2000-12-30 / Columnists


Riding the NASDAQ roller coaster with Santa in Times Square I wish all a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. The financial predictions are uncertain, the market is unwieldy and that all calls for caution. Don't take the plunge where the water is too deep...Glub! Glub! Glub!

If you stay clear of the dot coms you may do well. Only time will tell.

It was an interesting start of the millennium. We lost Lewinsky but picked up dimples and pregnant chads. What will be born in the year 2001? Doesn't look as if we will have any White House scandals with Bush in office. We lost our favorite soap opera with nothing to replace it. Our biggest worry is more serious than that and, of course, we still have the Middle East conflict to solve, if that is possible.

Yes, and what improvements will be made in the Rockaways? For starters how about a movie house and a bookstore? We are getting a ferry from Manhattan and shuttle from Riis Park parking lot to meet it. Don't we know any enterprising Indians? They could build a hotel/casino right on the beach. We have the land and boardwalk and the closeness to JFK. That would certainly employ plenty of our Rockawayites. So much could be done.

Let's see what our big shaker and mover, President of the Rockaway Chamber, Liz Sulik, has up her sleeve for this peninsula. I am sure she is headed in the right direction of putting us on the big map and of bringing us the attention we need and that includes more efficient and speedier transportation to and from this strip of land between the Atlantic Ocean and Jamaica Bay.

Maybe we could borrow a few cars from the Amtrak Ecela speed train? Since my car was stolen I have been forced to use mass transit. My time of travel is now two to two and a half hours depending upon connections compared to 35 minutes door to door by car. My sympathy for the daily commuter. I just hope I'll be around by the time proper improvements are made. By that time I'll probably need Access-A-Ride (better that than an ambulance). Let's get our needs met ASAP.

New York City is famous for having some of the best restaurants in the world. I had a fabulous lunch in on of them the other day, Leticia/Amore, at 1374 First avenue between 73 and 74 street. It has only been open three months but is destined to become a top choice with New Yorkers, especially if they favor Italian fare. As you enter your eyes are drawn to the unusual white and pastel carved ceiling. It gives you the feeling you are stepping into a cheerful cave in Italy. Seated next to a burning fireplace we delighted in watching the first year's snowflakes flutter to the ground. More than that the food was superb. The master chef, Unmberto Vaccari, who owns a hotel and restaurant in Italy, prepared warm shrimp that floated is a delicate white wine and garlic sauce for starters. Portabella mushrooms in olive oil and garlic followed. It is not a complete Italian meal without a pasta course; this one
primavera that was perfectly al dente'. Osso Buco (veal shank) is a favorite of mine and this was super special served on a bed of saffron risotto...to die for. The prices were unbelievably affordable for Manhattan. I had a chat with the owner, Tony Picora, who has another restaurant in the Wall street area and is doing extremely well. Very understandable. Claudio Coronas is the manager and does a fine job welcoming guests and overseeing the good. If you are in the city and yearning for Italian fare you may want to try them out. They have live piano music from 7:30 p.m. for your enjoyment.

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. Father Byrne lifted our our spirits at the 11:30 a.m. mass Christmas morning by singing, dancing and encouraging us all to join in to the tune of "We Want To Wish You A Merry Christmas." Though I was looking forward to seeing my grandchildren I did have a delightful day with my Breezy relatives: 100-year-old Aunt Tess, cousin Gladys, her daughter Caryn and husband Joe Fata. The Italian cuisine was catered by "Idiots are US", a very congenial couple who did a fine job and I can well recommend them.

Helene Danzilo is becoming quite the cook since hubby, Peter, has become ill. We know Peter has improved because he was well enough to supervise all the food preparations Christmas Day preparations for the yuletide dinner. Daughter, Christine, and her male friend were happy to be able to join them. Glad you are feeling better, Peter.

In last week's Christmas dot-com rhyme (can't call it a poem) I left out, because of computer glitches, an important stanza that would have made it more comprehensible. This week I have another:

To Grandma's House

They Did Not Come

An abundance of presents were under the tree
At Grandma's house awaiting with glee
For the looks of surprise in her grandchildren's eyes

But, alas, sad to say
No children appeared on Christmas Day

This is the time for peace and love and cheer
Why didn't her precious grandchildren appear?

A misunderstanding? A family feud?
An hysterical outburst when harsh words were spewed
Leaving wounds to fester and sore
A pain that really hurt to the core

That's over awhile
Things should be soothed
No time of year to sit and stew
To nurse a vendetta or hold a grudge
Time to move on and start anew

We're all so human
So frail and weak
And the word forgiveness is hard to speak
We must appeal
To God's love to heal
Life's moments are short
They should not be spent
Harboring anger and descent

It is the time for peace
The time for love
And the time to be thanking God above

So children, my dear
Though you were not here
Under the tree the toys will remain
Till you come see Granny again

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