Archives For Dan Kelly

When I first started at 95.5 PLJ in October of 2012, I was the new kid on a block of people who mostly had resided in the neighborhood for quite some time. You factor in the heritage of this legendary radio station with moving to a new city with a new job in a new living situation and yes, at times it was overwhelming.

Thankfully, I’m surrounded by a lot of great colleagues and coworkers. Plus, I’m living in the greatest city in the world. So it’s all gravy.

That said, when I was first starting out here, I would find myself asking at least one question every evening: “What’s for dinner?” And usually, there was only one person at the station when I asked it: our Creative Services Director, Dan Kelly, who works a similar schedule to mine.

Nightly, we’d order takeout from Seamless (which I introduced him to five years ago) or one of his other go-to spots. Dan has been at the station for well over 10 years now so naturally, he has a go-to taco and Chinese spot.

But then in the spring of 2014, I started eating much healthier: more salads, cold-pressed juices and a lot of greenery. By that summer, I experimented with veganism, trying it out for a month and a half. It was a life-changing experience; I saw what meat, fish and especially dairy were doing to the appearance of my body, specifically the complexion of my skin.

While I’m not a vegan, I do eat vegan cuisine quite a bit (usually breaking from it on special occasions/holidays and/or the weekend). And for my dinner partner, he is not only the exact opposite of vegan but will usually scoff at the mere notion of trying something classified as such.

Last week, a light-bulb went off: this could make for a perfect Facebook Live experiment.

I hopped on Seamless and ordered from a local vegan fast-food joint, Blossom du Jour. On our “tour de vegan” were three dishes: a “bacon, egg and cheese” sandwich, “mac and cheese” and Buffalo cauliflower.

What did Dan think? Check his reactions below.

So it took a rather ambitious travel schedule over the first weekend of 2018 for me to finally realize what my New Year’s Resolution should be.

Here’s a recap of my Saturday and Sunday: I took a 9 am train to Kingston, Rhode Island. From there, I Uber’d 20 minutes over to Newport. A coffee and four mile run later, I met some co-workers at an Irish pub around the corner from our hotel. After drinking two Bloody Marys and watching a horrendous Syracuse basketball loss to Notre Dame, I returned to my room and showered before pre-gaming and heading downstairs to our holiday party.

I hadn’t slept much on Thursday or Friday night and this combined with my early wake-up call on Sunday prompted me to retire from the festivities before midnight. But I was up at 6:30 am the following morning to pack, change and hail another Uber en route to the train station. This Amtrak left at 7:40 am and was supposed to arrive in Philadelphia at 12:30.

The train ran 50 minutes late; by the time I checked my bags at the station, called another Uber and arrived at Wells Fargo Center it was the first intermission. My colleague Dan and his son Justin are diehard Flyers fans and I had never been to a game in Philly. The Sabres were in town and it was a Sunday so we figured this was the perfect opportunity. Dan bought seats three rows from the ice; easily the closest I’ve ever sat for a NHL game. The vantage point definitely gives you a new appreciation for the sport. And the atmosphere in the arena along with the amenities of the venue really made for a cool experience. That said, I would probably only return on one condition.

See, I was rooting for the visiting team and of course I was dressed in full Buffalo gear: my Bills sideline knit hat (don’t get me started) and my Jack Eichel Sabres sweater. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that every single person, starting with the security at the entrance, busted my stones. There were bartenders who half-jokingly refused to serve me, dirty looks from fans and even one guy who went as far as to run in to me while I was walking along the concourse, knocking my Bloody Mary on to the floor in the process.

The game didn’t go much better; the Sabres took an early 1-0 lead but eventually lost 4-1. We returned to Dan’s car with enough time to listen to the end of the Bills playoff game (surprise, another loss!) and then drove to South Street. It was there that I ate my sorrows away with a Jim’s peppersteak while also taking a trip down memory lane, fondly recalling all of the shows I covered at TLA.

I was back in my apartment by around 8 pm and I have to say, despite all of the terrible outcomes with my sports teams, I was in a great mood. I saw the beautiful coastline in Newport and the skyline of Philadelphia and New York, not to mention the spectacular sunrise and sunset witnessed in Southern New England. I ate lobster rolls in Rhode Island and cheesesteaks in Philly. I was surrounded by awesome friends the entire weekend.

I need more weekends like that. The goal for 2018, on a personal level, is to worry less about possessions and focus more on experiences. I truly believe if I can surround myself with great people and eat some fantastic food along the way, I’m in store for an unforgettable year.

And yunno what? If a Bloody Mary or two gets spilled along the way, so be it.