Friday, April 20, 2007

On Vacation, Dog gets Headshots

Willamena has always loved sniffing around on-location movie shoots here in New York City. Often to the production crews' amusement, I have to struggle to pull her away from the craft services set up.

I just thought she wanted the food. But now it seems she wants part of the action. While she was at her Connecticut vacation home, right across the street crews filmed scenes for an upcoming Barry Levinson movie staring Robert DeNiro, Stanley Tucci, Sean Penn, and Bruce Willis.

In hopes of getting a role, she had head shots made!
(She was staying with photographer Lori Golias, so I guess grasp the opportunity!)
I think it might be too late for this movie, but what do you think? Will any of these make Mena a big star?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Vacation is Great! Having a Mena-Colada!
Willamena is getting a break from her reporting duties in New York City as Heather attends the National Association of Broadcasters, NAB, conference in Las Vegas. Mena is staying in Connecticut with her boyfriend, Otis, and his mom Lori. She took the kids to the Cascades in Fairfield where they can run and swim off leash. When they got home, they got baths with coconut shampoo. Lori says Willamena smells like a Mena-Colada! I wonder if I can get one of those in Vegas?

Friday, April 13, 2007

A couple of things before Willamena goes on VACATION to her Connecticut home.
First, she is happy to announce the New York City Parks Department has decided to officially uphold its longtime practice of allowing dogs off-leash in certain areas of parks from 9:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. The announcement came this week. Click here for areas your dog can run free.

Second, Willamena turns nine this month. We're not sure what day, any suggestions? But as soon as her Connecticut vacation is over and she is roughing it again in New York City, she will have to slow down to celebrate. Currently a spa is planned. Grooming and a fancy pup-icure.

Willamena just found out May is national Hamburger month. She might do a tour and share some favorite burger joints. Wait, May is also national salsa month and better sleep month and national duckling month. Who knows what could happen?
In the meantime, she is still planning her Seinfield and Kerouac Tours.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Play Ball Eat Dogs!
Willamena's New York City Tour of Top Hot Dog Spots

Baseball season '07 is here!

Whether you are a Met or Yankee fan, or just can't decide, there is a dog for you.
Of course trips to both Shea and Yankee stadiums provide opportunity to pick up some of the best hand-holding culinary creations (unless you are a sauerkraut fan, which is difficult to find at both.) But you don't need a ticket or the 7 or 4 train to get a great dog in New York City. This NYC tour is for those of you who don't have the luxury of a backyard grill or season tickets, but still want the best in the league.

So let's play ball and eat!

1.Old Homestead Steakhouse
56 9th Avenue

In a league where every dog is a hit with Willamena, she just can't bring herself to try the $19.00 Kobe dog at this Steakhouse.
Not because it doesn't sound delicious with its truffle infused mustard, Kobe beef chili, Vidalia onions and Chesire cheese, but what dog can pass up that cruncy delight that comes with most steaks here, the BONE. A fan of the $45.oo Gotham Rib Steak bone, she is waiting to try the $90.oo Porterhouse for two bone. (You can see how $19.00 is a bargain.)

2.Gray's Papaya
West 72nd & Broadway

From the city's most expensive to the dog to maybe the best deal. $3.50 gets you two hot dogs and a drink! There aren't any seats, and most likely you'll have to wait in line, but these are worth the drool.

You can also grab a coffee here for 25-cents from 6:00 to 11:00 a.m. Weird but the rest of the time Gray's doesn't have coffee.
Its open 24-hours so no craving comes at a bad time.
There are establishments with "papaya" in the name across Manhattan, but the original, Papaya King at 179 E. 86th Street, opened in 1932.

Here is another "Papaya" where you can down a dog for a dollar!
Chelsea Papaya
225 Seventh Avenue, near 23rd Street

3.Shake Shack
Madison Square Park, Madison & 23rd

You have two dog choices at this popular outdoor eatery. The Taxi Dog and the Chicago Dog. Taxi Dog sports kraut and onions while the Chicago dog is layered with neon relish, tomato, pickles, onion, cucumber, celery salt and mustard.
Since the burgers and custard and Pup-tini's (see Mena's previous blog entry) are also top rated, there is always a line here. You might want to check the wait via the live cam.

4. F & B
W 23rd Between 7th and 8th (seen here)
E 52nd Street between Lexington and 3rd Avenue

10 dog styles to choose from, including a smoked chicken dog with sweet corn relish. All in the two to three dollar range.

5. Brooklyn Diner

212 W. 57th Street (seen here)
155 W. 43rd Street

This $15.95 entree maybe should be up under the 20-dollar pick. This dog comes embellished with onion rings, homemade sauerkraut and sweet pickle relish.

6. Street Vendors
This one at 8th & 33rd near Madison Square Garden

And look, another on the very next block. 34th & 8th.
Dining with a view.
What more could you want? A deal? How about $1.50 per dog? Can you get a better deal in mid-town?

7. Nathan's
Coney Island, Brooklyn

Of course we didn't forget this famous place. And of course it's good, otherwise how could one person eat more than 50 of them in 12 minutes?
Being so busy preparing for baseball season, Mena didn't get to make it out to Coney Island, so I stepped in to help her out.
While April 1st is opening day of Baseball Season, it is also the first day of the season for Coney Island, though Nathan's remains open year round.
2007 marks history for AstroLand, as it will be its last. The Cyclone and the Ferris Wheel will remain, but the rest of the park will be closed for redevelopment.

*Bonus* Connecticut Favorite
Super Duper Weenie
Exit 24 off I-95, Fairfield, Connecticut

When Willamena visits her Connecticut vacation home, she likes to stop at Super Duper Weenie. This place started in a cart. It has grown into a regional favorite. The super smart sign also appears in various guide books and blogs.