Here’s what sports columnist Vahe Gregorian is into right now:
Not exercising …
… Which is to say, walking our dogs, Ralph and Frankie. It’s one of the things I look forward to most every day, starting with their pure joy in the eye contact that says “it’s on” and getting caught in the thrill of fresh adventure the moment the door opens and we head out on the streets of Central Hyde Park.
Ralph is a rambunctious rottweiler mix who likes to bury his bones, howl at sirens and wiggle into bushes to scratch his back. Frankie is a golden retriever whose only goals in life are to please and chase. I love them too much. The walk is about the only time of day I’m parted from my cellphone, disconnecting because it’s their time but also because I know it’s good for me — even if it’s not quite like running or working out.
Same as it ever was
When my wife, Cindy, overhauled my home office last year, she reorganized it in sections including comic book stuff (my Spider-Man walkie-talkies and some Marvel covers and original art), sports memorabilia and a Bruce Springsteen wall of keepsakes and tickets from most of the (approximately) 48 shows of his I’ve seen.
For a long time, I felt up-to-date on everything going in music … then I graduated from college in 1983. I’ve basically stayed in the same cocoon since, with the likes of Bob Dylan, the Kinks, the Pretenders, Bob Seger and mostly Springsteen — who in my state of suspended animation remains what “I’m into right now” as much as he did then.
Late night TV
I don’t watch much TV, but when I do it’s usually at the end of the day (unless it’s binge-watching an incredible “Homeland” season in a few days). I’m told this is bad “sleep hygiene,” but it helps me decompress. In keeping with my cutting edge music knowledge, usually it’s with an episode of “Seinfeld.” But when 50th anniversary “Star Trek” episodes magically appeared on the DVR we don’t know how to load, that was good for weeks of downshifting. The other night, I was rewarded in channel-surfing with a brilliant ESPN “30 for 30” about the Duke lacrosse scandal, something that should be mandatory viewing for any aspiring journalists in the itchy Twitter finger era.
Burnt Heaven and the Hemingway
I know it’s blasphemy to suggest any of the newer places in town might have the best barbecue, so … I won’t say that. But I will say my favorite order at any of the local establishments is Char Bar’s Burnt Heaven: smoked burnt ends, smoked sausage, fried jalapenos, chipotle BBQ mayo, creamy slaw, egg bun.
For a quick, casual nearby dinner, Ollie’s Local in Union Hill has become a favorite. So much so that the other day our ever-delightful waitress Claire knew I’d be ordering the Hemingway, made with bourbon, lemon, sugar and orange — surely the way Papa himself must have liked it when he worked for The Star.
As I type this, I am wearing a sweatshirt, T-shirt, underwear and shorts all purchased at Costco. Out of perhaps 40 long-sleeved dress shirts I have, I believe six to eight are Brooks Brothers gifts from my father and the rest are from Costco. The price is right, and I never have to iron.