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New Skate School Director


SkateDirector_082615A.The Great Neck Park District welcomes back Great Neck’s own, John Castro-Tie, as the new Skate School Director [Read more…]

ESOL, Equivalency Classes

schoolrank_82615If you’re an adult who wants to learn English, improve your English-language skills or earn a high school equivalency diploma, [Read more…]

At Steppingstone This Weekend


Arturo O’Farrill

At Steppingstone Park this Saturday, Aug. 29, Arturo O’Farrill-Afro-Cuban Orchestra performs. This band is the product of almost 60 years of musical evolution. Arranger and trumpet player Chico O’Farrill (Arturo’s father) came to New York in 1948, as part of a wave of influential Cuban musicians that began in 1930, meshing his traditional Cuban style with the emerging African-American bebop. Chico O’Farrill passed away in 2001, leaving his son, Arturo, in charge. Arturo O’Farrill, pianist, composer, educator, founder and artistic director of the nonprofit Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, created the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra (ALJO) for Jazz at Lincoln Center in 2002. His debut album with the orchestra, Una Noche Inolvidable, earned a 2006 Grammy Award nomination and the orchestra’s second album, Song for Chico, earned a 2009 Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album. In February 2011, O’Farrill and the ALJO released their third and newest album, 40 Acres and a Burro, which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album. He is the winner of the 2003 Latin Jazz USA Outstanding Achievement Award.

O’Farrill has performed throughout the world, both as a solo artist and as part of a group with a wide spectrum of artists, including Dizzy Gillespie, Steve Turre, Freddy Cole, The Fort Apache Band, Lester Bowie, Wynton Marsalis and Harry Belafonte. In 1995, O’Farrill agreed to direct the band that preserved much of his father’s music, the Chico O’Farrill Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra, which recently concluded a 15-year residency at Birdland, New York City’s famed nightclub. A recognized composer, O’Farrill has received commissions from Meet the Composer, the Big Apple Circus, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Philadelphia Music Project, Symphony Space, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts. He has also composed music for films, including Hollywoodland and Salud. Don’t miss this opportunity to see one of the most revered Cuban-Afro orchestras of our time.

On Sunday, Aug. 30, Band of Long Island performs music from Broadway, traditional marches, familiar classics and some of the best of today’s concert band music. A wide array of instruments, such as flutes, piccolos, oboes, English horns, clarinets, bassoons, saxophones, French horns, trumpets, trombones, euphoniums, tubas, string basses, percussion instruments, timpani, xylophones and chimes will be heard. Conductor Michael Flamhaft is founding director of the Band of Long Island (BOLI). He is also an accomplished in-demand arranger with several published works to his credit. Conceived as a musical version of the Rotary Club, the Band of Long Island’s mission is to help other nonprofit organizations raise money for their own worthy causes. Now in its 17th season, the Band of Long Island recently performed at the Conference of the Association of Concert Bands—a prestigious invitation that has been extended twice to the band within the last decade—and was told it “may very well be the best band to perform in the 26-year history of the association.” Join them for a very special evening.

Performances begin at 8 p.m. and are
for Great Neck Park District residents
only. Admission is free to Park District residents with a valid park card. Park cards will be checked when parking and at the gate. Each park card holder is allowed to bring two guests into the park, who must be signed in. There are limited park chairs available and it is recommended that show attendees bring along a blanket or their own chair to sit on. Avoid the traffic and arrive early (before 6 p.m.) with a picnic for dinner. In case of rain, check www. or www.greatneck for location of performance. Either Great Neck North High School or the Parkwood Sports Complex will be the rain location, which will be determined based on type of performance and where it can best be performed. Free bus service continues to be available to Steppingstone and return buses start 10 minutes after the show ends. You will not be able to enter without your park card. The bus schedule can be obtained at Great Neck House, 14 Arrandale Ave., or the gate at Steppingstone Park. It is also available on the Park District website at The bus is subject to cancellation or change, according to public usage. Street parking in the Village of Kings Point is permitted as posted. Parking rules will be strictly enforced by the Kings Point Police. For the safety and comfort of everyone, it is requested that show attendees follow the direction of the park employees. For additional information, visit our website or call 516-482-0355.

A Travel Lesson Learned Early

JeffTravel_081215An important lesson learned from a wealthy Kings Point businessman almost 45 years ago [Read more…]

Film Critic’s A Gold Coast Guest


Regina Gil (left) and John Anderson

On Wednesday, Aug. 12, theatergoers at the Gold Coast International Film Festival’s Furman Film Series installment of Learning to Drive were treated to a conversation with acclaimed guest speaker John Anderson, immediately following the 7:30 p.m. showing at Bow Tie Squire Cinemas in Great Neck.

Anderson is a regular film critic for The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, and America magazine. His work appears frequently in The New York Times, and he has contributed to The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Nation, Film Comment and The Village Voice. He is a past member of the selection committee of the New York Film Festival and the author of Sundancing (Avon), Edward Yang (University of Illinois) and, with Laura Kim, I Wake Up Screening (Billboard Books). With David Sterritt, he edited The B List, by the National Society of Film Critics, chaired the New York Film Critics Circle in 2011 and is a member of the National Society of Film Critics.

Inspired by a true story, Learning To Drive stars Academy Award nominee Patricia Clarkson and Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley in a feel-good comedy about an improbable friendship. Wendy Shields is a book editor from New York facing a marriage crisis. Darwan Singh Tur is a driving instructor and part-time cab driver from India with an abiding respect for tradition. When Wendy sets out to reclaim her independence, she hits a unique roadblock—she never learned to drive. She hires Darwan to teach her. They form an unlikely bond that inspires each to embrace the humor, freedom and strength that come with starting anew.

With the Furman Film Series still in full swing (having recently added Time Out of Mind starring Richard Gere and Broadway legend Ben Vereen), Anderson added an extra dimension of Hollywood information and backstory to the screening of the film. Tickets are
now available for the upcoming special screenings of Althea on Aug. 29 and Time Out of Mind on Sept. 16.

For more information on the Furman Film Series or to buy tickets, visit, or call 516-829-2570.

Gold Coast International Film Festival was founded with the purpose of establishing a home on Long Island to showcase the work of exceptional filmmakers and provide the public with an insider’s view of the film industry. During the seven-day festival, which includes screenings, workshops, conversations with prominent members of the film community, parties and a gala, area residents, visitors, members of the business and film communities, public officials, students and academics come together to celebrate the art and influence of cinema.

The Gold Coast International Film Festival is produced by the Gold Coast Arts Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and supporting the arts through education, exhibition, performance and outreach.

—Submitted by
The Gold Coast Arts Center

Criticizes Shop Delight Rejection


Chamber of Commerce’s Hooshang Nematzadeh (right) speaks with Judi Bosworth at a recent Chamber meeting

A Letter Submitted by Hooshang Nematzadeh, President of the Great Neck Chamber of Commerce [Read more…]

GN Village Talks About Its Trees


The Epstein House the morning after

Less than a month ago, the subject of trees was not a major concern among residents of the Village of Great Neck. [Read more…]

Not Back To Normal Yet


The Epsteins at a news conference (photo courtesy of North Shore-LIJ Health Systems)

While the widespread media attention that focused on 20-year-old Stephanie Epstein has ended, [Read more…]

GN Author in The Hamptons


Signing books alongside Dick Cavett.


With with founding honorary cochair Alec Baldwin, who hosted the event.

Great Neck resident Robyn Schneider, author of Silent Running: Our Family’s Journey to the Finish Line with Autism, was one of the featured authors at the East Hampton Library’s Authors Night on Aug. 8. [Read more…]

Harbor Hills Park Gets $847K

FemaFunding_081915AThe Town of North Hempstead received $847,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) last month for repairs at Harbor Hills Park in Great Neck relating to both flood and wind damages incurred during Superstorm Sandy [Read more…]