8.50am, Times Square, Manhattan, NY, NY, USA
The rain’s back today, but even a wet Manhattan is a great place to be. Yesterday we spent a lovely sunny Autumn day next door in New Jersey, “The Garden State”. I caught the train out to Milburn. It’s a shame that most folks think of New Jersey as a bit of an idustrial wasteland/Bruce Springsteen film clip. The largest part of it is rolling forest and countryside, dotted with Mayberry like townships – like Milburn.
This is where I met up with our charismatic distributor man in New Jersey and Pennsylvania – Al – and we presented a set of our new releases to the folks from the Canoe Brook Country Club, who have supported our wines in their clubhouse and dining room for a couple of years now. This is the best part of the job, where you get to introduce the wines to people, they like them and run with them, the folks at the club like them, they stay on the list, and then you get to go back and show consecutive vintage releases – they stay strong and stay on the list – then you get to do a dinner at the club that features the wines – and this is hopefully what we’ll be setting up for next October or the Fall (Autumn ) season. Thanks Canoe Brook – have a great holiday season and we’ll see you when the leaves start falling in 2010.
We made it a scenic route tasting day in New Jersey through Mountainside and Clifton, finishing up at Weehawken, which is the Hudson riverside landing just below where the Lincoln Tunnel connects New Jersey and Manhattan. I caught the ferry back to the city, and it landed right next to where the old aircraft carrier Intrepid is moored as a floating museum. What a way to head home after work – churning across the Hudson with the setting sun lighting up the Manhattan skyline like a movie set. Days like today – you gotta love your job!
Oh and by the way – Sunday night up in the Bronx, I had a roast turkey dinner pulled up at the counter of the Crown Donuts Diner – literally in the shadow of Yankee Stadium. While 55,000 people went crazy inside, I watched the game with the folks from Crown. As midnight ticked through, we saw Mariano Rivera close out a great night on the mound by Andy Pettite and send the Yankees to the World Series against the Phillies – and carried on the same way ourselves.
Truly great stuff – but I’d already had my own World Series moment before I even started watching the game. Down under the elevated subway line that brings the 4 train up to Yankee Stadium, there’s a whole line of old sports bars and memorabilia stores that go way back in Yankees folklore. One of these is Stan’s, and it’s traditional that come playoff time, they arrange for Yankee legends to be on hand for a couple of hours to meet the sportsfans and sign autographs. My luck on Sunday night was to meet Mickey Rivers, who played with the Yanks 1975-78 and won two World Series rings in 77 & 78. He was part of the Bronx Zoo era, was an All Star centrefielder and generally recognised as the fastest Yankee between the bases ever. He signed an 8×10 photo for me to add to my collection – as “Mick the Quick” – and when I asked to take a photo of him featuring his 1977 World Series ring, he promptly slipped it off and said “Here – you put it on!” How magic is that! What a great night – and that was even before the first pitch!
Suffice to say that I’ll be glued to the television across the series – my prediction is the Yanks in 7. I think it’s going to be one of the greats.