2000-11-25 / Columnists


One of the best-kept secrets in New York is about to be released sometime in April. Victoria Mascetta, author of "Best Of" New York, Florida, Philippines, etc. (books placed in hotel rooms to inform tourists of attractions in and around cities) will finally include Gateway National Park, its many events and activities, and our beautiful beaches in Rockaway. With this and the ferry we should expect a windfall of people from Manhattan and their boroughs to visit our shores, shop in our shops and eat in our restaurants, and, of course swim in our ocean and sun on our beaches.

All this information came to me while brunching at Kennedy's with our dynamic elected president of the Chamber of Commerce, Liz Sulik, and her close friend, Kathy Pierce, part owner of the Mystique dinner cruise yacht and active member of the RAA. With Liz at the helm of our community great things are in store for the Rockaways. Her infectious enthusiasm and excitement for positive improvements in the community is so contagious the residents of Rockaway will rally around to help bring forth, hopefully, a Rockaway renaissance, And, I say, "It is about time!" The future looks bright.

At Kennedy's bar I took one look at Joe Kilbride and asked, "How does the other guy look?" Seems his eye doctor gave it to him when he went for his second surgery. He is fine and it will all clear up in a few days.

Al Martin is home and recovering from a three-week stay in the hospital. A hip operation is recommended but he is holding off on that decision.

Snug Harbor is still packing them in offering eat-in/takeout dinners. I say that because the portions are so huge you get both for the price of one. Frankie Gallagher's prices may be high but you get twice your money's worth and the food is consistently good.

While waiting for Tom Connors to arrive at Snug I got a chance to talk to Tom August, president/CEO of the Silver Gull, Sun & Surf and BPSC. I was surprised to learn the Silver Gull is open all year for private parties. Tom had an interesting analysis of the Gore/Bush deadlock. Hope for the candidate of your choice to lose. Whomever wins will be a loser anyway. He thought it might prove interesting if Gore won because then Hillary will be competing against Gore for the presidency in four years four years.

Ran into Maria and husband, Richard Sehv, daughter and son-in-law of Helene and Peter Danzilo, at the New York Book Fair auction and reception to benefit Goddard Riverside Community Center, Maria's winter neighborhood. Maria and Richard summer in Breezy Point on 220th street.

You simply must. You absolutely must see the brand new Madame Tussaude's Wax Museum that just open this past week on 42 street between 7th and 8th avenues. It was the most elaborate, gala opening affair this year with celebrities on each of the beautifully decorated four floors. You couldn't tell live from wax. It is not only incredible, but startling how true to life these wax figures are. Bette Midler silently talks to you with her eyes. Ivana Trump was there actually talking to her image. Dressed alike, too. Donald Trump, in wax, was at the other end of the end of the room. I said, "Hello" to Tony Bennett, but he never responded. Giuliani was with Pataki; John Kennedy (whose likeness could have been a little better) with the perfect image of Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis next to him. And, I got a laugh at a Jewish woman having her picture taken with

Yasar Arafat. Millions of dollars must have been spent on this museum, but every dime was worth it. It is definitely a place worth while seeing.

The Starlight Children's Foundation celebrated its 11th Annual Celebrity Sports Auction at Bridgewaters at the South Street Seaport. Tiki Barber, running back of the New York Giants; Charles Way of the Giants; and Pat Hickey of the Rangers were guests. Starlight Awards went to: Anthony Becht of the N.Y. Jets; Marvin Jones of the Jets; and Greg Comella of the Giants. Emcee for the evening was Joe Nolan from WABC Metro Traffic. Try to make it next year. You'll enjoy it.

St. Kitts and Nevis held an elegant press luncheon at exclusive La Grenouille Restaurant on East 52nd street. I sat next to the charming and distinguished minister of tourism, Dywer Astaphan. He spoke of the beauty and tranquility of St. Kitts and Nevis. (Perhaps some of you saw my television show on St. Kitts and Nevis. That show was produced about six or seven years ago). The islands have changed considerably since then. Mr. Astaphan said St. Kitts emphasizes its cultural heritage with over 200 historical sights: St. Thomas More; Thomas Jefferson and the landing of Lindberg; the US Navy ships that sunk in the coastal waters that now make great diving sights for the tourists; and golf on the champion golf courses and stays at the comfortable friendly inns and four and five diamond hotels, such as the newly renovated (since the last hurricane) Four Seasons Resort in Nevis. St. Kitts is anticipating new five star hotels such as the Marriott Hotel, Hyatt and Grand Lido. There is now a casino, but there will be more at these hotels. More cruise ships will be in the ports.

Their literacy rate is 90 percent and all speak English. Lose your woes and your stress and return to tranquility and peace that will be yours on these islands.

It was announced at the kickoff press conference at Park Avenue South Restaurant, top athletes from Metro New York Teams will join forces for muscular dystrophy on January 9 at 6 p.m. at Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers, NYC, with Muscle Team 2001 on hand: Jessie Armstead; Tiki Barbara; John Franco; Adam Graves, Dharlie Ward; McLewis; Scott Niedermayer; Midhael Strahan; and Al Leiter. For tickets call the MDA.



Holland America So. Carib 7 day ms Veendam, Dec. 2,8 and 15 from $499 ins. $599 OV.

NCL..Norway 7s day Dec. 16 from $549 ins.; $649 OV.

Alaska, Norwegian Sky Apr. 29 through Sept. $849.

Valentine's Day from $699 Feb. 9 ms Veendam 7 day Caribbean.

Five Star Alaska air $399 June 15 through Aug. 15 cruise tour $1549.

Family vacation value $1299 8 days all incl. Turks & Caicos Allegro Resort.

Sandals RT Air $289 Champagne Express Royal Bahamian.

Check WNYX-TV for more travel specials at 12 noon Monday through Friday, except Thursday at 1 p.m. on UHF channels 27/35.

Give me a call and away we go!

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