There’s an anonymous quote floating around the web stating that a bartender is just a pharmacist with a limited inventory. That said, in the best and worst of times (which can sometimes occur in the same evening), it’s often the barkeeper who’ll not only keep your glass full and spirits up, but prove to be the equivalent of a street corner therapist, albeit one that serves alcohol. The following are profiles of some of the more intriguing mixologists we at the Long Island Weekly have crossed paths with, be it on land or at sea. And if finding out what each one’s signature drink is and how to make it isn’t enough, we’ve even included some bar facts to absorb as you enjoy your libation as you read this. So drink up.
— Dave Gil de Rubio
Now, we’re supposed to be really scared. It was bad enough when the news broke last week that third- through eighth-graders around New York had performed horribly on new state math and English tests. But when U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and state Education Commissioner John B. King Jr. said that the results were even worse than expected, many parents and other taxpayers were overcome with consternation.
“Worse than expected?!”
“With all of the school taxes I pay?”
“Local officials, principals and teachers had been telling us our kids were doing fine. But now?”
Long Island is no place for a classic automobile.
To be sure, ours is a car culture. For better or for worse, the late Robert Moses saw to that. If given the option to take the train, the masses seem to prefer braving the Stressway any day of the week — even with gas averaging $4 a gallon.
Of course, we’re talking about your average commuter, putting around in one of the myriad overgrown jellybeans that pass for transportation these days. Winter storms? Check. Salted roads? Got ‘em. Salty air? Pretty tough to escape it, what with that whole ‘island’ thing. None of this really matters when your daily driver is mostly plastic.
I love the U.S. Open. One of my favorite events is Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day. One of the organizations proceeds from ticket sales goes to support is the National Junior Tennis and Learning Network (NJTL), a nationwide group of more than 600 nonprofit youth-development organizations that provide free or low-cost tennis, education and life-skills programming to more than 325,000 children each year. It’s the kind of altruistic event that I could see local charity Tennis Racquets For Kids, Inc. (TRFK) fitting in with quite nicely. This non-profit organization is devoted to introducing underprivileged children to the sport of tennis by giving donated old racquets (in playable condition) to them. While Great Neck cardiologist Dr. Gary Mintz is the point man for TRFK, it was his now 20-year-old fraternal twins Zachary and Paige who came up with the concept five years ago.
When I tell stories of teaching in a South Bronx public school that fashioned itself a model of “school reform,” most people who live anywhere but an inner city gasp in disbelief and say, “Wow! That’s terrible. But it would never happen here.”
My response? Isn’t it pretty to think so.
The outrages that I experienced, and kids, teachers and communities throughout America continue to suffer in the name of “school reform,” are not so far away from any school in today’s economic, educational and political environment.
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