Last Saturday, my grandson and I planted a number of flowers in my garden.  He made a new friend (Mr. Worm) and got his hands dirty!  He’s definitely into nature, and for that, I am grateful.  The day after Easter Sunday, tulips, daffodils and crocuses emerged brightening up the garden and the front of my house.  Have you begun getting your hands dirty?  I hope your week was blessed, restful and, if you were able to hang out with your children on Spring break, enjoyable. 

Before I go into the weekend events, I want to remind you that there are only a few more days till April 15!  If you haven’t done so yet, the New York Public Library in Staten Island is offering FREE tax preparation at the following branches:  Richmondtown--Tuesday from 11-3, St. George--Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday from 2-6, West New Brighton--Monday from 11-2:30 and Wednesday from 12-2:30 p.m.  Professionals will assist you.

The deadline is TOMORROW, April 10 for the 2015 Summer Youth Employment Program! Staten Island teens and young adults, ages 14-24, can apply for summer jobs. This program will provide young people with PAID summer employment for up to six weeks during July and August in a variety of entry level jobs.  Applicants must be able to provide working papers if under 18 as well as ID and documents.  Contact DYCD Youth Connect at 1-800-246-4646 or e-mail  Applications can be obtained online at visit  If you have kids that need a push to get busy this summer, tomorrow is the last day.  

Another deadline is TOMORROW.  A six-week workshop designed to teach teens how to write and produce songs, both at home and in a studio will kick off Sunday, 4/12 from 1-4 at Deep Tanks Studio, 150 Bay St., Tompkinsville.  Tuition is on a sliding sale of $35-50 and is being funded by a grant from Staten Island Arts.  Teens can apply through 4/10 at  E-mail questions to  This is another great opportunity for your teens!

If you have wanted to quit smoking to enjoy good health and the fresh outdoor air this Spring and Summer, Staten Island University Hospital will help you every Thursday at 5:30 at 256 Mason Ave. at their Smoking Cessation Support Group.  Call 718-226-6125 for information.

Friday, 4/10 at 7:30, the Staten Island Geological Society will host a 30-minute DVD presentation on “Mining Amethyst in Bolivia” at St. Clare’s School, 151 Lindenwood Rd.  You will also be able to examine some hands-on specimens of amethyst.  Call 718-981-5786 for info.

This will definitely be a foodie’s weekend.  The 4th Annual NYC BBQ Cookoff is on Saturday, 4/11 from noon to 4 p.m. at Historic Richmond Town, 411 Clarke Ave.  Advance tickets are $10, $5 for kids 12 and under.  At the day of the Cookoff, tickets are $12.  For further info, call 718-351-161 or visit  Yummy, I can taste the chicken and ribs already!

On Saturday at 10:30 at Clay Pit Pond State Park, 2351 Veteran’s Rd. West, children ages 5 and up can meet Elisabetta O’Connor, Environmental Educator to learn about our reptilian friends (Tremendous Turtles) and even meet some.  Call 718-605-3970 x201 for further info and required registration.

The Forest Restoration Workshop continues at High Rock Park on Saturday, at 10.  Meet in the parking lot at 200 Nevada Ave. to help with restoration efforts.  Gloves, pruners and refreshments will be supplied.  Call 718-768-9036 for info.

Also on Saturday, at 3, at the Conference House Cinema, 7455 Hylan Blvd., enjoy a screening of the Humphrey Bogart film, “Key Largo” as part of the monthly screenings of Hollywood’s classic ‘film noir’ award winning movies.  Suggested donation of $5 includes popcorn, cookies and refreshments. 

The Tour de Staten Island begins Sunday, 4/12.  The 35 and 55 mile tour begins and ends at the Flagship Brewery at 40 Minthorne St. in Tompkinsville and continues on through parks and areas throughout the Island.  Check in for the 55-mile event begins between 8-9 a.m.; check in for the 35-mile event between 8:30-9:30.  For more info, visit

The North Shore Restaurant Crawl takes place Sunday, from noon to 5 with an after-party from 5-7 at the Flagship Brewing.  My son and I attended the “Crawl” last year which began at DaNoi’s in Fort Wadsworth and ended (for me) in St. George at Jimmie Steiny’s Pub.  I can attest that you will taste many different kinds of food in the participating restaurants that will whet your appetite for a return visit at future dates.  We parked in Rosebank, hit many of the participating restaurants, walked back to the car, drove to Stapleton, tasted food, walked back to the car, drove to St. George and did the same.  By then, I was so full that I returned home and napped!  This year, there are 21 restaurants from Ft. Wadsworth, Rosebank, Stapleton, St. George, Livingston, Port Richmond and Elm Park.  Advance tickets are $15 and can be purchased at or  You can also purchase tickets the day of the Crawl for $20 at the Allstate Insurance office at 60 Bay St. or at Flagship Brewing Co. at 40 Minthorne St.  Call Glen Mancuso for further info at 718-420-1966.  I promise--you will not be disappointed!

As part of CityParks Seniors Fitness, from 4/27-6/19, for the “over 60” crowd, FREE yoga classes will be offered on Tuesday and Fridays at 10 a.m. at Faber Park, Port Richmond.  FREE tennis lessons will be offered Mondays and Wednesdays from 12-2 at the Greenbelt Recreation Center, 501 Brielle Ave. between Rockland and Wolcott Avenues.  All equipment is provided.  For further details, visit CityParksFoundation, org or call the sports department at 718-760-6999.

Let me know what restaurants or food events you attended. What were some of your favorites?  Did you get your taxes done? Did you take a hike or visit one of Staten Island’s parks?  You can call me at 646-258-9696, leave a comment below or e-mail me at

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