Two winter weary Jericho couples, the Greenes and the Greenbergs, arrive at JFK airport for a trip to the Dominican Republic. Punta Cana on the eastern end of the island of Hispaniola is the final destination. Paradisus Palma Real Resort is the name of the hotel. The plan is called A.I.P. or all-inclusive plan.
Everything was paid for up front. Not once did we reach into our pockets to pay for a meal. We ate, thanked the waiters and left. No figuring out the tip or the bill. It was a strange sensation for Long Islanders. At a bar the bartender plunked down an entire bottle of Absolut vodka and told us to add as much to the drink as we desired. It reminded me of the bar scenes in western movies when the hero is presented with a whiskey bottle and a shot glass.
(Editor’s Note: Stanley Greenberg is on vacation this week. This week’s column is an encore presentation of a piece originally published on March 11, 2005.)
While I was walking on the treadmill at the clubhouse of the condominium where I live, I started speaking to a fellow condo resident. Having a conversation while you are walking on the machine is a great boon, because it takes your mind off the boring step after step drudgery.
As a New Yorker I was disheartened to hear that the New York State Tobacco Control Program has been slashed to $41 million. This will no doubt be a disservice to the people of New York.
The time has come for New Yorkers to take back their vote. The League of Women Voters of Nassau County believes this can come about only if legislators support an independent, nonpartisan commission for redrawing Assembly and Senate districts in response to the 2010 census. To achieve this end, the LWV has joined ReShape NY, a broad coalition of 30 advocacy, business, union, and civil groups calling on the Governor and state legislature to create an independent redistricting commission that draws district lines using fair and defined criteria while engaging the public in the process. If New York is to have a state legislature that is responsive to the interests of the constituents rather than keeping itself in office, citizens must demand this change from their legislators.
In an unexpected twist, in a conversation with a neighbor, I was told, “I don’t like going south in the winter. I love the warmth and coziness of my own home. I get blankets and a quilt or two and I am in heaven. I don’t need to board a plane to stay in a hotel. My den is much more comfortable.”
I was taken aback because I thought it was a universal desire to reside in the warm sun during the winter months. Do bathing suits, and short-sleeved polo shirts make us happier than scarves, earmuffs, sweaters and woolens? I started to think it over carefully.
With so many competing voices on television, radio, blogs and social media, we can sometimes miss out on certain forthright messages that deserve special attention. Mike Barry’s “Eye On The Island” column in the March 10 edition, however, merits extraordinary recognition.
Thanksgiving in November is not the only time of the year we should look at the many bounties we enjoy. Last week I wrote a column enumerating all our regrets. I received several letters mentioning all the adversities that have befallen my readership.
Some federal immigration agents were wearing cowboy hats and carrying semi-automatic weapons that night in September 2007 when they stormed into private homes across Nassau and Suffolk counties.
Nassau County Police Commissioner Lawrence Mulvey had been told that the raids, by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), were supposed to be targeting deportable gang members.
I have always been intrigued by the tiny, feisty French chanteuse, Edith Piaf, belting out that song, No Regrets. She lived a raucous life and lost her love, Marcel Cerdan, the champion boxer, in a plane crash but she never gave in to sorrow.
As a septuagenarian I have rescanned my own life and come up with a few minor lamentations. A minor regret that has plagued my later career in journalism is that I didn’t pay more attention in my typing class in high school. “Hunt and peck” style doesn’t do wonders when writing essays.
It’s early morning and I’ve barely stepped onto the sands of Whitney Beach, across from our winter rental in Longboat Key, Florida and a sense of mystery permeates the air. A split second ago a mercurial warbler zipped around some tall beach grass and vanished before I could get my binoculars on it. Frustrating. I used to know the bird’s name but forgot it. However, I’m developing a mental file folder of its behavioral habits and when I get the name next time I won’t forget it.
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