HAPPY NEW YEAR 2020!! Did you get to beat pots and pans outside at the strike of midnight? For as long as I can remember from childhood through adulthood, whenever we had a New Year's party at  home, it was our family tradition to stand on the porch and bang pots and pans, cow bells and/or other noisemakers to welcome in the new year.  We could hear all the boats in the Kill Van Kull sounding their horns in unison as we listened to fireworks going off all around the neighborhood. What are your New Year traditions?  Please feel free to share.  

Thank you, my gentle reader, Dorcas, for sharing photos from the Kwanzaa Celebration which was hosted by the African American Community in collaboration with the JCC Beacon Program at JHS 49 on Friday. 

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Everyone is invited to join the Protectors of Pine Oak Woods and the Department of Environmental Conservation to celebrate another New Year and to reconnect with nature with the First Day Hike at Mount Loretto Unique Area, Hylan Blvd. and Kenny Rd., hosted by Protectors of Pine Oak Woods, on Wednesday, 1/1 from 10-11:30.

Take the 30th Annual New Year’s Day Hike (1 mile) on Wednesday from 12-2 at Gateway National Park sponsored by Natural Resources Protective Association, Protectors of Pine Oak Woods and Bay Terrace Beautification Group. Meet at Great Kills Park, Hylan Blvd./Buffalo St. entrance. You will go out to Crookes Point and celebrate the New Year 2020. Bring a snack or beverage. Get the fresh start, help us clean the beach (optional) and find the waterfowl, fish and snow buntings. There is now youth component to the annual hike, for 2020, the co-leaders will be Erin Hagen and Frank Arcabascio, Jr. For more info, call: Cliff Hagen, Protectors of Pine Oak Woods 718-313-8591 or Jim Scarcella, Natural Resources Protective Association (NRPA) 718-873-4291.

If your New Year’s resolution is to get healthy, why not start outdoors? Join the Urban Park Ranger hiking guides on a New Year's Day Hike (Light) at Park Dr. and Clove Rd. in Clove Lakes Park on Wednesday from 1-2:30. Dress warmly, put on your hiking shoes, and head to the park. You may explore nature, discover our city's urban forests, or just unplug from the world to clear your head. Our hiking programs feature intensity levels ranging from light to moderate to vigorous. Our light hikes feature a leisurely stroll on mostly paved paths.

Each month the children's collection staff at the Great Kills Library, 56 Giffords Ln. will be highlighting a favorite children's book as well as some activities to go along with it. Copies of the book (plus activity sheets) will be available to borrow in the Children's Room. Check back every month for a new recommendation. January Featured Book of the Month: “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats will be available on Thursday, 1/2 from 10:30-6. Join Peter on an adventure-filled day after he wakes up to find the world outside transformed by freshly fallen snow. 

Children will create their very own winter painting of their choice while listening to music at Painting for Kids on Thursday from 4-5 at the New Dorp Library, 309 New Dorp Ln. Join us and tap into your creative side with fun and easy painting! Be sure to wear clothes you can get messy in!  All materials provided by NYPL.

The Great Kills Adult Coloring Group meets on Friday, 1/3 at 10:30 at the Great Kills Library, 56 Giffords Ln. Tired of seeing the world in black and white or dealing with the gray areas of life? Immerse yourself in the stress reducing and meditative world of coloring. This new trend has many health benefits. Come color with us. You will be tickled pink.  We will supply the coloring sheets and colored pencils. 

Bring the kiddies to Storytime Playspace on Friday from 11:15-12 at the Mariners Harbor Library, 206 South Ave. Encourage early literacy as we read interactive stories, and then enjoy our supply of puzzles, blocks, games, and other educational toys.   

Participate in Fun Fridays for all ages on Friday at 3:30 at the Dongan Hills Library, 1617 Richmond Rd. Join us for a surprise program every Friday! Options can include: Board Games, Crafts, Stories, Legos and more!

Kids can attend the DIY Mini Hockey Game Workshop on Saturday 1/4 from 9-12. Kids develop hands-on skills by sanding, nailing, painting and more. With help from parents and Store Associates, your child will create and their own game. All Kids Workshop attendees must be accompanied by a parent or adult at all times. All kids get to keep their craft, receive a FREE certificate of achievement, a Workshop Apron and a commemorative pin while supplies last. Register: https://www.homedepot.com/workshops/

Enjoy Snow Fun Days on Saturday from 9-4:30 at Clay Pit Ponds Visitors Center, 2351 Veterans Rd. W.  Snow sculptures, snow painting, animal tracking, snow ball throwing contest, and more! Bring cross-country skis and use our trails! View our Facebook page to check if conditions are appropriate and for dates and time. All ages.

The kiddies will enjoy Storytime and Activities Featuring “Grumpy Monkey” on Saturday at 11 at Barnes & Noble, 2655 Richmond Ave. Jim the chimpanzee is in a terrible mood and has a bit of a meltdown when everyone starts giving him advice as to what makes them happy. Sometimes everyone just needs a day to be GRUMPY! This book shows kids they are allowed to demonstrate their feelings without hurting others in the process. Activities to follow!

Children ages 1-5 will enjoy Music & Movement on Saturday at 11 at the New Dorp Library, 309 New Dorp Ln.  Singing, dance, and reveal your inner musician at our music and movement time. Our music time is dynamic and interactive, so come ready to participate in the fun. Registration required; call 718-351-2977.

Attend Mulchfest 2020: Conference House Park Forest Restoration on Saturday from 111 at Hylan Blvd. and Satterlee St. in Conference House Park. Space is limited and registration is required. The Stewardship Team is looking for volunteers to help by spreading mulch that is generated during Mulchfest around young trees to insulate them from the cold winter weather. Volunteers will spread mulch around young trees in recently-planted forest restoration planting sites. Volunteers should dress in clothes that can get dirty and closed-toed shoes. They are also encouraged to bring their own water bottles. Volunteers under 18 must be accompanied by a chaperone. https://www.nycgovparks.org/reg/stewardship/7824/register

The TechConnect Lab at St. George Library Center, 5 Central Ave. offers a Job Search Clinic on Saturday at noon. Receive one-on-one help with your resume and cover letter. Get tips on how to ace job interviews.  Learn how to properly market yourself to stand out in today’s job market. Each participant will receive individualized assistance. Patrons are seen on a first come, first served basis.

Attend the Authors’ Event with Janet Medoro and Pat Salmon on Saturday from 3–5 at Everything Goes Cafe, 208 Bay St. “Our Staten Island” author Janet Medoro will discuss her new book. A story of how two, 4th generation-born native siblings visited the history of our borough, what they learned and how they learned it is a wonderful journey within the journey. Patricia Salmon will discuss her book "Staten Island's Brewery Barons." German lager brewers wisely utilized the fresh water and geology of the island to perfect their brew. The Clifton Brewery, the George Bechtel Brewery, the Constanz Brewery and R&H Brewery will all be featured. Hear the story of how Staten Island became a "reservoir of Teutonic beer! This is a free event. Copies of both books will be available for sale and can be signed by the authors.

Saturday Night Lights--FREE Soccer Lessons take place every Saturday from 6-9, at I.S. 49, 101 Warren St. for ages 8-18. For more info, contact Heather Butts at 347-489-3060.

Enjoy the Holiday Festival of Tradition: Festival of Trees and Lights on Saturday and Sunday from 14 at the H.H. Biddle House in Conference House Park, 70 Satterlee St. This event repeats every week on Saturday and Sunday through 1/5/2020. Celebrate the holiday festival of traditions including the menorah and Christmas trees of Germany, Hungary, Scandinavia, and Italy. The exhibit can be seen on weekdays by appointment only. This free cultural event is sponsored by the Tottenville Historical Society with generous support by Council Member Joe Borelli.

On Sunday, 1/5 from 2-3:30, Staten Island OutLOUD is delighted to host Paul Sieswerda, CEO of Gotham Whale, for a special event at the Noble Maritime Collection, 1000 Richmond Terr., Bldg. D. This event is part of OutLOUD's series for the National Endowment for the Arts/The Big Read on Nathaniel Philbrick's "In the Heart of the Sea". Gotham Whale (based on Staten Island!) does extraordinary work on marine conservancy in New York Harbor. Their "citizen science" project involves hundreds of people who record sightings of whales, dolphins, seals and other aquatic life. Check out their site: www.gothamwhale.org. Guests at this Staten Island OutLOUD event can receive a free copy of "In the Heart of the Sea".

La Befana is coming to Casa Belvedere, 79 Howard Ave. on Monday 1/6 at 6. Le Befana is an old woman who delivers gifts to children throughout Italy on Epiphany Eve (the night of January 5) and fills their socks with candy and presents if they are good or a lump of coal or dark candy if they are bad. A popular belief is that her name derives from the Feast of Epiphany. Join in sharing this delightful Italian tradition which includes storytelling, arts and crafts, dancing and refreshments. Admission is $10 adults, $5 kids up to 12. To register, visit: https://casa-belvedere.org/register?olsPage=products%2Fjanuary-06

I welcome comments and photos at events you have attended. If you want to share events for me to post, email, text or call.

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