Friday, February 22, 2019


In my recent visit to NYC, I happened to notice that people think I’m old, and frankly, I don’t know how to tell them I’m not.

Take for instance the NYC Transit Police.

Looking for the Times Square shuttle to Penn Station I decided to ask someone if they knew how I could find it. As I walked I noticed two transit cops standing talking to each other. I casually walked over to them with TLW (The Little Woman) and as I approached the one facing me looked at me with a grin on his face, following me with his eyes.

Going up to him he leaned in and waited for my question.

“Hi!” I said. “Can you direct me to the Times Square shuttle?” I asked.

“Sure, follow me!” he said.

As we walked he led us to a staircase with a sign that indicated the Times Square shuttle was at the bottom of the deck of steps. While we were walking he asked me where I lived and told him on Long Island in Holbrook. He relayed to me he was from Mineola. When we finally got to the stairway he said to go downstairs and take either train track that arrives, they both went to Penn Station, then wished us a good night. Pretty classy cop. He probably figured: Before these two old coots die on the platform and I get stuck with paperwork, let me move them along so someone else can do the paperwork.

Thursday, February 21, 2019


Recently, on my trip to New York City, I boarded the 11:11 A.M. train from Ronkonkoma to begin the journey. Being I am a veteran of riding the LIRR, a once upon a time Dashing Dan as I was described, there are habits and remembrances that are burned deep into my memory.

One of the joys of commuting was the carefree attitude of not worrying about the traffic or parking that clogged the arteries leading in and out of the Big Apple. You had riding mates that you got acquainted with, friends you made and fun you had from these fellow riders. There are stories and more stories I can tell and just might do that in this forum.

But the recent trip has turned into a realization that the World has completely changed! No longer do people bring books or magazines or newspapers to read anymore. What was a very common occurrence has faded now away. It seems like the same kind of people but they act differently. Maybe they are and there is some sinister influence in play.  People used to hide behind their books or newspapers to avoid eye contact in the 1970s, now they stare into their cell phones, a steady gaze with their thumbs flipping along each email or message. This phenomenon has transformed the commute from daily learning to the daily bombardment of electrons into the hearts, souls, and eyes of the ‘Mesmerized Dan’ the commuter of today. The rider finds a seat and no longer looks up as he pulls out his phone, and starts the zombie quest to find out just how important he is, or tries to convince his fellow riders he is. The problem, of course, is no one notices because they are all doing the same thing.

Emerging from the train and climbing to the street on Eighth Avenue, the escalator has become a big help to the commuter, he can hold on with one hand to the rail of the escalator while holding his phone in the other. Don’t get me wrong, women do this too, they are just as bad as men in this regard. But the most egregious of offenses is when they decide they can’t spell so the will actually call! Then they have to be heard enough to irritate me to the point that I am riding while on the verge of strangling these inconsiderate morons. They talk and talk and not worry about battery life.

Come to think of it, I received a text while riding. I looked impressive, I’m sure.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019


And what is behind these numbers and letters? Why one of the best places in New York City, that’s what! It the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, built for her and she starred in its first presentation.

“In 1927, the Shubert’s offered to name their newest theatre for Ethel Barrymore if she agreed to star in its first production. She accepted, and the Barrymore Theatre, designed by Herbert J. Krapp, opened in 1928. The Barrymore was the last Broadway venue built prior to the Depression, and it remains one of the few theatres that have never changed name or owner. Built: 1928”

What did I see? The Band’s Visit, a truly great musical, play, and choreographic marvel, built to make me happy I went. There can be nothing better than the roar of the crowd and the smell of grease paint as it exists on Broadway. Be in an old theatre and you are treated well by God Himself!

Having seats in the front row, center, yes center-front row like really!

I will recommend this to you out of the true goodness of my heart. It is about a band from Egypt that invited to Israel. It is beautifully sad, funny, and glorious, especially the final moments! Do your self a favor and see it, then go to Grand Central Station and eat at the Oyster Bar, a nice way to spend the day.

Thursday, February 14, 2019


We started our day yesterday feeling pretty good, on a train to NYC to see the Musical 'The Band' then go to a tour of Grand Central Station, then dinner at the Oyster Bar, a historical culinary depot of its own. But we also did something else... wait for the next shoe to drop and it did. It usually comes when your guard is down, this time on the train not even out of the first few stations on the way.

I received a text message from my daughter Ellen’s case manager that she was in the ER with sepsis. Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that arises when the body's response to infection causes injury to its own tissues and organs. Common signs and symptoms include fever, increased heart rate, increased breathing rate, and confusion.

And so, we really begin the NEW YEAR as we left off in the old. We decided to continue with our day, not take this away from us, knowing full well that it would be in our conversations and minds when we sit in the theater or at a dinner table. But we know how to do these things and know when we can do something about it and when we can’t.

So, today we begin another vigil, we will find new gray hairs and we will worry while we sit at her bedside, but we will continue to also hope and pray.

Happy Valentines Day to all.

Monday, February 11, 2019


It must be Spring Training, or Valentine’s Day… that magical time of the year.

When you are in love
It's the loveliest month of the year
Stars batting or with glove
And you almost can catch them from here
Balls foul off into lime
Any base you are holding me near
When you are in love
It's the pitcher and MVP of the year

Walking along to first base
Like a breeze drifting over the diamond
Thrilled by the wonder of second
And the wonderful fastball he throwed and...

The Stands start to beat
Like a tribal chant that sets you in fear
So kiss me, my sweet...
It's the loveliest month of the year

Walking along to first base
Like a breeze drifting over the diamond
Thrilled by the wonder of second
And the wonderful fastball he throwed and...

My heart starts to beat
Like a tribal chant that sets you in fear
So kiss me, my sweet...
It's the loveliest month of the year!

Sunday, February 10, 2019


This is a defining moment in my life., the launching of a book I co-authored, A PLACE CALLED BROOKLYN. Along with my co-author, Frank Cornacchiulo, we created something of value that takes one beyond the confines of memory.

A PLACE CALLED BROOKLYN was a labor of love as it found me, and I fell in love with an idea. Frank invited me to write and design the book based on stories from the standpoint of a 9-year old. Fiction at its best, because we ecide3d to do things a little different. Instead of a book about Brooklyn as usual, we created stories that happened countless times all over America.

Everyone has read about Junior’s Cheese Cakes or the pictures of the Brooklyn Bridge. We decided to take the reader by the hand and visit on the conversations that occurred, the play and life in the late 40s when children depended on their imagination and creativeness to live their poor and simple lives.

But for now, I will bask in the flavor of self-satisfaction and gratitude to my partner Frank. You should try the book, just to see what life was like, experience the joy of youth, innoce3nt and uninhibited, learn about the things we took for granted as we played with the make-shift toys we made from junk, the joy when we did get something we dreamed of and our immigrant parents and grandparents making these things possible.


Saturday, February 09, 2019


This is a complaint.

I have been living a long time and some people might feel too long, however, the fact remains. This is not done out of spite but because I don’t know any better. But something is bothering me lately that I find sad.

As we develop new means of communications, we are losing our manners and ability to communicate!
No longer do we talk to each other, instead we text one another. It is quick and states: “I really don’t feel like talking to you so read this and don’t bother me. I remember when a phone call was a part of the social niceties of society. When you called it seemed that you were communicating in a nice way, saying hello and how are you?  You enquired about one’s health and the health of the family, you asked how life was treating one and you left answering the same questions.

If someone sent you a gift, a thank you call or note went out. I don’t understand today’s courtesy: it stinks. Texts messages are rude and I wish they never existed. I might be convenient but it is rude. Then again, that cell phone is an instrument that should have been invented and buried in the inventor’s backyard under the dog poop.

Go into a restaurant and you see families eating dinner. Are they looking with each other, are they conversing with one another? No! Instead, they are looking into their cell phones with their heads down. The damned thing rings with some annoying sound to show how cool we are and conversations are interrupted and people are ignored because e someone is calling, interrupting.

Now don’t get me wrong it is a great invention, it takes pictures so we can annoy one another with ‘selfies’ and become more obnoxious that we think we are, it can answer questions and if can do other things like give us the weather forecast or provide apps for other things to make our lives easier.

But they are nothing but an annoyance.