The days grow short, the darkness comes and the year comes to an end. This is the time of year when one looks back at the year and sizes things up. It’s time for the Best of Williston Park list where I have a chance to reminisce about what were the most fun columns.
I have done 50 columns over the past year and here are my favorites:
No. 10 Kitchen Kabaret: I realize it’s a taboo to begin my Best of Williston Park list with a store in Roslyn Heights but this is one very special place.
The patriarch and owner is Jim King who can still be seen handing out samples of sushi or gourmet pizza to his smiling customers. This gourmet deli which is modeled after Balducci’s is a product of years of loving attention from not only Jim but his son and his able staff. If you want a treat go visit Kitchen Kabaret on Glen Cove Road.
No. 9 A Photographer’s Place: Over the last two years I have learned that Williston Park has much hidden talent. One such a talent is Michael Horowitz who happens to be a world renowned print maker and photographer with a studio right here at 487 Willis Ave.
I will always be indebted to him for teaching me that good portrait photographer means catching the subject at work and when they are unguarded.
No. 8 Pembroke Cleaners: Mr. and Ms. Kim get my vote because of their unwavering good will, grace and sweetness.
No. 7 Jessica Merrick of Fiorano Gallery: Meeting Jessica was a bright point of the year for me because of her bravery. I walked into her shop a few months ago, told her I was completing a series on the women of Williston Park and asked if she might like to chat. I know that being interviewed by a journalist is usually threatening and the subject both gender and race made this a walk through the mine field. But she said sure why not and it all went like silk. This is one nice woman.
No. 6 The Talented Dr. Brook: For me the year 2014 will go down as the year of the ingrown toenail. So my new best friend is Dr. Brook and his sidekick Dr. Einhorn who have both somehow been able to keep me ambulatory the whole year long.
No. 5 An American in Paris: The highlight of the year was my visit to Paris. I am indebted to my publisher Steve Blank for letting me write about a town that is 3,631 miles from Williston Park. That’s even further than Roslyn Heights. Paris is simply the world’s greatest dream. It has incomparable beauty and grace and I advise you to put it on top of your bucket list. D
No. 4 The Love Lesson: Just a few weeks ago I decided to write about love in Williston Park and asked Angela and John Williams what they know of it. I learned that love may start with a kiss but ends with a big booming adventure which typically includes kids that wind up teaching you about how to live life.
No. 3 Dr. Sue Welgrin: Susan Welgrin is Williston Park’s most valuable asset. She is a general practitioner that is always available, knows how to diagnosis and follows up on every visit with a phone call. Some day they may erect a statue in her honor. I know I would donate to that project.
No. 2 The most interesting man in Williston Park: this article was a spoof on the famous beer ad with the 65 year old bearded guy surrounded by nice looking chicks. The funny thing about the piece was that I got a few phone calls from guys complaining that they thought they were more interesting then Steve Parmett who one the contest. Such is the danger of humor.
No. 1 Letter from Michelle Obama: This event will be one that I cherish til the day I die and is a testament to always having unrealistic dreams. I started dreaming about corresponding with the President two years ago. I wrote an open letter to the president in a column and sent these columns to the White House in hope that President Obama or the First Lady would respond.
For years I have jokingly said that someday I will have lunch in the White House. My friends would look at me strangely when I said these things and would say, “The President is not going to write you a personal letter.”
But I kept on trying and sending my columns and letters and then guess what happened? One day I walked to the mailbox and what did I find but a large manila envelope with the name The White House on top.
I nearly passed out and when I got back to my office and I opened it inside I found a nice letter from the First Lady Michelle Obama and a signed photograph of her and her husband thanking me for my good work and my columns. Never stop dreaming and never give up on your dreams.
And I got this letter simply because I have written about the good people of Williston Park. Who would have guessed?