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AN ANTON MEDIA GROUP PUBLICATION • FALL 2017

M A G A Z I N E

OUT ON THE OPEN SEA

Chartering a yacht for the day

Chef Scott Conant’s favorite Italian flavors Off the beaten path with Main Street dining

PLUS

Falaise The historic cliffside mansion goes back in time


Douglas Elliman Real Estate congratulates Maggie Keats, our #1 Long Island Broker, on another great achievement:

REAL TRENDS “AMERICA’S BEST REAL ESTATE AGENTS” Ranked #59 by Volume, NY, NJ, CT 2017

110 WALT WHITMAN ROAD, HUNTINGTON STATION, NY 11746. 631.549.7401 | © 2017 DOUGLAS ELLIMAN REAL ESTATE. ALL MATERIAL PRESENTED HEREIN IS INTENDED FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY. WHILE, THIS INFORMATION IS BELIEVED TO BE CORRECT, IT IS REPRESENTED SUBJECT TO ERRORS, OMISSIONS, CHANGES OR WITHDRAWAL WITHOUT NOTICE. ALL PROPERTY INFORMATION, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO SQUARE FOOTAGE, ROOM COUNT, NUMBER OF BEDROOMS AND THE SCHOOL DISTRICT IN PROPERTY LISTINGS SHOULD BE VERIFIED BY YOUR OWN ATTORNEY, ARCHITECT OR ZONING EXPERT. EQUAL HOUSING OPPORTUNITY.


READY TO SELL? LOOKING TO BUY?

I T ’ S

Karen Newhouse

Branch Manager,

T I M E

Jill Berman

Dana Blum

F O R

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E L L I M A N

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PORT WASHINGTON OFFICE

475 Port Washington Blvd 516.883.5200

elliman.com N E W Y O R K C I T Y | LO N G I S L A N D | T H E H A M P TO N S | W E S TC H E S T E R | C O N N E C T I C U T | N E W J E R S E Y | F LO R I D A | C A L I FO R N I A | C O LO R A D O | I N T E R N AT I O N A L 110 WALT WHITMAN ROAD, HUNTINGTON STATION, NY, 11746. 631.549.7401 | © 2017 DOUGLAS ELLIMAN REAL ESTATE.

EQUAL HOUSING OPPORTUNITY.


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Manhasset | $2,999,995. Set on 1.5 flat manicured acres in Flower Hill, this 5 bedroom, 3.55 bath light-filled home features a spacious gourmet kitchen and Great Room with vaulted ceilings. Web# 2937696 Irene (Renee) Rallis C: 516.241.9848

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Port Washington | $1,799,000. Nearly 4,200 sf of sun-filled living space. Five bedroom Center Hall Colonial on .6 acres in the Estates section has an open floor plan with oversized rooms. Generator. Beach and mooring with membership and dues. Web# 2939414 Maggie Keats C: 516.449.7598

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Sands Point | $4,990,000. Stunning shingle style residence evokes Hamptons beachfront living. Custom built to the highest standards. Spectacular grounds with pool and outfitted pool house. Web# 2852653 Maggie Keats C: 516.449.7598

OLD WESTBURY ARCHITECTURAL GEM

Old Westbury | $2,995,000. Iconic Estate with 5 bedrooms on magnificent property has been exceptionally restored top to bottom. Saline pool, putting green, more. Web# 2905921 Maggie Keats C: 516.449.7598

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Port Washington | $1,749,000. Half-acre of lush grounds. Updated and restored. New kitchen, central air conditioning and wood floors throughout. In-ground pool with outdoor shower and hot tub. Web# 2933007 Irene Racanelli C: 516.967.4545; Kathy Orioli C: 516.220.0781

PORT WASHINGTON OFFICE

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elliman.com 110 WALT WHITMAN ROAD, HUNTINGTON STATION, NY, 11746. 631.549.7401 © 2017 DOUGLAS ELLIMAN REAL ESTATE. ALL MATERIAL PRESENTED HEREIN IS INTENDED FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY. WHILE, THIS INFORMATION IS BELIEVED TO BE CORRECT, IT IS REPRESENTED SUBJECT TO ERRORS, OMISSIONS, CHANGES OR WITHDRAWAL WITHOUT NOTICE. ALL PROPERTY INFORMATION, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO SQUARE FOOTAGE, ROOM COUNT, NUMBER OF BEDROOMS AND THE SCHOOL DISTRICT IN PROPERTY LISTINGS SHOULD BE VERIFIED BY YOUR OWN ATTORNEY, ARCHITECT OR ZONING EXPERT. EQUAL HOUSING OPPORTUNITY.


Glen Cove Sands Point

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Heidi has listed or sold a property near you. Thinking of buying or selling? Schedule an appointment today. 516.467.9440 heidi.karagianis@elliman.com

Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Douglas Elliman Platinum Award Recipient 2016 Office: 516.365.2257 www.heidikaragianis.elliman.com

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110 WALT WHITMAN ROAD, HUNTINGTON STATION, NY, 11746. 631.549.7401 | © 2017 DOUGLAS ELLIMAN REAL ESTATE.

EQUAL HOUSING OPPORTUNITY.


Village Club of Sands Point 2018 Promotion: Join a Full Golf Membership Now at 2017 Prices for 2018 (15 Months for the Price of 12) Includes 18-hole golf course, 12 tennis courts, 3 platform tennis courts, baseball and softball fields, Olympic-sized swimming pool with a view of the bay, baseball court, elegant mansion dining rooms, plus casual dining at the Grille.

No initiation fee or assessments. Dues must be paid in full upfront. For more information call 516-944-7400 or email memberaccounts@villageclub.org 1 Thayer Lane, Sands Point, NY 11050 www.villageclub.org


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Contents

22

8

Letter from the Publisher

12

Sail Away With Me

18

Publisher vs. Publisher

22

Mambo Italiano

26

Tick Tock

30

One Woman’s Vision

40

Main Street Dining

47

Behind The Lens

50

Center Stage

It’s autumn for Port Washington News Magazine By Angela Susan Anton

Long Island Boat Rental provides a unique yachting experience on Manhasset Bay By Christina Claus Media giants Condé Montrose Nast and William Randolph Hearst Sr. left their marks on Sands Point By Jennifer Fauci Famed chef Scott Conant shares his love of Italian cuisine and highlights his new Manhattan eatery By Jennifer Fauci

Sands Point Shop slows down the passage of time with clock repair and restoration By Jennifer Fauci The Helen Keller National Center celebrates 50 years By Joseph Catrone

Off-the-water establishments take comfort food to a whole new level By Alexandra Civorelli Capturing the beauty of the North Shore By Tom D’Emic

Port Washington showcases talent in visual and performing arts By Elizabeth Johnson

Cover photo by Alex Nuñez

53

A Charitable Community

58

Vintage Treasures

61

Fantasy at Falaise

64

A Heartbroken Home

69

My Port Washington

58

For years, Port Washington’s benevolent Cow Neck Historical Society has helped many organizations By Elizabeth Johnson Antique shops on Main Street hold the key to historic items of the past By Kimberly Dijkstra The Guggenheim mansion is one of Sands Point’s architectural gems By Jennifer Fauci The tragic tale of Baxter House, from stately home to ruin and despair By Frank Rizzo Residents share why Port Washington holds a special place in their hearts By Christina Claus

PORT WASHINGTON NEWS MAGAZINE

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Fall Is Here, Drive Safely Letter from the

Publisher

Welcome to Port Washington News Magazine

P

n o s r e f f e J

International Collision

J A

of Manhasset Since 1918

44 HILLSIDE AVENUE MANHASSET LOCATED REAR OF MANHASSET TRAIN STATION

365-5400 WE ARE ALWAYS THERE FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY A NAME YOU CAN TRUST

ort Washington’s roots go back to its importance as a sand-mining town in the 1870s, so it’s no surprise that this charming waterfront community is rich in history. With this latest issue of Port Washington News Magazine, our staff surfaces with stories that present a solid cross section of features that represent the cultural and culinary wonders that make Port so special. Jennifer Fauci casts a wide net with side-by-side biographical pieces on two of the publishing industry’s storied titans— Port Washington estate owners Condé Montrose Nast and William Randolph Hearst—but also brings us up to modern times by documenting the Sands Point Shop clock restoration. Jennifer also takes us on an architectural overview of Falaise and the iconic names associated with it, including Harold Gould and Daniel and Harry Guggenheim. Other nods to the past include Kimberly Dijkstra’s story on the antique shops and Frank Rizzo’s overview of the controversial Baxter House; how it became a historical property and the disputes surrounding it. Being based on the North Shore, the water plays such a major role in defining Port Washington. Our cover story features Christina Claus discovering how to rent yachts, kayaks and fishing gear from a number of outfits, including Long Island Boat Rental. Spending time in the Long Island town guarantees a healthy appetite. Port has no shortage of eateries and thanks to Alexandra Civorelli’s guide to dining on Main Street, we see the places the locals favor, including the Port Deli, Carlo’s Pizza and Ayhan’s Mediterranean. Thanks to Jennifer, we get to know famed chef Scott Conant better as he talks about his new Manhattan restaurant and love of Italian cuisine. In the end, it’s the people who call Port Washington home and their love of arts and culture that makes it such a special place. Elizabeth Johnson’s photo essay highlights children’s performances. In addition, Elizabeth shines a light on the Cow Neck Peninsula Historical Society and all the noteworthy, charitable endeavors they undertake throughout the year. It all makes for a great issue that I hope you’ll enjoy reading as much as we enjoyed putting it together. Angela Susan Anton


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Port Washington News MAGAZI NE

An Anton Media Group Publication

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KARL V. ANTON, JR. Publisher, 1984-2000

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FRANK A. VIRGA President

SHARI EGNASKO Executive Assistant

STEVE MOSCO Editor In Chief

JENNIFER FAUCI Managing Editor

ELIZABETH JOHNSON Editor

KAREN MENGEL

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ALEX NUÑEZ Art Director

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CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

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Joseph Catrone, Christina Claus, Alexandra Civorelli, Kimberly Dijkstra, Frank Rizzo

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Port Washington News 132 East Second Street, Mineola, NY 11501 Phone: 516-747- 8282 • Fax: 516-742-5867 advertising inquiries advertising@antonmediagroup.com circulation inquiries subscribe@antonmediagroup.com editorial submissions editorial@antonmediagroup.com To order extra copies of Port Washington News Magazine, call 516-403-5120. Hurry, available only while supplies last. Anton Media Group © 2017


Cruisin’ on Manhasset Bay By Christina Claus

S

itting on the front deck sun pads of the Cobalt 46, one may gaze out across the bay,

spying the blue sky that seems to alter color as it touches Manhasset Bay’s gentle wake, and feel a sense of serenity that only the quiet of slowly pulling out of Inspiration Wharf may bring. As the Long Island Boat Rentals charter yacht picks up speed, one might want to head to the seat situated on the bow to feel the wind in their hair or take in the views of the New York City skyline to the left and the greenery of the Port Washington coast to the right. The luxury express yacht cruiser, complete with two full cabins, a hydraulic swim platform for easy access to the water, a barbecue grill in the cockpit and surround sound stereos, is one of the five rental boats that Long Island Boat Rentals offers to get residents and tourists out on the

PORT WASHINGTON NEWS MAGAZINE

it to something I know so well. Sometimes it’s easy, but it’s also hard because I’m not an outside perspective. I’ve been boating my whole life and I had the opportunity to grow up under my dad who has been boating his whole life so it’s kind of something that gets passed down from generation to generation.” Before jumping on a boat, clients must either show Christian their competence of navigating the waters; take the accelerated safe powerboat handling or individual powerboat lessons offered by Long Island Boat Rentals; or pay the additional $50 an hour for a captain to accompany them out onto the waters. Christian explained that many renters enjoy having a captain because they don’t have to focus on driving the boat and can fully relax while the captain adds to the experience by sharing information about the area. “I feel like I really get to know people when I go out with them on the water because they’re

Photos by Alex Nuñez

12

water in Port Washington. “We’re trying to make the water easily accessible to anybody,” says Long Island Boat Rentals principal William Gordon. “People move to Port Washington for the water and then they never go out on it. The typical concept is that they want to go out on the water but don’t know how to get out on the water because they don’t have a boat and don’t know how to drive one. This is a necessary service in Port Washington to get people engaged in the water, but we bring people from all over the island and the tri-state area.” Gordon realized boat rentals were a thriving business when he went to visit a friend in California who had a sailboat that he would share with others. After being able to jump on the boat, go sailing, dock and get off without having to complete any maintenance or fuel the boat up, Gordon was impressed. However, it wasn’t until 2013 that Gordon decided to purchase Long Island Boat Rentals from the previous owner for his son, Christian. “Being given the business was really cool, but I didn’t even have time to think about it,” explains Christian. “I’m enjoying it. I’m learning so much about the ins and outs of business and marketing. I learned them at school but now I have to apply


Cruising the bay: On board the Cobalt yacht as it sails around Manhasset Bay.

PORT WASHINGTON NEWS MAGAZINE

XX


When people come out I ask what they would like to do, what they would like to see,

Cruise To A Plethora Of Places

New York, NY A 40-minute ride on a Long Island Boat Rental can get renters a trip around to the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan, allowing for breathtaking views of the skyline and bridges.

—Christian Gordon in a very comfortable environment,” says Christian. While some use Long Island Boat Rentals as a unique opportunity to entertain business clients, create a bonding experience between employees or propose to their future spouse, many use the company to sail around the bay for four to six hours to fish or simply take in the views of Sands Point and the exquisite homes it has to offer, similar to those in The Great Gatsby or the home used to film scenes in The Wolf of Wall Street. Long Island Boat Rentals operates from mid-April to late October, giving renters the perfect excuse to play hooky from work and bringing the people of Port Washington and the tri-state area the ability to get out onto the water to explore the areas around them. “When people come out I ask what they would like to do, what they would like to see,” says Christian. “Would you like to just get out on the water and spend quality time with your friends or would you like to explore new places? Some people just want to be on the water. On Friday nights, people will do a dinner cruise and then they’ll catch the fireworks at Rye Playland Park on the way back. People love to go to Prime in Huntington for

14

dinner and I take them to Oyster Bay or Greenwich, CT.” Along with the company’s daily rental service, Long Island Boat Rentals recently began offering a commuter service to help residents skip traffic with a relaxing boat ride. Christian is looking to expand the commuter service by offering packages to Mets games, so residents can ride over to Citi Field, watch a matinée game and then get a scenic ride back. “I took people to a bunch of the concerts at Citi Field, so instead of renting a taxi or taking the train, we picked them up in Glen Cove and took them for a two hour pre-concert boat ride and dropped them off,” says Christian. “You can dock your boat cheaper than you can park your car. We want people to be spontaneous.” Long Island Boat Rentals offers a variety of opportunities to get out on the water in Port Washington. “We’re 20 minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the city, but you can get out here and feel like you’re somewhere else,” says Christian.

PORT WASHINGTON NEWS MAGAZINE

Jersey City, NJ Christian usually takes locals over to the Liberty House in Jersey City where they get a view of the downtown Manhattan skyline while grabbing a bite to eat or taking in the scenic sights of Liberty State Park.

City Island, NY On a hot summer day or even a cool September afternoon, take five friends and head to the City Island Lobster House for three hours for a lobster tail plate or some jumbo shrimp scampi. Long Island Boat Rentals offers a City Island Lobster House deal during the week for lunch and a scenic 25-minute ride at $90 a person.

Connecticut Hop on a boat rental for 50 minutes to Greenwich or an hour to Stamford’s waterfront. While in Greenwich, one can explore multiple parks and beaches; Stamford has rows of restaurants to offer including their own Prime restaurant.

Mamaroneck, NY Mamaroneck is the perfect place for an adventure because boaters can dock and walk into town to visit restaurants like Bar Harbor Grill or Sedona Tap House. “It’s really cool because you can dock locally and walk into town,” says Christian. “It’s kind of more like a Port Washington than other towns. You can just dock, tie up and walk into town.”

Top: Bill (front) and Christian Gordon of Long Island Boat Rentals love giving people a unique boating experience. Left: The inside of one of the company’s beautiful boats.


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Magazine Magnates Once upon a time, William Randolph Hearst Sr. and Condé Montrose Nast were the kings of Sands Point estates By Jennifer Fauci

T

he beautiful waterfront town of Port Washington is populated with sailboats, fresh seafood, luxurious shopping and grand estates. It is also satiated in literary history. Famed American publishers William Randolph Hearst and Condé Montrose Nast both have ties to one of Long Island’s wealthiest areas. Today, their publishing companies, Hearst Communications and Condé Nast, respectively, are the biggest mass media companies in the industry. William Randolph Hearst Sr. was born on April 29, Condé Montrose Nast 1863. The businessman, politician and newspaper publisher became one of the greatest names of his time and left an indelible mark on media as we know it today. Hearst entered the publishing business in 1887 when his father gave him

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PORT WASHINGTON NEWS MAGAZINE

The San Francisco Journal. Upon a move to New York City, he acquired The New York Journal. A pioneer of yellow journalism, Hearst, who was now in command of at least 30 newspaper chains, influenced the popularity of human interest stories. The brand expanded to magazines, with leading titles such as Cosmopolitan and Good Housekeeping at the helm. When The Great Gatsby was published in 1925, many believed that a certain Sands Point waterfront estate served as the inspiration for Jay Gatsby’s mansion in the William Randolph Hearst Sr. book. Hearst purchased said grand estate of Beacon Towers two years later, a buy that included the mansion, adjacent lighthouse and keeper’s house. When Hearst purchased the estate—which he


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Beacon Towers

Magazine Magnates Sandy Cay

referred to as Joan’s Castle—for his wife Millicent, the residence underwent a transformation. Hearst introduced his renowned collection of global art, American furniture and French paintings into the home. But while he was filling his mansion on Long Island, Hearst was also busy constructing one of the working at Collier’s grandest palatial estates to date. His most famous is Weekly with his former Hearst Castle, a Californian compound on oceanfront classmate Robert Collier. ranch land near the city of San Simeon. Architect Julia Condé Nast was founded in 1909, four years after Morgan was tasked to design the 90,000-square-foot the publisher purchased Vogue, transforming it from a behemoth home that included 56 bedrooms, 61 weekly newspaper publication into a monthly fashion bathrooms, 19 entertaining rooms, a private movie and lifestyle magazine highlighting women. In 1916, theater, tennis courts, indoor and outdoor the launch of British Vogue saw Nast When The Great swimming pools, 127 acres of gardens, an become the first American publisher of an airfield and the world’s largest zoo. Today, Gatsby was international publication, surpassing Hearst. the sprawling palace is now a museum. published in 1925, Around the same time Hearst purchased The publisher died on August 14, 1951, many believed that his Sands Point Estate, Nast designed one but 20 years earlier, had financial problems a certain Sands of his own. Known as Sandy Cay, Nast’s so great that he was forced to liquidate estate was designed in 1930 by Ferruccio Point waterfront most of his assets. Dedicated to his love of estate served as the Vitale. The vast landscaping and swimthe written word, Hearst managed to keep inspiration for Jay ming pool highlight the mansion, which all of his newspapers and magazines. Gatsby’s mansion Nast was able to enjoy until his death Born on March 26, 1873, 10 years after on September 19, 1942. Unfortunately in in the book. the birth of his future competitor, Condé 1954, the house burned to the ground, Montrose Nast was also an American publisher, leaving only the garage. businessman and entrepreneur. Known for founding Two magazine magnates. Two media companies. his own media company in Condé Nast, which includes Readers are loyal to Elle or Vogue; Harper’s Bazaar or Vogue, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker among dozens Vanity Fair. While the two publishing houses create of other titles, publishing was a second career choice. content around the world, let us not forget their Nast attended Georgetown University before earning founders’ quiet little spots on Long Island where it all a law degree from Washington University in St. Louis in began to blossom. 1897. Years of law school had not lit enough of a fire in (Additional information courtesy of Long Island Nast, who then embarked on his magazine career by University and the William Randolph Hearst Archive)

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PORT WASHINGTON NEWS MAGAZINE


47 Glen Cove Road | Greenvale | NY 11548 | Tel: 516.625.1787


The

Maestro of Pasta

Scott Conant shares his love of Italian food and the sweet meaning behind his new restaurant By Jennifer Fauci

Scott Conant, a visionary of old and new Italian cuisine, is a staple in the culinary world. (Photos by Nicole Franzen)

S

prezzatura is a philosophy that drives Scott Conant. The Italian word means the art of nonchalance and applies to the chef for making sophisticated elegance look effortless. When Food & Wine Magazine named Conant to its “Best New Chef” list in 2004, the world began to take note. Thirteen years later, Conant is recognizable as a chef, restaurateur and cookbook author, as well as a beloved television personality on several Food Network shows. The chef recently debuted Fusco, his first solo New York City restaurant in several years. Located at 43 East 20th Street, Fusco is named after Conant’s grandmother, Carminella Fusco, who not only fostered a love of cooking, but embodied an old-world hospitality that her grandson wants to honor. “It’s iconic. It was previously the restaurant Veritas, so it’s kind of hallowed ground for people in the restaurant world,” says Conant of his latest establishment. “I just wanted to make something special. An image of my grandmother with her huge pasta board making cavatelli and orecchiette is stuck in my mind’s eye, and that spirit of hospitality is why I wanted to name the restaurant Fusco.” The special little spot seats 60 and its plain and simple appearance both architecturally and in design is inherently

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elegant against the bustling backdrop of Gramercy. Throwing it back to the refined charm of how dining used to be, Fusco features a new-school Italian menu, including dishes like Hamchi Crudo, lamb’s neck, steamed turbot and duck agnolotti. Conant has also found success in several other restaurants, including Scarpetta, The Ponte Ristorante and Mora Italian. Conant also boasts a 3,000-square foot loft in the heart of SoHo aptly named Scott Conant’s Culinary Suite. But before he became a successful chef, Conant began where many others do: washing dishes. “In my hometown of Waterbury, CT, I was a dishwasher at a family friend’s restaurant. The first time I walked into a restaurant kitchen, I fell in love,” says Conant. “It was like walking onto a team. I could have been playing for the Yankees at that point, it didn’t matter. Just to have the


Some of Fusco’s delicious menu items: Pea Caesar salad (left), Garganelli pasta and Stromboli with pesto spread.

camaraderie and sense of teamwork.” Although he was in the kitchen at a young age with his family, Conant began making a name for himself when he moved to New York City 27 years ago and worked for San Domenico. The restaurant had just opened and Conant had never seen Italian food presented in such a way. “It was very fancy. That’s where I was really introduced to white truffles and super high-end caviars that I didn’t necessarily associate with Italian food,” says Conant, aware that at the time, Felidia in Manhattan and Valentine in Los Angeles were the high-end Italian restaurants in the country. “You look around now and see how much has changed. Disciples of those chefs have opened up their own restaurants. There’s these casual restaurants that use sophisticated, luxurious ingredients, so I feel like education of Italian food has changed.

Nobody was making agnolotti 12 to 15 years ago but now you’d be hard-pressed not to find them on restaurant menus.” In Conant’s view, the culinary landscape may have changed—even French restaurants are utilizing Italian ingredients and commodities—but the importance of pasta as a staple dish will never go out of style. Known as the Maestro of Pasta, Conant’s fresh varieties of pasta are mainstays on his menus and he continues to elevate the simple mixture of flour, salt and egg. “I started cooking pasta years ago and I got good at it. I like creating layers of flavors and the textures involved. I like how interesting it could become,” he says, adding that he and his team have been working on a milk-based, milk-filled pasta from Sorrento. “We’re putting squid ink, flecks of basil, andouille sausage and crisped-up pork belly that’s braised.

PORT WASHINGTON NEWS MAGAZINE

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The bar area at Fusco is bright and inviting. Below: one of the restaurant’s rich desserts, chocolate mousse.

It’s like a pancetta in the sense that it’s crisped up but doesn’t have the age on it. There’s a lot of different flavors, the fat and the spice. It’s the perfect bite that hits all parts of the flavor profiles.” While it may seem like a simple dish to make, cooking pasta has led many at-home chefs to make mistakes the minute they boil water without salting it, a move Conant can’t understand. “It should taste like broth. It’s a low-hanging fruit so to speak,” he says of the common kitchen error. “Another is being able to cook the pasta directly in the sauce 80 to 90 percent of the way in salted water and finishing in the sauce together. That will allow the pasta to cook right, but absorb the liquid from the sauce, releasing the starch and creating great texture.” With so many years of experience, it’s only right that Conant allows himself to make things up as he goes along. He shares that his style of food is a combination of inspiration from many people, but also the ability to create his own food and speak his own language. “I look at what a lot of people do and I have a tremendous amount of respect for it,” says Conant, attributing

24

his personal series of successes to someone who is always working on the bigger picture. “I worked hard to be recognizable but I think that TV and advertising platforms hopefully get people in the seats of the restaurant—but the celebrity aspect, that’s not my motivation. That started years ago, the Wolfgang Pucks of the world and celebrity chefs. That’s not a new phenomenon by any means.”

PORT WASHINGTON NEWS MAGAZINE

Conant has his hand in many ventures. Over the years he has published three cookbooks, Scott Conant’s New Italian Cooking (2005), Bold Italian (2008) and The Scarpetta Cookbook (2013). While he considers himself a cook first, he is also an entrepreneur whose wealth of knowledge has been beneficial for aspiring and up-andcoming chefs as well. His star on the Food Network walk of fame has served him well as a judge on Chopped and multiple other shows. “I had to figure out how to be self-critical and I really feel like I can help chefs be better. That was my main reason when I started doing Chopped,” he says. “Frankly, I’ll call BS when their egos get out of whack. I’m quick to point that out; that’s what they need to hear in order to learn and grow.” The chef’s plate overflows these days with a bevy of new projects, including a steakhouse in the Catskills and a cooking school component in Scottsdale, AZ, similar to his New York City culinary suite. Keep up with him by visiting www.scottconant.com and get a taste of Fusco the next time you’re in Manhattan.


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The Art Of

T me By Jennifer Fauci

C

uckoo clocks. Wall clocks. Mantle clocks. Grandfather clocks. Watches. Towards the back end of the Sands Point Shop is where time stands still as unique, antique and vintage clocks are waiting to be picked up by their owners. Laura Mazza is the merchandiser for the family-owned business and saw clock repair as a dying art that needed to be revived. “We started doing watch repairs and realized that people were coming from all over because they couldn’t find someone to help them. We expanded to clock repair about four years ago,” says Mazza, who is responsible for the store’s variety of specialty items such as clothing, jewelry, handbags and, of course, clocks. “It’s growing more and more that people are finding out about us.” Committed to quality and service, Sands Point Shop has been repairing watches for the past 20 years, fixing everything from a simple battery replacement to a complete restructuring of the watch. “Our repairmen are very resourceful but if they can’t find a part, the shop would make it by hand. We repair clocks from any store or shop; they don’t have to be purchased from us,” says Mazza. “We have great craftsmen and they’re very skilled at what they do.” The business was founded in Leghorn, Italy, in 1840 and according to Mazza, some heirloom clocks may have passed through the doors from that time period. “A lot of people inherit clocks that are so beautiful, they’re just not running, so we

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PORT WASHINGTON NEWS MAGAZINE

restore and refurbish them. Easily some of the oldest clocks we have seen are more than 100 years old,” says Mazza, adding that some of the most unique clocks have been grandfather clocks. “Some are from Switzerland, others have intricate detail and some have been in families for several generations.” The shop’s display of grandfather clocks is from the brand Howard Miller


and several towering timepieces can be seen on the floor. Although the store doesn’t make clocks, they do service every brand imaginable of watches and clocks including Rolex, Patek Philippe, Raymond Weil, Waltham, pocket watches and more. Perhaps what is most intriguing to those interested in a grandfather clock is the athome repair service offered by the shop. “We do make house calls. It is a $150 charge for the repairman to visit your home to determine what has to be done. If you like what the estimate is, we deduct $75 from the visit and that goes towards your repair,” says Mazza, noting that the shop’s customer coverage area extends from across Long Island to Montauk and all the way to Connecticut. “It takes about three to four weeks for a grandfather clocks repair, and after evaluations and repair work, the same time table is usually true for watches.” The store’s collection of grandfather clocks is based on style and what seems to be selling in the moment. While there

are more traditional cherry and mahogany wood clocks on display, there is a unique hourglass clock made of metal finished in aged iron that stands out. The working hourglass turns and is battery operated without the use of a timer or chime. Mazza says that the price range is diverse and that she can order a specific style for customers if they have different tastes and preferences. “Howard Miller has modern to traditional grandfather clocks as well as a beautiful line of wall clocks,” she says. “When a customer orders the clock, it is a white glove service. The clock is delivered to the home where someone assembles it, sets it and teaches you how to use it.” Time is a precious thing and for those like Mazza who want to preserve it, it’s a beautiful art worth saving. Sands Point Shop is located at 15 Main Street in Port Washington. For more information on the shop’s clock repair services, call 888-321-9477 or visit www. sandspointshop.com.

Time is a precious thing. Left: The unique Howard Miller Hourglass Grandfather Clock. Above: Howard Miller’s Arendal Grandfather Clock is a twist on the traditional shape. (Photos by Jennifer Fauci and Sands Point Shop)

PORT WASHINGTON NEWS MAGAZINE

27


A Great Place to Grow

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Beating The Odds For 50 Years And Beyond

Communicating using tactile sign language and touch signals

The Helen Keller National Center opens minds and hearts Sands Point’s Helen Keller National Center has developed into the only national comprehensive vocational rehab program for the deaf and blind

HKNC’s annual Helen’s Run/Walk

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PORT WASHINGTON NEWS MAGAZINE

By Joseph Catrone

A

lot can change in 50 years. Back in 1967, the United States was taking its first step towards providing better lives for the deafblind community with the passage of a set of amendments to the Vocation Rehabilitation Act, which, according to a bill signed by President Lyndon Johnson, was meant to “authorize assistance in establishment and operation of a national center for deaf-blind youths and adults.” Fast forward to today, the center’s namesake was long considered an anomaly in society, but in fact, more than 1 million adults around the world have a combined vision and hearing loss. ”At first, there was only Helen Keller,” says Allison Burrows, coordinator of information services at the Helen Keller National Center. “[People thought] she was the only deaf-blind person in the world. But guess what? That’s not true.” The center launched just one year before Keller’s death in 1968, but has managed to positively impact countless members of the deaf-blind community by embracing the same qualities that made Keller so extraordinary: positivity, perseverance and the desire to overcome all odds. “We want to change people’s mindsets around their perceptions about deaf-blindness,” says Susan Ruzenski, the center’s executive director for deaf-blind youths and adults. “If you have limited vision or hearing, you’re going to be working, you’re going to be able to succeed in life and be independent. You can do anything anybody else can do. You’re just going to do it a little bit differently.” Functioning as a training tool and de facto school, the center offers comprehensive assistance for tasks ranging from cooking, to arts and crafts, to


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are deaf-blind. So a lot of what people learn that is specific to what’s unique about working with people who are deaf-blind, happens on the job. It’s really through mentoring, coaching, experience, a whole team approach, and we learn a great deal from the people we work with every day, too.” A common misconception about the deaf-blind, Burrows notes, is that they have absolutely no vision or hearing whatsoever. In actuality, though each of the center’s students is legally deaf and legally blind, they have vastly different levels of vision and hearing loss; some are partially blind and fully deaf while others are partially deaf and mostly blind, and so on. Because of this, the center tailors its programs to suit the individual needs of each student to ensure that they get the

We’re looking forward to the next 50 [years]. —Susan Ruzenski

most out of their tenures there. “I’ve always wanted to paint,” says Linda Gail Jones, a student with slight vision in one eye and significant hearing loss. “I’m in the art class and I painted my first picture, with the help of the art teacher. But I pretty much did it myself. Everybody is so supportive, telling me how wonderful I’m doing. It means a lot. Now I think I can do anything.” “My favorite has been cooking—it’s so fun,” adds Elizabeth Aguilera, a student who communicates through sign language. “I’ve also learned how to communicate. I have technology class and I’ve learned a variety of skills there. I find it to be really beneficial and exciting. I think it’s definitely helped my confidence and independence. It’s really been life-changing.” The center’s status as the only comprehensive vocational rehab program for the deaf-blind is a badge of honor, but also, Ruzenski says, somewhat regrettable. Though there are 12 regional representative offices through the United States, the center has hopes to expand its reach even further, which Ruzenski believes will require more funding. “We do receive federal funds. That helps to definitely


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Martin Sexton 10/14/17

Rickie Lee Jones 10/26/17

The Chapin Family in Concert 10/7/17

t Gex! i T 34

232 main street port washington, ny 11050 landmarkonmainstreet.org box office 516.767.6444

HKNC students with the 50th Anniversary Celebration Banner

Everybody is so supportive, telling me how wonderful I’m doing. It means a lot. Now I think I can do anything.

—Gail Jones support us. We have appropriation every year from the government,” says Ruzenski, who also noted that Senator Elaine Phillips recently contributed $100,000 towards repairing the center’s air conditioning. “But it doesn’t meet the need of what we see as what’s required for this group of citizens in the United States. And we have big dreams and visions about getting those services out there across the country, and we’re doing it, but we need more resources to do it.” Ultimately, the directors and staff members at the center are proud to acknowledge its 50th anniversary, but are also quick to point out their slogan of “honor the past, celebrate the future.” With technology and societal awareness evolving rapidly, the center is looking towards the dedication of both its staff and its students to create more success in the years to come. “We’re looking forward to the next 50 [years],” says Ruzenski. “The people who are part of this community are really who we’re celebrating, because despite all of those closed doors and those low expectations, and the hardship of overcoming that, they have achieved a great deal and they’re a part of this organization.” For more information on the center, visit www.helenkeller. org/hknc.

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XX

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IMMER BESSER


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Main Street

Dining

Harbor remains a local favorite sandwich shop By Alexandra Civorelli

I

n most towns across the United States, it is easy to find a road called Main Street, and even easier to guess the businesses lining both streets—a pizzeria, a bank, a few restaurants, a pharmacy, a deli, etc. In the town of Port Washington, its most important thoroughfare is its charming Main Street, which leads down and past its Town Dock overlooking Manhasset Bay, and on its way, passes the Harbor Delicatessen & Caterers located at 306 Main Street. The tagline for Harbor Deli poses the question “Why go anywhere else?” and for many regulars, that is a valid question to ask of anyone who doesn’t grab a sandwich or a salad at this beloved eatery. “We have high-quality food, we serve nothing but the best. Whatever they [the customers] ask for, we try to provide for,” says owner Harry DeFeo in describing what has made his deli a

40

regular dining stop. Harbor Deli has been fulfilling its role as the town’s go-to delicatessen in its spot on Main Street for decades, first as a take-out place. After the DeFeo family, longtime Port Washington residents, took it over in 1997, it was expanded in 2003 to include tables and chairs so customers could eat there as well. Although its exterior blends in with the many buildings that line the street, and its interior, though clean and bright, is similar to most delis, the element that makes Harbor Deli stand out from all the rest is its incredibly large and detailed menu. With Wednesday specials and soups;

PORT WASHINGTON NEWS MAGAZINE

breakfast (including sandwiches, French toast, pancakes, homemade muffins, bagels and rolls and create-your-own omelets) served until 11:30 a.m. on weekdays and 12 p.m. on weekends; dozens of special sandwiches and wraps; Philly cheese steaks; signature and Xtreme salads; BBQ pit plates (with ribs, pulled pork or brisket of beef, plus fries and slaw); specialty burgers; seafood and fried platters; snacks; desserts; salads and Boar’s Head meats and cheeses by the pound; plus endless options to create-your-own sandwiches, salads, personal pizzas, burgers and wings, it’s nearly impossible to sample the entire menu.


Port Restaurant Guide

“There’s a huge variety of food here,” DeFeo says of the menu. “Whatever you want, we have.” As typical of most delicatessens, the specialty sandwiches are a huge draw; the most popular ones are displayed in the glass cases, and according to DeFeo, that includes #56, the Runts, which is chicken cutlet topped with bacon, melted American cheese and mayo or Cajun mayo and #55, the Rowdys, made up of hot and spicy buffalo chicken, melted jack cheese and ranch dressing. Interestingly, one of the most popular menu options is the create-your-own salad bar. The popularity of these regular or chopped salads is due to the myriad toppings available—including sunflower seeds, crunch noodles, horseradish pickle chips and blueberries—and also because they are unlimited, with no extra charge. Even if customers are undecided, there are tons of specialty items to choose from. For example, the Xtreme Salad 3, made of grilled peanut chicken, pecans, mandarin oranges and apples over iceberg lettuce with peanut dressing; the Insano Burger with stuffed jalapeño poppers, waffle fries and spicy ranch; hot dogs, which come two per order, can be grilled, deep fried or nuked, and include crunchy mac & cheese hot dogs; and French, sweet potato and curly fries and panko-crusted avocado stix. Harbor Deli is also great for catering platters of delicious food, various party heroes, sandwich baskets and hot and cold salad buffets. DeFeo also mentioned that Harbor’s BBQ Crew will grill, serve and clean up a barbecue so you don’t have to. With a deliciously long menu and endless tasty options for any meal of the day— and officially back to their regular hours of Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., and 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends—stop into Harbor Deli so you, too, can start asking, “Why go anywhere else?”

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Bareburger Burger joints have always been a staple in American culture. As Port Washington’s organic burger joint, Bareburger boasts that their produce is free from pesticides and GMOs and that their proteins are humanely raised. Their menu consists of healthy, vegan and gluten-free options, like salads, a taboulleh bowl and sweet potato & wild rice or black bean & roast corn patties. Like any delicious burger chain, “shares” include fried pickles and rings and sweet fries with smoke

PORT WASHINGTON NEWS MAGAZINE

sauce, habanero mayo and curry ginger ketchup, and sandwiches like Wham Bam Chicken Slam: buttermilk fried chicken, aged cheddar, black forest bacon, wild mushrooms and wham bam sauce on a brioche bun. Milkshakes include original flavors as well as Mexican chocolate: chocolate ice cream, cayenne cinnamon spice and torched marshmallow. Bareburger is located at 42 Main Street; www.bareburger.com; 516-708-9920

Ayhan’s Mediterranean Marketplace & Café A popular gourmet deli not far from the Town Dock, Ayhan’s Mediterranean Marketplace & Café caters to patrons and their needs seven days a week. The breakfast menu is served from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily and offers fresh omelets, high-energy breakfast platters, sandwiches, pancakes, French toast and fresh fruit. For lunch and dinner, there are salad, homemade soup, panini, burrito, burger and pita pizza options, including signature sandwiches like the falafel sandwich with lettuce, tomatoes, onions and tahini sauce in pita bread. Catering is popular, too, with deluxe, premium or elite packages or small/large trays that feed groups of people with hot and cold appetizers, chicken, meat and seafood entrées, salads, pasta, heroes and fresh baked desserts. Ayhan’s Mediterranean Marketplace & Café is located at 293 Main Street; www.ayhans marketplace.com; 516-767-1400


Carlo’s Pizza It goes without saying that every town should have a pizzeria that is a long-standing staple in the community. Established in 1980, The Original Carlo’s Pizza has since been the go-to stop on Main Street for a slice of classic New York pizza that regulars and residents swear by. Their regular and specialty pizza pies and slices are known for their crispy crust and excellent cheese to sauce ratio and include their well-loved margherita pizza, as well unique options like their spinach

dip and deep dish pies. The menu also offers calzones & rolls, soups, salads, hot heroes, including pepper and eggs, classic pasta dishes served with the choice of spaghetti, ziti or penne, and entrées like shrimp, chicken and eggplant parmigiana. Although a perfect place to take-out or stop by for a quick slice, Carlo’s Pizza also delivers and caters. Carlo’s Pizza is located at 109 Main Street; www.carlospizzapw.com; 516-944-9754

Restaurant Yamaguchi Finding a restaurant that serves authentic, home-style Japanese food on Long Island is a rare thing to behold, which is why Restaurant Yamaguchi has been a well-loved mainstay since 1988. Patrons get a true taste of Japan with seasonal special appetizers on the menu. Dishes currently include Nuta, which is octopus or squid with green onion and seasoned with vinegar and miso, and Kamo Rosu, or Japanese roast duck. The menu also has lunch and dinner options, categorized into soups & salads, appetizers, sushi & sashimi, main dishes and noodles, plus nabemono, which are special dishes prepared at the table for a party of two or more, reservation required. Yosenabe is one casserole dish of assorted shellfish, fish, chicken and vegetables in broth. There are also individual sushi rolls and nigiri. Restaurant Yamaguchi is located at 49 Main Street; www.restaurant yamaguchi.com; 516-883-3500

f.i.s.h. on main Housed in a building that has stood since the year 1900 as the Bank of North Hempstead, f.i.s.h. on main is modern and fresh in both its atmosphere and Mediterranean-style food. The seafood grill’s menu consists of “from the sea” starters and entrées, like branzini and black sea bass, a fresh catch of the day, whole Maine lobsters and seafood dishes like seafood pasta, which is half a lobster, salmon, shrimp, clams and mussels over linguine. Those looking for land dishes will find spinach & feta pie, dips that include babaganoush and spicy feta, various salads and kebabs, baby lamb chops and chicken medallions. Pair with hand-crafted cocktails, like Vanilla Crush, which consists of vanilla vodka, muddled blackberries, mint, lime and a champagne float. f.i.s.h. on main is located at 286 Main Street; www.fishonmain.com; 516-883-1515

Schmear Bakery & Market Already known as the “Heart of Port” due to its location in the middle of town, Schmear Bakery & Market is a new but booming business offering a delicious spread for all your breakfast, lunch and noshing needs. Open at 5 a.m. on weekdays and 6 a.m. on weekends, early-rising customers can order brewed and iced coffee, provided by Toby’s Estate, that can be made with specialty milk (soy or almond), plus espresso, a small tea selection and an impressive selection of syrups. Schmear’s bagels and baked goods—including chocolate cigars, raspberry sticks, cupcakes, muffins and linzer tarts—are all baked in-house. There are plenty of schmears, including walnut raisin cream cheese and apple butter. Breakfast and lunch sandwiches are served all day and can be made to order. Schmear Bakery & Market is located at 83 Main Street; www.schmearmarket.com; 516-439-4077

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There is a sense of rightness in photographing places that I am so familiar with.

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apturing life’s moments and the beauty of nature through the lens is something that Tom D’Emic fell in love with later in life. D’Emic taught science from pre-kindergarten to fifth grade in Bushwick, NY, for 38 years. After retiring, he was a curriculum writer and teacher trainer for the Department of Education for the City of New York.

PORT WASHINGTON NEWS MAGAZINE

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I feel my connection to these places gives me an advantage in creating an image that is meaningful. After a rewarding career as an educator, D’Emic now spends his time taking photographs. Many of his images were captured within 10 minutes from his homes in Glen Head and Greenport, NY. “There is a sense of rightness in photographing places that I am so familiar with,” says the photographer. “Some of the locations captured here have a history with me dating back to my childhood. I feel my connection to these places gives me an advantage in creating an image that is meaningful to me. I hope this feeling of connectedness will be communicated to the viewer as well.”

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Performance In Port Residents of all ages showcase performing arts By Elizabeth Johnson Why go to Manhattan when you have the best of the arts right here on the peninsula? Port Washington has long since been referred to as the Jewel of Long Island with fabulous venues like Landmark on Main Street and Sands Point Conservancy for entertainment as well as dinner and a show. But there is so much more. Organizations such as HEARTS organization, whose mission is to add meaningful value to children’s lives and the community by supporting, promoting and enriching the arts in Port Washington and the public schools, provides opportunities such as Curtains Up, the Summer Music Program and PortFest. Local talent abounds as well including CancerCare Red Stocking Revue, HarborFest Talent Showcase, The Art Guild and local theater

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groups that perform at Landmark on Main Street. Walking up Main Street toward Port Washington Boulevard, residents may feel they have been transported back to lower Main Street and onto Louie’s Dock with the hand-painted murals on the facade of Jonathan Watkins’ Wright Music.

PORT WASHINGTON NEWS MAGAZINE


Proud of its residents: Port Washington highlights talent in the visual and performance arts through wall murals, drawing, painting, dancing and singing.

The Welcome To Port mural, which showcases Port’s features and charm, are just two of the many murals to come to Main Street as part of Residents For A More Beautiful Port Washington’s Mural Project. Port Washington showcases its talents through music, the stage and sports as well. The Schreiber High School marching band marches down Main Street for parades while the high school’s teams and individuals have made it to Nassau County and New York State championships for their athletic feats. With performances at Sunset Park, the bandshell and local bands practicing at Bach 2 Rock, Port Washington showcases its talents at every turn.


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One-room “Down-Neck Schoolhouse” was located at the back of the Mill Pond, across from the Dodge Homestead. It is now Pleasant Avenue.

Homeowners outside the Baxter Estate

Charitable Endeavors

Cow Neck Peninsula Historical Society Preserves Port Memories

The second Flower Hill School (1869-1924) is now occupied by the Port Washington Police Station.

By Elizabeth Johnson

T

he Cow Neck Peninsula Historical Society is dedicated to keeping the rich history of the area alive. Originally known as Cow Neck, the region was later developed into Manhasset, Port Washington and Sands Point. Before the addition of the Long Island Rail Road in 1898, the shoreline was the center of town and the Hotel Renwick, which is the same building Diwan Restaurant currently occupies, greeted passengers and gave them a place to stay. Recorded history of Cow Bay reaches back centuries, with settlers first landing in 1643. It was originally part of Hempstead, along with all towns currently part of Hempstead and North Hempstead—but on September 23, 1775, almost one year before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, farmers of Great Neck and Cow Neck declared their independence from Hempstead. The document was signed by John Farmer, clerk of the meeting. Some Great Neck and Cow Neck patriots listed

on the document include John Burtis, John Cornwell, W. Cornwell, Thomas Dodge, Adrian Onderdonk (who would become the first Town Supervisor of North Hempstead), Benjamin Sands, Simon Sands, Martin Schenck (treasurer of Queens County in 1786 and 1792) and William Thorne. The names are prevalent throughout the villages and are prominent street names and landmarks. The mission of the volunteer-run historical society is to engage people of all ages in programs that highlight the lifestyles of the people and families that lived and worked on the peninsula throughout the years. Central to its mission is the preservation of the Sands-Willets House (c. 1735) and the Thomas Dodge Homestead

This is the first known photograph of a Port Washington school, probably photographed in the 1870s. The structure has been moved and greatly renovated, but is still at the end of School Street.

A view from the Sands Point School No. 2, probably photographed by John Witmer, overlooking the Mill Pond out toward Manhasset Bay.

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This Beacon Hill home, circa 1914, still stands today. Photo courtesy of Port (Photo Washington Public Library)

Sands Point School No. 2, in a very rare close-up photograph.

Main Street School, under construction in May, 1909, shown from the corner of the property closest to today’s public library. The school served the community for more than 75 years and is still going strong as Landmark on Main Street.

Main Street School in the mid-1920s, showing the 1917 extension, which doubled the size of the school.

A view of the Sands Point School No. 2, overlooking the Mill Pond. This postcard was extremely popular in the early 20th century and was mailed by locals and tourists worldwide.

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(c. 1721), which the society operates as house-museums. According to the Cow Neck Peninsula Historical Society, historical society president Christopher Bain and Glen DeSalvo documented the evolution of the Port Washington school system. In 1869, Port was already outgrowing its two small schools. The area within Cow Neck was divided into two separate districts: The Bottom of the Neck—or Down-Neck, designated as School District 5, which encompassed the businesses centered near the Mill Pond, including the Grist Mill and McKee’s General Store. School District Number 4 was referred to as Flower Hill and was comprised mostly of orchards and farmland that extended south to the head of Cow Neck (Manhasset) district. Locally this was known as Up-Neck. Cow Neck’s Up-Neckers had a small one-room schoolhouse at the bottom of present-day Bogart Avenue, built in about 1757, though records are scarce. It was sometimes referred to as the first Flower Hill School. By 1841, the Down-Neckers had their own one-room schoolhouse near the back of the Mill Pond, opposite the Dodge Homestead, at the bottom of today’s Pleasant Avenue; both had become insufficient for the growing village. By 1869, the two local school districts of Port Washington needed larger, more modern schools. In the Up-Neck section, property was purchased from the Onderdonk family, who had extensive land holdings in town. By summer’s end, a new two-room schoolhouse was built and named the Flower Hill School, sitting where the present day Port Washington Police Station is located. By the end of the century, with the population swelling to 1,200, several additional rooms and a second floor were added. Sadly, after more than five decades of educating the youth, the little schoolhouse

PORT WASHINGTON NEWS MAGAZINE

succumbed to a fire. According to former school superintendent Paul D. Schreiber, the janitor, William Allen, had been burning refuse when the fire got out of control and ignited some nearby kerosene, burning the building beyond repair on June 24, 1924. In 1870, at the back of the Mill Pond, the little red school house was deemed too small to serve the growing population of Down-Neckers. After contentious negotiations with the landowners and at a cost of $6,000, a new schoolhouse was built on School Street. On August 24, 1870, the entire town came out to celebrate the dedication of The Green Schoolhouse, or the Sands Point School. The town was growing rapidly and with the Long Island Rail Road pulling into Port Washington in 1898, people could easily commute to New York City. New homes were being built and neighborhoods planned at a breakneck pace. The town needed a bigger, more centralized school and a high school was the answer. Several locations were considered, but the Webb family farm provided the perfect location, at the intersection of Main Street (still named Flower Hill Avenue until 1912) and South Washington Avenue. Money was raised and in 1908, the Webb house was bought, split into sections and moved to two side-by-side lots on nearby Jefferson Street. Local architect Frank Cornell designed the beautiful Beaux Arts building and local contractors Smull & Walsh were hired to build what would become known as Main Street School. The opening day festivities on September 17, 1909, were the biggest celebration the townspeople had ever witnessed. Seven years later, the demand outpaced capacity and the size of the school needed to be doubled. This fall, The Cow Neck Peninsula Historical Society will hold its Fall Country Fair on Saturday, October 14, at the SandsWillets House. For more details on this and other events or to donate, visit www. cowneck.org.


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O C T Visit www.portwashingtonbid.org for more information

O B E R

1 Greater 5 – 2Port 2 Washington

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Business Improvement District

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Hidden

Treasures

Antiquing on Main Street By Kimberly Dijkstra

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PORT WASHINGTON NEWS MAGAZINE

M

ain Street is a bustling thoroughfare through the heart of Port Washington. Filled with independent retail shops, dining establishments, local businesses and entertainment venues, the road is also home to several antique shops. Though Main Street is not the antiquing destination it used to be, there are still many treasures to be found. Steven Stam, of Stam Gallery at 289 Main Street, has been in the antiquing business for 45 years. Formerly Giles Antiques, the


Photos of Stam Gallery and Old Port Antiques by Arien Dijkstra

business has been at the same location for decades, offering a constantly evolving selection of antique objects. “The North Shore of Long Island is the best place to buy in the world,” says Stam, who obtains most of his items from local estates. While a typical antique shop offers collectibles like Limoges cups and saucers and Depression glass, Stam Gallery carries museum-quality items, including 18th- and early 19th-century American furniture, art from the Renaissance and Baroque periods and rare Americana pieces. Recently, a desk he purchased from a Garden City couple became the centerpiece of an exhibition at Budapest’s Museum of Applied Art. Stam has a particular fondness for Hungarian modern art and primitive American paintings from the first half of the 19th century and has made friends and repeat customers through these shared interests. A trip to Stam Gallery is like a treasure hunt. Something among the mélange

will catch your eye. MarkMurat Bilgé, of Old Port Antiques at 159 Main Street, bought his first antique piece of furniture at age 16. Born in Turkey, he grew up surrounded by museums and grand palaces showcasing fine sculptures and paintings. He developed an appreciation for art and turned his love for beautiful objects into a career. “One of the largest handmade crystal chandeliers is hanging in the Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul,” Bilgé says. Weighing in at four tons, the monumental fixture inspires him. In the shop, one can find antique chandeliers, late 18th-century furniture, mostly armoires, and rugs as many as 150 years old. In addition to antiques, Bilgé makes custom area rugs and chandeliers to the customer’s specifications. Objects old and new are on display in the showroom, including a genuine

Oushak rug woven from enduring black wool and lustrous gold silk. Hanging from the ceiling are dozens of resplendent chandeliers, created with the same techniques used centuries ago. Craftspeople in Bilgé’s small workshop in Turkey hand-swirl glass arms and hand-cut crystal prisms with precision. Assembly takes place stateside. On your next stroll down Main Street, visit Stam Gallery and Old Port Antiques. Also pop into Bubba Brown’s Treasures, 302 Main Street, and House of Crystal, 268 Main Street, for more artifacts of a bygone era.

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A Cliffside

Dream

A look at the historic Falaise as Harry Guggenheim’s modest estate By Jennifer Fauci

A

s with any piece of history, Gold Coast mansions are about three components: the architecture, the artifacts and the people who lived there. From the Gilded age into the Jazz age across the north shore of Long Island, hundreds of mansions were erected but fewer than half still remain today. Falaise, which is French for cliff, was the home of Harry Guggenheim and his second wife Caroline Morton. A modest beauty in appearance and function, the estate is now a preserved museum, inclusive on the same ground as two other historical homes: Hempstead House and Castle Gould. PORT WASHINGTON NEWS MAGAZINE

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The pool was a later addition, which Guggenheim used for exercise in his later years.

The grand foyer boasts an impressive dark wood staircase.

62

Docent Ken Horowitz provides tours of the property and delves deep into the story behind the Guggenheim estate, including the property’s previous owner, Howard Gould. “Howard Gould was the son of Jay Gould, who was a very wealthy man back in his time,” says Horowitz of the man behind Castle Gould, which was completed in 1902 and modeled after Kilkenny Castle in Ireland. “Gould developed such a wonderful estate, including that of Hempstead House, but by 1917, he sold all 350 acres, finding a buyer in Daniel Guggenheim.” Daniel Guggenheim and his wife, Florence, purchased the property in 1917. They named Hempstead House after the harbor and made the estate their home. Daniel’s parents came to America from Switzerland, but it wasn’t until years later that the Guggenheims got involved in mining, leading to the grand wealth of the family, which Harry was able to partake in upon his birth on August 23, 1890. In 1923, when Harry married his second wife Caroline, his father gifted the couple 90 acres of waterfront property on the Sands Point estate. Modeled in the Northern French Château style and completed in 1924 by famed architect Frederick Sterner, Falaise was one of the more modern and modest homes on the Gold Coast during that time. The home has a total of 26 rooms and features an enclosed cobblestone courtyard, bricks from Holland, Italian tile, original floors and an original roof. A Renaissance French door and lava stone columns from the country frame the entryway to the house. Inside, it is an obscure house, pitting dark staircases and beams against cream plaster walls. Inside, styles and décor of the Renaissance are seen throughout in various styles of French, Spanish and Italian origin. The Guggenheims did not desire a home that was ostentatious and made a point to make Falaise on a smaller scale than the other properties on the grounds. This became their summer home from May until November. “Sixteen years after his second marriage, Harry married

PORT WASHINGTON NEWS MAGAZINE


for the third time. His wife, Alicia Patterson, came from a prominent journalism family, and together, she and Harry founded Newsday,” notes Horowitz of Falaise’s continued succession. “Alicia lived at Falaise from 1939 until 1963 and made modifications to the home as she did not care for the Renaissance style.” Throughout the house, any of the rooms that are bright and airy are thanks to Patterson, who made revisions to her own bedroom and an alcove that she used to play bridge. There are also two libraries in the home, one belonging to Harry and the other, a book room for Patterson. On the basement level of Falaise is where Harry kept his trophies. The trophy room also features Harry’s medals, pins, ribbons, awards and paintings depicting his avid interest in thoroughbred racing. Although the Guggenheims resided in the house for several months, they did welcome day and overnight guests. A frequent visitor and friend to Harry was aviator Charles Lindbergh. It was at Falaise where Lindbergh wrote his autobiography WE. In the hallway outside his chosen room, there is a framed page of his manuscript, detailing the creative process, complete with line cross outs and edits. Another prized possession of Falaise is Lindbergh’s blue car, which resides in the courtyard garage. The cliffside mansion is one of the few Gatsby-era homes that remain of the hundreds that populated Long Island so many years ago. When Harry died in 1971, he donated Falaise to Nassau County. Today, the nonprofit Sands Point Preserve Conservancy handles all of the operations and manages the preserve for the county. Falaise as Harry Guggenheim’s European dream home is a reflection of the beauty of the past, but overlooking the calm waters of the Long Island Sound is a view that will serve just fine for the future.

The living room at Falaise lets in plenty of natural light.

A favorite guest: Charles Lindbergh’s car resides in the garage.


A Hole In The Heart Of

Baxter Estates S

Baxter House will soon be part of history By Frank Rizzo

ABOVE: This photo was taken in April, 1904, by local photographer John Witmer, who set up his view camera in the middle of Shore Road. A large dark cloth covered his head as well as the back of the camera so that he could carefully frame and focus his lens on the old Baxter Homestead, their family farm, and the edge of Baxter’s Ice Pond. (Courtesy of the Cow Neck Historical Society)

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ometime in the coming months, the charred remains of the Baxter House will yield to the battering blows of a wrecker’s ball or the brute force of a caterpillar. An early-morning fire this past February caused extensive damage to the structure, which had been unoccupied, and sealed its fate. It remains a blackened husk, and its final chapter will be written when the necessary paperwork makes its way through the bureaucracy. In May, Village of Baxter Estates Building Inspector Joseph Saladino issued a formal order to property owner Sabrina Wu to demolish the house after determining that the structure posed a danger to public health and safety. Physically, it lies at 15 Shore Road, at the

PORT WASHINGTON NEWS MAGAZINE

corner of Central Drive. On the Nassau County Land and Tax Map, the property is marked as Section 5, Block 5, Lot 61. But the house is much more than a pile of timber and metal and glass and stone. It is, in a sense, the village’s emotional center. This was made evident over the past decade, as the deteriorating condition and uncertain fate of the house had engendered controversy and concern, pitting preservationists against the owner and even the village. Residents decried what they perceived as the village’s laxity in enforcing the landmark status under which the house was placed in 2005, two years after Wu purchased it for $990,000. A Facebook group, Save the Baxter House, was set up late in 2015 and attracted 784 members. A petition to preserve the house gathered more than 600 signatures this year.


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The house in the early 1900s, when it served as a library.

Mike Scotto of Save the Baxter House group snapped this in 2016.

Lawrence Chrapliwy took this before the fire this year.

2017

1904

In March, an overflow crowd attended a meeting of the village’s Landmark Preservation Committee. Many who spoke criticized Wu’s alleged negligence and plans. They brushed aside the statement of Wu’s attorney, A. Thomas Levin, that the house has “been at all times 100 percent privately owned property. Neither the village nor any member of the public has any say on what went on inside the house or modification to any interior feature.” To its passionate supporters, the house belonged as much to the community as to whoever held the deed. One of the speakers that night, Stephanie Hall, commented, “For over 300 years [the house] was the center of loving families that acted as caretakers and took stewardship seriously. A family breathes life and love into a house, making it a home.” Even before the fire, some of the wood was rotting, the chimney was in disrepair, and blue tarps covered parts of the roof and some of the windows. Critics called it, “demolition by neglect.” Hall introduced the next speaker, Colleen O’Neal, as a direct descendant of the Baxter family, namesake of the village and the house. Citing her ancestors, O’Neal said, “I am bound to them. I honor their history. I cherish their lives. This is my history, but the Baxter House homestead is our town’s shared history.” She added, “[the house] is part of the Port Washington landscape. It preserved the stories that give us place. The previous owners knew that. They became stewards of the property. They understood that they were part of a bigger story.” By Way Of History The oldest section of the house was reportedly erected in 1673 in the settlement then known as Cow Neck. According to the Village of Baxter Estates’ website, John Betts and Robert Hutchings established the

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The house after the fire in February 2017.

homestead, which overlooks Manhasset Bay. Sometime in the early 1740s, the house was purchased by Oliver Baxter. His son Israel expanded the house and in one chronicle fought under the command of General Washington against the British at the Battle of Long Island. The Baxters were forced—like many others—to billet soldiers as the colonies sought independence from England. Hessians, the hated and feared mercenaries hired by the empire to help put down the rebellion, were quartered in the house. Such abuse led the Founding Fathers to create the Third Amendment in the Bill of Rights. The family owned the house until the end of the 19th century. According to the Cow Neck Historical Society, the Baxters “had been involved in many trades over the previous century, as whalers, shipbuilders, fullers, blacksmiths and other trades of the era. Ida Baxter had been the village’s third postmaster, working out of the nearby McKee’s General Store, at the Mill Pond...in 1892, the State of New York had chartered the town’s first library, where townspeople could meet, read, take out books, all in the parlor of the Baxter House.” Later prominent owners included the architect Addison Mizner, whose series of residences established the dominant architectural style in Boca Raton and Palm Beach, FL. A book on the architect, titled Mizner’s Florida, contained a short section on his time in Port Washington. “Although the house had neither central heat nor indoor plumbing, and needed much work, it faced directly on Manhasset Bay with Baxter Pond to the south,” we read in the book. “Mizner leased the house, probably with the understanding that he might later purchase it, and added bathrooms and central heating. In the spring of 1914 he bought the house from Mrs. Elizabeth Perry and spent $5,000 for further renovations and the addition of a

PORT WASHINGTON NEWS MAGAZINE

What Comes Next? According to village Clerk/ Treasurer Chrissy Kiernan, Saladino’s “notice establishes a series of specific requirements for demolition that must be adhered to before, during, and after the demolition permit is issued. At this time, the property owner is supplying the necessary requirements for the demolition permit application.” Wu’s lawyer, Levin, noted that the demolition permit “cannot be obtained until a number of other documents have been filed with the Village Building Department. Among them are water and sewer disconnection permits from the Water District and Sewer District. In turn, the two districts cannot issue their permits until the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has either approved that work, or waived jurisdiction. Ms. Wu has hired an engineering firm to obtain those DEC approvals. Once those are obtained, we believe that the remaining permit requirements can be completed within a matter of weeks. However, it is impossible to determine at this time how long it will take to get the DEC approvals.” According to Kiernan, “After verifying that an application was in fact submitted to the DEC, the village agreed to extend a pending Order to Remedy Violation...until September 11, 2017, at which time the building inspector will re-evaluate the elements of the application.” Levin said his client “has not submitted any plans for any new construction at this time, and seeks only to demolish the existing unsafe structure.”


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XX


new kitchen wing.” In 1917 the Architectural Record published an eight-page article on the remodeling of the house. Mizner made few changes to the exterior, retaining its colonial character. Moving the principal entrance to the rear

Final Words “It was really a great house,” Mike Scotto, who started the Facebook page, told the New York Times. “It’s something people think about when they think about Port Washington. It’s our heritage for the entire town. Back in the Revolution, most of Long Island was Tories, but this town seceded nine months before the Declaration of Independence. Those guys were out there fighting for our liberties and freedoms.” “If you’re a village and the namesake of your village is a homestead with a very

allowed him to add an 18-foot-wide terrace, surrounded by a low stone wall, overlooking the bay. He left the columns and roof of the original porch, and the elaborate 1812 doorway with sidelights in place. Viewed from the street the facade appeared unaltered.

rich history going back to the founding of the country, that should be a house that is taken care of, that is looked after,” Chris Bain, president of the Cow Neck Historical Society told the Times. “It’s not just an old house. It’s a house with great importance.” Scotto, in a letter to Landmarks Preservation Commission Chair Peter Salins, asked, “Once the house is gone we lose not only our village’s namesake, but I believe our identity. What indeed is the Village of Baxter Estates without the Baxter House?”

Thanks to Vanessa Nastro of the Port Washington Public Library Local History Center Archives for research help.

This picture comes via Stephanie Hall and was supplied by Paul Bachem, who grew up in the Baxter House. His grandparents John and Louise Bachem owned the house, “circa mid-‘30s to the mid-to-late ‘60s. Nearly all of these photos were shot by my grandfather who was an avid amateur photographer. Self-portrait of my grandfather John H. Bachem in front of a portrait of his grandfather in the living room. My grandfather was a very good amateur photographer and I have quite a few images of the house.”

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Mindy Germain, Executive Director of Residents For A More Beautiful Port Washington

Nancy Curtin, Director of Port Washington Public Library “There are so many things to love about Port Washington, but the one that impresses me the most is the community-minded outlook of its residents. There is an overwhelming sense of love for the town, of wanting to keep its character but also constantly improve, and of wanting the best for neighbors and future generations. At the library, we’re about to open our brand-new Jackie and Hal Spielman Children’s Library, a top-to-bottom redesign of our most heavily-used space. The outpouring of community support has been stunning. The project is largely funded by private donations and grants. As with so many things in town, it shows that Port thinks about and invests in its future. As a library director, being part of such a tightly-knit and generous community is a dream come true.”

“I love Port Washington because the people are so kind, interesting and devoted to community.”

My Port Washington By Christina Claus

W

hile Port Washington is home to the sounds of the Manhasset Bay sloshing against the Town Dock, the hustle and bustle of Main Street and bright pink sunsets seen from an outside table at Louie’s Oyster Bar and Grill, the community agrees that these sounds and sights are just a few of the reasons to love Port Washington. Residents from the Co-President of the Port Washington Chamber of Commerce Mitch Schwartz to Superintendent of Port Washington Public Schools Kathleen Mooney share what they love most about Port, agreeing that the supportive community is the best part about their hamlet.

Kathleen Mooney, Superintendent of Port Washington Public Schools “I love Port Washington because of the community’s ‘can do’ attitude. This is particularly evident in our schools. The families and children we serve embody the caring, respect, fellowship and philanthropic spirit that defines the heart of the Port Washington community.” N W O T ME

HO

U.S.A.

Mitch Schwartz, Co-President of the Port Washington Chamber of Commerce “In addition to the obvious things, like the beauty of the sunsets from the town dock, the many parks and facilities for both kids and adults, I love Port Washington because of the way we come together when needed, whether for a major crisis or for all the little things that are always going on. I’m thinking of Our Lady of Fatima outreach, the Community Chest, other local organizations, the countless gift certificates and auction items donated by businesses to the various charities and organizations in town. I’m thinking of the group that after Sandy, when their own homes were without power and heat, formed a group, the Port Washington Crisis Relief Team, that came together to help others in need, and still exists to help mitigate the effects of any future events. I’m thinking of how, unlike in so many other places, Democrats and Republicans can work together to make our community a better place.”

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69


Mariann Dalimonte, Executive Director of the Greater Port Washington Business Improvement District “One of my favorite memories as a child in Port Washington was skating on Mill Pond with my friends after school. One of the local restaurants on cold days used to bring out hot chocolate for everyone to enjoy.”

Debbie Greco Cohen of Greco Integrated Communications “Having grown up in Port Washington, I have two favorite childhood memories. One was going to Fico’s on Avenue A with a dime and walking out with a small brown paper bag filled with penny candy. Yes, I got 10 pieces of candy for a dime! The other was going to Hempstead Harbor Beach before it was developed to dig for steamer clams with my dad. I know I’m revealing my age with these two memories, but they’re worth it!”

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

— F. Scott Fitzgerald

Francine Frede, former senior vice president, Advertising Director at the New York Daily News and master gardener at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County “I love Port Washington and it’s beautiful town dock and peaceful water views on the Bay Walk. I know how fortunate I am to say it is my home. Port Washington is perfectly situated for happy and easy living. There’s beauty all around. Our town is diverse, family friendly, clean and caring. We have excellent schools and services. We enjoy great shopping, boating, parks and restaurants, entertainment at the Landmark, movies and music on the bay, and the restorative powers of the Sands Point Preserve. For many years I commuted to Manhattan for work; grateful for the ease of it, breathing a sigh of relief pulling into the station each evening, home. And now that I’m retired, I appreciate our town even more —relaxing in our library overlooking the bay, lunching and shopping around town, enjoying the sight of my neighbors’ lovely homes and gardens. As a master gardener, I’m working on a native plant garden at the Manorhaven Preserve, a beautiful community project and another thing to love about Port Washington. I feel truly blessed to live here.”

Julie Meer Harnick, Executive Director of the Community Chest of Port Washington “I did not grow up here and yet I love Port Washington as if I had. Port is a small town (slightly more than 5,000 families), but it’s heart is extraordinarily large. Its residents are not only friendly—saying hello at every opportunity, they also care for and about their neighbors. We do have a beautiful waterfront, great schools and a great train line; all that makes living here attractive. But what makes Port special for me is the kindness of its residents; the willingness of so many to reach out and lift the burdens of their fellow Port Washingtonians.”

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PORT WASHINGTON NEWS MAGAZINE

Edward A.K. Adler, Mayor of the Village of Sands Point “I love Port because of its natural beauty, its proximity to NYC for those of us with careers there, and its diversity of backgrounds and viewpoints about most everything. All agree, though, that Port is a wonderful place to live and raise a family.”


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Port Washington Magazine Fall 2017  
Port Washington Magazine Fall 2017  
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