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May, 2007:

At least this wasn’t our barbecue:

Although this was about 7 blocks away!

Yonkers Barbecue Gets Violent

YONKERS, N.Y. (AP) — A barbecue in a Yonkers neighborhood got out of control resulting in the arrest of four teenagers Saturday.

Residents on Saratoga Avenue said it began with a gathering of between 50 and 75 people. They said some of the kids at the barbecue were on top of vehicles on the street. Police came by and told them to get off and to go home. That’s when the melee erupted, neighbors said.

The mothers of the four arrested teens said their children did nothing wrong, that they had to stand by and watch while their children were attacked. One teen was taken to Saint Josephs hospital, received 14 stitches on his head and was treated for shoulder injuries.

Yonkers police confirm the incident, but denied any kind of police brutality. They said the group was out of control.

Officials said two police officers were injured. They also said one of the teenagers broke the windshield of the police cruiser trying to free someone in the backseat.

Residents said the police could have handled it differently. The parents said they will launch a formal complaint.

The Grill that never arrived.

We had our memorial day barbecue on Saturday, and it was a lot of fun. Had about 14 people show up throughout the day, and here it is Tuesday and our larder is still full of leftover food.

Weirdly, the grill that we bought from Amazon did not arrive on time, so on Friday night we went out and bought a charcoal grill– The Aussie walkabout grill (we bought the red one from Home Depot, but this is the same product via Amazon) The grill really cooked great, and did a good job.

Stephanie and I had a little bit of an argument about this– she thought we should just go out and buy a big gas grill (so that no one can steal it in our neighborhood, because it’s so big) I really wanted to do our research, because I didn’t want to spend $300 on something like that– the $65 travel grill I thought was okay, and the home depot grill was fine, but I didn’t want to go out and spend $300 because of our party. We are still in the market for a gas grill (I guess I’ll send back the other one, unless I absolutely love it) but in the meantime, the charcoal was super easy to use (and apparently easier if you get a charcoal chimney to help cook the initial charcoal.

As well, a friend of ours had a great suggestion about building a shelf on our porch overhang to hold food and tools etc. It’s a very good idea, and if I do it, I’ll document it here. The thing is, I want this shelf to be relatively easy to come off too, so it’s not there fulltime.

Two Upcoming Performances In Brooklyn

I’ll be performing in Brooklyn twice in the next couple of weeks!

At both of these gigs, I am not the only performer. I’m performing in the
company of some of NY’s top performers and puppeteers.

So make sure to come on out, and say Hello after the show!

I’ll be performing my show The Barbie Oedipus at PUNCH! The Galapagos Artspace Puppet Slam. Show seems to start at 7:30 pm, and is either $5 or free. Other performers will also be there who are very involved in the adult puppet scene in NY. Definitely worth checking out.

My show is in the back room of the space– even better is that at 9:30 pm, the World Famous Bob will be performing a Burlesque show! Tickets for that are $5. I am not in that, but I will be in the audience for sure!

DIRECTIONS AND INFORMATION: http://www.galapagosartspace.com
MORE ABOUT MY WORK: http://www.acmeclown.com

I’ll be performing the Acme Miniature Flea Circus at 12:30 pm as part of the Red Hook Waterfront Arts Festival. I’m performing on the Waterfront Museum &
ShowBoat Barge. Admission is free, but I will be passing the hat, so
bring your 20’s! :o)

ABOUT THE FESTIVAL: http://www.dancetheatreetcetera.org/upcoming.html

ABOUT THE SHOWBOAT: http://waterfrontmuseum.org

ABOUT THE FLEA CIRCUS: http://www.trainedfleas.com

Tabletop Grill

We just bought a Toolbox grill from Amazon.com. I saw it first on a blog by Kevin Kelly called Cool Tools It looked like a good grill, and I trust Kevin (he is the former editor for Wired Magazine and The Whole Earth Review, both magazines that I used to subscribe to) So I got it.

We’re thinking about having a memorial day thing here, so hopefully the grill will arrive on time!

Here’s the skinny on the grill, and where to get one for yourself!

Tool Box Grill Pro – Gas

The Tool Box Grill Pro sets a new standard for portable grills, offering more grilling space, greater convenience and easier portability than any other grill in its price range. Now with a larger cooking area, the Pro grills also offer closed lid grilling with adjustable vents for greater cooking flexibility.

The Tool Box Grill Pro still retains its excellent portability and is easily stowed in cars, campers or boats. It’s an excellent choice for camping, tailgating, hunting or for cooking on the job site. The gas grill uses standard 1 lb. propane canisters and features a stainless steel burner tube that generates over 640° of cooking heat. The new Turbo diffuser plate distributes the heat evenly over the grill surface and it’s porcelain coating makes it easy to clean.


* Patented no-mess design eliminates need for external vents
that leak ash and grease.
* Large grill area and adjustable lid vents provide exceptional
cooking flexibility.
* High heat components are porcelain coated for durability
and ease of cleaning.
* Built-in heat shield allows grill to be used safely on wood
or plastic picnic tables.
* Stainless steel burner tube generates 10,000 BTU’s of even
cooking heat.*
* Easily removable propane regulator that fits inside grill for easy transport.*
Grill dimensions: 19.5″ x 8.75″ x 10.5″
173 sq/in cooking surface
* Weight: 19 lbs.
* MSRP $64.99

Flea Circus Video

I’ve joined YouTube, and put my video up online of the flea circus (It’s actually a 2 minute piece about the show produced by a Philadelphia News station) But it shows off the show very well.

For those of you who may not have seen the show yet, you can see the video on my flea circus video page.

Neighbors and orthodoxy

While walking on Saturday morning with my tallis bag (the bag that holds my prayer shawl, that women in my congregation, as well as men, wear on Saturday mornings while in synagogue), I encountered two groups that made me feel uncomfortable holding the bag.

The bag is very obvious to those that know what it is – when you have a beautiful tallis, as I do (see photo – Adam bought it for me when we were in Israel two summers ago), you put the bag that the tallis lives in (in this case, the item at the top of the photo) into a clear plastic zippered holder/pouch that is made for the purpose of protecting while displaying the beautiful bag. So many Jews who see someone carrying this bag instantly know what it is, because all of the protective pouches are the same size and shape and, well, duh, on a Saturday morning it’s pretty obvious that that’s what one is carrying.

However, my Yonkers neighbors likely don’t have any idea what a tallis is, let alone a tallis pouch. But that did not stop me from feeling rather awkward and uncomfortable as I walked out of the house with my tallis pouch on Saturday morning. The street was for some reason very busy, mainly with teenage boys, but with a few adults as well. So a number of people saw me walking to my car with this brightly colored pouch under my arm. And I couldn’t get over the feeling that I didn’t want them to know that I was Jewish. I really don’t know why. It’s so irrational, but it’s also the reason that we put our mezzuzah behind the screen door on the back door – so that our house doesn’t shout “Jews” to our neighbors. It just feels a tiny bit risky to do so. And that makes me quite sad.

But perhaps what makes me even sadder is that once I got to Riverdale and started walking towards the place where Bat Mitzvah I was attending was (this week our services were in the social hall of a church – go figure), I encountered not one, but three groups of orthodox Jewish men walking in groups on the sidewalk I was walking on. All with the black hats and dark suits that are common in Riverdale. Two groups came towards me and one was ahead of me, though I passed them. And I know that if they even deigned to notice me at all, they disapproved of my tallis bag. Because to them, women are not allowed to don a tallis at all (among the many other things orthodox women cannot do, including reading the Torah) – so it would be completely crazy that I should be carrying one. It’s actually pretty likely that by carrying the bag I became invisible to them – as if I weren’t even a Jewish woman observing Shabbat.

Sometimes those that should be closest are the farthest away.

Get a free ride on the Yonkers Ferry!

This month, the Yonkers/Manhattan Ferry starts up. People have been talking about this idea for a long time, and it has finally come to fruition.

To celebrate (and to pitch the service) they are offering free rides this month…

This is from the article in LoHud
(be warned, these articles don’t always stick around!)

Amicone, New York Water Taxi president Tom Fox, and the federal and state officials and representatives who helped secure $4.2 million in operating subsidies and $3.2 million to develop docks and infrastructure, hope that starting today, commuters will gladly pay a premium for a fast, comfortable, one-seat ride to the World Financial Center or Wall Street.

For $12 each way or $400 for 40 trips, the New York Water Taxi will make four morning runs from Yonkers, from 5:50 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., and four return trips, from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The trip between Yonkers and the World Financial Center will take 45 minutes. Tack on another seven minutes to get to Pier 11, which is near Wall Street. Anyone can try a free round-trip ride this month by registering at http://www.nywatertaxi.com and printing out a ticket.

On the top deck, 100 comfortable metal seats afford views up, down and across the Hudson River with no protection from the elements.

Forty-nine upholstered seats are set in rows of three along the windowed walls of the climate-controlled cabin. Passengers can watch the news on flat-screen televisions, but the best viewing will be the panorama passing by.

And if Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to charge motorists $8 when they drive into Manhattan comes to fruition, the ferry could look even sweeter.