Martin Luther King Jr. was a great American.

His birthday is a national holiday which is the first one celebrated in the new year. This year it coincides with the inauguration of Barack Obama. Actually, it arrives the day before. It is a thoroughly fitting celebration for both men.

Being a retired person, national holidays do not represent a time off from work. This past three-day weekend was snowy but yet filled with stimulation.

Saturday - After the receipt of The New York Times, I engaged in a battle of wits with Will Shortz and he won. I got the whole crossword puzzle but fell short by two blank squares. I really am not complaining. Then we met our friends, the Greene's and we went to see The Wrestler, a movie in Manhasset. The beginning of the film was bloody and violent. Lorraine and Sue turned away from the screen, held their hands over their eyes and sobbed audibly. Gary and I watched but the action was truly a bit overboard. Mickey Rourke as the wrestler eventually turned out to be a pitiful character who was seeking human warmth.

After the movie we went to an Italian restaurant where I ordered the wrong dish. When it arrived it was a brown sauce and mushrooms covering what I guessed was veal. I am a red sauce fan and I was bitterly disappointed, and still am. They wouldn't take our credit cards (only American Express) so we used up all our cash.

Sunday - After the prediction of 3 to 4 inches of snow we proceeded into Manhattan. I had reserved two seats at Studio 54 with a credit card to see Pal Joey. It was snowing when we left. A minor tiff arose between Lorraine and me. She insisted on taking the Long Island Rail Road and I wanted to drive. Luckily, she won the argument. The railroad and a cab took us right to the theater. Who needs a car in the Big Apple? Not us!

Pal Joey was a real treat. It was meant for the older generation (55 and up). Joey is a dancing, singing cad who treats women shabbily. Stockard Channing was superb as his rich conquest who dumps him unceremoniously.

After the show we traveled to Gregg's apartment for babysitting duties for Lewis, our grandson. I watched the Arizona Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers become Super Bowl XLIII participants. Lewis is a three-ring circus. We slept over at Gregg's.

Monday - We all went to breakfast at Café Sabarsky. It is situated on the corner of 86th Street and 5th Avenue. It is an Austrian restaurant and museum with delicious cakes and cookies. The breads and strudel were "ausgezeichent" (excellent). I got a chance to use my college German. I ate two soft-boiled eggs in a martini glass. The coffee was strong and definitely European. We spotted Robert DeNiro having breakfast there, but we did not disturb him. We said goodbye and took two apple strudels home.

On the LIRR going home we breathed a sigh of relief.

A lot of work and a lot of fun goes into spending a three-day weekend.

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