Did you take a hike as my gentle reader, Diane, did last week? There are plenty of organized hikes each week, but you can always take a friend or pup and go off on your own and discover new wonderful places to get lost in nature. See this week’s choices below. A number of Christmas/Holiday Fairs took place this past week and many more will follow (see schedule at end of blog). I attended a fair at Holy Family Church Hall. So many talented artisans displayed their wares for sale.  I met friends I had not seen in years and made new ones including a couple of proud Veterans. Following are photos from this event:


On my travels Sunday afternoon, I came upon Mona Oman, a commercial artist and mother of two, beautifying the side of a building on Henderson and Davis Avenues.  You may have seen some of her artwork at the former location of Gerardi's Farmers Market on Richmond Terr. or The Carpenter's Shop at Snug Harbor Cultural Center.  I stopped and asked if I could capture her at work. With  drop cloths, containers of paint, brushes and rollers spread out below the wall, she worked as we chatted. Over the next couple of weeks, I will update my gentle readers on her progress of this enchanting mural. You can contact Mona at www.monaoman.com, monaomanart@gmail.com, on Facebook or call her at 718-759-8722.

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Attend Folk Arts: Living Traditions - A Student Exhibition on Wednesday, 11/13 from 10-3 at Conference House Park Visitor Center in Conference House Park, 298 Satterlee St. This event repeats every weekday until 1/31/2020. Celebrate diversity. Staten Island youth embrace Mexican art-making traditions into spirited works of art under the direction of local artists Michele Ajello, Joanna Miarrostami, and Lea Simoniello.

Join the Wednesday Morning Writing Group on Wednesday at 11 at the Great Kills Library, 56 Giffords Ln. Writing can be a solitary experience. If it seems like it is never the right time to write or if you need inspiration, block some time out for yourself and come write with us! Work on your novel, short story, journal entry, article, memoir, thesis or whatever writing project you have in the company of others. This group will meet on these Wednesdays at 11 on 11/13, 11/20, 11/27. Pre-register in person or by phone 718-984-6670.

On Wednesday from 1:303:30, participate in the Adult Afternoon Hikes: Bucks Hallow/Red Trail at Greenbelt Nature Center in Blood Root Valley, 700 Rockland Ave. at Brielle Ave. Enjoy the picturesque views of each park as we point out a few of the unique features that make each park special. The pace of the hike will be determined by the pace of the group. Good for ages 18+. 

Bring the kiddies 3+ to Family Storytime/Read Aloud on Wednesday at 4 at the New Dorp Library, 309 New Dorp Ln.  Enjoy hearing books read aloud, finger plays action rhymes and coloring.

Attend Anti-Bully Support Workshop on Wednesday from 4:30-6 at Rossville A.M.E. Church, 584 Bloomingdale Rd. for children/teens experiencing any type of bullying (in-school, cyber-bullying, food allergy, etc), and parents looking for resources. All children and parents are welcome. This is a safe place to share stories and brainstorm on how to handle the problem. Free refreshments. Please call ahead to confirm; phone 646-765-6531.

The South Beach Library, 21-25 Robin Rd. invites all to Baby Lapsit on Thursday 11/14 at 11:15. This is a special time to bond with your baby and meet other caregivers. We will introduce your babies to the joys of movement, books, and song, and begin to build their early learning skills. Come prepared to sit with your baby on your lap. For crawlers/pre-walkers.

High school students grade 9-12 are invited to join the Girls Who Code Club on Thursday from 3:30-5:30 at the CSI Tech Incubator, 60 Bay St., Ste. 902.  Girls Who Code Clubs are meant for high school girls to join a sisterhood of supportive peers and role models and to use Computer Science to change the world. Club members will be able to learn from fun and simple online coding tutorials, build community through interactive activities, and learn about inspiring role models, culminating in a Girls Who Code Project that solves real world problems through code. To register, contact Ismael at 646-766-9554 or ismael.hasan@csi.cuny.edu

Drop in to the Huguenot Library, 830 Huguenot Ave. for Thanksgiving Tween Craft--awesome Thanksgiving-themed crafts on Thursday at 3:30.

On Thursday at 4, come to the Mariners Harbor Library, 206 South Ave. to create some amazing edible artwork at Crafty Cooking: Gobble, Gobble! We provide the supplies, you bring the imagination. Each month you'll create a different themed treat to bring home. Registration is required; call 212-621-0690. Good for ages 7-12.

Learn How to Build A Successful Business Plan at the St. George Library, 5 Central Ave. on Thursday at 4. Are you ready to start or grow your business? Learn how to build a successful business plan with SI SBDC Business Advisor Joseph Muller. You will learn: Why do you need a business plan? How to turn your idea into a business. Basics of Financing. Develop Cash Flow Projections. Marketing Strategies and more.

Learn about Nellie Bly: Around the World in 72 Days on Thursday from 7-9 at the Noble Maritime Collection, 1000 Richmond Terr.  History buff Gerard Thornton returns to the museum to present the story of 25-year-old New York World reporter Nellie Bly, whose voyage on the luxury ocean liner SS Augusta Victoria in 1889 marked the beginning of a 72-day journey around the world. Join us on the 130-year anniversary of the day her journey began, and learn about her life through a lecture, discussion, and photographs. Admission is $5 at the door.

Attend Newhouse After Dark: Falsa on Thursday from 7:309:30 at the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art (Bldg. C) in Snug Harbor Cultural Center, 1000 Richmond Terr. Described by NPR as a “cure for alienation” and “music that’s not about means to ends but about meaning and transcendence”, New York-based Falsa is a cathartic musical experience rooted in 14th century Sufi music of North India and Pakistan, and developed into a chamber fusion ensemble, a diverse group of extraordinary improvisational musicians dedicated to craft. The effect of listening to Falsa is to be transported both inwards and across centuries of joys, sorrows, and longings.  Admission is $10.

On Friday, 11/15 at 2:30, bring the children to Pt. Richmond Library, 75 Bennett St. for Happy Reading Hour.  Eat a yummy snack while reading your favorite book. Librarians and volunteers will also be available on-site to help your child improve their reading skills.

Bring the kiddies 4+ to Fun Friday at 3:30 at the Todt Hill-Westerleigh Library, 2550 Victory Blvd.  Come and make a fun craft! Register in person or call 718-494-1642.

On Friday at 7, the students and faculty of S.I. Academy invite you to join in a community conversation of Nathaniel Philbrick’s “In the Heart of the Sea” and book giveaway.  Co-hosted by Dawn Guerrero and Staten Island OutLOUD, the event will take place in Haugen Hall Library. Park in the lot on Todt Hill Rd. and enter through the front door. 

Watch the library become a movie theater and enjoy a fun film on the big screen at Cinema Saturday on Saturday 11/16 at 11 at the Stapleton Library, 132 Canal St.

If your child needs his/her teeth to be checked out, today is your day!  C&K Dental Boutique, 2781 Amboy Rd. is hosting its first Kids Free Day of Dentistry on Saturday from 9-4.  The team of Dr. Adrienne Cicero and Dr. Scott Kenyon have operated the practice since 2012.  Call 718-356-9700 to schedule an appointment.

Bring the kiddies ages 18-36 mos. to Toddler Sing 'n' Shake Dance Party on Saturday at 11 to the Todt-Hill-Westerleigh Library, 2550 Victory Blvd. Let your toddler sing and dance at our dance party!

Participate in the Autumn Leaves Hike on Saturday from 11:30-12:30 at the Greenbelt Nature Center in Blood Root Valley, 700 Rockland Ave. at Brielle Ave. Observe the changing colors as we hike the Nature Center trail, then make a colorful leaf rubbing to take home. Registration is recommended; please call 718-351-3450 or email naturecenter@sigreenbelt.org

The Saturday Morning Read Aloud takes place on Saturday at 11:30 at the Great Kills Library, 56 Giffords Ln.  Enjoy listening to some favorite children’s books read aloud by our librarians. Good for ages 4+.

Attend the Holiday Health Fair on Saturday from 12-4 at the YMCA, 651 Broadway.  FREE ADMISSION!  Fun activities for kids and adults including free health screenings, bouncy house, basketball clinic for kids, crafts for kids, giveaways, basket raffles, and more.  When you sign in at the door, you will be automatically entered into our drawing for a FREE 6 month membership. 

Participate in Tree ID Hikes on Saturday from 1-3 at Clay Pit Ponds Visitors Center, 2351 Veterans Rd. W.  Learn your trees as you take a mile-long hike. Good for ages 8+.

Join Patricia Salmon on Saturday from 1-3 at Alice Austen House, 2 Hylan Blvd. for Farming on Staten Island: From Dr. Akerly to Frederick Law Olmsted. From the Lenape to the currently active Decker, Gericke and Snug Harbor farms, she will include the fascinating history of the Olmsted-Bell House and its connection to agriculture. Light refreshments and produce from local farms will be offered.

Participate in the Crazy Quilt Stocking on Saturday from 1-3 at the Ft. Wadsworth Mont Sec House, 112 A Mont Sec House. Make a beautiful stocking by hand in the Victorian crazy quilt style. Open to all ages; crafting experience not required. Materials supplied free of charge.  Participants are also encouraged to bring their own fabric scraps and trim to add a personal touch. For information call 718-354-4500 or email Diane_Wulff@nps.gov

The Urban Park Rangers will be our guides to the solar system, discussing the science, history, and folklore of the universe at Astronomy: The Night Sky on Saturday from 6-7:30 at Arthur Kill Rd. and Brookfield Ave. in Brookfield Park.  Night Sky programs highlight the history and folklore of the solar system, using the naked eye to locate stars and planets.

This is a great time of year for a Mushroom ID Hike on Sunday, 11/17 from 12:30 in High Rock Park, 200 Nevada Ave. We will take a closer look at these fascinating fungi and learn basic mushroom identification. Meet at the end of Nevada Ave. in the High Rock Parking Lot.

Historian Patricia Salmon explores the story of the 1820 wreck of the whale ship Essex as she recounts stories of local Maritime Disasters on Sunday at 2 at H.H. Biddle House, 70 Satterlee St.

The Sea Shanty Session takes place on Sunday from 2-5 at the Noble Maritime Collection, 1000 Richmond Terr. Led by the Folk Music Society of New York, this program is really gaining in popularity and offers a great opportunity to experience authentic, time-honored maritime songs in an appropriately historic setting. The sessions are free and family friendly, and you are encouraged to sing along if the mood strikes you!

Holiday/Christmas Fairs

P.S. 32, Barlow Ave./Elverton Ave., Thursday, 11/14 from 12:30-2, 4-7

Holy Child Parish, 4747 Amboy Rd., Saturday 11/16 from 9:30-5

Trinity Lutheran Church, 309 St. Paul’s Ave., Saturday 11/16 from 9-2

SI Tech H.S., 485 Clawson St., Saturday 11/16 from 2-6

Our Lady Queen of Peace, 22 Steele Ave., Saturday 11/16 from 10-6

Zion Lutheran Church, 505 Watchogue Rd., Saturday 11/16 from 10-3

St. Ann School, 125 Cromwell Ave., Sunday 11/17 from 9-4

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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