I first saw James Gandolfini playing a mafia enforcer many years before watching him play Tony Soprano on Sunday nights. He was so believable in his roles that he eased into his Soprano acting role as mob-boss flawlessly. The show won 21 Emmy awards.
Gandolfini had a little crooked smile that endeared him to the viewer. He made you realize there was a bit of humanity and emotional frailty in the crime figure. He portrayed a caring father to Meadow his daughter (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) and his wayward son A.J. Soprano (Robert Iler). Tony also had mother problems with his overbearing and pushy parent. On the show, to deal with his childhood problems, he saw a professional Psychiatrist, Dr. Jennifer Melfi (Lorraine Bracco). Incidentally, Lorraine Bracco was a Hicksville High School graduate. The good doctor would not relate to Tony on a romantic level. She also turned down the role of Carmella because she felt it was too similar to her character in “Goodfellows”.
It’s a windless, humid June morning at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. As my wife and I walk the trail around the West Pond, insects incessantly bother us. A chipmunk crosses the path. There are a few ever-present robins, some gray catbirds with black caps and a female red-winged blackbird in a tree. What appear to be a few scruffy looking grackles fly in.
The trail approximately 1 and ½ miles has a breach from Hurricane Sandy. If we walk most of the way around, where it’s located, we’ll have a very long walk back that will tire my wife. There’ll also be little reward as there’s not much here. We walk a little further anyway. A mass of gulls and terns with silvery wings flashing are flying around a small island in the bay. There are two or three possible oystercatchers, with colorful red bills and flashing black and white wing patterns that land on shore. We’ll never get close to them. A few of the terns fly overhead holding small fish in their pointed bills as we turn around.
Adding pocket tracks means adding more rush-hour trains that will cause railroad crossing gates, such as the one in downtown Syosset, to stay down longer (“On track for big changes,” News, June 9).
Has any planning been done to consider the effect on pedestrian and vehicular traffic in the surrounding communities?
Laura Schultz, Syosset
Editor’s note: The writer is the president of RESIDENTS for a More Beautiful Syosset.
Somewhere along the Baltimore Washington Parkway, there is a place called Fort Meade, Maryland. I was stationed at Fort Meade in 1960, after my one year tour in Korea. Fort Meade was close to the Bronx (but not too close). It was known as a tank training base, but I was a dentist in the Army so it did not affect me.
On the grounds of Fort Meade was a section that was well guarded and the lights shined all through the night. No one knew what was going on there. Very mysterious!
This article is being written poolside in 85 degree weather in San Diego. The palm trees are swaying and the sun is strong and pure. I am here to celebrate my grand-daughter, Rachel’s graduation from high school. In the fall, she will enter Cornell University.
As I sit here, my mind goes back to the past year and the loss of four of my favorite friends. These were guys, I could speak with about any topic with complete confidentiality. Usually, the subjects ranged from financial to family with a lot of feeling in all matters. I miss these guys and I miss not being able to confide in them.
Alley Pond Park in Queens has 655,294 acres of trees, paths and kettle ponds in which to see the migration of spring birds. One morning, this spring, I found a section of the park that I couldn’t recall being in since I started walking it in 1959.
At the edge of a pond with cattails, an industrious robin gathers drying mud in its bill, then flies. It is likely his pickup will become part of the bird’s cup-shaped nest that will be built five to 20 feet off the ground. Another robin takes a bath, flapping its wings and dipping its head. With droplets of water on its back, the robin goes to a rock to dry.
And then there are the warnings about the emerging of those pesky cicadas, which will appear on the scene after a 17-year hiatus. Morning doves perched on a tree branch outside my bedroom window are melodious, unlike the cicadas with their endless screeching sounds and the mess they leave behind upon their demise. A green and weed free lawn is a challenge during these months where I find my husband scanning the shelves at the local garden supply center looking for what “really might work.”
We just got back from Cancun, Mexico. The Cancun Peninsula projects into the Gulf of Mexico. It is three and half hours from JFK Airport with Jet Blue Airlines. We did not know what to expect. We spent four wonderful days at a “destination wedding.” This is a term that is new to me, but a pleasant one.
My beautiful wife, Lorraine, and I were invited to our dear friend Bob’s daughter’s wedding. The Mexican people throughout the magnificent resort were super friendly. We were always greeted with “Hola, Buenos Dias.” What a nice way to start the day.
My 7-year-old grandson, Lewis, has become a fan of George Washington. He has guided my wife and me on a tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see pictures of his idol. He lives two blocks from the Met and he is a frequent visitor to the museum. Lewis knows his way around the museum like a guide, while I get lost there in about ten minutes.
We decided, on a Sunday morning, to take Lewis to The Frick Museum, to see the artwork there. We stood on a line about a block and a half long to make our entrance. Lewis, his father Gregg, Lorraine and I waited our turn to enter patiently. When we got to the head of the line, a uniformed guard pointed to Lewis and asked abruptly, “How old is that boy?”
Freedom is our cause, but freedom does not come free and many have paid the ultimate price. The America we know would not be the same were it not for the men and women we honor on Memorial Day. All of us at the Long Island State Veterans Home would like to take this opportunity to remember those brave men and women whose ultimate sacrifice has helped to protect the freedoms we enjoy today.
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