The Jeff Goldstein Blog

Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

You don’t know what pretzels are…?

In Actor's Life, Broadway Usher's Life, Rants & Raves, Travel on October 23, 2011 at 12:37 pm

I am really sick and tired when:

I walk into a Duane Reade here in the middle of NYC on 8th Avenue and 34th Street and I ask one of the workers there “where are the pretzels located?”… and they DO NOT understand what the word “pretzels” mean.

I order “Baked” meatloaf at a popular Greek diner on the Upper West Side and they bring me 3 slices of baked meat loaf which was placed on the griddle and “fried” on both sides to heat it up so the sides are dry and crusty. Don’t they know meat loaf is juicy and soft.

I go into a store  ask a question and the person replying speaks such poor English that I do not understand what they are saying.

I make a phone call and the default language is Spanish, it’s says I must press 3 to hear it in English.

I order scrambled eggs and ask for “”scrambled eggs easy” and they do not know what that means.

and to top it off…

When I mention Barbara Streisand and the person does not know who she is?

Boy life is changing, I know I’m getting older but we sure ain’t in Kansas anymore Toto.

April 2nd, 2008

In Actor's Life, Pictures, Travel on April 2, 2008 at 7:04 pm

JEWTOPIA has been having a great run, and playing to an almost full house every night. That’s very good considering the show has been running since Jan 30th.

This is our last week and we have been moved to the Gompertz Theatre a smaller 160-seat, for a one-week extension. Due to slow ticket sales for the extension, 5 of our 8 performances have been cancelled. Shows are scheduled for Tuesday & Wednesday, evenings and Saturday at 5PM. Thursday, Friday & Sunday are our relaxing days. Not too bad, although I would have liked to performed. Once the show closes I will have done 19 performances, been here 4 weeks and I loved every minute of it. Playing a comical know-it-all Rabbi, and a sexually perverse grandfather. The style of the show is over the top stereotypical, so it was easy & a lot of fun.

The other cast members have been very friendly in helping me fit in with the show, but I am still a replacement actor, so they really don’t buddy up to me outside of the theatre although they are friendly. Missing the rehearsal process was a disappointment, that is when actors bond, explore each other… etc. Like most Florida cities Sarasota has a small downtown area, but you really need a car to get many places. Company cars are available and cast members use them to get to the beach, restaurants, malls … etc. They call each other and do things after the performances and during the daytimes but no one calls me. I really don’t hold it against them, because of being used to habit-they were here for 2 months before me, but it would have been nice. I did ask a cast member to take me to the mall once and he was happy to do so, but I don’t want to ask, ask, and ask. I am from a different breed and also older (can’t believe I’m 51), so I don’t want to be the third wheel.

I try hard to be “unconditional” in every thing I do, but sometimes it is difficult. I am thankful for my daily Kabbalah motivational emails every morning. A couple of cast members I would like to keep in touch with, they seem to be genuinely nice folk.
The theatre staff and the stage manager & interns working on the show have been very nice & the interns put in a lot of work. I would come back again to do another show, can’t go wrong with the weather although it is very humid here, but that’s what air conditioners & movie theaters are for, right?

On Mondays the Ringling estate is free to the public, except for the Circus museum, which is always $19. I took advantage of my last Monday here & went to the Ringling Art Museum & strolled around the estate. John Ringling (of Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus) was very affected by the Italian, French & Spanish art whenever he traveled overseas that he started his own art collection here in the states, which include some original Rembrandts and Reubens.

The art work was breathtaking. They also has a collection of Grandma Moses works and history that brought tears to my eyes.

The museum has a sculpture garden with many re-creations including one magnificent statue of David, made from a bronze cast of the original. The grounds are sprawling with many Banyan trees, and a very opulent mansion.

So for now, it’s been fun.

Wed Oct 31, 2007

In Pictures, Travel on November 1, 2007 at 4:12 am

(I corrected the address & the pictures can be viewed now)

All the photos from the Munich, Germany trip can be viewed at:

Mar 20th

In Actor's Life, Rants & Raves, Screenwriter's Life, Travel on March 21, 2007 at 2:13 am

Didn’t get cast in “Jersey Boys“… personally I don’t think I was right for the role of the mafiosa… but auditioned anyway. They were asking for songs in the style of the show, and me being a character actor, I sang “There is Nothin Like a Dame” from “South Pacific“. Usually that would be fine, especially for a non singing role, but the associate from Tara Rubin Casting was obviously bothered by my choice. I sang great, she said have a day nice & I left. It’s OK, I’m used to it. I just really wish that someday someone would see me with the talent that I have and cast me appropriately.

Starting to feel better now from a bout of back pain. It’s amazing how back pain can stop your daily routine, but feeling much better ready to roll!

My script “Mary’s Dilemma” has undergone so many changes in the last 3 years but I am finally at a finished script that I absolutely love. I am now in the process of putting together a Business Plan for investors…. I have to raise $1 million. Principle photography is scheduled to begin May 2008.

Flying out to Dayton Ohio this week to see a show a friend of mine was cast in: “Harold & Maude, The Musical”.


Fly the friendly skies….

In Broadway Usher's Life, Travel on December 22, 2006 at 4:38 pm

11:40AM Jet Blue Terminal at JFK airport in New York.

I’m sitting in the terminal waiting for my flight to West Palm Beach to spend with family for the holiday. A nice 4 day weekend is a great break from the hustle of the city. The news said today would be a monstrous day for travelers and to get to the airports very early. I had no trouble, problem, attitude going through security. Surprisingly. … Well the airport is empty as were the streets getting here. A young child is screaming at the top of his lungs… his mother went to get him a soda and left him with a male figure probably his grandfather. …. AH! he stopped. I’m looking around and I’m still shocked at how empty the airport is… Oh there are people here, but not at all like the crowds I’d expected.

I was chatting last night with a friend about all the celebrities I’ve sat so far,

Well the list goes as follows:

Fran Drescher
James Cromwell
Stockard Channing
Estelle Parsons
Jerry Mitchell
Lucie Arnez & Lawrence Luckenbill
Juilianne Margolies
Olymipa Dukakis

I think that’s it for now…. impressive. I hope somday some usher somewhere says… Hey! Guess who I sat… Jeff Goldstein.
That would be nice!

Until later
Happy Holidays!

"Baby, It’s cold outside…"

In Actor's Life, Travel on December 22, 2006 at 4:32 am

First, I never heard anything about the Studio Dante audition….but you never know…

Ok let’s try & end this evening on a good note……..ummmm, I’m leaving for Florida tomorrow to spend a few days with my folks in Florida, then back on Tuesday….OK that’s nice.
Sorry, just in a mellow mood…..and I don’t know why…… ever get like that?

Happy Holidays!

France Day 11 Wed Oct 25th

In Pictures, Travel on October 31, 2006 at 1:37 pm

Wed Oct 25th
9:00pm I was hoping to get online at McDonalds this morning , but no wi-fi was available. I ate breakfast instead and they have good yogurt. Tastes like the yogurt in the country, vanilla pudding with a slight edge. The McDonalds here are much better than the ones in the states.

I headed up to Montmartre via Metro and got off at Pigalle right in the heart of “Pig” Alley.

Translated that means the seediest part of Paris where all the sex shops are. And they are plentiful, right next to each other, block after block. Boy this can top New York City which is almost void of sex shops.

That’s where the Moulin Rouge is, so I stopped to have my picture taken in front by a group of teenagers, we took pictures of each other.

I followed the walking tour map in my Rick Stevens Paris guide book 2006 (very good book by the way) and I passed the homes of: Picasso, Toulouse-Lautrec and Van Gogh.

I also passed the last windmill standing in the area.

Further up was Sacre Coure Basillica.

I took the funicular because I was too tired to walk up all those steps.

The view from the top is the highest area in Paris at 420 feet. I stared out at the view and for as much as I was loving Paris, for the first time I felt homesick. It would be different if I had a job and an apartment here, but I think it is time to go home.

I was feeling very tired again (after walking up all those hills in the area) and headed back to my hotel. I feel I did the best I could in the 4 days of my stay here. I didn’t see the statue of St. Denis so I’ll tell you the story. The roman soldiers where taking him up to the top of the hill to behead him for trying to spread the word of Christianity. They were tired and stopped before reaching the top. They beheaded them where they were and the body stood up, wiped the head off, and walked the three miles to the top of the hill with his head in his hands, and then collapsed and died. So all the statues in Paris of St. Denis show a beheaded man, holding his head in his hands. Quite a story!

I came back to the hotel and Travis stood me up (not much to say for his American arrogance). Richard had been at the dentist and was not up to meeting, but we spoke on the phone for a while and his is a very nice guy. I followed his website closely for the secrets of Paris and you can view them at:

I decided to walk towards the Bastille where I hadn’t been before for my last night’s dinner in Paris. I had a wonderful meal of strips of beef dredged in flour and sautéed in Brandy and crème with mushrooms and served with a veggie pate. Yum!

I sat in another sidewalk café with some espresso and crème bruele, and watched all the locals walk by.

What a marvelous city, and I know that I will be back to visit again. As I walked to my hotel I kept passing pastry shop and thought that I pretty much stayed away from most of them for my stay here.

Next thing I new I went in and bought a pastry to take back to the hotel room with me. And in the style of France it was a Napoleon! Viva La France!

France Day 10 Tue Oct 24th

In Pictures, Travel on October 28, 2006 at 12:16 pm

Tues Oct 24th
7:30am I woke up this morning and it was pouring rain outside. Yuck! There go all my plans for the morning. The tour guide yesterday told me that there is free wi-fi for laptops at every McDonald’s… (try to figure that one out), so I might just head off to a McDonald’s and start my online blogging.

7:30pm I did go to McDonald’s this morning and blogged for a few hours. During that time the rain stopped but it got very windy and chilly. Took the Metro back to the hotel to drop the laptop off and then went to the meeting place for the afternoon walking tour. I’m taking the Metro and walking around the city now like I know where I’m going and it sure feels good.

Met our tour guide Katie from South Carolina who is on her way back to the states via Amsterdam.

She gave a wonderful tour and we walked through the quaint area near my hotel called the Marais. One highlight was seeing where Oscar Wilde lived.

She brought us to an ice creamery known the serve the best ice cream in Paris. I indulged in a cone of Chocolate Noir (Dark Chocolate) AND Praline with pine nuts. Oh la la! The best ice crème I ever had. Oops I’m spelling like the French.

The rest of the tour was very historic and also has a Jewish quarter where the Jewish residents were forced to register and live in 1941 after the Nazi invasion.

Then when the Nazis wanted they were able to find the Jews easily and deport them to the concentration camps for elimination. There are many memorial plaques around this area, for the people who were tragically removed from society and killed.

One in particular about a man from the resistance, aged 41 who was taken with his 3 sons; aged 21, and twins aged 15. They were all shipped off to Auschwitz and the man and his eldest son died in the gas chamber. The 2 twins died at the hands of doctors performing experiments due to their curiosity about twins.
(How dare that there are still people today that either deny the holocaust ever happened or play it down). Argh!!

It was the end of the tour and I was feeling really tired at this point so I headed back to the hotel and bought more French Chinese food. Now I’m very tired, my feet hurt so I’ll probably stay in for the rest of the evening. Maybe I’ll go out to the Internet café for a while. I’m meeting Travis (who studies at Parson’s Paris) for lunch tomorrow and Richard (Eye Prefer Paris website) for dinner tomorrow night. I guess I can’t fit in everything I wanted, but that will leave me wanting more of Paris for a later trip back.

10:00pm I went out to the internet café but the internet was down so I took a leisurely stroll back to the hotel. I stopped in the café in the hotel and took espresso and pound cake up to the room. I settled in, turned the TV on and watched “The Pirates of the Caribbean” … dubbed in French of course. Speaking of Johnny Depp, he has a house on Ille de Cite, the same island as Notre Dame. I envy him.

Tomorrow my plan is to have breakfast at McDonald’s again (so I can wi fi) and then take the Metro up to Montmartre to see Sacre Coeur, Moulin Rouge, and Pigalle (Pig Alley) know to be the seediest part of town. Also up there is the home of Picasso and Toulouse-Lautrec, and the statue of St. Denis, very interesting story about him. Once I see the statue I’ll mention the story.
PS: I realize that I forgot to mention that after the tour of the Jewish Quarter I stopped in a friendly bar and had a few glasses of Kir; which is Cassis with white wine… remember that from the trip to the Monks of Chartreuse. Cassis is the raspberry chartreuse and tastes wonderful. Now I know why I was so tired. Goodnight.

France Day 9 Mon Oct 23rd

In Pictures, Travel on October 28, 2006 at 11:45 am

Mon Oct 23rd
10:15pm What an exciting day! I did not have a good night’s sleep, tossing and turning and hearing the garbage trucks at 6am. But I showered and looked forward to having breakfast in the hotel’s café. It was OK, but nothing great, just coffee, juice, and croissants. They were not rude just not overly friendly, no small talk, very dry. I had scheduled a “Classic Walk” tour so I pushed myself into a good mood. I went to the meeting place on Pont Louis (the only bridge that connects the small two islands together) early so I would know where it was, then I had an hour to kill.

I walked to Notre Dame and went inside. No need to be religious to appreciate the grandeur and history of the place. I sat and did all my inner talking then went to meet my tour guide.

My tour guide was a 20something guy from Philadelphia named Charles.

He was taking a year off from grad school to bum around France. He found the tour job on Craig’s List. Two other couple’s joined us: a quiet but nice young couple from Australia, and a very nice husband and wife with their adorable baby girl from Ottawa. (Again I was a single with two couples). Our first stop was the Notre Dame and Charles gave some great information.

We took a detour and stopped by the Deportation Memorial for those martyred in 1945 by Hitler. These were the Jewish children taken from Paris to the concentration camps for elimination. My eyes welled up with tears.

We continued to St. Chapelle which was built to house Christ’s crown of thorns. Thanks to carbon dating it was proven to be a fake, but is still housed there and people still do a pilgrimage.

Onto the Louvre, the grandest museum in the world. Exciting! We passed the Musee D’Orsay which is world famous for its Impressionist collection. I would love to visit here if I have time. We walked through the Jardins de Tuileries and sat at a nice café for lunch. Then it was onto the Place de la Concorde, the site of royal beheadings during the French Revolution. We viewed the Champs-Elysees and the Arc de Triomphe.

We walked over the Pont Alexander III, the most beautiful and ornate bridge in the city. It was modeled after a bridge in Russia. We continued to Les Invalides and Napoleon’s Tomb and the Ecole Militaire, a former military school.

We ended the tour at the Eiffel Tower and said our goodbyes. It was a wonderful tour with a super tour guide. I sat there for a while, then started my way back.

I walked along the Seine for a while when a pretty olive skinned woman walking toward me bent down to pick up something at my feet. It was a beautiful man’s wedding band. She asked me if it was real, and I checked it and there was a stamp of 18 Karat, so I told her yes. She seemed delighted and offered it to me. She was very insistant and after a while I accepted. She walked away and I started to when she poked my in the back. She said she was hungry and wanted money for the ring. Scam the tourist! I know I looked like a tourist but… first thing I did was to check that my wallet was in my pocket and it was. I tried giving her the ring back but she wouldn’t accept, I pushed it into her hand and stopped speaking and quickly walked away from her. She turned and walked away too. I checked everything in my pockets and all was safe. That really blew me away for a while, cause I’m very careful and I have both eyes open, but I wasn’t ready for that. Well it did teach me to keep my eyes open even more.

I was very tired from walking and wanted to go straight back to the hotel, but instead I went back to the Louvre to take a picture of the Inverted Pyramid. From there I entered the Metro for the first time. Ahhh, standing at the auto ticket machine trying to buy tickets and it was rush hour so I had a line of irate French people huffing. But the couple next to me assisted me and they were very nice. So again, contrary to rumor, I really have not found any French rudeness so far. Now the Metro, you walk through endless confusing tunnels before you get to the platforms.

The trains are very new clean and the wheels are rubber so the trains hum instead of making the terrible noise the steel wheels making in the New York City train system. Heavy accordion rubber separates the cars so you can actually see all the way to the end of the train. Every train station is designed different. Very nice. I came back to the hotel exhausted, turning the TV on and rested a bit. I was tired but hungry so I went out and brought some French Chinese food back to my room and ate there watching French TV… The only English speaking channel was the French version of CNN news. They have a Saturday Night Live type of comedy show called “Ding Dong” with very funny physical sketch comedy. I then watched a French movie with Bridget Bardot, and called it a night. Another long day scheduled for tomorrow, I’m going to the Eiffel Tower to go up it and take pictures of the city. Then it’s off to the Catacombs, and at 2pm I have another walking tour, this time of the le Maris area.

France Day 7&8 Oct 21&22

In Pictures, Travel on October 26, 2006 at 2:27 pm

Sun Oct 22
9:00pm My first day in Paris… wow! First let me catch up from yesterday. We went to the city of Lyon, which is the 2nd largest city in France with 445, 000 people.

Lyon is like a mini Paris with the river in the center and very historic buildings. Wayne had booked the train to Paris on Sunday leaving from the city of Lyon so he requested that he be dropped off when we got there and he was off on his own.

The highlight was visiting the remains of a Roman amphitheatre dating back to 50 BC. Over 2,000 thousand years, it’s so hard to believe. I went right on the stage and started doing monologues, and I was applauded by strangers who wanted to see more; especially these 2 woman from Germany. We had a wonderful lunch and walked around a very touristy area looking in the wonderful shops and boutiques.

Valerie gave us the most tasty crepes for dinner and dessert and again I was full leaving the dinner table. We expressed our adoration of our 2 hosts and retired to our bedrooms to pack for departure in the morning.

Now, let’s get to Paris! I have already decided that I can easily live here. I took a bus from the airport, which is about 50 minutes away, so I could see the sights. I was left off at Gare de Lyon. A Grand Central Style train Station, only much grander! A 20 minute walk and I was at my hotel.

I checked in with Jean Luc the owner, a handsome and very friendly Frenchman.

I was surprised that my room was larger than I thought but very basic and very clean and just delightful.

I took a shower and headed to the streets of Paris! I did a general walk around and found myself in front of Notre Dam, and the Louvre.

Being Sunday there were a lot of people walking all over and many street vendors, artists and performers. I stopped for a café and looked in amazement at the Eifle Tower. As it got darker it also started to rain, so I headed on foot back to my hotel. No matter where I was in the city it always seemed so quaint and intimate because of the narrow streets and low buildings. (I say low buildings, I mean no skyscrapers). It was dark, rainy, all the stores were closed except for the restaurants. I passed by the Louvre and had to look at the pyramid in front. I stared and thought of the scene in the film The DaVinci Code where Tom Hanks runs into the pyramid. As I went back to the hotel I was a little hungry but not wanting a full meal, and what do you think I came across? Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream. So I indulged in a cone of New York Super Fudge Chunk. I walked in the rain back to the hotel, eating this ice cream thinking… how New York I was, right in the heart of Paris. I loved every second and that’s when I felt comfortable in this beautiful and magical city. Yes I could definitely live here.

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