-Mex, Southwest, Mexican Seafood, Mexico City style and New Mexican.

I only eat at one Mexican restaurant and I only eat at one take-out place. The take-out place is a little hole in the wall... cash only, limited menu and in a really bad neighborhood. Best Sonoran style anywhere... Rito's. The restaurant is Los Dos Molinos (The Two Grinders). It is New Mexico style cuisine and it is different. It is HOT. I mean like really hot, sweaty face and scalp hot. It is heavenly. Washed down with an ice cold Carta Blanca or Negra Modelo and there is literally a feeling of euphoria that overtakes your body. I eat there every couple of weeks with my son. I took him there when he was little and now he is a hooked like I am. The green is hot (Hatch chiles from New Mexico) and the red less so. Why am I waxing poetic about Los Dos Molinos? They are family owned and operated... no franchises and a blood relative is responsible for the food at each restaurant. There are 5 locations: two in Phoenix, one in Mesa (3 miles from my house, thank you very much), one in northeastern AZ in a little town near New Mexico, Springerville and the 5th one? 119 E 18th St in Manhattan! If you are adventurous, give it a try and you will know the heaven that we are blessed to experience in AZ. WARNING: I'm not kidding about the heat. Read the words of chef Victoria:

"When you read our menu and see the word "chili" keep in mind we use New Mexico Chiles and this means "Hot" with the best flavor this side of the Rio Grande. If you know "Hot" put us to a test but if you don't we suggest you try one of our other wonderful dishes that don't have any "Heat." I'm sorry we do not provide a mild sauce, I do not know how to make "Mild."

You'll thank me if you like real Mexican food. C'mon... don't be a baby.

Los Dos Molinos
119 E. 18th St (between Park Ave and Irving)
Click here Los Dos Molinos

Joey DePinto

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Filmmaker Wants Your Old Coney Island Home Movies

A New York based filmmaker is working with the Coney Island History Project on a documentary about the now defunct Astroland Amusement Park and they are in need of those old Coney Island home movies from the 1960's, 70's and 80's, especially film shot on 8mm and 16mm film. They're also looking for any outstanding pictures taken during the same period.

The Coney Island History Project says:
The History Project will shoulder the expenses of film transfers and return the original film along with a DVD transfer to anyone who donates their material. Donors will also receive credit in the film and two complimentary copies of the completed documentary. Contact the History Project at or 718-265-2100.

Filmmaker, JL Aronson, who cordially invited me to see his work in 2007, is a consummate New York filmmaker having crafted documentaries about pigeon fancying in Williamsburg and the underground karaoke scene on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. He has also directed a series on the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s downtown New York music scene for Manhattan Neighborhood Network (in association with the New School) and created marketing videos for Central Park Summerstage, Celebrate Brooklyn, PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, the Siren Music Festival, River to River Festival and other New York institutions. In 2006, his “documentary musical” Danielson: a Family Movie won numerous film festival awards throughout the country before going to theaters in December of that year and DVD in April 2007.
Film clips at

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Last Summer At Coney Island

A new documentary about the recent past, the confused present and the uncertain future of America's playground.

This is a new film that will be opening soon. It really gives a nice little overview over what is happening today. I will let everyone know when it is released. Look for Charlie Denson.

Just CLICK on the picture above.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Rather Surreal Night

It was a rather surreal night, with perhaps twenty of we Surf Project "Oldtimers" there, an eclectic mix, with several (including me) unrecognizeable to others.

Personally, I sat there much of the night transfixed, wondering how it was possible that many of us would get together after so many years, now older than our parents were when we lived in the projects, listing to stories about "back then," stories about our kids, our GRANDKIDS (for some of us), our 401K's, our assorted aches and pains, and relishing the stories and the memories of how wonderful we had it; a "resort" where we grew up.

Personally, I sat across from Howie Gresh, my elementary school classmate, a friend that had grown up two doors from me on the 4th floor of building four, and couldn't quite come to grips with looking at the same person, now older, and regaling in stories of back then, and amazed at the stories of what had become of us.

How is it possible to have been reunited with this group now, so many years removed, and somehow still connected, as if time itself had stopped, and as if we were suddenly thrust back in the cheesebox, waiting for the game to end because we had next, or wondering if tomorrow was a "beach day", because, well...just because!?!

Steve Lattman

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I'm innocent

Originally uploaded by Pablo57

I did not tag this wall, even though that is how I would've signed it.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Coney Island New Year's Day Polar Bear Swim - 2009

Coney Island New Year's Day Polar Bear Swim - 2009
Originally uploaded by Barry Yanowitz

Anyone remember seeing the Polar Bears doing this? I remember seeing a few brave souls from my window but I don't believe it was the organized event that it is now. Maybe it was the pre-season training for Polar Bears. Happy New Year to all my friends from the projects.

Click on the picture to see more.