“American Grit” Contestant Chris Edom has Backyard Viewing Party

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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 "American Grit" contestant Chris Edom, Edom walks up where the American Grit logo appears on large screen that show's premiere episode is projected on in his backyard. Edom family hosted neighborhood Viewing Party during broadcast of Episode 1 of the FOX network reality television series. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

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. "American Grit" TV contestant CHRIS EDOM, 48, (wearing GOT GRIT? T-shirt) has his arm around shoulder of his wife JOAN EDOM, both of Merrick, as they host backyard Viewing Party for Season 2 premiere. Show. Edom family and neighbors watched Episode 1 of FOX network reality television series that Sunday night outdoors. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

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, "American Grit" TV contestant, 48, of Merrick, hosts backyard Viewing Party for Season 2 premiere. The Fox network reality television series show projected on large screen, with (L-R) JOHN CENA, and 2 of his Cadre members, JOHN BURKE and RIKI LONG. Edom was last contestant picked for a team that episode. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

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. "American Grit" TV contestant CHRIS EDOM (at bottom right, wearing white GOT GRIT? T-shirt), 48, sits with his wife, JOAN EDOM, of Merrick, as they host backyard Viewing Party for Season 2 premiere. Edom family and neighbors watched Episode 1 of FOX network reality television series that Sunday night on a big screen (at left) outdoors. Edom was last contestant picked for a team. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

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 "got grit?" T-shirt), 48, of Merrick, hosts Viewing Party for Season 2 premiere. Show stresses teamwork and stars WWE star John Cena. Edom family's relatives and neighbors watched Episode 1 of the Fox network TV show on large screen in their backyard. Edom was the last of 16 contestants picked for a team. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

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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2017 Members Showtime Reception, Huntington Arts Council

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From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry ( ann-parry.com )
May 30, 2017

Friday night, our long Memorial Day Weekend started with good weather and great art at Huntington Arts Council’s Reception for its 2017 Artist Members Show.

Angel with spread wings closeup from behind at dusk. Teen girl angel, with face partly seen in profile, seen waist up from back, with glimpse of water and trees under blue sky with dramatic clouds. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, New York. Angel at Dusk, on pier of Norman J Levy Park & Preserve. (© Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

I enjoyed seeing the art of many of my fellow Long Island artists, and quite a few of the artists themselves.

The previous art show I participated in mainly featured my editorial photography, so for this show I chose “Angel at Dusk” – one of my creative portraits – captured during a summer photo shoot with my niece Elizabeth at Norman J Levy Park & Preserve.

Here’s a short video (with music) of photos taken at the end of HAC’S Reception. It includes photographers Susan Tiffen and Pamela Waldroup, each posing by her work.

The Huntington Arts Council Artist Members Show runs from May 26 through June 17.  Gallery hours are  Monday through Friday 9am – 6pm, and Saturday 12 – 4pm.

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New York International Auto Show 2017

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From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry ( ann-parry.com )
April 13, 2017

Wednesday I covered the New York International Auto Show 2017, which I’d been looking forward to ever since NYIAS 2016. It was raining a bit when my train reached the city, so I bought an umbrella at Penn Station, mainly to protect my gear during my walk to Javits Center.

Manhattan, New York, USA. April 12, 2017. L-R, KLAUS ZELLMER, President and Chief Executive Officer of Porsche Cars North America, Inc, and ANDREAS PREUNINGER, GT Project Director Porsche AG, introduce two new cars making their North American Premiere: Panamera Sport Turismo (silver car on left) and 911 GT3 (red car on right) during the Porsche Press Conference at the New York International Auto Show, NYIAS, during the first Press Day at the Javits Center. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Manhattan, New York, USA. April 12, 2017. L-R, KLAUS ZELLMER, Pres. & CEO of Porsche Cars N.A., Inc, and ANDREAS PREUNINGER, GT Project Dir. Porsche AG, speak at Porsche Press Conference at New York International Auto Show during Press Day at  Javits Center. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

After a quick-ish walk up to and around the center’s vast 3rd Floor, I caught the Porsche Press Conference, which coincidentally was also the first one I caught last year. At the Exotics section I focused mainly on the Spyker C8 Preliator, Keonigsegg Agera RS, and the Rolls-Royce Dawn with its Spirit of Ecstasy bonnet ornament.

Manhattan, New York, USA. April 12, 2017. Koenigsegg Agera RS, white and black with alcantara blue interior, is on display in the Exotics car section at the New York International Auto Show, NYIAS, during the first Press Day at the Javits Center. Only 25 Koenigsegg Agera RS sports cars will be produced in this exclusive series by the Swedish company. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Manhattan, New York, USA. April 12, 2017. Koenigsegg Agera RS, white & black with alcantara blue interior, is displayed in Exotics section at New York International Auto Show at Javits Center. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Lexus displayed its eye-catching New York Fashion Week cars, and I grabbed the chance to interview Beau Valenzuela, who’s part of the SCPS Unlimited crew that created the programmable light display with roughly 42.000 LEDS on the Lexus LIT IS 350.

What LED patterns do you see displayed on Lexus exterior during the above video interview? (One of these is a correct pattern: butterflies, crowns, Albert Einsteins, question marks.)

As I left Javits Center early that evening, I paused to capture the colorful reflections on its glass walls, then headed back to Penn Station.

Manhattan, New York, USA. April 12, 2017. Nearby construction at corner or 11th Avenue and W 35th Street is reflected on exterior glass walls of Javits Center on early spring evening. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Manhattan, New York, USA. April 12, 2017. Construction near corner of 11th Ave. & W 35th St. is reflected on exterior glass walls of Javits Center. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Soon after the train started, I opened a not-cold-enough can of soda that sprayed on my Nikon and me. Yikes! Two neighbors gave me tissues, and a fellow across the aisle handed me lens spray and wipes. It turned out he shoots videos and was also returning from NYIAS, so we talked cars and photography and videos till I got up for my stop.

New York International Auto Show 2017:  SLIDESHOW    GALLERY

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