Block Island Dining

Poor People's Pub
Poor People’s Pub

Let’s put our cards on the table here. Mr. and Mrs. Working Stiff are not “foodies” by any stretch. Anyone who knows us knows that. Our tastes are fairly simple and lean towards “pub food” or possibly “comfort food”. By no stretch of the imagination are we candidates for a “chef’s table” sort of restaurant or for ordering the “Chef’s Surprise”!

That being said, we do like to dine out and do so frequently. We do like a quality, well prepared meal, but just simple stuff for the most part. Also, in part because The Working Stiff himself worked for 21 consecutive seasons (dishwasher, pantry help, busboy, waiter, valet parker, cashier), at a seashore resort fine-dining establishment in Cape May, NJ, we are very respectful of all food-service and bar workers. read more

Landscapes of Block Island, RI

Pathway to Mansion Beach
Pathway to Mansion Beach

Block Island is a beautiful and magical place! It has been described as looking a lot like the countryside of Ireland or of Scotland, and has frequently been called “The Bermuda of The North.”

One great aspect to the island is that so much of the land is protected from development.   The island has long been on the list of The Nature Conservancy’s “Last Great Places,” with about 40% of the island land protected. Several local landowners over the years have either donated land for conservation and/or have done land swaps of land parcels in order to allow larger contiguous areas to be protected. read more

Block Island – Island Outlines

Sign on the side of the hardware store
Sign on the side of the hardware store

I have never been to any island or town that markets and exploits the actual shape of the place more successfully than Block Island does.  You see that shape everywhere and on just about anything you can imagine!

I have heard the shape of the island described numerous times as being something like a pork chop.  Maybe a crooked pear would make sense also.  It helps that the island is situated so perfectly, with Sandy Point at the northern tip pointing very close to due North towards the Rhode Island mainland 13 miles away. read more

The Empire Theater – Block Island, RI

The Empire Theater on Water Street, Block Island
The Empire Theater on Water Street, Block Island

When we arrived on the island on Sunday the 13th, we were thrilled to see that the historic old Empire Theater appeared to still be open for business! On other trips here in recent years we have learned that the owner typically shuts down fairly soon after Labor Day, so this development was a pleasant surprise. It was a bonus that there was a movie playing the next night that was something we actually wanted to see, so we made plans to attend the theater the following night.

Pre-show stage decorations
Pre-show stage decorations

I had not been to a movie there for easily 20 years or more, largely because the family has generally gathered on the island in September and we seem to always miss the last few days of the movie season. read more

Block Island, Rhode Island

They Mystic, CT scenic overlook just before our exit from I-95 into Rhode Island
They Mystic, CT scenic overlook just before our exit from I-95 into Rhode Island

We are here! We left home in the Philadelphia suburbs at 3:30 yesterday morning in order to make our morning ferry from Pt. Judith, RI over to Block Island. It may seem crazy to some to get up and drive that early, but as long as we can still stand doing it, the traffic is just so much better in the wee hours of a Sunday morning than you normally would have any right to expect.

The ferry waiting to take us over to Block Island
The ferry waiting to take us over to Block Island

Take it from The Working Stiff – if you need to drive up the New Jersey Turnpike and cross one of the Hudson River Bridges, You can’t do much better than 5:00 A.M on a Sunday! read more

September 11, 2015

I was busy today, working on this or that, and had not watched TV or listened to the radio. In something I was doing I finally realized the date today – September 11, of course. Realizing that all of a sudden, and the enormous significance of this date to our country, I thought it made sense to post a few pictures of the new Freedom Tower, which now rises above lower Manhattan near the original footprints of The Twin Towers.

trade center area 09112015

Without Stumbling over myself trying to write something profound, I’ll just say – let’s respectfully remember all those who lost their lives on this date fourteen years ago, as well as all those who lost a loved one or whose lives were otherwise turned upside down. read more

Donkeys, Iguanas, and Crabs – Oh My!

wf1

There is some interesting wildlife in the islands to be sure! Maybe from watching lots of movies I always expected there to be lots of huge and horrifying spiders, centipedes, and other monstrous bugs, but I haven’t really seen so much of that. A few large spiders – yes, and I saw at least one scorpion that fortunately for you I do not have a picture of. Lots of iguanas and all manner of geckos, anoles, and other smaller lizards. They are common fixtures around the houses and yards. It is nothing extraordinary to see a lizard up on the wall or darting across the deck as you approach.  Click any picture for a larger view. read more

22 Hours in San Francisco

streetcar

If I’ve been to San Francisco a half-dozen times, it would have been twice on my own dime and the other times on company business. Though it is certainly a large city, it is still a “walking city” in that the downtown area is full of retail shopping, coffee shops, all manner of bars and restaurants, newsstands – everything that you would expect to be there to support and entertain a resident downtown population. (I’ve learned in my travels that not all cities are this way… hmmm, can we say… Houston? – more on that later!) read more