Showing Mom Around

Sorry I haven’t been blogging lately.  Or you may be quite relieved!

My mother (nearly 80 now) just visited my home in New York and boy did we have a great time.  She stops by every year or so and has no interest in tourist sites or even our roster of great restaurants.  She wants food shopping.  We hit all the great spots and she takes home lots of goodies back in Florida where she has three freezers.  She cooks a lot (must be where I got it from) and loves to put things up for later and for neighbors.

So we went to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx (the real live Little Italy in New York) where she stocked up on great stuff, Murrays Cheese Shop and Chelsea Market (one of her favorite spots), Union Square Green Market, and Sables for fresh whitefish salad, bialys and other good stuff.

Finally I took her to a lovely gourmet store called Agata and Valentina.  She has specified that it will be the first stop on her next trip (to pick up fresh products for me to cook up for her visit) and her last stop (for her to stock up on things for her to bring home).  Yep, a good trip.

Always exhausting looking after her and always exhilarating watching her love the food discoveries.  I’m a pretty lucky son.


As always you can find more at and on Twitter @walterthinnes

Spring Lake, New Jersey

While attending performances of my play “Your Turn to Watch Dad” by the South Street Players we stayed in the lovely little Jersey Shore town of Spring Lake.  Just one night at the Hewitt Wellington Hotel.  Very nice place on the shores of a nice little lake and just blocks from the beach.  The surrounding town is very well to do and quiet.  Clearly they jealously protect their enclave.

Luckily the restaurant included a superior fancy restaurant perfect for celebrations.  “Whispers” is a fancy schmancy white table cloth BYOB with a terrific menu.  The service was impeccable, attentive yet to intrusive, friendly but not overly familiar.  I enjoyed the Mozzarella Burrata and Grilled Jumbo Shrimp with Fettucini while Pamela had the Lobster Crepe and Sea Bass.  Excellent food.

On the way out in the morning we enjoyed Ray’s Cafe in the small downtown.  The shore is pristine and we watched whales playing and breaching off shore.  I am sure this is a big beach town every summer but I was struck by the lack of public facilities at the beach.  I’m sure this town prefers it that way and are much happier to have the tourists go to neighboring towns where there is more retail and bathrooms.  The fancy homes that line the shore probably like it that way.


*as always you can find more at my website and on Twitter @walterthinnes*