It’s not easy adapting to real life after a heart-warming trip to Florida that warmed both body and soul.
But how terrific it was to have the first days of spring bring 60-degree sunny weather back home! I saw green bulbs bursting through the earth as they begin their new life!
Spring is my favorite time of year, partly because my daughter Elizabeth was born on April 16. When I brought her home eight days later—she was born by Caesarean section—every tree had bloomed, and so had she! No wonder I adore the time when life begins again!
For all of us who have been in “hiding” from COVID-19, life is slowly, but surely, beginning again. But while I got my second vaccination shot—as did many friends—I fear for those who resist the medical facts and won’t take the shot. I hope they change their mind for their own safety and ours. We all need to be vaccinated to be safe and finally put this terrible pandemic behind us.
On Sunday, with the sun sparkling off the Shinnecock Bay, I made my way through a secluded winding road to Cowfish Restaurant, my favorite place to eat in Hampton Bays. The eatery, perched at the edge of the bay, is owned by popular restaurateurs David and Rachel Hersh, who also own Rumba across the bay and Flora in Westhampton.
Cowfish is my kids’ favorite place, too, not because of their famous food, but because of the enchanting playground in front of the restaurant. The adults eat and the kids play!
This time I was meeting friends Margo and John Catsimatidis and PR extraordinaire Todd Shapiro. Because of the pandemic, I missed John’s Power Breakfast. But that is coming back soon, too!
Margo and John are the epitome of the power couple. Married for decades, they work side-by side in business and family. Their son John Jr. is a critical part of their billion-dollar empire and their daughter Andrea has taken on a leadership role in the Republican party.
To my delight, Father Alexander Karloutsos, the leader of Dormition of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church of The Hamptons, was dining a few tables away! He proudly told us his church will once again be giving vaccines to the community. I’m so grateful how he and his wife Xanthi Karavellas Karloutsos have taken me into their hearts and lives!
John and Margo are big supporters of the church and many important causes. I first met them at a luncheon they sponsor for the Police Athletic League. Hopefully their power lunches can return soon!
A big part of our time together was spent talking about how John just learned that a ferry stop has been approved for across the bay from his spectacular new oceanfront tower apartment complex in Coney Island, aptly called Ocean Drive.
Growing up in Brooklyn, I adored going to Coney Island, so it was music to my ears to hear about Miami Beach-style housing right here in our city! The development now has a 22-story, 450-unit twin tower rental complex and John has plans to add three more towers.
John and Margo proudly shared that Ocean Drive has endless amenities, including restaurants that will be opening soon. They even accommodate dog owners with a dog walking service!
Their advertising hype, “beachfront living with sweeping ocean views unlike anywhere in New York City,” is real. Imagine living in the city’s most exciting neighborhood, where a Nathan’s hot dog and the best crinkle-cut French fries will be at your fingertips.
Our waterfront is finally getting what is natural to the magnificent ocean location, as there will be life and beauty where only desolated land existed at the tip of Sea Gate. John and Margo’s remarkable complex makes Coney Island glamorous!
I told John how happy I was to hear about his latest project. As a lover of Brooklyn, I reminded him that “you can take the girl out of Brooklyn, but you can’t take Brooklyn out of her heart!”
Coney Island, already home to the historic Cyclone, Wonder Wheel and New York Aquarium, is transforming into a cultural hub filled with filmmakers, artists and entertainers, making the booming neighborhood the perfect destination for the marvelous apartment complex. Brooklyn is lucky to have it!
I’m going to plan a visit to the boardwalk property soon! With its balconies overlooking the ocean, I may be tempted away from the Hamptons, where I love the sounds of the ocean and the endless waves. But now I can get that experience right here in our great city!
Of course, we also talked politics, and John is not currently running for mayor or governor—but the future is so unpredictable!