Tag Archives: fried potato joy

Vincent D’Onofrio is the Answer

Sometimes Vincent D’Onofrio is the answer.

Slim Bone Head Volt, feat. Vincent D'Onofrio and Dana Lyn
Slim Bone Head Volt, feat. Vincent D’Onofrio and Dana Lyn

I find that my mood darkens with the shorter days and often by December I’m rather unpleasant to be around. I’ve learned ways to fight it, which are usually only semi-successful. This year I had not only the lack of light to contend with, but also new triggers brought about by events that happened this time last year and a workload that has been more stressful than usual.

Then last week I saw that Vincent D’Onofrio will be releasing a spoken word punk album in the spring. I fell down one of those internet rabbit holes and learned that he would be performing in NYC in a few days and that tickets were just $20. I’ve had a long-standing fascination with Vincent D’Onofrio. I’m pretty sure I watched every episode of Law and Order: Criminal Intent when I was pregnant and, more recently, I was so disturbed after watching Chained that I couldn’t sleep. His monologues in The Pawn Shop Chronicles made the movie. He completely inhabits the characters he plays and exudes an intense undercurrent that is compelling to watch.

I mentioned the performance to my family who encouraged me to go. I hemmed and hawed because of the expense. I wondered about my sanity in wanting to go to NYC for a matter of hours to see Vincent D’Onofrio perform spoken-word punk. And then I remembered that my sanity was already questionable and said, fuck it, and ordered tickets and reserved two seats on Megabus.

View of the Susquehanna River from I-95, on the Megabus
View of the Susquehanna River from I-95, on the Megabus

So on Saturday morning WPT and I headed to White Marsh to catch the bus to NYC. We learned that if there is space you can switch buses for a nominal fee, so we boarded an earlier bus and were on our way north.

Peanut and Avocado sushi
Peanut and Avocado sushi

We were early and decided to walk from the bus stop (at 28th) up to Russian Samovar (52nd) where were we meeting a friend. Along the way we stopped at Sushi Osaka because they have one of my favorite rolls ever – avocado and peanut. This was wise, as the rest of the day would only offer vodka, olives, and fried potato products. I’ve written about the Russian Samovar previously and for many reasons it is my favorite bar. My friend arrived and we graduated from shots to carafes of horseradish vodka.

Russian Samovar
Russian Samovar

Somewhere around 6pm we stumbled into a cab. We assume this is where WPT lost his hat. I’ve learned that any trip to NYC takes a little something. At least this time it wasn’t a phone screen or wallet. We arrived at Joe’s Pub and found our seats. Yet more fried potato products were consumed.

Slim Bone Head Volt, feat. Vincent D'Onofrio and Dana Lyn
Slim Bone Head Volt, feat. Vincent D’Onofrio and Dana Lyn

Sitting in the dimly lit theater I realized how light my mood was. A spontaneous trip to NYC with WPT, getting to see a good friend, and now listening Vincent D’Onofrio talk about his imaginary friend and describe a hamster’s world view was exactly what I needed to get past the hump of the darkest days of the year. It wasn’t the answer I expected to find.

Slim Bone Head Volt, feat. Vincent D'Onofrio and Dana Lyn
Slim Bone Head Volt, feat. Vincent D’Onofrio and Dana Lyn
Slim Bone Head Volt, feat. Vincent D'Onofrio and Dana Lyn
Slim Bone Head Volt, feat. Vincent D’Onofrio and Dana Lyn

After the show was over we had a bit of time before we needed to head over to 34th and 11th to catch the bus back to Baltimore. Our first stop was the Little Lebowski Shop (I needed a new t-shirt; five isn’t enough apparently), then onto Generation Records. We boarded a little before 10:30pm and were soon fast asleep, lulled by the road noise and the fulfillment of a perfect, ridiculous quest.

The Little Lebowski Store, East Village
The Little Lebowski Store, East Village
Washington Square Park, East Village
Washington Square Park, East Village

Daytrips from Baltimore: Of Chips and Childhood

Utz Factory Outlet, Hanover, PA
Utz Factory Outlet, Hanover, PA

This past winter the weather settled into a pattern of snowing on Sunday nights and the city shutting down on Monday. The first snow day or two were great, but then I started having to go into work instead of hunkering down and enjoying Mother Nature’s get out of work free card. On one such Sunday, we decided to get out of Baltimore for a few hours before the storm hit. The sky was leaden as we headed north. We were somewhere around Westminster, near the state line, when our inner 12-year-olds began to take hold.

Utz Factory Outlet, Hanover, PA
Utz Factory Outlet, Hanover, PA

An hour north of the city, in Hanover, PA, sits the Utz Factory. We decided that if was going to snow, that we might as well stock up on snacks. Wouldn’t want to resort to cannibalism, right? It was a spontaneous trip, so we didn’t plan around the factory tours, but we did walk into the Utz Factory Outlet and for people with a fried potato fetish the angels sang as the doors opened. Potato chips everywhere. <weeping with joy>

Can you hear the angels singing? I can.
Can you hear the angels singing? I can.

Our single basket silently morphed into two baskets. Restraint…What? Why? We were on a fried potato binge that had no bottom. No 12-step reform. And this was a bender we could take the 8-year-old on with us. We found tortilla chips, potato sticks, pretzels, popcorn, chips with olive oil, chips with voodoo seasoning. And when you check out they give you MORE potato chips. We joyously filled the back of our car with oily, salty carbohydrates.

Timeline Arcade
Timeline Arcade

From there we headed just down the street to Timeline Arcade, an arcade in an old bank building. When I was a kid I loved going to the arcade. I didn’t have a home gaming system, I had “my” Food Spot (local minute-mart) and its rotation of games (Joust, Wizards and Warlocks, Asteroid). The Food Spot near the flea market had Galaga and on weekends I honed my skills. There was also a game room in Miami I loved, despite that incident with the air hockey puck. As video games became personal arcade games began to disappear, but Timeline is a classic arcade and better yet, it has classic games.

WPT and Q*bert at Timeline Arcade
WPT and Q*bert at Timeline Arcade

For an hour or so, WPT, Garnet, and I were all children. We played everything from Galaga to Q*bert to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to The Simpsons to Tetris (I didn’t even know there was an arcade version!). They have games I haven’t seen since grade school and they are in great working condition. They also have pinball machines and old home gaming systems connected to TVs. It was like a living, breathing museum to geeky childhoods.

Timeline Arcade
Timeline Arcade

You pay a flat rate to play by the half-hour or can get an all-day pass. We wanted to stay longer, but the snow was on the way, so we piled back into the car and headed south.

Timeline Arcade
Timeline Arcade

We spent months working our way through the chip stash.

For the record, these pair perfectly with decent scotch
For the record, these pair perfectly with decent scotch

Timeline Arcade
22 Carlisle Street, Hanover, PA 17331
Phone: 717-634-2600
Website: http://timelinearcade.net/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/timelinearcade
Admission: $5.00 each 1/2 hour, $9.00 each hour, $25 all day
Hours: Mon – Thurs: 12:00 p.m – 11:00 p.m., Fri – Sat: 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m., Sun: 2 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Utz Factory Outlet
900 High Street, Hanover, PA  17331
Phone: 717-637-6644
Website: http://utzsnacks.com/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Utz-Factory-Outlet-Store/263901810398438
Hours: Mon – Sat: 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., Sun: 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

So do  these.
So do these.