I ride by the empty lot on Beach Channel Drive and 106th Street several times during the course of the week and am amazed by the bucolic setting that I see: reeds jutting up from rain-created ponds with all sorts of water fowl about. Inside the two-and-a-half block barbed-wired fence, sits empty city blocks filled with all sorts of birds. They include the various types of scavenger seagulls from the bay and ocean: laughing gulls, herring gulls, and terns. In addition, there are the swallows that fly over the bay and sewerage plant at dusk, swooping into this nestled watery place for birds. Butterflies float freely across the lot too. It is a wonderful sight to see through the cyclone fences. But that’s as far as one can get, because that

I had the good fortune a few years ago to reconnect with some old friends from my Greenpoint neighborhood through a music studio in Greenpoint (Williamsburg if you are a hipster) that was built by one of the guys. That guy’s family owned a house built in the 1850s on Graham Avenue, that he was able to convert into a cool studio. Several old friends would come by and before you knew it there was a full band ripping it up pretty good. What was better was the repartee between these friends of 40

Off the coast of South Carolina, about an hour north of Savanah, Georgia is Hilton Head, an island that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean that is filled with history, great food and golf! The island is not named after Paris Hilton, but after explorer William Hilton sailing under the banner of King Charles II of England. Liking the place, he named it after himself, quite a humble guy.

To get there today you fly into Savanah and drive north. Leave time for a visit to Savanah though because this

On a bright sunny Saturday morning, after weeks of non-stop rain, the mermaid and I drove down to Beach 74th Street to a lot where the principal business is selling used cars. But that is just a cover for the launching pad that is the Rockaway Mermaid Brigade's entry into the Coney Island Mermaid Parade. As we exited the car and walked toward the lot, we were struck by the flurry of busy, multi-colored mermen and mermaids preparing for their big day. You see they are defending float champs from

I didn’t grow up in Rockaway, which my mermaid likes to remind me of. I grew up in Greenpoint, prior to the hipster revolution and all those cool dudes coming to Rockaway with surfboards on the A train. I did grow up learning to body surf from my summers in bungalows on Beach 87th Street in the early 1960s and then again in the late 70s on Beach 100th Street, but the thought of being over my head on a surfboard always frightened me.

Being closer to the end then the beginning, I figured why not

This past weekend was a rare one for me. I actually went to the beach and sat in a chair and did nothing but stare at the water, read my book, and nod off. Two days in a row, a total of almost six hours of what most people call, “relaxing.” While this might seem like an article “about nothing,” to paraphrase George Costanza, it’s actually a big deal for me.

I didn’t invent multi-tasking, but I have been rightfully accused by the mermaid of taking it to absurd lengths. Take for instance the day

And just like that, we have 80-degree weather and crowds that completely overpopulate the peninsula! How does nature know that it’s Memorial Day? And how does the City not remember the lines from last year’s ferries? Would it have been impossible to plan for larger or more ferries for the people who waited for hours in Manhattan or those bypassed in Brooklyn? How about those waiting in the rain for the return trip? What a disaster. Failure snatched from the jaws of victory.

And how about all

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