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 office on Broad Street, which was where some of the earliest Dutch settlers made camp. At the entrance of 85 Broad Street is a medallion that outlines what the Dutch outpost looked like at that site. I made a left at Pearl Street and headed toward the

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

Van Morrison sang those words nearly 50 years ago and it remains his highest charting single ever. But I am talking about Domino Sugar, the company started in 1799 by British merchant, William Havemeyer. In 1859, William and brother, Frederick, set up shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn right on the East River. The building is landmarked today, although Domino moved out years ago and the buildings there were sold to developers, who promised that if they were able to develop the site for condos that

I grew up with the phrase, "The Dog Days of Summer," in the context of baseball. It always seemed that when either the Mets or Yankees hit the skids in late summer, it was blamed on those damn dog days catching up with New York’s teams. But it turns out the phrase emanates from Greek and Roman times and refers instead to Orion’s dog, Sirius and the star that Sirius is named after, rising high in the sky signaling that the hottest time of the year is about to descend upon us.

Well it’s August

Last Tuesday was the last Open Mic at Connolly’s for the summer of 2018. The results have been catalogued by Professor Squid and made available on SoundCloud. The kindly Professor runs, in my opinion, the best Open Mic in Rockaway, attracting both first-timers and truly talented individuals. There are a group of regulars that come every week, sometimes playing the same songs, sometimes venturing into parts unknown, and then there are the drop-ins, who come for a night or two and light up the

Addiction is a horrible thing. It robs you of your most valuable asset: your soul. Rockaway goes through spurts of having to deal with this problem, and the problem takes many forms. Sometimes people don’t like to talk about it because of shame or fear, but if not dealt with, it can destroy lives. I am a big believer that it’s ok, no actually necessary, to talk about.

There are many programs around to help deal with the issue, some work, some no matter how good the intention, never take hold

I’ve never been a big coupon guy….Oh, who am I kidding, I have always been a big coupon guy. I loved the Entertainment Book with all the coupons for hotels and restaurants. I love the coupons that Macy’s sends in the mail. I love saving money, and I hate spending money that doesn’t have to be spent. So, I was overjoyed when I went to Macy’s and found some sport coats on sale that I was also able to use my coupons for. Being a man mostly of leisure now, sport coats are the thing!

I had the

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