Did you get a chance to take a dip in one of the City pools or one of the many beaches on Staten Island this past week especially on the extremely hot days?  I worked in my garden and as usual, am thrilled and a bit surprised that my veggies are actually growing. The heat and humidity didn’t bother me too much!  Never did hear from any of my gentle readers whether their children walk—and I mean really walk for many blocks or miles as I did as a kid.  At a recent community meeting, a discussion ensued about the different venues for our children and teens to play ball or meet with others their ages. Some parents stated that everything is too far for their offspring.  A number of us commented to the parents that the kids can hop a bus or WALK the 7 or 10 blocks to the park or community center.  I’m sure those same kids will easily take the bus to meet their friends at the Mall or go to the movies. What am I missing?  Comments are welcomed.
Have you signed up for a my Social Security account?  I know what you’re thinking?  “I’m not old enough for that stuff.”  Many years ago, as a newly divorced woman with a 2 year old son, I worked for a physician in a corporate Medical Department.  Dr. George Silvis, the Medical Director, walked me to the huge Federal Reserve Building on Liberty Street on our lunch hour, showed me how to buy T-bills, and yakked about investing and beefing up my 401K since the company would match it dollar for dollar up to 6%.  I thought he was a nag, but fortunately, I followed his advice. Whenever I received a salary increase, I increased my contributions.  He also spoke about Social Security and told me how to get my statements each year and verify my earnings.  I have received my statement for so many years now and thank my boss and friend for his sage advice.  As I share my experience, I wonder where the years went.  You are never too young to start thinking about investing and making important financial decisions.   Sign up for your account today and begin thinking about your future:  www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount

Attend the Throwback ThursdayGet Pop Cultured--1950’s through the 1980’s tonight at 5 at Barnes & Noble Bookstore, 2245 Richmond Ave. and participate in the Keith Herring Postcard Coloring Contest

Join Seth Wollney and Dave Eib on a walk to Sharrott’s Pond to identify and observe how Odonata (Dragonflies) connect to the pond community, Saturday, 7/26 from 2-3:30 at Clay Pit Pond State Park, 2351 Veteran’s Rd. West. 

Saturday, from 8-9 a.m., train and strengthen your body to run a 5K at the Conference House Park.  Led by a ShapeUpNyc certified instructor, it is suitable for ages 16 and up.  Attend Drawing Chalk and Talk from 11-1 at the Conference House Park, 298 Satterlee St. 

Join the Staten Island Bicycle Association for a bicycle ride at Miller Field, Saturday at 8:30.  Participants must be 18 and up.  Helmets are required.  Meet at New Dorp Lane and Mill Rd.

Attend a free program offered by the NYSDEC of Natural Navigation at Mount Loretto Unique Area, 6450 Hylan Blvd. at 10 on Saturday.  For ages 10 and up, learn classic navigation techniques.  All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. 

On Saturday from 9:15-4, meet Dominick Durso for a Ten-mile moderate Walk at Willowbrook Parkat Eton Pl..  Bring lunch, beverage, camera, binoculars and field guides.

Sunday, 7/26, at 2, celebrate American’s bestselling author with a special one-day-only offer on all adult, kids and teen books by James Patterson at Barnes & Noble Bookstore, 2245 Richmond Ave.

On Sunday, from noon-4, attend the 30th Anniversary Community Festival at Alice Austen House Museum.  Enjoy food, music family activities, tours and more.

Have you visited Port Richmond lately?   As a child up to my teens, my father took us kids every report card day to Steckmans on Richmond Ave., now Port Richmond Ave.  I can remember the taste of ice cream and flavor and atmosphere of Steckman’s to this day.  Steckman’s is gone, but Denino’s Pizzeria & Tavern is still alive and well since 1937. 

Visit Denino’s (and bring cash—no credit cards accepted), then cross the street for dessert at Ralph’s Famous Italian Ices and Ice Cream, open since 1928.  Another summer memory is with my family and friends hanging out at Ralph’s to try new flavors each week.  Whenever cousins come to town, we all make a trip to Ralph’s.  As a tot, I can still feel sticky as the orange ice dripping down my hands. You will inevitably meet someone you knew from “way back” on the line or eating their ice or ice cream outside of Ralph’s.  

Venture further down Port Richmond Ave. to Brownie’s Hobby Shop--forty years in business and going strong, where you will find everything you need to fashion model airplanes and pocket-size automobiles.  They also sell new and vintage radio-controlled cars, boats and helicopters.                                                      

Make a stop at Port Richmond Library and chill out in Veteran’s Park across the street.  My first job and hanging out afterwards with members of the band “Jax” playing guitars and singing brings me right back to the 60’s and 70’s. 

The summer always makes me reminisce.  Those were the good old days for me. What are your memories of the “good old days”?  If you would you like to share those memories or old photos,  I will be happy to post them in next week’s blog. You can call me at 646-258-9696, leave a comment below or e-mail me at joan.coogan@gmail.com 

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