This past Friday was one of those rare days that I had to leave the Island for a few days. I find that the more I stay here, the more reluctant I am to leave.
I had to go to St. John the Divine Cathedral in New York City to deliver a eulogy for a longtime friend and colleague.
I was not in the mood for driving so I decided to take the Jitney from Greenport. The train was out of the question because it leaves at 5:30 a.m. Islanders can’t make it. The next train was too late.
The cathedral is located on Amsterdam Avenue and 112th Street. I took the Jitney to its last stop at 86th Street and Third Avenue. I started to walk but quickly tired with my bag on my shoulder and took a cab north and west.
I had only been to the cathedral one time in college for an art history class to study its Gothic Revival splendor. I had forgotten what a magnificent place it is. I spoke from the front to the attendees sitting in the hand-carved pews in the choir section.
Construction started on the cathedral in 1892 and it was dedicated in 1899 as the cathedral for the Episcopal Diocese of New York.
I learned that St. John’s is among the five largest cathedrals in the world and like the others, it is still not complete.
St. John’s is very much a part of the neighborhood and has an ecumenical tone.
Services are held seven days a week.
It is definitely worth leaving the Island for a visit and tour. Visitors are asked to make a donation of $10.
If you are planning a Christmas trip to the city, put St. John’s on your list of places to visit.
Office of Senior Services
In an effort to let seniors know what services are available on the Island, I’d like to mention the Office of Senior Services (OSS).
The Telephone Reassurance Program is staffed by volunteers who call home-bound seniors seven days a week. The volunteers will visit those who do not answer the phone.
The office also provides on- and off-Island transportation. Volunteers will take seniors to medical appointments and shopping, banking and post office visits.
The OSS also offers a home caregiver’s course, training local residents to care for elderly loved ones at home.
Call Henrietta Roberts or Roni Siller at 749-1059 weekdays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. for more information.