The ferry is back!

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The ferry is back! After being taken away in the fall of 2014, the ferry made its triumphant return on Monday, May 1, as part of a citywide ferry service, and it’s better than ever. It was smooth sailing on Monday as many took the inaugural ride, but there were a few hiccups on Monday evening when several commuters were left at the Pier 11 dock because the boat was at capacity. By Tuesday, ferry operators said they would have an additional boat if necessary. Have some feedback? Reach out to ferry.nyc/contact

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Don’t have plans for Saturday? Now you do. Taste of Rockaway Beach is back and this time there are 31 participating restaurants, so bring your appetite! The event, on May 6, starts at noon and goes until 6 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at any of the participating businesses for $15 in advance or $20 on the day of. Don’t miss the great day of food and fun.

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Need some other reasons to celebrate this weekend? Break out the tequila and tacos on Friday. It’s Cinco de Mayo! And after the Taste of Rockaway on Saturday, stop by your nearest pub for a Mint Julep and catch the Kentucky Derby. Race time is around 6:30 p.m.

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The 100th Precinct Community Council’s 8th Annual Chili Contest on Friday, April 28 was a big success. Three judges had the tough job of trying dozens of entries and choosing their favorite. Jessica Luina of Councilman Donovan Richards’ Office was named chili queen, taking home first place. In second was Kevin Shannon of Coastal Yogurt, followed by Chef Caesar of PICO coming in third. However, there was also a crowd pleaser. Jason Keane Ten Eyck of RBNY Physical Therapy won the People’s Choice award.

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Celebrity central! Tom Brady of the New England Patriots was spotted at Fort Tilden on Sunday. He was in town while one of his kids played soccer. Later that day, singer Patti Smith was spotted at Uma’s along with MoMa’s Klaus Biesenbach.

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Don’t forget your reservations! Mother’s Day is next Sunday, May 14. Check out some of our ads for ideas! Kennedy’s and Bungalow Bar are accepting reservations and Curran’s Superior Meats has some specials if you want to cook mom a nice dinner at home. You can also give mom a day of pampering at Nicole Frontera Beauty or Spa Rockaway.

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The National Park Service says they "can neither confirm nor deny" when we asked them about a rumor a little birdie whispered to us. We hear the operators of the Riis Park Bazaar will be the chosen ones to rehab and revive the iconic bathhouse building.  A number of groups submitted proposals but it seems the Bazaar guys will get the nod.  Plenty more to go before it's official.  The terms of the lease will still have to be worked out.  Riis has enjoyed a great turnaround in recent years and the current Gateway bosses and the Bazaar team deserve applause.

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Congratulations to our one of our salesmen, Frank Chimera and his wife, Carole, on 45 years of marriage! They’ll be celebrating their anniversary on Saturday, May 6.

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Our annual Summer Guide will debut on Thursday, May 25.  It's our biggest BY FAR, projected to come in at 120 pages.  It will be a keeper, chock-full of information and articles. And it's free - thanks to our advertisers who make it all possible.  They know it's the can't-miss publication of Rockaway.  (No, we still haven't chosen a cover! There are so many great photos to choose from).

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We're sad to report the sudden passing of Manny Fiallo Jr. on Tuesday. Manny was heavily focused on making Far Rockaway a better place. He founded the Stack Bundles Stop the Violence Basketball tournament. He was also part of Child Center of NY, Beach 41 Cornerstone, Fathers Alive in the Hood Movement, the Swim Strong Foundation, the Police Athletic League and more. He will be missed by many.

A candelight vigil will be held at 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 4 at the Beach 41st Cornerstone Community Center (426 Beach 40th Street).

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