Saturday, July 31, 2021

I Returned to Flushing Town Hall Last Night


Since 2008 I have documented in this journal numerous visits to Flushing Town Hall,  It is nice to have an entertainment venue within walking distance with very reasonable prices for admission.  For the first time since the pandemic began, the venue offered live entertainment.  We attended a concert titled “Proud Mary” - Rock & Roll Ladies, featuring powerhouse vocalist Emilie Surtees and her band.

Emily sang cover versions of hits from the 1960s, 70s, and 80s by female artists including Stevie Nicks and Tina Turner among others.  She interpreted several oldies with a very powerful voice and an effective backup band.  Instead of silence during the intermission, the band played instrumental versions of hits of that era.

I am certain that I will return.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Gary Walker of WBGO Recommends Nina Simone Covering Bob Dylan's The Ballad of Hollis Brown


When Gary Walker, the morning personality at WBGO, recommends a Bob Dylan cover I listen.  This morning he mentioned the Ballad of Hollis Brown by Nina Simone.  I hope all my Bob Dylan friends will listen to this.  I don't know the date of this recording, but Nina passed away in 2003.  Gary Walker also introduced me to Dylan Different by Ben Sidran.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Ruby Tuesday by the Rolling Stones - A "Random" Oldie for a Tuesday in July


This was described as an "official video".  A doubt if it will be deleted from YouTube.  So many of the videos that I posted over the years from YouTube were deleted.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Mets 5 Blue Jays 4


If any SABR members are reading this, I am not using the SABR Style Guide as I write this game review.  My writing is much too terse.

Anyway, the Mets acquired Rich Hill a new starting pitcher from Tampa as the starting rotation was decimated by injuries.  The Mets are his 11th team.  He did a credible job as high allowed 3 runs and 5 hits in 5 innings.  The hitting stars of the game were Pete Alonso who hit his 22nd home run in the sixth inning to tie the game and Jeff McNeil who double in the same inning to give the Mets the lead.  Five relievers held the Blue Jays to one run as the Mets held on for a 5-4 victory.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Some Comments about the Mets


Congratulations to Edgardo Alfonzo, Ron Darling, and Jon Matlack for being inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame.

There has certainly been much speculation on trades that the Mets and other teams should make before the trade deadline on July 30.  Most of the trades we read on websites or hear on sports talk radio never happen.  The Mets do need a starting pitcher and have just traded for Rich Hill.  I sense that he will not be a panacea.  Hopefully, Carlos Carrasco and Noah Syndergaard will return in time to make a difference.

I am a little disappointed that the Mets are not doing anything to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the 1986 championship

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Random Thoughts of the Day

  • Much has been written in the last few days about the streaming video Shadow Kingdom and the forthcoming Bootleg Series #16.  I think many of my Dylan enthusiast friends are nitpicking his words, music, and actions to death.
  • I found an excellent review of Shadow Kingdom written by Sean Latham
  • We are now approaching the trading deadline in Major League Baseball.  I just don't like reading articles that are strictly speculative.  Most of the trades that writers and callers to sports talk radio dream up will never happen.  I know the Mets are looking for a starting pitcher, but don't give up too much.
  • Are Americans really very interested in the British royal family?  There are so many stories about them on network TV news.  Very little is said about Prince Charles who is a direct heir to the throne.
  • I question the statistics that Blogger offers for Bruce's Journal that states that 75% of my hits are from Indonesia and France.  There must be bots over there that hit my blog.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Bob Dylan Bootleg Series 16 - Springtime in New York (1980-85) Will Be Released on September 17


All the information you need is in this 1-minute video.  I will be checking with and pre-order it.

I don't understand why this video was pulled after a few hours.  I assumed it was an official video from Sony Records.  However, a day later it was reinstated.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Shadow Kingdom: The Set List and Some of My Comments

The Set List:
  • When I Paint My Masterpiece
  • Most Likely You Go Your Way and I'll Go Mine
  • Queen Jane Approximately
  • I'll Be Your Baby Tonight
  • Just Like Tom Thumb Blues
  • Tombstone Blues
  • To Be Alone with You
  • What Was it You Wanted (from Oh Mercy)
  • Forever Young
  • Pledging My Time
  • Wicked Messenger
  • Watching the River Flow
  • It's All Over Now Baby Blue
My Comments:
  • This was not really a concert as it was recorded in a studio.
  • Dylan's voice sounded good.  I guess he rested his vocal cords during the pandemic.
  • The instrumental arrangements were different from the original recordings.  There were no drums or piano.
  • I don't see the point in filming this in Black and White.
  • I enjoyed seeing people dancing to some of the Dylan songs
  • I disliked seeing so much cigarette smoking in the audience.  Smokers are pariahs these days.
  • Of course, Dylan did not talk to the audience or introduce his backup musicians.  Their identities were revealed in the credits.  They were not the musicians who toured with him.
  • I was disappointed that the performance was only 50 minutes.


Videos Discussing Rego Park Then and Now by Historians Ron Marzlock and Jeff Gottlieb

 I grew up in Rego Park and have written about it extensively in Bruce's Journal.  Today as I was perusing through Facebook I found this 3-part video lasting about 30 minutes outlining the history of Rego Park.  It obviously could not be exhaustive in such a short time.  It did not include Remo Hall (61-40 Saunders Street) where I lived during my formative years.  This was the first apartment building in Rego Park.  I don't know when these videos were produced, but I am guessing it was before 1990 since only postal addresses were given to ask for further information.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

I Just Signed Up for the Ultimate Game Day Weekend of the Jay Buckley Baseball Tours


We went on Jay Buckley Baseball Tours in 2006, 2007, and 2010.  There are many entries in Bruce's Journal documenting those trips.  We thoroughly enjoyed watching the games in other cities and meeting other baseball fans.  In recent years we have gone to one city, visited museums during the day, and gone to baseball games at night.  We have seen games on our own in:
  • Boston
  • Philadelphia
  • Washington
  • Atlanta
  • Houston
  • Denver
  • Seattle
  • San Francisco
  • Oakland
  • Los Angeles
  • Anaheim
This 2021 tour is unique since it includes baseball and football games.
  • Oakland A's vs Astros at Minute Maid Park
  • Cleveland Indians vs Texas Rangers at Globe Life  Field
  • Carolina Panthers vs Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium

Friday, July 16, 2021

When Will the Permanent Host of Jeopardy be Announced?


There have been many guest hosts of Jeopardy in 2021.  All of them have been very good.  Obviously, nobody can replace Alex Trebek, but someone must be appointed to succeed him.  I assume that recordings of shows for the next season must start soon since new shows begin by mid-September.  I could be wrong but the new host will be one of the guest hosts who "auditioned" over the past several months.  Most of them have other commitments and may have to give up their previous jobs to become hosts.

Again, I may be wrong, but I predict Ken Jennings will get the nod.  He was given a 6-week gig, while the others appeared for only 2 weeks.  He is popular with the viewers and would be an excellent choice.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

I Wanna Testify by The Parliaments - Random Oldie of the Day


This recording was posted to YouTube on November 2, 2013.  To date, there have been over 48,000 hits.  Will it be taken down?

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

A Few Comments about Bruce's Journal


I have posted 4300 entries in this blog since I started in October 2005.  I look back at entries where I posted YouTube videos of songs and observe that so many of the videos were deleted.  I assume that the posters of these videos violated copyright laws and thus the videos were deleted.  I am wondering if I should review these entries and delete them.  This would be a very time-consuming effort.

I also looked at statistics provided by Blogger and  Google Analytics which are totally different with Blogger giving much higher numbers.  According to Blogger 871,000 people have accessed Bruce's Journal, but I question that number.  How many of those hits are from bots and how many from real people?  Blogger states that 49% of the hits of the past 30 days are from Indonesia and 23% are from France.  I don't know anyone in those countries.  Only 13% of the hits are from the United States.

I always wonder if I have regular readers and what people think of this blog.  I guess readers want to be anonymous.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

The Mets blow a 5-0 Lead and Lose to the Pirates 6-5


It looked game the game would be a laugher as the Mets took a 5-0 lead in the first inning after a 2-run homer by Francisco Lindor and a 3-run homer by Michael Conforto.  At that point, the bats for the Mets cooled off giving the Pirates a chance to catch up.  In the 5th inning, Rodolfo Castro and Michael Perez hit back-to-back home runs making the score 5-2.  Castro hit a 2-run homer in the 6th off Jeurys Familia to cut the lead to one run. Castro became the first player since the Yankees’ Kyle Higashioka in July 2018 to hit a home run for each of his first three career hits.

The Pirates tied the score in the 9th and took the lead with two infield hits.

This was an opener game for the Mets as only relief pitchers worked.  Aaron Loup started and pitched two scoreless innings, but runs were scored off Jerad Eickhoff, Jeurys Familia, and Edwin Diaz who blew the save and took the loss for the Mets.  Diaz had been generally reliable in save situations this season.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

The Harlem Cultural Festival of 1969 Becomes the Summer of Soul


When people think about music festivals in 1969 everyone talks about the Woodstock Music and Art FAir held in upstate New York.  The Harlem Cultural Festival that was held as 6 concerts from June 29 - August 24, 1969, has been forgotten. Some people referred to it as the Black Woodstock.  It included performances by Nina Simone, B.B. King, Sly and the Family Stone[1], Chuck Jackson, Abbey Lincoln & Max Roach, the 5th Dimension, David Ruffin, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Stevie Wonder, Mahalia Jackson, and Moms Mabley, among others.

Finally, after 52 years a documentary film called Summer of  Soul was produced and released to Hulu and selected theaters.  Today we took a drive to the Kew Gardens Cinema and saw it there.  I highly recommend it to my oldies music friends.

Thursday, July 8, 2021

It Can Happen to Anyone - My email was hacked

Several people reported to me they received this email

How are you?  Hope you and your family are well.
I need a little favor from you Best,  

Thank you

Bruce Slutsky

It was obvious that I was hacked.  It took me time to respond to everyone and to change my passwords.


Tuesday, July 6, 2021

I Returned to sit at the Mitchell-Linden Branch of the Queens Public Library


For the first time since March 2020 patrons were allowed to sit at the libraries in NYC.  If the weather is nice, I like to sit outside to read as it gets me out of my apartment.  Since the temperature was over 90 degrees with high humidity, I  was glad to sit in the local library to read.

Since this is a small branch, the collection is limited  As I have done in the past I brought my own books and magazines to read.  There were no patrons using cell phones today.

This is two journal entries about libraries in one day.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library Replaces Mid-Manhattan

There is an informative article in the New York Times describing the new Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library at 5th Avenue and 40th Street.   It appears to be a beautiful facility that allows patrons to browse, use computers and take out books.  The renovation cost $200 Million with $55 million coming from the foundation.

When I worked at the Research Library from 1983-90 I often visited the Mid-Manhattan library to take books out.  Just before the renovation, the Casey Stengel Chapter of SABR held its annual meeting at a conference room there.

I think I will soon visit the new facility at least to view its architecture.  I can always take out books, but I would have to make a special trip to Manhattan to return them.

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Sunday Afternoon at the New York Historical Society

There were several exhibits of interest at the New York Historical Society today.

So Ready for Laughter - Bob Hope and World War II - This special exhibition highlights the legendary performer and his unique role during World War II entertaining troops overseas.

Bruce McCall's New York - a Canadian-born artist and writer who contributed to many magazines, including The New Yorker.  I was amused by this magazine cover published about 5 years ago of the New York Public Library on a snowy day with polar bears replacing the iconic lions.

Safe Haven: Gay Life in 1950 Cherry Grove - this is an outdoor exhibit with photos from Cherry Grove a secluded beach on Fire Island where gays congregated before they were accepted by mainstream society.

Friday, July 2, 2021

Who Know Where the Time Goes? by Judy Collins


It's hard to believe that 2021 is half over.  

  • Karen passed away 4 1/2 months ago
  • I retired 3 1/2 years ago
  • It is 31 years since I left my job at the New York Public Library
  • It is 47 years since I got my masters degree from the University of Rhode Island
  • It is 49 years since I got my bachelors degree from CCNY
  • It is 60 years since I graduated from P.S. 139 in Rego Park
  • I am now 72 years old
  • Who knows where the time goes?

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