New York City

One highlight of my visit to New York City was the opportunity to meet famous people….

                            Down The Road with the Original Buffalo Dale

 Welcome back.  As I said goodbye to New York City this past week, my notebook was full of interesting adventures, from the people watching in Times Square where “normal” does not exist to my tour of the fabulous Metropolitan Museum of Art where the display of Egyptian art and artifacts takes you back to the time of pharaohs and pyramids. In between there’s Broadway, the financial district where by the way there’s more gold stored here than in Fort Knox and the bustle of Central Park. Then there’s Harlem, Little Italy, Chinatown, Soho and Tribeca. I could go on and on but you get the picture.

Then there are the famous people you see walking the streets, just going about their daily lives. In just three weeks I ran into Billy Crystal, who seemed like an average guy getting older like me. Kristie Alley was lots of fun both on and off camera. Of course there was Matt Lauer, who shook hands with as many people as possible every day and had a smile for everyone. Cathy Lee and Hoda both have bigger than life personalities and were always ready for a photo as were most of the Today Show hosts. The band Kiss was interesting to watch as was Sting who seemed as cool in person as you might imagine from his performances.

I also had the opportunity to visit with many other people behind the scenes, whose names are not so well known. One of these was Rikki Kleinman. A lawyer by training, Rikki’s resume could fill a book. She is a legal analyst for CBS and also contributes to NBC, ABC, CNN and CNBL and she has also anchored her own network TV program.

I’ll catch my breath here because I’m not done yet. Rikki was named one of the five most outstanding female trial lawyers by Time Magazine and she is often profiled in magazines and newspapers. In addition she is frequently interviewed regarding criminal and civil law on shows such as 60 Minutes and 20/20. As if that weren’t enough she is an adjunct professor at Boston University School of Law and the author of numerous articles about legal issues.

Rikki has appeared as a guest star on television in NYPD Blue, 90210, Boston Legal and recently Blue Bloods. These roles come naturally to her for a reason. In her private life this accomplished woman is married to the Police Commissioner of New York City and believe me, I feel honored when she introduces me as her friend.

In person Rikki is soft spoken and easy to talk to. While we visited over breakfast in a neighborhood diner, her friendliness and lack of pretension was obvious. Despite her many outstanding achievements she is down to earth and could be your next door neighbor. Although she has been on the scene of world disasters, drug arrests and murder investigations, the mention of the recent death of Officer Dennis Guerra, which I wrote about last week,  still brought a tear to her eye.

I’ll have more on Rikki and hopefully her husband Bill Bratton on my next trip. Till then remember that there’s nothing like a visit to New York City. Check it out.

On the local scene: have you ever wanted to attend a Dallas Cowboys football in a manner that few are ever able to? You and three guests will fly to Dallas by private jet where a driver will meet you and deliver you to a 5-Star hotel. You can check-in, get refreshed, and change for the game. When you are ready, the driver will take you all to the stadium where VIP club seats on the fifty yard line await you along with access to the private Founders’ Club with gourmet food and drink provided throughout the game. At the end of the day, a car will take you back to the hotel and in the morning, the jet will take you home.

Quite a deal and yes there’s only one party where you can bid for this trip. That’s Elder Care’s The Good, The Bad & The Barbeque on May 10th. This is just one of many unique auction items they will be offering so if you only attend one, don’t miss this great event.

Till next time, I’ll see ya down the road…..



The Day That New York City Cried

                           Down The Road with the Original Buffalo Dale

 Welcome back.  This week a true story about the day I saw “New York City cry.”

Last Sunday must have been an average day for New York City Police Officer Dennis Guerra. A good cop with eight years of experience, he had a wife and four kids. By all accounts it was clear he loved his job and his community. Guerra’s partner on Sunday was Officer Rosa Rodriquez. A mother with four children, Rodriquez has three years on the job with the NYPD.

It was a chance call for the two officers who were working in a patrol car. The call brought them a report of a fire that had just started on the 12th floor of a nearby apartment building. City cops typically don’t respond to fire alarm calls but these two cops had a history of going far beyond the call of duty and it didn’t surprise anyone when they went to the scene. When the officers arrived no smoke was visible from the outside of the building so they got into an elevator to investigate. Things appeared to be normal but when they reached the 12th floor and as the doors opened thick black smoke poured into the elevator. The officers radioed for help but they were quickly overcome by the smoke. Officer Guerra died that day and as of this writing, Officer Rodriguez is still clinging to life in critical condition in a New York hospital. According to the New York Times, Marcell Dockery, a teenager living in the building, admitted that he had set a mattress on fire on the 12th floor. Dockery is being held without bond pending formal charges.

Police Commissioner, Bill Bratton whom I wrote about a few months ago spoke to hundreds of officers later the same day. He reminded everyone present that “unforeseen dangers await even the most routine calls”.  Mayor Bill De Blasio praised the courage of the two officers who selflessly rushed to help others.

Members of the NYPD, who hadn’t lost an officer in the line of duty since 2011, were taking the incident very hard. Many of the officers in the crowd, all of whom were in uniform with their badges adorned with black mourning bands, were visibly moved to tears thinking of the two young officers.

An incident like this makes you realize that you should thank our police and our firemen for their service whenever there is an opportunity. I hope we will all find a chance to do it.

On a brighter side, I continue to be amazed by the friendliness of New Yorkers. OST Coffee House on 12th & Avenue B is an artists’ hangout and a cool place to start one’s day. Winston’s on 53rd & 1st takes great care of you at any time of the day with great food and service. Of course there’s 28 Scots where I often stop before attending the Today Show. Underneath one floor of  Rockefeller Center there are several little restaurants with a large outdoor seating area which is a great place to watch the ice skaters while you rest your feet.

Here are a couple of scoops. If you are interested in riding the Gray Line double decker bus, with a little bargaining you can get three days for the price of two. The aircraft carrier Intrepid is permanently moored in New York harbor and some of our most sophisticated military aircraft is displayed on its decks where tours are held daily. The driver of my tour bus turned out to be Buffalo Bill’s grand nephew and he told me that tours of the Intrepid are not to be missed. Yes, I did say Buffalo Bill’s grand nephew and this guy had letters from Buffalo Bill to his grandmother (Bill’s sister) that prove it! Yes from the good old boys who work the Today Show to bus drivers to your everyday Joe walking the street, New Yorkers are a good bunch.

Also, it only happens once a year and its getting close. Elder Care’s The Good, The Bad and The Barbeque out at the Cross Bell Ranch will give you the chance to visit one of Oklahoma’s truly great ranches that is still in operation.

Till next week, I’ll see ya down the road…………………







New York City-One Amazing Place

A few highlights from my stay in New York City

                             Down The Road with the Original Buffalo Dale

 Welcome back.  Where do you begin when you’re writing a story about New York City, one of the most complicated, diverse and exciting places on earth? With neighborhoods as different and interesting as Chinatown, SOHO, Little Italy, Greenwich Village and Tribeca it is impossible to capture all the energy of this amazing place.

To get to know the city better, I took a Skyline Bus Tour and these are just a few of the facts I learned along the way:

Two million people commute to work in Manhattan every day and most of them travel by train.

The Manhattan Post Office is the largest Post Office in the world.

St Paul’s Chapel in Trinity Church Parish is the oldest public building in continuous use in the city and it was consecrated in 1790.

There are two hundred and fifty theaters in the Broadway theater district.

The electronic billboards in Times Square cost $10,000 per day to rent.

The Woolworth Building was completed in 1913 for thirteen million dollars and the entire construction cost was paid in cash- all in nickels and dimes.

Wall Street got its name from the Dutch when they built a wall around a settlement in this area to protect themselves from Indians.

One million people work in the financial district and there is no parking at all in this area. All the workers take public transportation.

Twelve million immigrants were processed through Ellis Island. Each person was asked a series of 29 questions and given a health exam before he or she was allowed to enter the country.

Today residents of NYC come from100 different nations and speak 138 different languages and dialects. 37% of the total population of the city is foreign born.

Immigrants from Bangladesh are the fastest growing new group of immigrants.

Bellevue is the oldest hospital in the United States and established the country’s first ambulance which was a horse drawn buggy.

During the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, the designer John Augustus Roebling died as the result of an accident. Before his death he appointed his son Washington Roebling to complete the project but shortly thereafter his son suffered a paralyzing injury which prevented him from leaving his home. His wife Emily spent the next eleven years helping her husband complete the project- a task which required her to study higher mathematics and engineering among other things. Mrs. Roebling supervised a team of engineers on the jobsite at a time when women did not even vote. The bridge was completed in 1883.

And last but not least, the Empire State Building is one of the most famous examples of art deco architecture in the world. It was also the tallest building in the world for forty years until the construction of the World Trade Center in 1971. The Empire State Building was completed in thirteen months and cost $40,948,900- approximately $500,000,000 in today’s dollars.

There are many other fascinating facts about New York City but I am out of space for now. Till next time, I’ll see ya down the road…