This has been one heck of a week! In all my years on this earth, I have never experienced a pandemic--schools are closed, as well as businesses, houses of worship, libraries, gyms, restaurants, bars, casinos, and functions, events, fundraisers have been cancelled. Supermarkets have been ransacked by hoarders for toilet paper, cases of water among other essentials. We are being warned not to congregate in large groups because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and yet, crowds of people are waiting in lines just to get into grocery stores each day!

Needless to say, this week’s events will be abbreviated, and I will be on hiatus for the foreseeable future. I have left a few outdoor events on the list, but I advise you to call beforehand if you want to attend. I borrowed the following suggestions from a post on Facebook and added to it. Many people were fearful of their kids staying in school due to the chance they would be infected; many were afraid of their kids missing school. Evidently, the schools will be setting up Virtual classes in the near future. Until that happens, try to do with your kids all the things you previously could never find the time to do. For instance, teach them how to:

  • Cook, bake cookies, crack an egg, sift flour, sauté onions, etc.
  • Sort and do their own laundry
  • Check the oil in the car, or the tire pressure
  • Sew a button on an item of clothing
  • Balance a checkbook, write a check
  • Read a map (you never know when that satellite on the GPS will fall from the sky)
  • Dust, mop the floors, vacuum
  • Shine their shoes
  • Start a kitchen garden by planting seeds indoors

The list is endless, but they will thank you someday when they become respectful, dependable, independent children, teens, young adults.

If you are one of my Gentle Readers, you know I have a love of the New York Public Library. Due to the school closures, the NYPL has invited you to visit: Online Tools for Kids and Parents I’ve visited other libraries around the country, but they don’t hold a candle to our wonderful City Library System. Our family always went to the library; as kids, we were encouraged to check out the maximum amount of books allowable each week. My Mom and Dad were both avid readers and showed us a good example. Mom didn’t drive so we would walk to the West Brighton or the St. George Library to choose our books. We had a thirst for knowledge and books helped us to further our knowledge. I worked at the Port Richmond Branch Library during my high school years and my brother worked at various branches during high school through college years. He brought the community of children together to put on plays and musicals at different libraries.

My son and daughter-in-law began taking their baby son, Gerard, to classes at the Library and continued with their other children to expose them to everything the Library has to offer. My grandson always spoke of Miss Amy, one of the librarians at the Tottenville Branch Library. Over the years, I have attended programs with my grandchildren and can attest that the staff is great. After 3 years of work, Gerard (with the help of his parents) published his first book at 8 years of age—“G’s Jokes and Riddles, For kids…by a kid” and recently presented it to Miss Amy for inclusion into the Library System. Kudos to Gerard!

Did you attend any of the programs I listed in my Weekend Events blog last week? Composting 101 on at the St. George Library, Leprechaun Craft for Kids! Program at the Tottenville Library, We Speak NYC English Conversation Groups at the Port Richmond Library, “Finding Rosie” at Richmond Town Library, presented by Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Musuem or Mindful Meditation and Zen Watercoloring at the Dongan Hills Library. I thank my Gentle Readers, Elissa, Felicia and Maria, for sharing pictures from the Mindful Meditation and Zen Watercoloring session. Looks like they had some relaxation and enjoyed creating lovely art work!

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 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.

Attend the Spring Hike on Saturday, 3/21 from 11-12 at Greenbelt Nature Center in Blood Root Valley, 700 Rockland Ave. at Brielle Ave. for a celebration of the spring season and the International Day of Forests. Good for ages 14+. Call 718-351-3450.

Participate in Scavengers of the Sky: Vultures on Saturday, 3/21 from 1112:30 at Arthur Kill Rd. and Brookfield Ave. in Brookfield Park. The Urban Park Rangers offer birding programs throughout the year and their Exploration Series focuses on unique wildlife viewing opportunities during particular seasons. Often called ugly, disgusting, and unhygienic, vultures play a crucial role in the environment as nature’s best scavengers. They will find dead animals in the environment and pick the bones clean which in turn helps regulate potential carcass-borne diseases. To enhance your experience we encourage you to bring field guides and binoculars or ask an Urban Park Ranger to borrow a pair. Call 718-967-3542.

The 2020 Summer Youth Employment Program application window is now open. SYEP provides NYC youth with paid summer experiences for up to six weeks in July and August. This year changes have been made to the program: teens 14 - 15 take part in project-based activities that help them explore different careers while young adults aged 16 - 24 can work in a variety of industries throughout the City. For more information, and to apply for this year's program, visit the official SYEP website.

Please stay safe, health and keep the faith! If we all follow the precautions, this too shall pass.

Posted by Joan Coogan on


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