Saturday, June 30, 2012

Coney Island's Cyclone Turns 85

Last Tuesday, the Cyclone roller coaster in Brooklyn's Coney Island celebrated 85 years of providing people with its own brand of unique thrills and chills along the very famous boardwalk.  The Cyclone is not the tallest, the fastest, or the scariest coaster around, but at 85 years of age it still packs a punch, not only for it's rickety stature, but its steep hills and sharp turns, and a restraint system seemingly primitive by today's standards.

Living in such close proximity to New York City, I've had the opportunity to ride the Cyclone many times.  I still remember the first time I took a spin...I could only do it once, the ride was so rough and tumble on my body, and not much has changed in the years since then.  Every so often, I take a ride into Brooklyn and ride the famous icon...once! But ride it I must!

So happy birthday to the granddaddy of all roller coasters, an icon among thrill rides.  May you give yet more generations some of that older brand of thrill that today has metamorphisized into completely new and insane ways to experience those terrifying feelings of seemingly death-defying height and speed.

Check out a memoir of mine from Yahoo Voices about a day in New York City that included a visit to the world-famous landmark coaster:

Coney Island, Rye Playland and 911: Enjoying and Remembering a Very Special City

...and take a ride on the 85 year-old Cyclone:

To read more on the Cyclone and its 85th birthday celebration, check out Fox News here.

Here are a couple of other cool photos I took on that beautiful September day:

ooVoo LLC

Song of the Day - Groove Is In the Heart - Dee-Lite

How do you say degroovy? 

 This is one of the bestest party songs ever! Happy Saturday!


Groove Is In the Heart - The Very Best of Deee-Lite

Friday, June 29, 2012

Flashback Friday Song of the Day - Rush Hour - Jane Wiedlin

Today's flashback is the one and only solo hit from the GoGo's Jane Wiedlin. The 1988 song captures the beautiful spirit of the liveliest and most playful of the five girls and I always loved it. "Ooh you send me...."

Jane Wiedlin - Rush Hour by jpdc11

Rush Hour - The Very Best of Jane Wiedlin

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Song of the Day - Come Out and Play - The Offspring

The Offspring is one of the last surviving members of the 'grunge' scene of the early to mid-nineties. They've just released their 9th album, "Days Go By," even though before I heard that news I had no idea they were still together. Anyway, I was very into the grunge movement for a little while back in the day: Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam, and I loved The Offspring's 1994 album, "Smash," which is where this song first appeared.

"Come Out and Play" is one of those songs that's hard to figure out the name of. I remember when I first heard it, I thought it was called "Keep Em Separated," but of course it is not. Anyway, it's a very hard driving, fast moving and oh so punky kinda catchy song. Enjoy!

The Offspring - Come Out And Play by lefurhien

Come Out and Play - Smash

A Non-Writing Wednesday

I was talking to my pal Rich earlier and he asked me why I haven't been writing in my blog.  Well, I have posted a couple of things here and there, which I did mention.

"Oh, not that music crap!" was his response.

Well, no, Mr.Dit is not up nor does he care to be up on music, especially when I talk about the Spice Girls, Nelly Furtado or The Wanted.  He, like many other people in my life, likes the juicier, personal stuff I put on here occasionally, as well as some other things.  Come to think of it, I'm guessing that there are a lot more people in my life now, and from my past, who check in on this blog from time to time just to see what's up in John's World.  Who knows, maybe I've disappointed them in the past week or so, too.

It's not that I don't like to give them what they like to read, but I just haven't been in a writing way lately, which is disappointing because now is the time that I have time to write.  The stuff I've been doing lately has not been at all creative, but kind of boring stuff and there hasn't been much out there to inspire me.  After a great Friday and Saturday, it's all been kind of hectic and busy.  Monday's weather was crappy for most of it and I had a lot of errands to do...and I started tutoring, the yard!

This is the first summer I will be working very little and being able to get least I hope!  I've taken a few tutoring gigs, which earn me more money than when I was Johnny Driver and with way less hours.  That means more free time for Weezie, but not just yet.  It's only been three days of vacation and I'm trying to settle into a new groove, so if anybody else out there is missing my writing, I'll be back...

P.S. - Other than what you've seen on this blog, I did post my weekly Weekend on Long Island roundup.  You can check it out here.  And here's a picture I did NOT want to post, but since I haven't given much to read, well....  :-P

The water was cold!

Reader's Digest Store

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Spice Girls announce new musical, "Viva Forever"

All four of the Spice Girls, Victoria Beckham, Melanie Brown, Emma Bunton, Melanie Chisolm an Geri Halliwell appeared together in London briefly yesterday to announce the December 11th opening of Viva Forever, a brand new musical based on the songs of the iconic girl group.  According to Rolling Stone, the new musical is being produced by Judy Craymer, the same person who helped bring the popular Mamma Mia to the stage.  Previews begin on November 27th in London's Piccadilly Theater.

Say You'll Be There - Spice

Song of the Day - Dirty Talk - Wynter Gordon

I am no angel
I like it when you do that stuff to me...

this song is sick

Happy Hump Day everyone!

Dirty Talk - Dirty Talk - Single

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Song of the Day - Left Right - Inna

Today's song is one I haven't heard since last summer. Like the singer's other hit, "Sun Is Up," this one's seductive, sexy and oh so hot!


Left Right - Hot

Monday, June 25, 2012

Remembering Michael Jackson Three Years Later

It's hard to believe it's been three years since the shocking news of Michael Jackson's death. It was one of those things that you remember where you were when you heard.  I was about to mow my lawn when my neighbor came out to tell me.  I remember not believing it at first, but then I put on the TV and there it was.  So sad!  I hope you are resting in peace Michael wherever you are!

Here's one of my favorite Michael Jackson songs, from his 1991 "Dangerous" album.  The title of the song was kind of ironic, especially concerning all of the questions surrounding his sexuality, and since yesterday was Gay Pride Day in NYC, the appropriateness of the song fits.


In the Closet (Single Version) - The Essential Michael Jackson

Here are a couple of pieces I wrote back then.  The first not only talks about Michael's death, but for any of you who remember, the beautiful Farrah Fawcett also succumbed to her cancer on the very same day as Michael, and the pop star's death overshadowed hers a little, unfortunately.  Check out The Day Two Stars Fell From the Sky.

Also see:

Michael Jackson: A Man Remebered

Check out all of Michael Jackson's music on iTunes here:

Michael Jackson

or Amazon here: michael jackson

Check out an unreleased Gaga song: "Glitter & Grease"

A Lady Gaga song that had never been released on any of her albums has been set forth upon the Internet. "Glitter and Grease" is a tune the singer had performed on her Monster Ball Tour a couple of years back, but never put out on an album. Love it!


 Read more about the song on AceShowbiz here.

  Love and Pride

Song of the Day - Titanium - David Guetta, featuring Sia

It's been a long time since I've posted anything from David Guetta. Here's one of the best ones off "Nothing But the Beat." Happy Monday!


Titanium - Titanium - Single (David Guetta & Sia Tribute)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A great start to summer on the Island of Fire

Well, the last day of school has come and gone and I've begun my summer in a really nice way.  My pal Laura Kim's birthday is Monday and she wanted to celebrate it and the end of a long school year with something special and so the two of us booked a room at the Grove Hotel in Cherry Grove for Friday night, followed by a massage on Saturday afternoon to top it off, and boy, was it a great way to kick things off!

The Island of Fire

The weather forecast for Friday evening wasn't good.  Rainstorms were heading in and by the time we got to the ferry terminal it was downright rainy, with lightning striking here, there and everywhere.  Though it would have been nice to have it be sunny, the overcast skies didn't dampen our spirits in the least, and upon entering the line for the ferry, we were immediately graced with a stroke of good luck.

As we stood on the line to get on to the ferry, Laura Kim recognized someone standing by the office.  It was an adorable and really sweet guy named Colin who was the son of an old friend of hers.  Colin was the captain of the ferry.  Fourteen bucks saved!

By 4:00, Laura Kim and I were all checked in and sitting in Cherry's for a little "tea" before dinner. It felt so nice to be free from life and with the whole summer ahead to think about.  Of course everyone in the place was friendly and the next couple of hours was only the beginning of what would turn out to be a marvelous evening.

Top of the Bay

There are several nice restaurants in Cherry Grove to choose from, and we had trouble at first deciding which one to try out for our dinner.  There's one there that I hadn't tried before, but Laura Kim had had a bad experience there (a three-hour dinner), but after checking with a local, she was okay with trying it again.

Top of the Bay sits right at the foot of the pier where the ferry comes in.  It's on the second floor of a building and it has a great atmosphere, elegant and with picturesque views of the Great South Bay.  Both the dinner and the company were great, and we had some nice eye candy busing the tables all around us.  Even Laura Kim marveled at the perfection of the guy we called "Federico" as he refilled our glasses of water and cleaned up our plates.  Between her scrumptious bay scallops, my tender NY strip steak and Federico, the whole dinner was delish!

Fun with Friends

After dinner, the two of us went down to Cherry's to hang with my pal Manny and his friend Dineen.  Lucky Manny's been over there for a little over a week, renting a house with one of his good friends Helen, and I'd already hung out with him on my last couple of trips over there.  Manny is one genuinely great guy, and I am always glad to see him.

The two of them were already at Cherry's, having cocktails with some other friends before heading over to see Porsche's show at Ice Palace.  All of their friends were nice, and Laura Kim fit right in, which was a bonus.

After a drink or two, Manny, Dineen, Laura Kim and I ventured on over to Ice Palace to catch Porsche.  It didn't take too long for my pal to catch the attention of the star, as she yelled out "Barbra Streisand" when the queen asked for suggestions on who to do.  Within seconds, Porsche had Laura Kim on the stage and my pal did her best to ham it up for the audience.  The three of us cackled away as he called out the bartender to bring them shots.

You see, Laura Kim is one of those unfortunate (or maybe fortunate) people to be afflicted with an allergy to alcohol, and there she was with a shot of SoCo in her hands, toasting along with Porsche, who was shining the spotlight on my poor friend.  Trying to be a good sport, LK downed the shot, but couldn't swallow, spitting it back into the shot glass as soon as Porsche took her eyes off her.  The whole scene was absolutely hilarious, and my friend quickly became a mini-celebrity.

The rest of the night was spent drinking and dancing and have a great old time, and the four of us partied till the wee hours of the morning.  Once Saturday morning came, the skies were beautiful and the temperature was perfect, as LK and I spent our last few hours hanging by the pool, having some Cherry Grove pizza (the best!), and spending a last few moments with Manny and Dineen.  It was a fabulous ending to a fabulous time, and I think the start of what's going to be a great summer.

Massage Bliss on the Mainland

Laura Kim and I finished off our beginning of the summer celebration with massages at Spa Belleza out in Aquebogue.  It had been years since I'd had a massage and it was pure bliss!  For an hour, I was transported to another place, a blissful, peaceful state like no other, and afterwards I promised myself not to go this long without another massage again.

Oh yes, I think it's going to be a good summer!

Love and Pride

Pride Song of the Day - It's Raining Men - The Weather Girls

It's definitely going to be raining men today in New York City, as the granddaddy of all Pride celebrations gets underway. The weather is beautiful and I'm sure it's going to be a great day for all who come out.  Though I'll be missing it for the first time in three years, I do hope to partake in at least a little Pride celebration tonight.  So for all you folk heading out to Pride, enjoy!

It's Raining Men - Get the Feeling

Friday, June 22, 2012

Flashback Friday Song of the Day - Sing Halleluliah - Dr. Alban

Later on today I'm heading to Cherry Grove for an overnight trip with my pal Laura Kim and this song always reminds me of Fire Island. Frikkin awesome!  Party people c'mon!


Sing Hallelujah! - One Love 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Nelly Furtado performs an acoustic version of Calvin Harris' "Feels So Close"

Check this out. It works really well, I think!



Song of the Day - Hot in the City - Billy Idol

It is still hot out here, with temperatures expected in the upper 90's today, and so I thought I'd continue on with another hot song. This one's from 1982, and was spike-haired blond Billy Idol's first real hit. Loved him!

Enjoy, and keep cool!

Hot In the City - Billy Idol: Greatest Hits

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Vote in Billboard's Mid-Year Music Awards

I was just starting to work on my annual "Top Ten Songs of 2012...So Far!" piece when I got an email from Billboard announcing their mid-year music awards.  I remember when they did it last year it inspired me to do my thing, which by the way, got me a lot of page views.


Billboard is one of the foremost leaders in music reporting and this poll is a fun one to participate in.  You can vote for nominees in several categories by choosing one of their picks or writing in your own choice.  Vote for MVP of the year so far; best song; best album; best newcomer; most shocking moment, and more.  To vote in Billboard's Mid-Year Music Awards Poll, click here and stay tuned for the winners...


Writing Wednesday, June 20th, 2012: Let the Fun Begin; Hersheypark; This weekend on LI; Music News

Hey folks...Happy Hump Day!  It's the last one of the school year for me.  Now don't be jealous...unlike what many people think, summer is not all vacation for teachers.  Some of us have to work, including me.  Wahhhh!!!!!

Anyway, here's your weekly Writing Wednesday:

Let the Fun Begin

After several sappy personal posts, it was nice to get back to writing about some good stuff as I enjoyed a great weekend last week.  Let's hope it's the start of better things to come!  Check out the post right here.


As I mentioned in a post the other day, I revamped an old review of the coasters of Hersheypark to include the all-new Skyrush roller coaster.  Oh, and I posted a video of one of my favorite Hershey coasters, Storm Runner.  Check out the review of this great park right here.

This Week on Long Island

As usual, there's plenty of summer stuff to do around this expansive and beautiful island I live on, including a couple of great concerts, a horror film festival, outdoor festivals and more.  So if you live in the Long Island area, be sure to check out Things to do on Long Island this weekend.

Music News

There've been a couple of music tidbits mentioned here on John's World this week. Check out these posts:

P!nk's got a new song!

Madonna filming video for "Turn Up the Radio" in Italy

Well, that's all she, um, he, wrote my friends.  Now that summer is finally here, I'm hoping to get a little busier with writing, so prepare yourselves, lol.  Enjoy the rest of this hot week!

Celebrate the Summer of a Million Smiles at and Save 15%. Use Promo Code HAPPYBDAY15 at checkout. - 468x60