Hot Town, Summer In The City: The NYC “Life Is Good” Bike Tour ’11

Grimaldi’s “Pizza Under The Bridge.” Brooklyn, NY. (John Derienzo, Tony Shaughnessy  and Mike Walter)

Once again- Tony, John and I tuned-in to our favorite radio station, WKIP (We Keep It Positive) and rode our bikes 35 miles to Brooklyn just to have a slice of Margarita pizza at Grimaldi’s.    This year- we were joined by my good friend and co-creator of the fictional feel-good frequency, Mike Walter.

The Spinnaker, from Le Peep. Randolph, NJ

It was sunny and 87 degrees in the big apple… this song kept playing in my head throughout our excursion. Everybody was outside doing their thang; running, walking, praying to trees, fixing the roads, sight-seeing, playing chess like they do in one of my favorite movies of all time, and lots of folks playing a little hooky.

As always, the highlights of the ride revolved around the food and the company.  Our friend, Terri, who couldn’t make the ride but joined us for breakfast at Le Peep, recommended  “The Spinnaker.”  It’s a delicious egg-white omelet with spinach, bacon, mushrooms, chives, cheese and tomatoYummy! The day was off to a great start.

Mike featured the trip route on his blog, so I’ll just focus on the pizza and the pics.

There’s something about Gramaldi’s home-made mozzarella, the perfect crust, and a red sauce so nice it should have a crayon named after it...  that will keep me coming back to Brooklyn on my bike year after year.

The Little Red Lighthouse @ The GWB

4 slices is usually just what the doctor ordered at the 17 mile half-way point.  But this time… John and I raced up the Manhattan bridge right after lunch…  that fourth slice wasn’t doing me any favors.   🙂    No unnecessary drama ensued, but note to self: next year you may want to wait another 15 minutes before challenging anybody to a race.  Especially someone like John, who is a ridiculously-strong rider and spins 8 days a week.

Throughout the trip… we joked, laughed and got personal.   We saw “every kind of people” and enjoyed a fun, alternative workout.

We all agreed there’s no doubt that being outside-  soakin’ up a sunny day & just livin, is a very good indication that Life- is indeed good.    See ya next year!    You are welcome to join us.   -mp

 

Encore Gallery:

Oh Canada! Sam’s Bar Mitzvah at the Maplewood Country Club

Sam getting a little help from his friends...The Gersho family (and what felt like half of Canada) celebrated Sam’s Bar Mitzvah at the Maplewood Country Club this past Saturday.  Twenty-two of  Sam’s aunts, uncles and cousins made the trip down from Niagara Falls, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal for his special day.  I’m sure glad they got invited because the folks from the Great White North know how to party!

In addition to being a world-class chess player and an  accomplished pianist, Sam can also hold his own on the dance floor when the DJ is  playing songs like the Cupid Shuffle, Apache and the Cotton Eyed Joe.

Ice Cream!!!!His brother, Michael, (third to the right) who is also a great dancer, is shown here chilling out with his friends at the sundae bar.  He said that he’s “already looking forward to his Bar Mitzvah” in a few years.

I always say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.  Sam’s parents, Leslie and Marvin, were wonderful hosts and a pleasure to work with.  They knew how to plan an exceptional event beforehand and enjoy it to the fullest the day of.

Two of the highlights were Marvin’s toast to Sam before the montage and Leslie’s acknowledgments of her friends during the candlelighting ceremony.  Marvin recalled some of his favorite anecdotes of Sam growing up and spoke from the heart, and Leslie recognized the friends from her table individually who helped her with the formidable preparations  for the big day. Very classy.

Sam with Tara and ChrissySpecial thanks to Ken Alswang from At Home Studios who shared his photos for this entry.  I’ve worked with Ken many times over the years and we always make a great team.  As I’ve mentioned in the past, accessibility and personality are two key components to selecting the right photographer. Ken was always ready to capture the moment and was excellent at making people feel comfortable.

I’d also like to recognize Mike & Mike from the Maplewood Country Club who were total professionals and a pleasure to work with.  The timing of the hospitality and the entertainment were seamless.

Encore Gallery:

Grand entrance ken_08983ken_0693Ariel Wins the dance party.

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