2006-08-18 / Columnists

On The Beach

Why Go To Southampton?
With Beverly Baxter

BEVERLY BAXTERBEVERLY BAXTER I hope you were able to fare well during the most recent barbarous heat wave. It was dreadful; yet it reminded me once again just how lucky we are to live here. Getting through it was made easier by the thought that as I left my office on the mainland, I was fortunate enough to be driving all the way south, 'til I see the blue cool waters of the Atlantic; and when I get home I can just change clothes, change gears and jump into that ocean for an evening swim! I couldn't get into the water fast enough. It didn't much matter that I lost a pair of sunglasses and that I had forgotten to take off my earrings. It was that ahhhh of a feeling that is why we cherish living here. It was great seeing Herb and Marie Villanueva and sharing our appreciation.

My family constantly asks me to join them in Southampton; yet the notion of getting into a car and making that nearly two hour exodus to the east end seems ludicrous when we have it all right here. How wonderful!

And because many of us feel passionate about living here, we fervently care about what happens here. In response to the interest in the proposed changes to the current covenants of each area's particular zoning; and the Community Planning Board 14's request for input from the various civic associations, the Rockaway Homeowners and Residents Association will host an informative evening to address, gain a consensus and help clarify the issue.

Many are under the ill-advised that we are being faced with an entire zoning change when in fact what we are asked to consider is whether or not to change the restrictions that are already attached to a particular zoning.

Of course, how one answers this question will be determined by where one lives and for how long one plans to remain where they live. An increase in the current restrictions will inhibit what a builder can build; and thus, make the land less profitable to the builder and the seller. A relaxation of the current restrictions attached to a particular zoning will make the land more valuable because a builder can build more. The Neponsit Property Owners conducted a study of their zoning restrictions and decided to keep the current restrictions.

The Belle Harbor Property Owners have determined that they would like to see more restrictive ordinances of their zoning. Those who reside in Rockaway Park will have a chance to weigh in on the issue at the association's next General Meeting, which will be held at The Beach Club on Tuesday, August 22 at 7:30 p.m. The invited guest speaker will be William Gati, President of the Queens Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, who will address the issue as it pertains to each particular zone in our area. A most updated form of the Zoning Handbook of the NYC Zoning Resolution, a 35 page excerpt of the portion that applies to our area (from Far Rockaway to Neponsit), will be handed out at the meeting. The evening will help answer questions of each particular zone, i.e.: do we introduce more restrictions on parking? Or less? Do we reduce or increase F.A.R (floor area ratio)? Do we impose more or less on set-back and height restrictions? Plan to attend this most informative evening. Refreshments will be served.

And the winners are! The Peninsula Hospital Center Auxiliary, a volunteer fundraising arm of the hospital center, had its raffle drawing at its regular meeting on August 1. First Prize winners who received three thousand dollars each are: Anne Marie McNierney, Joan Coogan and Marion Munns, a new member of the auxiliary. Second Prize winners who received one thousand dollars each are: Peggy Conroy and Ellen Deixler. Gert Olchek deserves special recognition for having sold the most tickets! A ten thousand dollar check was presented to Bob Levine, PHC's President and Chief Executive Officer, a compilation of proceeds raised from this raffle, as well as from many fundraising activities of the PHC Auxilians. The check will go toward the Mammography Unit. The auxilians will celebrate their fifth anniversary at a fete that is being planned for September. The occasion will also mark the installation of newly elected board member Florence Epstein. The date and venue will be announced at the PHC Auxiliary's next general meeting which is held the first Tuesday, at noon, of every month. You are warmly invited to attend. Congratulations to all the raffle winners and to Co-Presidium Anne Levine and Sheila Shwartz who continue to do an exemplary job on behalf of the hospital center and the community.

***The sign read: "Closed Today August 5th Until Further Notice"; and with that, rumors were flying fast and furious about the fate of Tiberio's, the landmark restaurant for Northern Italian Cuisine. Calls there went unanswered, as did my personal line to Tina, my favorite waitress. Oh where oh where could you be?! I do hope that things are well with Raymone, Rudy, Tina and that we will see the entire staff soon. You are missed!

***The line, however, was out the door and it was standing-room only at The Belle Harbor Steakhouse where owners Mike and Jimmy (A.K.A. "the Pope") were serving up delicious fare and doing all they could to accommodate the throngs who waited to be seated. Mike and Jimmy, who have collaborated in their friendship and business relationship for more than forty years, are from the "old school" of restaurateurs. Mike, always in suit and tie, personally greets his patrons at the door. Service is often table-side and always impeccable. Individual coffee or tea pots, table-settings and table cloths make for an ambiance that has a club or hotel feel.

In addition to their eclectic dinner menu (they boast the best Oysters on the half shell!) they offer a marvelous breakfast and lunch menu, as well as an opulent Sunday Brunch (featuring the best Nova Scotia Lox!). You will be treated to great service by Christopher, Sheila, Javier, Molly and Beth (the twins!), Greg, Jesse, and the rest of their fine staff.

Join them for a delightful dining experience! Bon Appetit!

***I'd like to welcome my friend Eric Ulrich to The Wave's family of Columnists. Eric, who will have his own By-Line, will author a column expressing the Republican point of view. Stuart Mirsky's column, of The Rockaway Irregular, has recently been temporarily suspended due to his current bid for the State Assembly seat. Mirsky has been triumphant thus far in obtaining the endorsement of all three lines of the Republican, Conservative and Independent on the ballot. Ulrich, an accomplished writer who is well versed on local politics is a splendid choice to author the column.

***See you...On the Beach!

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