I spent the day in Breezy Point. For those of you who don't know where or what that is, I looked it up:
">A neighborhood in southwestern Queens, Breezy Point lies at the western tip of the Rockaway Peninsula; it includes Rockaway Point and Roxbury. The area remained undeveloped until the early twentieth century, when the Rockaway Point Company rented tent sites for about $20 a summer to visitors, most of whom were Irish. By the 1920s, a colony of residents owned bungalows on rented land. In 1961, the firm of Northern Properties bought for $17.5 million all the land west of Jacob Riis Park (except for Fort Tilden) to erect a high-rise development for a population of 220,000.
Residents formed the Breezy Point Cooperative and paid $11.5 million for the land. Construction began on two fourteen-story apartment buildings but ceased when the city announced plans to acquire the peninsula for parkland in 1963; the unfinished apartments were demolished in 1978. The city's plans to condemn the entire neighborhood were opposed with particular vehemence by residents who had taken pains to make their cottages habitable year round, and a compromise permitted all to remain. Land owned by the city was incorporated into the Gateway National Recreation Area in 1972, and property of the Breezy Point Cooperative was excluded from it. In the mid-1990s, the community had about 2,800 houses, with an estimated population of five thousand year round, and twelve thousand during the summer.
Alright, so now that that's out of the way, I was there because I got an invite from James Pastore. Sometimes, I forget his first name is James or Jim or whatever, because he's always been Pastore to me. He went to Regis with me, and he was my counterpart goalie in our class in the hockey club. He was better than I was, but we had some good games when we faced each other, and when we played against each other in gym. Anyway, we didn't really hang out much when we were in school, until we got together to sit at the same table with Pagano and V at the Prom, with our respective dates. Anyway, since then, we've tried to keep in touch, especially after we graduated college. He went to Stanford Law and I saw him in SF when I went out there with Charles, and now he'll be back in the city. Anyway.. that's who Pastore is.
So, as for Breezy today... its a really interesting place. A lot of Pastore's friends are living in the city or not in Breezy anymore, but they seem to come back to the beach for the weekends. The beach has basically kept this group together, and captured the best parts of what growing up in Brooklyn or Queens, wherever Breezy technically is. Its just a very down to earth kind of atmosphere, maybe not blue collar, but civil servicey, anyway. Its a small world, and Manhatten seems thousands of miles away, just the way it felt growing up in Bensonhurst before I went to Regis. Yet, that atmosphere is gone from where I grew up.... nothing kept us all together, and so we're scattered all over the place. There's no reason to go back, although I will try to make it to the 18th Avenue Feast tomorrow night. (I just finished yet another jar of peanut butter... can't get enough of this stuff.) Anyway, we basically spent a few hours by ourselves on the beach throwing a ball around and not doing much of anything, and then we bumped into some of his friends, a few of which turned out to be people I knew. Jeff Kein was there from Fordham, as was Jamie Jordan, who I know going all the way back to when we were in high school. I couldn't place Jeff at first, because he was so out of context for me at the time. I have to say, talking to Jamie was interesting. I mean, my memories of her are from pretty much when she was about 14/15, and now she's going into a PhD program at NYU for Communications on her way to becoming a college professor. She seemed much more mature and went out of her way to sit down and talk to me about what I was up to, even though I'd hardly spoken to her in the interim. Its odd to think of all of these people from across my life becoming adults, finding themselves--especially someone like Jamie who I always thought was kind of immature. It was nice to see that I was wrong, at least for a few minutes today anyway.
I also bumped into this girl who went to one of my career talks at Fordham. Funny enough, I was kind of eyeing her when her and her friends were playing volleyball. Come on.. its bathing suit time at the beach and, well, I'm a guy... can't help it. Anyway.... me, Pastore and his friends went to go play with them and she said she recognized me and asked me if I worked for some random company. I told her I didn't... I had no idea who she was... and then she placed me from one of these sessions. REALLY small world. She said I was a good speaker, but who knows.
So, after that, I bumped into yet another Fordham person... Danielle Albanese. She at least said hello to me... usually she's pretty snotty to me because I wrote her up one time when I was an RA. It was her own fault... she had like a 50 person party in her suite in Martyrs and I definately gave her like 18 warnings. I think that was the last suite I ever wrote up, too.
On a random note, Pagano is moving in with Vina. Now, that's an amazing story... and I still, to this day, take the credit for setting them up. I know when we went out, Patti used to say it was her idea, but that would be kind of hard since I was the only one to know both Andrew and Vina at the time. :) Either way, even if I only get half credit for the setup, that's a windfall as far as setup track records.
Anyway, I'm glad Pastore's back in the city, or will be come October. I think he'd get along with Holian really well. They're both big college football fans, and they like their beers of the world--and they travel a lot, too. If they were gay, they'd probably be another great setup. I suppose I can just set them up as friends anyway. :)
Alright... I'm off to bed. Kayaking tomorrow, and dinner at Gino's for my parent's anniversary. They'll be married 43 years on 9/2. I wonder when I'll get married...