Valentine’s Day, an annual holiday celebrated on February 14, originated as a Western Christian liturgical feast day honoring one or more early martyred saints named Valentinus, and is recognized as a significant cultural and commercial celebration in many regions around the world, although it is not a public holiday in any country. Now, we Catholics are a strange bunch and have a thing for martyred saints. 

Growing up in Woodside in the late 50s, I attended St. Sebastian Grammar School, where the good nuns would continually implore us to emulate our school’s namesake. The problem was that everywhere I looked throughout the school, I would see a painting or statue of good old St. Sebastian tied to a tree in the throes of a violent death

As a youngster growing up in the 1950s in the small Irish enclave of Woodside, Queens, I can remember my father taking me in tow, at least once a month, and walking down Skillman Avenue to "Paul's" barbershop for a haircut. 

The shop had its own unique smell, as well with the smell of cherry, wintergreen, apple, and butternut-flavored pipe and tobacco smoke mixed with the scent of hair tonics, pomades, oils, and neck powders. The moment a man stepped inside, he was enveloped in the warm and

Only a few more days until the big fat man with the long white beard makes his appearance in each of our homes during the wee hours of December 25. I am referring, of course, to Santa Claus and his annual visit to all good little girls and boys early on Christmas morning. I am particularly looking forward to the big guy's visit this year as I have been working overtime to welcome him to West 12th Road in the most politically incorrect fashion possible. 

The first thing Santa will see after he

In Broad Channel, as anywhere that people celebrate Thanksgiving, thoughts of our families are foremost in our minds. What makes our community special is the fact that we tend to view our little community on the bay not simply as a neighborhood, but as our "home," and our friends and neighbors as extended family. 

Hard to believe in this day and age, but Thanksgiving in Broad Channel still remains a family-centric holiday, consisting of a day of humble introspection with an accompanying

As I strive to move through the initial days of the New Year, I find my house is clean and empty. Sterile, even. The tree, though still up, lacks its pre-holiday luster. Mixed emotions collide and cloud my vision. Was it the best day of the year, or the worst? Did I find the true spirit of Christmas and recapture child-like wonder? Or did I lose another piece of my innocence to the cynicism of adulthood?

I think back to the days prior to Christmas that now seems so far away, so utterly

Each year I promise myself, to no avail, that I will not allow politically correct liberal attempts to denigrate the Christmas season annoy me, as each year I find my blood pressure going through the roof right around this time. For example, in recent years the American Humanist Association spent thousands of dollars on an advertising campaign specifically targeting the Christmas holiday. Oops! Did I write Christmas? Of course, I meant to say the upcoming Winter Festival season. The ad campaign

Recently 7,000 American sailors and Marines visited Iceland's capital city of Reykjavik as part of NATO’s Trident Juncture military exercise. Within a matter of hours, Iceland was facing a national crisis as the visiting swabbies and jarheads immediately set about visiting the local taverns, where they quickly consumed much of that city's beer supply.

Local news in Reykjavik reported that the sailors and Marines preferred local beers over imports, and were very willing to sample different

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