Friday, August 22, 2014

Young and Old

I know everyone wants me to get to the pictures of Gigi and Clyde as soon as possible, so I'll be quick in describing our last trip to D.C for a while. Once again (I feel like I've lived in DC this summer), the upside was seeing lots of friends. While on a rooftop having drinks with Cedar and Rachel and Jon and Alison (after a great outside meal downtown on a strangely temperate day), I was able to have my first Epic brewed especially for the Colorado market. With all apologies to Al Kissane, I have to say that it was surprisingly mild. I'll stick to Copper Cone. I dunno, you'd think Coloradans could handle strongly flavored beers right now given how numbed their tastes buds are. But anyway the views were nice.

To be too brief, Ranita and Sean sure have two cute daughters, though they were practically Paparazzi-proof, and I could only really capture Samaya on film.

Just one warranted rant: we officially need a movement demanding that all bars list the exact size glass each beer is served in. Look, I love Jaleo, and it was one of Mom's favorites, and we had a very fun and delicious meal there with Debbie and Kirk, but how did the 16-ounce '90s American pint glass somehow evolve into this?


At the least, give me an interesting glass, like this divine Stillwater Stateside Saison from Baltimore at Two Amy's. Good pizza, too.

Now onto the Erie Canal, and more specifically Clyde, New York, where J's Dad grew up, where he's restoring his parents' house, and where most years the extended clan gathers on August 15 for the Feast of the Assumption. (I'll spare you the long economic history lecture on the deindustrialization of the region ... Andy Morris, maybe you're up for it.)

Here's Grandma Mary's house on the Canal (see the people gathered).

And the view back across the canal to the traveling carnival. 

And an old house (sadly crumbling) down the street from Grandma Mary's.

J and I spent our anniversary with Gene and Dina and Aunt Mary Anne in Seneca Falls, before Chris and Christine showed up. 

One of the things we like about upstate New York is scampi -- whatever seafood (or chicken) in garlic butter and wine. And one of the things we love is that even when one orders scallops "broiled," as I did on this evening, they still come out looking like scallops scampi.

We didn't have time to visit the Women's Rights National Historical Park, but it was good to see that the legacy of the place lives on downtown.

Mom would have approved our visit to Seneca Falls. After all, I found this going through her stuff. 

The main order of business was the party and fireworks on the 15th -- and of course hanging out with our niece Gigi. None disappointed. Gigi absolutely loves popcorn. I think she ate her weight in it this night.

She ate so much that Gene has just today upgraded the popcorn machine. 

 Gigi loved the fireworks. 

But was a bit more skeptical of her uncle

Gigi likes to say "uh-oh" a lot

And is astonishingly good with an I-phone

{Damn, really, a 100 mb file size limit? Argh. I'll Facebook it, and email me if you want a dropbox.}

And in general, well, she's just really adorable. 

Where did he go?

But ... she did have some competition from Kendall and Steve's Bash, aka the New Kid on the Block.

 Here's Gigi at the carnival, as well.

I have remarkably cute video of the two of them together if anyone wants it (also on Facebook). 

Another highlight of the trip was visiting Grandma Mary in Rochester. She came to this country from Sicily -- through Ellis Island -- in 1915. You read that correctly ... I don't know how many are left who did the same, but she came through Ellis Island before World War I (at which point the immigration gates nearly closed until the 1960s). If you've been doing the math (or if you're a producer for the Today Show), she turns 103 this semester. When Chris and Christine told Gigi that she was going to visit her 102-year-old great-grandmother, all she could say was one of her patented slow "Wow"s.

After our visit Gigi was hungry. When in Rochester, we prefer this place ...


  1. I can throw in some Erie Canal history while I'm at it, if you'd like.

  2. Please do Andy. I own Carol Sheriff's book on the development of the canal but never got around to reading it. What do you know about the CLyde-Lyons-Newark area?