Category Archives: fun

“American Grit” Contestant Chris Edom has Backyard Viewing Party

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry ( ann-parry.com )
July 8, 2017

“American Grit” Season 2 contestant Chris Edom lives right here in Merrick!

Merrick, New York, USA. 11th June 2017. In backyard of

Merrick, NY, USA. 11th June 2017. “American Grit” contestant Chris Edom (lower left) walks up to where the TV show’s logo appears on the large screen in his family’s backyard during their Viewing Party. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Chris – who described himself on the Fox reality TV show as being bullied and picked last for teams when he was a kid – invited every adult neighbor on both sides of the block his family lives on to the Viewing Party he and his wife Joan hosted for the premiere of the new season.

Merrick, New York, USA. 11th June 2017.

Merrick, NY USA. 11th June 2017. “American Grit” reality television show contestant CHRIS EDOM and his wife JOAN EDOM host backyard Viewing Party for Season 2 premiere. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

The night of the party, when I parked my car, slung my camera across my chest, and walked across the dead end street, I thought back to the 1960s when it was actually a mostly-dead end (as Miracle Max from Princess Bride might put it).

Back then, its rounded end had a limited outlet that brought extra cars and pedestrians, including my best friend Judy and me walking to and from school each day.

Merrick, New York, USA. 11th June 2017. At bottom left, CHRIS EDOM,

Merrick, NY, USA. 11th June 2017. At bottom left, CHRIS EDOM, “American Grit” TV contestant, hosts backyard Viewing Party for Season 2 premiere. On screen are 3 of the 4 “Cadre” team leaders: (L-R) JOHN CENA, JOHN BURKE, and RIKI LONG. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Eventually the outlet closed altogether, and now curbside basketball hoops bloom each summer, and it’s common to see families chatting, children playing….

But that Sunday night, the block felt – uncommon. The air itself seemed charged with some special energy that grew stronger when I joined the crowd at the Viewing Party.

Merrick, New York, USA. 11th June 2017.

Merrick, NY, USA. 11th June 2017. “American Grit” TV contestant CHRIS EDOM (at bottom right, wearing white GOT GRIT? T-shirt) sits with his wife, JOAN EDOM as they host backyard Viewing Party for Season 2 premiere. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

What a turnout! About 60 of Chris and his wife Joan’s family, neighbors and other friends filled the Edoms’ backyard to watch the first episode.

Before the episode started, Chris had the biggest smile as he told everyone how close the contestants have stayed, how many will be getting together to watch a future episode, and how they’re his American Grit family.

Then the words “American Grit” filled the huge inflatable screen borrowed from a neighbor. The show began. Guests cheered when Chris appeared on screen, held their breath when challenges got tough, and waited in suspense to find out: 

Will Chris be picked for one of the 4 teams — or will “the last kid picked for teams” be the first contestant “ringing out” of the competition and the chance to win the cash prize at end of “American Grit”?

Merrick, New York, USA. June 11, 2017. American Grit TV show contestant CHRIS EDOM (wearing white

Merrick, NY, USA. 11th June 2017. During “American Grit” Season 2 premiere Viewing Party at contestant Chris Edom’s backyard with large TV screen – Edom (center below) plunges into lake after pulling rip cord. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

  • UPDATE July 16, 2017:  Chris made two important decisions during tonight’s episode, and still is a contestant on American Grit.
  • UPDATE August 6, 2017:  Chris Edom did Merrick proud by coming in 5th Place during tonight’s Season 2 Finale!   —  At the Open House Viewing Party held at ‘Cadre’ Rikki Long’s gym in Copiague, fans joined ‘Cadre’ John Burke and some contestants, including Chris with his wife Joan. The two fans from my family who were there enjoyed cheering for Chris and meeting such friendly cast members.

Chris Edom’s twitter:  @chris_edom

More “American Grit” Viewing Party photos:    Slideshow      Gallery

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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….

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

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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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