January 31, 2010

Leif Ericson Park - " Temporary " Classroom Removed

The " temporary " classroom that Bay Ridge High School dumped onto Leif Ericson Park west of Fourth Avnue over a decade ago was removed last week. A wide perimeter has been fenced off, and part of the wrought iron fence by on the Fourth Avenue was removed, presumably to allow for the removal of the modular building. It looks like there's a hole in the fence into which the missing section can be put back in.

Let's hope the park can be restored in time for spring.

This used to be a nice, small park in a neighborhood that does not have enough parks. Is it to much to hope that they can restore this park, and , actually maintain it once in awhile?


No exact word of when the 69th St Key Food will open --maybe in a week or two?


The scaffolding has been removed from 6802 Fourth Avenue, now that the repairs to the parapets on the roof have been completed.

January 13, 2010

Belfast Beer Summit

Just north of Castleblayney. Where's the snow?

Work meant that I was going to be in London this past Monday. I was with a major client, meeting with four insurance companies not far from Liverpool Street station.

I decided to take a side trip. I flew into Belfast, so I could have a couple of days in Ireland before I went to London.

I flew the Continental Airlines nonstop from Newark to Belfast.

Ryanair at Belfast City, with the famous Harland and Wolff shipyards in the background.

When you tell people you're spending free time in Belfast, some will react as though you're spending your holiday in Mogadishu. Well, the Guinness is better in Belfast.

On Day One, I made my way from Belfast International Airport down to Co. Monaghan where I met up with relatives that I'd not seen in way too long a time. In between conversation, we watched BBC and RTE accounts of an overhyped snow storm, which had half everyone in the islands hiding under the bed and muttering about " grit " shortages.

At the Crown Bar.

On Saturday, I was given a ride up to Belfast. I stayed at the Europa Hotel, which was bombed many times during the bad old days. It's a good hotel, right in the middle of town, and a good value - a superior double cost me $120 US.

The Beer Summit was right across the street at the historic Crown Bar, lovely and as comfortable as an old shoe.

Here, we see Gerard, some guy in the back, the famous David Vance, and Peter, who was as sensible in person as he is in print. G was a shy subject but an excellent photographer. I'd tell you what we spoke of, but what happens in Belfast stays in Belfast I always say.

I flew out of Belfast's City Airport, a small facility much closer to town than the larger Belfast International. It's just right for Ryanair, with whom I flew to London Stansted. In an airport like this, there are no delays. The plane lands, heads right to the gate. Two minutes later, the passengers are streaming out of the plane. There are no delays, and turnarounds are very fast.

The Ryanair cabin is cramped and no frills unless you're willing pay for them, but they stick to a schedule and the flights are cheap and cheerful. I flew to London for $68, including all charges including the one for the checked bag. I will fly Ryanair again, and I hope to see London and maybe Ireland again in February.

January 05, 2010

Belfast in January

P1000358, originally uploaded by dals0.
The bricks they may bleed and the rain it may weep
And the damp Lagan fog lulls the city to sleep.
It's to Hell with the future, we'll live in the past
May the Lord in his mercy be kind to Belfast

I'm off to Belfast tonight to partake of the good weather. Keep an eye on things
when I'm gone. Two days in Ireland, then off to London, and then back home on
Tuesday night.

And about the 69th St Key Food? I just called. It won't be opening this weekend
after all. I think that the Second Avenue Subway and Freedom Tower will both be
long built before we go to this Key Food!

January 03, 2010

NYC 2010 Alternate Side of the Street Parking Suspension Calendar

Asterisk (*) indicates Major Legal Holidays.

2010 Alternate Side Parking (Street Cleaning) Rules Suspension Calendar
  • Holiday Date/Day
  • New Year's Day* January 1, Fri
  • Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday January 18, Mon
  • Lincoln's Birthday February 12, Fri
  • Asian Lunar New Year February 14, Sun
  • Washington's Birthday (Pres. Day) February 15, Mon
  • Ash Wednesday February 17, Wed
  • Purim February 28, Sun
  • Passover (1st/2nd Days) Mar 30-31, Tues-Wed
  • Holy Thursday April 1, Thurs
  • Holy Thursday (Orthodox) April 1, Thurs
  • Good Friday April 2, Fri
  • Good Friday (Orthodox) April 2, Fri
  • Passover (7th/8th Days) April 5-6, Mon-Tues
  • Solemnity of the Ascension May 13, Thurs
  • Shavuot (2 Days) May 19-20, Wed-Thurs
  • Memorial Day* May 31, Mon
  • Independence Day* July 4, Sun
  • Independence Day (Observed)* July 5, Mon
  • Feast of the Assumption August 15, Sun
  • Labor Day* September 6, Mon
  • Rosh Hashanah September 9-10, Thurs-Fri
  • Idul-Fitr September 10-12, Fri-Sun
  • Yom Kippur September 18, Sat
  • Succoth (2 Days) September 23-24, Thurs-Fri
  • Shemini Atzereth September 30, Thurs
  • Simchas Torah October 1, Fri
  • Columbus Day October 11, Mon
  • All Saints Day November 1, Mon
  • Election Day November 2, Tues
  • Diwali November 5, Fri
  • Veterans Day November 11, Thurs
  • Idul-Adha November 16-18, Tues-Thurs
  • Thanksgiving Day* November 25, Thurs
  • Immaculate Conception December 8, Wed
  • Christmas Day (Observed)* December 24, Fri
  • Christmas Day* December 25, Sat
  • New Year's Day (Observed)* December 31, Fri

January 01, 2010

Top Twelve Predictions for 2010

The US withdrawal from Iraq begins in earnest. Iraq is far more peaceful than anyone would have expected.

The Afghanistan surge strategy shows gains, but the country remains a ungovernable mess. Karzai remains the corrupt mayor of Kabul, rather than a true national leader.

The Guantanamo Bay terrorist detention facility will remain open. President Obama privately concludes that Bush was right on this one, that it is the best of a series of unpleasant choices.

The Republican Party retakes the House of Representatives and makes major gains in the Senate in the 2010 midterm elections. Their winning issues are Obama's out of control spending and corruption and a pledge to perform major surgery on Obama's health care reforms.

The Republican Party remains without a national leader. Their midterm election successes reveal Democrat / Obama weakness, rather than to any inherent GOP strengths.

David Paterson defies the odds and is reelected Governor of New York State, running on a platform of fiscal conservatism.

Robbery, murder and other violent crime in New York City continue their dramatic fifteen year decline which started under Giuliani / Bratton, and which continue under Bloomberg / Kelly.

Apple's new " tablet " computer is an immense global success.

Ryanair defies air travel slump and announces a new route between London Stansted and New York's Stewart Airport, along with a summer service between Stewart and Dublin. Both are smash hits. Low fares is the winning hand.

Consumption of meat and dairy products is outlawed in San Francisco, as part a concerted campaign against Man Made Global Warming.

The American League repeals the designated-hitter rule, and the sport rises to new levels of popularity.

The 69th Street Key Food supermarket does not open on time on January 10, due to engineering reasons. The new projected opening date is January 15, 2012.