Friday, April 18, 2014

Uptown Girls

Did you ever look forward to date night with great anticipation, maybe a mani-pedi-blowout-mimosa prep schedule with an awesome play list rocking out in the back ground, as you pick out a new outfit/pair of shoes/new accessories combo for a fun night out?  Yeah, me neither. 
Our last date night went more like this:  Saturday morning Rob gets the 6:30 AM train out of the Seventh Borough to get to the Metrotech/Barclays office (2nd borough) for some 8AM project.  I’m baby wrangling, waiting for my mom to get to my house, after probably also taking a 6:30 AM bus herself so I can get to work for 9AM, even though, yes, it’s Saturday.  Rob picks an outfit he can both climb around server rooms and grab cocktails in.  I pick an outfit that 1. Fits the baby bump 2. Not too fancy for a Saturday in the office and 3. I can sit next to my husband while he grabs cocktails and I get like 8 seltzers.  Then everyone puts in a full day of work.  Rob kills time wandering around the city, while I’m killing in effigy my ‘Singapore Problem’ at work (I’m sure that will warrant its own blog post at some later point in time when my Singapore Problem finally and officially gets laid off).  The benefit of working these occasional Saturdays is that I get an additional vacation day in return, and the company buys lunch.  The drawback of eating lunch (or breakfast or dinner or drinking any non-clear fluids) these days, is that this baby bump has increased the general surface area of the body where it’s very easy to spill food on yourself.  And undoubtedly I do.  So most of my outfit was black, to avoid advertising any food stains (though I did spend a day at work in a black outfit last week with a nice residual dollop of Greek Yogurt on my shirt).  Mmm strawberry banana!
Finally we brake out of work and head uptown on Lexington Ave.  Typically full of office-worker buzz on the weekdays, the pedestrian flow on Lex has become a slow, disorganized parade of tourists, more tourists, and what I’d call local tourists (Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Borough and beyond neighbors in commutable distance who descend upon the city with no real sense of purpose, other than for food, entertainment, sporting events, or worse yet, pub crawls).  So we hang a left on 57th street to cut west and the tourists haven’t really subsided but at least the sidewalk of this very wide and busy thoroughfare are grand and can easily accommodate the masses. 
I realized that I hadn’t been this far uptown (and 57th street is really not uptown at all) in a while.  Actually I’d walk along 57th quite a bit because it was the starting point of the express bus route back to Bay Ridge in the 2nd Borough.  A coworker friend of mine lived on 2nd ave in the 50’s and we’d leave work in Long Island City, cross the Queensboro Bridge (59th Street Bridge / Edward I. Koch Bridge – he never lived in Queens??? I never got that reference) by foot for some exercise and chit chat when the weather was pleasant, then she’d walk to her apt and I’d walk over to the Express bus and go home.  These days I do much more shopping at Babies R Us and Stop and Shop than the luxury brand stores on 57th Street, Louis Vuitton and Dior make Coach and Ralph Lauren look rather down-market, but they all represent.  I have some Ralph Lauren stuff myself but I bought it at Lord and Taylor with mad coupons and on savings-pass weekends.  I’m not a brand-name junkie but I do check other peoples’ stuff out here and there.  Right now my job and commute are so male-dominated I don’t get any good fashion exposure.  I do not work with metrosexuals.  Someone once described my job as non-sexy finance.  I’d say that’s true.  Occasionally the guys in the office would get into a pissing contest over who has more Ferragamo ties, but this was the rare event.  I’d say 99% of accountants are frugal, financially conservative individuals and the other one percent are in jail. 
We all project an image, whether intentional or not.  This is why I could never work in fashion, probably never even hack it in retail.  In non-sexy finance, you just have to look professional.  And as the weather warms up and the baby bump grows, I’m interpreting that definition more and more loosely.  But that’s short term.  In non-sexy finance you do cross paths with those in Sexy Finance and those with good fashion sense, and those who are bling-y and name-brand junkies.  People may say I have no fashion sense and I wouldn’t argue.  I am by no means a luxury brand junkie.  I don’t believe in high-end cars because cars are just depreciable assets.  Besides, a Lexus is just a Toyota engine with nicer interior appointments.  Though one time a (real) Rolex-sporting, Upper East Side co-worker once said to me, “But Liz, you live in Scarsdale”, and I say, bitch please, I live in Eastchester (but not according to my zip code), and she’d say, “But Liz you grew up on Shore Road”, and I say, bitch please, we rented a rent-stabilized apartment 30 years ago (but zip codes don’t lie).  Maybe I’m a bit of an address  snob, but you know what they say, location, location, location.  What it all comes down to is that really I’m just a cheap, clueless, fashion-less preggo who gets all her ideas from two stylish co-workers and two buddies on Pinterest.  I’m just waiting for Target to get its credit card security back in place so I can go back to shopping there.   
We turned up Madison Avenue and passed more and more boutiques and high-end small shops, no Target, no TJ Maxx, just the name brands you see in fashion and beauty magazines, or names that pop up during Fashion week (Armani, Hermes, Helmut Lang, Valentino, Carolina Herrera),  that I recognize only because I read a lot and get into watching the red carpet on Oscar night, and nothing to do with my shopping prowess (which is nil).  Fashion, shoes, accessories and hand bag/luggage shops started to phase out, while shee-shee bakeries, coffee houses and salons became more prominent, as we got deeper into the East 60’s and then low 70’s and the area became more residential over all.  I was jealous of this area not for its zip code or fancy bakery bags chock-filled with a spring rainbow of macaroons, but just for its simple pedestrian nature.  I miss rolling out of one’s apartment and grabbing a coffee along with completing a morning’s worth of errands fully accomplished on two feet.  No cars, no parking lots, no meters, just fresh spring air and the adventures you can find with two feet and endless miles of paved sidewalks.  Of course my early evening daydream was helped by not having the little man in tow, because when you are two everything is a fascinating distraction.
Forget you! You macaroons and blingy peep-toe shoes worth more than one month’s mortgage payment, this was date night, and not just like Liz and Rob get a meal without needing a highchair or a drop cloth for our third wheel, we were off to the Carlyle Hotel to see Alexa Ray Joel!
The Carlyle would totally blend into its UES neighborhood as any other pre-war apartment building, if not for its modest, art-decoish marquee on Madison Avenue.  We entered on Madison and got lost in the corridors for a bit.  Where were the doormen, this is a hotel, no?  So we left and went in the 76th street entrance where we found a proper front desk attendant and asked for Café Carlyle, which of course was past some uniformed elevator operators and some bar-like seating.  It was not a grand hotel with a cavernous lobby, it was a building with proportions of another time, elegant, by no means disability-compliant, and buzzing with early Saturday night diners.  The Café Carlyle was a tiny room, with tables on top of tables, a small stage with mics, a piano, keyboard and cello, and in the back a small bar that fit six, tops.  We had a small square table, three rows in, though basically we were the last row before the bar.  We sat side by side and next to our table was a support beam covered in black fabric.  It was tight seating.  Tight.
But the people came and the café filled up.  Rob had some wine and I ordered a champagne that I nursed all night, long after it lost its fizziness.  I ordered a salad of sliced heirloom tomatoes, followed by sea scallops with asparagus and risotto, chased down by a lemon tart.  Rob had steak and mashed potatoes and cheese cake.  The food was definitely overpriced but then so was the neighborhood, but it was good food.  Sometimes you go to a hotel for the bar, but never for the restaurant.  My compliments were to the chef.
Seats kept filling up, and as it turned out, all of Alexa's shows were sold out for her two-week run. We wondered if Alexa’s very famous dad was going to show up.  Pay for Alexa, get Billy, two Joels for the price of one Joel (well when a tomato salad costs $20, for four slices of tomato, not four tomatoes), say hey, throw the frugal accountant a bone, no?   
We were literally on top of the table in front of us, and I hoped some really short people would sit there, but no, it was reserved for supermodels.  Especially one tall, fashionable, beautiful supermodel named Christie Brinkley. 
We didn’t get dad, we got mom, Alexa’s mom, and her entourage of some very metrosexual guys, and Minnie Driver, and a music critic guy who kept talking about Marisa Tomei's current stint on Broadway, and Alexa’s publicist, in addition to Christie’s son who may as well be a model, and another woman who was apparently a big artist and/or interior designer who recently did Christie’s (new?) UES apartment/townhouse(?) and of course all her Long Island properties. 
The table was set for 10, and Minnie was very tactical in picking her seat so that she would not be hugging the support beam like we were.  Everyone respectfully saved the best seat for Christie.  At first I thought I was so close to these people I could hit them with a dinner role if I tried (which I didn’t) but really, we were so close, I could eat off their plate if I wanted to.  Minnie got the $20 tomato salad and had rose champagne.  Christie was drinking something that looked like a margarita and had the oysters.  Supermodels eat food!  The metrosexuals had hard liquor on the rocks.  The party seemed big on ordering the salmon.  I wanted to tell them the scallops were really good but I wasn’t at their table.  I was on top of their table, but technically not at their table.  The publicist ordered a cheeseburger and slipped the Matri D no less than $20 even though the whole table was comped.  My husband was jealous of the cheeseburger, despite having a steak, this is how he rolls.  It’s date night at the Carlyle and not McDonald’s drive through!!!!! 
I totally eavesdropped on their conversations.  Everyone talks about Billy.  Billy.  Billy.  Billy.  Like he’s the absent friend, and not the vile ex-husband.  That was nice.  We’re seeing Billy in 6 months at the Garden, but I kept that to myself.  There was much talk about the Hamptons, Christie’s son’s experience in college, a prior performance of Alexa’s which involved the Carlyle evicting a very, very drunk patron, and whether Minnie should spend less time in the UK and more time in NY (everyone though so, but Minnie seemed undecided).  Minnie looked very much like herself on TV or in movies, but she was very tall and seemed to look very dramatic with very little makeup.  She had a bright red Channel bag but the rest of her outfit was simple, elegant New York Evening Black.  That’s totally what I was going for, but in my round state and penchant for yogurt stains, I was just happy I slapped on some eye shadow and mascara that night.  Christie looked fabulous for being 60, and had a black dress with a black and white polka dot scarf.  She looked like she was always smiling, her face and eyes were really bright, she was upbeat, friendly and pleasant, she was the proud and beaming momma. 
I was totally ecstatic that I was sitting in such proximity to beautiful, fashionable and famous people. And the show hadn't even begun.  When Alexa graced the stage, in her pale pink sparkly gown and matching boa, she came out belting her own version of Ray Charles' "I've Got a Woman".  Undeniably, she looks more like her dad than her mom, and she's got the musical chops of her dad too.  Maybe she won't gain residency at Madison Square Garden, but the clubby, cabaret venue of Cafe Carlyle was definitely her forte.  In between each song, she'd offer some background, some jokes, loungy chit chat and kept good command of the room.  She sang some original songs, which I though seemed laden with some residual teen angst or unrequited love, they were not melodic nor happy.  When she was belting out songs, she sounded like an old soul, rich and weathered, and when she sang more higher-pitched songs, she had like a squeaky, Carol Channing-type of quality to her voice.  She probably has had the best musical education genetics can provide.  Her exposure and repertoire spanned the gamut.  She covered Ray and Stevie Wonder, she covered Procol Harum's "Whiter Shade of Pale", she dedicated "On the Sunny Side of the Street" to her mom, she sang her own music, she played her own keyboard, she was quite versatile.  She even talked about her dad's love of hymns, the influence that has had on her, and that he has an organ in his house (I'm picturing like a massive church organ in the middle of a living room).  When it comes to hymns, I'm thinking of "Ode To Joy" or the "Battle Hymn of the Republic".  She was thinking "Loch Lomond", and then sang it with a bit of a Scottish brogue (you know this one, "You take the high road, and I'll take the low road, and I'll be in Scotland before you").  I never thought of this as a hymn, but rather a drinking song reserved for the inebriated portion of a funeral.  But what do I know, my dad is not Billy Joel.  
Alexa closed out the show without her pianist nor her cellist on stage, just her and her keyboard, and a very natural "Just The Way You Are" by papa Joel.  It was an interesting show, because I could sing the Billy Joel set list blindfolded and backwards, but you never knew what Alexa was going to throw out there, or how she was going to arrange it.  And going to a concert in such a small venue felt unique, and special, like I was invited to a private party, with celebrities and overpriced tomatoes and possibly a (tiny) Greek yogurt stain on my shirt.  Did I enjoy it, definitely.  Did I fit in, hey, I live in Scarsdale, the evening was totally in my price range.
Bitch please, it's Eastchester.        

You, Me and 1973

On Tuesday, March 7th, 1989, I woke up, got ready, and went to school.  I was in the fifth grade and I had a very bad day at school, though little did I know at the time, this day was going to get much worse.  I’m sure I was distracted, preoccupied, distant, and that day was our trial Math Bee competition.  Fifth grade would be the one and only year in my entire school career that I did not make it into the Math Bee.  But that would be the least of my worries in a few hours.  I went home, to find my mother, oddly not at work and some other family members hanging around on a random Tuesday afternoon.

Right before Christmas in 2012, I had a few days to take off before the end of the year, and if I didn’t take them off, I’d lose my vacation time for good.  So while other people would probably utilize this time to go holiday shopping, I also took the train down to Manhattan’s 5th Avenue, avoiding retailers at all costs, and headed over to the main branch of the New York Public Library.  The big one, with the lions out front.  I had a lot of research to do, and fortunately for me, right before Christmas is not a popular time of year to go digging through rolls of microfilm.

On Tuesday, March 7th, 1989, I came home from school and learned that my dad had passed away.  This had happened very early in the morning, at the hospital.  But my brother and I were sent off to school anyway, for one last day of normalcy.

A few weeks before Christmas, 2012, I was in Bay Ridge having dinner with my mom after a dentist appointment.  I still go back to the Second Borough for my twice-annual visits to the dentist.  I should find a dentist closer to the Seventh Borough, but well, I like Dr. H so I make the trip.  My mom told me she found something at home, and pulled out a little card and gave it to me.  Just slightly larger than a credit card, and firmer than paper but not quite made of card stock, it was my dad’s press identification card from the Staten Island Register, a local paper in the Fifth Borough which had since gone out of circulation.  It was yellowing, but it was still in pretty good condition.  I had no idea when he worked for this paper, and I don’t remember him working for this paper when I was a kid so let’s say some time in the 60’s or early 70’s.  My dad’s name was typed on a dotted line, and below that it read “a Representative of the Organization and any Press Courtesies extended to him will be deeply appreciated”, signed by Joseph S-something, it was illegible, and the ID expired December 31st, 1973.  There was no photograph, nor magnetic strip.  Just a card with the newspaper’s name on it, and an address at 2100 Clove Road, no phone number.  It seemed to be a seriously unsophisticated form of identification.  The right side of the card was much more frayed and worn than the left, as if it had been in a wallet with an opening on the right side, getting handled more so on the right hand side than the left.  It was not laminated.  It was a piece of paper approaching 40 years old, if not older, and it was going to lead me on a hunt for information. 

My dad was not a journalist, at least not professionally.  Professionally he was kind of all over the place.  At some point he worked for the Associated Press, but I’m not sure in what capacity.  He worked for the City of New York managing programs for senior citizens, he worked for the City of New York as a substitute teacher, he even had his Taxi driver’s license at one time.  He was not a ‘company man’. 

My dad grew up in Brooklyn, the second of three children, went to Catholic school, including O.L.P.H. in Sunset Park, and later, would meet my mom through mutual friends.  He was in the Army Reserves during Vietnam, but a massive Post Office strike kept him stateside sorting mail for Uncle Sam.  I’m sure he was OK with that.  I don’t think he was keen on wartime violence, but I think he may have liked the structure and camaraderie of the Army.  It’s probably a lot like Catholic school, hierarchical and uniformed, only this one’s funded by the state.  I remember as a kid, we’d go for walks through a then low-securitied Fort Hamilton Army Base, just a few blocks from our apartment, at the base of the Verrazano Bridge.  I remember he seemed to have decent memories of the Army, even if he had nothing nice to say about Nixon.

Like most children of the sunset-era of the Brooklyn Dodgers, he was a huge Mets fan and we went to a good number of Mets games, back in the ‘80’s, when they’d actually win.  We’d play catch with our mitts, he also taught me how to play basketball (disaster).  We’d play board games a lot, we’d go to the park often, or ride bikes along Shore Road.  I feel he dragged my brother and I all over Manhattan at times, especially to the Met when my brother was in his ‘I love ancient Egypt’ phase, or to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, or even the Statue of Liberty.  I’ve probably been to the Statue of Liberty more often than any other native New Yorker, or at least I’m willing to admit to that fact, anyway.  We seemed to go everywhere, but we never left the City, mostly because we didn’t have a car for most of those years.  Coney Island, Downtown Brooklyn, the Central Park Zoo, all accessible by subway.  The Staten Island Ferry was a free ride, or at least a really cheap thrill, a soda and a half-hour on the water on a nice day was all you needed.  Sometimes we’d just go for walks along Third Avenue, Bay Ridge’s main thoroughfare.  Get a slice of pizza, maybe an Italian Ice, or stop at the deli and get a small container of marinated mushrooms and eat them before you got home, mostly because they were so good, and also I think my mom was never a fan of mushrooms.  When the weather was bad, or summer days oppressively hot, we’d go to the movies or hit up my dad’s other favorite spot, the library.  Not the big one with the lions out front, but the local one with the children’s section and the free air conditioning. 

My dad was an avid reader.  He was also big into newspapers, news magazines and especially the Sunday New York Times.  I’d ‘read’ along too.  But the Sunday Times weighed a lot and had too much to say.  Sometimes we’d do the crosswords puzzles, and by we, I mean I’d get like <1% of the questions right.  Even if I got a question right, my horrible spelling ability was no match for those black and white grids.  Sometimes he’d buy me a math book, I mean an actual soft-covered work book with pages and pages of arithmetic questions.  I’d do my math puzzles and he’d do the NYT Crossword.  I always wondered if anyone else’s parents bought them math books for ‘fun’ or for ‘babysitting’ on Sunday afternoons.  I think other kids had toys. 

When my mom handed me this 40 year-old press pass, I had always been familiar with my dad’s love of reading, but I had no idea he was trying to get into the writing side of things as well.  We did have a dining room table full of typewriters, but I was never sure of what he was typing, or to whom he was writing, though I did pick up a bit of typewriter ribbon maintenance skills, now totally useless.

So I began my research where anyone in 2012 would begin, I Googled Staten Island Register, and Wikipedia had a small entry about the paper. According to Wiki, the Staten Island Register was owned by the Sclafani Family (that was the illegible S-last name on the press pass!) and founded in 1966.  It started as a weekly shopper, like the Pennysaver, and featured mostly advertisements.  It was a weekly paper, and came into its own about when the daily Staten Island Advance (SI’s local and still in print today) was reaching a saturation point among its readers, and getting overly politicized.  Wiki continues, that the Register would evolve to emphasize four themes: investigative journalism, comprehensive coverage, background and analysis, and political independence.  Unlike the Advance, which to this day endorses political candidates, the Register never endorsed a candidate, though it would report on all candidates, and stuck with an independent slant, reporting the hard news and covering local history as well.  Wiki writes that the paper was sold in 2002, and subsequently sold again in 2004, and ceased publication in December 2005.  There was no Register website to search for old articles, so I was off to the microfilm room of the New York Public Library’s main branch (the big one, with the lions).

Despite many a weary night spent waiting for the express bus to Bay Ridge in front of the Library’s main branch, and having walked past the library many times, I don’t think I had ever been inside that branch until December 2012.  I had no idea how to find anything, but it turned out to be quite easy.  All not-so recent editions of newspapers were on film in one area.  The librarian gave me a catalog of all newspapers on file, and there were several, local, national, international, English, non-English, wow.  I found the Staten Island Register in the catalog and then she asked me which year I’d like to see.  I had no idea, but since the press pass was valid through 1973, I asked for that year.  I hadn’t used a microfilm machine since maybe my second year of college, and when you are searching on film, there is no ‘control-F’ find function, nor a search window.  This was going to be old-school.    

The film started with the January 11th, 1973 issue, claiming the Register as ‘The Weekly Community Newspaper of Richmond County’ all for 10 cents ($4 for an annual subscription).  As I read through the issues, I got the flavor of the paper, local advertisements, Island-wide events for the community, coverage of some city-wide issues, coverage of some national issues, and at times, coverage of some issues that you may think would never impact an insulated, small-townish Fifth Borough.  All the while I’m being transported back in time, before my time, like I said, old-school. 

One of the first articles I came across was an editorial raising the issue of the double-fare transit system.  If you transferred from bus to subway you’d have to pay another fare, and Staten Islanders always had to transfer to get off the Island.  This made me laugh because the ‘One City One Fare’ situation wasn’t resolved until I was in high school, some 25 years later, with the advent of the Metrocard.  There were many farcical editorial cartoons featuring Richard Nixon.  I guess everyone *loved* him.  The weekly events calendar stated St. George Library would be showing a “Black America on Film” series, including footage of African American soldiers and the racism they faced in Vietnam, at the hands of their fellow soldiers.  I totally paraphrased that last sentence.  It was written with words we don’t really use today. 

There was a column each week called ‘Snoopin Round the Town’ which covered wedding announcements, military promotions and fashion styles.  There were home repair how-to columns.  Staten Island Savings Banks were offering 4 year CD’s paying in excess of 7%.  You could buy a Dodge Polara for $3700 or a Plymouth Duster for $2900 (with power steering!!).  New homes ‘on big lots’ were selling for $50-90K, an apartment would cost you $175-$250 a month in rent.  Classifieds were advertising for factory work paying up to (wait for it..) $4 an hour!  Local libraries were showing ‘The Red Balloon’ and ‘Deliverance’.  Weekly TV listings had their own page.  Walter Cronkite hosted the 7PM news on CBS, Channel 5 aired the ‘Andy Griffith Show’, other shows on air at the time included ‘I Dream of Jeanie’, ‘The Waltons’, ‘Beverly Hillbillies’, ‘Dragnet’, ‘The Brady Bunch’, ‘Coronation Street’, ‘The Odd Couple’, ‘I Love Lucy’ and ‘Gilligan’s Island’.  I’ve seen most of these shows, but probably all in repeats.  Adult Ed classes included auto repair for $25, conversational French for $14 and golf for $19 all at local high schools. 

Now and then I’d come across a meatier story, beyond the ups and downs of the New Dorp HS sports stats, or the police blotter, which actually didn’t have too much crime to report.  There was one investigative article about the manufacturing of the Saturday Night Special, a handgun which was actually manufactured in New York City at the time.  Apparently these guns were often stolen between the point of production and their point of delivery.  In 1971, 93 police officers were killed with (presumably stolen) handguns (nationwide).  This was twice the amount of police officers killed in 1968.  The 70’s and early 80’s were rough times in the city. I was old enough to know that first hand.

Other articles were definitely hallmarks of the era: Platform shoes, opening the NYC police exam to women, discrimination of women in the securities industry, Gloria Steinem speaks to the Ms. Club at Staten Island Community College, Nixon refuses to fund day care centers, the unpopularity of Blue Laws, the future of computers, the Rockefeller Drug Laws, how to clean your shag carpet, Watergate, Brezhnev to visit the US, the gasoline shortage, Open Enrollment at CUNY (the City University of New York system), the drunk-driving corridor created in Staten Island when NY raised its legal drinking age to 21, while NJ remained at 18,  and a ‘new fad’ called yoga.  While other articles seemed to cover issues we still face today:  finding jobs for returning veterans, teenage suicide, methadone clinics, 40 workers killed in a Bloomfield natural gas explosion (East Harlem just lost 8 last month in a gas explosion), land use and over-development of the South Shore, the rising costs of food, bridal shows, new car adverts and shoddy construction jobs.  Some things, they never change.

During all my scrolling and trolling through 1973, I had not yet found one article by my dad.  Maybe I picked the wrong year.  But then I got to June, and the paper was covering the primary for the race for NYC mayor, and also a somewhat controversial race for Borough President.  I thought this maybe my lucky year, as my dad had always been abreast of politics at all levels.  A guy named Robert Connor ran for BP as a Republican and then changed to the Democratic line.  This seemed to stir things up.  But the mayor’s race of 1973 was wide open, with John Lindsay not seeking a third term, there would be no incumbent.  So in typical NY fashion, half the city runs for mayor (as we just experienced last year).  Ok well nine guys were in the primary: Albert Blumenthal, Norman Oliver, Abraham Beame, Herman Badillo, John Marchi, Mario Biaggi, Sanford Garelik, Robert Wagner Jr., and Jesse Gray.  I smiled to myself because I recognized a few of these names as guys who seem to always be running for something locally.  The Register covered each candidate, and endorsed no one.  In November, Abe Beame would win the 1973 citywide race, becoming the 104th Mayor of New York City.  I finished the roll of film and my time travel back 39 years and found not one article written by Peter E. Hogan.  There were several short articles published each week that were uncredited.  Maybe he wrote one or a few of those, I'd never know.
On Friday, March 7th, 2014, the twenty-fifth anniversary of my dad’s passing came and went.  To mark the day I did absolutely nothing.  I called no one.  I made no Facebook post.  I didn’t even get this blog post out in a timely fashion.  I went to work.  I came home.  I didn’t go to church, having been there only two days earlier for Ash Wednesday.  I was fully aware and mindful of the date, as I am every year, but the milestone that was the quarter-century that had now passed was kind of rubbing things raw all over again.  I’m sure my family was aware of the date.  Not talking to each other on such an anniversary, I can only describe as an Irish style of communication.  It’s how we roll – gregarious and garrulous at times, stone-faced and stoic at others.    

If my dad were alive today, he’d probably still be riding the subway all over the city (now on a reduced-fare senior citizen metro card), reading the paper, getting a slice, getting a kick out of how much the city has changed, how much Brooklyn has changed, how much the world has changed, how much the world hasn’t changed, how much the Mets haven’t changed, how much his kids have changed, and I think he’d love being a granddad.  I truly believe he would have become a blogger, it requires no press pass, it’s relatively easy, it’s free and it doesn’t require any typewriter ribbon changing.  He could cover the Second Borough News, I’ve got Borough Number Seven covered.