For just about as long I can remember, I have been an avid user of the New York City Public Library system. Once old enough to have my own library card, I would spend hours wandering the book-filled shelves of this miraculous institution where my interests were wide and varied, ranging from science fiction to classic literature as well as historical tomes.

As I grew older, it became apparent that in addition to my fondness for the written word, I also realized that I was possessed with the bad habit of failing to return the borrowed books in a timely manner. It wasn't that I lost the books I had borrowed, they just somehow disappeared into the miasma of clutter that was my room, while growing up in Woodside. It got so bad that one point

Back in the early 1800s, groups of English workers called "Luddites," banded together and destroyed machinery, especially in cotton and woolen mills, that they believed was threatening their jobs. Some two hundred years later, the inexorable march of new technology and its accompanying diminution of human contact continue unabated. This past weekend saw the end of the era of human toll collectors on the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge with the advent of the MTA's new "cashless" tolling

"Doll" - I have, for many years, been prone to the practice of using this term when referring to my wife Grace and have always considered the use of such a sobriquet as nothing more than a simple term of endearment. Recently I began to notice that Grace was becoming irritated with my use of this appellation but I really did not give it much thought until she finally sat me down and told me that she did not find my habit to be at all "endearing," with no further explanation forthcoming and no

The Mahon Estate on West 12th Road has been a bee-hive of activity over the past week, as our two daughters, Amy and Victoria, were busy getting ready to spread their wings and leave the nest. Although the girls are "Irish Twins," having been born less than a year apart, that is where the similarities end. Like the identical cousins Kathy and Patty from the 1960's Patty Duke Show, they are "a pair of matching bookends, different as night and day." 

Vicky, our youngest at 20, is a longtime

By the time you are reading this column, our family will be returning from yet another vacation at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. My initial introduction to a Disney Park was provided by none other than the United States Marine Corps (USMC) back in the 60's during the Vietnam War, while I was stationed in California for a time during my first enlistment. (Yeah, I enlisted twice...after all, there is a reason they refer to the USMC as "Uncle Sam's Misguided Children.") Active duty

Just recently I heard the sounds of children playing on the newly-raised, paved and tidal free, shared space street on West 12th Road, as they enjoyed the view of Jamaica Bay from the new bulkhead installation at the end of the block. The children who were enjoying their new shared space were all too young to know that none of this would have been possible without the tireless efforts of Mr. Al McCarthy, a one-time resident of the street.

The town of Broad Channel, and especially the residents

Despite the fact that many consider me to be the epitome of an individual with absolutely too much time on his hands, my proclivity for somber reflection on the absurdities of life often reaps its own rewards. For instance, sitting thoughtfully by my kitchen window during our recent snowstorm, I could not help but wonder why parking meters always stay in effect when alternate side regulations are suspended for snow removal. Like many of us, the first thought that crossed my suspicious mind was

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