Anyone who commutes into Manhattan on a regular basis needn’t be told that Penn Station is one of the busiest transportation hubs in the United States. Simultaneously servicing the Long Island Railroad (LIRR), New Jersey Transit (NJT), Amtrak and the MTA (subways and buses), this major transportation hub serves 430,000 people daily, (roughly a thousand every 90 seconds). And with all this commotion going on, believe it or not, there’s about as much to love about Penn Station as there is to hate about it.
While some of us can’t see beyond this season of snow shovels and sodium chloride, the gardeners among us are already plotting plots and seeding soil, at least metaphorically.
“This is the time to plan,” said Vincent A. Simeone, an Oyster Bay-based horticulturist. “And if you are going to have a sustainable garden, you need to have a plan.”
If you want to do one thing this year for our children and the future of our nation, read Diane Ravitch’s brilliant and engaging new book, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools (Knopf, $27.95).
It is a best-seller that could change the course of American education. (Yes, even here in the suburbs.) When I started reading it, I was humbled, excited and sad.Humbled by the depth of her commitment to the nation’s children. Excited that she put everything into one volume. And sad that her book is necessary — because what that says about so many of our elected leaders and their perspective on children and education is distasteful.
So the holidays are over, winter has come and we’re all in a position to get smacked with a hefty case of the seasonal blahs. Until the first rays of spring arrive in a few months, the following are suggested retreats that don’t involve getting on a plane or going beyond Long Island and the five boroughs.
East End Escape
Most people perceive the Hamptons, North Fork and all points around the tip of Long Island as being strictly reserved for summer jaunts. Truth is that even though the temperature is considerably lower this time of year, it’s far less crowded and tailor-made for that get-away weekend. Among the places you can stay are:
Don’t mess with the moms. Okay, nor the dads. But especially the moms. Because they are not going to get tired or get shooed away. Just ask Deborah Abramson Brooks and Allison White.
“My daughter is a minor, and it is my job to protect her,” said Brooks, whose nine-year-old daughter is in the fourth grade in Port Washington public schools.
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