Simple pleasures

A moveable feast of food, fun & family

By Mitch Markides

   It was probably one of the top twenty-five things I’ve done in my life.  It was exhilarating, exciting and breathtaking.  It was majestic and magnificent.  I didn’t have to take a plane or train to get there.  And it was absolutely free. 

    It was a slow stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge.

    I had planned the day for weeks, admittedly there really wasn’t much to plan.  We drove down Flatbush Avenue to the bridge mainly to give the “kids” a taste of the real Brooklyn.  It took us twenty minutes to find parking down and around Old Fulton Street near the base of the bridge, and we finally found a spot at Cadman Plaza.

   The five of us—my wife, two daughters and Alessandra’s boyfriend Brett—walked through the park to the staircase leading up to the Bridge walkways.  There were hundreds, if not thousands, of people strolling, biking, resting, and walking—the Bridge was full of people!  We walked out on the Brooklyn side until we were just about over the water’s edge.  The Manhattan Bridge—not nearly as magnificent or majestic as the one we were on—was right there beside us, almost close enough to touch.  Down below, you could see the cars on the roadbeds whizzing across the span, and off to the sides you could see the new waterfront areas that had just been created from clean fill and the parks that they had been transformed into and there, too, was the Barge Music barge and on the other side the grand catering/dining establishment, the River Café. All the while, you see Manhattan Island before you, the Empire State Building, the Old Fulton Fish Market and the South Street Seaport and its Piers. 

  The helicopters were taking off just to the side of the Seaport, and there was the statue of Liberty to the left and Ellis Island and far into the distance the Verrazano Bridge. The entire city was before us on the right and the sun was starting to set over the water on the left, the sky was amber there and the city lights were starting to dot the skyline on the other side, with the magnificence of the Bridge  before us, its arches and stones inconceivably beautiful and mammoth. And we walked beneath those stone arches, stretching up and up into the sky—truly a magnificent architectural wonder.

   From the center of the Bridge we looked down the East River, past the Manhattan Bridge which jutted out now at an angle and you could see the Williamsburgh Bridge in the distance.  All the while the views in all directions were spectacular. And to walk around the mighty stone columns and arches of the Bridge was to be transported back in time, to see and feel the legendary history of the Brooklyn Bridge juxtaposed against the modernity and intensity of Manhattan.

   By the time we reached the other side and began our return, the sun had set and the City lit up as if on cue, the Empire State building awash in its usual glow, the other millions of lights just  mesmerizing as we stood a few hundred feet over the water on this viewing platform watching a piece of living art.

   All that walking had made us hungry, so we dashed over to Calexico, a remarkably authentic Mexican joint over on Union Street in Carroll Gardens.  The place is small and colorful and the tables are few and it’s counter service only.  But the food is good and the condiments fresh and flavorful and we ordered soda and beer, chips and guacamole to start.  The carne asada and pulled pork tacos were amazing.  We also had burritos and quesadillas, rice and beans and we ate till we were full and satisfied.

   From there, to end the night perfectly, we headed around the bend, so to speak, and ended up in Coney Island.  We walked along the boardwalk, looking out into the Atlantic and the Verrazano Bridge from the other side now.  We watched the people and walked along the amusements and had our ice-cream on Surf Avenue.



Lynbrook Police Officer Honored

Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray (2nd right), Town Clerk Mark Bonilla (right) and Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin (left) present Lynbrook Police Officer Jaycee Indiviglio with the 2006 Town of Hempstead Police Service Award. 

Officer Indiviglio was one of 31 law enforcement officers from the Nassau County Police Department and village police departments within the town who were honored at the town's annual police service awards ceremony. 

Officer Indiviglio was recognized for his service to the residents of Lynbrook and for his heroic rescue of a driver from an overturned jeep seconds before the vehicle exploded.


Lynbroook Kids Do Some World-Class Reading

Students at Lynbrook North Middle School took part in a history making event when they joined more than 2,000 other schools, hospitals, and community centers around the country to try to make it into the Guinness World Book of Records. They attempted to break a new world record for the most people reading aloud simultaneously in multiple locations, by reading a page from Charlotte¹s Web, the beloved children's classic by E. B. White.

The current record of 155,528 is held by a group of schools in the United Kingdom.

Shown: Lynbrook North Middle School students gathered in the library for the event are Lily Gomez, Christina Malcangi, Beth Schroeder, Kaitlin Baron, Jessica Hanna, Gabby Coreas (partially obscured), Amanda Soto and Amanda Gaimaro (back to camera).

Photo: Rosemary Leonetti


Lynbrook Students Get Out The Vote

Elementary students in the Lynbrook School District got firsthand experience in the democratic process when they took part in voting to name the new Official Bird of Nassau County.They answered the call with civic pride when County Legislator Judith Jacobs asked them to take part in the voting program.

At Waverly Park School, science teacher Susan Lindner presided over the voting, which she presented as a multidisciplinary learning experience. Like any informed voter, the students conducted research about the characteristics of each bird, to determine which one would best represent the spirit of Nassau County. They also learned about the importance of the voting process and about their rights and responsibilities as citizens in a democracy.

The Osprey won the majority of votes across the county, and will soon take his place as the Official Bird of Nassau County

Shown above : Fifth graders Emily Kunstler, Zachary Fellows, Addye Susknick and Myles Finkelstein are shown (l to r) casting their ballots, with teacher Susan Lindner presiding over the voting.

Photo: Rosemary Leonetti



Lynbrook Students 'Read Across America'

Through modern technology, students shared their love of reading and expanded their sense of community, as one class from each of the district's elementary and middle schools participated in the 2007 Read Across America Video Conference program.

This nationwide reading celebration takes place each year to commemorate the birthday of Dr. Seuss. Each class connected via video conference with a class in another part of the country, to read books and poetry together, perform skits for one another, and learn about each other's schools.

PHOTO : Students in Debra Aronson's reading class at Lynbrook South Middle School read lines from their favorite Dr. Seuss stories to students in North Dakota.

Photo: Rosemary Leonetti

Local Preserve Comes To Lynbrook Schools

Students at the Lynbrook Kindergarten Center got first hand experience with some very friendly reptiles, when a traveling animal exhibit from the Tanglewood Preserve paid a visit to their school.

To everyone's delight, reptile expert Matt Sherman brought a collection of boas, box turtles, yellow headed slider turtles, and even a baby alligator. Students got to touch the snake and turtles, while Sherman explained some facts about their life in the wild.

Shown above: Lynbrook kindergarteners Sarah Christian and Kathryn Bamman pet a friendly snake from the Tanglewood Preserve.

Virtual Voyage For Local Students

With the help of modern technology and old-fashioned snail mail, Waverly Park third graders in Jamy O'Rourke¹s class followed the world travels of three college students in a program called Semester at Sea.

The college students spent a semester traveling by ship to exotic ports of call throughout Asia. Ms. O¹Rourke's class carried out a pen pal correspondence with the three adventurers via e-mail and post cards. The travelers also sent packages with maps, postcards and mementos from their stops at ports in Egypt, India, Vietnam and Hong Kong.

The class charted the ship's voyage on the Semester at Sea website, and marked the travelers' progress on a map of the world.

Pictured clockwise from left are Matthew Holquist, Matthew Ettlinger, Gabriel Ajzenman, Marshall Ivler, Jordyn Puzsar, Paige Sarnataro and Sabina Ciaccio.

Photo: Rosemary Leonetti

Lynbrook H.S. Inducts New Music Honor Society Members

In a musical ceremony worthy of the honor, twenty-two new members were inducted into the Lynbrook High School Chapter of the Tri-M Music Honor Society. This international honor society recognizes students for their academic and musical achievements.

Shown above : Alana Rosen Ryan Ferguson, Ashley Carver, Victoria Wong, Maggie Rossetti, and Colette McIntyre are the new officers of Lynbrook High School's chapter of the Tri-M Music Honor Society.