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Archive for the 'Father’s Day' Category

Recommended: Pacem in Terris

June
22

Pretty unique and rewarding Father’s Day for me this year, and something I’d recommend.

We shelved the idea of a cookout or a ballgame this time out, and instead headed upstate to Warwick to visit Pacem in Terris — six acres of sculpture and meditation gardens along the Wawayanda River.

The gardens are the life work of Frederick Franck, a Dutch-born sculptor and author who spent nearly half a century adorning the land around his home with sculptures, artwork and meditation spaces. The NY Times did a nice piece on it three years ago.

Pacem in Terris essentially translates from Latin to mean Peace on Earth, and it’s in keeping with Franck’s spiritual outlook on life. Franck, who wrote more than 30 books on Buddhism and other subjects, died in 2006 at the age of 97, and the property is now maintained by his son, Lukas, as a nonprofit corporation.

Pacem is laced with Franck’s message, and immediately alerts visitors that it is “neither church, nor chapel, nor temple.” He cites his associations with Albert Schweitzer, Pope John XXIII and Buddhist scholar Daisetz Suzuki with helping shape his world view — and homages to them abound throughout.

Franck, a dental surgeon-turned artist, also has his work on display at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Tokyo National Museum and St. John the Divine Church.

My girlfriend turned us on to the place, which she frequented in past during times when she sought solace and tranquility. It was also a hit for my son, who is 11.

I would note that younger children may not be as enthralled — the place is not a playground. But for older kids, it’s a worthwhile experience. My son was very taken by it and was very vocal about appreciating that he and I shared it on Father’s Day.

Anyway, Pacem in Terris is at 96 Covered Bridge Road in Warwick, and, while it’s a tad out of the way, it’s worth a trip. Most of it is literally in Franck’s back yard, so visitors are asked to be respectful.

However, it is also free, and opens to the public on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jfitzgibbon

Posted by Jorge Fitz-Gibbon on Monday, June 22nd, 2009 at 10:30 am |
| | 5 Comments »

Father’s Day a little less bountiful this year – but not by much

June
15

Dads can expect a little less for Father’s Day this year, but we can still count on our fair share of neckties and dinners.

At least that’s what we’re getting from the National Retail Federation, which says the average Father’s Day spending will be about $90.89 this year, a slight dip from the $94.54 average spent last year.

Not too bad, considering the recession.

I guess no one is in any condition to complain. And if the breakdown on the expected expenditures is any indication, we’re more likely to get a gift card and a shirt or tie than the electronics we’re really hoping for.

Well, it is the thought that counts.

Anyway, here’s a portion of the report from the Retail Federation:

The survey found people will spend the most ($1.9 billion) on a special outing such as a dinner or even a sporting event, but clothing still ranks high among gift givers who are expected to shell out $1.3 billion on new socks, slacks and ties. Others will treat dad to a gift card ($1.2 billion), electronics ($1.0 billion), books or CDs ($548 million), home improvement items ($522 million) and sporting goods ($502 million).

Discount stores and department stores will be going head to head this Father’s Day as 33.9 percent of Americans plan on shopping at discounters and 33.7 percent will shop at department stores. Others will head to specialty stores like electronics and home improvement stores (26.8%), online (17.9%), at specialty clothing stores (6.1%) or through a catalog (2.8%).

When it comes to who is getting gifts this year, the majority of people said they will only buy for their father/stepfather (51.1%). Husbands (28.6%), sons (7.6%), grandfathers (4.7%) and brothers (5.1%) will also see gifts from family members.

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jfitzgibbon

Posted by Jorge Fitz-Gibbon on Monday, June 15th, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
| | 2 Comments »

Cool T-shirts for Father’s Day

June
5

I love Junk Food T-shirts. They are fun and hip without being too edgy. That makes them perfect for Father’s Day for guys who are more comfortable in jeans and a T-shirt than a dress shirt and tie. (And, let’s face it, a 40-year-old man in an Affliction T-shirt is just kind of sad.)

For the wives out there shopping, <a href=”http://www.junkfoodclothing.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Category4_10052_10051_-1_10551_Y_10551″ target=”_blank”>Junk Food</a> T’s allow you to indulge your husband’s love for “Star Trek,” “Batman” or the Beatles while also giving him a shirt that will make him cool to your teenagers. My pick for dads of little ones has one of the Wild Things from “Where the Wild Things Are.” There is also a shirt with the “Cat in the Hat” that’s cute for dads of toddlers in particular. Some even have a double entendre that’s appropriate for the wife to bestow, like the one with the Lucky Charms leprechaun and the phrase “Magically Delicious.”

A couple of years ago, I gave Pumpkin’s father a shirt that said, “Property of My Little Girl” that I loved to see him wear. (Hint.)

I have to admit: I keep buying Father’s Day stuff that’s the analog of what I’d like to receive on Mother’s Day. Pumpkin has at least two T-shirts that say “Daddy’s Girl,” but none that say anything about mommy. Hmm.

So, dads out there: Would these shirts be a fun gift for you? What do you really crave on your big day?

Posted by Julie Moran Alterio on Friday, June 5th, 2009 at 7:08 pm |
| | 2 Comments »

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Nine questions to ask your father (and answer if you are a dad)

May
27

I received this list today in a press release, and I thought it was pretty neat. It came from a company called <a href=”http://www.pricelesslegacy.com/” target=”_blank”>Priceless Legacy</a> that sells “life story” books. I’m not advocating the company by any means, but I thought this list of questions to ask your dad at Father’s Day was worth sharing.

The fathers reading this just might want to answer these questions for their own youngsters. They are written in the past tense because I think the idea is for adult children to pose them to their dads, but I think they can just as well be answered by fathers of young children. (I’m talking to you, Michael.)

1. What did you enjoy most about being a dad? Least?

2. Are there things you wish you had done differently as a father?

3. In what ways are we alike and in what ways are we different?

4. Why did you marry my mother?

5. Is there anything you every wanted to tell us (me) but have not?

6. What is the secret to raising good kids?

7. Is there anything you regret not having asked your parents (my grandparents)?

8. Do you think today’s fathers have it harder, easier or just different?

9. What do you want to make sure that my children and grandchildren will remember about you?

Posted by Julie Moran Alterio on Wednesday, May 27th, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
| | 1 Comment »

When is Blended Family Day?

May
13

Here’s a built-in problem in blended families: You never have the whole family together for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.

There’s a simple reason for it. Namely, my son will always be with his mom on Mother’s Day (as he was earlier this month) and my girlfriend’s son will be with his dad on Father’s Day. So, we’re inevitably incomplete when celebrating our respective parenting days.

Kinda makes it hard to have the ideal family day.

Or does it?

Bethany Grey, editor at eHow.com, offered a list of suggestions for dads and stepdads to celebrate Father’s Day in a blog titled “How to Celebrate Father’s Day in a Blended Family.” I don’t agree with all of it, but some of Grey’s suggestions make sense, including the idea to shop for Father’s Day cards with the child. It’s a good stepdad experience to share.

Mostly, I like the idea of doing something the day before, something Grey didn’t hit on. This year, we grilled hot dogs and steak the day before Mother’s Day and had a picnic outside. It was fun and we did the family thing. I’m thinking we’ll do the same with my girlfriend’s son the day before Father’s Day next month.

One thing I’ve never wanted to do is give my girlfriend’s son the notion that I’m replacing his dad, at least not that way. This makes for something of a juggling act at times. But that’s a blog for another day.

Posted by Jorge Fitz-Gibbon on Wednesday, May 13th, 2009 at 10:35 am |
| | 2 Comments »

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About this blog
Parents’ Place is a hangout for openly discussing the A’s to Z’s of raising a child in the Lower Hudson Valley. From deciding when to stop using a binky to when to let your teenager take driving lessons, Parents’ Place is here to let us all vent, share, and most of all, learn from each other.
Leading the conversation are Julie Moran Alterio, a business reporter and mom of a toddler, Jorge Fitz-Gibbon, a reporter and single father with joint custody of a 9-year-old son, and Len Maniace, a reporter and father of two sons.


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About the authors
Julie Moran AlterioJulie Moran AlterioJulie Moran Alterio, her husband and baby girl — “Pumpkin” — share their Northern Westchester home with three iPods and more colorful plastic toys than seems necessary to entertain one tiny human. READ MORE
Jorge Fitz-GibbonJorge Fitz-GibbonJorge Fitz-Gibbon has been a journalist for more than 20 years and a father for nine. READ MORE
Jane LernerJane LernerJane Lerner covers health and hospitals for The Journal News in Rockland, where she lives with her husband and two children. READ MORE
Len Maniace.jpgLen ManiaceLen Maniace is a reporter and father of two sons. READ MORE



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