vegetarian

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10 Common Foods That Smell Worse Than Durian

Published April 28, 2020 by Maryanne

DurianAlmighty Durian — The King of All Fruit! 

I’ve been a serious durian eater for almost 20 years. I first heard of durian when I was a raw foodist back in the day. I learned that the durian has more vitamins than any other fruit. And that it was absolutely delicious, but had a strange smell.

The first time I tried it, it was durian “ice cream” at a raw food restaurant in NYC. Since it was frozen, it had no smell. I even asked my guest, “Does it smell?” No, it didn’t. A short time after that, I got a real durian, in China Town. That’s when I realized it did have a bit of an odd smell, but it didn’t stop me from waiting for the fruit to defrost and dig in!

Durian is the most delicious thing you can imagine! It has the consistency of custard, and tastes like a cross between hazelnut, vanilla, banana, with a tinge of onion. Weird, but it works! Durian is absolutely addicting. Because of the vitamin content, you’ll be high for hours after eating one (or some of it, as there is truly a lot of fruit pudding in each pod!)

After I first broke my durian cherry, I was so hooked I was hoofing it to China Town once a week, carrying three with me on the bus home. Yes, it’s true, I had a three-per-week durian habit. Friends said I was like a crack addict when it came to durians. I loved them so much, I had one tattooed on my inner calf. And to this day, only one stranger approached me and asked, “Is that a durian?” No one else knows what it is. But it works when I’m in an Asian market, because the workers do not understand what I want until I show them my tattoo. Then they laugh and direct me to the fish area where everything is on ice.

It’s rare to meet a fellow durian lover. I’ve tried recruiting people, but the best comment I’ve heard was from my mother, “I like it, but I don’t love it.” People are mainly turned off by the smell. The durian has been compared to paint cleaner, a gas leak, and even garbage. Yeah, it’s true. Sometimes I’ll pass garbage in NYC and start dreaming about durian.

Okay, I get it, I won’t eat durian around anyone. But why do people get so bent out of shape with the mere mention of a durian? First thing out of their mouths, “It smells.” How original! (Note sarcasm!)

So, since people are so quick to judge my durian, let me put it out there that there are foods that stink worse–and YOU eat them! Yes, it’s true, and here they are in no particular order….

  1. Cold Cuts (aka lunch meat). There’s not much that makes me gag more than lunch meat. It has a nasty stench that makes you think it was slivered off the animal right then and there. This is what I’d imagine a dead person to smell like before embalming.
  2. Cheese. If it’s so accepted for stinky cheese to be good, then lay off my durians!
  3. Chinese Food. Don’t get me wrong, I love Chinese food–the dishes that are more on the plain side, like brown rice, moo shu, or vegetable lo mein. But what is that horrific sauce that is orange? The smell is so strong it knocks me over.
  4. Vinegar. First of all, I LOVE vinegar. When it’s on a salad, you barely notice that it stinks. But when people use it in their hair, or if a bottle breaks — hold your nose! Vinegar smells like dirty feet.
  5. Hot Dogs. If you think hot dogs smell good, you are thinking of the onions and sauerkraut toppings. A regular hot dog boiling is similar to what I described above for cold cuts. Blech!
  6. Tomato Juice. I was once seated at a lecture next to a woman who was drinking tomato juice. Now that was an unforgettable foul smell.
  7. Fish. This is one 90 percent will agree with.
  8. Alcohol. This is why I don’t like to dine out. If there’s a bar, you can smell stale alcohol and it ruins your appetite. It’s as if it’s stuck in the wood; even in the fanciest of restaurants, that diseased smell exists.
  9. Coffee with milk and sugar that is sitting around. Don’t get me wrong on this one, fresh-brewed hot, black, coffee is one of the greatest smells. But, cold coffee with milk and sugar, just hanging around for over an hour, has a smell that can make you gag.
  10. Cigarettes. Okay, this isn’t a food, but the way some people are addicted, it might as well be one of the food groups to them. And they are the worst stench of all! There is nothing sexy about cigarettes. When I see someone in the street smoking, I will cross the street just to avoid them. If I’m exposed to your cigarette smoke, I should be allowed to kill you. (That’s a joke).

What foods do you find most offensive? Share in the comment section below!  

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

“The Gypsy Smiled” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta-ebook/dp/B074VC7MT9

COVID-19 Health & Safety in Health Food Stores

Published April 6, 2020 by Maryanne

Health Food -- My coconut wrap, arugula, avo, tomato, coconut cheeseCoconut wrap with avocado. tomato, and arugula 

Yesterday I had a horrible experience in a health food store. The owner sent me an email apologizing, so I won’t “name and shame” but I think it’s important to share my experience in case others have something similar happen to them. And I made a promise to myself to never support them again after what went down.

First, this is MY POLICY…

Beginning today, I am no longer supporting mom and pop “health” food stores who do not respect the boundaries of COVID19. This includes: 1. Cashiers/managers and other workers NOT social distancing. 2. Stores that do not sanitize their carriages; 3. Store that have a “policy” for CUSTOMERS to wear those vinyl/latex gloves because they are unsanitary when used incorrectly; 4. Stores that do not clean their parking lots that are filled with said gloves discarded on the ground.

Now, my bad experience…

There’s a health food store I’ve favored for over a decade. They had everything. Great produce, mineral make-up, toiletries, and perfume that doesn’t test on animals (I’ve used cruelty free products since 1996), and even a great selection of incense.

Two weeks ago, I noticed they had vinyl gloves for customers to wear to shop. These types of gloves never sat well with me. In fact, I think they are disgusting. Nevertheless, I put a pair on and within seconds I was pulling them off because I could feel my sensitive skin reacting to them. I tossed them in the garbage. I shopped, then afterwards I went to my car and noticed these gloves were discarded all over the lot. The store didn’t take care to clean up and put them in the garbage. I found this to be vile and was proud of myself for not participating in the glove thing.

Yesterday I went back to the store and now it was mandatory that customers had to wear gloves. I told a cashier that I couldn’t wear them because last week they made my hands red.

Well, she took it upon herself to come out from behind her cash register and scold me — two feet away from me! Not at all social distancing. Now I was freaking out because I knew this person was a smoker and not in the best of health. Even though I’m very healthy, I didn’t want her to pass it to me, if she had it, then I might pass it to someone else who isn’t very healthy! So not cool.

At this point, I’d also like to say, that this store does not sanitize their carriages. This is something that never bothered me before. I am not a germ phobic, but now with COVID19, I can’t…

Anyway, I told her I was going to contact the owner of the store because she was harassing me. She went nuts and told the manager of the make-up department that I was going to tell on her. What a big baby! The make-up manager wasn’t much better in insisting that I wear the gloves. It made no difference to her when I said I was a professional writer/author and I couldn’t afford to have my hands get red, itchy, or whatever else would happen because two weeks ago I had a bad reaction to the vinyl gloves. Did she give a shit? No. Instead the two women continued to behave like scary, uptight school marms as they went on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on about “store policy.”

I was like, “forget it,” and left. Without groceries.

Then I called one of their other stores to speak to the owner. He wasn’t there but another manager told me I could go back into the store wearing WINTER GLOVES.

REALLY?! WINTER GLOVES?! That is even more unsanitary! I practically laughed in her face.

I left feeling defeated. It was a 25-minute drive and now I had no groceries for the week. When I got home, I researched and found this wonderful article from Men’s Health: You Shouldn’t Be Wearing Gloves To Go Grocery Shopping

I smiled to myself and posted this on Facebook. A nurse friend said the article is correct. Being right was cool, but it didn’t take away from the drama of being yelled at by two misinformed puppets who seemed to take a sadist delight in ganging up on a friendly, happy, petite, attractive woman. It was an extreme level of catty I haven’t experienced in a long time; from two mean women who were stuck in a go-nowhere job. Perhaps they were pissed that they had to work during the COVID19 pandemic. But that is not my problem. They should take it up with their boss.

The incident took it’s toll on me and I had a headache since last night. This is when I realized, you can’t call a place a health food store when it’s stressing you out, because STRESS IS NOT HEALTHY!

Later that day, my husband took me to Whole Foods. Over the years I had my issues with that store too, but to my surprise, the way they were handing things was impressive. They had customers lined up outside, letting people in as others left. Everyone was politely standing six feet apart. The wait wasn’t bad at all, especially since it was a gorgeous spring day.

Inside some were disobeying the six feet rule, but my immune system is pretty stellar so I wasn’t worried. Especially their mouths were covered with masks and they weren’t scolding me, so no accidental spit was coming out of their mouths like how some people get when they yell.

When I paid, and I am not an Amazon Prime member so I don’t get a discount, my total was 20 percent less than what I usually pay at that mom and pop store. They also carry some brands I like that the other store doesn’t.

So until this pandemic ends and I can go food shopping every day like I used to and support other mom and pop health food stores, I think I’ll be just fine going to Whole Foods as a one-stop shopping place.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

“The Gypsy Smiled” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta-ebook/dp/B074VC7MT9

 

 

Anti-Bullying Book “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” Now Available on Audiobooks!

Published June 21, 2019 by Maryanne

BookCoverPreview Mistretta

I am ecstatic that my book “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” published by Higher Ground Books & Media, is now available on AUDIO! (https://www.audible.com/pd/I-Dont-Want-to-Be-Like-You-Audiobook/B07TB2VKWY?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWT-BK-ACX0-155390&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_155390_rh_us)

Sarah Staton is the voice who made my story come to life!

My book takes place growing up in the 1970s when I was bullied in both grade school and high school. And I’m sad to say, that even in this day and age bullying continues. Children are committing suicide because of assholes who have not yet evolved. Adults are secretly emailing me, “Write something about bullying in the workplace.”

It makes me so angry that 50 years later, it’s not getting better but worse.

Bullies target those who are unique; those who speak up for themselves; those who are shy; those who are creative; those who are very smart and think out of the box; those who don’t follow the crowd; and those who are very good looking. If you recognize yourself in any of those words, you most likely were a target for a bully. Because victims are often so smart and creative, they also carry around insecurities. Smart and creative people never feel good enough. You know that old saying, a genius never sees himself as one. Bullies pick up on this and attack.

The good news is, there is no reason at all to feel shame. It’s not you, it’s them. Bullies are the ones who feel hurt, sad, unloved, ugly, dumb, so they target others to make themselves feel big. Bullies are also masters at gas lighting (making others think THEY are the ones who are crazy). It’s a manipulative way for a bully to “win.”

Truth be told, all bullies are losers. If you can’t come from a place of love, you’ll never evolve. And isn’t evolution the ultimate goal? 

I recently sent out a call for speaking engagements. I let everyone know I am READY to speak out against bullying — in libraries, schools, corporations — and I will travel.

One of the responses I received was that bullying isn’t going away.

I did not know how to answer that. From what I wrote above, you may think I agree that it’s not going away. But hear me out, I now believe differently.

I was speaking to someone in a health food store earlier today. This man asked me if I was a vegan.

I said, “No, but I eat vegan for several days at a time.” I further explained I was a vegetarian/vegan for 28 years, from ages 23 to 51. Then I started eating meat (grass-fed only, and some chicken — no pork or veal!) to get my health in order. (I went from having low blood sugar, thyroid issues, low white blood cell count, very low blood pressure/borderline anemic as a vegetarian to a person of perfect health with some meat back in my body!)

After hearing my story, my new vegan friend thanked me for being one of the leaders in the movement back in the day when it was HARD. Now it’s easy! There are more vegans than ever and you can get vegan food anywhere. But in 1986, I was considered a “weirdo” for not eating meat.

What does this have to do with bullying, you may ask? 

You see, over 30 years ago, people didn’t get vegetarians. But we’ve evolved. Now we get it. And people are health conscious and accepting. The smarter ones are getting along in harmony. THIS can happen with bullying too!

At age 55, I see myself having at least another good 30 years on this planet, in this body I rented. In the year 2049, I TRULY BELIEVE, bullying will be on its way to extinction. We will evolve and change the world. Bullies will be the new neanderthals … so over. People who love will no longer be the weirdos. They will be the WINNERS! The meek will surely inherit the earth.

I CAN’T WAIT!

In the meantime, please purchase my book or audio book, it may save your child’s life when he or she hears about how I was bullied, but grew up to be successful and happy!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing, and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

 

Asparagus Christmas Tree

Published December 26, 2017 by Maryanne

DSCF1199Asparagus Christmas Tree

At our yearly Christmas party we always have “naughty” and “nice” food tables. But just because something is healthy, doesn’t mean it’s not delicious! Guests loved my asparagus Christmas tree, which was easy and incredibly tasty. I got the idea from a woman’s magazine, but their version was a bit bland, so I truly made it rock — my way!

Here’s how:

Stir fry, in olive oil, a bunch of asparagus, along with diced red peppers, shallots, and lemon pepper to taste. Cook to your liking. (I did it about 5.5 minutes, so it’s still crunchy).

Add white balsamic vinegar and chill.

One hour later, arrange asparagus and peppers to resemble tree.

ENJOY!

(Suitable for most diets/lifestyles).

Maryanne Christiano Mistretta is an award winning journalist and has written for several health publications and had her own health column “Here’s to Your Health.” She’s available for Healthy Foodie Library Lectures. Contact at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

Stay Wild — Wildwood, New Jersey

Published September 7, 2017 by Maryanne

DSCF0144The gorgeous, retro, Starlux Hotel

Of all the places to travel, the one place I keep going back to is New Jersey’s Wildwoods. This hot vacation spot really does have it all. Whether you want to relax in the pool or hot tub — or on the beach; or enjoy nightlife, the boardwalk, and good eats, it’s just pure magic. People come from all over the world to vacation here. I’ve been coming here since I was a little kid and am always happy to come back again and again and again with my husband; even off season!

DSCF0101Outdoor patio at Epicure

Of course vacationers can pig out on every kind of Boardwalk food you can imagine, but I preferred the healthy route. It’s awesome when you can come home from a vacation weighing less than you did when you left for vacation! And Epicure really did the trick enticing my healthy palate. It was one of my favorite dining spots on the trip. I had a vegetarian chili with a beautiful salad, that featured the best miso dressing I ever had in my life.

DSCF0110Salad at Epicure

DSCF0158Beach Creek Oyster Bar & Grill

And then for even more good food and a nice dose of romance, head over to Beach Creek Oyster Bar & Grill and watch the sunset. Hint: If you don’t want to wait for a table inside, just go out back for appetizers. I had a huge salad of shrimp and lump crab meat; and a half dozen oysters, which satisfied and filled me. I never saw a restaurant that had an appetizer list three pages long.

DSCF0074Morey’s Piers

And, of course, you can’t forget the super long boardwalk, with several piers of amusements. It’s the best at night, when it’s all lit up. Check out that full moon in the background!

DSCF0078

Wildwood is known for preserving it’s mid-century aka “doo wop” architecture, which is why vacationing in the Wildwoods is more than a vacation — it’s a transport back in time.

DSCF0168Two-tiered Merry Go Round

These photos do no justice to the greatness that is The Wildwoods. You’ll just have to visit and see for yourself.

And for other Wildwood enthusiasts, I leave you with five famous words — “Watch the tram car please!”

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is an award winning journalist and three-time author. A lover of retro, her fictitious book “Love Cats” takes place in the 1980s. Get your copy of “Love Cats” on Amazon today: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YBGVJQS/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

 

 

“Healthy Pasta Alternatives” Another Successful Presentation!

Published April 17, 2016 by Maryanne

SAM_9882Cold Sesame Noodles made with Dreamfields Pasta

Once again I had another “Healthy Pasta Alternatives” presentation. This time it was held at Fairfield Library, Fairfield, New Jersey. Thanks so much to John Arthur for having me! The class is limited to 20 so I could give each person individual attention and answer all questions.

I’m not a nutritionist, but I’ve interviewed many health celebrities for articles during my career as a journalist. These include: David Wolfe, Carol Alt, Oleda Baker, and Patricia Bragg.

The dishes I make for these presentations are used with all natural, organic, clean ingredients. There are samples for everyone.

Thanks so much to singer/pianist/friend Barbara Hassenfeld (http://www.barbaraevanshassenfeld.com/) for coming!

SAM_9922Maryanne (left) with singer/pianist Barbara Hassenfeld

To have this presentation at your library, rotary club, JCC, senior club or private party, contact Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta for availability and pricing at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

Easy Homemade Miso Soup

Published January 12, 2016 by Maryanne

SAM_9494Homemade Miso Soup (photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta)

Miso soup is one of the healthiest dishes and this is the first time I ever made it. I can’t believe how great it came out. My husband loved it too. We both cleaned our dishes.

Here is the very easy recipe:

Ingredients

1 tablespoon dried wakame (I love Eden brand!)

2 scallions, sliced thin

4 ounces of firm tofu, cubed

3 tablespoons white miso

1 teaspoon sesame oil

Directions

Soak wakame in cold water for five minutes (it will expand) and then drain.

Boil four cups of water in saucepan.

Add scallions and cook for two minutes

Add tofu and turn off heat.

Take some of the broth aside and mix with miso until smooth, then add to the saucepan, along with the wakame. Stir in sesame oil.

Healthy and delicious!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the former editor of NJ Health & Fitness and the column “Here’s to Your Health.” She presents lectures on healthy food choices at libraries and assisted living facilities. For rates and availability, contact Maryanne at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

The Hearth, New Hope, PA

Published November 9, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_9180The Hearth

My first visit to The Heart, in New Hope, Pennsylvania: http://hearthnewhope.com/

This is a cozy restaurant. They play excellent music (like Traveling Wilburys and Bob Dylan).

They specialize in vegetarian, so I had a chickpea burger, with a side salad. It was a little dry, as was the salad. They are chintzy with the dressing; you could barely taste it.

The best was the dessert, pictured below, Raw Chocolate Mousse: avocado, cashew, cacao, agave blend topped with raspberries and toasted coconut. [Note: I make a similar pudding at home with frozen acai, banana, honey and avocado. It sounds weird, but the avocado gives it the pudding consistency and it really does taste like pudding!]

My husband had the Flourless Chocolate Torte [also pictured below] which is gluten free. I had a taste and it was very rich.

The Ethiopian coffee was perfect.

SAM_9174Raw chocolate Mousse w/pear

SAM_9175Flourless Chocolate Torte

Upstairs is nice and cozy, with a beautiful stained glass window, though with the acoustics, it’s a shame it’s too loud and you can hear conversations at everyone’s tables — even a soft whisper sounds loud. Luckily we were able to enjoy the dessert portion of our meal when a foursome left and only another quiet couple were upstairs with us.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the managing editor of Dining Out magazine and a serious Yelp-er.

Favorite Healthy Eats in Ocean City, New Jersey

Published October 10, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_8693Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

My husband and I treated ourselves to a beautiful three-day stay in Ocean City, New Jersey. We scored a penthouse suite overlooking the ocean with a heated pool and a jacuzzi in the room (we absolutely adored the place, but I’m not saying where we stayed because we love our privacy and do plan to go back — very soon!)

So, while being vague about our actual vacation, I will give a shout out to some places that had great eats!

Crab Trap: https://www.thecrabtrap.com/

The Crab Trap, after a 45-minute wait for a table, was a very good time. They had live entertainment and excellent service. Standouts include the crackers and horseradish on the table (very addicting!) and the clams on a half shell.

Yoasis: http://yogurt-oasis.com/

Right on the boardwalk! The signature Original Acai bowl was to die for: pure acaí, banana, almond milk blend, topped with granola, sliced banana, and honey. This is so delicious, after the first one I went back three hours later for another — and added spirulina the second time. I’m only home one day and I am missing this already! (And again excellent service!)

Rojos Tacos: http://www.octacos.com/

Wanting something simple and healthy, I opted for a large serving of guacamole. Theirs was fabulous. It was made with cilantro. Another place with excellent service!

Bashful Banana: http://www.bashfulbananacafe.com/

Also on the boardwalk. I love this place because I was able to get lunch for breakfast! I had a veggie burger with hummus, salad and fresh fruit; and a kale/carrot/celery juice. Delicious, fresh food and more great service! We ate outside, but when I went inside, it was super cool to hear The Archies playing “Sugar Sugar.”

And I have to give a shout out to Pamela’s (health food) in Margate: http://www.pamelashealth.com/

Pamela is a doll! I just stopped in for some zinc because I was a little under the weather. We ended up talking about cats for about 10 minutes! So I must say, they have some organic cat food I wasn’t able to find anywhere else. And you just can’t take a vacation without bringing a treat home to the little guy! ❤

Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga, Bethel, N.Y., July 25, 2015

Published July 26, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_8059Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga

It was such a perfect, summer evening to see an outdoor concert in Bethel, N.Y. — on the same grounds hippies graced at the famous Woodstock the summer of 1969.

My husband surprised me with tickets because I love Lady Gaga. Now, mind you, I am not qualified to call myself a “Little Monster” as I do not have any of her CDs. BUT I won’t turn her off when she’s on the radio. And from day one I just liked her for her unique style and sincere personality. (It was always great watching her on talk shows).  “Poker Face” is one of my favorite pop hits ever, as she sings in the same range as Cher and I’ve adored Cher since I was 7.

I figured a Lady Gaga show with Tony Bennett would be more my speed than a regular Lady Gaga concert, so when I heard about this, I hinted heavily that I wanted to go! But note, I don’t own any Tony Bennett records either. Still, it was thrilling to go see a man 88-years-old, that I was aware of since I was a little girl. The only older performer I ever saw was Les Paul who was in his 90s when I saw him perform.

So … going in not knowing what to expect except for the videos I saw on You Tube. I must say I was “wowed.” The show was phenomenal. The Bennett/Gaga duo was a perfect musical marriage. They did over 30 jazz hits together and solo. And during Tony Bennett’s solos, Lady Gaga went backstage for at least 10 costume changes. It was a fun show, kind of like a Las Vegas-y, burlesque, old school variety show. Their chemistry was fabulous, and I loved how Tony Bennett endearingly referred to her as “Lady” (instead of “Gaga” as her fans call her).

I had three favorite highlights of the evening:

1. When Lady Gaga sang La Vie En Rose (by Edith Piaf). It was moved to tears and gave her my own personal standing ovation for that one. What a voice!

2. When Tony Bennett sang his hit, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” He got a standing ovation from me on that one. And what a voice on this one too!

3. When they ended the show with “It Don’t Mean a Thing if It Ain’t Got That Swing” and Tony Bennett brought out his little dog! Then Lady Gaga seemed to be personally thanking their back-up band, which was so heart-warming to see. Moments like that go to show the true personalities behind the stage persona.

When I saw the set list from one of the other shows, I was saddened to see that this go ’round Tony Bennett didn’t do “Fly Me to the Moon” which is one of the few Frank Sinatra songs I like.

But other favorites of the evening were: Lady performing,”Bang Bang, My Baby Shot Me Down,” (a Cher song!); Tony Bennett doing, “Smile Though Your Heart is Aching,” (a Charlie Chaplin song); and the two doing, “The Lady is a Tramp.”

After the show, my husband and I has our own little late night picnic on the grounds after getting the most amazing vegetarian spring rolls at “Hungry Hungry Hippies.”

SAM_8086Best vegetarian spring rolls ever!

SAM_8045Enjoying the show!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” available on Amazon in paperback version only: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162903908X