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Trees

 Ever wonder what type of tree that is you have been admiring all these years? Rockaway is limited in the type of trees that grow here, mostly because of the sand and the wind and the salt air. But there is enough variety to capture the eye. I love the spring in Rockaway because sometime ago the city decided to plant non-fruit bearing Bradford Pear trees, they bloom white flowers and decorate our blocks in spring. A long time ago the city was big on London Plane trees. They are related to Sycamore trees. You know them because they have the brown and yellow exfoliating bark. Sometimes they have...

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Changing Lanes

 My driving has been criticized of late by both friends and family. They say I drive too slow and cautiously. At 59 I am hoping they are not contemplating taking the keys from me! Even my 88-year-old father has said, “Hey Lou, get a move on it, I don’t have as much time as you do!” Wow, Dad that hit home! But seriously, what the hell has happened to America’s drivers? Have you been out on the road recently? I mean there seems to be no rules any more. I did a little road trip upstate to bring the baby mermaid back for her senior year at college. As I traversed the Belt, the Van Wyck, the Grand...

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TKTS – NYC Hidden Gem

 If you have wanted to go to Broadway but have been too afraid of the high-ticket prices, you should think about TKTS. The Theater Development Fund figured out long ago that it makes sense to sell discounted theater tickets so that shows don’t have empty seats. This highly successful idea started in Times Square and now there are several booths around the city that sell the discounted tickets. There is one at the South Street Seaport, one in downtown Brooklyn and now there is a pop-up booth at Lincoln Center. How deeply are the tickets discounted? Well, I just went to see An American in Paris...

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Blessings Disguised

 Every once in a while something special happens that you don’t realize at the time is special, but later you understand that something nice happened. This has happened to me a few times in my life, and unfortunately I didn’t understand it until later. What do I mean? Well, let me give you a few examples. Many years ago, the mermaid and I ventured up to the Rainbow Room, because we heard they had a fabulous band and view of Manhattan. We got there late but didn’t realize that to be seated in the Rainbow Room at the time, you needed to order dinner. We naively told the Maître d that we weren’t...

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Binging

We live in Rockaway, so we know what “binging” means, right? It’s that fabulous feeling of starting out on a Friday night and ending sometime Sunday and wondering how we will top the last 72 hours next weekend! Packing in as much beach, reunion, pool and family fun as we can possibly handle into one short span of time.  (Editor’s: Or starting out on a WEDNESDAY…) But that’s not what I am talking about this time. No, I am talking about watching TV. Yes, that’s right, that type of “binging.” With so many hot sunny days, beautiful waves, sunsets and things going on in Rockaway, I drew...

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Whit’s at Steak?

 I have been to some of the best steakhouses around, Manny’s in Minneapolis; Gino & Georgetti’s in Chicago; the flagstaff Morton’s in Chicago. But New York City has the best steakhouses in the country, hands down, no questions asked! I mean Peter Luger’s in the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge has got it down to a science. Gruff waiters, check. Excellent steak, double check. But if you expect to pay with a credit card you are in trouble because they don’t take them, unless it is a Peter Luger’s card. So have plenty of cash when you go. The Old Homestead has been around forever and if it...

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The Open Mic

 Rockaway is bursting at the seams with music, especially during the summer months. Every weekend local bands fill the bars on the beach and bay with the sounds of some sweet melodies. I like to check out the scene when our band the Grayriders are not playing. But it’s not always easy to do. In addition, bands like ours, and others, typically work on a playlist during the winter months and play that same list all summer long. By the end of the summer you feel like you would like to put those songs away for a long winter’s nap. So when someone runs an Open Mic night it presents a couple of opportunities,...

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Friends

 We all grew up with best friends. It was either the kid who lived next door, or the kid who sat next to you in class. Since we sat in alphabetical order the kid’s last name usually began with either the same letter as yours or just before or after in the alphabet. Sometimes those friendships lasted a long time. I still am friends with a guy whose name begins with O, and that goes back to the second grade. We don’t live in the same state anymore. But that’s ok. I am still friends with the guy from across the street. We went to different schools, eventually hung out with different crowds, and...

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Secrets of NYC

 I love finding out little secrets about NYC and passing them along. Sometimes I am conflicted about doing that because I have found that when I share a secret sometimes it gets ruined. You know what I mean, right; I mean we live in Rockaway and have had our secret beach community forever, but now we have been found! Not always a great thing. But at that risk, here goes. My live-in mermaid, in a perpetual quest to cheer up her grouchy partner surprised me with a membership to Central Park’s Summer Stage. If you don’t know about Summer Stage, think the old Schaefer Festival in the skating rink...

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