Category Archives: fun

TMB Model Train Club’s O-mazing Open House

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
November 30, 2016

Where can you see a three-ring circus, NYC subway line, and real prop used in a mob hit scene on The Sopranos?  At the Train Masters of Babylon Model Train Club HQ in Long Island!

Farmingdale, New York, USA. November 26, 2016. An Amtrak model train speeds through a tunnel at the Train Masters of Babylon TMB Model Train Club's Open House. Visitors enjoy a 4000 square foot O Gauge model railroad with 10 trains running on 19 scale miles of track and an underground subway system. Watching O Scale model trains traveling on tracks through various elaborate scenes was family fun, free and open to the public, during the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Farmingdale, New York, USA. November 26, 2016. An Amtrak model train speeds through a tunnel at TMB Model Train Club’s Open House. (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Last Saturday, during the long Thanksgiving Weekend, I spent a couple of hours that sped by all too quickly at TMB’s Open House, which was free and open to the public, as all their Open Houses are.

Farmingdale, New York, USA. November 26, 2016. BAKE TURNER, of Melville, holds a blue Electromotivee Division EMD model train engine at the Train Masters of Babylon TMB Model Train Club's Open House. Visitors enjoyed a 4000 square foot O Gauge model railroad with 10 trains running on 19 scale miles of track and an underground subway system. Watching O Scale model trains traveling on tracks through various elaborate scenes was family fun, free and open to the public, during the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Farmingdale, NY, USA. Nov. 26, 2016. TMB club member BAKE TURNER, of Melville, holds a blue Electromotive Division EMD model train engine at the Train Masters of Babylon Model Train Club’s Open House. (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Bake Turner, a TMB Model Train Club Board Member, told me how the club – which is a Lionel Ambassador for 2016-17 – moved from Lindenhurst to their Farmingdale location four years ago, and they’re still expanding the elaborate O-Scale layouts, including developing one vertically up a wall!

Farmingdale, New York, USA. November 26, 2016. Tiny high wire aerialist model figure, about two inches tall, is part of the circus scene display at Train Masters of Babylon TMB Model Train Club's Open House. Visitors enjoy a 4000 square foot O Gauge model railroad with 10 trains running on 19 scale miles of track and an underground subway system. The free and open to public event was family fun during the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Farmingdale, NY, USA. Nov. 26, 2016. Tiny tightrope walker model figure, about two inches tall, is in circus scene display at Train Masters of Babylon TMB Model Train Club’s Open House. (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Young children perched on parents’ shoulders; adults bent down to inspect the subway line; and lots of arms, short and long, pointed to trains whizzing around the 19 scale miles of track winding through fantastically detailed landscapes, towns, tall cityscapes, a three-ring circus….

Farmingdale, New York, USA. November 26, 2016. At TMB Train Masters of Babylong Model Train Club's Open House, visitors look at actual train display - complete with blood stains - seen in 'The Blue Comet' episode of 'The Sopranos'. Photo above layout is scene with character Bobby Baccalieri at L.I. model train store. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Farmingdale, New York, USA. November 26, 2016. At TMB Model Train Club’s Open House, visitors look at actual train display seen in ‘The Blue Comet’ episode of HBO’s ‘The Sopranos.’  (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

And then there’s the club’s star attraction: the actual train layout featured in “The Blue Comet” episode of The Sopranos HBO television series. It wasn’t until shortly after my visit I realized the layout was complete with “blood stains” from Bobby Bacala’s execution, so I want to return to the scene of that crime during a future Open House.

Prime lenses used with my Nikon DSLR to cover event:

  • Nikon 16mm/2.8f 180 degree fisheye lens – views of vast layouts in close quarters
  • Nikon 105mm/2.8 macro lens – close ups of miniature universe

TMB Model Train Club: TMB Model Train Club   2016-17 Lionel Ambassadors

New York Comic Con 2015

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
October 16, 2015

I’ve never been at a more bustling or friendly event than New York Comic Con was last Saturday, October 10, 2015, at Javits Center.

Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA. October 10, 2015. L-R, Astronaut Robert (Beamer) Curbeam, who is currently tied for the record for most spacewalks (4) during a single spaceflight, and Captain JERRY LINENGER, a retired NASA astronaut and United States Navy flight surgeon, are two of the panelists on Secret Space Escapes - The Real Life Gravity Panel, at the 10th Annual New York Comic Con. Secret Space Escapes is a new series scheduled to begin November on the Discovery Science Channel. NYCC 2015 is expected to be the biggest one ever, with over 160,000 attending during the 4 day ReedPOP event, from October 8 through Oct 11, at Javits Center in Manhattan (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

NYC, NY, USA. Oct. 10, 2015. L-R, Astronauts ROBERT (BEAMER) CURBEAM and JERRY LINENGER are two panelists on Secret Space Escapes – Real Life Gravity Panel, at New York Comic Con. (© 2015 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

If you’re familiar with my photos and posts of Long Island’s Cradle of Aviation Museum over the years, you won’t be surprised my favorite panel at NYCC was about Science Channel’s new series Secret Space Escapes, which shares true stories of things going terribly wrong in space and how astronauts faced those challenges.

Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA. October 10, 2015. SOYEON YI, the first South Korean in space, is a panelist on Secret Space Escapes - The Real Life Gravity Panel, at the 10th Annual New York Comic Con. Secret Space Escapes is a new series scheduled to begin November on the Discovery Science Channel. Born in 1978, Yi went into space when she was 29, traveling on Russia's Soyuz TMA-12 to the International Space Station (ISS). NYCC 2015 is expected to be the biggest one ever, with over 160,000 attending during the 4 day ReedPOP event, from October 8 through Oct 11, at Javits Center in Manhattan (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

NYC, NY, USA. October 10, 2015. Astronaut SOYEON YI, the first South Korean in space, is a panelist on Secret Space Escapes – The Real Life Gravity Panel, at New York Comic Con.  (© 2015 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Astronauts Robert (Beamer) CurbeamJerry Linenger, and Soyeon Yi shared their personal harrowing space experiences at the Secret Space Escapes – The Real Life Gravity Panel. It was an honor meeting them all, with their warmth and laser focus – and Soyeon was born the same year as my older daughter! My family’s looking forward to the premiere of Secret Space Escapes on November 10th.

Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA. October 10, 2015. Cosplayers ALANA, from NJ, who is Princess Buttercup, and NICK, from NJ, who is Westley the Dread Pirate Roberts, are portraying characters from W. Goldman's The Princess Bride at the 10th Annual New York Comic Con. NYCC 2015 is expected to be the biggest one ever, with over 160,000 attending during the 4 day ReedPOP event, from October 8 through Oct 11, at Javits Center in Manhattan (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Cosplayers Princess Buttercup and Dread Pirate Roberts, New York Comic Con 2015. (© 2015 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Of the thousands of creative, dramatic cosplayers, above are my sentimental favorites – Princess Buttercup and The Dread Pirate Roberts AKA Westley, from William Goldman’s The Princess Bride.

Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA. October 10, 2015. Visitors are playing STAR WARS Battle Pod, an aerial combat game set in the Star Wars universe, at the 10th Annual New York Comic Con. NYCC 2015 is expected to be the biggest one ever, with over 160,000 attending during the 4 day ReedPOP event, from October 8 through Oct 11, at Javits Center in Manhattan (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

NYC, NY, USA. Oct. 10, 2015. Visitors play STAR WARS Battle Pod, an aerial combat game set in Star Wars universe, at 10th New York Comic Con.  (© 2015 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

One of the popular interactive attractions was STAR WARS Battle Pod Flat Screen Edition, with multiplay mode that allowed two players to play as a team.

And let’s not forget Artist Alley, which had vast aisles of talented comics artists – such as Peter Kuper, Louise Simonson and Walt Simonson, Sanya Anwar, and Luke Ross – where fans had a chance to meet them, have comic books autographed, and some artists even offered option of commissioning original work.

NYCC had it all – astronauts, cosplayers, artists, games….  INCONCEIVABLE!

New York Comic Con 2015 gallery at my site: bit.ly/NYCC2015AnnEParry

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Bellmore Friday Night Car Shows

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
August 8, 2015

Each spring I look forward to the return of Bellmore Friday Night Car Shows. The crowds bustling around hundreds of classic, custom, and antique cars at the Bellmore LIRR station parking lot have such friendly energy.

Bellmore, New York, USA. 7th August 2015. Groups of people are at yellow 1957 Chevrolet muscle car, with a blower (supercharger air compressor) sticking out through hole in hood, and American Dream written under the front grill, and parked under the elevated train tracks at the Friday Night Car Show held at the Bellmore Long Island Railroad Station Parking Lot. Hundreds of classic, antique, and custom cars were on view at the free weekly show, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce of the Bellmores. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Bellmore, New York, USA. August 7, 2015. Yellow 1957 Chevrolet muscle car is American Dream at the Friday Night Car Show held at the Bellmore Long Island Railroad Station Parking Lot. (© 2015 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

On May 29, perhaps the hardest-to-miss custom car was a black 1992 Mazda Convertible belonging to PHIL ZIRKULI, a Baldwin UFSD Art Teacher,  who was drawing colorful designs with chalk paint on his car. Zirkuli explained he decorates his car to draw attention to the importance of art education.

Bellmore, New York, USA. May 29, 2015. PHIL ZIRKULI, a Baldwin Art Teacher, is free-hand drawing colorful designs with chalk paint on his black 1992 Mazda Convertible at the Friday Night Car Show held at the Bellmore Long Island Railroad Station Parking Lot. Zirkuli explained he decorates his car to draw attention to the importance of art education. Hundreds of classic, antique, and custom cars are generally on view at the free weekly show, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce of the Bellmores, from May to early October. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Bellmore, New York, USA. May 29, 2015. PHIL ZIRKULI, a Baldwin Art Teacher, draws colorful designs on his black 1992 Mazda Convertible at the Friday Night Car Show held at the Bellmore Long Island Railroad Station Parking Lot. (c) 2015 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com

One of my favorite classic cars that spring night was a black 1965 Shelby Cobra 427 roadster racing car. When I asked why there was a thin wire attaching each Tri-Wing Knock Off to its wheel, I learned the safety wire prevents the Knock Off, aka Wingnut or Spinner, from flying into other cars if it comes off during races.

Bellmore, New York, USA. 12th June 2015. Owner Grey Cherveny, of Bay Shore, is standing at the open trunk of his modified yellow 2003 Corvette 50th Anniversary model, with Lamborghini doors (AKA vertical scissors doors and Lambo doors) and chrome trim added, an award winning car displayed at the Friday Night Car Show held at the Bellmore Long Island Railroad Station Parking Lot. Hundreds of classic, antique, and custom cars were on view at the free weekly show, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce of the Bellmores. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Bellmore, New York, USA. 12th June 2015. Owner Grey Cherveny at his modified yellow 2003 Corvette 50th Anniversary model at Friday Night Car Show held at Bellmore LIRR Station Parking Lot. (c) 2015 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com

On June 12th, I enjoyed speaking with Grey Cherveny, from Bay Shore, about his yellow 2003 Corvette 50th Anniversary model, with Lamborghini doors and chrome trim under the hood to reflect the motor. He proudly told me how, though he’s just recently started going to car shows with his modified Vette, it’s already appeared in Newsday, plus won an award.

Bellmore Friday Night Car Shows are great family fun. In fact, that late May night I unexpectedly ran into my older daughter’s family – including my grandson who excitedly shouted out “Train!” and pointed up from his stroller to the overhead tracks each time an LIRR train roared past.

Bellmore, New York, USA. 7th August 2015. JIMMY STELLAS, of Freeport, is standing in front of his War Bonnet Yellow 1969 Corvette Stingray, at the Friday Night Car Show held at the Bellmore Long Island Railroad Station Parking Lot. Hundreds of classic, antique, and custom cars were on view at the free weekly show, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce of the Bellmores. In front of Stellas is a Riverside Gold 1972 Stingray Vette. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Bellmore, New York, USA. 7th August 2015. JIMMY STELLAS, of Freeport, stands in front of his War Bonnet Yellow 1969 Corvette Stingray, at the Friday Night Car Show held at the Bellmore LIRR Station Parking Lot. At right is a Riverside Gold 1972 Stingray Vette. ( © 2015 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Because I linger at each car that catches my eye – aiming to learn about the car and capture images that do it justice – I usually have time to catch only a small portion of the classic, antique, and custom cars each visit.

These free weekly shows are sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce of the Bellmores, and run through to the first week in October. I look forward to returning for many more laps around the parking lot. 

UPDATE:  2016 Bellmore Friday Night Car Shows

  • May 13 – October 7, 2016, from 6 PM – 10 PM (weather permitting) bellmorechamber.com  (516-679-1875)
  • Bellmore LIRR parking lot on Sunrise Highway (between Bellmore Ave. & Bedford Ave.)

Car event galleries: Ann Parry CAR photography

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Car Show at Old Westbury Gardens 2015

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
June 11, 2015

One of the things I most enjoy about covering Long Island over the years is getting to know our people, and I was happy to see quite a few familiar faces (and cars) at Sunday’s Antique Car Show. The 50th Annual Spring Meet Car Show sponsored by Greater New York Region Antique Automobile Club of America had over a thousand antique, classic, and custom cars throughout the vast green lawns of historic Old Westbury Gardens.

Old Westbury, New York, United States. 7th June 2015. JACKSON STERN, five-months-old, holds the steering wheel of a red 1954 Chevrolet Corvette convertible as he sits in the lap of his father JOSHUA STERN, at the 50th Annual Spring Meet Car Show sponsored by Greater New York Region Antique Automobile Club of America. The Corvette, which was parked, is owned by Adam Heller of NYC. Over 1,000 antique, classic, and custom cars participated at the popular Long Island vintage car show held at historic Old Westbury Gardens. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Old Westbury, New York, USA. June 7, 2015. JACKSON STERN, five-months-old, holds steering wheel of red 1954 Chevrolet Corvette convertible as he sits in the lap of his father JOSHUA STERN, at the 50th Annual Spring Meet Car Show at Old Westbury Gardens. Adam Heller, of NYC, is owner of the Vette. (© 2015 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Some of new faces I met were: Ex-Chief Niel Hicks & firefighter Alex Sequeira at the prize-winning Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Department truck; Sam Greco & Laura Greco who brought 5 vintage cars to the show; likely the youngest ‘driver’ there, Jackson Stern, with his dad Joshua Stern in Adam Heller’s 1954 Corvette; and Veteran John Giordano and his fellow Marines giving Free Hugs at the Marine Corps League North Shore Queens Detachment #240 booth.

When I visited the trophy area, at first I didn’t recognize the charming woman – decked in pearls, vintage-style dress and black straw sunhat – who was getting ready to hand out the trophies. When an equally charming man, in dapper suit and straw hat with black band, came over and said his name, I realized they were Althea Travis & Tom McCarthy, the smiling couple I had captured photos of last December in Huntington at the Sparkboom Jingle Boom Holiday Bash!

Old Westbury, New York, United States. 7th June 2015. A 1966 Ford Good Humor Ice Cream Truck, owned by Richard Blech, is featured at the 50th Annual Spring Meet Car Show sponsored by Greater New York Region Antique Automobile Club of America. The truck is fully restored, fully operational, and has the four original bells manufactured by the Bevin Brothers Bell Company. Over 1,000 antique, classic, and custom cars participated at the popular Long Island vintage car show held at historic Old Westbury Gardens. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Old Westbury, New York, USA.  June 7, 2015. A 1966 Ford Good Humor Ice Cream Truck, owned by Richard Blech, is featured at the 50th Annual Spring Meet Car Show at Old Westbury Gardens. (© 2015 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

At the end of that warm spring day, I was happy Richard Blech’s The Vintage Ice Cream Guys 1966 Ford Good Humor Ice Cream Truck, with its 4 original bells by the Bevin Brothers, was still stocked with frozen pops for sale.

Car Shows at Old Westbury Gardens: slideshow 2015  • gallery 2015 • slideshow 2014 • gallery 2014

Car photos at my site: bit.ly/ParryCar

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Memorial Day Weekend at Levy Park 2015

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
May 28, 2015

Around 3:30 the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend, I went to Norman J Levy Park & Preserve. After parking in the crowded parking lot, I headed to the path with the sign “Shortest Way to Top” – since I hoped to get a hilltop view of the Bethpage New York Air Show in progress at nearby Jones Beach.

At Norman J Levy Park & Preserve, family members point south to contrails in the sky over Jones Beach where planes are performing in the Bethpage New York Air Show. Many visitors watched the air show from the marshland park after several major parkways to the famous Long Island beach were closed when it filled to capacity. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, New York, USA. May 24, 2015. At Norman J Levy Park & Preserve, visitor point south to contrails in the sky over Jones Beach where planes are performing in the Bethpage New York Air Show, Memorial Day Weekend.  (© 2015 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Earlier that day, I heard that Jones Beach filled to capacity before the air show even started, so major roads leading there were closed. So I wasn’t surprised to see groups of people scattered throughout the hilltop and pointing south to where planes were leaving contrails in the sky. The performers, too distant from Levy Park to identify, included Thunderbirds, Golden Knights, and GEICO SkyWriters, and more.

When the show ended, I headed south on the winding trail leading down to the park’s fishing pier. At the far end of the 500-foot-long wooden pier, I enjoyed the cool breeze and watched kayakers in Merrick Bay, and chatted with fellow visitors Rev. David Lee and his parishioners. They had planned to fish at Jones Beach, but finding Meadowbrook Parkway closed, cast their reels at South Merrick’s Levy Park instead.

Photo Gallery: Memorial Day Weekend 2015

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Eternal Con 2014 Long Island

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
June 16, 2011

Last weekend’s Eternal Con 2014 was even more colorful and lively than I expected – with sci-fi, horror, comics artists, comic books & other collectibles, gaming, celebrities, and costumes – outside and inside the Cradle of Aviation Museum.

Garden City, New York, U.S. - June 14, 2014 - L-R, DIMITRIOS HARITOS, CHRIS HARITOS, and STEVE CARABELLO, all of the Selden Centereach area, from the Long Island Ghostbusters, a charitable volunteer group, are at Eternal Con, the annual Pop Culture Expo, with costumes, Comic Books, Collectibles, Gaming, Sci-Fi, Cosplay, Horror, and held at the Cradle of Aviation Museum on Long Island. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Garden City, New York, U.S. – June 14, 2014 – Long Island Ghostbusters – DIMITRIOS HARITOS, CHRIS HARITOS, & STEVE CARABELLO – at Eternal Con, at Cradle of Aviation Museum, Long Island. (© Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

A few of the many people I got a chance to see were Armored Combat League members USA Knights, Amtgard & Dagorhir, the charitable volunteer group Long Island Ghostbusters, Zippy Dee The Wonder Dummy, Lindsay Lowe comics fashionista, members of NYC Harry Potter meetup group “The Group That Shall Not Be Named,” and actress Catherine Mary Stewart.

And it certainly was family fun, for Saturday morning, hours before I visited, my older daughter’s family enjoyed watching the Cosplay Parade, visiting booths selling rare Transformers, and more.

Photo Gallery: Eternal Con 2014

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When is a Car Not a Car?

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
April 28, 2014

Yesterday, when meeting up with friends who’d arrived earlier at the Queens Farm 35th Annual Antique Auto Show, I asked what I should be sure to catch.  “There’s a small red car with 3 wheels that’s really something, and a BMW that opens from the front….”

Floral Park, New York, U.S. - A red BRA CX3, a custom Beribo Replica Automobiles kit vehicle at the 35th Annual Antique Auto Show at Queens Farm. (© 2014 Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Floral Park, NY, U.S.  – BRA CX3, a custom kit Beribo Replica Automobiles, Queens Farm Antique Auto Show. (© 2014 Ann Parry/ann-parry.com)

So I headed to Steve Kaplan’s red BRA CX3, which he made using a Beribo Replica Automobiles custom kit and 1983 Honda motorcycle, and because it’s 3-wheeled, the DMV registered it as a 2009 Custom Motorcycle.

Then I captured a colorful range of other cars brought by New York Antique Auto Club members, as I made my way to the opposite end of the field to see the 1958 BMW Isetta, designed by the Italian ISO refrigerator company. And like in a refrigerator, the Isetta’s door swings open from the front!

2014  gallery & 2013  gallery – Antique Auto Show, Queens County Farm Museum

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