Filed under: New York City

Kristine & Kevin’s Flashmob Proposal

What a moment! This is the kind of thing a Dad dreams of. My wonderful and talented daughter surrounded by a beautiful group of friends being proposed to by her long time boyfriend Kevin. These folks don’t do small, it had to be an event.

Much thanks to Kevin for inviting me to be there. It all happened Sunday June 15th at about 8PM in Little Italy New York City on the corner of Mulberry and Hester at Da Gennaro Italian Restaurant, the restaurant on the first floor of their building. Thanks to all of their friends who pulled this off!

Vinny aka Proud Papa!

Leave a Comment June 19, 2015

Writing Notes in Notes

It’s been a while since I’ve written here in what I call “The Notes Blog.” I’ve toyed with the idea of renaming or refocusing, but for better or worse I’ve established a presence here. I sometimes submit my URL as or both of which resolve here.

I still journal furiously. I’m the crazy guy on the train with the moleskine on my lap. Lately my focus has been to develop an online presence with The Brooklyn Sutras my Buddhist training site. I augment Sutras with social media in a bid to “get it out there.” So please follow me :)

In recent weeks I find myself turning back to “Notes” as the last few Negril trips are looming large in my scribbles. It takes time for me to sort out the many crazy tangents jouncing about in my undisciplined mind.

The experience of my 50th Birthday Extravaganza was profound, and stupid, and unexpected, and fun, and and and . . .

And I’m finally ready to write about it. My 51st party is only a few months away :)

(~~) Vinny

Leave a Comment November 30, 2014

Port Authority Bus Terminal (PABT)

I don’t know why I love this place. It’s kind of horrible, it’s somewhat unhealthy, but it has a certain charm.

Maybe it’s the people who wander helplessly among throngs of transit vets while looking up and bumping into people.

Or could it be those transit vets who have the commute trimmed down to the step. Second door, left side, clockwise around the stairwell (counter intuitive), and then two stepping it up the Gate 201 escalator.

I’m somewhere in the middle. I’m not there too often, but I know how it works. Downstairs to the private bus lines and upstairs for NJ Transit. I know to get tickets in the South Terminal where the lines are shorter, but when riding NJ Transit I can never find the right gate and I often miss my bus.

The more I ponder, I think it’s the movement, the randomness, the hundreds of daily destinations that intrigue me. I like to think that these are good folks going to good places to do good things. Bus-folk. I plan on buying some tickets for bus tours from PEI to NYC. I’m actually very excited to see the sights of NYC.

I guess that’s it; I like bus-folk.

Leave a Comment July 20, 2014

My Saddest Day as a New Yorker. Grays Papaya in the Village is no more . . .

Truly a sad, sad day. The cultural and gastronomical landmark Gray’s Papaya in the Village is no more.


  • No more of my favorite guilty pleasure.
  • No more burning the roof of your mouth with steaming hot doggy wonderfulness, only to cool it seconds later with the cool sweet rush of yummy papaya juice from a plain styrofoam cup.
  • No more “snappy” service.
  • No more feeling superior to tourists who don’t know how to order.
  • No more positioning yourself at just the right angle so as to have your own private counter space no matter how crowded.
  • No more catching the flipped nickel from the cashier after getting the “Recession Special” and paying with a five.
  • No more scowling at the horrid people who put ketchup on a hot dog.
  • grays-papaya

    Go on my old friend! Viva Gray’s Papaya! You will live forever in our hearts . . .

    Leave a Comment January 8, 2014

    The Smart Money’s On Harlow . . .

    Now and then I find myself at this corner bar in Soho. Maybe it’s the pool table, the rough clientele, though I do like the wrap around windows. There’s a nicer place a few corners away, but I feel comfortable here.

    By day it’s the quintessential old man’s bar, full of townies, with Bud drafts and shots of Fleischmann’s. By the way, where do they find townies in Soho?

    And then there’s late night. When I find myself stumbling though the door post three AM, I know I should question the choices made in the preceding hours, but I don’t. The last bar is the last opportunity. There’s an aspect of last chance hopefulness that graces this tawdry place at three-twenty AM, an unlikely maybe hanging in the acrid air.

    One more cocktail, one more witticism, one more drunkenly bared honest word to turn the tide. A word that will break through the separation we spend our lives straining to transcend, while simultaneously expending all other energy fortifying that same wall. Why must we shroud our needs with alcohol and half-truths? Yeah, same here . . .

    Leave a Comment June 23, 2013

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    Notes Book Club

    Sorted by date

    The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
    All the Light We Cannot See
    The Martian
    The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914
    Full Force and Effect
    Understanding Our Mind: 50 Verses on Buddhist Psychology
    Starship Troopers
    Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography
    The Men Who United the States: America's Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible
    The Aviators: Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy Doolittle, Charles Lindbergh, and the Epic Age of Flight
    No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State
    Stay Where You Are And Then Leave
    If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit
    Winter Moon: A Season of Zen Teachings
    Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door
    Jackpot: High Times, High Seas, and the Sting That Launched the War on Drugs
    Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story

    Vinny Bogan's favorite books »