Monday, December 31, 2007

Chit-Chat Over Coffee Swirls (2)

There is a distinct characteristic about accents that seem to stand out, no matter how much you try to improve it, whether you are from East Harlem, Brooklyn, New York or any other state or country. Accents are defined as a mode of utterance; pronunciation. Accents also reflect places of origin.

Several years ago I lived in Florida for a short time. One day while I was waiting on line to cash out my groceries, at the local super market, I was chatting with my friend when the man that was behind me, asked me a question."Excuse me you're from New York right?" Surprised, I looked at him and said, "Yeah! Why ya askin?" "Not for anything, but you talk with a unique accent." "Whaddya mean accent?" I responded, feeling self-conscious. I was trying hard not to show my annoyance as I told him, "So whadsa madda wid da way Noo Yawkers tawk?” The man seeing that I was becoming defensive, answered immediately and without even the slightest hesitation, "Please don't take offense, its just that you kind of talk like a hood" "Gedoutahea, I tawk like a hood?" I never realized that my East Harlem accent stood out, until the day this man brought it to my attention.

Naturally over the years my pronunciation has greatly improved, except for the holiday get-togethers with my nieces and nephew of the Italian side of the family from Yonkers, then it all comes back. Love it, love it, love it...................

Here are a couple of words and expressions still being used by some Noo Yawkers. "Whaddya tawkin? Pronounced waddya talkin' or wuddya talkin'. It simply means "what are you talking about?" or "what do you mean?"."I'm a Noo Yawka, Didn'chat know that?" " Gedoutahea, yer pudding me on! " "Yeah, I kum fun Noo Yawk." "Would ja ged a grip!" " Did'ju or did'ja," "Would'ju or would'ja, ". "Soopah (Super)," " Fur sur I'm ohn the fawth floor," "Wawda (water)," "I'll have a tooner samwidge: (tuna sandwich)," " I live on a hun'six near Toid". "Gimme a cup of cawfy (coffee)," " Who's dat goil? (girl)," " I shudda had my brudda over the udda day," " My mudda and fodda are goin downashaw ohn Lawnguylund, " "Datsawayigoze (That's the way it goes)," "Youse (you)," " I wud be da foist to tell you if my brudda was na here," "Fugheddaboudit! I ain't saying nuttin," "Gwan, gedoutahea before I call the cops" "Gimme a slizer pizzer anna soder."

If you have any more to add to this list feel free to contact me.

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Chit-Chat Over Coffee Swirls (1)

Just a stone's throw from the wharves where the immigrants landed were the slums of the Five Points District, a breeding ground for crime and pestilence. Poor immigrants who came to New York City during the mid 1800s into the early 1900s usually lived in the tenement district amid crime, filth and disease. The tenement houses in the lower part of Manhattan and other areas were overcrowded, lacking drainage and sufficient ventilation. Immigrants had to live in damp smelly cellars or attics, or up to six or 10 people, men, woman and children packed into crowded single rooms where "filth for so many years reigned undisturbed and pestilence wiping out hundreds of lives annually." Garbage and slop from the houses were thrown into the streets, left to fester in the scorching sun. Along the streets, one would find in various stages of decomposition dead dogs, cats or rats.

As you entered the overcrowded tenement buildings, you were greeted with a nauseating stench emanating from unwashed bodies, rags, old bottles, stale cooking odors and accumulating garbage heaps in the rooms. Decaying grease adhering to waste-pipes from kitchen sinks added its putrid odor to the foul emanations. These tenement buildings were dangerous firetraps, as well as a breeding place for murderous rodents that would kill babies in their cribs. The poor did not have the luxury of water, especially if they lived on the upper level. Water had to be carted from the fire hydrant in the street and carted upstairs.........

The Five Points district, tenement fires, murders, rape, child abuses, images and police brutality all find their way to "Tenement Living and Pressing Social Issues of Urban Life" located in the NYC Main Directory offers the reader a glimpse of tenement living during the mid 1800s into the early 1900s.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

When You Love A Child……Get Involved (6)

The battle against substance abuse has been a difficult and slow uphill climb, to the point where many parents overwhelmed by the scope of the drug problem are beginning to lack confidence in their own ability to safeguard their children from drugs. You as a parent are not alone in this battle. There are hundreds of associations and neighborhood groups that have formed to fight the problem of teen drug abuse.Parents working together will become more informed on drug issues and will be better prepared to fight the forces that are out there providing drugs to our children. With support, love, and a strong commitment to parenting, you and your family can survive,even thrive, during these challenging times.

Keep reassuring your child, teen-ager, young adult that you will always be there for them no matter what. Whether you believe it or not, they ARE listening and it will mean so much to your child, for him to hear you say that. Not only say you love her unconditionally, but follow up with affection. Human warmth is the best physical communication that brings its own special kind of reassurance for both parent and child. . Help them take dominion of their life once again, rebuild their self-confidence and self-esteem and in so doing you will make them feel safe.


America needs her young people to ensure its success and future as a nation, so it is up to each and every one of us doing our individual part as parents, educators and community leaders, to keep our young people drug free.


Source for some of this information: National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information, P.O. Box 2345, Rockville, MD 20847-2345

Back To Table of Contents

I leave these thoughts with you....Goodbye for now.....Until the next time....When "Mimi Speaks."

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When You Love A Child……Get Involved (5)

Speaking to children about drugs should start early because "the opportunity for parents to impact their teens' thinking about illegal drugs diminishes as the teen gets older."

Even if you have done an outstanding job of educating and nurturing the child in your care, some children will still remain curious about alcohol,tobacco, and illegal drugs. This is why it is important for you to prepare yourself in as much background information as you can on the names of drugs used and the street names by which they are called, so that you can explain the consequences associated with them.

Not only should you have open communication with your child, but you need to get involved in their activities, praising her accomplishments. You will be amazed at how much this quality time of special activities, whether it is reading a book, playing a game of your child's choice or going on an outing, is essential to building a strong parent-child relationship. When a child feels the love and support of a parent through the many phases of his childhood, where they can express themselves without fear of rejection or recrimination, this becomes the foundation for their not turning to substance abuse as a way of dealing with stress..

It is important when in making rules, that you explain the need for them as well as being consistent in its enforcement, not forgetting to mention about what the consequences will be, if the rules are broken, whether it be behavior at home, chores, schoolwork and so on and so forth.

Leniency or harshness in establishing rules may not always give positive results. Parents who have a warm relationship with their children, while maintaining rules for behavior, can teach children self-discipline.

Finally, monitor your child's relationships, especially the friends that he spends time with, and the places where they hang out in after school hours. Monitor her Internet usage, text messaging, and social networking sites. Monitoring does take a parent's energy, time, and attention,but the outcomes are well worth the effort!

To Be Continued: When You Love A Child (6)

When You Love A Child……Get Involved (4)

By the time they are in kindergarten, most children have seen adults smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol, whether on television or in real life, this is why it is never too early to talk with them about the dangers of drugs. Parents have an incredible influence on their child's decision whether or not to use drugs.

Drug use among our teens and young adults, is non-discriminatory. It cuts across all ethnic, geographic and socioeconomic lines. Youth experience pressure to use alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs at increasingly early ages. Most teens who do not give into drug and substance use, credit their parents as a major factor in that decision.

In making a comparison between the sexes, studies show that girls may lose self-confidence and self-worth during puberty, become less physically active, perform less well in school, and neglect their own interests and inspirations. During these years, girls are more vulnerable to negative outside influences and to mixed messages about risky behaviors. Girls are also at higher risk than boys for sexual abuse, which has been associated with substance abuse. Among boys, puberty tends to increase aggressive behavior, which occurs a year or two later than it does in girls. Boys tend to experience mood swings and can have feelings of anxiety during puberty. During these years, boys crave exploration of things associated with being grown up, including sexual behavior or experimentation with alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs. This is where the guidance, and nurturing from parents help them grow into healthy, well-informed adolescents and adults, so that they have the ability to adapt to changing circumstances, and a belief in their ability to "handle things."

When you love a child, you need to get into the habit of talking with them everyday. The more you know about your child, the easier it will be to guide him toward more positive activities and friendships. It's important not to be critical. Positive reinforcement and constructive support are more effective in influencing children's behavior than criticism. If you are successful in establishing open lines of communication with your child about day-to-day events, she will be more likely to seek your input on more serious issues as well.

To Be Continued: When You Love A Child (5)

When You Love A Child……Get Involved (3)

This health epidemic is a consequence of the irresponsible prescribing of controlled prescription drugs which have been widely advertised. CASA acknowledges that the problem was NOT caused by illicit street junkies, but the report fails to nail the obvious culprits who enticed the public including impressionable children to take drugs that promised to make them feel better than ever. This drug epidemic is the consequence of a physician-pharmaceutical orchestrated crime.

The medical / psychiatric community and its professional organizations--especially the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the National Institute of Mental Health. The AMA and APA are even now attempting to persuade the FDA to withdraw the newly required label warnings about the risks posed by antidepressants and stimulant drugs.

Physicians and medical institutions that have grown wealthy from their collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry have created a drug addiction epidemic that puts the community's safety at risk.

Perfectly healthy children, teenagers, pregnant women have become victims of professional drug pushers who are licensed by the government.

CASA notes: "The explosion in the prescription of addictive opioids, depressants and stimulants has, for many children, made their parents' medicine cabinet a greater temptation and threat than the illegal street drug dealer." Parents who do not want to become inadvertent drug pushers should consider locking their medicine cabinets," said Califano. "While many parents lock their liquor cabinets, most do nothing to ensure that controlled prescription drugs are not accessible to children."

Although there are programs such as Drug Abuse Resistance Education, better known as DARE or D.A.R.E., which is an international education program that seeks to prevent use of illegal drugs,membership in gangs, and violent behavior, what can you as a parent do to help your child excel in school, stay healthy and develop to his or her fullest potential?

When you love a child, you need to talk to them about alcohol, smoking and illegal drugs. You need to explain to them how these substances can affect their studying, causing grades to suffer by affecting memory and learning skills. Show how substance abuse creates problems among relationships, friends and families. If that child or young adult has hopes of going to college, explain to them how drugs will interfere with their attaining academic goals and so on and so forth.

To be continued: When You Love A Child (4)

When You Love A Child……Get Involved (2)

The Alliance for Human Research Protection made the following statement:

"Our nation is in the throes of an epidemic of controlled prescription drug abuse and addiction," said Joseph A. Califano, Jr., CASA's chairman and president and former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. "While America has been congratulating itself in recent years on curbing increases in alcohol and illicit drug abuse, and in the decline in teen smoking, abuse of prescription drugs has been stealthily, but sharply, rising."

A report by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA) about a survey of 979 physicians and 1,030 pharmacists from July 21 to October 31, 2004, provides shocking findings about the explosive abuse of addictive prescription drugs:

"From 1992 to 2003, abuse of controlled prescription drugs grew at a rate twice that of marijuana abuse; five times that of cocaine abuse; 60 times that of heroin abuse."

To be continued: When You Love A Child (3)

When You Love A Child...Get Involved (1)

Substance abuse by our teens and young adults has been a major concern to our nation over the years, which it’s most recent added addiction has now spread to epidemic proportions across America, resulting in early deaths, violent behavior as well as being permanently mentally impaired.

Not only are the teens and young adults, consuming alcohol, smoking cigarettes and experimenting with illegal drugs, but also have included the pharmaceutical abuse of prescription drugs and over the counter medicines which is currently escalating at an alarming rate. "Pharm parties" known also as pill-popping parties are organized among the youths, where fistfuls of prescription drugs which have been collected from their family medicine chest, would be swallowed without thinking of the consequences. Potentially lethal combinations of alcohol, drugs and painkillers such as Vicodin and OxyContin or stimulants such as Ritalin or Adderall have sent many of them if lucky, to emergency rooms overdosed, or tagged D.O.A., to an anguished parent's heartbreak. An over the counter cough medicine abuse is something people don't really know about or ever think would be a problem, and it’s important for parents to know that it can be just as dangerous and prominent as other drugs.

To continue: When You Love A Child......Get Involved (2)

Tick-Tock, the Merry-Go-Round of the Clock (4)

There are those that sometimes overburden themselves to extremities and then rail at Life for living it. So if you don't like the hectic way you are living, you then need to make changes in your schedule and force yourself to relax a little. Naturally, there is nothing better for relaxation than a good night's sleep__or is this possible? If you go to bed all tensed up worried about what you have to do the next day, you will wake up more tense. So you are defeating the purpose. With all this hurry-scurry, you are building up stress and creating eventually serious health issues. Most diseases are the result of stress. When one is tense, you work at a greatly reduced level of efficiency. Through relaxation you learn to conserve your energy. Tension in itself is not harmful to you; however, the constant tension that you subject your body to is what is dangerous.

I love to watch the Animal Planet channel. I find it to be very interesting. I like to observe the reactions of the lions or tigers, when they are approaching their prey. In one moment, the lion or the tiger is relaxed, and then the next moment it is tense, poised, and ready to spring upon its victim. When it does spring it is using all of the energy stored up during its period of relaxation. Maybe we can take a lesson from this.

Life is an unfolding process, where we "move from comparative ease to points of crisis." Although there are many do's and don’ts that I could suggest, that would be helpful to you, in lessening your stress on the Merry-Go-Round of the Clock, but then everyone's situation and circumstances are different. So really it is up to each and every one of us, to find a solution that would minimize some what, the demand of the self-imposed time schedules that would end up resulting beneficial to all concerned.

Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock, Goes The Merry-Go-Round of the Clock.

"Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have,and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. " ~Carl Sandberg

Goodbye for now..........Until the next time................when "Mimi Speaks."

Author of Post: Miriam Medina. I would like to hear your comments. Please do not copy this article. You can provide a link to it if you like.

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Tick-Tock, the Merry-Go-Round of the Clock (3)

Time...just when you think you have your daily routine packed down to a science, its that time of the year when the clocks are turned back or forward, by one hour, bringing us to a halt, adding temporary confusion to our pre-programmed minds. Given a short interval to readjust, the ignition gets turned on, wheels start whirling and once again we find ourselves falling back into the same routine of riding the Merry-Go-Round of the Clock. Let's face it we are slaves to time.

How often we will hear someone say "I'm so stressed out....there are not enough hours in the day, to do all the things which I have to do." Remember the time schedules that we allow to govern our days and nights are of our own doing. We have no one to blame but ourselves. "We are always shoving life around, trying to fit as much as we can, according to our time schedule as it relates to our concept of space."

What is space? An interval or area between or within points or objects."

"What then is time? If no one asks me, I know what it is. If I wish to explain it to him who asks, I do not know. ~Saint Augustine.

You got that right Saint Augustine...I can't even explain it myself. Let's hear what Jack E. Addington has to say, so that we may be enlightened on this subject.

"For time to be understood, we must realize that time depends upon space. Space is the measurement. It is through space that we are able to measure time; time is the interval that it takes for an object to move from one point in space to another point in space. The concepts of time and space are essential to each other; each is dependent upon the relative value of the other." (J.E.A.)

To Be Continued:

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Giving Of Oneself Goes A Long Way (4)

"Volunteering can be an exciting, growing, enjoyable experience. It is truly gratifying to serve a cause, practice one's ideals, work with people, solve problems, see benefits, and know one had a hand in them." Harriet Naylor

However, there is also another area, which many have the tendency to overlook and that is the field of Genealogy and History which is also in dire need for volunteer transcribers. Over the last several decades , there has been a growing interest in matters pertaining to both of these areas. That natural instinct which prompts one to love the place of his or her birth, to know the history of the origin and descent of a family or race, and the circumstances in the lives of our progenitors is attracting the attention of the intellectual public, in their never ending pursuit for answers.

While subscription sites are appearing everywhere on the web, there are those that continue to offer free access to its vast wealth of information. This has been a major undertaking for them. Volunteers, who sincerely have a passion for history and genealogy have devoted their time and own money to researching and gathering information from primary sources, as well as transcribing them so that they may be uploaded to the web for the benefit of the public.

Please let us not forget to always be appreciative of all free services that we have received from the efforts of volunteers. "Thank you" is one of the most positive words that we can communicate, yet it is the least used. Thank you expresses gratitude. Just saying a simple" thank you "can make all the difference in the world. It encourages that volunteer to go the extra mile, when he or she is being appreciated. Not only thank the volunteers but don't forget to thank the administrators of websites, organizations and humanitarian causes that make it all possible to present these free services and information to you.

As the year 2007 is gradually disappearing and the dawn of a new year 2008 is approaching, we are standing on the threshold of a new beginning. The starting of a new year gives us a chance to strengthen important relationships with family and friends, to take stock of our lives and change directions if we need to. Let us not grow weary in doing what is right. Let us become productive persons, by working hard, using our intellect and daring to be enterprising. Whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all. Remember "Giving of Yourself Goes a Long Way” in making a difference.

"But history will judge you, and as the years pass, you will ultimately judge yourself, in the extent to which you have used your gifts and talents to lighten and enrich the lives of your fellow men. In your hands lies the future of your world and the fulfillment of the best qualities of your own spirit." Kennedy, Robert F. Politician (1925-1968)

Goodbye for now.............until the next time.........when "Mimi Speaks."

Author of Post: Miriam Medina. I would like to hear your comments. Please do not copy this article. You can provide a link to it if you like.

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Giving Of Oneself Goes A Long Way (3)

There are many non-profit organizations that are in desperate need for help and don't have the money to hire someone. They would be elated to get a call from you offering your services. The understaffed nursing homes have a great need for individuals who can donate their time to holding the hand of a forgotten soul, whether they are aware of your presence or not. Many of the ladies would love someone to give them the beauty treatment. If you are a musician or a singer you can contribute your musical talents to entertaining those that live in nursing homes. I myself found this to be a rewarding experience, during my younger years. It is amazing to watch how these performers are able to stimulate memories and movement of lifeless bodies into vocal and physical expression. Though the efforts of one person may seem minute, it will have an important impact on someone.

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." -- Aesop

Volunteering requires a lot of hard work, time, energy and in some cases, money. Your efforts to a worthy cause, will help that particular organization to economize money that would otherwise be spent on labor. Volunteer work is necessary to our American economy.

The people who give of themselves are of all age ranges, ethnic backgrounds, religions, and financial levels.They are all making a difference in their communities as well as in their own lives. Volunteers are happy people. They are accomplishing extraordinary things. Once you get started, you will be surprised at how much creative talent there is within you. Although volunteers are not receiving remuneration for their services, the work that they accomplish is worth more to them than any money they could ever receive.

So you say: "Okay, okay I get the picture. So then where are the benefits of being a volunteer?"

Here are a few reasons which I have provided:

1. Your social life will improve, because you will make new friends.

2. Volunteering builds up self-worth and self-confidence.

3. You gain work experience which looks good on your resume. Employers will get a glimpse of your values as well as appreciate that you are well-rounded and active in your community..

4. You can develop and experience greater skills which may be helpful to you in getting a better paying job.

5. It also is great for relieving anxiety, and stress, by keeping you in a positive frame of mind.

6.Finally believe it or not, you can have fun.

To be continued:

Giving Of Oneself Goes A Long Way (2)

We are currently in an economic crisis. With gas, food prices and everything else continuing to go up, many families are finding themselves unable to meet their monthly mortgage payments facing possible foreclosure. Retired seniors on fixed income, individuals with insufficient income, as well as those that are unemployed are also having a tough time, in keeping up with their rent obligations. Parents who have their child in a higher education are feeling the crunch of the current economic atmosphere. "Many of the State universities have no other choice than to have started off the new school year with tuition increases, as legislature slashes their budgets even further." It is also a time when people are changing jobs, seeking employment, being fired, and trying to hang onto jobs they already have. It is a dismal picture that would discourage most individuals from making any attempt at being generous.

Reactions to a charitable cause donation request would probably be: “Don’t look at me, I don't have it. How in the world am I supposed to give any kind of donation, when every dollar that comes into my home is needed to pay for my mortgage and living expenses. This is impossible.

Not really, there is another wonderful way of giving of yourself, without reaching into your pocket book or wallet to make a monetary donation and that is to volunteer. Volunteering can be a most effective gift that one can give to any worthy cause. When you volunteer you are giving of your time and expert knowledge. People who volunteer feel better emotionally, physically and psychologically.You can start out by choosing a small way to make a positive impact somewhere. Volunteering has its rewards. It is also a great way of overcoming a negative attitude. It helps you to take away your attention from the object of your worry, and place it on the need of someone else. Some choose to volunteer in their community while others volunteer from the comfort of their home. There are many outlets and opportunities to which you can contribute your special talents such as in the areas of working with youth, social services, hospitals, education, sports, culture, recreation as well as genealogical and history websites. When you volunteer, you set the time within your schedule. You can give one hour each week, or devote many hours to your choice of worthy cause.

"Go out and do something for somebody. Go out and give something to somebody.It will take you away from yourself and make you happy.

Joseph Jefferson (1829-1905)

To be continued:

Monday, December 3, 2007

Sunday, December 2, 2007

What We Can Do When Things Go Wrong (4)

In closing, I leave you with the words of Walter D. Wintle which have been an inspiration to me:

For It's All in the State of Mind

"If you think you're beaten, you are
If you think you dare not, you don't.
If you think you can't win, and know you can't
It's almost a cinch you won't.

For out in the world you'll find
Success begins in a fellows will
For it's all in the state of mind.

For many a race has been lost
Nor even a step has been run
And many a coward has fallen
Before his works begun.

Think big, and your deeds will grow.
Think small and you'll fall behind.
Think that you can, and you will.
For it's all in the state of mind.

The race doesn't always go
To the bigger or faster man
But the race sometimes goes
To the Man who thinks he can."

Goodbye for now…..until the next time….when “Mimi Speaks.”

Author of Post: Miriam Medina. I would like to hear your comments. Please do not copy this article. You can provide a link to it if you like.


Back To Table of Contents:

What We Can Do When Things Go Wrong (3)

Today, we are benefiting from products that are continually being invented to create more comfort and an easier existence for us. Let us focus on our greatest inventors who refused to accept failure, despite their repeated attempts at reaching their goal. Because of their self-direction or determination, to not allow themselves to brood over their disappointments "When things go wrong," these inventors at last would eventually see materialized, their finished masterpiece.

Successful people do not fear failure because they really never expect to fail. Although they may be surrounded by scoffers, they do not deviate from the image that they have created for themselves. The only time one fails is when one comes to a halt.

To be continued...............What We Can Do When Things Go Wrong (4)

What We Can Do When Things Go Wrong (2)

Suppose an individual has taken a big loss in business deals, plunging his family into a severe economic hardship. No one can admit, that this is not a devastating experience, but we can look at the flip-flop side. Although money is essential to our existence and at times hard to replace, family and health is of the ultimate importance. One must not also forget that this individual still has the creativity and ingenuity, with which he originally started out with, and can begin another business using this same creativity and ingenuity, which will result in a much more successful and prosperous accomplishment. The bottom line to this is "Never allow you to be defeated."

One has to meet his or her problem in a positive constructive way, no matter how dismal it may seem. There are those who have accepted the challenge and have won. Again it is not what happens to us, but HOW we react to it that counts. Life is a mirror, and it reflects back to us, whatever image we place before it. Every seed that we plant in the soil of life will bear fruit according to that seed. For example: If we are planting potatoes we will not reap oranges. Thoughts of failure and negativeness will not produce success. Life gives back to us exactly what we believe we can accomplish and believe what we are able to accept for ourselves in our own mind. No more and no less. We need not to set limitations on ourselves to all possibilities of excelling these calamities, "When things go wrong." Most of us live our lives within a limited circle. We set up barriers by limiting ourselves with "I cant’s," and other forms of self-condemnation and self-limitation. Here is a dot . which are you and me . Now we are the center of a circle without a circumference. In dealing with "When things go wrong, " we need to erase all limitations, stop making excuses etc., which we have been imposing upon ourselves, and move forward to successful accomplishments and finding successful solutions in rectifying all situations.

So you say "Okay, I am willing to admit that I have been defeated most of my life, so where do we go from here?" The ultimate challenge is that we are not "at the mercy of Fate," as the expression says "Que sera, sera...what will be will be.", thus clouding any possibilities for a better future. We can neutralize this image by establishing a positive frame of mind. Self-direction is what motivates us to pick up the pieces and start all over again. In order for you to achieve whatever you set out to do, you must believe in whatever you wish to achieve, accept its possibility and confidently expect it to be realized. These truths can be applied to every area of your life, whether it be your health, home, career, job or relationships, and in doing so you will lift your thoughts, and your vision to see beyond your needs, circumstances, or conditions that surround you, which will result in fear turning to courage and confidence, anxiety to calmness , and despair to faith and hope.

To be continued................What We Can Do When Things Go Wrong (3)

Chasing Elusive Ancestors and Learning History (3)

When you are chasing elusive ancestors, there shouldn't be any stone left unturned. One must be open to all possibilities of finding skeletons in the closets or scandals pushed under the rug by family members or relatives. I thought this might have been the case with papa.

Papa was a great storyteller, according to my brothers, who were older than I was. He used to talk about the old neighborhood and claimed that he knew who the local hoods were that hung out on 111th street near First avenue. . He named them one by one, such as Joey Rubbernose, (I think he was the boss) then there was Bennie the Greaser, who was the loan shark, Freddie the Stiff, who was the enforcer (He was the one that broke your legs or arms if you didn't pay up) and Owl-eyes Louie, the policy runner. Hmmmmm, I didn't know if this was made up, or maybe papa was really involved with them? I know he loved to play the numbers. Mama said papa was a regular visitor at Mr. Morris, who was the local bookie. He was the one that had a storefront in my building in the old neighborhood. Since he was not truthful in other areas, I swallowed my pride and began to check to see if there was any kind of a criminal record on Papa. The Department of Corrections couldn't help me, their database did not go back that far. I even contacted the F.B.I. under the Freedom of Information Act and nothing came back on him. Whew!, what a relief. Papa was what he was a furniture refinisher. Since papa was squeaky clean , I said to myself that I should quit while I was ahead. Not wanting to continue pursuing this area, I gladly ended my search. :-)

So my dear readers, these were some of my obstacles, which I have encountered in my research. On the light side, Genealogy research has become the brunt of many humorous jokes. Sometimes within these jokes you might find some truths. I have come across several websites that reflect on this. Here are a few.

Murphy's Law of Genealogy

Genealogy Humor

The Elusive Ancestor

The Outhouse Genealogy & Family Humor


Chasing Elusive Ancestors and Learning History (2)

Provicchio Luca, Dalmatia, Austria; now Prviæ Luka, Croatia. It is so small, that you can't see it on the modern map. I found it in my 1898 map. Now Prvic Luka can be viewed all over the internet through travel agency websites. Judging from the pictures, it is so beautiful. Here is a link to a website that explains about Prvic Luka.

I was also able to get a video from a wonderful elderly woman to whom I would forever be grateful, who was a relative of my godfather and who was born on the island. Since then she has passed away. Her daughter had taken this video on one of her vacations to the island. I was given a narrating tour of Prvic Luka. I visited the parish where papa and his family attended. I even saw the house, where papa was born...naturally it was made of stone, so it was able to withstand the ravages of time. I couldn't help but cry...How emotional it was for me, and all this, was a benefit that I received while browsing the internet. Here is a link to a very similar view of my papa's house and side street.

This was the first step in the right direction.

Barney was so excited that finally He had proof in his hand confirming Papa's birthplace and real name. The name papa used in the United States was an invented name. I began to take an intense interest in pursuing this further. I was constantly browsing the internet, looking for forums that would deal with Prvic Luka, feeding in my real last name "Bumbak." Bingo! What a wonderful surprise....amazingly, I ended up finding a fifth cousin through the internet, who lived in the United States, but would spend the summers out there with her father and mother, and she was on the forum. Between all our excitable talking, I ended up speaking with my fourth cousin, her father, but noone knew anything on papa. The only thing they said was that papa left the island on a ship, when he was about 15 or 16 years old, and probably went to Argentina. All they knew was that he never returned or contacted his parents after his departure. So there ended my search regarding Papa. I did find through the Family History Center's Catholic parish records of Prvic Luka that our surname went back to the 1700s on the Island.There were no synagogues on the island. Also my grandmother Anna Kordich (also pronounced Cordova) was born in the island of Zlarin. I was told growing up, that my father's mother was Sephardic, and that papa attended the synagogue on 112th street back in the old neighborhood. Before he died he gave my mother two stars of David, to be given to my sister and I when we married. Because it is so old, I have it safely tucked away. Every so often I would take it out and look at it, and try to understand its meaning.This has created a conflict within me, because Mama raised us as Catholics.

I don't speak Croatian, so I thought if I would feed the letter into Babelfish, I would get a top notch translation. Trusting that it was done properly, I sent it to the Croatian government. Hmmmmmmm....weeks and months passed and I wondered why I never got a response. Geeeeez.......I hope I didn't say anything wrong to offend....I should have left it to the professionals. Many countries expect you to write in their language. I believe, from now on, I should stick only to the Spanish language, I am more familiar with that. Because it would have been very expensive in hiring a translator or a researcher of that country, I decided to give up the European chase.

Not wanting to give up completely since I am a determined person by nature, I decided to focus on finding something on papa, here in the United States. I was very much surprised when I found out that he had been married not once or twice but three times, mama's marriage was the last. The family only knew of the two times. Papa lied about his birthplace, and his name was not his real name. Even on mama's marriage certificate he lied about his birthplace as well as on other documents. I couldn't understand why he would do that. This is what makes genealogical research frustrating.

To be continued...........Chasing Elusive Ancestors (3)


"I Go To America, Reaching For the American Dream"

As the mass of immigrants approached the statue in the New York Harbor, smiles spread across their wretched lifeless faces and they raised their voices in unison "America." "America!" For the newcomers the American Dream was finally at hand. Suddenly the atmosphere aboard the vessel became electrified. The immigrants -whatever their nationality or religion-- embraced each other, hugging and kissing as they danced with joy. Gone were the saddened faces, heavy hearts and feelings of regret.Tears flowed in abundance, while many fell to their knees kissing the floor of the vessel. Throughout the entire deck, hands raised to the heavens could be seen, as prayers of gratitude were uttered in various tongues, for their safe arrival. For the first time, in that single miraculous moment, the mass of immigrants became of one mind, soul and spirit. Whatever awaited them, it had to be better than what they had left behind.

"I Go To America, Reaching For the American Dream" is my narration. I am the author of this four part essay . I describe how a mass of emigrants from various origins left their places of birth in pursuit of the "American Dream", which symbolized for them democracy, equality, liberty, justice and most of all, material well-being. A detailed description of their lives, struggles and despair, offers the reader a personal glimpse of immigrant living during the 1800s into the early 1900s. My narrative covers a lot: the severe hardships of Europe's inhabitants, the era of industrial and economic growth in America, the need and search for workers in Europe, exploitation of the vulnerability of the masses, starvation and diseases ending in death for some of the immigrants in their journey to America, the protest of the Americans to restrict the influx of immigration, discriminatory lawmaking and restrictions on Immigrants by the U.S. government, the horrendous conditions of tenement living amid the crime, filth and disease, the immigrant's final triumph overcoming obstacles of discrimination, illiteracy and poverty giving place to a new image of productive and successful citizens: All are part of "I Go To America, Reaching For the American Dream," located in the Immigration section under the New York City Main Directory,

"I Go To America, Reaching For the American Dream" is based on several years of extensive research from public records, books, newspapers and web links. (Click here to read the article.)

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Experience the World of New York Society

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Society has different meanings to different generations."Society, or the Social world is made up of people who by reason of birth, wealth, personal attainments, or social or public service, obtain a certain standing as citizens." Col. Mann.

In order to claim membership in the American Society, two requirements were necessary. Money, the more the better, is a dominant factor and the ability to advertise oneself. In New York men and women were judged by their bank accounts. Some of these inherited their fortunes from their ancestors; others became wealthy through their ownership of valuable real estate, and the social ladder climbers who married someone with a title, or a large bank account in order to establish their presence in society. These people who by their tastes of wealth, love to display their riches, to friends and acquaintances, are led to join together in all social functions, of the Society World. The social register, is comprised of the elite and most prominent people of society, which fit these qualifications.

Some families made great fortunes from their investments throughout the second half of the 19th century. They had the money and leisure to indulge in conspicuous consumption, furthering a new emphasis on Society manners. The Astors were one of the landholding and mercantile families that made great private fortunes during the early nineteenth century. Cornelius Vanderbilt and Andrew Carnegie, giants in the nation's growth, were multimillionaires resulting from their investments in transportation and industry. "Through his association with Philadelphia's old established firm of Drexel & Co, J. P. Morgan came to the forefront of American finance, at a time of big opportunity." Other business giants of the era were Rockefeller in oil, the Armours, Swifts, and Morris in meat-packing, the Havemeyers in sugar, and the Dukes in tobacco. The peak of power and wealth of these financial giants was during the years 1866-1897.

Before they even had the warmth of cash in their hands, the new millionaires were deciding upon the mansion they would build, one which would satisfy even their pampered wives and daughters. Soon there would be nonstop invitations to balls for themselves and their family. There-or at the most exclusive men's clubs-- they would rub elbows with the elite. Old money was essentially dead. Money, if enough of it, talked, however recently it was produced.

During my research of the early history of New York City, I became totally fascinated by this world of prominent people of great wealth that lived in staggering opulence during the gilded era. This was a side of New York City history of which I was unfamiliar with.

In my determination to create a special directory for, I began to research public records, books, newspapers and web links, gathering as much information as I could in order to share it with the public. The unique presentation of "The World of New York Society" is a work in progress, which has required over six years of extensive research. Upon completion it will offer more than 600 transcribed articles of historical interest as well as hundreds of web links.

Topics will include Children, Young Ladies, Men, Society Women, Balls, Dances, Social Registers and more. Those who achieved great wealth lived in staggering opulence, while the vast majority of rural Americans and Immigrants flooding into New York City barely could survive, living in tenement housing amid crime, filth and disease. The social treadmill, the idleness of the rich, the power struggles among men and women of society, the financial crashes resulting from sudden reverses of fortune, all are here. The businessmen who prematurely age due to supporting a family living beyond his actual means in order to stay in society; fortunes that are spent every year on lavish dress, entertainment, and opulent house luxuries from the Gilded era find their way to . (Here is link to the flash intro ) or you can bypass the intro and go to the Main Directory of the World of New York Society.

Please note: the flash version of the introduction will take time loading, once it is loaded if you wish to go back to it, it will be much quicker...also please keep your speakers on for the music and the voice.

Goodbye for now.....until the next time........When "Mimi Speaks."


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Once Upon A Time, Home Sweet Home (A Tale of NYC's Homelessness)

Homeless! Just the mere sound of the word, sends shivers up my spine. Statistics say that approximately 100, 000 New Yorkers experience street homelessness each year and that the City shelter system accommodates at least 38,000 of these homeless individuals on a daily basis, among which are included 16,000 children .The soup kitchens and food pantries that are made available throughout the city of New York, cannot satisfy the overwhelming demand of hungry men, women and children who desperately pour into their facilities to be fed. Unfortunately, those who are not of the lucky ones, are turned away to find nourishment elsewhere. This ongoing problem not only exists in New York City, it is now becoming a national crisis.

"Once Upon A Time, Home Sweet Home" is my narration. In my narrative I make a comparison of the past homelessness that existed during the 1800s, among which were included thousands of abandoned children roaming the streets of the city of New York, as well as reflecting on the causes and effects of modern homelessness; emphasizing the obvious pattern between the two.

Increasingly, it has become hard for the non-homeless population to understand the situation of the homeless. As a result of Jacob Riis's book, "How The Other Half Lives," though not referring to the homeless, which documented and photographed the poor and destitute in New York City tenements in the late 1800s, public awareness was raised by this, causing some changes in building codes and some social conditions. Modern homelessness as we know it, is a result of the economic stresses in society, and reduction in the availabilty of affordable housing for the poverty level and working class income. It is not only those who live in the slums of the city of New York that suffer from landlordism, unemployment, as well as dangers from natural and man-made causes; the working and middle class population of the entire nation are equally exposed to these same dangers, but on a much larger scale. Without going any further into this subject matter, judging by the steady and alarming increase in its numbers, it must suffice to say that there are many facts to sustain, that homelessness will always be present as well as a persistent, unpleasant visible feature of urban life. (Click here to read my article)

Goodbye for now....until the next time.....when "Mimi Speaks."

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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

What Can We Do When Things Seem to Go Wrong (1)

By Miriam B. Medina

This week has had its unexpected dilemma; two huge car repair bills, which deflated my finances. Naturally, I would not be truthful, if I didn't say that my immediate emotional reaction to all of this was one of high stress. Although I encourage having a positive outlook on life, I must admit that we all experience at one time or another in our lives these displays of emotions, of "hitting the roof, or blowing a fuse," "When things go wrong." Especially in today's economic times, with gas prices sky rocketing, real estate taxes increasing, heating expenses going up, children's college tuition to pay, child support payments, lack of commission , etc. our wallets and bank accounts are feeling a humongous crunch. Everyone's lament is that prices keep going up, but the salaries remain the same, how are we going to survive? Not only do we have to contend with our overhead expenses, but also with other unexpected issues and calamities that interrupt the normal flow of our daily life; such as plans that go awry, accidents or sudden illnesses, unemployment, anticipated profits that fail to materialize, so on and so forth.
Some are fortunate to have a nest egg as a cushion to fall back on, while for others who live from hand to mouth, it becomes a frightening experience. What happens to each and every one of us does matter, but more important is "How we react to it." Three of the emotions that are normally displayed and I would label under STRESS in response to these calamities are "Fear, ""Anxiety," and "Hysteria". FEAR, is defined as "a continuing state or attitude of fright, dread, or alarmed concern, an uneasy feeling that something may happen contrary to one's desires," ANXIETY: " a tense emotional state characterized by fear and apprehension, regarding the future." HYSTERIA: abnormal excitement; wild emotionalism; frenzy. These all contribute to our state of mind when we react to "When things go wrong."

One has to meet his or her problem in a positive constructive way, no matter how dismal it may seem. There are those who have accepted the challenge and have won. Again it is not what happens to us, but HOW we react to it that counts. Life is a mirror, and it reflects back to us, whatever image we place before it. Every seed that we plant in the soil of life will bear fruit according to that seed. For example: If we are planting potatoes we will not reap oranges. Thoughts of failure and negativeness will not produce success. Life gives back to us exactly what we believe we can accomplish and believe what we are able to accept for ourselves in our own mind. No more and no less. We need not to set limitations on ourselves to all possibilities of excelling these calamities, "When things go wrong." Most of us live our lives within a limited circle. We set up barriers by limiting ourselves with "I cant’s," and other forms of self-condemnation and self-limitation. Here is a dot . which are you and me . Now we are the center of a circle without a circumference. In dealing with "When things go wrong, " we need to erase all limitations, stop making excuses etc., which we have been imposing upon ourselves, and move forward to successful accomplishments and finding successful solutions in rectifying all situations.

So you say "Okay, I am willing to admit that I have been defeated most of my life, so where do we go from here?" The ultimate challenge is that we are not "at the mercy of Fate," as the expression says "Que sera, sera...what will be will be.", thus clouding any possibilities for a better future. We can neutralize this image by establishing a positive frame of mind. Self-direction is what motivates us to pick up the pieces and start all over again. In order for you to achieve whatever you set out to do, you must believe in whatever you wish to achieve, accept its possibility and confidently expect it to be realized. These truths can be applied to every area of your life, whether it be your health, home, career, job or relationships, and in doing so you will lift your thoughts, and your vision to see beyond your needs, circumstances, or conditions that surround you, which will result in fear turning to courage and confidence, anxiety to calmness , and despair to faith and

Successful people do not fear failure because they really never expect to fail. Although they may be surrounded by scoffers, they do not deviate from the image that they have created for themselves. The only time one fails is when one comes to a halt.

 In closing, I leave you with the words of Walter D. Wintle which have been an inspiration to me:

"If you think you're beaten, you are
If you think you dare not, you don't.
If you think you can't win, and know you can't
It's almost a cinch you won't.

For out in the world you'll find
Success begins in a fellows will
For it's all in the state of mind.

Monday, October 29, 2007

What Is The Blog "Mimi Speaks?"

First before anything, we need to understand what a blog is all about. A Blog is a frequently updated journal or diary, also called a "Web log," which is a specialized site that allows an individual or group of individuals to share a running log of events and personal insights with online audiences.

This journal is often updated daily and contains all information that the person (the blogger) who maintains the Blog wishes to share with the world. This information is automatically inserted into a template that is tailored for the Web site. A Blog is a publication of a mixture of personal thoughts, experiences, and web links. Some blogging sites may provide a variety of topics that may be of interest to the public. There are blogs that allow visitors to make comments or ask questions, in response to the blogger's postings. A blog can be formal or informal, depending on the train of thought of the blogger. Some bloggers may use their real name or prefer to remain anonymous, by using a nickname. In some cases, the "blogger" will write in the first person.

As for the Blog "Mimi Speaks." Many people who have visited history, educational or genealogical websites, and benefited immensely from them, have never had the opportunity to know who the individual or group of individuals are, that have worked behind the scenes diligently, researching and providing this trustworthy information to the public. I know that I myself at times feel curious about this. Since History is my passion, I love nothing more than sharing its long-term relationship with you. The "Mimi Speaks" blog's intent is to discuss New York City, New York State and areas of American history, as well as some issues on life , in the hopes that the public be encouraged to participate in expressing their own thoughts, questions and opinions. It is also a great way for getting to know each other. From the grateful feedback which I have received in regard to the Feast of Mt. Carmel and the Giglio Feast, which was posted in the "East Harlem" Blog, apparently it seems to have stirred up nostalgic memories among its past participants and once residents of the old neighborhood. This is what makes the Blog worthwhile. I sincerely hope you will continue to visit. May each and every one of you have a great and positive day.

Goodbye for now.........Until the next time.................When "Mimi Speaks."


Saturday, October 27, 2007

Riding It Out On The Great Financial Roller Coaster: NYC's Early Panics

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Although its reach is large,, a non-profit, educational website focuses a particularly long lens on economic events and other related matters affecting or contributing to New York City's development and growth.

Massive collapse of the economy that normally follows a period of prosperity. A depression is usually accompanied by a financial panic or a crash of the stock market as investors lose confidence and refuse to buy stocks or make loans. A staggering level of unemployment is the most immediate and debilitating result. Not all crashes reach the level of national depression, however. If the down turn in the economy is short lived and relatively mild, it is called a "recession." Three major depressions, so defined because of the depth and duration of the collapse have occurred in American history: 1837, 1893, and 1929. Some historians add to the list the downturns in 1857, 1873, and 1907. There is a lot of dispute among economic historians and economists as to the causes of economic depressions. (more)
Panics, Depressions, Economic Crisis, resulting in bankruptcies of companies and individuals, where millions are unemployed, homeless and reduced to beggary, is the greatest nightmare feared by all; the wealthy, the investors, the businessmen as well as the working class population. Over the centuries New York City, which is the financial center of the United States, has passed through several notable ones. Some attribute these panics to overexpansion and debts, overextended notes and discounts, overinvestment and falling prices, etc. The Panic of 1929 and the ensuing depression were the most terrible the nation had ever suffered. "The stock market crash on October 23, 1929 wiped out an average of more than a billion dollars worth of paper values a day. A staggering total of 15 million were unemployed, and those who continued to work did so under greatly reduced wage scales." The flow of capital into productive enterprise slowed down to a trickle. The country was suffering from under consumption not overproduction. Banks were weighted down with government bonds, real estate mortgages based on greatly appreciated valuations, and highly speculative securities. Mass hysteria reigned.

The image of the once powerful, self-confident, successful men walking briskly to and fro is now replaced by one of nervous pacing, distress and cries of despair as they witness the crumbling of their world. The arrogant egocentric individual, ignoring sound advice and warning signs of the forthcoming economic crisis, would experience the full impact of the fatal plunge. Unable to cope with their losses, there were those that suffered a heart attack, or committed suicide, leaving their families financially unprotected and homeless. Yet throughout the business world, opportunists, having foresight into the economic conditions plaguing the nation, were busy preparing themselves to ride it out. Some of these individuals were cunning, and of an unscrupulous nature, who would exploit the misfortune of others to their advantage.

For more on New York City Panics please visit the New York City's Panics 1819-1929 section found in the New York City Main Directory.

You can see the flash version by scrolling down to this section or view the printer friendly version.

Goodbye for now..............until the next time.............when "Mimi Speaks"

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Friday, October 26, 2007

About Self-Direction

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Self-Direction is sometimes referred to as Self-determination, which is the principle of free will: decision by one's self.

In the area of creativity, we have been given the privilege of making choices as well as the authority to direct our own thoughts and express our ideas. If we are not satisfied with the world that we have created for ourselves, we have been given the privilege of creating a new mold from which to start a new chain of events that is more to our liking. There are many people that are always in a" woe is me" sad sack attitude, a "pawn in the hand of fate." Some of these individuals are discouraged easily, especially in the complexity and competence of today's workplace, making new literacies and new skills imperative.

Negative people set up laws in life by their negative way of thinking and then find themselves railing at life, because they live by them. I tend to agree with Emmet Fox, "As long as you go on thinking wrongly about yourself and about life the same sort of difficulties will continue to harass you." When one changes the belief about one's self, then the outward experiences will be changed also. We do not need to imitate another person's success, in order to feel fulfilled or accomplished in life. We all have the wisdom and ability on which to rely, to produce the same and even better. There are so many hidden talents within each of us, that can be uncovered and developed today. Each one of us is unique, expressing ourselves in our own particular way. The best way to begin , is to create a new plan of Self-direction by analyzing your negative thoughts and trying to find a way of turning them into a positive approach to life. Dismantling old negative thoughts, is a very frustrating and difficult project, but it can be done......Stop selling yourself I mentioned before, wanting to do something and not take action on it is self-defeating.....It becomes mere daydreaming.......

So don't be a daydreamer, but be a doer and let the results instead speak for themselves. I leave you these thoughts.....................

Goodbye for now............until the next time.........when "Mimi Speaks."

The author of this post is Miriam Medina. I would like to hear your comments on this post. Please do not copy this article. You can provide a link to it if you like.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007, Is It Worthwhile?

Using East Harlem as my basis, I wrote this poem giving a description of as if it were from a visitor's point of view. Here it is, if you would like to read it., Is It Worthwhile?

If I visit, will it be a time worthwhile spent?
With so many web links and articles, I don't think I could be that diligent!
History was never my favorite subject, and to be honest I found it boring too,
I was taught that Christopher Columbus discovered America way back in 1492.
I admit I'm tempted to look but I'm not sure if it really is worth the stay,
If it was up to me I'd rather watch the ball game, than waste this time away.
(read more.......)

Goodbye for now..........until the next time.........when "Mimi Speaks."

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

East Harlem, New York

Italian Harlem also called East Harlem

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It seems as though I can't stop talking about the old neighborhood, East Harlem, especially when it comes to the Italian Feast of Mount Carmel on First Avenue. This was one of the most exciting experiences, that I always looked forward to in the summer, during my childhood days. We never missed a feast. The whole family went, and what a great time we had. There was something special about the feast that seemed to stand out. The first whiff of fried Zeppole mixed with the irresistible alluring aromas of Italian delights, carried by the summer breeze, would make anyone's head giddy. Masses of people standing in lines would wait anxiously for their turn , hoping there was enough food treats to satisfy every one's long awaited taste buds. Yummy, yum...drool. Finally there in front of us, among the delicious Italian delicacies, were the enticing Zeppoles (fried dough sprinkled with powdered sugar). You never saw a bunch of kids devour so quickly those Zeppoles, and walk away grinning from ear to ear with powdered mustaches. This I could still remember.

Forty-three year old , Italian American first generation, Al Guerra, grew up in East Harlem, who followed the feast every summer. Although He currently lives in Florida with his wife and three children, he still travels to East Harlem every year for the Feast. Al Guerra has managed to put together a fascinating website about the Feast of Mt. Carmel .This is a wonderful website dedicated to the people who helped make this great festive tradition possible. This website portrays a yearly tradition that has been in existence among the Italian Immigrants since 1881 and will continue to exist even into the future. Lots of research , photos and valuable historical information has been invested by its webmaster in the preparation of this website. A definite must see. Please visit their photo gallery for pictures of the feast.

One of the many outstanding features of his website is Gerald Meyer's article on "Italian Harlem":

"Italian Harlem--which was located on Manhattan's east side between 96th Street and 125th Street from Lexington Avenue to the East River-at its height in 1930 was home to eighty-nine thousand first- and second-generation Italian Americans. Its large population. (see original article for the rest)

Another important website which I would like to mention that is dedicated to Italian Traditions, the Giglio di San Antonio in East Harlem, which is an Italian Festa in continium since the early 19th century. Bob Maida, who is an active member and photographer of the East Harlem Giglio Society located in the East Harlem Giglio, website has done a fantastic job of providing pictures, current as well as historical which can be viewed by the public. Bobby also helps promote the festival.

Gerard Madio..55 a third generation East Harlemite feels this feast is: "the last of Italian East Harlem as we remember it, that is why it is very important for everyone who was raised in this neighborhood or their parents or grandparents to come back again & again to enjoy the old neighborhood, old stories and old and new friends. The "Giglio" is the only true relic that belongs to us, so that is why we have it and cherish it. It might look like "The Giglio" was built in a day, but it's not. It requires fund raising and a year round event of planning, with men who put their heart and soul into it, to keep a tradition alive, and in the end, after looking at the smiling face's of children with their parent's or grandparents, it's all worth it."

To enter the Giglio site. There are links to other websites both in America and Italy that are devoted to or sponsors of Giglio Feasts. This is another definitely must see. To view 2007 Photos from East Harlem's Annual Feast--Giglio Di Sant' Antonio Click Here

Here is a little background history:

The Giglio Society of East Harlem is a group of men who have dedicated their lives to honor Sant’ Antonio, their beloved saint. Their love and devotion is on display each year during their Annual Festival held in East Harlem, New York. They honor their Patron Saint in very much the same fashion as their ancestry did and still do annually today in Brusciano by building a Giglio and dancing it in the streets of Manhattan, N.Y.

Giglios are built in honor of a town’s patron saint and carried on the shoulders of approximately 120 men in a ritual that dates back to 409AD in the town of Nola Italy.

"Around the turn of the 1900's, Italian immigrants left Italy in search of a better life for their families. During this time, Southern Italy was a very desperate place holding little to no promise of a bright future for the many starving and hungry families. Many had no other choice but to pack up their belonging and take a chance on moving to the promise of the 'New World' - America! (to continue reading, click here).

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Violence Across America: A Nation's Crisis

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"Her cries for mercy were answered by fearful threats and curses by him, while her shrieks and appeals for help were unanswered. Mrs. Moran was dead, from the brutal treatment received at the hands of her husband." Tragically, this has become a common feature of our nation.

"Help! Please..... Will Somebody Help Me?" Violence across America is my narration. I am the author of this three part essay.

The Victims

Her loud shrieking anguished cry and plea for help fades away to a barely audible whisper, as the battered victim of domestic violence, rape, or brutal assault desperately struggles against her attacker, clinging to her life. Oftentimes, horribly beaten and bleeding from gashes on her neck, face and head, she lies there almost senseless, as nearby doors and windows remain closed and passersby not wishing to interfere, scurry away in fear for their own lives. For those that are fortunate enough to live through their horrifying near death experience of broken bones and faces......(for more click here).

Goodbye for now……….until the next time………when “Mimi Speaks.”


"Taking it to the Streets, New York City`s Early Riots"

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Although its reach is large, focuses a particularly long lens on the early history of political and economic events,panics, riots and other related matters affecting or contributing to New York City's development and growth.

Rioting, a disrupting unpleasant feature of urban life, resulting in serious bodily injury, loss of life as well as destruction of property,costing the city millions of dollars...

As I mentioned before New Yorkers are known for telling it as it is. When they are not in agreement with something, they act upon it.

During the 18th and 19th century, scarcely a week would pass that the streets of New York City were not disturbed by some sort of riot, protest or blood shed which resulted from the aroused fearful element of racial and religious hatred. Others resorted to rebellion and civil disobediences, airing their grievances in confrontations with authorities, when they felt abused by the government, for reason of taxes or their struggle for individual rights. These rioters would take their political or protest actions to an unusual level of violence intensifying into greater waves of violence.

The Negro Riot-1712, The New York Conspiracy-1741, The Stamp Act Riot-1765, The Doctor's Riot -1788, The Irish and Know Nothing's Riot -1854,The Astor Place Riot -1859, The Draft Riot -1863, The Kosher Riot in Brownsville -1902, Violent Demonstrations at Chief Rabbi Joseph's Funeral -1902, The Brooklyn Riot -1910, The Harlem Riot - 1943 and the Stonewall Police Riot: Gay Rights 1969, all find their way to

The United States is the most ethnically diverse country in the world. It is a nation of immigrants widely attracted from many nations, cultures and religious backgrounds, all hoping to find freedom, and a better way of life.Though once referred to as the great "melting pot", in today's term we have become a "Multi-cultural society."

Our understanding of why such public actions develop and unfold has changed over the years, yet we must agree that as long as there are differences of religion, culture, political views, race, civil rights threatened etc., the possibility of riots and public protests will continue to be a co-existent feature of urban life.

You can view these articles either in the flash or printer friendly version.For the flash version you need to go to the New York City Main Directory and scroll down to "The Riots of New York City Section". If you rather have a printer friendly approach, you can link directly to it. Printer Friendly Directory.

Hoping that all of you will have a great day....I must say Goodbye for now....until the next time....when "Mimi Speaks."

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Chasing Elusive Ancestors and Learning History While You're At It (1)

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When it comes to reading or learning about City, State, or American History in an overall sense, many people comment that it is oh hum "boring." The women would rather be watching their soap operas, Gray's Anatomy or shopping at the malls till they drop. The men that are more into sports, would rather spend the time watching baseball, or the super bowl relishing in their gigantic subs. While others prefer to browse the internet. As for the dedicated premature-gray genealogist researcher, in their never ending pursuit, the chase of the Elusive Ancestor has become easier, thanks to the use of the personal computer and benefits that have been provided through the internet. Vital records information is now available to the public through designated websites. These can at times be accessed for free, or at a reasonable monthly fee. Some major websites such as will provide a larger area of information on a yearly subscription. "Mega-databases, like those at, allow users to perform nationwide and even worldwide searches for their ancestors by performing a Global Search, which may turn up ancestors in unexpected locations."

The tedious task of finding elusive ancestors is time consuming, frustrating, expensive and requires a great deal of patience. Between stamps, photo copies, stationary, subscriptions, travel, and rental of micro-films at the Family History Center one can tally up quite a bill in the line of expenses, without even getting close to any positive results. Trying to keep up with elusive ancestors is like being in a marathon. Just when we think we have caught up with them, they would suddenly bolt like a rabbit and start running again, disappearing without leaving a trail of dust behind, for us to continue sniffing. Honestly I do believe they were Olympic champion runners back then. I wonder if Nike or Adidas sneakers were around or something similar.

Papa was my elusive ancestor. I spent many weeks and months with micro-fiches and micro-films at the local Family History Center, searching and scrutinizing every single entry, hoping that I didn't miss anything vital that would lead to papa and his whereabouts. He was such a mystery to all of us, and since he died when I was very young, genealogy was the furthest thing from a child's mind. Mama who was Papa's third wife, didn't help matters, by throwing away all his belongings and papers after he died. Even as an adult, it didn't enter my mind to pursue my father's past until years later after mama's death. I was angry with myself for never questioning mama or any of my relatives that knew papa before he died.Now they are all deceased, and the dead can't talk. My brother Barney, who is the oldest was able to find out through my godfather, where papa was born and wrote to the representative of Croatia,requesting documentation of his birth. Papa was born in 1896 during the time of the Austrian Hungarian Empire. Now I know why papa had such a strong German accent. His English always sounded mish mashed. It turns out that my godfather was born in the same island that Papa was born. What a small world. The Island of Privic Luka in Croatia.

To be continued: Chasing Elusive Ancestors (2)


Friday, October 19, 2007

I Love New York

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New Yorkers are known for telling it exactly as it is. They don't pull any punches....I bet if you ask the residents of New York City today what they like about the Big Apple, this is what most of them would probably say:

"Get atta my face!," "Oy Vey!," "eh!," " I hate living here it's very stressful," " The apartments are so expensive unless you live in a rat infested roach hotel," " Those pushcart peddlers will rob you blind and selling hot merchandise no less," " Thank God, my cousin Sheila lives in Queens, at least there's trees there," " Nobody ever sleeps!," "CLAUSTOPHOBIA!," " I hate the congestion of traffic especially during the rush hour," "I live on the fifth floor and that damn elevator never works, this rotten landlord with all the money he makes on us, you'd think he'd get it fixed!," "There's no place to park unless you pile the cars on top of each other," "Forget the subways, it's like being in a can of sardines," " #%!&@ ," " Hic! I'll drink to that, can you spare a buck?," "It always looks dirty," " Too much pigeon crap," "Too many immigrants," "Some of the neighborhoods look like a war zone," "Those crooked Taxi-cab drivers will ride you around the same block three times and charge you an arm and a leg", "Ya take ya life in ya hands when you cross the street, these crazy drivers don't believe in red lights or stop signs here!," "It's a marathon, they'll knock ya down if ya don't get atta their way," "Everyone's too hostile," "I've got gates on my windows and three locks on my door doesn't that tell you something?," "I hate the summer, smells like last year's garbage is still out there,"-- Get the picture?

I would also add Richard Swift's article ;"Life in the Shadows, the Underside of New York City," which describes the nervousness, tensions, hostilities, and the frustrations of living in crowded conditions in today's city as well as Robert Kendall's "I Happen To Love New York."

New York, New York: It's a hellava town.

New York City has always had its share of growing pains, complete with political, social and economic upheavals galore. What are some of the recurring issues? Crime; accommodating masses of impoverished immigrants and migrants; the deterioration of neighborhoods; intolerable housing and extortionate rents; high taxes; unemployment; political and racial riots; police brutality and political corruption: and that's just the beginning.

Yet, in spite of all the discomforts and miseries, miraculously, most of those who crowd the city streets choose to stay. New York, New York.

Its history of over 350 years deserves attention as one of the world's most magnificent cities, studied for its steady and rapid growth, its material prosperity and its generous representation of diverse ethnic groups and religion.

New York City has unmatched theaters and museums and architecture. It is the financial center of the United States-- some say the world--, as well as the hub of American advertising, fashion, publishing, and radio Television broadcasting. New York is definitely not one of the natural wonders of the world: Millions visit the city each year to see what humans, not nature, can achieve.

Walter Barrett, author of Old Merchants, in his second series Book (1863), captures New York City :

"New York City is the heart_____the seat of vitality. Stop her
beatings, and the prosperity, the liberty, aye, the existence of the United
States is ended. The Nation will die. . . . Her great strength cannot be

To learn more about our Magnificent City, Click Here
To learn more about our Magnificent State, Click Here

Goodbye for now.....Until the next time...........when "Mimi Speaks."

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Hug Coupon

Hello again......It's 5:30 a.m, my usual wake-up time. I didn't sleep too well last night...Just brewed a fresh pot of coffee. My faithful notepad and pen lie nearby, with a book I would be researching, so I may jot down my notes and thoughts, while I sip my coffee. Even though I know the coffee will give me heartburn, I need that stimulant, so I can move on to my next activity for the day. Grateful for my anti-acid medication, I deal with the heartburn. I really shouldn't complain, one must be grateful for the small things in life....heartburn and all.

Okey, now, my ritual of medication is over, which seems to increase everytime I go for my routine check-up at the doctors. I think I would feel incomplete, if I didn't have once a prescription or blood work paper in my hand each time I left the doctor's office.

I am wide awake now and ready to work a few hours on I'm wondering where my keyboard is. I'm sure it was here on my desk before I went to bed. Ahhh! There it is, buried under the pile of paperwork. I am surrounded by a literary blanket of books, all within reach, minimizing my work space. apartment is starting to look like a library. So grateful for my post-ems and notes, they are all over the desk and tray table, reminding me of what to do or where I left off. Someday, I promise myself that I will get to the mess.. a familiar ring?

Before I forget, the other day I received this tid-bit from someone. Its called the Hug Coupon....I thought it would be a nice way to start the I am going to share it with you.

Hugs are fat free, sugar free and require no batteries.
Hugs reduce blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate
and help relieve pain and depression.
Redeem this coupon at your nearest participating human being
Returns cheerfully accepted!

So everybody don't forget to hug someone today.....guarantee you will feel real good about yourself and life.

Goodbye for now.....until the next time....when "Mimi Speaks."

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Hello, I'm Mimi, this is my nick name, though I am also known as Miriam Medina, the creator and website administrator of Many people visit history and educational websites, but never get to know who the individual or group of individuals are, that work behind the scenes diligently, researching and providing trustworthy information to the public. With regard to I am the only person. History is my passion, and I love nothing more than sharing it with you. I hope you will feel comfortable in expressing your opinions, thoughts, and questions here. I must confess, this is all new to me.... (I am referring to "blogging" ) so bear with me, as I go through this learning process. Periodically I will be posting new thoughts, articles and information and would love to have your input and feedback on them. Please check back here often.

Until the next time......When "Mimi Speaks."