On The Beach… With Beverly Baxter
T'IS THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN! The James Conway Sullivan Memorial Queens County St. Patrick's Day Parade and Cultural Committee is about to launch its 28th year in the town we love so well...and our fundraising season has begun. While our committee endured a tragic blow last year with the untimely passing of our Founder, James Conway Sullivan, as well as the horrific loss of so many of our own neighbors, Rockaway came together as we displayed, so solemnly, yet gallantly, our mettle as we honored and paid tribute to their lives.
This year, we continue our tradition as we present an exciting slate of events to honor our honorees. Our first benefit will be held on Sunday November 24 from 5-9 p.m. at The Beach Club in The Ocean Room. At this time, our Deputy Grand Marshals will make their debut. Tickets are $30 per person and can be obtained from any parade committee member or honoree. Our annual Hearts and Shamrocks Dance, which is always a well-attended highlight of the parade season, will be held at Saint Camillus on Sunday January 19.
Our annual Gala at Antun's will be held on Saturday night, February 15 from 8 p.m. 'til 1a.m. Tickets are $70 per person. Our parade will step off on Saturday March 1st. So...mark your calendars, reserve your tickets, and I hope to see you all there!
Owen and I stepped out last Saturday night to the new Irish Circle. Proprietor Jerry Perich, who is always very gracious, joined us and made us feel most welcome. With its fraternal ambiance, The Irish Circle boasts something for everyone. Whether it's boy’s night out, dining as a couple, placing a bet on the games, or dancing the night away, this is a fun place to do it all! The menu is very eclectic and offers something to satisfy the most discerning tastes. I ordered the delicious Shrimp Martini, which consisted of huge succulent shrimp on a bed of linguini with artichokes, black olives, red roasted peppers, fresh garlic and olive oil. You must try this Circle favorite!
There will be a Grand Opening Luncheon hosted by The Irish Circle, along with the N.Y.C Off-Track Betting Association, for VIPs, dignitaries, and elected officials. The event will be held on Tuesday October 22 at 12:30 p.m. It promises to be a wonderful afternoon. I'm sure Mr. "McGee" Woods would marvel with awe at how the Irish Circle has come "full circle" and evolved into a very current twist on a precious Rockaway tradition.
While there, I was delighted to see my friend, and Jimmy Conway Sullivan's first cousin, Terry McManus. I always love running into Terry. It seems we can engage in conversation for hours about Jimmy; and it seems that when you talk about somebody whom you've loved, somehow, although they're gone, you can still feel their presence again. I know, I'll never tire of talking about this great man...and friend.
It was also nice to see Liz Smith. While she had just returned from showing her artwork at the Long Beach Irish Festival, she looked wonderful. During these last few years, Liz had endured the brutal murders of both her brother B.J., whom she has paid tribute to with the flourishing garden at the site of his death on Beach Channel Drive; and also the loss of her fiancé, Michael Andrews, who was murdered in the WTC attack. Liz has paid tribute to him, and the memory of the many others, with her beautiful photography, which can be seen in many local establishments. You may also commission her to do personalized artwork by contacting her at firstname.lastname@example.org. I couldn't help but notice this beautiful fragrance she was wearing; and when I asked her what it was, she simply said, "Michael" (the new fragrance by Michael Kors). However, as I write this column, it has now hit me why she may have chosen it.
Also at the Irish Circle was Dr. Joseph Sharkey!! He was out on the town with the guys! The Sharkey men are just that! However, they really hadn't a choice! They are the sons of Dr. Kathleen and Professor Tom Sharkey!
***Although I will miss their spectacular Sunday Brunch or dining al fresco on sunny afternoons, the Beach Club will continue to boast the finest catering facilities, on premises or off, for all your personal or corporate entertaining. You can still enjoy their elaborate menu at The Sunset Diner on the bay. I wish the Goods, who have done so much philanthropic good for Rockaway, the best in their continued service to Rockaway.
***Although it's been quite some time since my days on campus, it was thrilling to be invited to the inauguration of newly appointed Columbia University President Lee Bollinger. In his inaugural speech, Mr. Bollinger, addressed the throng of over 3,000 and spoke of his praise for the university's place in the city, as well as his intentions to expand its presence in various Columbia owned properties through out the city. There
was also a luncheon for alumni and invited dignitaries hosted by Mr. Bollinger.
***Received a postcard from Mary and Jim Kelly who have by now, returned from their holiday in Paris, England, Scotland, and Ireland, where the newlyweds met for the first time, members from both their clans. I look forward to their inspiration in the community for many years to come!
***Congratulations to Rockaway Music and Arts Council President Barbara Eisenstadt, its membership, and sponsors on their fabulous Fall Crafts Fair. The weather was absolutely perfect.... as Marvin promised!
See you.... On the Beach!