Have you been coping with the cold, wind, snow and icy rain that hit the Northeast and especially Staten Island in the last couple of weeks.  Staten Island Chuck predicts 6 more weeks till Spring.  I think I’ll rely on our favorite prognosticator for a brighter, warmer future.  So tell me what you have been doing to entertain your children and/or yourselves?  Did you participate in “Drawing from Memory”?  Did you take your honey dancing at the Old Bermuda Inn or enjoy Super Bowl Sunday?  http://www.gillanihomes.com/blog/weekend-events-on-staten-island-130-21.html.  Did you encounter any angels as I did to help with snow shoveling?  http://www.gillanihomes.com/blog/winter-snow-ice-and-sleet-sno-fun-part-ii.html 

As a youth, my large extended family participated in two events together.  We played tennis, and we ice skated.  Tennis consisted of going to the school yard down the street and practicing our strokes against the wall.  Whenever we could find a “regulation” tennis court, we played.  My father was a NYPD detective so we vacationed at the Police Camp in the Catskills.  The whole family played tennis for hours on end on their courts. Skating consisted of local venues--Allison Pond in Randall Manor and Martling's Pond in Clove Lakes.  Allison Pond was usually pretty bumpy and smaller especially when the boys played hockey on one end.  But we could walk there from home.  We would drive to Martling's, lace up our skates, warm ourselves by the bon fires that were always lit and skate till one of the adults said it was time to leave.  I remember having frozen toes and feet but couldn’t wait to get home to hot chocolate with marshmellows.  Dad also took us sleigh riding, usually to Silver Lake Golf Course.  I can’t for the life of me remember how we entered.  But we had sleds and flying saucers and climbed up and slid down for so many happy, exhilarating hours.  Those were days I will cherish for a lifetime. 

I try to highlight events in my blog each week that are FREE or low cost.  Many of my readers are watching their budget and some are living pay check to pay check.  I hope I am enlightening you to how much enjoyment you can have without breaking the bank. 

Saturday, 2/7, at 8, attend the “From Paris with Amour” concert Edith Piaf and Beyond with Sylvie Boisel, vocalist and Sam Ben-Meir, guitarist at the Every Thing Goes Book Cafe, 208 Bay St.  

The Garibaldi-Meucci Museum, 420 Tompkins Ave. is open from Tuesday through Sunday, 1-5 p.m.  Staten Island was home to two notable Italian political refugees, Antonio Meucci, who was the true inventor of the telephone, and Giuseppe Garibaldi, an Italian revolutionary.  When I visited this museum a couple of years ago, I felt a “presence” and was quite impressed by the exhibit and history of these two men.  This Saturday at 2, watch the Italian movie “Roman Holidays” hosted by Rose Frisari.  Call 718-442-1608 for info.   

The Sandy Ground Historical Museum, 1538 Woodrow Rd., off of Bloomingdale Rd. is open Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday, 1-4. As the oldest continuously inhabited free Black settlement in the United States, founded in the early 19th Century, Sandy Ground is a place of great historical significance.  The community arose from a settlement of free Blacks from New York, Maryland, and Delaware. By harvesting oysters and farming, this fledgling community was able to thrive and became a safe haven on the Underground Railroad.  I attended the annual Sandy Ground Festival this past June, toured the museum, ate delicious ribs and listened to Big Band, Steel and Jazz music.  Call 718-317-5796 for upcoming events.  

Another museum to visit is the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art, 338 Lighthouse Ave. , Open Wednesday-Sunday, 1-5.  Sundays in February, you can see a screening of Silent Holy Stones, a feature film by Pema Tseden, the first Tibetan graduate of the Beijing Film Academy.   

Saturday, at Clay Pit Pond State Park, 2351 Veterans Road West, join Elisabetta O’Connor, environmental educator, topaint a picture frame of your own to keep or give as a gift.  Bring in a 2” x 2” picture to put in your frame.   Call 718-605-3970. 

Learn to Knit or Crochet, Saturday at 10, at the Dongan Hills Library, 1617 Richmond Rd. for ages 5-10.  One-on-One tech help is available at noon.  Call 718-351-1444.  

City Harvest Presents:  Cooking Matters, Saturday, 11-3, at Key Food, 331 Port Richmond Ave.  Take a self-guided grocery store tour.  As you shop, you’ll receive free samples and healthy recipes to take home as well as tips and tricks to stretch your food dollars.  After visiting all 5 stations, complete a survey and take the store challenge to receive $10 worth of FREE groceries and a cookbook. 

Sunday, 2/8, 11-3 join Mike Shanley for a hike through some of Blue Heron Park’s less explored areas.  Bring camera, binoculars and dress appropriately.  Register at falecore@yahoo.com. 

Explore High Rock Park on the trail of the month—Lavender Trail, Sunday at 2.  Meet at 200 Nevada Ave. at the entrance to High Rock. 

If you would like to share your plans for the weekend or add some exciting events to my list, please call me at 646-258-9696 or write a comment below or to joan.coogan@gmail.com

Posted by Joan Coogan on


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Wow- what a full weekend1 You'd have to be a real lump on a log not to get out of the house and DO something!

Posted by Sadja on Saturday, February 7th, 2015 at 9:36pm

Thank you Sadja for your comment. So far, the weekend was great! But who am I to judge someone being a lump on a log! Lol! Hope you get to experience some of these great activities.

Posted by Joan Coogan on Sunday, February 8th, 2015 at 9:05am

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