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  •     There was a near-sell-out crowd at the East Hampton movie theater on Saturday night for the 6:30 p.m. screening of “American Hustle,” and a buzz was in the air that had as much to do with the scandal involving New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as any Academy Awards nominations.

  •     We were the only people in the Bird House at the Bronx Zoo on Saturday. This was not surprising, since it was a cold, cold day and only about a half-dozen vehicles were in the parking lot when we arrived.

        There were four others at the tiger display and just two besides us peering at the snow leopards. Between the five of us and another group, only nine visitors visited the giraffes when we were there. Nobody else was around as we watched some grizzly bears wrestling in the snow. No one ever stopped to see the bison.

  • Crime, real estate, and a tragic accident in which a young teen was killed while riding her bike were among the top stories on The East Hampton Star's website in 2013.
  •     Sharp-eyed readers of a nautical sort may notice a small but significant change in this week’s newspaper. For what I think may be a first, the tide table, which usully appears in the sports section, no longer gives the times of the daily highs and lows at Promised Land. Instead, it lists the ups and downs for the Three Mile Harbor entrance.

  • Angus Wilson knew this was an unusual year when surfers at Shinnecock Inlet asked him recently if he was there to see the owls.
  •     Leo the pig has hit what appears to be his adolescence — constantly leaving a mess on the floor and trying to carve out a little space of his own just to be left alone.

  • LongHouse Reserve’s Instore shop will be open for holiday shopping or simple self-indulgence on Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. The shop is at the entrance to the gardens, off Hand’s Creek Road. The selections may be browsed anytime at longhouse.org.

    Late holiday “shoppers” will be welcomed at the Animal Rescue Fund adoption center on Daniel’s Hole Road tomorrow until 7 p.m. Refreshments will be served to those stopping by to size up potential pet companions.

  •     Little did I know all these months that the school lunch that I was making for one of my daughters was actually feeding someone else’s kid. Not every day, mind you. This has only occurred on those mornings when I felt inspired at the crack of dawn to boil up a pot of penne, toss it with pesto, and spoon it carefully into a Thermos. And, I only learned about it when my daughter  mentioned in passing that her friend had asked why she had stopped bringing in her favorite pasta.

  •     Most local after-school activities were canceled Tuesday as a light snowfall drifted through the air over the South Fork. Traffic on Main Street quieted down; the usual rumble of work trucks was thinner. The snow wasn’t sticking. The temperature was slightly too warm, but that did not stop the preparations.

        From my window, looking out toward the Town Pond green, I could see the occasional snowplow roll past, all geared up with nothing to do.

  •        When I was younger, my standing joke at this time of the year was that all I wanted for Christmas was socks. It was true then, and it is true now; socks are just fine, at least for me. For our three kids, however, gift-receiving is another matter altogether.

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  • Looking for something to do to get out of the house or pry those kids away from the electronic devices? The East Hampton Historical Society’s Marine Museum on Bluff Road will be open with free admission from Saturday through Jan. 4, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., except on New Year’s Day.

  • Santa in Spanish
    A Spanish and English-speaking Santa will greet children and hand out gifts outside Waldbaum’s market on Park Place on Christmas Eve between 5 and 7 p.m.

    Hanukkah Opening at Vered
    "Paintings of Hope," an exhibition of work by Haim Mizrahi, an East Hampton artist, will open at Vered Gallery in East Hampton on Saturday at 6 p.m. The evening will include a candle lighting and songs with Chabad of East Hampton in celebration of the fifth night of Hanukkah.

  • Here is what we know about Hurricane Arthur and the outlook for Independence Day and beyond. There is a 100-percent probability of heavy rain from an unrelated system until about sunset Friday. Hurricane Arthur is expected to pass to the east of Montauk Point, close enough that near-tropical storm-force wind gusts are expected for the region late Friday.

    Rain and a chance of lightning will end after dark Friday, but not before as much as three inches could fall. The National Weather Service has issued warnings of flooding in low-lying areas and roadways.

  • Doing a quick spreadsheet from board of elections numbers, it appears that the makeup of the East Hampton Town Trustees is largely unchanged. Two newcomers have won seats: Brian Byrnes, who previously sought a seat as trustee, and Dennis Curles.

    The top nine are the assumed winners: