By Robert Levine
Albert Lepage and Andre Almeida kicked off the social season with a fantastic cocktail party at their oceanfront home. Chef Sergio organized a wonderful menu with at least six waiters and bartenders who were serving delicious hors d’oeuvres and lots of booze. Although we had lots of rain before Memorial Day, the weather was perfect for an outdoor party. It seemed like all the regular members of the Pines were present, including Kenny and Jeannie Lesser, Randy Wilson, Peter and Ariodne Villareal, The Rosens (who will be spending this summer in the Pines), Barbara Sahlman, Laura and Mike Hartstien, Jim Pepper, Ed Schulhafer and Crayton Robey, Roy and Sumner, Scott and Tony, Hal Rubinstein and David Nichols, Ron Chereskin and Howard Goldfarb, John and Bruce, Hal Hayes (wearing a vintage Oleg Cassini sweater!), Karen and Larry Nicosia, Karen and Walter Boss, Doreen and Bill Katen, brother and sister team Karen and Kris Grae and so many others. This party was a great beginning for the social group in the Pines.
The television show “20/20” is featuring a tribute to Gianni Versace on the 20th anniversary of his death. Hal Rubinstein will be the host of that segment. Be sure to see it. Hal and Bebe Neuwirth were recently on “Good Day New York” with Rosanna Scotto and Gregg Kelly. They were talking about their new project, a fundraiser, Dancers for Good.
Welcome new home owners in the Pines: Jeremy Brooks/Christopher Frey, Matt Pague/Russ Alba, Paul Schiraldi/Rob Meeker, Louis Vega/Stephen Kliener, Paul Michael Di Maglio, Thomas Gensemer and Barry Stinson/Timothy Walther. Kyle Merker is a long time resident of Fire Island. In the ‘60s, the Monster restaurant in the Grove only hired young boys as waiters and bus boys who had a certain look. Kyle dovetailed that requirement. For many years he worked during the summer while attending college. He became a successful professional and bought a house on Water Island. He is featured on Ancestry. com as a spokesperson. Have you seen it?
Our Fire Island impresario, Daniel Nardicio, brought Dina Martina back to Whyte Hall on May 27 for the third season in “Of the Charts!” She is funny, bright, different, unusual, interesting and quite bazaar in her look and her delivery. She tells stories and sings songs with a quirkiness that really makes her a unique drag performer. The house was filled and the audience loved her.
A new shop opened in the Pines on Fire Island Boulevard. The Spa is owned and operated by Chris Coffee, who owns Gotham Beauty at 39th Street and Fifth Avenue in NYC. He will make you feel good and look beautiful with manicures, pedicures, brow shapes, haircuts, trims, color, facials, massages and more. You can arrange house calls for weddings, bar mitzvahs, makeup for any occasion including the Invasion. A variety of skin care products also can also be purchased on premises.
The Blue Whale continues the late night piano bar this season featuring pianist Brandon James Gwinn every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
The Pines Care Center is celebrating its 36th year in the Pines. On Sunday of Memorial Day weekend they had a welcome to all party at Whyte Hall. President Steven Hayes thanked all for attending, and introduced the Board Members: Dr. Ed Schulhafer, Dr. Mark Ricigliano, Dr. Demetrios Sengo, original member Ron Martin, Paul Hopkins, Albert Lepage, Paul Teixeira and Karen Nicosia. The doctor’s office is located at Whyte Hall. Sixteen doctors are lined up for this season. Dr. Andrew Kibert was the first doctor this season. Hours: 11 a.m. -noon and 4-5 p.m. All visits are free of charge, however donations would greatly be appreciated at pinescarecenter.org. Thank you to the Pines Liquor Shop for donating the wine. Thanks to all volunteer bartenders. A big thank you goes to Michael Borowski, the DJ.
Michael Fitzgerald and I attended a birthday party for Richard Vjada on Cinco de Mayo. His name was misspelled in the last issue. Welcome back to the Pines Ignacio Ceriani and Brian Ridley after spending the winter in Ft. Lauderdale. They are now in their 15th year as proprietors of Summer Solstice in the Pines.
SAGE had its 25th Anniversary Fundraiser last Saturday. Barbara Sahlman was given the Icon award. (Billboard recently awarded Cher with their Icon award.) Randy Wilson won the Doris Taussig award for service to the community.
“Broadway Bares on Fire Island” was directed by Michel Lee Scott with Jerry Mitchell as executive producer at Whyte Hall last Saturday, June 3. Twenty-four Broadway dancers performed.
• The Grove will have its annual Gay Pride Parade on June 17 with special guest Edie Windsor. There will be lots of floats and fun in the Grove, with fireworks at nightfall.
• Rose Levine once again returns to the Community House in “The Best of Times is Now” on July 1 at 8:30 p.m. Tickets available at Community House on Saturdays, or APCG website.
• Get ready for the Invasion on July 4. The action in the Pines begins around 2 p.m. T. Oliver Reid a Broadway performer has been the MC for the pre-show in the Harbor for the last few seasons. I ran into him last weekend at a party in the Pines. Hopefully he will be available for July 4.
• The Pines will be transformed into the magic of Labyrinth for Pines Party 2017 on the weekend of July 19. Now in its 19th year, the Pines Party is a celebration of the Pines and the LGBTQ community, as well as a major source of fundraising for beneficiaries The Pines Foundation and Stonewell Community Foundation. You can purchase an ad in the Pines Party Community Journal. Chairmen are: Ed Schulhafer and Alan Baum.
I also just learned that former Fire Island Pines Fire Chief Richard A. Stein has recently passed, our condolences to his friends and family.