Dishing with Dee: Holiday party season in Queens comes to a merciful end

Dishing with Dee: Holiday party season in Queens comes to a merciful end
By Dee Richard

I do hope everyone had a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah and happy whatever other holidays are being observed at this time of the year. I hope that Santa was good to you and hope you received everything that you wanted and wanted everything you received.

What do you think of this terrible blizzard we find ourselves in the midst of? While the weathermen predicted snow, they surely didn’t expect this amount. The stores will be very disappointed, as they offer all sorts of marvelous markdowns to make room for the new spring merchandise during the few days after Christmas. This generally is a good time of year to find great bargains, but no sale could possibly be worth braving this kind of weather. But then again, it is winter, and that’s when snow happens. The upside is that all the snow bunnies and ski resort owners will be celebrating, as it’s their kind of weather. Thankfully, it is not expected to last very long from what they say, only a day or two.

It is a tradition in the Beechhurst/Robinwood area of northeast Queens for carolers to serenade all the local residents with a medley of holiday songs. It’s lots of fun and one of the events that everyone looks forward to each year. Their last stop is usually in front of Gary and Suzanne Bonelli’s house at 164th and Cryders Lane. When they finish their rendition, the Bonellis invite them all in for hot chocolate, apple cider and egg nog, as well as an assortment of cookies, candies, cakes, fruits and so on.

In case you haven’t guessed, the Bonelli family is a really hospitable one, and they take the spreading of holiday cheer seriously. Thank goodness Sunday was not the night the carolers were scheduled to sing. Can you imagine what a catastrophe that would have been?

After the open house at the Bonellis’, we went over to Valentino’s, where they were also having an open house. I had seriously considered having the Salute to Frank Padavan party there. Unfortunately for them, but fortunately for us, more people wanted to attend then they had the capacity to accommodate. Proprietor Giorgio Kolaj is a very affable and charming host and we have always enjoyed ourselves there, whether we were having a delicious meal or just a pleasant drink at the bar. Thank goodness that those two parties on Thursday night were the last we had to cover until after the New Year. While occasional parties are lots of fun, when you have to get to several a day, seven days a week, the fun part starts to wear off, and believe it or not, what should be fun starts to be a tedious drag.

Although the official party season is all over, we still have our own personal biggie, the Salute to Sen. Frank Padavan. The response to the invitations far exceeded our expectations and everyone had wonderful stories to tell about a personal experience of his going above and beyond the norm to help them solve their problems. While he is a lifelong Republican, if you went to his office to get information, advice or help, he never asked what party you belonged to or even if you lived in his district. If he could possibly help, he did. He is that type of man and I, for one, shall miss him terribly. He is too valuable a resource to waste and I am sure that some agency somewhere will pick him up and utilize his vast knowledge and experience. Thank you, Frank, for your 38 years of service to your constituents and our communities.

This column is going to be rather short this week — in fact, we are ending it now, as we have been having off-and-on power shortages, and while we still have electricity I will now be e-mailing this column to the paper. It will not be printed till the day after Padavan’s party, so we will fill you in with all the details of the party the following Thursday.

Due to the impossibility of driving on the roads, I will not be able to deliver my usual Focus on Queens photo page.

That’s it for this week.

We look forward to hearing from you directly with information on people, parties, and politics or some plain old-fashioned gossip.

I look forward to receiving your voicemail at 718-767-6484, your faxes at 718-746-0066 and your e-mail at [email protected].

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