Did you go ice skating last weekend?  One of my readers reminisced how “life was much simpler in those days” as she ice skated on Brady’s Pond and Cameron Pond in Grasmere.  Another reader remembered skating on Allison Pond, “taking dates to the War Memorial Skating Rink at Clove Lakes” and also weekend skating with his children.  I remember having cold toes and warming up in front of bonfires at Martlings Pond with my older sister.  She had tried out for the Silver Skates competition and dazzled everyone with her figure eights all over the pond.  Do you have any memories you would like to share?

  As I think of everything I am thankful for each day, I urge my readers to remember those in our lives who are in need of companionship, maybe a telephone call or a visit.  Holidays can be lonely.  If you can, invite someone to your home or volunteer to serve food at a community kitchen.  A friend of mine started a tradition a few years ago of singing Christmas carols at a nearby nursing home.  A bunch of us meet and armed with copies of holiday music, spend time with the residents as we sing and try to bring some joy into their lives.  More than a few residents cannot wait to grab a portable mic and join in on the song-fest. 

Have you wanted to brush up on your computer skills, learn about Twitter, search and download NYPL e-books?  Wednesday, 11/26, 10:30 a.m. at the St. George Library Center, 5 Central Ave., is the time and place for you to get ahead with 21st century technology.  Bring your technology questions and/or your wireless enabled device and get one-on-one assistance, discover online tutorials and hone your skills.  For further info and other programs, call 718-442-8560.


On Thursday, 11/27, beginning at 9 a.m., who doesn’t want to watch the 88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?  A treat for kids of all ages, the Parade is a tradition for viewers all across the United States.  Why not trek into Manhattan this year and secure a spot on the street to view this iconic parade?  It begins at 77th and Central Park West to Columbus Circle, across Central Park South (59th St.) to 6th Avenue and down to Macy’s Herald Sq. and 34th Street.



On Friday, 11/28, 10:00-1:00, take a post-Thanksgiving walk of the North Shore “Greenbelt” with NYC Parks Department arborist, John Kilcullen.  Meet at Skyline-Cottage Hill Park, Prospect Avenue and Clyde Place, (the site of the former estate, The Cedars, of Shipley Jones, a financier and prominent resident of New Brighton). The walk will proceed to Jones Woods, Goodhue Park, Allison Pond Park and Snug Harbor Park.  There is much history on the North Shore and particularly my hometown of New Brighton.  From the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, take the S42 bus.  For more info, visit http://www.nycgovparks.org/milliontrees/north_shore_greenbelt_walk 



The Chamber of Commerce has launched the Shop Small Business “Passport to Staten Island” initiative which will take place 11/29, the first Saturday after Thanksgiving.  It is a day promoted by American Express stressing the importance of locally-owned small businesses in communities across the country. The Chamber is providing businesses with “passports” to be given to Island consumers.  Those consumers who spend in at least eight participating shops on 11/29 and get their passports filled out will be entered to win a $500 American Express Gift Card courtesy of the Chamber of Commerce.  Many of the participating businesses will have special offers and giveaways on that day.  For further information, and for participating businesses, call the Commerce at 718-727-1900.  Let’s support our local businesses!!

FREE Zumba classes every Saturday for ages 5-12 at 11:00 a.m. and 13 and older at 12:00 p.m. at the Berry Houses Friendship Club, 211 Jefferson St.  Call 718-979-0010 for info.  Help your children stay fit!

Every Tuesday and Thursday, 10:30 a.m. and Saturday 7:30 a.m., join the Parkside Outdoor Boot Camp at Silver Lake at the corner of Forest Ave. and Haven Esplanade, for calisthenics involving medicine balls, dumbbells, kettle bells and more.  For info, e-mail parksidebootcamp@gmail.com 

The following Holiday/Christmas Fairs/Events will be held this weekend:


Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 11/28, 29, 30, 11-5 – Alice Austen House, 2 Hylan Blvd.

Saturday, 11/29, 12-3, Pizza Party with Santa. Rain or shine, Historic Richmond Town, 411 Clarke Ave.  RSVP to Mrs. Claus at 718-494-1533.

Have you started your own holiday traditions?  How about singing at senior centers or nursing homes once a month?  Volunteering makes you feel good and helps those in need.  Let me know what you did on Thanksgiving.  Did you see all the favorite sites of New Brighton with John Kilcullen?  Did you shop at my friends' store, “Wicked Stitches” and other Island businesses?  Call me or write me below or at joan.coogan@gmail.com

Posted by Joan Coogan on


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I would love to see the Parade for the first time Live!! But Will have to see what the weather will be :)

Posted by Divonne on Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 at 10:32am

Cold, cold, cold! Stay home and take care of yourself and the "Little One".

Posted by Joan Coogan on Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 at 10:59am

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