Archive | April, 2012

LA 20 years later

29 Apr

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Not a happy anniversary but I was there 20 years ago, watching the city I had called home for 12 years erupt in flames. I was working in Glendale when the verdict came down, and shortly after the company sent everyone home.  What was normally a 15 minute drive to my apartment in Hollywood took two hours.

The next day a friend and I flew to Hawaii to spread my partner Jim’s ashes.  The road has indeed been long and winding. To have been living in Los Angeles for the AIDS plague and the riots and New York for 9/11 is more than anyone should have in their store of memories, but there are many of us.  Now if I can just get through my life without another monumental catastrophe I’ll be pleased.

Earth Day at Grand Central Station

21 Apr

A little Earth Day excursion to Grand Central Station. The video took longer than the trip.

Video tryout

21 Apr

It’s only been a couple days and already the move off Blogger is rocking. Yes, WordPress charges for everything, including the video upgrade I needed to upload my own videos and audio, but damn, it will be nice to have it all as “mine” and not coming in from YouTube or Libsyn or what-have-you. So let’s check it out. This is the first in a short (few) video series about the garden in Jersey this year.

Andale! Andale! Three yums for Mexican eatery Sinigual (NYC)

21 Apr

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Cross-posted from MadeMark Travel. I won’t do this often but I’m getting used to, and digging, the WordPress platform.

Now that MadeMark Travel is back up, I’ll be putting all my travel, restaurants, reviews and the like here, with some cross-posting. My restaurant ratings are based on a five-yum system, with one being go to McDonald’s instead, and five being you’re not likely to find anything better in the continental U.S.

So here we go . . . I’m not a big fan of Mexican food. It always seems heavy, and I’ve been heavy enough for some years now. Mexican food to me is comfort food in Spanish, and it’s not usually high on my list. But when my partner Frank told me last night we were going to a Mexican restaurant I was glad to hear it. I was hungry, he tends to pick good restaurants, and he didn’t disappoint this time.

Sinigual is part of a chain, or at least it was. Their website has some sort of legal disclaimer at the bottom explaining that the chain has changed hands. But the drop down for cities only lists New York, so maybe it’s a stand-alone now, I don’t know. But it was very good, very high-medium and a definite addition to your list of places to eat.

Located at 41st Street and 3rd Avenue, the restaurant is large, with a sizable bar in front and expensive seating that extends back to an open kitchen. The staff was superb throughout, friendly and attentive to just the right degree. The guacamole is made table-side, something that seems to be a sort of trademark for the place. The food itself is very good. I can’t say gourmet, and I’m sure there are gourmet Mexican restaurants, especially of the nouveau cuisine variety. Frank and our guest Domenque had fish tacos and I had a combination plate with a chili relleno and a chicken enchilada. That’s the thing about standard Mexican food: you don’t often have the opportunity to list something unusual or describe unique flavors. A chicken enchilada is a chicken enchilada.

I’d say go here for the service, decor and atmosphere. It was apparent a lot of people do, since this large restaurant was full. My only strike with the service was that the food came out very quickly, not always a good thing when you’re having a catch-up dinner with someone you haven’t seen in a year. I’d also be sure to ask the price on specials: the “special” drink was a fruity margarita at $14. I’ve noticed in many other places that wait staff will sometimes push specials they know are pricey. Otherwise this is a keeper, especially as a neighborhood place. Three yums. $$+ (that means we paid $170 with tip for three, not a budget-buster but not cheap, especially with $12 “special” margaritas).

Andale! Andale! Three yums for Mexican eatery Sinigual (NYC)

21 Apr

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Now that MadeMark Travel is back up, I’ll be putting all my travel, restaurants, reviews and the like here, with some cross-posting. My restaurant ratings are based on a five-yum system, with one being go to McDonald’s instead, and five being you’re not likely to find anything better in the continental U.S.

So here we go . . . I’m not a big fan of Mexican food. It always seems heavy, and I’ve been heavy enough for some years now. Mexican food to me is comfort food in Spanish, and it’s not usually high on my list. But when my partner Frank told me last night we were going to a Mexican restaurant I was glad to hear it. I was hungry, he tends to pick good restaurants, and he didn’t disappoint this time.

Sinigual is part of a chain, or at least it was. Their website has some sort of legal disclaimer at the bottom explaining that the chain has changed hands. But the drop down for cities only lists New York, so maybe it’s a stand-alone now, I don’t know. But it was very good, very high-medium and a definite addition to your list of places to eat.

Located at 41st Street and 3rd Avenue, the restaurant is large, with a sizable bar in front and expansive seating that extends back to an open kitchen. The staff was superb throughout, friendly and attentive to just the right degree. The guacamole is made table-side, something that seems to be a sort of trademark for the place. The food itself is very good. I can’t say gourmet, and I’m sure there are gourmet Mexican restaurants, especially of the nouveau cuisine variety. Frank and our guest Domenique had fish tacos and I had a combination plate with a chili relleno and a chicken enchilada. That’s the thing about standard Mexican food: you don’t often have the opportunity to list something unusual or describe unique flavors. A chicken enchilada is a chicken enchilada.

I’d say go here for the service, decor and atmosphere. It was apparent a lot of people do, since this large restaurant was full. My only strike with the service was that the food came out very quickly, not always a good thing when you’re having a catch-up dinner with someone you haven’t seen in a year. I’d also be sure to ask the price on specials: the “special” drink was a fruity margarita at $14. I’ve noticed in many other places that wait staff will sometimes push specials they know are pricey. Otherwise this is a keeper, especially as a neighborhood place. Three yums. $$+ (that means we paid $170 with tip for three, not a budget-buster but not cheap, especially with $14 “special” margaritas).

Midnight ride on the ghost bus

21 Apr

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Welcome to the new MadeMark (on WordPress)!

20 Apr

Off Blogger for good and forever. It’s a nice enough platform but I had my issues with Google, who owns them and who treats people as lower than bugs. Forget about disputing something with them. There is no such thing as a dispute with Google, unless you’re Facebook.

I think this site looks cooler anyway, as does MadeMark Photo. And I can’t wait to get Mama Bear lgbtSr.com up and running at a new home. I’ll be using WordPress.org on a third-party host, if that means anything to a reader. WordPress.com is free and doesn’t allow ads, and I’m building an empire here. So welcome! If you were an email subscriber you’ll need to subscribe again. Very sorry! But it’s one of those functions that isn’t portable. Have a great weekend – Mark

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