The news has been filled with happenings around Breezy Point: A whale washed up on the ocean side and a woman’s body washed ashore on the bayside. Then, on the bright side, news of the Opportunity Blessing gutted and constructed a new home for resident Barbara Joyce who was left homeless, as so many others. The beautiful volunteers and their organizations make such a difference. A big, big thank you for all the volunteers. The storm beat down on Kennedy’s on the Bay Restaurant. Sandy waters flooded the bar and dining and kitchen areas and created so much destruction they may not reopen till the end of August. They are working hard and hoping it will be sooner, but time will tell. Donald Ritter’s Surf Shop was completely washed out as was Marilyn Travel next door and the food market. Local businesses have no financing. It is so tough on so many and a loss to all, even their customers. The whole community is like an empty shell on the sands of time. And, that shell has to be filled with hope, hard work and love to restore it to life again. It has been a bitter, cold winter, felt more by the homeless and those with torn and broken homes. With prayer, time, kindness and more help on the way and spring weather on the horizon, a faster recovery will be forthcoming.
In my adventures around NYC, I met a dad, Joe Carullo, spokesman for Casey Jewelry Designs, owned with long time buddy, Lenny Krol, who is worried about his daughter, Samantha Carullo who lives in Belle Harbor with her mother Marilyn Martin. Their home was severely damaged and is being reconstructed. Her dad, who will turn a frown into a smile instantly with his winning personality, fears for her safety in future storms and would like her to move to safer grounds in NYC. However, so many Rockaway residents love the area and people so much it is hard to relocate. There is talk about erecting ocean barriers to prevent water overflow in future storms. We should take tips from the Netherlands.
As a surprised guest of Lynne Ryan, owner and host of Chefs to Dine For, I enjoyed a palate pleasing, elegant evening among gracious, heartwarming people who love food, wine and congeniality at the SD26 Restaurant in NYC. Upon entrance I was offered a glass of champagne which I sipped while I nibbled on succulent appetizers that was set before us on a buffet table and chatted with some of the guests. Sitting across from me at dinner was Tracey Reilly, friends of Bob and Annie Tracey of Tracey Real Estate in Breezy Point. Tracey Reilly, in her quest to find new and interesting restaurants, enjoyed the evening with her mom and best friend so much they will come back again. I can’t say enough about Lynne Ryan. She does such a superb job hosting Chefs to Dine For, it is impossible not to feel welcome and part of a family group. We all met Marisa May and Tony May of the SD26 Restaurant across from Madison Park and Chef Matteo Bergamini, who prepared for us a six course tasting of uovo raviolo, sea bass, venison and more, pairing each course with some of the best wines I have tasted. Pietro Romani of the ID Beverage Group presented the Abraxas wine pairings. The grapes were grown in Pantellera, Italy close to the Mediterranean Sea.
At the end of the evening there was a jovial feeling of compatibility and culinary satisfaction. I can still hear the laughter and tingling of glasses. You knew everyone had a fine dining experience. Pick up your spirits and get out of the doldrums and join a group for Chefs To Dine For. They also combine dinners and lunches with Broadway Shows. Thank you Lynn Ryan for your graciousness. I truly enjoyed! And, you will, too.
Travel: The Baglioni Hotels presented their gorgeous luxury hotels in London, Madrid and Italy. All five star hotels in the heart of the cities. When on vacation or on business, to live in the lap of luxury is to make your stay in a Baglioni Hotel. They are truly, truly beautiful.
Czech Republic put on a Beer Fest at the Bohemian Cultural Center to show the best of their country. Each guest received a huge mug in which to fill Pilsen’s beer accompanied by pass around tidbits. When you are in the Czech Republic visit Pilsen’s historical, underground brewery, museum and gift shop.
There are many Jewish Heritage sites: Synagogues and Ghettos filled with tragic history and castles and chateaux. You can hike, motorcycle, rent a car or go by bus.
And, AWAY WE GO!!!