Did your kiddies have a wonderful President’s week off, sleeping late and enjoying no homework? I appreciated the empty roads, no school buses blocking every street I happened to be on and hearing the happy sounds of children playing outside in the parks and yards.

Do you live in the moment? Do you practice mindfulness, relaxation exercises, yoga, meditation, prayer? A few years ago while I recuperated from surgery, a neuropsychologist invited the Rehab patients to a Mindfulness session. I (Doubting Thomas) immediately pegged it as quackery; after 30 minutes, I was a disciple. The pain was gone. When my family wanted to visit, I tried to dissuade them. They persisted! As soon as the kiddies arrived they hugged, kissed and cuddled with me; the pain disappeared. I was living in the moment. My friend, Diane, arrived the day I was taken out of bed to start walking again. She urged me to take a deep breath and concentrate only on breathing as I walked to her 10’ away. I breathed deeply and was living in the moment. One day after my son and brother visited, the pain became unbearable. My brother called from the road, and I sobbed. He told me to grab my rosary beads, and we recited the rosary while he drove home to NJ. By the time we finished, I was pain free. I was living in the moment. We all have pain, sadness, grief and worries at times. Instead of masking or ignoring these feelings, I can attest to the ways I have practiced. You can find apps for relaxation such as Breathe 2 Relax, Calm, Headspace, Mindfulness, Be Focused and apps and podcasts for prayer, such as, Relevant Radio or https://catholictalkshow.com/

What do you do to live in the moment? Do you turn off the TV, read a book or read to your kiddies? Do you work out at the gym? Sing? Dance? Participate in a sport? Do a crossword puzzle, jigsaw puzzle? Stop and smell the roses? Get up close and personal to nature? Hike? Build a snowman? Play with your kids? I would like to know; and invite you all to share. It may give my Gentle Readers some great ideas to live in the moment.







People ask me, “How can I receive the “Weekend Events” blog. If you enjoy reading my “Weekend Events on Staten Island” and would like to be my Facebook friend, you know what to do—friend request. If you would prefer to be on my mailing list, please email joan.coogan@gmail.com or call or text me at 646-258-9696; I will forward it to you each week. Nevertheless, please do me the honor of SHARING my blog with your friends, either on Facebook (click “Share” underneath the blog) or on the Gillani Homes site.

Participate in Adult Afternoon Hikes on Wednesday, 2/26 from 1:303 at the Greenbelt Nature Center in Blood Root Valley, 700 Rockland Ave. at Brielle Ave. This event repeats every week on Wednesday between through 3/25/2020. Enjoy the crisp winter weather as you stroll through different Staten Island Greenbelt trails with Greenbelt educators and a naturalist. Designed for adults ages 18+ who want to spend time in nature and socialize. For more info and to register, please call 718-351-3450.

Bring your children from ages 5-18 to the Art program on Wednesday, from 3-4 to the St. George Library, 5 Central Ave. to do a new art activity every week! Painting, drawing, sculpting, pin-making, slime-- the possibilities are endless. Any and all levels of experience are encouraged here.

Join the KIDZ Book Club and get a copy of Diary of the Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball on Wednesday, at 4 at the Port Richmond Library, 75 Bennett St. "An unexpected inheritance gives Greg Heffley's family a chance to make big changes to their house. But they soon find that home improvement isn't all it's cracked up to be"-Jeff Kinney. FREE snacks & refreshments.

The 3D Printing Club meets on Thursday 2/27 at 3:30 at the Great Kills Library, 56 Giffords Ln. Good for ages 10+. Pre-registration is required; all 718-984-6670.

Art can be whatever you want it to be, so bring your imagination and everything else will be supplied at Freestyle Paint on Thursday from 4-5 at the Mariners Harbor Library, 206 South Ave!  Join us for an hour of painting, relaxing, and creativity. First come first, first served.

All are invited to join the African-American Community and JCC Beacon Program for Black History Month: Celebrating Unsung Community Service Leaders at I.S. 49, 101 Warren St. on Thursday from 6:30-9:30. For info, call Dorcas Meyers at 917-406-7736 or visit ran@rocanatural.com If you would like to get involved, become a vendor or volunteer, visit: https://www.rocanatural.com/copy-of-2019-community-supporters https://www.rocanatural.com/copy-of-black-history-vendors https://www.rocanatural.com/copy-of-volunteer Order your free tickets to this event at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/black-history-month-celebrating-unsung-community-tickets.

Member Bring a Friend at Ocean Breeze takes place on Friday, 2/28 from 5:30 a.m.8:30 p.m. at Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in Ocean Breeze Park, 625 Father Capodanno Blvd.  Come break a sweat and introduce a friend to the most state-of-the-art fitness facility in NYC!   Limit one guest pass per member per month. Visitor cannot exceed 3 visits in a 12 month period. The visitor must be accompanied by a member at the time of redemption, sign in at the front desk, and complete a waiver form.

Attend Artist Mixer/Networking Night on Friday from 6–8:30 at Staten Island Arts, 23 Navy Pier Ct. networking with other local creatives! Enjoy wine, beer, snacks. All are welcome. Visual artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, performers, small business owners. Bring your cards, bring your friends and come ready to add some new numbers to your phone. Meet other locals up to great things and see our new group exhibition featuring 32 of them. Connect with the Staten Island arts community. Reserve your free tickets at https://statenislandarts.secure.force.com/ticket/

Join Councilwoman Debi Rose as she celebrates Black History Month on Friday at 7 at St. Philips Baptist Church, 77 Bennett St. with performances from Curtis H.S. dance group Dynasty, the Port Richmond H.S. Jazz Band, the St. Philips Worship and Praise Team and the S.I. Steel Pan Orchestra.

On Friday from 7-9 at Everything Goes Café, 208 Bay St., participate in Wil Wynn’s Curiously Open Mic Torch Songs and Bad Ass Poems--words you can taste with your eyes. Poet Will Wyn is the conductor of this experimental open mic event with the involvement of his peers.  So bring your poems!

You will enjoy the Sundog Theatre’s: Scenes from the Staten Island Ferry 2020 with all new short, original one-act plays about our favorite boats. Every play, every night, featuring audience participation! Friday/Saturday 2/28, 29 at 8, Sunday 3/1 at 3 at Moravian Church Theatre, 2205 Richmond Rd. Admission is $20-general, $18-students with ID/seniors over 65. To reserve your tickets, visit https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4445226?fbclid=IwAR2d2UkJsELSkqnktDoIRoVcC3ctJTvke5B2XvnxbEOmEqWMqnJusILlliM

Learn tips and tricks that will enhance your knowledge of the natural world, and might just save your life at Outdoor Skills: Fire Building on Saturday, 2/29 from 1112:30 at the Comfort Station in Willowbrook Park near Eton Pl. and Richmond Ave. Our Urban Park Rangers are well versed in outdoor lore. Fire is mankind's greatest discovery. Learn primitive and modern methods for making fire safely and responsibly while exploring the great outdoors. All programs are family-friendly but are recommended for ages 8 years and older.

Take the Greenbelt's FrogWatchUSA Volunteer Training on Saturday from 111 at Greenbelt Nature Center in Blood Root Valley,  700 Rockland Ave. at Brielle Ave. FrogWatch USA is a nationwide citizen science program that monitors and tracks amphibian populations by collecting data with help from volunteers like you! This two-hour classroom training session will certify participants as FrogWatchUSA volunteers. Good for ages 8+.

Kids’ Crafting takes place on Saturday from 8:00 am-5:00 pm at all Staten Island locations of Michael's Craft Store.  Admission is $3. Kids 3 and up can enjoy painting clay pot critters. Parent or guardian must remain on premises during the event. For info, call the store nearest you. 2795 Richmond Ave-718-697-0252; 30 Barrett Ave.-718-720-0377; 245 Bricktown Way-347-694-7203.

The Zimmer Club Free Youth Winter Program continues on Saturday at 9 at 4411 Arthur Kill Rd.The Zimmer Club youth program uses the great outdoors as a classroom to teach youngsters about outdoor activities, conservation and embracing nature. The program blends learning with recreation in the belief that this approach heightens the participant’s environmental awareness. Youngsters are introduced to activities that bring conservation topics to life such as environmental conservation, estuary systems, Blue and Greenbelt management, hunting, fishing (both salt and fresh-water), boating, first aid, camping, gun safety, archery, marksmanship, compass and map reading and more. Please pre-register by email to info@aezyouth.com. All classes are FREE to girls and boys under 18.

Bring the kiddies to Storytime and Activities Celebrating Dr. Seuss! on Saturday at 11 at Barnes & Noble, 2655 Richmond Ave. and join us for a very Seussical Storytime. This special reading and activity time is in partnership with Read Across America!

On Saturday at 1, participate in Maple Syrup Saturdays at Clay Pit Ponds Visitors Center, 2351 Veterans Rd. W.  Learn about the entire process of making maple syrup from tap to table! You will hike for up to an hour on our trails to find maple trees, drill holes, hang buckets, and collect sap. Please wear snow boots, gloves and a hat. Good for ages 5+. To accommodate as many people as possible, we will run the exact same program every Saturday. If you think this program might be cancelled due to weather, call 718-605-3970 x201.

Leap year has finally leaped for 2020 at the Flagship Brewery, 40 Minthorne St. for a Froggy Fun Market hosted by Created for You Artists Market. Come and join us on Saturday from 1-6. We'll have raffles games craft activities for kids and more. Take a selfie at our photo station and get a 4x6 colored print for your memories. Shop from our vendors and get some baked goodies from our bakers. Wash it down with one of Flagships own Ipa brews.

Join Barnes & Noble, 2655 Richmond Ave. for activities, a mystery game, and giveaways at Get a Clue! On Saturday at 2 introducing the InvestiGators, a new graphic novel series about super spies who uncover clues and crack cases—perfect for fans of Dog Man and Diary of a Wimpy Kid!

On Saturday from 2-4, bring your friends to the Opening Reception: Newhouse Center Spring Exhibitions at Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Bldg C & G, 1000 Richmond Terr. to celebrate the opening of three brand new art exhibitions: I Am Everybody: Reda Abdelrahman, In Visible: DB Lampman, and Old Timers, New Starts: Composite Darkroom Manipulations.

Create with us, learn to knit, make a pot holder at Art in the Park: Knitting Crafts on Saturday from 3-4:30 at Clay Pit Ponds Visitors Center, 2351 Veterans Rd. W. Good for ages 10+. Registration is required by calling 718-605-3970 x201.

The Tavern Concerts continue with two sessions on Saturday at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. with Harbortown, featuring Bob Wright, at the newly-restored Guyon Tavern, located on Richmond Rd. The concerts boast the feeling of a 19th-century tavern with a wood-burning stove, candlelight and costumed interpreters. Beverage options include hot apple cider, homemade mulled wine, as well as a refreshing selection of beers. For more info and tickets, visit historicrichmondtown.org

Meet at the Greenbelt Nature Center, 700 Rockland Ave. for an Environmental Educators’ Choice Group Hike on Sunday, 3/1 at 9:30. Distance and destination will be educator and participant’s choice.  Hikers of all ages are welcome. Dress for the weather and terrain.

The 2020 Staten Island St. Patrick’s Day Parade will step off on Sunday at 12:30 beginning at Forest Ave. and Hart Blvd. The Parade will be led by Grand Marshal Dr. Bob Griswold, a Concord dentist and West Brighton resident known for his charitable work in the community. The parade route continues along Forest Ave. and ends at Jewett Ave. For more information on marching or participating in the parade, call 929-529-5551.

Volunteer with Friends of Kivlehan Park, Inc. at It's My Park on Sunday from 13 at Sandy Memorial Garden in Great Kills Park to kick off the spring season with some beautification and cleaning of the Sandy Memorial Garden.  Meet at the corner of Cedar Grove Ave. & Topping St.  We look forward to cleaning up the park with you!

Enjoy the Owl Hike with the Urban Park Rangers on Sunday from 4-5:30 at High Rock Park, 200 Nevada Ave. as you look and listen for owls that make these woodlands their home. Meet at the Parking Lot in front of the entrance gate to High Rock Park. Our Urban Park Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in the urban jungle. To enhance your experience, we encourage you to bring field guides and binoculars or ask a park ranger to borrow a pair.  Birding programs are appropriate for all skill levels and beginners are welcome.

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

Posted by Joan Coogan on


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