Category Archives: Blog / Personal Business

Notablog: 20 Years, 3500 Posts

On July 26, 2002, I posted my first Notablog entry. It was to announce the New York Daily News publication on that date of my essay, “From The Fountainhead: Howard Roark“, part of the newspaper’s series, “Big Town Classic Characters: New Yorkers of the American Imagination.”

Today marks the twentieth anniversary of that first post. And this just so happens to be my 3,500th blog post in two decades. And if you believe this is a total coincidence, I got a nice bridge in Brooklyn I can sell you!

I started posting on Notablog when it was on the NYU server (archives of all those posts, July 26, 2002 to August 1, 2020 can be found here). On August 1, 2020, I migrated to my own Notablog.net.

Speaking of dates, it was back on May 14, 2022 that my long-time friend Roger Bissell said, tongue-in-cheek, “Chris himself has a long-running internet presence he styles in delightfully quasi-Hegelian fashion as ‘Notablog’.” Though I clearly have my quasi-Hegelian tendencies, I have indeed long been asked why I call what is obviously a blog, “Notablog”. As I explained on February 15, 2005:

Some readers have wondered why I continue to call this site “Not a Blog,” even though it seems to become more blog-like with each passing week. Well, it’s going to stay “Not a Blog”—though from now on it will appear with closed spaces between the words: “Notablog.” That phrase can just as easily be viewed as an acronym for “None Of The Above Blog” (as suggested here) or “Nota Blog” (as suggested here), recalling the Latin phrase “Nota Bene,” featuring entries on topics of which one might take particular notice.  

In any event, I’m happy that I’ve not let up in twenty years. I hope to continue blogging for a long time to come, and to continue sharing some of the blog’s contents on Facebook as well!

Postscript: Discussion of this post can be found on Facebook. Also: Much thanks to Tom Knapp for his kind congrats!

Ski Visits II

The “Ski Visits” continue! My sister Elizabeth “Ms. Ski” Sciabarra and I wanted to extend our love and appreciation to two very dear friends—who stopped by today to say “Hi” and spread cheer: Rose De Pinto and Barbara Esmilla.

(L-R) Rose De Pinto, Elizabeth Sciabarra, Barbara Esmilla

Postscript (15 July 2022): And another dear friend stopped by today to see my sister: Ron Mangano, whom my sister has known for over 30 years, since her days as a principal at New Dorp High School.

Ski Trip to Celebrate Aunt Mary 100!

With the amazing assistance of a terrific ambulette company, my sister, Elizabeth (“Ms. Ski”) Sciabarra, took her first trip out of the house since October 2021—to see our Aunt Mary, who celebrated her 100th birthday today. My Aunt Mary is my sister’s godmother. Aunt Mary is accustomed to saying she’s 26. And in spirit, she’s right on target! We were elated to see her, after such a long time. Happy birthday to our beloved Aunt Mary and a Happy Day for us all!

Elizabeth with her godmother, Aunt Mary (f); Chris with his godmother, Aunt Vina (b)

Ski Visits

If ever there was a need to lift Ski’s spirits, this was the week. My sister, Elizabeth Sciabarra, was visited by her long-time colleague and dear friend, Matt Mandery and her two godchildren, Genevieve Teresa Gonzales and Sara Gonzales-Thomas—who is on her way to Boston as part of the cast for tomorrow’s opening night performance of “Wicked” at Citizens Bank Opera House. Also along was Alex Gonzales (our cousin “Sandy”, loving mom of Genevieve and Sara). A blessing indeed!

Ski and Matt

Sandy, Sara, and Genevieve (with Ski)

Ski and Sue

Yesterday, we learned of the passing of a very dear friend, Sue Mayham (1958-2022). A graduate of the class of 1976 from Brooklyn Technical High School, Sue first met my sister, Elizabeth Sciabarra (Ms. Ski), in the early 70s when my sister asked her to start the Twirlers as part of the BTHS Cheering Squad. Sue was never a student of my sister’s, but she used to slip into Ski’s classes almost every day to listen to lectures on Shakespeare and Chaucer. After Sue graduated, Ski and Sue became lifelong friends. So loving was their connection that it spread to our families. Sue was also kind enough to sit for an interview with me back in 2017, as part of my 9/11 Memorial Series. As I wrote in that article:

A native Brooklynite, [Sue] first attended P.S. 241, a short distance from the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, before moving onto the Packer Collegiate Institute, where she remained through the eighth grade. She decided to take the entrance test for one of the city’s … specialized high schools, one which had only recently opened its doors to young women. She entered Brooklyn Technical High School in downtown Brooklyn as a freshman and was among the first women graduates of the formerly all-boys school. She was actually in the third class in which women were included, in a school of 500 girls and 5,500 boys. For Sue, Tech was a school that thrived on the brilliance and energy of its student population, but it particularly nourished a young generation of strong, powerful, and brave young women. She would move on to Pace University, where she received a BBA in Marketing, preparing her for a career spent on Wall Street. She worked for numerous banks over the years, but on 9/11, the Bank of New York was her employer. 

The interview detailed Sue’s heroic efforts on that day, exhibiting her strength of character and her love of people.

Upon hearing of Sue’s tragic passing, my sister was hard hit emotionally. She writes:

My recollections of Sue go back to my first years at Brooklyn Tech, where I not only had the pleasure of interacting with her in my classes but on the cheering squad—who could forget “The Sting” (our first Half-Time song)? I even went to Sue’s Sweet 16 Party. Later in life, Sue became a loyal board member of the Brooklyn Tech Alumni Foundation. When I became the Executive Director of the Foundation, I was thrilled to work with Sue again to bolster the role of young women at Brooklyn Tech. She started the Ruby Engineers, and was present at all Ruby events, including those where it was clear that she was already experiencing the effects of her ailments. However, this never stopped her from attending functions and participating in so many activities. It is fitting that her last day also marked the Jubilee of Elizabeth II—a strong woman in her own right. Sue was a leader and the dearest of friends for fifty years. My heart is broken. I will miss her so very much.

RIP, dearest Sue. (See too the Facebook post by the Brooklyn Tech Alumni Foundation).

Ski and Sue, 2012

Baby Giraffe Gets Braces!

This is just sweet …

Wikipedia Adds New Profile Pic!

Yay! I’m very happy to report that The Mystery Photographer who took this pic of me with the Parachute Jump in Coney Island, Brooklyn as backdrop finally got clearance (since said photographer apparently held the copyright) to post this updated photo of me on my Wikipedia Profile Page, over which I have no control. I didn’t even write it!

Anyway… thanks Mystery Photographer! Much appreciated!

A Ski Visit

After attending the Brooklyn Tech Homecoming virtually on Saturday, April 9, 2022, it was time to open the doors to the Sciabarra household. This morning, we welcomed two Technites, both from the Class of 1983!

Carol Cunningham (left) and Denice Ware (right), who also serves as the President of the Brooklyn Tech Alumni Foundation, came with blue orchids to greet Elizabeth “Ms. Ski” Sciabarra, my sister, and it was a wonderful visit.

Happy Eastern Orthodox Easter!

A very Happy Easter to all my Eastern Orthodox family and friends!

Easter Eggs Complete!

Easter Egg Surprise!

So we began the process of boiling our Easter Eggs this morning, and I decided to take one out for a rare omelette with my sister’s roasted peppers. Alas, I did not know how rare this would be! Lo and behold … a double yolk! There is a one-in-one thousand chance of this happening, apparently. Yin and Yang right there in a bowl! A Dialectical Sign for sure! Wow!