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Lunacy Abounds: Tiger King

 It’s at least week three of this madness, and we are all beginning to fray around the edges a bit. But there are rays of sunshine and hope, like all the great Facebook and Instagram posts with everyday people exhibiting tremendous creativity and kindness. I saw one recently where the residents of East 72nd Street in Manhattan give an ovation each night from their windows to the healthcare workers leaving their shifts and heading home from the many East Side hospitals. How about the everyday courage of our local shop owners keeping the shelves filled for us, or the delivery people bringing take-out....

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Shirley Chisholm for President

The coronavirus got you down? Sick of watching Netflix? Why not get out of the house? Try the newest state part in the city: Shirley Chisholm State Park. Where is it, what is it, why is it? Glad you asked, let’s start with Shirley, some may not remember her, but she is surely worth remembering. Shirley Chisholm was a Brooklyn-born-and-bred trailblazer who was the first African-American Congresswoman and the first woman and African-American to run for President! Now some may say that Victoria Woodhull was the first woman to run for President way back in 1872. She was the leader of the suffrage...

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All That Jazz

If you live in Rockaway and love jazz, you have some great options in Manhattan. A ferry ride will get you to several potential destinations in the city. Let’s take a look at a few. The Jazz Standard club is on East 27th Street, and is downstairs from the barbeque restaurant, Blue Smoke. The venue is cozy, and tickets are relatively inexpensive. The mermaid and I saw the Mingus Big Band there one night and it was only $30 per ticket. Dinner is available, and is pretty good and the cocktail drink menu is extensive, but honestly, that’s where they make their money. The Big Mingus Band is a 14-person...

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Test Patterns

If you are of a certain age, you will remember that late at night network TV stations actually broadcasted a test pattern instead of a show. In those days there were three major networks, CBS, NBC and ABC, accompanied by some local stations on channels 5 and 11. Public television broadcasted on Channel 13. It was not unusual for families to gather around the black and white TV set and watch a popular show. It’s actually not that long ago. Today there is never a test pattern broadcast, because time is money and the TV is broadcasting 24/7. In addition to the original big three major networks,...

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Veterans Memorial Circle

 Do you know that area on Rockaway Beach Blvd. that has two semi-circular paths bounded by Beach 120th Street and 121st Street? There are London Plane trees all around it, American flags, benches, and sometimes flowers. I never really stopped to look around. I never looked at the concrete and metal markers surrounding both sides of the park. It’s worth a look, and maybe more. Those markers are in honor of fallen World War II soldiers who lost their lives defending our right to live in the freedom that we sometimes take for granted. There are 33 of those plaques, and recently three more were...

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Valentine’s Ghosts & Crypts!

 With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, I thought I would share a couple of fun New York things to do. While it’s traditional to send flowers with hearts, and take one’s love out to dinner for Valentine’s Day, my interests tend more to the macabre, as you well know. So, here are two fun, slightly scary things to do this weekend. The McKittrick Hotel is an event space like no other, located on West 27th Street on the far west side of Chelsea. It is the host of the immersive, “Sleep No More,” an interactive take primarily on Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and has a bar, a rooftop...

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A Prince of Rockaway

 A Prince has many great and noble qualities. First and foremost, a Prince is a gentleman in the oldest and truest sense of the word. They have an air of chivalry about them, they are generally the one who will lay their jacket across a puddle for a lady to be able to walk across. They hold doors, they say please and thank you. They never overstay their welcome, although they are always the first to be there when you need a hand. They give up their seat to a person older or in need of a seat. They never speak foully, even when it is most definitely called for, and they always speak well of people,...

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Italiano, Prego

So, if you hadn’t noticed it, Plum Tomatoes on Beach 129th Street has changed owners. Not much to notice from the outside but there are changes on the inside. Plum Tomatoes used to be a pizza place that also served dinners. You could get slices and hang out on the side at a table. There was a wall that kind of separated the slice eaters from the diners. The various types of pizza slices were displayed under a glass case at the counter. The new owners have renamed the place La Sorrentina and have made changes, and I have to say, I like them. La Sorrentina is now an Italian restaurant that happens...

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The Madam Will Be Missed

We don’t have a woman Secretary of State anymore. Hillary Clinton was the last, Condoleezza Rice was one and so was Madeleine Albright. But I am not writing about “real” secretaries of state, I’m referring to the television show with Téa Leoni. On that show, Téa played a CIA analyst who became secretary and then became president. The show just recently aired its final episode. I’m not weighing in on politics, that’s what Facebook is for (LOL!). Rather, I want to focus on an aspect that gets overlooked too often, and the impact it has on America. The TV show, Madam Secretary, was one of the shows...

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