2000-04-29 / Columnists

Chatting With Chapey

by Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey

Preserve Our Neighborhood

On Sunday, April 30, the Beach Side Bungalow Preservation Association will be holding a fundraiser at the Rockaway Park Playhouse at 160 Beach 116 street. The ticket donation of $10 will entitle you to see a fantastic modern day variety show. It's called the Packy McCraken traveling show.

The president of the Beach Preservation Association is Janet Rashes and the chairperson is Richard George. They are both community- minded people who have been active in working to make our communities better places in which to reside. The Beach Side Bungalow Preservation Association is fighting to prevent building on a public access easement to the waterfront near their homes. They believe that they have a right to the easement to the beach because it is stated in their deeds.

This is a very important issue for everyone who owns property or lives in New York City. The main item is whether a developer can unilaterally take away or infringe on your property or easement rights.

Janet Rashes and Steve Cooper have invited us on many occasions to join them at their bungalow for some great barbecues. Janet originally came to the bungalow as a child when her parents rented for the summer. It gave her parents a wonderful opportunity to bring their children to the beach and to enjoy the outdoors during the summer. Janet purchased a bungalow and completely renovated it. Now Janet brings her daughter Jessica to have
similar happy experiences to those that she had as a child. It's a great
community where people know each other through several generations.

It is very important to them that they retain their right to public
access to the beach. They are fighting to prevent a developer from building
on their public access easement to the waterfront. This entire matter is
now in the courts. The purpose of the fundraiser is to support their
efforts to maintain their rights.

Its important for everyone to attend. Janet Rashes, Steve Cooper and
Richard George have always been there to help our neighborhood. Now is our chance to help them.

During this week we were invited to join our good friends George and
Naomi Platt for a Passover Seder. Passover has a long history spanning more than three millennia. It is in fact the oldest festival of the Hebrew
calendar. Noami and George also invited their three children, their spouses and their grand children. It is very important for youngsters to appreciate Pesach. The Haggadah, which is a book explaining the flight of the Jews from Egypt, was read during the meal. The children eagerly participated and asked four questions during the ritual. These questions and the hiding of the matzoh gave the children a link with the traditions of their ancestors. The table was lit by candlelight and we had a cup of wine and left the door open for Elijah. This really allows the past and the present to be linked in the children's minds in the memory, tradition and prayer of Passover. The celebration ended with the traditional saying "Next year in Israel."

On Easter we celebrated one of the happiest holidays on the Christian
calendar. Easter commemorates the resurrection of Christ. Easter Sunday is preceded by Holy Week, which has a deeply religious significance to Catholics and all Christians. We began Easter Sunday by attending Mass with our family.

On April 30 the Russian, Greek and Ukrainian Orthodox community will
celebrate Easter. Eggs symbolize rebirth and fertility and are a part of
Easter. The most spectacular ones are the batik - dyed eggs of Russia,
Ukraine and Poland, which are referred to as pysanky. In Germany youngsters put out straw nests for the Easter bunny to fill with chocolate bunnies. In Sweden children go door to door looking for candy from friends and neighbors. In Poland family members sprinkle each other with water on Easter morning to
symbolize a new beginning.

The Orthodox dinner usually includes hot and cold meats such as ham, spicy kielbasa and sausage which are served with bowls of little boiled potatoes topped with sour cream and a hot savory borscht. Kulich and pasha are an integral part of dessert.

Happy holidays to everyone!

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