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On & Off The Deck
By Jon Wilner

Summer 2006 began a week early in the Pines this year thanks to Eric Von Kuersteiner. He celebrated the second anniversary of his renaissance in the Pines. The Blue Whale restaurant opened their doors last Friday night. And thanks to Eric, the menu has a large selection, realistically priced for the beach. We applauded the premiere performance of Peppermint as she began her “minty fresh” Friday night shows. Peppermint is this season’s must-see talent—she is gorgeous, funny and wild. Her legs kicked higher than Ann Miller, and she had the energy that made her a showstopping success five minutes into her act. Applauding from the first-night audience were Eric’s partner in life and our Pines hero, Chairmen of Beach replenishment, Tony Roncalli, Pines Prez Alan Brockman, one of our Pines most handsome Fire commissioners, Ed Lewis, local celebrity Hal Rubenstein and his partner David Nickle, Pines firefighter Mark Ski and his partner, cochairman of the Harbor and Pines Director Stephen Hayes. Also Don Vanderhoef and Jim Vandernut, Bil Herbst and Ralph Gilmartin, Ron Chereskin and Howard Goldfarb, to name a few. Porsche will perform every Saturday night at the Blue Whale, DJ Lina is in residence at Tea, the Aqua Gym is now open poolside, and breakfast, lunch and dinner is served at the Bay Bar.

This Saturday night Glen Wielgus and Ed Lewis are hosting Whyte Hall’s large donors’ cocktail party at their Bayfront home. Whyte Hall is well on its way—you can see it practically from the harbor, or you can walk to the Coast Guard and see the daily progress. It’s not too late to have your name or your loved one’s name embedded in the walls, or the seats or on a plaque, call Laura Hartstein at 597-9472, donations begin at $1,000. Whyte Hall committee chairman Jay Pagano has devoted the past two years to this project and it is rewarding to see his and all the committee’s efforts come to the realization of this beautiful building designed by Bromley Caldari. Vinny Pepe is fearlessly building Whyte Hall, scheduled to open Memorial Day weekend 2007.

FIPAP Happenings

FIPAP President Glen Wielgus has outlined his 2006 season. Some of the FIPAP events will include Art out of Anything on August 12. You craftsmen and needlepointers, quilt makers, jewelry craftsman, glass makers and potters (the arts and crafts potters, not the smoking potters) please call Tony Impavido at 597-6512 to strut your stuff! The second series of cooking classes featuring Andre Almeida, Laurence Isaacson, Hal Rubenstein, Richard Pittelli and Gino Chiapparelli will begin on June 17th.

June 24 is the date for a six-house tour showcasing the work of Harry Bates and Nick Politis. There will be a sunset jazz concert featuring John Putnam and his group, Blue Curve, at the bayfront home of Ira and Barbara Sahlman on August 5. Charles Busch’s “The Lady in Question” will be screened this summer as well. Plus, “In the Middle of the Sea We Float,” a Stephen Sondheim musical celebration, will be our annual FIPAP production September 1 through 3. Rita and Jack will sing “The Little Things We do Together that Make Marriage a Joy.”

Meanwhile this Sunday evening, Harbor chairmen Jon Gilbert and Stephen Hayes will be our hosts as we celebrate the completion of the harbor infrastructure. Walter Reich and the chamber of commerce have provided a Dixieland jazz band, and there will be an open bar and food from 6 to 8 p.m. right in the harbor.

For seven years President Alan Brockman has worked tirelessly to obtain the necessary permits for the sale of Bay Beach, a much-desired, beautiful bayfront lot owned by FIPPOA. This is one of the very last open lots where you can build your dream house. There will be a community-wide auction of this lot; for more information call the FIPPOA office at 597-6060.

Winter Update

This past fall, winter and spring, the Pines hardly slept. There was Garry Korr’s disco briscuit, the High Holiday services, where Rabbi Hara Person and Congregation B’Nai Olam conducted services at the Pavilion, courtesy of Eric Von Kuersteiner, Ken Zarilli and Joshua McKinney hosted an unbelievable Halloween costume ball at their magnificent Newport mansion. Newport was invaded by the Pines for that October weekend, and will probably never be the same.

Back here in the Pines, there were three New Year’s Eve parties, Scott Bromley and Tony Impavido hosted their annual Cocktails for New Years, as well as a dinner hosted by Garry Korr and a fabulous disco party at the home of Jon Biondo, Tim Horman and Sean Peggs at their new bayfront home that ushered in 2006 in the Pines.

Scott Bromley and Tony Impavido hosted their annual Valentine’s Party at their loft in NYC, the Pines Conservation Society honored Hal Rubenstein and Barbara Sahlman in March at the annual PCS Pre-Season Party, and before we knew it, Easter came rolling around on Shady Walk. And just last week, Bob Howard threw a lavish party celebrating summer 2006 on Bass Walk. This past Saturday, Dr. Juanita Evereteze was honored by the Pines Care Center at the home of Dr. Ed Schulhafer and Crayton Robey. Congrats to Ron Martin, Brett Baccus, Ed Schulhafer and Jim Cashel, for the Pines Care Center continues its tradition in the Pines!

We welcome new homeowners, Richard Vajda, Laurence Isaacson, Chris Matriano, Patrick Quagliano, Peter Barros, Mark Weinberg and Braigh Henningsson, Roger Webster and Jim Dehkan. Congratulations to Brett Baccus and Diane Friedman on their new home in Seaview, and to Ed Schulhafer and Crayton Robey on their new bayfront home.

The most heartfelt news is the recovery of Eddie Candreva, who is back better than ever at the Pines Marina Meat Market with Annie by his side. We are all so happy to see you fully recovered and looking so well.

You may see a beautiful woman with a French accent hovering around with a movie camera this summer, it’s Laura Haim, filming a documentary for French television on the Pines. Don’t worry, she’s one of us and only here to compliment us and she will not film you without your prior consent to protect everyone’s right to privacy.

This year we will have two, count ‘em two, Pines parties to celebrate and raise money for AIDS. The first is the annual Pines Party on the beach, the evening of Saturday, July 29. Cochairmen Jay Pagano and Hal Rubenstein are working once again with the Impression Group producing team to raise money for the Pines Charitable Foundation and Stonewall. The theme is Heroes and Villains. Then on Sunday, August 20, Eric Von Kuersteiner will be hosting a morning party on the beach called The Ascension Party benefiting the Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Fire Island Pines Foundation. You will not want to miss either event, for they promise to be the two most exciting parties of summer 2006, both different and varied, and who can argue that the monies raised are so needed to combat AIDS and to educate a new generation about AIDS awareness!

Once again, Alan Gandolfi , Will Shulz and Ernie Cervi will host the Empire State Pride Agenda party in August. On Saturday, June 3rd, SAGE will honor Tom Rabig, Gilbert Parker and Annie and Eddie Candreva poolside at the Aqua Gym, Hotel Ciel. That same night the Fire Island Pines Fireman’s Ball will hold their yearly dinner (a little scheduling conflict I see).

I’m sure I missed plenty, but that’s why there are so many columns to the summer season. But then again, there are never enough columns to celebrate the wonderful residents, homeowners and renters of the Pines. Happy summer, it’s just the beginning!