Tag Archives: New York

Throwback Thursday: these 1988 commercials for Carvel Ice Cream and Genovese!

I am linking here to the Youtube channel Hugo Faces, which is a treasure trove of 1980’s local television clips for Long Island and elsewhere.  That Carvel ad is as priceless as it is cheesy.

These aired on WCBS.



Throwback Thursday: High School Politician Nolan!

This is from 1988 — it was my speech when I ran for president of the International Student Organization at Longwood High School.

I even had buttons made up.  I was quite the extrovert back in those days (and a nerd too, in case you hadn’t noticed).  But I wasn’t exactly Marcus Antonius, even if I wanted to be.

Note the use of a dot matrix printer!  😀



309162849_441969001369879_7080087931337443816_n - Copy

309746373_622387785997947_7297305155408286612_n - CopyB

Throwback Thursday: Adventureland in Farmingdale, NY!

My 6th grade classmates and I would have gone to Adventureland even before this ad was made.  (I am linking here to Jay Lifton’s Youtube channel; he writes that this ad aired around 1987 … my friends and I went there after graduating from grade school into middle school.)

I’ll never forget the fun we had.  I rode The Gravitron!  But those giant rotating swings — the kind you can find at just about any carnival — were my favorite.

Adventureland is still around.  It hit its 60th birthday this year.

Tragically, Wikimedia informs me that there were two ride-related deaths — which really surprises me, because I remember the rides as being pretty tame stuff.  Both deaths occurred within a week of each other in 2005, and the details are pretty horrifying.  Wow.



Throwback Thursday: My 7th-grade crime story!

“Renaldo!”  I wrote this story in the 7th or 8th grade.  It was my attempt at an organized crime thriller.

The story has everything!!  Ziti!!  Cocaine!!  A main character whose name is “Scab!!”  Famous cops who go by a single name — like Madonna or Prince or something!!  The phrase “genius detective, pride of the police force!!”  Possibly a degree of confusion about when the Great Depression occurred!!  (I chose to set the story in the 1920’s, for some reason, and confusingly stated that “jobs were scarce” at the time.  Hey — I’ve told you people before that I was never the smartest kid in the class.)

Anyway, enjoy (?) this antique Nolan prose.  Thanks once again to Carrie Schor for passing along vintage stuff from the Longwood Central School District in New York.

Postscript: admit it — you saw the headline “7th-grade crime story” and thought this would be about me committing a crime in the 7th grade, didn’t you?  But I gotta find out about a couple of statutes of limitations before I write about those.



A - Copy

B - Copy

Throwback Thursday: Awkward, Awkward, High School Me.

This is Longwood High School in New York, circa … 1988?  1989?

No, I have no idea why my pants are pulled halfway up my chest.

Thanks to alumna Carrie Harbach Schor for passing along this news clipping.

Update: I never got high in high school, but my pants sure as *&^@ did.



310133291_3200297436901206_8257247745043917151_n - Copy

Eric’s Insomniac Theater presents: “Gertie the Dinosaur” (1914) and “Gertie on Tour” (1921)

I took a stroll through animation history last night with Eric’s Insomniac Theater —  I watched Winsor McCay’s “Gertie the Dinosaur” (1914) and his unfinished sequel, “Gertie on Tour” (1921).

“Gertie the Dinosaur” is often thought of as the earliest animated film, but that’s incorrect — McCay himself had made earlier animated shorts, while the work of other creators preceded even these.  “Gertie” was, however, the first cartoon to feature a dinosaur.

A version of it was actually part of McCay’s earlier vaudeville act; he “interacted” with his artistic creation on stage.  The version you see here shows McCay presenting his character to some friends at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.  (It was shot on location — and that made this short a little neater for me, as the museum was my favorite place to go as a boy.)

Can you imagine what McCay, a pioneering animator of his time, would think of the modern “Jurassic World” movies?  Or what about today’s mind-numbing animation on “Love, Death + Robots?”



Winsor_McCay_1906

Throwback Thursday: the Ridge Elementary School Class of 1984!

An old pal of mine was cleaning out her closets and happened across this t-shirt from Ridge Elementary School in New York.  I am actually still friends with a bunch of the people listed here.  New Yorkers stick together.   🙂

Was the Roadrunner our unofficial school mascot or something?  I honestly do not remember.  Thirty-eight years is a long time.



309396128_10159621148251429_3402766799950316427_n - Copy

Throwback Thursday: Action Park!

I never actually went to Action Park — the infamously dangerous 80’s-era  amusement park in Vernon Township, New Jersey.  But the name alone conjures childhood memories because it was a perennial source of rumors and urban legends for kids at the time.  (And we all lived a few hours away in Eastern Long Island.)  I remember the commercials too.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard the name mentioned since that time.  (The park closed in 1996, in part because of the same recession that was giving my generation so much anxiety in our first  post-college job searches.)

So I was surprised when a friend in Britain, of all places, sent me the first video below.  Not only does Action Park’s infamy live on, it extends across the Atlantic.

Anyway, it turns out that the park was one dangerous place.  There was even a 2020 documentary about it on HBO Max.

Wild.



I was framed!!

Actually, I was given a really nice birthday gift — two frames for things that make me happy. The first is a copy of my first letter to the editor to appear in Newsday; the second is the Dark Horse Comics ad for “Grendel” comics, where I am quoted right underneath Alan Moore.

I wouldn’t even have a copy of the Newsday letter if it weren’t for my totally awesome Longwood High School alumna, Diane Aviles Cosgrove. (This was the one about the 9/11 anniversary. The newspaper could not send me one because their archives staff was telecommuting due to Covid.) Diane thoughtfully grabbed a copy of the paper up in New York and sent it to me straight away in the mail. 🙂

Thanks again, Buddy! Longwood Lions are the best!!



IMG_20220903_192103200

IMG_20220903_192140516