Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I want to go everywhere I haven't been, and back to everywhere I have been.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

THE POND: CENTRAL PARK, NYC





The Pond in Central Park is an oasis in the middle of New York City | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


 Would you rather be a big fish in a small pond,
or little fish in a big pond?

Both can be good, depending on the situation, of course. 


There are times when it's good to be anonymous........
lost in a sea of people;
and other times when the close-knit community 
where everyone knows your name feels just right.

I'm grateful to have the best of both worlds........
I live in a small town,
but have easy access to New York City 
when I need some cultural stimulation. 


 As much as I love the Big Apple, it can be overbearing. 
The traffic, hordes of people, and honking horns can all be a bit too much. 
Thankfully, if you know where to look,
there are oases to be found right in the heart of the city, 

In the southeast corner of Central Park, 
just off Fifth Avenue and Central Park South
is a pretty little pond, called...........
The Pond.  
New Yorkers are nothing if not clever. 😉

Although buses and taxis are whizzing by just above,
it's a surprisingly peaceful and quiet sanctuary situated below street level, 
with Manhattan's skyscrapers looming overhead. 

Last week, I had an hour to kill before meeting my BFF 
for our annual joint birthday celebration.
I ducked into the park and made my way to The Pond.
 It was late afternoon, and fall was just starting to show its colors.

At first, I admired The Pond from above,
while standing on Gapstow Bridge,
and then I made my way down to sea level. 

I'm quite fond of The Pond.


The Pond in Central Park is an oasis in the middle of New York City | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes





The Pond in Central Park is an oasis in the middle of New York City | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


The Pond in Central Park is an oasis in the middle of New York City | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


The Pond in Central Park is an oasis in the middle of New York City | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


The Pond in Central Park is an oasis in the middle of New York City | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


The Pond in Central Park is an oasis in the middle of New York City | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
Gapstow Bridge

The Pond in Central Park is an oasis in the middle of New York City | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


The Pond in Central Park is an oasis in the middle of New York City | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


The Pond in Central Park is an oasis in the middle of New York City | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


The Pond in Central Park is an oasis in the middle of New York City | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


The Pond in Central Park is an oasis in the middle of New York City | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes





PS: I will announce the winner of my giveaway in the next post!

 Linking With:
Take Me Away
Through My Lens 
 Our World Tuesday

 


Friday, October 26, 2018

BEST OF THE WEEKEND 10.26.18





Hey, Hey friends!
Welcome to Best of the Weekend!

Thanks to everyone who sent their good wishes about our pup, Sadie.......
She had her stitches removed this week, 
and was given a clean bill of health!  

We're getting ready for a nor'easter tomorrow.
Thankfully, it will be rain and not snow. 
I'm worried about the trees uprooting........
A huge tree fall in our backyard last weekend 
because the ground is so saturated. 
Fingers crossed, and hoping everyone who is in the path of the storm stays safe.

Tomorrow will be a good day to hunker down,
and browse through all the BOTW links!
Let's start the party!

 ****************  
Now that I have changed the focus of my blog to travel,
I'd LOVE to see more travel posts linked up here!

But of course, we feature all kinds of posts -- 
 recipes, home decor, DIY, gardening, travel, whatevah!
so link up your best stuff! 

Non-Bloggers: There are hundreds of fabulous ideas collected here each week;
just click on the links under the thumbnail photos,
and you will be taken directly to the blog post.  

All of our features are pinned to our Best of the Weekend board! 





 



Last Week's Most Clicked:


Apple Pie Cake Bites | This Happy Mommy




A Few Of My Favorites:



Blueberry Muffin Smoothie | Three Boys & A Dog


 Cheesy Vegan Gluten Free Orzo Stuffed Peppers | Strength & Sunshine




Painted Pumpkin Topiaries With Copper Elements | Interior Frugalista



My Craft Studio Before & After Tour | Celebrating Everyday Life






 If you were featured, grab our **NEW** button!





Please share your links!
 

Monday, October 22, 2018

24 HOURS IN ASBURY PARK, NJ - - AND A GIVEAWAY!





Asbury Park regularly finds itself on many of NJ's "Best" lists. Now I know why! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes



Quick - tell me, what's the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Asbury Park?

Would you say.............


1). The beach and boardwalk
2). Salt water taffy
3). Bruce Springsteen
4). I never think of / heard of Asbury Park.


Without a doubt, the first thing that comes to my mind is Bruce Springsteen. The boardwalk, beach, and taffy quickly follow, but The Boss is Boss.......know what I mean?

As a born and bred Jersey girl, perhaps I take it for granted that people equate the seaside town of Asbury with Bruce Springsteen. To many folks, the two go together like Bogey and Bacall.......paper and pencil........wine and cheese.  After all, his first album was called "Greetings From Asbury Park." 


Asbury Park regularly finds itself on many of NJ's "Best" lists. Now I know why! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


I can't remember the last time I was in Asbury. I'm guessing that it was sometime in high school or college......yikes, maybe even earlier than that, when I was still in braces and pigtails! I did see Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes in concert -- was it at Asbury's Convention Hall? Possibly. Regardless, it's been so long that it felt like I was going for the first time. 

For many years, Asbury Park was not considered a go-to destination along New Jersey's 130 miles of shore line because........well.......to be blunt........it was seedy. In recent years, however, the town where Springsteen cut his musical teeth has seen a tremendous revival, and now regularly finds itself on many of NJ's "Best" lists. Don't be surprised if your uber-hipster friend from Brooklyn brags about the weekend she just spent in Asbury Park.

Asbury Park regularly finds itself on many of NJ's "Best" lists. Now I know why! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


Our reason for traveling down to Asbury in late September was to attend a Melanie
concert. Remember her from the 60s and 70s

 "I've got a brand new pair of roller skates.....
You've got a brand new key......." 

Or how about........

"Look what they've done to my song, Ma.......
Look what they've done to my song......."

If you recall those songs, I can guarantee that you'll be humming them for the next three days. You're welcome. Or I'm sorry.........whichever is more appropriate.

This little road trip came about in a funny way. Earlier in September, we walked by a restaurant close to home, surprised to see that Melanie was performing there on that very night. We stood outside, hemming and hawing about whether to get last-minute tickets. I'm not sure if the hems or the haws won, but we didn't go in.  Almost immediately, Mr. GS wished we had.  He fretted; I googled. Lo and behold, Melanie was appearing a few weeks later in Asbury Park. We bought tickets, booked a hotel room, and lined up the dog sitter.  

A week before the concert, I started tracking the weather. It put me in a cranky mood, as it looked like we were going to be in for a complete washout. Let's be honest, here. For Mr. GS, the priority was to see Melanie. Me? I was more interested in seeing Asbury (not that I wasn't looking forward to seeing Melanie -- I was!). But raining on my Asbury Park parade would put a real damper on our excursion.

Convention Hall, Asbury Park  | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #ConventionHall


We set off on a cloudy Thursday morning, and halfway down the Garden State Parkway, the skies brightened. By the time we arrived, the sun was shining, as was my mood. 😎

Our reservations were at The Asbury, a super-trendy new-ish hotel. Clearly, we're not the target demographic, but simply staying there would up our "cool" factor, no?

The friendly millennial who checked us in asked what brought us to Asbury Park. "The Melanie concert."  A weak smile and his unconvincing "Oh, cool!" response made me want to say, "Yeah, I'm old enough be your mother. Wanna see my AARP card? Huh? HUH?" There were some other baby-boomers milling about the lobby. They'd know who Melanie is, that's for sure. More than likely, that's why they were there.
The Asbury, an uber-hip hotel, Asbury Park  | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes # Convention Hall


This was not your grandma's hotel lobby.......

The Asbury, an uber-hip hotel, Asbury Park  | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes # Convention Hall

The Asbury, an uber-hip hotel, Asbury Park  | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes # Convention Hall


The hotel bartender probably cards you to make sure you're over 21 but under 40 to sit at the bar.

The Asbury, an uber-hip hotel, Asbury Park  | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes # Convention Hall


Kidding aside.......we felt totally welcomed and comfortable at The Asbury.

One might say the room was spare - others would call it contemporary.  Bottom line is, the bed was comfy and the bathroom was spotless. The rum body wash, peppermint shampoo and cilantro hair conditioner whet my shower appetite. Yum yum. Time for lunch.

The Asbury, an uber-hip hotel, Asbury Park  | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes # Convention Hall


You know me, guys........I was itching to get out and explore. The beach and boardwalk were only a block away, right at the entry to the renowned Asbury Park Convention Hall.

Convention Hall, Asbury Park  | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #ConventionHall

Convention Hall, Asbury Park  | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #ConventionHall

Convention Hall, Asbury Park  | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #ConventionHall


The interior of the Convention Hall houses a theater (Springsteen's band has practiced there), as well as a bunch of cute restaurants and shops.  My first order of business was to buy a box of the Jersey shore's world-famous salt-water taffy. I'm going to give it away to one of you (details below)!

Convention Hall, Asbury Park  | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #ConventionHall


Carla Gizzi At The Beach is a fabulous store inside Convention Hall, stuffed to the gills with interesting items. I knew I wasn't going to leave without buying one of the plaques with Bruce's song lyrics. Trouble was, I couldn't make up my mind, because every one of them has been a part of my being for decades.  Ultimately, I decided on 'Cause Tramps Like Us, Baby We Were Born To Run, a line from my favorite Springsteen album. Ten seconds after leaving the store, I was sure I made a mistake. Should I have gotten When They Said Sit Down, I Stood Up? Or, Talk About A Dream, Try to Make It Real? Maybe I'll order another one. Or two. I still can't decide.


Carla Gizzi At The Beach - a fabulous shop in Asbury Park, NJ | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes



It was an unexpected treat to have lunch outside at Langosta Lounge on the boardwalk, considering that just yesterday, I thought I'd be sloshing around in my Hunter rain boots.  

Asbury Park regularly finds itself on many of NJ's "Best" lists. Now I know why! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


The day was so unexpectedly lovely and mild, that we regretted not packing our beach chairs. The boardwalk's benches would do very nicely, though.

Ah, the ocean! Just to look at it does us a world of good!

"It ain't no sin to be glad you're alive."

Asbury Park regularly finds itself on many of NJ's "Best" lists. Now I know why! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


As we strolled the boardwalk, I could feel Bruce Springsteen's presence everywhere.

"Did you hear the cops finally busted Madam Marie
for tellin' fortunes better than they do...."

Madam Marie's  in Asbury Park, NJ | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


Even with its revitalization, echos of the past were loud and clear. The dilapidated Asbury Casino marks a ghostly end to the main section of the boardwalk.
 
Asbury Park regularly finds itself on many of NJ's "Best" lists. Now I know why! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


"The boys from the casino dance with their shirts open
like Latin lovers on the shore."

Asbury Park regularly finds itself on many of NJ's "Best" lists. Now I know why! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

  
The painted ponies have long been gone from the carousel house.

Asbury Park regularly finds itself on many of NJ's "Best" lists. Now I know why! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


Asbury Park regularly finds itself on many of NJ's "Best" lists. Now I know why! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


Just a block off the boardwalk is an area called The Circuit. Back in the day, it was known for hot rodders and motorcycles, but when we were there, it was pretty quiet.  

"The Circuit's lined and jammed with chrome invaders."

Some of Asbury Park's most iconic landmarks can be found along the circuit.......

The Wonder Bar, a popular nightclub and restaurant, has hosted musical legends like Bon Jovi, Clarence Clemmons, and of course, Bruce Springsteen. Had we brought Sadie, we could have taken her to Yappy Hour, where she could hang out with other pups in the large, outdoor fenced-in area. I wonder if she'd like a strawberry "dogquiri?"

The Wonder Bar, Asbury Park, NJ  | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #TheWonderBar


Just around the corner is Asbury Lanes. It ain't just bowling balls......it's also a concert venue, and has a pretty cool diner, too. I regret not going inside to take a peek. Hungry? Order a pork roll waffle sandwich, and then engage in New Jersey's ultimate debate  -- do you call it pork roll or taylor ham (this NJ native goes with the latter).

Asbury Lanes,  Asbury Park, NJ  | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #AsburyLanes


The most famous landmark of all is The Stone Pony, where Bruce Springsteen got his start. It's been said that he still shows up there every now and then. Can you IMAGINE? I'd faint on the spot. Bon Jovi, the other Jersey boy, has played there, too.

The Stone Pony,  Asbury Park, NJ  | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #StonePony


With my mind filled with Springsteen lyrics, I almost forgot the reason we came! It was time for Melanie, and my brain switched gears as I got dressed to go.

Tim McCloone's Supper Club is an intimate venue, holding just a few hundred people. Melanie walked right by us, as she made her way to the stage.

The best part of the concert was when she talked about her experience playing at Woodstock. She later wrote a song about the famed music festival, which became one of her biggest hits.

Lay down, lay down, lay it all down,
Let your white birds birds smile up at the ones who stand and frown.

Forgive the terrible photo quality, but this picture is, in fact, the reason we were in Asbury to begin with.




In the morning, the weather was gloomy. We headed into the business district about a mile down the road, and had a cozy breakfast at Toast, before heading home. 

I know I say this about pretty much everywhere I go, but I felt such a strong connection with Asbury Park. I can't say that it would affect everyone in this way, but I felt Asbury. Maybe it's the Jersey girl in me; maybe it's some latent childhood memories that struggled to find their way to the surface of my brain; maybe it's Springsteen's lyrical references to Asbury that I know so well. I dunno. All I can tell you is that something about Asbury Park tugged at my soul. It felt like home. Is that weird?


Asbury Park regularly finds itself on many of NJ's "Best" lists. Now I know why! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


Asbury Park regularly finds itself on many of NJ's "Best" lists. Now I know why! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


Although one can feel the ghosts of its former days, I'm pretty sure Asbury Park's glory days lie ahead.

Asbury Park regularly finds itself on many of NJ's "Best" lists. Now I know why! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


If you'd like to be entered in my saltwater taffy giveaway, simply leave me a comment below!  I'll pull names out of a hat to determine the winner. No comments, no giveaway, and I'll have to eat it all myself. I hope it doesn't come to that.  




RESOURCES
The Asbury (Hotel)

Langosta Lounge (restaurant)
Carla Gizzi At The Beach (shop)
Tim McCloone's Supper Club (restaurant and concert venue)
Toast (restaurant)






Asbury Park regularly finds itself on many of NJ's "Best" lists. Now I know why! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes



LINKING WITH:
Best Of The Weekend