Thursday, March 31, 2005

A Late Lunch and A Great Sunset Last Night

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Monkey and I headed up to (or down to if you are a local) Port Jefferson to meet up with Norah and have a bit of a late afternoon lunch. The weather was truly surreal with the low wind and strong sun. Everything in the village of Port Jefferson was hopping. Port Jefferson represents a flipside to my hometown of Patchogue, NY.

First, geographically Patchogue is located on the South Shore of LI and Port Jefferson is nearly directly north located on the North Shore of LI. The major body of water bordering Patchogue's harbors is the Great South Bay sporting ferry service to and from Fire Island. The body of water that borders Port Jefferson's harbors is the Long Island Sound. Remarkably, the Long Island Sound even though it is the larger body of water is the calmer body of water. The farther out you head on the north fork of LI the sound starts to pick up as it technically starts to become the Atlantic Ocean. By far the more violent waves are found out on the beaches of the south fork of LI, which no longer have the protection of Fire Island's barrier beaches. Port Jefferson is a major ferry port for commuters heading to Bridgeport, CT. In other words, you can check out the huge ferries load up cars and head north to Bridgeport nearly on the hour.

Other than Patchogue, I tend to prefer North Shore port towns because they seem less pretentious and more quaint. Obviously, this difference is exaggerated when you head out to the south fork where the infamous Hamptons communities reside. Generally speaking, however, you are apt to find a more laid back scene on the north shore. So when Morgan suggested we head "Down Port" (even though that means heading up north) I said, "Cool beans!"

It amazes me how people can live on LI and not love seafood? Monkey is a converted vegetarian, but even he has loved seafood in the past. For myself, you can never see me go too long without craving some delicious seafood, shell fish included. I tend to lump seafood and shell fish together even though shell fish can be freshwater. So what better way to spend a late afternoon than with a stroll along the curvy streets of Port Jefferson, enjoying stimulating conversation (as is most often tha case with Monkey and "Ninu") and having some seafood.

After taking a call from Melissa, I caught up with Monkey who met up with Norah who arrived from Stony Brook where she is currently working on her Ph.D. in (I believe) environmental science. I am so glad Norah is a fellow science buff. I always find I can talk shop (so to speak) with her and not get the Caesar head-cocked-to-the-side expression. Other than Methodical, I really never had peops I could rap science (in particular the natural sciences) with. My crew has such a unique pedigree with materials science, economics, criminal justice, computer science and on and on. But remarkably I was the sole natural science enthusiast until Norah and Monkey started dating.

I enjoy duscussing her research and her teaching experiences because it helps lay to rest my fears that I have lost it a bit when it comes to my past formal studies. Actually, my father had said to me once that with the amount of reading I do (especially the periodicals) I seem to be still living life as though I am a student. While what he said makes sense since I look at myself as a life-long learner, I was really blown away that he even noticed that about me in the first place. My dad tends to have the blinders on to everything except his immediate endeavors, a source of annoyance for some years now.

So we agreed to head on over to the steamer shack (as I call it - the formal name escapes me even though it is a landmark of Port Jefferson) to grab some good eats. Monkey wouldn't have a problem as they serve corn on the cobb and french fries. Monkey is a fan of the double-starch meal. LOL I decided to get a varied entree which included an order of some fried porgies, chicken fingers, three baked clams, french fries and a 24oz glass of Yeungling beer! Yeungling is the oldest American Brewery dating back to 1825 if memory serves. One thing I know is that it is located in the town of Pottsville, PA. When I passed through Pottsville many years ago, it was truly the armpit of American. But boy to those miners brew some great beer! When we ordered it was around 3:30pm and last time I ate was 8:00am, damn right I was starved!

As we sat on the outdoor patio deck with our food, we chatterboxed, ate, drank and enjoyed watching people walk around and the spectacular view of the harbor. I wish I had my camera, shit! But the afternoon was enjoyable nonetheless. By the time Monkey drove my ass home the colors in the sky were breath taking. I quickly ran into the house and grabbed my Nikon and took the shot above. I should have dug out my tripod and used the timed shutter so that the picture would be even more detailed in the low light, but I think you can get the point. Spring is finally coming and not a moment too late. Next thing I look forward to are some thunderstorms, that means warmer air masses will be around. Yes!


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