In my last blog I commented that, like me, many of my readers are watching their budget with some even living pay check to pay check.  To that end, I try to showcase events each week that are free or low cost.  I wrote about a City Harvest presentation at the new Key Food in Port Richmond on Saturday.  Between real estate showings, I took a self-guided grocery store tour.  Stations where set up where you could sample healthy foods; recipes were also available.  The employees were very knowledgeable and showed us how to shop economically and healthily.  After speaking to the City Harvest folks, I discovered I am remiss in reading labels. Where I thought I was buying whole wheat “lite” bread as noted on the front, the back showed that it contained enriched white flour!  I completed a survey at the end, received a cook book and a $10 gift card to Key Food.  How many of you attended this event?  Did you visit any of the museums—Sandy Ground, Garibaldi-Meucci, Jacques Marchais? 

Today, Friday, 2/13, from 8-5 is Go Red Day at Staten Island University Hospital at both the North and South campuses. Healthy heart education, Go Red pins, prizes, raffle baskets through the hospital await you.  FREE and open to the public.


Friday at 7:30, you can attend a National Geographic DVD presentation on “The Science of Caves”, narrated by Richard Attenborough, at St. Clare’s School, 151 Lindenwood Rd.  FREE and open to the public.  Call 718-874-6278 for information. 

On Friday and Saturday, 2/13 and 2/14, at the St. George Theater,  the S.I. Shakespearean Theatre Company presents a cabaret show featuring local singers you will recognize who have been performing for years.  Call 718-442-2900 for reservations. 

Saturday, FREE Zumba Classes for children ages 5-12 at 11:00, ages 13 and older at Noon at the Berry Houses Friendship Club, 211 Jefferson St.  Call 718-979-1100. 

Saturday, 2/14, at 10, fall in love with the forest and the animals that live there at Clay Pit Pond State Park, 2351 Veterans Rd. West with a short hike.  For info, contact Elisabetta O’Connor at 718-605-3970, ext. 201. 

Saturday, at 6, attend the Pink Carpet Affair Girls Nite Out, a breast cancer fundraiser at the NYC Cypher Arts Building, 12 Broad St.  Proceeds will go to the Cancer Services Program of Staten Island for patients undergoing treatment for breast cancer.  You will enjoy vendors, pampering services, live music, FDNY Pinup Calendar models, girls celebrating health and each other.  Call 718-981-8510 for info.  

Not to miss!  The Parks Department presents “Native Ensemble Artists Chronicle Staten Island’s Natural Spaces” in the Lenape Gallery at the Conference House Park Visitor Center, 298 Satterlee St., Tottenville.  Eight artists and their works are featured:  David DiLillo, Ann Marie McDonnell, Michael McWeeney, Gail Middleton, Bill Murphy, Kristi Pfister, Melissa West and Sarah Yuster.  Exhibit will be featured through 3/29.  Gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday 10-5, Saturday 9-4.   

On Sunday, 2/15, at 2, attend an educational program featuring tips for planning an Italian vegetable garden at Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, 1000 Richmond Terr.  Call 718-448-2500 or visit for further info. 

Learn about composting and windowsill gardening in the comfort of your kitchen at the Greenbelt Nature Center, 700 Rockland Ave. on Sunday, at 2. Visit or call 718-351-3450 for particulars.

Participate in Eco Family Day at the Joan & Alan Bernikow Jewish Community Center, 1466 Manor Rd. at 2 on Sunday. Make seed bombs out of clay ad soil, create recycled paper, build an earthworm habitat, and enjoy music fun and more. Call 718-475-5232 or visit 

Sunday, 4:30-6, partake in Tai Chi classes, led by Kristen Dolan-Murphy at All Saints Episcopal Church, 2329 Victory Blvd.  Call 718-698-1339.

FAT TUESDAY is this Tuesday!  Although I have visited New Orleans, I have never been there for Mardi Gras.  This year will be no exception.  However, if you want to celebrate Fat Tuesday (the day before Lent begins), following are a number of choices.  Shrove Tuesday pancake dinners can be attended at Holy Family Church, 366 Watchogue Rd., 718 761-6663, Church of the Ascension, 1 Kingsley Ave. 718-442-4187, The Church of Saint Andrew, 40 Old Mill Rd., 718-351-0900,  Our Savior Lutheran, 549 Bard Ave., 718-442-3125 to name a few.  Or you can partake in Mardi Gras Fat Tuesday celebrations at the Bayou Restaurant, 1072 Bay St. 718-273-4383, Adobe Blues, 63 Lafayette Ave., 718-720-2583.

Tell me what you are doing this weekend and/or the week after.  Are you going to a Mardi Gras celebration, taking a hike or learning more about ecology?  I'll be making huge pots of hot soup to warm these chilled bones. You can call me at 646-258-9696 or write a comment below or to

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