New York: A new appreciation for the Brooklyn Bridge

Walking across NYC’s Brooklyn Bridge has been my favorite mode of transportation for a very long time.

Here’s why I love it so much.

Only bad thing about doing that when you’re in a hurry is that you don’t have time to really stop and take a look.

Recently, I had that rare opportunity. Seeing it through the lens of a real camera (not my iPhone this time), I was even more awestruck.

brooklyn bridge1

Manhattan BridgeAlso got the Manhattan Bridge and the Empire State Building in the bargain.

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Why I love New York: Reason Number 6,432

New York. It’s all about …

meatball obsession

new york cake

The Nosh.

new york drama

The Drama.

new york humanityThe Tidal Wave of Humanity.

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Rendezvous with mysterious guy on NYC trip

Can’t wait to meet this guy! We have a date to rendezvous at a NYC apartment when I’m there for my next photography class. The details:

The apartment has a Neato (he is a smart house cleaning robot) on duty. If you would like to have Neato clean your room, leave your door widely open … Please put your suitcase and shoes to the wall and don’t leave any shopping bags on the floor. Otherwise, Neato may get trapped!

He might be great in a demo, but I’ll make sure I stick around and see how he does in real life.

If he aces that,  I now know how to kidnap him and spirit him home … It’s curtains for him!
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NYC: Neiman-Marcus, and such a deal!

So I pack light to stay over in New York for a photography course I’m taking. It’s June and schvitzy in Pennsylvania. A little overcast, but I still figure I don’t need an umbrella.

When I emerge from the train station in Manhattan, the weather is more late fall than late spring. Plus it’s drizzling.

By the time I’m done with class, I look like I’ve just gotten out of the shower. Manage to get my mitts on  the last umbrella at the closest drugstore.

Still frozen the next day. So where to find a hoodie among all the bikinis and sunglasses?

neiman marcus

Ta-Da. There it was. Neiman Marcus Last Call. Whatever that meant.

I was told it wasn’t an outlet; it was the floor between the bargain basement and the retail store. Not exactly true.

The prices were still Needless Markup. But not quite as marked up as the real store. I was desperate.

neiman marcus me

So my new hoodie is toasty, and it’s got a real Neiman-Marcus label inside. What more could a gal ask for on a crummy autumn day in June?

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Why you should visit a part of France you’ve never heard of

Thinking about going to France this summer? Or hiking the Appalachian trail? How about both?

It’s possible in a real piece of France you’ve probably never heard of. And if you live in North America, you don’t need to cross an ocean. It’s closer to the Empire State Building than the Eiffel Tower.

The latest from Planet Lippstone in The Huffington Post.


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Deadly derailment won’t keep me off Amtrak

Glad that Amtrak service is back on track between Philadelphia and New York. As it’s always been for me.

I’ve been riding that route since before the guy who was at the controls during that deadly derailment in Philadelphia was born. It was how I juggled two TV news writing jobs in Philadelphia and Manhattan.

lancaster1Now it’s my gateway to NYC and the rest of the world.

amtrak books

My station in Lancaster, Pa., has been undergoing some overdue 21st Century refurbishing. But a quirk from the last century remains. An impromptu book rack offering a freebie to take along for the ride. How quaint can you get?

Over the years, I’ve gotten used to the view from the train, such as it is. Mostly skeletons of abandoned stores and factories, and some still belching air with a slight sting to it. With little bursts of civilization. A faint glimpse of my alma mater, Temple University, in the Philadelphia distance. Folks and dogs in back yards. Or shopping at Lowe’s.

I took the same kind of trip from San Diego to L.A. Except for the tracks meandering thrillingly close to the Pacific Ocean, like some amusement park ride, it was essentially the same gritty view.

After all this time, I’ve never felt in jeopardy, because there was never any reason to. Never experienced anything more than some downed wires during a thunderstorm.

It certainly was unnerving to read that better safety precautions might have prevented the Philadelphia tragedy, and the engineer professed to not knowing what happened.

But that’s not going to stop me or the thousands of others who rely on Amtrak every day.

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Let’s Paws: Happy Mother’s Day, to me

ginger and me 2Me and Ginger, my old girl baby dachshund, who’s approaching her 19th year. That would make her somewhere in the neighborhood of 85, at least.

This is a common sight morning, noon and night, though Mitch selflessly takes over the night shift. It’s much more expedient to carry her outside to do her stuff.

I may be mom, but make no mistake, Ginger is the wise one.

Among many other things, she’s taught me the joys of:

White Castle sliders for breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between.

Lebanon bologna (never encountered this radioactive-smelling slop before moving to the central part of PA), which she thinks is as lip-smackin’ good as filet mignon. Only for you, Ginger, would I get anywhere near the stuff.

— Grazing and rolling around in the grass.

— Generally being puppefied — as in, reverting back to being a 3-year-old, if only for a few moments.

Every day she’s with us is a blessing. So glad I’m your mom, precious girl.

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