GC Insider of the Month: Nelson DeMille

Inside Garden City is beyond excited to have Garden City resident and NY Times Bestselling Author, Nelson DeMille, as our next GC Insider of the Month! 
Mr. DeMille has written a plethora of books, The Gold Coast being one that has many locals fans, as it is set in our small corner of the world. Personally, Plum Island is one of my all time favorite books. Mr DeMille’s newest book, Radiant Angel, is yet another that should not be missed. But amidst his busy schedule of book tours, appearances and signings, Mr. DeMillle was gracious enough to serve as our GC Insider of the Month. Of course, we were thrilled and asked him our Garden City Qs.

1-What inspires you?  
Mostly I’m inspired by the thousands of fan letters I receive from people who have enjoyed my books.  I’m also inspired by fans who come to my booksignings and who tell me how my books have impacted on their lives. 

2-Has Garden City been the inspiration for any characters or places in your books? I’ve used Garden City as the locale in my book Word of Honor, published in 1985.  But I’ve never directly based any of my characters on anyone I knew in Garden City.  My characters are usually composites of people I’ve known all over the country and the world. 

3-How long have you lived in Garden City? I’m celebrating my 40th year here in October.  I moved in 1975 into a small Tudor in the Franklin Court section.  I paid $64,500 for it, and my friends and family said I overpaid.  

4-What do you love most about the town?  The people.  I have friends I’ve made since I first moved here, and my wife and I continue to make new friends.  

5-Favorite store in Garden City?   I like all the small businesses along 7th Street and Franklin Avenue, especially all the food shops where I can get lunch, or dinner if I’m working late.  I enjoy the convenience and friendliness of downtown shopping, and I like the personal service.  

6-Favorite thing to do in Garden City? My wife and I enjoy going to events at the Garden City Hotel – charitable fundraisers, weddings, and other happy occasions. 

7-Favorite outdoor place in Garden City? I have an eight-year-old son and I spend a lot of time at St. Paul’s Fields and all the other parks where he plays various sports. 

8-Favorite restaurant in Garden City? We patronize all the restaurants but we mostly go to La Nonna Bella, Walk Street, Leo’s, B.K. Sweeney’s Uptown Grill, and also the Polo Lounge and Polo Steakhouse at the Garden City Hotel for special occasions. 

9-Favorite place to have a drink in Garden City?Any place that has a bar. 

10-What would you change about Garden City? I’d like to see fewer banks on 7th Street – there are six now.  We need a hardware store again, and like most people I miss Riesterer’s Bakery. 

11-Do you have any advice for Inside Garden City readers? Shop locally, eat and drink locally.  Patronize everything in town, including our great library.  Get involved in community and church affairs and organizations.  Volunteerism has always been strong in Garden City and we all need to give something back to the community.  

Click here to visit Mr DeMille’s website where you can learn about his books, including Radiant Angel, plus view photos, read FAQs and more. A big Thank You to Nelson DeMille for sharing his Garden City views with us and for being our latest GC Insider of the Month! 
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Garden City Insider of the Month: Suzie Alvey

Inside Garden City is proud to present our next Insider of the Month: Suzie Alvey. 

Susie Alvey is a GC native. She graduated from GCHS (Class of ’70) where she met her husband of 40 years. She and her high school sweetheart, Robert, still reside in Garden City and have three delightful daughters.  

Susie was first inspired in Locust School first grade when Mrs. Koenig, a local artist, demonstrated a floral oil painting. She allowed the children to each do several strokes of paint on canvas and Suzie was hooked!

Here Susie elaborates on her professional background and her notable career:

I am a freelance artist and recently had a solo show in November and a separate group show in April at Barnes Gallery with my paintings and photography. I paint in oils and watercolors, featuring beautiful local landscapes. With my love of architecture, I have been commissioned to paint hundreds of treasured house portraits from San Francisco to Switzerland. My paintings and drawings are in many collections, including those of famous author, Nelson DeMille and Garth Snow, the manager of the Islanders team and more. My portraits in oil and pastel have won art show awards, including the National Art League, the Art League of Nassau County and the Independent Art Society. I am also a freelance photographer and writer. 

This painting was in the Garden City Public Library for the exhibit Suzie curated in March, “The History of St. Paul’s School.” 

I received my Bachelor of Art in studio art and minors in education and English from the State University of Albany. Since college, I have studied with Dan Slapo, Hall of Fame and Master Pastelist, Pastel Society of America (PSA); John Rogers, AWS (American Watercolor Society); Marion Brown, AWS and Howard Rose, oil painter. I have been a juried member of the Art League of Nassau County since 1987 and am a juried member of the National Art League since 2014.

I received the President Barack Obama Award for Volunteerism in 2012. I also received the “Women of Distinction Award” from Assemblyman Tom McKevitt in 2009. An active volunteer, Mayor John Watras appointed me Garden City Village Historian in 2013. I have worked with many charities over the years: board member of the Garden City Historical Society, board member of the Art League of Nassau County, a director at the Garden City Bird Sanctuary/ Tanners Pond Environmental Center and photographer at my church. I have also contributed many prizes to local charities. A house portrait of the winner’s house is a raffle at the PTA Dinner this month. (We have to support our schools)

This is a commission from the North Fork.

Below, Suzie answers our GC Insider of the Month Qs:

What inspires you? 

I’m inspired by many things -The beauty of a landscape, smiles of friends and family, my hard-working fellow artists, people doing good works here in town: our Mayor, John Watras, our Village Administrator, Ralph Suozzi, our Village Clerk, Brian Ridgway and our Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Althea Robinson, as well as the ministers of the Garden City Community Church- Rev. Jim Adelmann, Rev. Lynn Sullivan, Rev. Ian Rottenberg and Licensed Minister George Bashian, who work miracles in helping our congregation. Also, people who work on a national level, such as environmentalist, Sandra Steingraber; journalist, Bill Moyers and artist, John Singer Sargent (1856-1925).

Favorite restaurant in GC? 

There are many good restaurants in Garden City but my favorite is Walk Street with their friendly staff. We like to go for dinner and a glass of wine. It’s always fun to meet friends there.

Favorite store in GC?

My favorite store in Garden City is Lord & Taylor for its beautiful clothing.

What do you love most about GC?

There are many things to list. One is what others have said in this column- the great people who live here: all the people who volunteer and work hard to make Garden City the best place to live. 

Another thing I love is the great school system we have. The teachers and administration are terrific! 

The Garden City Historical Society Museum is a treasure. I encourage all to visit The Museum and the A. T. Stewart Exchange Shop.

Favorite thing to do in GC?

My favorite thing to do in town is to meet friends and family for a nice dinner at Walk Street, Seventh Street Cafe, Calagero’s, Taku and any of the other great restaurants. I always appreciate good food and a friendly staff.

I also like to spend time at the Garden City Public Library where I do my research for articles. The employees and administration are always helpful and genial.

Favorite outdoor place in GC?

My favorite outdoor place is the Garden City Bird Sanctuary/Tanners Pond Environmental Center with all the activities we have. I enjoy the Benefit Yard Sale, which will take place on Saturday, April 25th. It’s a great place to walk too.

What would you change about GC?

I would like more emphasis on the cultural arts such as art, music, history and theater. I encourage residents to attend concerts, art shows and lectures at Adelphi University, local galleries and Garden City High School. 

I would also like to see the St. Paul’s issue resolved in favor of saving our architecturally and historically significant building.

Advice for Inside Garden City readers: 

Please volunteer! You never know what new adventures and friends you’ll experience!

Thank you Susie and thank you for reading Inside Garden City. Please follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

Garden City Insider of the Month: Kathy Lucchesi

We are pleased to have Garden City resident, Kathy Lucchesi, on the blog today as our Insider of the Month. Kathy was born and raised in GC, met her sweetheart, Chuck, here (another GC native) and together they raised their family in town. She basically knows all of the ins and outs of this great town and most of the people in it! Kathy is deeply involved in the community and devotes a large portion of her time to charitable causes. Kathy is also a successful businessperson in town and she writes of her experience in GC below:

I have had the pleasure of being born and raised in Garden City- in an Italian/Irish family of ten children (I’m number 9!). I attended St. Joseph’s elementary school, Garden City Middle School and Garden City High School. I graduated from St. John’s University while working every day after school at Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner and Smith on Franklin Avenue in Garden City. I married my husband, Chuck, in 1987. I became a registered representative and continued to work with Merrill Lynch until my oldest daughter Kelly was born in 1991. My new profession became “full time stay at home mom” to my three children, Kelly (23), Jack (19) and Sam (16). 

Fast forward to 2013. As my children were becoming increasingly independent with school and sports, I found myself with more idle time on my hands than I was comfortable with. Still wanting to be close to home, I made the decision to return to school and obtain my New York State license in Real Estate. Having always been intrigued by the beauty of the homes in Garden City, I felt real estate would be a wonderful fit. I am employed with Daniel Gale Sotheby’s on Seventh Street, a firm based on integrity and its stellar reputation. I take pride in servicing my clients and customers in the most honest way and dedicate myself to exceeding all of their expectations during their real estate experience.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by people who give back. I think we need to raise our children as kids who give back- Simple random acts of kindness. We, as a community, are privileged in so many ways. Volunteering is very important to me. 

The Andy Foundation is one of the charities that is close to my heart. It is an amazing local charity that raises funds for various needy child-based organizations throughout Long Island. Speaking of the Andy Foundation… this Friday, March 6th, 7pm-11pm, is the 2nd Annual Andy Foundation “ANDY GO BRAGH” event at the Garden City Casino! Please come out and support a fantastic event with great food, music and friends. Would love to see you there! Please contact me with any questions: kathleenlucchesi@danielgale.com

Of course we couldn’t resist asking this Insider about her GC faves:

What is your favorite GC restaurant? Hmmm… That is a tough one. We really do frequent many in town. Walk Street is one of my favorites as it combines consistently great food, warm service and an opportunity to bump into and catch up with so many friends and neighbors all in one evening! 

Your favorite store in GC? Again, so many great shoppes. A personal favorite is Food for Thought. The Green Monster Smoothie is fabulous and its my go to place for all of my vitamins and essential oils…. (The vegetarian chili is to die for btw!)

Favorite GC place to grab a drink? Nonna Bella and Walk Street.

Your favorite outdoor place in Garden City? The Patio Bar-Garden City Hotel. It’s a fantastic happy hour and evening spot.

What do you love most about Garden City? Sounds cliche, I am sure, but definitely the people!

What’s your favorite thing to do in Garden City? Eat and shop with friends.

What would you change about Garden City? Not much at all…Lets get St. Paul’s resolved though.

Thanks to Kathy Lucchesi for being our Insider of the Month! Please visit us on Facebook and Instagram. 

Garden City Insider of the Month: Andreas Huber

It’s that time again. Since the past couple of GC Insiders have spoken of their love of playing golf in Garden City, it is appropriate that our next insider of the month is one of the most accomplished GC golfers …  Andreas Huber.

Andreas is a graduate of GC High School where he played on the golf team. He took the team to a Nassau County Championship in addition to winning the individual Nassau County Title. He also made it to the quarter finals in the US Junior Amateur while in High School. He then went on to win the Big East Championship (individual and team) in 1998 at Georgetown University, from which he graduated in 2002.

After working on Wall Street for a few years he played on the Canadian PGA Tour and European Challenge Tour. He is now CEO of Garden City-based Locality Media- developer of the popular Nassau Now app and Account Executive with NetSuite.

Without further ado, here are our Qs for the newest GC Insider of the Month:

What inspires you? The family focus of Garden City along with the sense of athletic and scholastic achievement throughout the school system and community.

What is your favorite GC restaurant? Orchid

Favorite GC store? Natural Food Store

Favorite place to go out for a drink? BK Sweeney’s Uptown Grille

What do you love most about Garden City? The closeness and kindness of the community. People from Garden City have a special bond.

What is your favorite thing to do in Garden City? Hang out with friends who I grew up with in Garden City. I love coming home to visit my family and play golf.

What would you change about Garden City? The traffic. We never had this much when I was growing up.

What is your advice for Inside Garden City readers? Keep reading Inside Garden City!

Look out for more about Andreas Huber on this site and download the free app- Nassau Now. Thank you for reading http://www.InsideGardenCity.com. 

Garden City Insider of the Month: Vinny Muldoon

We’re excited to introduce our next Garden City Insider of the Month!

When you think of beautiful homes throughout Garden City or perhaps doing a construction project in your own house, the name that probably comes to mind is: Vinny Muldoon.

For the few of you who may not know the name, Vinny Muldoon is an expert contractor and owner of Old World Quality Corp–a Garden City based full service construction company. In 1986 he left Ireland (where he grew up on a farm as the youngest of ten children) for Boston, MA. In Boston, he fell in love with his wife, Dina {and also with the U.S.A.}. They moved to Long Island and lived in Franklin Square before settling in Garden City. Soon after moving to Long Island, Vinny started his own contracting business and the rest as they say… is history.

Of course we asked Vinny our regular Insider of the Month Qs and he was very happy to oblige.

What inspires you? Two things inspire me. The first is the ambition that I inherited from my parents. My work ethic comes from growing up on a farm; it builds character. The second is that I want to be known as the number two guy in Garden City- the first being AT Stewart. AT Stewart developed the most spectacular town and paid a lot of attention to detail. I would like to make a huge impact on the town as well, in regards to construction and development. I am also a very detailed person and I want to continue enhancing this beautiful town.

What is your favorite Garden City restaurant? There are so many great restaurants in our town. I support them all. I love steak, burgers, sushi. I like a lot of variety so I share the wealth.

What is your favorite Garden City store? I love to support all of the local stores. We should all do that. My wife is more of the shopper. I’m task-oriented, like the typical male. I’m in and out of a store in 30 secs.

What do you love most about Garden City? The people. The people here are phenomenal. They are quality, genuine, hard working people. This is a great place to raise kids and it’s a town with a lot of architectural beauty. Also, there is no better combination of phenomenal schools and sports programs anywhere in the country. Our schools and sports combined are second to none.

What is your favorite thing to do in Garden City? I love to hang out with my wife and kids. I’m a sports nut. I love to follow my kids in their sports events. I also enjoy playing golf.

What would you change about Garden City? We need to move St. Paul’s forward. There’s been too much politics and bickering when we really need to advance the ball. The structure is filled with spectacular architectural pieces inside and out. It is an unbelievable architectural gem on Long Island and in New York State. I believe that it represents all that’s good about Garden City and this town wouldn’t be the same without it. It’s so unique and special. At the very least, we should make an effort to preserve it as an architectural gem. It’s a shame that it hasn’t been preserved as of yet because it represents the history of this great town.

Do you have any advice for Inside Garden City readers? Help as many people and neighbors as you can. Give as much back to the community as you can. This means sacrificing your time, effort and money to do so. The key to being successful is your ability to help other people and make this world and this community a better place.

Vinny will be honored at this year’s Pineapple Ball as “Citizen of the Year” for the many services his company has performed throughout Garden City and beyondYou can visit Vinny’s website here.

Thank you for reading http://www.InsideGardenCity.com. Please like us on Facebook. 

Garden City Insider of the Month: Mayor John Watras

Last month, Inside Garden City introduced a new feature: The GC Insider of the Month. Since the first person to be chosen as Insider of the Month, Andrew Karen (Dept of Recreation and Parks), is unofficially known in some circles around town as “the mayor”, we thought it only fitting to follow up Andrew with the official Mayor of Garden City- John Watras. 

Inside Garden City was thrilled that Mayor Watras took the time to answer our Garden City Qs. His love for this town and what it has to offer was obvious from our conversation. We look forward to hearing more from the Mayor on this site in the future. 

What inspires you? Work inspires me. New business inspires me. I’m in the financial services business on Wall St. I also love history. Garden City is immersed in history and I love that. I’m inspired by young people as well and the fire in their eyes. I enjoy assisting them where I can.

Favorite restaurant in Garden City? All of them.

Favorite store in Garden City? Again, all of them, especially Joseph & Joseph, The NY Running Company and Garden City Wines & Spirits, to name a few. My wife loves all of the boutiques in town.

What do you love most about Garden City? I love the character of the town and the spirit of the people, as well as the many long-standing traditions. Garden City is steeped in tradition. 

Favorite thing to do in Garden City? I enjoy playing golf and walking. I also love to go into town and meet people.

What would you like to change about Garden City? I’m working on that now. I’m dedicated to providing great service to the Garden City residents. I would like to get closure on St. Paul’s, in accordance with what the citizens want.

At the end of our conversation, Mayor Watras reminded me of Garden City’s upcoming December 12th holiday shopping event on Seventh St. As a proponent of local businesses, this is just one more endeavor the Mayor has backed. Inside Garden City shares his beliefs about supporting our local businesses. We encourage you to enjoy the 12/12 festivities, just as so many of us did during the summer Friday Night Promenades. Shop, dine, meet your neighbors and enjoy yourself while supporting your town.

Thank you Mayor Watras and we hope to see you on Seventh St. on December 12th!


Contact us on Facebook or email insidegardencity@gmail.com if you’d like to nominate someone to be a Garden City Insider of the Month. 

Please remember to like Inside Garden City on Facebook.

Garden City Insider of the Month: Andrew Karen

Inside Garden City is proud to present a new feature- Garden City Insider of the Month- where we will spotlight a different person each month who we deem to be a GC Insider and get their scoop on the town and what they do. This inaugural post features Andrew Karen, a familiar face to many of you. Be sure to tell Andrew you saw his Inside GC debut when you see him around town!

What is your job title? Recreation Attendant  
How long have you worked in this position? I started part time in September 2002 and went full time in October 2008. 
What are your general work duties? Run the Roller Hockey Program, Pee Wee Sports Sampler, as well as supervision of the parks and St Paul’s Recreation Complex. 
How did you end up doing what you are doing? When I graduated high school I had no idea (like so many young ones) what career path I wanted to take. So I decided to go to Nassau Community College where I focused on my basic core requirements while experimenting with different things from public speaking to acting. During this whole time I was working part time for Garden City Recreation having a good time, but it wasn’t until a very good friend of mine was like- ever think of making this your career? He then told me about a school out on the island (St Joseph College) where I could obtain my degree in Community Recreation and well, here I am today loving every minute of my job. 
What are your interests outside of work? When I am not working I enjoy running, as well going to Islanders Games (Go Islanders!) and of course spending time with my friends & family. 
What inspires you? What inspires me is the fact that the services I get to provide bring joy and laughter to all.
We couldn’t let Andrew get away without answering our Garden City Qs:
1. What is your favorite restaurant in Garden City? Wild Fig (If you haven’t visited it, you don’t know what your missing) Try the moussaka.
2. What is your favorite store in GC? TCBY Yogurt
3. What do you love most about GC? How the entire town is one big family.
4. What is your favorite thing to do in GC? Other then makes dreams come true through work….. go running
5. What is your favorite outdoor place to hang out in GC? The Roller Hockey Rink @ Community Park & St Paul’s Recreation Complex of course!
6. Where is your favorite place to go out for a drink in GC? Wild Fig once again. 
7. Do you have any advice for our readers? Enjoy all that Garden City has to offer!!!  


Facebook message us or email insidegardencity@gmail.com if you want to nominate someone to be a Garden City Insider of the month. 

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