Victoria’s Secrets: The City Meets the Hamptons

Rabbi Marc Schneier leads a discussion with Eric Adams
Rabbi Marc Schneier leads a discussion with Eric Adams

For more than a decade, I have known and admired Eric Adams, first meeting him when he was a state senator and then continuing to get to know him better when he was elected Brooklyn Borough President.

My son Josh and I owned the Brooklyn Home Reporter in Bay Ridge and eventually more newspapers that serve every corner of that borough.

John and Margo Catsimatidis and Adams with hosts Dennis and Karen Mehiel
John and Margo Catsimatidis and Adams with hosts Dennis and Karen Mehiel

From his first day as borough president, Eric said, “I will be mayor.” I never doubted his drive and ambition over the eight years he has served in that position and I’m a big believer in the theory, “wish it and it will be!”

Eric did that and now he is nearly there, having won the extraordinarily competitive primary fight in June. Now, only the November general election stands in his way to win the prize and take office as New York City’s next mayor.

Dr. Harvey Manes with Eric Adams
Dr. Harvey Manes with Adams

Last weekend, Eric came to the Hamptons for a meet-and-greet marathon to support his campaign.

I had the pleasure and fun of greeting him at The Hampton Synagogue’s lecture series, held every Sunday. Last week, the synagogue had State Attorney General Letitia James as a guest, and next week they will host our new Governor Kathy Hochul.

Jerry Levin presents his company’s drink, Waterloo Sparkling Water, to Eric Adams
Jerry Levin presents his company’s drink, Waterloo Sparkling Water, to Adams

On Sunday, Aug. 16, at 10:30 a.m., more than 200 people gathered outside under a tent as Eric made his way to center stage for an hourlong “conversation” with Rabbi Marc Schneier.

In his red blazer with black and white polka-dot elbow patches and a black suede yarmulke (a small prayer hat), Eric was like a rock star entering the arena — people rushed to shake his hand and simply touch him. Walking to that stage took half an hour!

Eric Adams and hostess Carol Levin touching polka-dot elbows
Eric Adams and hostess Carol Levin touching polka-dot elbows

Rabbi Schneier boasted about how the synagogue is proud to be first in what they do and, with a twinkle in his eye, he turned to Eric and said, “we will be first to give you a yarmulke imprinted ‘Mayor of NYC,’ replacing the one you have that says ‘Brooklyn Borough President.’”

Speaking with passion and powerful words of his plans for the city, Eric shared his vision of bringing back safe streets, creating a more effective school system and dealing with city agencies to unblock the obstacles for getting the economy back in gear.

Eric Goldberg with Eric Adams
Eric Goldberg with Adams

Eric was asked about his stance on Israel. He quickly and unqualifiedly explained that, “it was a seminal gut feeling that I came out toward the end of my campaign supporting Israel, a place that is critical to our city and the world.”

When asked about the growth of anti-Semitism, he responded by saying he has a plan to put an end to it. He made it clear that he will not tolerate hatred of any kind!

Victoria Schneps with Joan McNaughton, Jean Shafiroff, Catherine Muscente, Demetra Mattone and Judi Marti
With Joan McNaughton, Jean Shafiroff, Catherine Muscente, Demetra Mattone and Judi Marti

Following a strict schedule, we then zoomed off to two private parties. Each group he visited was struck by his vision to take back our city and keep people from running away!

The heat of the day seemed to dissolve as our future mayor wowed the groups with his wise words and charismatic personality.

Schneps staff pool party in Westhampton
How great it was to spend time with my staff.

A day of joyous reunion

After 15 months of missing out on in-person contact, our staff came together for a pool and tennis reunion party.

With all four of our offices having been closed since the start of the pandemic, it was such a joy to see everyone again and to meet our new hires. The virtual hugs turned into warm bear hugs.

Joanna Austin, publisher of our Long Island Press, took on the responsibility of organizing a tennis tournament in memory of our beloved COO Bob Brennan, who we lost as COVID began.

The Bob Brennan Tournament winners at Vicki's pool party
The Bob Brennan Tournament winners

Competing with the tennis tournament, Ralph D’Onofrio set up a cornhole challenge. I don’t know what was hotter — the competition or the 90-degree heat!

A special thanks to Justin’s Chop Shop in Westhampton Beach, whose catering was seven stars!

We laughed, we ate and we relished each other’s company. What a day!

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