On The Beach Blog | Off the record, on the QT in WHB, and very hush-hush…

Friday, April 21, 2017

It's all changing, damnit!

And like many of my fellow septuagenarians whose regular activity is often characterized as a grumpy old man standing on his porch shaking his fist and railing against kids playing on his front lawn, I don't think all change is beneficial.

For decades, the sole financial institution in Westhampton Beach was Seaside Bank, prominently located at 154 Main Street (corner of Mill Road), its "exclusivity" protected by a New York State banking law which prohibited another bank from opening a branch in a municipality as long as the sole bank in was a "stand-alone." More...

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Sassy at three years old

This is our little Sassy, short for Sasquach due to her unwillingness to acknowledge her people's personal space (i.e., our feet!) when she first joined us in July 2015.


Her kennel documents list April 19 as her birthday, and we can't do anything about that, so she shares that date with, among other events, Paul Revere's celebrated ride, the uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto, the FBI's murder by fire of scores of religious zealots near Waco, Texas, and Timothy McVey's misguided act of retribution the following year in Oklahoma City.

Little matter... she's a terrific addition to our household.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

April Village Board Meeting

As Jack Benny used to say at the end of his Sunday evening radio programs, "Sorry folks, we're a little late tonight," as an excuse for no further jokes or skits.

Mayor Maria Moore, without excuse or explanation, began tonight's sparsely attended meeting at 7:05 pm, led the Pledge of Allegiance, then began the evening with a Public Hearing regarding Outdoor Displays for John's Pools on Old Riverhead Road.

During the Public Hearing on the 2017-2018 Tentative Village Budget, a question was raised by a local More...

Righting a long ago wrong

Seen on Sunset Avenue opposite Hansen Place:

The new Best Market entrance and exit on Sunset Avenue

There always was a sidewalk cut and access at that More...

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Not my best Wednesday ever!

This is not what I want to see when I pull up to Eckart's for my weekly sausage, egg and cheese wrap!

Eckart's front doorway

I'm prepared for such a disappointment in late December, but not in April! More...

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Timely 'Tonight Show' Rerun...

...through the digital wizardry of YouTube:

Johnny Carson's opening monologue is thin, and a prop sketch with his long-time side man Ed McMahon is flat, but his line-up of guests, Glen Campbell, Don Rickles, Dom DeLuise and Jimmy Breslin, is an odd mix indeed. More...

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Hillary explains it all!

According to failed Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Rodam Clinton, there were four reasons why she lost last November's national election, none of which had anything to do with her.

Hillary Clinton Explains Why She Really Lost to Trump

  1. Russian meddling in the election
  2. FBI Director James Comey's involvement toward the end of the race
  3. WikiLeaks theft of E-mails from her campaign chairman
  4. Misogyny

Where to start? More...

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Patrick Ewing needs hair...

Patrick Ewing

...more than anyone else I've ever seen, 'cause without his locks, he looks like his face is painted on a distressed leather egg.

Though never a member of an NBA Championship team, Ewing was one of the better New York Knicks players over the past 30 years... he was their one successful lottery draft pick (#1 in 1985), having led the Georgetown Hoyas to the NCAA Championship Game three successive times (1982–1985).

This week, he was named Head Coach of his old team.

But man, he's got to do something to get some hair back.

Monday, April 03, 2017

For the first time in my recollection...


...the Los Angeles (née Brooklyn) Dodgers opened a baseball season without the incomparable Vin Scully anouncing the game to his devoted radio and television audiences.

Thanks to the "World Wide Leader in Sports," I was able to watch most of the Dodgers... my Dodgers... opening day demolition of their neighbors down the Coast, More...

Friday, March 31, 2017

I guess this'll have to do...

...for now since ESPN seems determined to do away with one of my Sunday morning viewing staples, "The Sports Reporters," a corporate decision excoriated here two months ago.

The "make-do" show is a re-vamped edition of Friday's Bob Ley-hosted "Outside the Lines," subtitled "The Friday Four." More...

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

How does a bill like this even get...

...to the President's desk for his signature to become law? This is horrendous!

Congress votes to wipe out landmark internet privacy protections

"Congress sent proposed legislation to President Donald Trump on Tuesday that wipes away landmark online privacy protections...."

This is a blunder of Patagonian proportions! More...

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Since Southampton Town was willing...

...to meet me halfway, I went to Hampton Bays this evening for a Town Board meeting at the Hampton Bays Community Center on upper Ponquogue Avenue.

(Given the advancing decreptitude of the actual Town Hall in Southampton, this is something the Town fathers and mothers might consider doing on a regu­lar basis... are ya running with me, Jay?)

The Town Board

I had deemed that my 2015 Property Tax assessment for the ole family homestead was too high. More...

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

You can call me a big baby...

...if you want, but listening to and watching the man sing makes me feel like crying, so I was misty-eyed during PBS' showing of "Roy Orbison: Black & Night 30" this past weekend.

(PBS [Channel 13] is reprising the 90-minute concert at 1:30 am Wednesday... set your DVR timer.)

Recorded on September 30, 1987 at the Ambassador Hotel's Cocoanut Grove in Los Angeles, Orbison was supported by an extraordinary array of talent, from Bruce Spring­steen and Elvis Costello to Bonnie Rait and k.d. lang, plus Elvis Presley's reformed TCB Band. More...

Sunday, March 19, 2017

I'm not ashamed to admit that...

...we slipped off a barstool together a few times back in the early '70s while imbibing in a pre-Magic's Pub then known as Shotwell's Pump.

Jimmy Breslin, who died today from pneumonia, age 88, used to Summer in Quiogue in the late '60s/early '70s, and liked to get his drinking done at 112 Main Street.

They were good afternoons, as he was an eminently lis­ten­able raconteur... the rhythms of his Ozone Park-accented speech were those of his writing even if his words weren't, evidence for me that he worked diligently on his columns and books. More...

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Chuck Berry (1926-2017)

I just did a quick inventory of my personal rock 'n' roll experiences, and dating back to the Summer of 1957, I think I've seen Chuck Berry, clownish "duck walk" in­cluded, more than any other entertainer ever.

From the "Big Alan Freed Rock 'n' Roll Shows" at the Brooklyn Fox and the Brooklyn Paramount, to 1988 when he did a show at the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton with a pick-up band backing him, one which included Matt Mangas on rhythm guitar. More...

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Sabina still at it

It was pretty clear who had authored the story, if not the headline as well, when it showed up on my Google news­feed for Westhampton Beach this morning:

Westhampton Free Library Board of Self-Appointed Trustees Meeting Wednesday, March 15, 7 pm

Yup, the perennially disgrunted-with-the-Westhampton-Free-Library Sabina Trager, crusader for a democratically-elected Board of Trustees. More...

Monday, March 13, 2017

Seriously P.O.'d!

It'll come as scant surprise to anyone who knows me that one of my all-time top broadcast television series is "Law & Order" (NBC 1990-2010), and while I never missed a first-run episode, I'm still a sucker for re-runs ever since the mid-'90s when it went into syndication on cable, first on A&E, then Sun­dance, TNT, WE tv and WGN America.

I've likely seen each of the 456 "L&O" episodes five-six times, and am so familiar with them that if I doze off during one of the late afternoon showings, upon awak­en­ing I immediately know exactly where I am in the nar­ra­tive and, effectively, nothing has been missed. More...

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Not any sort of inducement...

...to make The Mill Roadhouse a regular stop on my watering hole circuit... as if I still had one!


It is nowhere recorded what Southampton Press photo­grapher Erin McKinley said to her subjects before she snapped the photo, but the young woman (2nd right) seems to have gone into her Miley Cyrus mode.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

A trio of truly terrible people...

...who've thoughtfully assembled together for a group photograph:


The occasion was, of course, the President's first address to Congress last week. More...

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Helluva (Unsung) Team

I didn't finish researching this during "Black History Month," but when NFL Network (Cable 219) aired "Forgotten Four," about a quartet of players who broke the color barrier in professional football, it had a photo of three members of the 1939 UCLA football team...

l-r: Woody Strode, Jackie Robinson and Kenny Washington

...the middle one, wearing #28 and perhaps not immedi­ate­ly recognizable without his celebrated #42, is a historic figure, Jackie Robinson. More...

Monday, March 06, 2017

Too Much! Way too often!

Loudmouth Samuel L.Jackson

It's called "over-exposure," and for the past several years the number one on that list has been Samuel L. Jackson, so loud and strident with his intrusive Capital One demand, "What's in your wallet?" that I find myself reflexively responding "None of your freaking business, you gigantic anus!"

(Of course, that's the expurgated version.) More...

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Best Market pricing update

No surprises here... a marked disparity in sales pricing between Best in Westhampton Beach and Riverhead.

February 24-to-March 2's most blatant examples:

Sale Item Advertised in each Flyer1190111978
85% Lean Ground Turkey, 28.8 oz.2 for $5.00$2.79 each
Almond Breeze Almond Milk2 for $5.002 for $6.00
Calavo Fresh Hass Avocados99¢ ea.4 for $5.00
Premium Sweet Strawberries, 16 oz.2 for $3.00$2.99 each

Strawberries almost 100% higher in Westhampton Beach?

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Schaap: fill-in/audition, or preview...

...if the latter, it is furiously to be desired!

Last month when cable ESPN announced that, after 29 years, it was canceling "The Sports Reporters," OtBB had something to say about it.

Bench Mike Lupica and bring in Jeremy Schaap, exactly what was done for today's edition.

(Not surprising, The NY Post's Page Six also hung it around Lupica's neck, but then it must be remem­ber­ed that Lupica's by-line has always appeared in a competing New York City tabloid.) More...

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Here's an excellent example of...

...how the mainstream media lies, the current case in point courtesy of tonight's edition of "CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley"

In the second segment, Pelley introduced correspondent Margaret Brennan from The White House:

"Margaret, there was some confusion today on immigration. The President said one thing and then his Homeland Security Secretary rushed out and said another."

Brennan: More...

Comedy Tonight: the other shoe falleth

Okay, so last night was a "shake down cruise," the maiden voyage of comedy at The Claddagh, and while I have no idea what sort of capacity the Fire Marshal established for the place, it seemed pretty near capacity.

That is to say, I think the launch was a successful one... Jeanne certainly enjoyed herself, and it seemed the rest of the crowd did as well.

And for good reason: two of the comedians, Jack Simmons and especially Peter Bales, in the parlance of their trade­craft, "killed." More...

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Comedy Tonight...

...and no it's not some $90-a-seat-in-the-back-balcony at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center.

(But then it's not Lewis Black or Ron White, either!)

It's at The Claddagh Restaurant and Tap Room (née Papa Joe's) tonight at 8:00 pm, and features Jack Simmons, Peaches Rodriguez and Peter Bales, not exactly "head­liners" but the funniest acts in a local barroom since Billy Thorne went on a quacking rant last Summer!

We'll give it a shot because Jeanne loves this type of thing, #1, and, #2, I've had several good meals there and want to see them succeed.

Monday, February 20, 2017

After a great start, Best Market...

...is sending an unfortunate signal that while Wald­baum's/A&P may be gone, one of their more onerous and odious policies lives on at 70 Sunset Avenue.

(Calling Dot Berdinka, Kay Frankfurt and Joanna Ferraro-Levy! We can't call it "CRAAP" anymore... maybe "CRABY?" )

I recall the suits in Montvale, NJ referred to it as "zone pricing," by which shoppers at the Westhampton Beach store pay a chunk more than those who travel 8¼ miles to buy the identical item at the Best on Route 58. More...

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Makes me freakin' nuts!

Rather than curse the darkness, Jeanne went out and bought a 2-pack of Silvania LED bulbs...

Rediculously oversized packaging

...at BJ's (@ $12.99 + sales tax) for the light by her television chair where she reads her periodicals while I'm watching anything that disinterests her... which is just about everything since "Justified" went off the air. More...

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

One down, but more need to go!

Most up-lifting news of the week:

Syndicated Entertainment Veteran 'The Insider' to End

"Hosted by Debbie Matenopoulos and Louis Aguirre, the CBS Television Distribution series will wrap on a to-be-determined date in early- or mid-September. Staff, including correspondents Michael Yo and Keltie Knight, were informed of the decision during a Tuesday morning meeting."

Hard-and-fast rule @ chez Speir: no information/news shows with muzak-esque soundtracks... ever!

With the sunsetting of "The Insider," "Access Holly­wood," "Entertainment Tonight" and "Extra" can't be far behind!

If there's any mercy left in this universe!

Friday, February 03, 2017

How they dealt with Muslim fanatics...

...in the old days, if Hollywood history is at all accurate.

I love old movies, especially the ones from my youth, and I disremember in which "oater" I first heard this, but I've never forgotten it as it speaks directly to consumption:

"Indians boil the buffalo hooves."

(i.e., nothing is wasted; when they kill an animal, it's not just for the meat and the hide.) More...

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Stunning Irony in Successionist California

I was still reeling from the unresolved (then as now) murder of President John F. Kennedy when student unrest, then upheavals, became national news in 1964 and 1965. At that time, such activism was widely considered a "Euro­pean thing," virtually unknown in the United States.

That, of course, all changed with the emergence of student protest leaders like Mark Rudd at Columbia University and, in 1964, Mario Savio at University of California, Berkeley in what was called the "Free Speech Movement." More...