Dishing with Dee: Qns. Library Foundation holds gala reception in LIC

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Paul Vallone finally got around to returning my phone calls, albeit a tad late. Like three or four days late. He said he did not call me Saturday as he had gotten home too late to call anyone and said he did not call me Sunday as he goes to church on Sunday. After Sunday he was busy putting up Halloween decorations and preparing for his son Charlie’s second birthday party.

That’s what the man said and I accept his explanation. In the past both Paul and his family have been great people to know and work with.

The windup of our conversation was that Paul invited me to his son’s birthday party. I went and it was a lovely party. Besides dad Paul and mom Ann Marie, Uncle Peter Jr. was there as well as grandpa Peter Sr. and grandma Teena. There were many other assorted friends, family and neighbors. Charlie is a great kid and smart as a whip. He doesn’t say much, but he doesn’t miss much either. When I was leaving, he came over to say thank you for coming, which is pretty grown up for a 2-year-old.

Monday was a double-header. In the morning they had the ribbon-cutting for the newly refurbished Douglaston Manor. Claudia Hubbard is to be congratulated as she personally made the choices of furnishings and decor. She has excellent taste, the place looks fabulous. They have an active restaurant there — it is not just a catering facility. Taking a quick glance at the menu the prices seem rather reasonable. Do check it out!

Monday evening the Queens Library Foundation held its annual gala at Waters Edge in Long Island City. That restaurant not only has fantastic food, but one of the most magnificent views of the New York City skyline. At sunset the view is at its most spectacular. That’s another restaurant to enter on your “check it out” list. It has its own private boat, which acts as a small ferry to bring Manhattanites to their restaurant, which leaves from 34th Street on the East River. It’s a short hop and jump across the river to the restaurants’ private dock.

This year’s honorees were Joseph Ficolora, president and CEO of New York Community Bancorp. His award was presented to him by Mary Ann Mattone, president of the Queens Library board of trustees.

The other honoree was Michael Meyer, president of the F & T Group. His award was presented to him by Dominick Ciampa, a member of the Queens Library Foundation board of directors.

If money is tight, you would not have gotten that impression at the gala. The place was packed. The tickets were $350 each. It would appear a lot of people have disposable incomes. Of course, all the upper echelon of Queens movers and shakers were there and a great time was had by all.

On Tuesday Republican Peter Koo held a rally on the steps of Flushing Town Hall, where he received the endorsement of fellow campaigner for the 20th City Council District seat, Democrat Isaac Sasson. In attendance to show their support were John Byas, Chuck Wade and James Trikas.

This was the first time I had met Sasson. For some reason, our paths never crossed on the campaign trail. I must say I was impressed as not only was he an intelligent man, but a charming one as well. That combination in a man is rather rare in this day and age, as they are few and far between. The 20th Council District race has now been narrowed down to two candidates: Koo and Democrat Yen Chou. Which one will it be?

On Sunday night Mayor Michael Bloomberg came to join Father Paul to help celebrate the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church Festival. It was the last night of the festival, which had run since Thursday. The crowd was enthusiastic and shouted out to Mayor Mike that they were all going to vote for him. He had their vote for sure.

That’s it for this week.

I look forward to hearing from you with information on people, parties and politics or gossip.

I like receiving your voice mails at 718-767-6484, faxes at 718-746-0066 and e-mails at

Don’t forget to check out the Focus on Queens page.

Till next week, Dee.

Posted 6:29 pm, October 10, 2011
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