How many of you actually know the meaning of Memorial Day?  It is a federal holiday wherein the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces are remembered. The holiday, which is celebrated every year on the last Monday of May, was formerly known as Decoration Day and originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service.  Many people visit cemeteries and memorials.  Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national and local cemeteries.

When I was a child, Memorial Day meant attending the parade on Forest Ave. and having a barbeque…

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Today, we start a new blog series titled "Neighborhood Spotlight." In this series, we will dedicate a blog post to highlighting some of the neighborhoods around Staten Island and talking about some fun and interesting things to visit there!

In today's "Neighborhood Spotlight" we will be talking about the south shore neighborhood of Annadale. 

History

Annadale was originally the location of a seaside post office and has it's own location on the Staten Island Rail Road. It's was given it's name in honor of Mrs. Anna S. Seguine in 1860. The Seguine's were of French descent, and one of the oldest Staten Island families. Joseph Seguine was a fifth generation Huguenot who worked as a farmer, shipping merchant, and industrialist. His home on 440 Seguine…

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Have you begun polishing your communications skills at the “New Day Toastmasters” at the Regina McGinn Education Center?  The group meets on Thursday at 7John’s Pasta Party was a blast with much support being shown for a great cause—to help students with cancer stay in school during and after treatment.  If you would like to contribute to the John Dressler Scholarship Fund, make checks payable to the South Shore Rotary Foundation, with a note “for the John Dressler Scholarship”, and send to the South Shore Rotary Foundation, P.O. Box 061068, Staten Island, NY 10306-0011.

As a middle child, I would invariably get my sister’s hand-me-downs.  Sometimes I hated it, but most of the time I cherished whatever my older sister had—books, clothes, toys and a…

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Did you enjoy “In the Heights” at Port Richmond High School?  Have you planted a fruit tree in your yard yet?  How did you celebrate “Cinco de Mayo”?  What exciting events did you attend this past week?  I am excited about the warm weather teasing me every few days and the cool nights at bedtime.  My azaleas bloomed overnight.  You can hear me singing, “These are a few of my favorite things…” in the garden as I pull weeds.  Life is grand!

Do you cringe or begin to sweat when you are asked to speak in public?  Working in Corporate Real Estate for many years, I interacted with landlords and tenants and corporate types on an everyday basis.  Sometimes I questioned whether I was an effective speaker.  I took a Dale Carnegie course where each attendee had…

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Today in our Market Updates series, we're going to talk a little bit about the cost of buying your home, versus renting it. Our friends at KCM (KeepingCurrentMatters.com) have provided us with an excellent infograph to help illustrate the situation. 

The graph above shows the percentage of your monthly income you can expect to pay on your housing costs when renting or mortgaging your home. Historically, you could have expected to spend 22% of your monthly income on a mortgage payment, and 25% on a monthly rent payment. However, today we can see that the percentage of your monthly income that would be spent on a mortgage payment has dramatically decreased (bringing it down by 6.3% to a total of 15.3%), while that of a rent payment has dramatically…

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