2009-03-27 / Columnists

Notes from the High C's

Rockaway Music and Arts Council
by Sharon Gabriel

Well, Spring has sprung but you would hardly know it from the temperature outside. It's still chilly and windy, as though the winter doesn't want to give up. Give it another week and hopefully we'll be shedding our coats, boots and gloves for sandals and tshirts and I, for one, can't wait. I always feel in the winter that, if I fell down with all those clothes on I'd never be able to get up. I look like a real rolypoly, as I'm sure most of us do.

Anyway, now that the RMAC season is about to begin I'd like to tell you about our first event. On Sunday, April 26, we will have our annual Spring Museum Trip entitled "A Surrey with the Fringe on Top." On that day we will be going to the Long Island Museum of American Art, History and Carriages at Stony Brook, Long Island. The LIM is associated with the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC and, as the name states, it is actually three museums and more.

The Art Museum features American art with 4000 paintings, sculptures and prints dating from the early 1800s to the present, plus special exhibitions. Recent exhibitions have featured works by Norman Rockwell and Louis Comfort Tiffany, along with the museum's standing exhibits.

The History Museum presents permanent and changing exhibits as well. The permanent exhibits include The Art of Illusion, a collection of 15 miniature rooms featuring charming period interiors from the 17th century to the 1930s. This, in itself, sounds charming and interesting.

And now to "A Surrey with the Fringe on Top." The LIM Carriage Museum features 10 galleries housing more than 200 horse-drawn carriages. While only 100 are on display at any one time, they range from royal coaches to the above-mentioned surrey. The beauty and craftsmanship of the carriages is outstanding. The museum recently installed an authentic 19th century carriage making shop, with working machinery, that had originally been located in Williamsburg, Massachusetts. Yes, that's Massachusetts, not Virginia.

In addition, the museum grounds include many other points of interest including a one-room schoolhouse from 1877, an herb garden and other points of interest, and should you get tired, there are places to sit and rest throughout the grounds.

Once we have concluded our visit at the Long Island Museum it's on to the Riverview Restaurant, which is on Great South Bay in Oakdale. At the Riverview a four-course dinner awaits with our own menu. The Riverview has received great reviews and when I mentioned it to friends, they too recommended it. So I think we are in for a nice day all around.

Our trip will begin at 9:30 a.m. from Beach Channel Drive and Beach 114 Street, as in the past, and we will make a stop for a light brunch on the way to the museum. In fact, we might even stop at the same place as the last trip, since everyone seemed to enjoy it. This stop is "on our own" and not included in the price of the trip.

Our price for this trip has not changed from the past — $90.00 for non-members of RMAC and $85.00 for members. If you have been with us before you should have received the museum flyer. Just snip off the bottom and return it to the RMAC. The address is on the bottom of the flyer. If you have never been with us before and would like more information, check this paper today for our ad or call me at 718-474-8353 and I will be happy to help you.

I hope you can make it because this should be a nice trip for spring—once it gets here!!!

We are moving along with our conversations with Gateway in the hope that we will be able to once again have our Summer Picnic Concerts. Discussions have been going on for a long time but I have a feeling we are nearing a positive response and hope to be able to get everything going on time. While we will not be able to use the parade grounds, due to Gateway regulations, there are other sites that will work for us. Next week we will be holding our April board meeting and we should have more information on this matter. Just keep watching this column for the up-to-date status.

Besides our Fall Festival on September 12 and 13, we have several other projects in the works and will be able to tell you more after our meeting next week. Oh, for those who have been following my problems with the installation of my new cable TV, just know that everything seems to be working okay. I even seem to be able to tell which button to push when the screen shows "no signal." I am making progress into the 21st century.

See you around the neighborhood.

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