What do you do when there is a caravan heading through Mexico toward the United States? Go to Canada of course. While Montreal and Quebec City rightfully get a lot more travel attention, Toronto should be considered for a quick, long weekend trip. The vibe is very different from its French sister cities, as Toronto is more firmly rooted in its English past.

The first thing to consider is that Toronto is only an hour’s flight away. And while you do need a passport or enhanced driver’s license to get past customs, it is a pretty easy process. Even easier if you have Global Entry, a kind of TSA pre-check for international flights. Air Canada is a good option to get there and back, but be forewarned, they fly out of LaGuardia Airport and that

I had hoped to give you a couple of first-hand reports on two spooky-looking things to do in New York for Halloween, but sometimes even my plans get waylaid. But I still want to do both and they are available after Halloween too, so here they are — try them out and let me know what you think.

The first one takes you into Williamsburg and is called Madame Morbid's Trolley Tours.  The converted trolley is made to look and feel like a Victorian carriage. Be forewarned though Rockawayites, there

People ask me, Lazer, where do you come up with the stuff about New York? Ok, I’m ready to spill the beans. Yes, I am in love with NYC and its history. I have several “go to” sources. First is a series on public television called Secrets of New York. The host of the show takes us into some of the really cool secrets about this great city. In fact, some of our neighbors have been on the show, for instance Jimmy Roberts, who helped run the Department of Environmental Control, did a wonderful show

I could not imagine leaving home and starting over in a new country. The United States is a country of immigrants and their traces are everywhere, especially here in New York. To make the transition easier, when the migrations were large, the communities assembled together in neighborhoods and made it look like home. I recently took a stroll that reminded me of this fact. And as I strolled through some of the neighborhoods, it occurred to me that actually I may be the stranger.

I left my

This classic Beatles tune tells the poignant story of a girl leaving her parents' home and striking out on her own. The chorus has a call and response feature with the refrain, “She’s leaving home.” There are many interpretations to this particular song, but I like the simplest, that a young person has reached the age when it’s time to leave the nest.

And so it was, that the mermaid and I helped the littlest mermaid out of the bay and into her own cove last week. Arranging for movers

What does one do after being sighted in spandex on the boardwalk? Well, head out of town up to Newport, Rhode Island naturally, to close up the cottage for the season! Having never been to the former playground of the rich and famous, I packed up the mermaid and our fins and headed northeast to see what a real mansion looked like.

First of all, whoever drew up the state lines for Connecticut should have shortened the state. It’s simply too long. But the reward is that Rhode Island is not, and

This past week, we lost a local who came here from far away. He passed way too young and left two sons and a wife. He is the epitome of the American Dream, arriving here from his native Philippines finding work, a wife, a family and a whole new life. I listened to the eulogy delivered by his two sons and realized I only knew him slightly, as a neighbor and friend, but what I knew of him was true.

He was the type of person we aspire to be, but sometimes fall short of. He worked several jobs

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