A special shout out to the guys and gals up at the Broad Channel VFW who worked long and hard to make the recent Saint Patrick's Day dinner for the two busloads of disabled veterans from the St. Albans Community Living Center who attended. Thanks to our very own Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato, there was no shortage of delicious corned beef to be had, all of which was accompanied by cabbage and boiled potatoes as well as ample sides of freshly made Irish Soda Bread slathered with butter.
It was hard to tell who was having the better time, the veterans or the staff serving and entertaining them. And before the emails start coming in, yes, I realize that corned beef and cabbage is not actually a traditional meal of Ireland. Very few Irish eat it for St. Patrick's Day and it's absolutely not the Irish national dish. Truth be told, corned beef was used as a substitute for bacon by Irish-American immigrants in the late 19th century, and corned beef and cabbage is the Irish-American variant of the actual Irish dish of bacon and cabbage. That being said, it's still a great Irish-American dish.
I would be greatly remiss if I did not also offer a great big thank you to Walker Hornung (of Walker and the Brotherhood of the Grape fame) for taking time out of his busy schedule to provide the fabulous live musical entertainment for our veterans. In addition to being a fantastic musician, songwriter and entertainer, over the years Walker has also proved himself to be one of those selfless individuals who never fails to go out of his way for our vets!
It should come as no surprise to anyone that of New York City's 421 subway stations, Manhattan's Times Square - 42nd Street ranks number one as the busiest with some 65 million MetroCard swipes annually. The flip side of that coin is our very own Broad Channel station coming in dead last at 421 as the least utilized station with an annual utilization of 91 thousand just squeaking by Beach 105th, which came in at #420 with some 95,000 MetroCard swipes.
Speaking of our subway system, I stopped using the iron horse several years ago. Every time I boarded a train I was bombarded with signage and announcements telling me “If you see something, say something. If you witness suspicious activity report it to a New York City police officer.” I quickly discovered that if I were to spend my day reporting suspicious activity on a New York City subway, I had no time for anything else other than speaking with cops! The straw that broke the camel's back came when I realized that I had stopped reporting this one guy who was constantly exposing himself on the late night A train after he boarded the train at the Jay Street-Metro Tech station. Instead, I simply waited until I departed the car at Broad Channel and remarked to the cop on duty "Hey, I saw Steve again on the way home."
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