Friday, July 13, 2007

Weekend Update

I know the week is almost over, but I'd like to take a fond look back and walk down memory lane.

Please indulge me as I pry open my brain pan and revel in the pleasant time I had one weekend, oh, it seems like it all happened yesterday ... Isn't that how it always is?

(Pausing for a moment of silent reflection)

So, last weekend, my calendar was full.

Friday night we joined our good friend Lisa at a 40th birthday celebration dinner she hosted at a nice restaurant called Compass on West 70th Street.

On the way, I snapped this shot, looking West down 72nd toward the Hudson River.

Anyway, Lisa had reserved a private room and we had a tasty dinner.

For appetizers, I had the fennel and arugula salad. Melanie had the spice crusted tuna carpaccio. My main course was pork loin with morels and Melanie had the bass, I think. She'll comment if she didn't. Vanilla chocolate cheesecake for dessert.

Pictured (below) is Lisa blowing out her candles.

Saturday morning, Shayna had her first "July League" baseball game. A select group from her league that played April-June were asked to continue at a higher level. Kids born in 1999 were eligible to participate in a sort of round-robin abbreviated two-week tourney.

Shayna had been one of the older kids on her team previously in a league in which the coaches pitched, everyone batted, and no one walked or struck out.

Now, she is on a team with 8, 9, 10, and 11-year olds. The pitchers are 11 and, as far as I an tell, Shayna is the only girl playing.

Well, her first game on Saturday morning found her there but not there. Something upset her and/or she had some serious butterflies. The end result was that she sat out and did not play. She missed her Sunday game (more on that later), but she did suit up and was in the line-up Wedneday, so we're guessing the nerves are behind her.

Despite the early disappointment, the day impropved significantly as Grandpa Barry Liss was in town and through a friend, had 2 extra tickets to the Yankees-Angels game.

The first ticket was for me, a birthday gift from Barry, and the second ticket went to Shayna, who is definitely getting her share of games (this was her 3rd this year, one prior Yankees, and one Mets).

What made this even more special was that it was "Old Timer's Day" at Yankee Stadium, so we got to see a lot of old players introduced and welcomed by the masses.

Even though I have only recently (since moving to New York in 1997) become a Yankees fan, there's still a thrill seeing the old Yankees take the field. Chris Chambliss, Oscar Gamble, Bucky Dent, Reggie Jackson, Goose Gossage and Ron Guidry, to name a few. Below, Goose acknowledges the crowd as Paul O'Neill looks on.

The Yankees were honoring the 30th anniversary of the 1977 championship season,
so the honorees were all recognizable to someone who was 10 that year, the stepson of a Yankee fan (at the time), and a collector of baseball cards. When the introduced Ed Figueroa, I told Shayna I had, like, fifty of his "traded" cards.

We all got collector's pins (above) affixed to special cards (below).

More info on Old Timer's Day at Yankee Stadium here.

By the time the actual game started at 3:50, the sun was behind us, leaving us in shadows. Sure we were in the upper deck, but the views were sweet.

The game was a classic, of sorts. Roger Clemens was on the mound.
He had thrown a gem in his previous start, so I expected to be disappointed. However, he was good, aided by some great fielding. John Lackey, from the Angels, was better, striking out 11 Yankees to Clemens' 3. At the end of the 8th inning, the score was knotted at 1 apiece.

The good pitching continued and Shayna, who has seen more extra-inning games than 9-inning ones, got another doozy.

Unfortunately, Miguel Cairo threw away the game in the top of the 13th inning, committing two errors on one play.

Despite runners on the corners with only one out in the bottom of the 13th, the Bronx Bombers couldn't get anyone across home plate, leaving the crowd disappointed.

An article about the game is here.

On Sunday (July 8), we headed to Paramus to celebrate cousin Alexis' 6th birthday. The party was at the Paramus firehouse and had a movie theme. Check out this cake:

In case you can't tell, the cake was gigantic. Here's another perspective:

After watching Ice Age 2: The Great Meltdown, Jolee and Shayna checked out the firetrucks.

After the party, we were invited by other cousins, Natalia and David Schull, along with their sons Nico and Matt, to join them for swimming at the Mamaroneck Beach and Yacht Club. The kids all had a great time playing together at the pool, and the adults had some nice R&R time. Below, Jolee relaxes (and tries not to pose) at the beach, before we had a nice dinner with the cousins at the club.

After a long day, Grandpa Barry drove us back to Brooklyn and I snapped some pictures from the car:

Quite a weekend. Much busier than most, yet very enjoyable for all!

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