One Million Visitors

It was this now-seven-year-old blog’s greatest achievement, and I missed it! Some time in June (which was a crazy, hectic month for various reasons you’ve read about), Reel to Real passed 1,000,000 visitors. I remember in the spring realizing it was coming up, but forgot all about it. Since I started my food blog last fall, I have not been as active here. But this place is not forgotten. I check the stats daily, and am always surprised to see some posts skyrocket on reads for no apparent reason. Since it’s October, the Halloween 2K17 posts will soon be coming fast and furiously. and I am happy to report that my Paranormal File articles are still doing quite a number.

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“Halloween 2K” Column to Return This September

For the third straight year, I will be bringing back a month-plus of horror movie reviews, paranormal investigating adventures, and general creepy stories for an annual Halloween column. This year, of course, will be “Halloween 2K17”. I’ll be taking a bit of a break later this month from my other blog, Eating New Jersey, to focus on this. October is my favorite month out of the year. My readers probably know of my work at the haunted Strauss Mansion Museum and how much fun we have every October. For more information about that “other” part of my life, please see my Paranormal File as well as my web-series I host with friends, Ghosts on the Coast.

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“Halloween Twenty-Fifteen”: That’s a Wrap!

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It is now November, so I just wanted to say that’s a wrap on “Halloween Twenty-Fifteen”, the column I started back in September to lead up to my favorite holiday. There were 40 installments including this one, covering paranormal investigations, creepy legends, and also horror movie reviews. I hope everyone enjoyed it, and I will definitely bring it back next year with a different name. To read all the different articles, please click here. As for what is coming up in November and December, it is hard to follow up what ended up being a widely read column. I was thinking maybe some JFK postings since the anniversary is this month, but I am not sure how much time I will have for research. There are a few restaurant reviews which have been sitting on the shelf because I did not want them to interfere with all the Halloween stuff, so those will be posted shortly.

“Halloween Twenty-Fifteen”: October is Finally Here!

Stormy skies rolled in over Strauss Mansion when we shot some footage there a few months ago.
Stormy skies rolled in over Strauss Mansion when we shot some footage there a few months ago.

My favorite month of the year is finally here. This blog is already well underway with our special “Halloween Twenty-Fifteen” column which will carry on until the end of October. I’ve already posted 16 articles in this column over the last month, including horror and sci-fi movie reviews as well as write-ups of my paranormal investigating adventures. You can expect more of the same to come this month. I have quite a few more reviews waiting to be posted as well as a report from when I investigated Brookdale Community College this past summer. That will be put up in a few weeks as we get closer to Halloween.

Continue reading ““Halloween Twenty-Fifteen”: October is Finally Here!”

“Halloween Twenty-Fifteen”: A New Column for this Fall

The Strauss Mansion museum in Atlantic Highlands, where Greg is on the board of directors.
The Strauss Mansion museum in Atlantic Highlands, where Greg is on the board of directors.

As a paranormal investigator who loves horror movies and works at a haunted museum, there is no better time of year than fall and October. This blog has always been busy with paranormal musings, and that will continue. I am starting up a new column that will run the next couple months until the end of October, called “Halloween Twenty-Fifteen”. In years past, I have used the phrase “Haunted History” and the year, but I would like to expand on a little more than just that. Sure, over the next eight weeks, you can expect plenty of my ghost hunting adventures, including throwbacks to some of my really good previous ones. I also plan on writing a lot about the Strauss Mansion museum where I volunteer at, and our annual ghostly themed events. The column will also include horror movie reviews and scan what different ghost shows are popping up on television, and whether or not they are credible and worth your time.

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“From New York to San Francisco” to Become “Reel to Real”

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Say goodbye to this logo, as FNYTSF changes its name. Will be working on getting a new logo soon.

For quite some time, the name ‘From New York to San Francisco” has not sat well with me. When I created this blog in March of 2010 with that name, it was because I was going to write about the New York Rangers, and occasionally, the San Francisco Giants as well as a few other topics. But over time, covering those two teams on a regular basis proved too difficult, and now I barely write about hockey at all, though there will be a few pieces coming in the next month or so, with NHL Free Agency about to heat up. In the last few years, movies and history have been the main themes on this blog, but I still kept the name because that is what it was known as. Then, last month, I kicked the idea around on Facebook that it was time for a name change, and asked for suggestions. My favorite one, which I think accurately describes this blog, was “Reel to Real”. This perfectly and succinctly sums up what this blog is all about: movie reviews for the reel, as well as historical commentary, sports-writing, and random and political musings for the real (sometimes even the surreal when it comes to my ghost hunting adventures). And so, I hope you like the name change, and it will be easier for me since I no longer have to explain why I have two city names in the title of my blog that has little to do with either of them. The content will stay the same as it has been for the last few years, and I hope to find the time to produce more of it. If anyone has any suggestions on how I can better this blog for your reading pleasure, please leave a comment in the section below. Thanks!

A Happy New Year from FNYTSF!

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Unfortunately, this will be my first and only post for the month of December, as the abundance of free time I once had for blogging has gone by the wayside. Hopefully, 2014 will be a much better year for cranking out posts, because I have simply just fallen into a lull of what to write about. Much like the paranormal posts I put on here from time to time, I have been busy of late filming episodes for a YouTube series called Haunted Travels, which you can learn all about on the Paranormal File page here on this website. With my energies being focused on that, combined with school and work, it has been impossible for me to find the time to write! Still, I am happy to say that traffic is coming in very well, as are comments on past articles. I want to thank all my loyal readers for sticking with me for another year, this being our fourth on the blogosphere. With tonight being New Year’s Eve, I would like to wish you all a very happy and healthy 2014 filled with much joy and success!

FNYTSF Nominated for “WordPress Family Award”

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I am very pleased and honored to announce that this blog has been nominated for the “WordPress Family Award”, a chain award where you have to get nominated by a fellow WordPress blogger (hence the “family” part of the award), and once you are, have to nominate someone in turn. My nomination came from writer and filmmaker Brad Clark over at Open Eyes, who has a wonderful blog devoted to his many travels, as well another one on the Civil War. Since I unfortunately do not have the time to browse through many blogs, I will offer up a nomination of the one I read most frequently, which is authored by friend and reenactor (and co-writer on other sites) Steven Hancock for Civil War Diary. If there is one very good thing that comes out of such an award chain like this, it is the generation of exposure to other blogs—in looking around just in the past few minutes at other nomination posts, it really opened my eyes to exactly how many great blogs there are running here on WordPress. For years prior to me starting this blog, I wrote for many different websites (mostly sports related) and there was always some underlying competition between writers; sometimes it could get downright ugly. I don’t know if that particular subject created that atmosphere or not, but here on WordPress I never got that vibe. Writers here tend to be supportive of one another, posting positive comments and helping to “like” and share articles to expand the audience of others. We truly are like one big family, and I am honored to share in this award with so many great writers.

Introducing My New Blog: “History Watchdog”

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First things first, no, I am not ceasing my activity here on this blog. Unfortunately, I have not had the time to write as much as I would like to, but schoolwork, my two jobs, and working on several other projects that are going absolutely nowhere has really hampered my activity here. Every summer, I am usually posting the same complaint: there is just nothing to write about. Even if I still covered hockey on a regular basis, there would be nothing worthy to note here. Civil War movie production is in a little bit of a downturn, as since Copperhead has now hit theaters and On-Demand to great reviews from people like you and me, but awful ones from the “real” critics, I have now come to the realization that I will most likely never be able to provide such coverage of a single film like that ever again, at least not unofficially from the sidelines as a “fan”. There just are not enough hours in the day, and when there are, there aren’t enough days in a week. It is because of this that I wanted to go in a slightly different direction with my writing. Over the years, this blog has become the go-to for everything Civil War-related in the media, and now because of my scathing reviews of several television documentaries, people with interests in all different topics are checking this place out. Because FNYSTF has always been a potpourri of subjects, as varied as they may be, I do not want this to become littered with only my thoughts on documentaries and historical flicks. That is where History Watchdog comes in, a new blog devoted entirely to that medium.

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FNYTSF Reaches 500,000 Hits

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I know I have not been able to blog much of late (only 10 posts in the last two months), but I just wanted to pass this milestone along to all of my loyal readers. This afternoon, From New York to San Francisco reached 500,000 total hits, this coming about two weeks shy of our third anniversary. As I have said many times, I have to thank those who have shared the links to different articles here to people all over the world. I never envisioned this many hits in such a short span of time when I made my first post on March 13, 2010. With so many topics being covered here, I suppose I have found my niche with different readers, who may be coming for opinion on sports, movies, television, and history, and of course, some exclusive coverage and interviews dealing with the latest Civil War movies. I have been so busy with classes and coaching hockey that my free time is limited, but as we near the spring and summer, I hope to be able to write more. There are some exciting months ahead with Copperhead being released June, and also a slew of other events due to the 150th anniversary of Gettysburg being right around the corner. Once again, thank you very much!