Generally Speaking: 32,000 bikers pass through here!

May 9, 2014 Theodore W. General
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Approximately 32,000 pedal pushers took part in the 37th annual Five Boro Bike Tour on Sunday, May 4, making the 40-mile trek from lower Manhattan to Staten Island.

While the bikers passed through Sunset Park, Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights, it wasn’t through our local streets, but high up on the elevated Gowanus Expressway. They then proceeded to the lower level of the Verrazano Bridge, finishing at Fort Wadsworth.

It’s interesting to note that registering for the bike tour is not cheap! Individual sign-ups are $90 a pop with VIP registrations going for $325.

At the invitation of New York City’s Office of Emergency Management, Brooklyn CERT Team 10/11 (also known as CERT1NYC) was deployed along the Seventh Avenue Expressway to assist bike tour marshals and local police. Team leader Bill Vitale was the onsite CERT coordinator.

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Just heard our good friend Richard CoxIt just was last September; the museum underwent a $1.3 million renovation.The museum is free is open to the public Monday to Friday and the first Saturday on the month from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is the only U.S. Army museum within the city of New York.

Incidentally, the museum is also looking for volunteers. If you are available between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays and enjoy people and history, why not become a museum volunteer?

There are two shifts per day (10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.). It’s also my understanding that you do not have to commit to volunteering five days a week.They are glad to have you even on one or two scheduled days a week.

Volunteer staff conducts tours and acts as docents in the museum, as well as assisting in special programs and projects. Orientation training is provided and you can assist in a way that is fun for you. If you are interested, call the museum at 718-630-4349.

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Attention, green thumbs. If you are planning to do some late spring planting, consider Bay Ridge’s official flower, the hydrangea.Bay Ridge is one of the few communities lucky to have its ownformal floral emblem.

It was back on August 22, 2006, that then-Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz came out to Bay Ridge and on the rear lawn of a Victorian house owned by the late Rosemarie and Bill O’Keefe , in front of their beautiful, blooming hydrangea bush, issued and presented his proclamation designating the hydrangea the official flower of Bay Ridge.

The citation was reminiscent of a similar decree issued by a much earlier Beep, John CashmoreMrs. Edward Blum designated the forsythia as Brooklyn’s official flower.

Markowitz didn’t arbitrary pick the hydrangea. It was one of six flowers selected by the Garden Club of Bay Ridge, and then a vote was taken during the week long Bay Ridge Festival of the Arts, with the hydrangea getting the most votes.

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New York’s two World’s Fairs are currently celebrating major anniversaries, their 75th and 50th respectively. The 1939-40 fair opened on April 30, and the 1964-65 fair on April 17.

While recently touring Corona Park in Flushing Meadows, site of both expositions, we were surprised to see a full-scale replica of Michelangelo’s famed Pieta in the Queens Museum just across from the Unisphere. This writer recalls very vividly standing on a moving conveyor belt in the Vatican Pavilion and seeing the actual Pieta. The statue was shipped to the U.S. and was on loan from Rome for the duration of the 1964-65 World Fair.

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Want to help support Fort Hamilton’s High School Alumni Association, enjoy a dinner at Chadwick’s, 8822 Third Avenue, at 5 p.m. and then see the Broadway hit play “Gypsy” performed at Fort Hamilton High School on Friday, May 16? Reservations are only $45. Checks made payable to the FHHS Alumni Association may be sent to Alice Farkouh, 25 Croton Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10301.

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