Victoria’s Secrets: Joyous moments in a week

Keith Michele Diego Celeste
(From l. to r.) Keith Fiocca, Diego Garcia, Michelle Miller and Celeste Alamin.

Marvelous Monday, our company’s weekly sales meeting, took on a new meaning of being “marvelous” when we had the Bethpage Best of Queens celebration Monday night at the historic Douglaston Manor.

It was a celebration of all the people who had won the Bethpage Best of the Boro competition we hold annually. Claudia Hubbard, who has owned the stunningly located manor house for over a decade, has lovingly restored the historic catering hall, perched right at the highest point of
the Douglaston Golf Club. I enjoyed the beautiful views from the outdoor patio.

The party was inside and out as people mingled and enjoyed seeing each other after having had to put a hold on the Bethpage Best of the Boro celebrations because of COVID. We were back! And what a celebration it was!

I love that there were some old winners and new who had joined the remarkable competition where thousands of people vote who they think is the best at what they do.

Old friend Paul Halvatzis of Amorelli Real Estate, who has won repeatedly for the Best Real Estate category, brought his whole staff who danced the night away and enjoyed their victory. Another repeat winner, Christie&Co., whose CEO Lois Christie has won multiple awards for many years. Bantry Bay Publick House won Best Bartender for the signature cocktail they served, the BORO-Tinis, while another company, Honeygramz, won Best Local Raw Honey and distributed samples.

We are very grateful to Bethpage Federal Credit Union, who sponsors the contest and whose leadership, including AVP of Marketing Jenna Amato, came to congratulate all the winners.

Bethpage Federal Credit Union AVP for Marketing Jenna Amato

The room rocked with the reliable Bravo Sound inspiring everyone to get up and dance. But the highlight of the night was the Elvis Presley impersonator Lamar Peters, whom everyone loved to hear as he belted out one favorite Presley song after another. I shut my eyes and I thought the real Elvis was in the house!

Elvis impersonator Lamar Peters

We all lingered over the delicious dinner and grand finale at an ice cream station, where I shamelessly ate my chocolate ice cream with gobs of creamy whipped cream. What a way to end a perfect joyous, celebratory night.

Thanks to my marvelous team for the “Best of ” program, Celeste, Michele, Roberta, Keith aided by Demetra, it was a glorious night and one for the memory books!

Then, later in the week, my theater producer Emmy Award-winning friend Wendy Federman invited me to the opening night of “New York, New York.” It’s memorable lyrics “… if you can make it here you can make it anywhere,” inspire me. It was a great opportunity to see how
they built a show around that great song.

Victor Garber and
Wendy Federman

There was a pre-party of mingling and cocktails just a block away from the theater and we walked over to “walk the red carpet” as Wendy pointed out to me, some of the 40 producers, and artists from lighting to costuming to set design who were lined up to walk the red carpet.

I was tickled to see Lin-Manuel Miranda, who created “Hamilton” and was one of the writers of the show’s music with the iconic John Kander.

With Lin-Manuel Miranda

Walking into the theater, I saw sitting on the aisle the legendary performer, writer, choreographer and genius Joel Grey. I bent over to tell him how I adored his work and he planted a kiss on my cheek.

With Joel Grey

It was a night to see and be seen. Oh yes, and to see the show! The play is loosely inspired by the original movie directed by Martin Scorsese, starring Robert DeNiro and Liza Mannelli. The storyline is like a “Romeo and Juliet” kind of experience set in Manhattan after World War II. The show-stopper was the last number where the orchestra rose up dramatically with the star singer Anna Uzele appearing center stage with bright lights brilliantly lighting the set as she belted out the theme song, “New York, New York.” It brought the audience to their feet and roaring with applause! It was an exhilarating moment, just what theater can do for you!

After the talented cast took their bows, a surprise guest walked onto the stage: New York City Mayor Eric Adams. He spoke eloquently to the fact that New York is not coming back, New York IS back! And from the crowds I saw on the streets and the packed theater, he is so right.

What a perfect ending to a great night of theater.

Later in the week, I was at a power party led by Frank Sorrentino, CEO of ConnectOne Bank and supporter of the East Hampton Community Alliance, at Tutto Caffe in Easthampton.

(From l. to r.) Frank and Nancy Sorrentino at Tutto Caffe with owner Gianpaolo de Felice

He gave the small gathering of powerful people an update on what’s happening at the East Hampton Airport. The plan is for the pilots to respect the agreed-upon plans for air travel and the town to work together, keeping the airport operating.