In1672, Peter Stuyvesant, the puritanical one-legged Governor of New Amsterdam, built a chapel on what is now the corner of 2nd Avenue and 11th Street in the East Village. Almost 350 years later it is now known as St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery. The word bowery is Dutch meaning “farm.”  Back in those days, the area was covered with farms and orchards, and it was mostly owned by Peter Stuyvesant. Hard to believe today that is what the Lower East Side was like, but it’s true.

The church is the second oldest site of continuous worship in Manhattan. There are spirits that inhabit the place, and I believe them to be gentle and good-natured. There have been several additions over the years after the Governor’s family sold it. A fire nearly

Last week the mermaid and I had the honor of marching in the New York City St. Patricks’ Day Parade. This is the oldest parade in the city and one that I remember watching on television with the genial white-haired Jack McCarthy for years. It never occurred to me that I could actually march in the parade in those days; that was for others, but not for mere mortals. So when the opportunity came our way via St. John’s University, we jumped on it.

It turns out the Irish have been marching for

Many people ask me what should they invest in. Although I worked at the NYSE many years, I never traded a share of stock, nor did I act in an investment advisory capacity, or as a broker. I am often amused by Jim Cramer of CNBC, lecturing on the morning show before the 9:30 opening about what stocks are hot. He pontificates for a half hour about which stocks to buy or sell, and then at the end of his segment, there is a disclaimer that CNBC runs, that states that the preceding half hour was

Numbers are supposed to represent facts, hard, cold, undisputable facts. But it seems that is less the case these days. Trump routinely trots out numbers as if they are facts, but the press points out that his numbers are wrong. Of course then the press is labeled “fake news” by the President, and we are all left wondering who the heck to believe. I guess for the purposes of this paper, I represent the press too, so just assume everything that follows is “fake.”

Weather reporters are really

While sailing from Greece, Ulysses lashed himself to the mast of his ship and stuffed his ears, so that he wouldn’t hear the call of the bewitching sirens that caused so many ships to crash into the rocks of the Mediterranean Sea. Our mermaids here in Rockaway are nothing like those mythical creatures from ancient times. Here in Rockaway we unstuff our ears in search of the music, especially when it’s snowing in March! With months to go before we can enjoy all the outdoor venues that fill the

The song “I Know You Rider” has a long history and can be traced back into the early 20th century as a traditional blues and folk song. It's been recorded by a lot of artists, but is probably best known as the second half of a two-song duo by the Grateful Dead. Most non-Grateful Dead fans usually write the band off as a bunch of druggies with some spaced out music from the psychedelic sixties. While some of that is true, the band mined the annals of traditional, folk, blues and country music

What is the measure of a good man or woman? How do we decide what makes a person “good?” I guess there are several measures we employ. A recent wake and funeral mass reminded me of a few. Besides enjoying cemeteries, I seem to go to a lot of wakes and funerals. You probably don’t want to hang around me too long, if you know what I mean.

But back to the topic at hand: the measure of a good person. Is it their family? There are plenty of situations where the person is good but comes from the

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