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Flushing dinner celebrates China hosting the Olympics

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The weeks are flying by: It is less than a month until Labor Day. Summer is almost over.

This week was slow. On Wednesday evening, the Queens Chamber of Commerce held one of its business card exchange events at the Water Taxi Beach at Hunters Point.

I have been there before for other events and it is a fun place to go to. It is a man-made beach across from the Manhattan skyline. It is not free. It has a large parking lot. Inside the beach area, there is a food and beverage section.

The beach is fenced off and there are no swimming facilities, but think of what a great day of fun in the sun you can have without getting stuck in traffic. The travel distance from eastern Queens is less than an hour; travel time from western Queens at most would be about 20 minutes or less. Check it out if the beach is your thing. It is reasonable, so I guess it qualifies for Dee's Pick of the Week.

Thursday and Friday afternoon and evening were the time for everyone to pay their last respects to John Farrell at his wake at Floyd's in Bayside. That was followed by a funeral Mass Saturday morning at St. Anastasia's in Little Neck. It is hard to believe he is gone. He was a larger than life character.

Friday evening, Michael Lee of the F&T Group helped New Yorkers celebrate the 2008 Olympics at the Mudan Dinner Banquet Hall in the new Queens Crossing building at 39th Avenue and Main Street in Flushing. We were guests of Myra Baird-Herce, the Flushing Chamber of Commerce co-president.

More than 300 people attended. Friday was also Myra's birthday. Lee presented her with a birthday cake and bouquet of roses. Myra, like all ladies of a certain age, will remain 39 forever. Happy birthday, Myra.

The day's festivities started at 5:30 p.m. at Shea Stadium, where Lee provided free tickets to the Mets-Marlins game and had the honor of throwing out the first ball. If I am not mistaken, the Mets won that night — undoubtedly due to the fact that "8" is a lucky number in China, which celebrated the first day of the Olympics, which are in China this year. Friday was the eighth day of the eighth month of the year 2008, a total of three 8's. I wonder how many triple eight lottery tickets were sold that day?

The dinner started at 7:30 p.m. The food at Mudan was fantastic and the entertainment program was exceptional. Guests were treated to singers, musicians, dancers and a martial arts demonstration. There were a number of large, flat-screen TVs placed throughout the banquet hall, where the guests could watch the Olympics. As most of the guests were Asian, it was a matter of great pride that the Olympic Games are held in China this year.

The event was a who's who from Flushing and beyond. Aside from Myra Herce, we saw many old friends, including Chuck Wade; Debbie Markell and her husband, Barry Kleinert; Joanne DeMartino of HSBC Bank; Ray Sito of the Queens Chronicle; Peter Koo of Starside Drugs and a current candidate for 16th State Senate District; state Assemblywoman Ellen Young (D-Flushing), still on her crutches; Grace Meng, whose baby is 8 months old; Gene Kelty with Community Board 7; Hao Xia Ofei, China's deputy consul general; Michael Meyer, the TDC Development Corp. president; and our host, Lee. Both Ellen and Meng are vying for the seat held by Ellen and formerly held by Grace's father Jimmy Meng.

It was a great party and fun way to spend an enjoyable evening in downtown Flushing. Downtown Flushing has come a long way in the past few years. If you have not been there lately, there are many excellent restaurants and fine shops. In fact, we intend returning to the Queens Crossing complex to visit all the interesting shops. Be sure to visit the area soon.

That's it for this week.

I always like receiving voice mail at 718-767-6484, faxes at 718-746-0066 and e-mails at deerrichard@aol.com.

Till next week, Dee.

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