Written by Stanley Greenberg Friday, 30 November 2012 00:00
When our cruise ship arrived in Malta, there were no signs of Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet or the Maltese Falcon. Malta is a limestone-walled city, sitting proudly in the southern Mediterranean. It is Malta’s location, not its size that dictates its importance. You might have trouble locating Malta on a map, but its history is written in large letters.
Valletta, the capital of Malta, was built by the Order of the Knights of St. John. It has two deep channels that accommodate large vessels. The history of Malta dates back 7,000 years. Malta was conquered by the Arabs, Normans, Germans, French and Spaniards. It was also an important Crusader outpost.
In 1565, the Turks, under Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, attacked Malta with 35,000 troops. The 540 Knights of St. John repelled the Turks. During World War II, Malta was bombed daily by the Nazis. King George VI, Elizabeth II’s father, awarded the George Cross for Bravery to the entire island. An interesting note, the Duke of Wales and his bride, Wallis Simpson, honeymooned on Malta. The current population is 401,880.
We arrived in Venice, which is at the head of the Adriatic Sea. The heart of Venice centers around St. Mark’s Square, which has been called “a great marble salon,” open to the sky. The piazza is huge with covered galleries, luxury shops and cafes. St. Mark’s Square has always been a vibrant, dignified and exciting meeting place. Unfortunately, we arrived during the rainy season and the piazza was flooded. We rolled up our jeans, took off our shoes and socks and squished through St. Mark’s Square. The gondolas kept rowing and we felt that there is no more exciting place than Venice.
The graceful Bridge of Sighs links the Doge’s Palace with the dark old prison building. The name comes from the small windows on the bridge providing the last sunlight the prisoners would see for many years. The tall Rialto Bridge in the heart of the business district is arched to allow commerce and gondolas to pass beneath it. The island of Murano, known for its intricate blown glass, is a must stop for tourists. It certainly is easy to spend all your Euros in the bewitching city of Venice.
Back onboard the The Grand Princess, we waved goodbye to Venice and sailed on to Croatia.
Thursday, 12 December 2013 10:25
The delightful and upbeat Annie Bleiberg, who is 93 years young, considers herself a very lucky person.
Bleiberg, a Woodbury resident, was a slave at Auschwitz during the Holocaust and her story of survival is chronicled in We Will Survive, a new book by Grammy award-winning artist Gloria Gaynor, known for her famous song “I Will Survive.”
On Nov. 19, The Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County held its Annual Tribute dinner at the Old Westbury Hebrew Congregation, with more than 400 people in attendance including Bleiberg and Gaynor.
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 00:00
A Syosset surgeon has become the first in the United States to present findings from a clinical trial on a combined bariatric approach to enhance weight loss that involves implanting a Lap Band and performing surgery on the stomach.
Plication, or surgery to fold the outer curve of the stomach into a pleat, is new in its application to bariatric surgeries. For decades, the procedure was used to treat perforated ulcers or stomach trauma.
Thursday, 12 December 2013 10:56
The 6th Annual Blazing Trails 4 Autism 4-Mile Run held on Nov. 23 was almost a brand new race—a new community (East Meadow) with a new school (the new Eden II/Genesis School at St. Raphael’s Parish) and a new flat course through some very nice local streets.
Among the 863 finishers were several award winners from local communities: Patty Santella of Syosset (3rd woman 45-49 age group), Kim Solomine of Syosset (1st woman 55-59 age group), Glen Wolther of Jericho (3rd 55-59 age group), Pamela Lee of Syosset (1st woman 60-64 age group) and Bert Jablon of Syosset (1st 85-89 age group).
Thursday, 12 December 2013 10:50
Graduate student and Syosset native Kiera Harrison became the first-ever Loyola University Maryland cross country runner to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Cross Country Championships, by the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Committee in November.
Harrison will become the first-ever Greyhound to compete at an NCAA Division I Championship in any sport as an individual.
“This was all Kiera’s hard work,” head cross country coach Rick Woods said. “She deserves this opportunity.”The veteran distance runner was the only Patriot League finisher to earn All-Mid-Atlantic Region honors this year, finishing 24th at the regional meet by tying a career-best time of 20:51 on Nov. 15.