Sunday, February 6, 2011

Day 5 - Six Places

Today is Day 5 of Huma's ten day bloggy challenge.  So far we have done sekritz, loves, fears, and wants.  Now I will name Six places that are tremendously important to me.  I like this one very much because reminiscing is one of my favorite things in the world to do.  Think about it, you can't go wrong.  If it's a good memory you are reminiscing about, you enjoy it because it makes you smile.  If it is a bad memory, at least it is already behind you.  This post allows me to remember important times in my life.  It also lets me search around for pictures and such which allows me to waste time instead of studying.  I'm all for that.  Here they are, in no particular order.

1.  South Shore Little League.  I know I've talked about baseball a lot so far in these posts, but it really is an important part of my life.  South Shore Little League is where I learned to play baseball, spent time with my father, learned how to be friends, learned how to deal with jerks, stayed out of trouble, and had the best times of my life.  Every day after school I would come home and do my homework as fast as possible so that when my dad got home at five we'd eat dinner and then both head off to the baseball field whether or not our team (he was my coach) was playing.  On any given weeknight there was at least 15 kids there to play in the back fields with and on weekends it was closer to 30.  I remember playing suicide (otherwise knows as "asses up"), "running bases", handball, throwball,  and even sometimes baseball.  

Mr. Tolino at the Field
You see, in Staten Island baseball is kind of a big deal, in particular Little League baseball.  My team, the very one I played for when I was 11 and 12, made it to the little league world series in 2009 (see here).  I knew the coach of that team, I played with his son.  So, during night games the place was filled with at least a few hundred people every night.  If you were playing that night, you felt like a superstar.  At the end of the year, when all-star games started (that's really what the season was about) there were perhaps a thousand people at each game and I am not exaggerating.  I loved that.  It really did feel like you were a professional playing in the world series.  Lots of people say it's too much pressure for kids and parents take these things too seriously, and they have a point...but I cannot remember ever feeling better about myself than when I was on the field in front of the entire island representing my league.  I can remember playing for Mr. Tolino when I was on the 9-10 yr old all stars...he taught me to play second base, the position I remained until I blew out my knee at 15.  He was also my fathers coach at that very same little league approximately 33 years prior.  He passed away last year, but I will never forget him sitting out in the left field bleachers in his traditional spot.  I love that place so much.  It is the only place on that horrible island I love.  It basically made me who I am today.

2.   Waterville, Ireland.  I'm not going to talk about this place again.  I've mentioned it already.  It's the most beautiful place on the planet.  You should go there.  See 9 Loves post for explanations.

3.   Mount. Vista, Pennsylvania.  My family didn't do vacations.  Instead of trips we spent every summer in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania at Mountain Vista Campground.  We had a trailer, a nice one...not like white trash trailer but one meant for camping, that we housed in a giant campground all year round.  Each summer, once baseball ended, me and my mother would go up there and stay until the day before school started.  My dad would come up on weekends.  And then once school started we went up on weekends until November when it got too cold.  This place had everything.  Hiking, basketball, ping-pong, tennis, swimming, volleyball, badminton, bocce ball, softball, football, bands, summer flames, movies, games, and my summer friends and some family.  I made some of my closest friends there and had all my first loves.  I had my first kiss with Laurie Markussen when I was 10 years old on the top part of the two level swing-set down by the pavilion.

4.   10 Hanover Square.  This is where I lived from March 2009 until July 2010.  It is the best place I have ever lived by far and I absolutely love it.  It was just a nice apartment building that hosts some of my favorite memories.  Not only that but it gave me a wonderful place to go home to every night that I was extremely proud to call my home.  My goal in life is to be able to afford to live there once again.  Not only that, but it was a block from Wall Street, a block from the South Street Seaport, a block from Stone Street and about 100 yards from my favorite bar in the world.  God I loved this place.

10 Hanover Sq.

5.   Ulysses Folk House.  That favorite bar I mentioned above...that's Ulysses Folk House on historical Stone Street (still cobblestone). It's the perfect Irish tavern.  I went their for my birthday in 2009 and had a wonderful time.  When I needed to kill an hour and there was nothing on TV I would run down for a pint.  On Mondays we would go down for their seafood lunch platter...mmmm lobster.  And, because I'm Irish, when I'm pissed off or down, I go to Ulysses, sit at the bar and order a Guinness.  They have several genuine Irish bartenders, a wonderful Scotch selection, a great menu, a nice dimly lit ambiance, good music, and a decently calm clientele.  

1/3 of the Scotch List
6.   The Brooklyn Bridge at Sunrise.  I've done this once and it's all I needed.  It was an August morning and I've never experienced the city so calm.  I think it was around 6 am.  These colors don't usually happen in Manhattan...but ever since then I've loved the Brooklyn Bridge.  Prior to this I never understood the I do.  The pictures are below.

And your humble correspondent.


Anonymous said...

What a unique list of places. :D I hope you do get to live at 10 Hanover again. Love it all.

Carlos said...

Awesome list. I think I shall visit your favorite bar if I am ever in the NYC.

Pauline said...

I like the different spins I've seen on the "6 Places" part. That first one of yours sounds like a movie, in a good way. =D