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Rep. King Supports Barket Here

BarketKing_082615ALong Island Congressman Peter King will be the keynote speaker [Read more…]

High Praise for GN Schools


SchoolInternet_061715ANorth High School is ranked second and South High School is ranked fifth highest on Long Island, according to Newsweek magazine’s annual rankings. [Read more…]

Community Ed Open House

ContinuingEd2If you’ve never taken a class at Great Neck Public Schools (GNPS) Community Education, you’re invited to see what they are all about. Mark your calendar to attend the first-ever Open House Week, from Monday, Sept. 28, to Friday, Oct. 2. You’ll find classes that are fun, thought-provoking, unique and creative. And the price is right—you’re welcome to attend classes at no cost. Meet the instructors, see the facilities and learn about an exciting program right in your community.

Call Community Education at 516-441-4949 for details and information about which classes will be offered each day during Open House Week.

Fall registration for Community Ed is currently ongoing. Whether it’s fine arts and crafts, fitness and sports, foreign languages, games, humanities, music appreciation and performance, technology or trips and special events, there are hundreds of classes that meet weekdays, evenings and Saturday mornings. Classes meet at the Cumberland Adult Center, 30 Cumberland Ave., Great Neck (one block south of Northern Boulevard off Lakeville Road).

The fall-winter catalog can be found on the GNPS website at www.great Scroll down from the top of the homepage and click on the Community Ed icon. You can register online or by phone at 516-441-4949.

Some of the course offerings include Fine Arts—Book Illustration, Caricatures, Chinese Bamboo Painting, Collage, Drawing, Painting, Pastels, Printmaking and Watercolor.

Fine Crafts (all taught in well-equipped studios not found anywhere else in the area), such as Clay Sculpture, Handweaving, Jewelry Design, Pottery, Silversmithing and Stone Sculpture.

Fitness and Sports, including Aerobics, Ballet, Body Workout, Bootcamp, Cardio Fit, Dance Movement for Parkinson’s, Hand-Weight Training, Kettlebells, Line Dance, Pilates, Qi Gong, Seated Exercise, Tai Chi, Volleyball, Water Exercise, Yoga and Zumba.

Foreign Languages, such as Chinese (many levels), Chinese for Kids (grades 1 to 5), French, Hebrew, Italian, Spanish and Yiddish.

Games and Hobbies, including Bridge, Canasta Beginner, Chess, Mah- Jongg (beginner and intermediate) and Photography.

Humanities, such as Book Group: “Arguably, Some of the Best Books in America”; Greek and Roman Literature; Italy: City by City; One-on-One Editorial Assistance; Shakespeare; Supreme Court Decisions; Top Baseball Arguments of All Time; and Writers’ Workshop.

Music and Performing Arts include Opera Appreciation, Piano and Singing.

Technology (classes and customized, one-on-one training) including Excel, Quickbooks, Smartphones, Website Development, Word and more.

Trips & Special Events, such as Mah-Jongg Event and Dinner at Pearl East, Tuesday, Oct. 13; Broadway In Your Own Backyard: Great Composers Performance Series, Thursdays, Nov. 5, Nov. 19, Dec. 3; and Fiddler on the Roof, Broadway revival, matinee performance, with elaborate lunch at Lattanzi, featuring Italian-Jewish cuisine, Sunday, Nov. 22.

Plaza Concert Finale


PlazaConcert_082615The Village of Great Neck Plaza is pleased to announce the electric Irish quintet, the McLean Avenue Band, will be performing this Tuesday, Sept. 1, at 8 p.m., at Firefighters’ Park, concluding the 2015 Summer Concert Series.

Closing out the concert series for the second year in a row, the McLean Avenue Band will be putting on one of their eccentric trademark performances, masterfully blending the very best of Irish tunes and ballads with country, rock, pop and R & B music, into a soulful concert playlist.

“This year’s summer concert series has taken us all over the globe with a mix of genres and performers from different parts of the world: Latin America, the Mediterranean and the Caribbean,” said Mayor Jean Celender. “This week, we are closing out the series with the sounds of Irish folk music, known for its crowd-pleasing medleys and uplifting, foot-stomping music.”

From the heart of Ireland, by way of Yonkers, the McLean Avenue
Band is well known in the Irish/Celtic scene in the tristate area,
dazzling audiences locally and globally. As a result, the band has
a unique ability to appeal to a broader spectrum of audiences
with their renditions of up-tempo chart toppers, lilting waltzes,
classic rock anthems or heartfelt ballads. Consisting of some of the top musicians in their field, Padraig Allen on vocals, Buddy Connolly on accordion, Jessica Semins on Irish fiddle, Joseph Biancorosso on guitar, and Tony Ryan on drums, the McLean Avenue Band has been entertaining audiences ever since joining forces.

As always, in the case of inclement weather, the concert performance
will be moved to the Great Neck Social Center at 80 Grace Ave. Check with village staff at Village Hall on the day of the concert, or call 516-482-4500 after 5 p.m. There will be a recorded message if the concert has been moved from Firefighters’ Park to the social center. They will also post an announcement on the village website,, if the concert is moved indoors.

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…]