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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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Oh Brooklyn, Oh Brooklyn!

A recent meeting brought me to downtown Brooklyn, and if you have to ask where that is, then you don’t know Brooklyn. I took the opportunity to walk over to the Dumbo section, which is just north of the Brooklyn Bridge and right on the water. This area has gone through a revival of late and is home to St. Ann’s Warehouse, which in avant-garde theater. Right next door to the theater is Time-Out Magazine’s new addition, a five-story refurbished, pre-civil war coffee warehouse that now houses restaurants, bars and shops. The place keeps the original vibe and has spectacular views of Manhattan....

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The recently married mermaid gave me a gift not long ago that I got to use this past week: a NYC Gangster Mob Tour! And let me tell you, it was loads of fun, a lot of walking (which I love) and nobody got whacked (which is too bad!). The tour was attended by about 12 people, almost all from out of town, and so the senior mermaid and I, and two friends were the only native New Yorkers on the tour. But we didn’t care as this is the greatest city in the world, so why not be a tourist every now and again. The tour began at Petrosino Park between Kenmare and Lafayette Streets, just up the block from...

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Looking Ahead: Summer Stage 2020

Do you remember the Central Park Schaefer Music Festival? If you do, you are probably old enough to remember that Schaefer was a beer brewed in Williamsburg. The festival was held at the Wollman skating rink, and at the time, the $5 tickets were too expensive, so everyone I knew sat out on the big rock outside and listened for free. The experience of being in Central Park after dark was exciting, and a little scary in the 1970s, but it was fun. The festival eventually changed sponsors, Schaefer left New York, the festival moved to a West Side pier, and as they say, that was that. I never went...

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Roger Ready!

By now you know that the old theater on 116th Street is down, and that the talented Maribel has opened a new restaurant on the commercial strip because you read The Rockaway Times, or at least look at the front-page photos. But did you know that the inside of Rogers is going through a huge renovation? A few years ago, Rogers and the entire building that houses the bar was purchased by Mike McMahon, and he fixed up the inside to make it presentable, and added music every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. That didn’t seem to bother the old regulars, who I’m not quite sure recognized that their surroundings...

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Thanksgiving Comings & Goings

Are you getting ready for the big day? Buying your turkey, sending invites, hoping certain relatives can’t make it?! Well, if you want a different take on it all, try the NYC National Museum of the American Indian at Bowling Green. You know the place; it was in the Ghostbusters movie. If you are running out of things to do when you take the ferry in to the city and have simply forgotten about this elephant in the room, you should really check it out. I remember when it first opened, the exhibits left a little to be desired. But on a recent trip through the museum, I was totally impressed with...

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Keeping it Local When Away

So, the big wedding day came, and we were so happy to celebrate with friends, family and mermaids, a true gathering of sea people! But we did it inland, away from the sea, although there was a small waterway nearby, the Maspeth Kill, we were surrounded by land. And how did it all come together? Well, it started with a vision, and the Highlanders of Shorefront provided that by looking for a blank canvas with which to paint their masterpiece. But we learned that a blank canvas takes a lot of paint to complete the picture. The blank slate was 99 Scott in Bushwick, only a few minutes from my old...

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The rehearsal was over, and it was guaranteed that not one person would remember what was expected next Saturday. A lovely collection of coconuts, we sat down to a sumptuous dinner prepared by Whit and his staff, thanks to the gracious and handsome parents of the groom. The betrothed were celebrating one week before the grand ceremony with their wedding party and family, and it was a wonderful afternoon! The next day, fresh off a Yankees win, and prior to a painful Yankees loss, the bride’s parents walked down Literary Walk in Central Park thinking to themselves how they got here. Literary Walk...

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