May 27, 2008

Donation Time

I've been meaning to do this for awhile, but finally got around to sitting around to make donations to some of my favorite charities.

These are all worthwhile causes, so if you're in a position to do so, please consider dropping one of these organizations a few bucks:
  • Bay Ridge Volunteer Ambulance Service, or BRAVO. This organization, which turns 34 this July 4, provides free , high quality ambulance service to anyone in Brooklyn's Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, or Fort Hamilton.
  • Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens. They provide a broad range of social services to individuals and families in need. I've seen them up close. They're wonderful.
  • USO or United Services Organization does many things to help active duty military and their families. I don't care what you think of the Iraq war. Say you support the troops? Then throw this organization a few bucks, right now.
  • Police Athletic League This NYPD linked program provides a broad range of sports and other programs for NYC's kids and young adults.
  • New York Councils of Boy Scouts of America If I had to only give to one organization, this would be it. Especially in the inner city, boys and young men need to have a bit of fun, a bit of structure and some guidance in a world that lacks it. And no one does it better than the Scouts.

May 19, 2008

R32 Subway Cars / Farewell to a Friend

Frank from the office recently sold his Jeep. He and Phyllis had driven it all over Queens and NYC for over 15 years. So by the time to let it go, it was like losing a member of the family. He was sad,she cried.

Similarly, it is with sadness that I read of the continuing retirement of old NYC subway cars. I love the new cars, but cars like the one in this photo served my subterranean tribe of NY subway riders very well for over 40 years.

These days, retirement for subway cars takes the form of being floated off the coast of Delaware, then being pushed into Atlantic Ocean. Where they have a valuable second career as artificial reefs.

The car seen here is the R32 model. These came into service in 1964, and I remember when they were shiny and new, running into the City on the N (Sea Beach) line, later on the R (RR, Fourth Avenue Local), or other IND or BMT lines. Every one of my family rode these cars, perhaps even the one car in this picture.

There are still R32s in service, but not for long. Enjoy them while you can. In the blink of an eye, they'll be gone.

May 18, 2008

Sunday Music:: "Turning Away", by Dougie MacLean (and Kathy Mattea)

I've loved this song for years.

Here, the great Scot Dougie MacLean performs it live in a small setting, backed by a terrific band that includes the Celtophile Kathy Mattea.

A very good interview with Kathy Mattea to be found here. Her new album "Coal" is well worth a listen. I've not bought a CD in ages, but will buy this one.

Sorry I've been a stranger lately. You know how it gets.

May 11, 2008

Happy Mother s Day : Johnny Cash and his mother performing "Uncloudy Day"

From "The Johnny Cash Show", May 1970. There's just so much good stuff from the archives of that show.

Happy Mothers Day, all.

May 08, 2008

Fossella: Who's Your Daddy?

You've all heard it now. Congressman Vito Fossella, nabbed for drunk driving in Virginia the other night. And now word has it that Fossella, married father of three, has a love child who resulted from an "extramarital relationship" he's been in for a few years.

In some countries, this wouldn't be an issue. But this is Bay Ridge/Staten Island, and this is America. I'll suspect that Mr. Fossella will be resigning before too long. He's damaged goods. And, besides all else, he's a moron for driving drunk while living this double life.

Fossella has for ten years been the only Republican Congressman in New York City. His actions have put that one solitary non-Democratic seat in jeopardy. It is a betrayal of his political party as well as those constituents who really care about the issue.

Fossella needs to fall on his sword right now, to resign and go away. And the Republicans had better quickly put up a credible candidate to run against Democrat Stephen Harrison. I propose Marty Golden

The alternative? A one party Congressional delegation in New York City, which is not in the interests of anyone who lives here.

May 05, 2008

Brooklyn Bound N Train Derails in Manhattan

I was in the City Sunday, and the trains were running strange on the way back. At 630pm, an N train came in to City Hall, which is not normal. It was very crowded. It ran on the local track to Pacific Street, where I caught --another N train-- on the express track. I got off at 59th Street, and walked the rest of the way home.

Turns out that the strange behavior of the trains stemmed from the fact that a Brooklyn bound N train had derailed north of 57th Street, Manhattan. 449 passengers had to be evacuated, but it looks like no one was hurt.

The R train at the time was being "re-routed along the F train" and I am not sure what that means so I am happy I decided to walk home from 59th Street. You get a feel for these things after decades of riding these trains.

Service expected to be normal for Monday morning. Doesn't matter to me, since I am taking the day off so that the Direct TV guy can restore their wonderful service to the Phantom Estate.