WINTER 2019 l FREE
For a few days, L.B. morphed into Malibu
Mario Polit Flavors of L.B. Holiday
Iconic eateries are Happenings
is making his mark always in season Shopping, events and more
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2 | Long Beach Magazine | WINTER 2019
WINTER 2019 | Long Beach Magazine | 3
Editor’s Letter Happy holidays,
Editor I n October, when we first saw a photo of Long Beach High School
student Jack Richards riding a monster wave right here in Long Beach,
we were amazed. The image, by photographer Chris Hamlet and featured
on our cover, is truly remarkable and captured the epic surf — with waves
more than 10-feet-high — that hit the barrier island and the northeast
courtesy of Tropical Storm Melissa.
Two days after that photo was taken, Richards, a member of the high
school’s competitive surf team — the only one in New York — would go on
to win the National Scholastic Surfing Association’s Northeast High School
Championships title in the boys’ shortboard division, a first for the team.
We’re proud to feature Richards and the surf team in our latest issue
of Long Beach Magazine. The team — founded by the late Danny Bobis in
2010, a beloved LBHS teacher and surfer who left an indelible mark on the
community through the surf team and Long Beach Surfers Association —
has accomplished so much in the decade since it was founded, whether
it’s helping to put New York surfing on the map or through the group’s
environmental advocacy and community efforts.
We also have a gnarly photo spread of the historic surfing action in
this issue that went down in October, courtesy of Hamlet.
Furthermore, we’re very excited to feature LBHS senior Brooke Yellin,
who made history this year as the first female kicker on the boy’s varsity
Elsewhere, we caught up with actor and New York City firefighter
Mario Polit. A Long Beach resident, he recently had a featured role in
the movie “Hustlers” with Jennifer Lopez and is also set to appear in an
upcoming Judd Apatow movie starring Pete Davidson and Marisa Tomei.
Looking ahead, with the local elections now past us, it’s time to get
in the holiday spirit with all the great events Long Beach has to offer. In
this issue, we round up some of the most popular events of the holiday
season, such as the West End Electric Light Parade and Long Beach
Christmas Angel’s annual fundraiser.
And, of course, we’ve included our shopping and dining highlights
that great local businesses offer during the holiday season.
The magazine was edited and designed by the Long Beach Herald’s
award-winning staff, and we’d like to thank the residents and business
owners for their time and participation. We hope you enjoy it!
[email protected] liherald.com/longbeach/ long beach magazine
4 | Long Beach Magazine | WINTER 2019
Real Trends Magazine
America’s Best Professionals
Joyce Coletti is among the
top 1/2 of 1% of
Real Estate Professionals
in the Tri State Area.
JOYCE COLETTI O: 516.432.3400 | M: 516.313.2700 1064068
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WINTER 2019 | Long Beach Magazine | 5
In this Issue
ISSUE 11 Features 4400
28 - Mario Polit’s
Anthony Rifilato N.Y. State of Mind
The firefighter’s acting career
Karen Bloom is heating up
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS 32 - Brooke Yellin
Bridget Downes Making history on the LBHS
Chris Engelhardt football team
Alyssa Seidman 45 - Oso Oso
Darwin Yanes 28 A Q&A with the indie rock artist
CONTRIBUTING Contents 26 - A surfing champion
8- Holiday events around town LBHS surf team rider makes history
Sue Grieco Annual tree lighting, Electric Light Parade and more 36 - Looking back on Sandy
10 - Seasonal style Local filmmaker’s documentary highlights
Alyssa Seidman community’s strength
Brian Stieglitz Ooh la la’s looks are trending for the holidays
Darwin Yanes 39 - ‘Tis the season
12 - Let’s taco about it
PHOTO EDITOR for giving back
Christina Daly Check out these popular spots for tacos and more
Long Beach is a commuunity that cares
ExECUTIvE EDITOR 14 - Scoring a slice
Barstool’s Dave Portnoy reviews Gino’s and Sorrento’s
Ellen Frisch 24 - Chasing the waves
PUBLISHER Surfers ride unprecedented swells
vICE PRESIDENT - SALES WINTER 2019 l FREE
For a few days, L.B. morphed into Malibu On The Cover:
vICE PRESIDENT - OPERATIONS
Michael Bologna Mario Polit Flavors of L.B. Holiday Photography by Chris Hamlet. 10
Iconic eateries are Happenings Surfer: Jack Richards
GENERAL MANAGER ‘Hustlers’ star
Robert Kern is making his mark always in season Shopping, events and more Cover design
Jeffrey A. Negrin
AND LAyOUT DESIGNER
Jeffrey A. Negrin
Long Beach Magazine is published by Richner
Communications, Inc. and is distributed by
USPS to all households and businesses in
Long Beach, N.Y. and vicinity. Distribution
is supplemented via hotels, restaurants,
realtor offices, professional offices and similar
No part of Long Beach Magazine may be
reproduced in any form or by any means
without prior written consent from the pub-
lisher. The views expressed by contributors are
not necessarily those of the publisher, editor
or staff of Long Beach Magazine.
Long Beach Magazine
2 Endo Boulevard, Garden City, N.Y. 11530
Voice: (516) 569-4000 • Fax: (516) 569-4942
A supplement of
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6 | Long Beach Magazine | WINTER 2019
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with FuN and FESTIvITIES
Lucas DelRio and Joseph Lattanzi of Cub The West End Electric Light Parade is set for Santas having fun at the always popular
Scouts Pack 51 at the Long Beach Christmas Dec. 14. Electric Light Parade
Tree Lighting at Kennedy Plaza in 2016. Herald file photo Photo by Chris Engelhardt
Photo by Karen Dinan
By Chris Engelhardt and from the boardwalk. Santa hats or restaurants offering specials. Parking
jingle bells will be given to the first 100 is available at Long Beach Catholic
With the festive season fast registrants. Regional School. For more information,
approaching, Long Beach residents The cost is $25 before Dec. 6 visit www.longbeachny.gov or www.
are gearing up for the holidays in more at 3 p.m.; day of race registration is thelongbeachchamber.com.
ways than one. This year, the city is $30. Holiday costumes and lights
offering a variety of special events are encouraged. Please bring an Menorah Lightings
and festivities to spread holiday cheer unwrapped toy to donate to the annual Beginning Sunday, Dec. 22
throughout the community. Check out Marine Corps Toys for Tots Drive. An Celebrate Hanukkah with the
our roundup of upcoming happenings awards ceremony at the VFW will community at the lighting of the
across town to get in the holiday spirit! follow. menorah on Sunday, Dec. 22 at 5 p.m.
at Kennedy Plaza. Enjoy hot potato
Kennedy Plaza Christmas Recreation Children’s Holiday Show latkes, jelly donuts, coffee and the Great
Tree Lighting Saturday, Dec. 14, 11 a.m. Chocolate Gelt Drop. Can’t make it? Join
Friday, Dec. 6, 4 p.m. The Long Beach Department of members of Long Beach synagogues in
Join local officials and residents to Parks and Recreation will host its annual lighting the menorah each night during
celebrate the annual tree lighting at Children’s Holiday Show at Long Beach the Hanukkah celebration at Kennedy
Kennedy Plaza. Families can enjoy arts Middle School auditorium, where Santa Plaza. Visit www.longbeachny.gov for
and crafts, holiday carols, hot chocolate will gift presents to children ages 10 more information.
and cookies. The tree lighting will and under and pose for photos.
commence at 6 p.m. and the event will First Night at the Long Beach
also feature a visit from Santa! West End Electric Light Parade Ice Arena
Saturday, Dec. 14, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31, 4 p.m.
Jingle Bell Toys for Tots 5K Run The 7th annual Electric Light Parade Gather with neighbors and friends
Saturday, Dec. 7, 6 p.m. — presented by the city in partnership for the 6th annual First Night at the
The city, in conjunction with the with the Long Beach Chamber of Long Beach Ice Arena from 4-7 p.m.
Long Beach VFW Post 1384, will host Commerce — will feature antique cars, The fun, free event includes ice skating,
the 6th annual Jingle Bell 5K Run for fire trucks, floats and bicycles wrapped music, crafts, games and snack bar
Toys for Tots. The fun run will take place in Christmas lights. The event begins at specials. It will feature a special New
on the Long Beach boardwalk at 6 6:30 p.m. on Ohio Avenue and will head Year’s Eve Ball Drop at 6:30 p.m.
p.m. Registration begins at 4 p.m. at the east on West Beech Street to New York For more information on these
VFW, at 675 W. Park Ave. Shuttle buses Avenue. Hot chocolate will be served upcoming events, visit www.
will be available to bring participants to throughout the parade route, with longbeachny.gov.
8 | Long Beach Magazine | WINTER 2019
WINTER 2019 | Long Beach Magazine | 9
in style this By Brianna Bonfiglio
“Carefree With a chill in the air and
Attitude” Vest the holidays around the corner,
you’ll want to wear something
fashionable, comfy and warm. Ooh
la la boutique, at 134 E. Park Ave.,
can help you show up to those
holiday parties in style. Check out
@oohlalaboutiques on Instagram.
“Carefree Attitude” Vest: “Cold Outside” Infinity “Happy Hearted” Stripe “ Autumn Dayz” Sweater
Sport holiday colors in Scarf: Huddle up in a Sweater: Cast away the Dress: For that special
plaid with this super- maroon-and-white winter blues, and don’t occasion, try this sleek-
soft, fur-lined vest. cloud for your neck. be afraid to be bold and yet-cozy dress on for
bright this season. size — and eyes.
Photos Courtesy Ooh la la
10 | Long Beach Magazine | WINTER 2019
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WINTER 2019 | Long Beach Magazine | 11
By Alyssa Seidman
As colder weather breezes in to the
barrier island, residents will be in search
of plates piled high with warm comfort
foods. To stay cozy — and full — head to
these four spots in the West End that are
serving up a spicy variety of tacos.
The Cabana has built a reputation
of serving up fun Mexican-American
fare all year long, and while the menu
is consistent across the board, the taco
offerings are a stand-out. Whether you
like your shells puffy or gluten free,
Sarah Coletti, left, and the wait staff at The Cabana
are happy to fulfill their customers’ taco cravings.
Photo by Ellen Frisch
Some of Taqueria’s offerings, above, include fried
fish tacos, left, sweet potato tacos and classic al
Photo by Alyssa Seidman
12 | Long Beach Magazine | WINTER 2019
diners can choose their ideal fix Each platter of The Cabana’s tacos is served
from 12 different types of tacos. with a helping of rice and beans.
The Terrapin Tacos, nicknamed Photo by Ellen Frisch
“Jerry’s Favorite,” feature two puffy
shell tacos stuffed with Panko- Swingbellys Beachside BBQ can mix and match from seven
crusted fried shrimp, avocado and Though the eatery is best known different taco specialties.
pico salsa drizzled with Cabana’s
famous scallion sauce. for its BBQ bites, Swingbellys is no The Carnitas taco starts with
stranger to the taco trade. Using crispy pork — “Grandma’s recipe,”
The Hawaiian Pork Tacos boast techniques they employ for many of according to the restaurant’s website
island flavors. Two flour tortillas their dishes, the chefs at Swingbellys — topped with traditional cilantro
get fully loaded with braised pork are able to offer taco fillings with a and onions and a tangy tomatillo
shoulder, roasted red peppers and distinct flare. sauce. In the Pescadito taco, codfish
red onions topped with pepper-jack is marinated overnight in Mexican
cheese and pineapple glazed in a The Smoke Pit Tacos are served spices and cooked to perfection.
ginger-passion fruit sauce. three to an order with your standard The fish is finished with hearts of
1034 West Beech St.; (516) 889-1345 palm and a mango chili sauce. There
pico de gallo, guacamole and sour is also a vegan option featuring
cream accoutrements. Among roasted yellow squash, pico de gallo,
the fillings are pulled pork, pulled guacamole and refried black beans.
chicken, 12-hour braised brisket 914 West Beech St.; (516) 653-9600
and smoked sausage. The meats
are cooked in a rotisserie pit fueled Jetty Bar & Grill
by hickory, cherry and apple woods. In the winter, Jetty Bar &
Instead of getting chips and Grill keeps the party going.
queso with your order, diners Accompanying the restaurant’s
can choose one of Swingbellys special events and live music nights
are a variety of tacos sure to satisfy.
sumptuous sides, such as mac
and cheese, collard greens or Jetty touts having “the best fish
smokehouse beans. tacos on the island,” according to
its menu, and the trend extends to
909 West Beech St.; its other taco offerings. Chunks of
(516) 431-3464 decadent lobster are tossed with a
touch of mayo, lemon juice and herbs
Taqueria before being piled into a hard corn
Offering authentic tortilla. For the traditionalists, diners
can order a classic beef taco paired
Mexican dishes in a festive with shredded cheddar cheese,
atmosphere, it’s clear that lettuce and pico de gallo.
Taqueria would be featured in 832 West Beech St.; (516) 442-1338
a taco roundup. Each “Taco de Long
Beach” — priced at $3.50 a pop — is WINTER 2019 | Long Beach Magazine | 13
served on a soft corn tortilla. Since
each order yields one taco, diners
‘One bite, the rules’
By Matthew Ferremi Barstool don’t you dare come here.”
founder Sorrento’s is not a traditional
“I’m giving this slice a solid 7.9,” Dave
said Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy pizzeria; it’s a specialty butcher
Portnoy. “A little greasy, but it’s very reviews shop that also serves pizza fired up
good.” pizza at in a 1,500-pound brick oven that
Gino’s and wouldn’t be out of place in Naples.
Portnoy was referring to a slice Sorrento’s
of pizza he tried at Gino’s Pizza Portnoy added that it was tough
on 16 W. Park Ave. on Aug. 28, doing the review.
part of his popular Barstool pizza
reviews, which rack up hundreds “This was the weirdest pizza
of thousands of views across the review I’ve ever done,” he said.
company’s website and social “They didn’t want me doing a
media platforms. review. I thought they were nuts at
first, but now I understand why.”
Portnoy was joined by Long
Beach native Gaetano Riccardi, Portnoy ended the Sorrento’s
who said he “grew up” on Gino’s, a review by saying he wanted people
restaurant founded in 1962 by Gino to forget about it.
Branchinelli, whose grandchildren
now own the business. “Delete this review from your
brain, forget you ever saw this,” he
Riccardi had undergone a heart said. “You never heard 8.7 come out
and kidney transplant last year and of my mouth.”
said he was a big fan of Portnoy’s
reviews. His daughter had shared Former Sorrento’s owner
a video on social media of her Anthony Arpino — who sold the
father watching a review while he business two weeks after the
was in the hospital, which caught review — said he didn’t want
Portnoy’s attention. Portnoy to do the review.
“I told her that when Guy gets “When he came in, I didn’t
out of the hospital, we’re doing know who he was,” said Arpino,
a pizza review,” Portnoy said who opened the business with
outside the iconic Long Beach his father, Pasquale, in 1999. “I like
eatery. our place to have a low-profile, so
I gave him pizza and told him to
Known as “El Pres” by leave.”
Barstool fans, Portnoy’s reviews
have become just as popular as Arpino said he was unaware
the sports and pop culture blog of Portnoy’s review until after it
that he created in 2003. Called
“One Bite Pizza Reviews with came out.
Davey Pageviews,” Portnoy will “I didn’t know the review
try a slice from pizzerias across
the country, and his catch line is happened until my niece
“One bite, everyone knows the called and told me about
rules.” After a few bites, Portnoy the review,” he said. “I’m
will give the slice a score from
zero to 10. glad for the new owner
that we got a good
He not only reviewed score.”
Gino’s, but also tried a slice at
Sorrento’s, at 255 W. Park Ave. on Portnoy reviewed
Aug. 28. He gave it a stellar 8.7 — Sorrento’s and
arguably one of the best scores — gave it an 8.7.
and described it as a local hidden Photo by Darwin Yanes
“The pizza is really good —
it’s handmade and uses fresh
ingredients,” Portnoy said. “But
14 | Long Beach Magazine | WINTER 2019
Portnoy gave Gino’s
a 7.9 in his “One Bite
Photo by Christina Daly
Portnoy, center, joined with the staff Gino’s. - Courtesy Gino’s/Facebook
WINTER 2019 | Long Beach Magazine | 15
What is it?
A towering milkshake packed with
birthday cake ice cream in a mug coated
in vanilla frosting and M&M’s, draped
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and Skittles. Topped with a glazed donut,
cotton candy, jumbo rainbow swirl
lollipops, whipped cream, and a sparkler
for those special occasions.
Brixx & Barley, 152 W. Park Ave.
Check out @brixxandbarley on Instagram.
— Anthony Rifilato
Photo by Sue Grieco
16 | Long Beach Magazine | WINTER 2019
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WINTER 2019 | Long Beach Magazine | 17
By Melissa Koenig The Long
Max Feinberg Queebrninsgs also features new
wanted to bring a additions, such
little bit of Queens as a sandwich
to Long Beach, created by UFC
and opened fighter Chris
Cherry Valley City Seato the Weidman and
featuring The by another by
Lemon Ice King of the Islanders center
Corona on West Casey Cizikas.
Beech Street Guests could also
earlier this year. create their own sandwiches, and eat Looking for the perfect
holiday cocktail this
He said he thought Long Beach was an array of Italian ices at the site. year? This White
“the right location” for the Whitestone- “There’s so much to choose courtesy of LB Social
and the acclaimed small
based chain because it would offer from,” Feinberg said, adding that the batch tequila One With
Life, will get you in the
beach-goers ices on a hot day and sandwiches are all unique. “They’re spirit in no time!
would offer sandwiches to residents things people might not think to put on One With Life Organic
year round. “I think it’s nice to come a sandwich.” Coconut milk
in, sit outside and have a sandwich by Beach-goers can partake in these Orange Liqueur
Coconut flake rim
the beach,” Feinberg said. “This is an one-of-a-kind sandwiches Sunday Fresh mint garnish
opportunity for [residents] to grab a through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 12 a.m., Shake and strain over
quick breakfast, lunch or dinner.” and on Fridays and Saturdays from
So, he partnered with the original 7 a.m. to 4 a.m. For more information
Cherry Valley owners to open the Long about the sandwich shop, visit www.
Beach location in May. It took over for CherryValleyLB.com.
Slices and Ices, a dual pizza and ice Photos by Christina Daly
cream shop that closed last year and
had remained vacant.
Cherry Valley offers some of the
sandwiches that the chain is well-
known for, such as the Bushman, a
chicken cutlet, bacon, brown gravy and
American cheese on a toasted garlic
hero; the Coyote, a chicken
cutlet, melted mozzarella,
bacon, waffle fries and
ranch dressing on a
toasted garlic hero; and
the Coron, a chicken
cutlet with bacon,
cheddar, onion rings
and barbecue sauce on a
toasted garlic hero.
18 | Long Beach Magazine | WINTER 2019
From the minute you enter our newly renovated facilities, you’ll experience the highest standards in care.
FromFrroemsurlets-udltrsiv-ednrivrenharbehtoabstuonsntiunngnpinrgivaptreivraoteomroso, myosu, ’yllofue’elllfgerealngdraantdGartanGdrealnl.dell.
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645 W64E5STWBERSOT ABRDOWAADYW, LAOYN, GLOBNEGACBHE,ANCYH, |N1Y156| 11155161.858196..1818090.11| 0W0 W| WW.GWRWA.NGDRAELNLDREELHLARBE.WHCIANOTBME.RC2O01M9 | Long Beach Magazine | 19
a C inI Tthye
By Alyssa Seidman Dough Hut
fair trade, organic and
Keeping warm during naturally processed.
the colder months is Coffee addicts can get a
especially important to taste of different brews
Long Beach residents from around the world,
who refuse to go into too, as Gentle Brew
hibernation, even if there’s sources beans from Brazil,
snow on the sand. And Costa Rica and Colombia.
what better way to make 151 E. Park Ave.; (516) 605-
spirits bright than with a 2370
jolt of caffeine? Wake up
this winter at any one of Dough Hut
these four coffee shops No doughnut shop
caffeinating the barrier would be complete
island. without a strong cup of joe
to back up all those sweet
Gentle Brew treats. At Dough Hut,
Gentle Brew opened you can wash down the
in 2012, just three months beloved baked good with
before Hurricane Sandy a steamy cup of caffeine.
hit. It was one of the first Warm up with a
businesses in Long Beach cappuccino sprinkled
to open its doors to the with a hint of cinnamon,
public after the storm. The or shoot back a couple
staff handed out clothes, shots of espresso to expel
protein bars and other that chill in your bones.
items to those in need, For the iced coffee purists,
and the business has since Dough Hut still serves its
become a staple in town. popular cold brew coffee
Both a coffee shop and during the winter. And
roastery, residents have kiddos who already have
also described Gentle pep in their step can enjoy
Brew as a welcoming a cup of Dough Hut’s hot
community hub. chocolate to accompany
Employees roast their munchkins.
coffee beans on site; some 891 W. Beech St.; (516)
varietals are certified 432-1400
20 | Long Beach Magazine | WINTER 2019
Baked by the Ocean Dough Hut
Beat the winter blues by warming up in the
colorful space known as Baked by the Ocean.
Opened by Long Island native and two-time
James Beard Award finalist Catherine Schimenti
in 2018, the bakery has already become a go-to
among the bars and restaurants that populate
the West End.
The trendy dessert shop is known for
serving up frosé, hard kombucha and wine
during the warmer months, but customers
can find beverages with frostbite respite, too.
During the winter, coffee lovers can sip “cawfee”
from cutely decorated cups reminiscent of
the tropics. For a drinkable dessert, order the
Phatty Neighbor — a heaping helping of vanilla
soft serve ice cream topped with Gentle Brew’s
nitro cold brew. Also available for your sipping
pleasure are cappuccinos and hot chocolate.
919 West Beech St.; (516) 889-2253
The Coffee Nut Cafe
For a classic coffeehouse experience, head
to The Coffee Nut Cafe. Lining the walls are
gigantic glass jars filled to the brim with coffee
beans. Patrons can choose their favorite bean
variety to take home or have ground on site and
brewed into a drink.
The cafe serves up seasonal flavors
depending on the time of year — Irish cream
is a popular mix-in for St. Patrick’s Day, and
pumpkin-flavored everything dominates the
menu during the fall. For the holiday season,
enjoy Coffee Nut’s red velvet latte or caramel-
flavored coffee to perk up. Brimming each brew
is a swirl of mesmerizing latte art, courtesy of
250 E. Park Ave.; (516) 897-6616
Baked by the
Even as the weather cools, coffee addicts can still be seen toting
iced coffee around the Barrier Island courtesy of Dough Hut.
Enjoy a hot cup of joe with your dozen doughnuts this winter.
Photos by Sue Grieco
Pair Baked by the Ocean’s famous rainbow cookie bars with a hot
cup of coffee or creamy latte.
Photo by Alyssa Seidman
WINTER 2019 | Long Beach Magazine | 21
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WINTER 2019 | Long Beach Magazine | 23
Tyler Maguire Pat Schmidt
24 | Long Beach Magazine | WINTER 2019
For a few days, Long Beach
morphed into Malibu
By Anthony Rifilato
For surfers, the holidays came early this year.
Many locals called the waves that rolled in Oct. 9 to 11 some of the
best swells — more than 10-feet-tall — in at least a decade, courtesy
of Tropical Storm Melissa.
Surfline said that the nor’easter delivered a one-two punch and
called the surf conditions the best New York had ever seen — better
than the Quiksilver Pro New York in 2011, locals added.
Needless to say, surfers from all over flocked to Long Beach and
Lido Beach to take advantage of the epic waves, including Long
Beach resident and professional big-wave rider Will Skudin and local
pro surfers Balaram Stack and TJ Gumiela, among others.
Skudin — who has surfed some of the best and largest waves in
the world — enjoyed the epic surf right in his backyard.
“Three days of perfection,” he said.
The images were taken by Chris Hamlet, a local surfing
photographer, who captured all the historic action. Check out his
work on Instagram @chris_hamlet and @chrishamlet_photography.
Photos by Chris Hamlet
Main Photo - Colin Moran
WINTER 2019 | Long Beach Magazine | 25
LBHS founded by the late Danny Bobis — a
beloved LBHS teacher and surfer who
makes history left an indelible mark on the community
through the surf team and Long Beach
By Anthony Rifilato Surfers Association — the team has
grown and helped put New York
Beach season may have been over for surfing on the map through regional
most people in the fall, but Long Beach competitions, as well as its community
High School’s competitive surf team was involvement and environmental advocacy
just getting started. efforts. That includes an annual beach
The team competed in a Northeast clean up around Earth Day, and the team
regional contest in Spring Lake, N.J. on also volunteers at a Surfers Healing event
Oct. 13 for group and individual titles — each year, where students with special
and surfer Jack Richards became the needs are given the opportunity to surf,
team’s first champion. Richards said.
The only competitive surf team in “Our goal always is to help the kids
New York, the group of nine surfers get better— and create a lifelong surfer,”
placed third in the National Scholastic said Neal Campbell, the team’s coach.
Surfing Association’s Northeast High “I’ve been fortunate enough to travel
School Championships for a second and see the world, explore different
year, behind teams from Ocean City cultures through surfing, and that’s
and Manasquan. Richards, meanwhile,
won the boys’ shortboard division and
clinched the title.
Long Beach was one of 23 teams
— mostly from New Jersey and
Pennsylvania — that competed in the
contest, where judges scored on a scale
of 1 to 10 based on wave position and
For Richards, who has been surfing
since age 7 and joined the surf team as
a freshman, the win came on the heels
of historic surf in Long Beach and the
northeast generated by Tropical Storm
Melissa just days before the event, more
than 10 feet in height.
“It was great to be the first champion
for the Long Beach High School surf
team,” he said. “In the days prior to the
contest, it was great to surf waves that
good in my hometown. I have always
enjoyed being in the ocean and through
surfing, I have met most of my good
Nearly a decade after it was
26 | Long Beach Magazine | WINTER 2019
what I’d like to impart on the Campbell said. “When we get
kids, as opposed to just the waves here, typically it means
competitive aspect.” that the snow is coming down
and when nor’easters are
About 20 students are hitting.”
members of both the surfing
team as well as the surf club, LBHS surf team rider Hayden Levi.
which is open to all students. Photo courtesy Neal Campbell
“They go hand in hand, Long Beach High School’s
but we do encourage anyone competitive surfing team — the
to join,” Campbell said. “It only surf team in the New York
has been growing. We also — placed third for a second year
bring in people in the surfing in the National Scholastic Surfing
world to talk, like pro surfers Association’s Northeast High School
Balaram Stack and Will Championships.
Skudin.” Photo courtesy Long Beach
“We love the competitive
end of it and we do strive to Jack Richards won the boys’
win, but we also preach that shortboard division.
our regional competition Photo courtesy Neal Campbell
is only once a year, and
encourage students to keep Long Beach High School student
surfing and have fun with it,” Jack Richards, a member of the
Campbell added. “We’re trying school’s surfing team, rode one of
to let kids experience the what many surfers described as
world and use surfing to keep some of the best swells ever on
their minds and their bodies Oct. 11 — taller than 10 feet over
healthy as they grow older.” a three-day period — courtesy
of Tropical Storm Melissa. Two
The team practices after days later, Richards won the
school and on weekends — National Scholastic Surfing
mostly in the fall — at Monroe Association’s Northeast High School
Boulevard beach. Championships in Spring Lake, N.J.,
the team’s first champion.
“I think it takes a lot of grit,” Photo courtesy Chris Hamlet
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WINTER 2019 | Long Beach Magazine | 27
Can’t knock the hustle
Actor and firefighter Mario Polit
makes his mark in
By Anthony Rifilato dealt with that scene,” said Polit, who, at Davidson, who lost his firefighter father,
6-feet-tall, used to bounce at nightclubs Scott, on 9/11 — set for release in 2020.
In February 2018, Long Beach in New York City. “I remember hearing Most recently, Polit can also be seen
resident and actor Mario Polit was about a prince from Dubai who was on HBO’s “The Duece,” FX’s “Louie,”
vacationing at Walt Disney World in charged $95,000 at Scores, but I didn’t CBS’s “Unforgettable” and Apatow’s
Orlando, Fla., with his wife, Tonya, and know the extent of it.” “Crashing.”
10-year-old daughter, Mia Rose, when When he isn’t fighting fires as a “Hustlers” began filming in March;
he received a call from his agent. A member of New York’s bravest, Polit, a Polit shot his scenes in 10 days over five
casting director in New York wanted Queens native, is thoroughly invested weeks on his days off from the FDNY in
him to audition that day for a new film in his other career as an actor. He’s New York City and Westchester County
starring Jennifer Lopez. been acting in movies and on the small locations with the cast and crew.
Initially, Polit said that he was screen in hits such as “The Sopranos” “I had never met J. Lo before,” Polit
unavailable. Not wanting to miss his and “Law & Order” for more than 25 said. “The day we were filming the
chance to audition for a big Hollywood years. interrogation scene, my wife said I
film, however, Polit reconsidered after And with “Hustlers,” his career is should get gifts for her and her kids.”
his agent urged him to read for the part on the rise. Polit was recently cast Polit arrived to the set one day with
in his hotel room and tape it. as a firefighter in an untitled Judd a gift bag filled with FDNY T-shirts and
“My wife, who is a big J. Lo fan … Apatow film starring Pete Davidson, other swag for Lopez, her fiancé, former
said, ‘What’s the big deal?’” said Polit, Marisa Tomei and Steve Buscemi — a Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez, and
51, a New York City firefighter for more semi-autobiographical drama about their children.
than 20 years. “My daughter said, ‘I’ll
read the lines with you, and then we’ll
go enjoy our vacation. My daughter
filmed the audition on my iPhone, and I
read specific lines from the script with
my wife. I guess because it was my
wife and daughter, I wasn’t nervous. I
get back to New York three days later
and my agent said the casting director
called and they want you to come in.”
Polit landed a big role in the movie
“Hustlers,” featuring Lopez and other
stars including Constance Wu, Julia
Stiles and Cardi B. The film, released
in September, is based on a 2015 New
York Magazine article, “The Hustlers at
Scores,” in which a group of strippers
at the famed New York City club
drugged and ripped off rich Wall Street
stockbrokers in the wake of the 2008
Marking his biggest movie role to
date, Polit plays Detective Hernandez,
who’s investigating the crew with his
partner, played by Paul Nielsen, and
helps bring them down.
“I remember that whole thing and I
28 | Long Beach Magazine | WINTER 2019
“I said, ‘I have something selling women’s shoes on I’ve been riding “When I was 25-years-
I want to share with you and Madison Avenue,” he said. the wave with old, my brother told me
your family,’” Polit said. “She He landed his first this movie. the FDNY was taking
was really touched.” movie role in the 1997 film applications and told me
“I knew it was going to “The Devil’s Own” with he thought I’d be a good
be a big movie, and I’ve been Harrison Ford and Brad
riding the wave with this Pitt, in which he played a fireman,” he explained. “I
movie,” he added. “It was one thug. That was followed by
of the best experiences I’ve a memorable role in “The took the test and I thank
had as an actor.” Sopranos,” where he was
For Polit, “Hustlers” is a he cast as the infamous him everyday. I’m lucky I get to do two things that I love. I
milestone in his burgeoning character, Jesus Rossi, in an
acting career; one he has episode titled “Employee of decided to be a New York-based actor.”
been able to successfully the Month.” He met James
juggle as a lieutenant at Gandolfini and the rest of Three years after he joined the FDNY, Polit was working
FDNY’s Engine 268, Ladder the cast, and learned about
137, in nearby Rockaway, the creative process from at Engine 22, Ladder 13 on the Upper East Side on 9/11. Nine
known as the “Beach series creator David Chase.
House.” “Early in my career, I firefighters from his firehouse died in the attacks. Polit, who
Polit, who grew up played an inmate, a drug
in Middle Village in an dealer, a rapist,” Polit said. was off that morning, responded to ground zero later that day
Ecuadorian family, said “I joke around and say I
he caught the acting bug played all positive Hispanic and spent 10 months in the recovery effort.
at age 23 after watching roles. Working on The
his older brother, José — Sopranos was wonderful “I have friends who were with me that day who now have
who had studied at the — I thought that was my
renowned Lee Strasberg lucky break. I was on the lung problems, who have sinus problems — we’ve had over
Theatre and Film Institute number one show and the
— perform in a community episode was titled after my Continued on page 30
theater play called character. But it’s not until
“Look Back in Anger.” He now, in my 50s, that I’m
was mesmerized by his getting different roles as a
brother’s performance, he detective and a fireman.”
said. Though Polit said he
“I said, ‘I want to do flirted with the idea of
that,’” Polit recalled. “That moving to Los Angeles to
kind of lit the flame.” pursue acting full time,
Polit, who idolized New he decided to join the
York Method actors like Al FDNY instead — L.A. was
Pacino and Robert De Niro, too pretentious, he said
began taking acting classes at — and considers himself
HB Studio in the West Village. a quintessential New York
“At the time, I was actor.
WINTER 2019 | Long Beach Magazine | 29
Continued on from 29 ocean. We were familiar with landing him larger roles. for the upcoming Apatow
the West End because that’s “I’ve been very fortunate film — exactly three years
200-related cancer deaths all I knew, but I didn’t know after Apatow had directed
since it happened,” Polit said. about the East End and how to work with such talented him in an episode of
“I talk about my experiences great it was.” people,” he said. “I really “Crashing.”
that day and tell the younger feel it’s timing, and not just
firefighters that we love this Polit’s goal is to retire TV roles but big movies. It’s “He loved that story,”
job but you never know — from the FDNY in five years because of my age — I’m Polit said of Apatow when he
guys went to work just like and focus solely on acting. more seasoned and more mentioned that coincidence
me, but it could be your last And his family, friends and comfortable in my skin. And to the director. “I did the
day. I always say, live your life fellow firefighters have been it’s really all happening now, scene for him and got the
to the fullest.” “ecstatic” about his acting after 20 years in the fire part. And I’m thinking, ‘Wow,
career, he added, noting department.” the universe is talking to me.’”
In 2014, Polit was that his perseverance is now
promoted to lieutenant. He In June, Polit auditioned Page 28: Long Beach resident Mario
enjoys the convenience of Polit, left, in a scene with Jennifer
commuting from his home in Lopez in the movie “Hustlers.”
the East End of Long Beach
to his firehouse in Rockaway. Page 29: By day, Polit is one of New
He moved to Long Beach York’s bravest. On his days off, he
with Tonya 14 years ago, he acts in television and movies like
said, for the good schools “The Sopranos,” “Law & Order,”
and tight-knit community. “Crashing,” “The Deuce,” and more.
“When I was living in Page 29 (bottom): Polit, second from
the city with my wife, she left, can be seen in an upcoming
didn’t want to leave the city film directed by Judd Apatow, far
— but she said let’s go to left, based on Pete Davidson, fourth
Long Beach because every from left.
weekend we came here
and it doesn’t feel like you’re Keke Palmer, above, Paul Nielsen,
living in the suburbs, and Jennifer Lopez, Polit and director
the restaurants are all great,” Lorene Scafaria at the “Hustlers”
Polit said. “My wife is from premiere.
Australia and grew up by the
Photos courtesy Mario Polit
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WINTER 2019 | Long Beach Magazine | 31
LBHS senior makes history as female kicker
32 | Long Beach Magazine | WINTER 2019
By Bridget Downes are also her friends and they were before herself,” Malizia said. “She has a
determined work ethic that radiates off
If you asked Long Beach High excited that she was actually going onto her teammates.
School senior Brooke Yellin last year if Brooke’s attitude is what all coaches
she would ever be a part of the boys’ through with it. want in their athletes.”
varsity football team, she’d laugh. But Before this season, she had never
as she started her senior year, her mind played football. Her teammates helped
changed. her learn the ins and outs of the game,
Yellin, who also plays on the girls’ This might start but she said she mostly had to focus on
varsity soccer team, said some of the kicking since she was the placekicker
football coaches began noticing her for the Marines.
powerful kick. a trend of girls And Yellin made history on Sept.
“Some coaches would say my kick playing on the 14 when she became the first female
was on steroids, jokingly,” Yellin said. kicker on the team to convert an extra
“They said that it’s been years since point.
they’ve had an accurate kicker on their football team. But she’s not the only girl on the
football team, so they asked me to do it.” team. Gia Simbari joined the Marines,
One of the football coaches, Mr. but didn’t play this season because of
Malizia, also happens to be one of an injury.
Yellin’s favorite teachers, and he “She did help me out a lot just by
encouraged her to try out for the team being there,” Yellin said, “and having
in her junior year. another girl on the team is pretty cool.”
“And I did it — I went out and tried “As soon as they saw that I could Yellin has had a lot going for her this
out and made it, and I just didn’t want to year — she was crowned Homecoming
do it,” she said. kick, they were like, ‘Oh my gosh, we Queen on Oct. 26 alongside teammate
This year, another one of the Chris Hall.
coaches, Mr. Butler, who was also her need her,’” she said. “They just brought Yellin can be seen on the field
yoga teacher, urged her to try out again donning a No. 81 jersey in honor of her
and join the team. me in like a family member almost, late mother, whose favorite number
“The first year, I said no, I was like,
‘No, that’s weird, I could never — a girl like I was one of them. They were so was 18. She launched the Geri E.
in football pads?’” Yellin said. “Finally, he Yellin Scholarship Foundation two
convinced me, and I was like, ‘OK, why accepting, there was never any hate or years ago to carry on her mother’s
not? Why don’t I do something no one philanthropic legacy.
has ever done before?’ I wasn’t even anything. They were so respectful and it While she doesn’t necessarily
going to do it, and then I finally came to plan to pursue football, her dream is
the realization: Who cares what anyone gave me confidence.” to become a physical education
thinks? Let’s just go out and do it.” teacher and work with
“She earned it and she deserves “This might start a trend of girls special needs children.
it and worked for it,” Butler said. She also volunteers
“The things I and the rest of the playing on the football team,” Butler with the life skills
coaches appreciated is she didn’t students in the
want to be treated different said, adding that his daughter said she Long Beach School
from anyone else. We District.
put the pressure on wanted to play football when he told “She was the
her just like we did highlight of the
for the rest of the her about Yellin. season,” Butler
kids. That helped said. “A lot of good
her out. It’s good so It was a busy season for Yellin. She came out of it.”
that she’s one of would leave soccer early to go straight Long Beach High
us. Her confidence School senior Brooke
is through the roof to football practice, and the Yellin is a placekicker
from junior year to for the varsity football
senior year.” games never coincided. team.
the longstanding “The support I got Christina Daly/Herald
tradition of football
being a man’s from both teams was Yellin and Chris Hall,
sport, the guys who also plays on the
on the team took crazy,” Yellin said. football team, were
her in like one of named Homecoming
their own, she said, “Brooke is a King and Queen in
adding that many October.
of her teammates determined athlete
Courtesy Long Beach
always putting others Public Schools
WINTER 2019 | Long Beach Magazine | 33
The path to finding the
By Darwin Yanes class, where he met other artists surface,” Ceeza said. “I can see a
who shared his passion for art and world-famous mural in the West
When Mike Ceeza was 14, he graffiti. End one day. We just need everyone
was standing on the platform at Fast forward more than 25 years to be on the same page. I’m just
an Inwood train station tagging his after being chased by the police. trying to paint man — I’m just trying
name on an advertisement with Ceeza isn’t running anymore. He to paint big stuff.”
a Sharpie. Before he got to the is now an artist in demand who is Ceeza, now 40 and a Long
fourth letter of his name, he heard becoming known for his murals Beach resident, is a logistics
someone yell, “Hey you!” and he and artwork — created legally, of manager at a large company in
immediately dropped the marker course — in Long Beach, Rockaway Queens during the day, by night he
and took off running. The person Beach and Brooklyn among other is still a graffiti artist — and a DJ.
yelling at Ceeza turned out to locations. Ceeza goes by the handle
be a Metropolitan Transportation Local businesses like “Cosmik Slop” because as a
Authority police officer. Swingbellys, Baked by the Ocean teenager, he said, when it came
“That wasn’t the first time I was and Long Beach Sandwich Co. time for him to choose an art name,
pinched for that, but it definitely was are among the businesses in the one word kept coming to his mind
an experience,” Ceeza said. community that have embraced — cosmic. He would later learn that
Being a minor at the time, Ceeza Ceeza’s art and given him a platform his mother, who raised him as a
was not taken to jail but instead to create his murals at their shops. single parent, would refer to him as
forced to take an anti-vandalism “We’ve just scratched the her “cosmic baby” because he was
born on her birthday.
34 | Long Beach Magazine | WINTER 2019 During his youth, Ceeza grew
up in the Far Rockaway area and
attended Lawrence High School.
Academically, he said he wasn’t a
great student, and was given the
option to attend Nassau BOCES,
a vocational school where he
discovered art and graphic design.
Ceeza went on to receive his
bachelor’s degree in graphic design
from the School of Visual Arts in
Manhattan and later worked as a
graphic designer for three years
before realizing his chosen career
had drained his creativity.
“In 2008, I was like, I’m not
doing this anymore, I feel like a
robot — there’s nothing creative
about this,” Ceeza said. “I completely
Ceeza went on to take a five-
year hiatus from art and focused
on another passion he had since he
was a kid — music. Growing up, he
said was influenced by artists like
Grandmaster Flash, DJ Jazzy Jeff,
Andy C and Hubert among others.
Growing up in the 1980s, Ceeza
said that graffiti and hip-hop had a
tremendous impact on his life.
In 2013, Ceeza moved into a
Local street artist Mike Ceeza tags up Long Beach
new apartment in Long Beach and
needed some artwork to hang. It
was then he started painting again
to decorate his apartment; he later
connected with a friend and street
artist, who goes by the handle
“Jerkface” who introduced him to
graffiti shows. Ceeza considers him
an inspiration because he overcame
adversity and is now considered one
of the biggest names in street art.
Ceeza, however, doesn’t refer to
street art as “graffiti” but prefers to
call it “aerosol art” because, he said,
graffiti is a “rude subculture” due to
artists’ egos, vandalism associated
with the art and politics nvolved in
“The people that hired me in
Long Beach, we’re like we are
moving forward and this is the new
generation,” Ceeza said. “The West
End has changed and I was a catalyst
to start it — now you see walls from a
lot of different artists.”
Ceeza has also partnered with
another artist, who goes by Poor
Rubert. Together, they started a
crew named M.C.A., which stands for
Midlife Crisis Artists. They’ve been
working together since 2014 and
perform at shows and competitions
doing graffiti, murals and other
Though he may be climbing the
“corporate ladder” during the day at
his full-time job, you can catch him
working the turntables at Speakeasy
To learn more about his work, visit
his Instagram page @mikeceeza.
Ceeza finalizing a piece he did for a business in
New York City.
Graffiti artist Mike Ceeza painted a mural for
Baked by the Ocean in the West End.
Ceeza titled this piece “Peacock Slop.”
Ceeza completed his Slopbait piece in 2017.
Photos courtesy Mike Ceeza
WINTER 2019 | Long Beach Magazine | 35
A Long Beach tale
through his lens
Local filmmaker shows
the community’s strength
By Darwin Yanes aftermath of Sandy.
The film premiered at the Long
Just a month before Tropical Storm Beach Public Library on Oct. 24, which
Irene hit the South Shore in 2011, Long followed an online premiere on the film
Beach resident and filmmaker Kyle website NoBudge in August.
McCarthy went around asking residents McCarthy reflected on the journey
what they wanted Long Beach to and spoke of the insecurity he felt
be remembered for if a hypothetical in making a film about an event that
hurricane wiped the city out. impacted so many people.
An idea for a documentary film “Right after the storm, I thought,
he had been developing, what was I have all this great footage I should
unthinkable at the time became a make a documentary,” McCarthy said.
reality just a year later when Hurricane “Once I started to try and make the
Sandy tore through Long Beach and documentary I realized I wasn’t ready.”
left many residents displaced and in McCarthy said that throughout the
despair. process, at times he just wanted to
McCarthy’s project would take forget Sandy and give up on the project.
him on an eight-year roller coaster However, he had previously created a
to complete the short film “We Like Kickstarter fundraiser for the film, which
it Here,” a documentary about the raised nearly $2,000 with the support
36 | Long Beach Magazine | WINTER 2019
years it took him to finish the project, disasters have become more prevalent
McCarthy and Bethany married and over the past few years.
had two boys, Judah and Jacob. He Though the film is centered on a
continued working as a filmmaker and dramatic event, McCarthy offers some
honing his skills. comedic relief through a man named
McCarthy produced and directed Vinny, whose larger than life personality
other short films including, “The Love,” brought smiles to the audience during
which won the Best Short Comedy the screening. In the film, Vinny gave
at the Long Beach International Film an honest depiction of the aftermath
Festival and was an official selection at of Sandy, while also embodying the
the Sonoma International Film Festival strength of Long Beach residents.
this year. McCarthy, now 31, said that Sandy
The experience gained from only made him and his family stronger.
making other films and freelancing as He added that he was glad to have that
a videographer for different companies Kickstarter as motivation to help him
gave McCarthy the skills and insight finish the project and was appreciative
he said he needed to finish the film. He of the support from Long Beach
b gtaeawMwwatou oab yhhenn sfsuaieeeeksrc arp addhclrleeihrr Ctfi dD“Acreeeeki lr wWnosmhsitai ot vvuc eia sw aaj i mrfouueestiaraynentanabhi hlssld t ned apdmlddwdwoaco.tly g d y,r i thIupf trkniieasbt B s flahetiw ttoyieeen gnteaidh pehenma tbre dgini.aeos”—ttitid cum olisahh na ,en i”whi.ggeht d bta nd,wg“o m hiaaaaWin,lMtg n ref evttsnymerhti cee od.iol etCi n vnta ihtndroegts h ,t p whyar onoiwtsdjheae schh tatBashaw teiIoohs.tow r ho enfh pt oeolsmwsyiaale astuh ru 2cesrt e4gontpdsho ht wh,spp m etie soeosSyv e rshft opriaaeh haleetwm lepiinn aL dockn Al tp wanldodaotwf rehetbfoanec nyaowlsj reett a g rc1 chi tf2os olote mr do c htnrophaa mhldefeto pstatle oludaedslaebaasptbf ttM ndi,mouhhteek nnbn eueetdticueetevnehddvoharctu C m c ste Tsyneik aufiacrhrspgiohaereeoehc lultle ea2mselneri y ,aeen msoLo ts0l ioraedm trdhe.m b,ocs f -sf t laa iyioa i oemhnaunu alnngetro mdcv le.uagtpincari nnifiulwdeonrm s colt ltclBpauuumrreywuaenahaecaudesr sltrr ten aasttetmttaim iheenrstaslnnc ca i srs genaiiegtanhstnhuand ge,e n’tg osreiyy n dya .rs ,t “It shows how awesome Long Beach
is and how they want to support local
artists, even though Sandy is a hard
topic for some people,” McCarthy said.
To learn more about McCarthy’s
work, visit www.kylerjmccarthy.com.
An American flag was placed in the center of a
destroyed home after Hurricane Sandy.
Kyle McCarthy at the premiere of his short film
“We Like it Here” in Long Beach.
Photos by Christina Daly and Darwin Yanes
Top: A scene in the film of McCarthy’s son,
Jacob, holding a sparkler.
The movie took eight years to complete.
Photos Courtesy Kyle McCarthy
WINTER 2019 | Long Beach Magazine | 37
By Brian Stieglitz Lil Peep documentary, First Access Entertainment
Lil Peep fans are seeing EvErybody’s that signed Ahr to a multi-year
more and more opportunities EvErything, record deal before his death.
to celebrate the late- Directors Sebastian
musician’s legacy. HiTS THEATERS Jones and Ramez Silyan
The Long Beach rapper, cut hundreds of hours of
born Gustav Ahr, a Long the EP Goth Angel Sinner. Terrence Malick, who is interviews and archival
Beach resident from 2001 Executive producing reportedly a friend of Ahr’s footage into a near-two hour
to 2016, sung overtly about the film was acclaimed family; Ahr’s mother, and film scored by Fall Out Boy’s
heartbreak, drug use and Hollywood movie director Sarah Stennett, the head of Patrick Stump. Speaking
depression. with Rolling Stone, Silyan
Ahr died suddenly in called the interviews therapy
November 2017 while on tour sessions that gave Ahr’s loved
in Arizona of a reported drug ones an outlet to discuss his
overdose. He reportedly left life and impact on them.
behind a catalog of music that Fans had a chance to
was saved by his mother, Liza immerse themselves even
Womack, produced by his more into Ahr’s legacy by
close friend and musician Dylan visiting a pop-up shop at
Mullen (known by the moniker Crosby Street in SoHo where
Smokeasac), and licensed by the musician’s merchandise,
Columbia Records before it was designed by his brother, Oskar,
released on Nov. 9. was on display and available
The Lil Peep documentary for purchase. Ahr’s mother
“Everybody’s Everything” hit Liza was there greeting her
theaters on limited release son’s fans.
on Nov. 12, three days before
the release of a compilation “Everybody’s Everything,” a
album of the same name. documentary about the late
The posthumous album is 19 Long Beach musician Lil Peep, hit
tracks, three of which were theaters on Nov. 12.
released on Oct. 31 as part of
I My Community
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GivinG back Givin“foGCr thObeMacEkANGDiviLnfIoGrVthEbe ack
THE LONG BEACH LIFE”
VERDESCHI AND WALSH
It’s no secret that Long Beach is a Continued on from 39 Continued on from 40
community that cares. Though it’s easy
to look to the aftermath of Hurricane with social workers from the schools
Sandy as an example of neighbors
coming together and helping those to determine which families might be
in need, the tradition of giving back
extends much further. struggling at home. The organization
There are plenty of big annual Sandra Van De Wielhas helped secure contracting services,
events year-round that offer a chance
to help out. From the Long Beach Polar plumbing, furniture and clothing, as
Bears Super Bowl Splash in February
to the Michelle O’Neill Volleyball 5 1 6 - 9 4 6 - 2 8 2 6well as provided mortgage and rental
Tournament in September, Long Beach
residents are always ready to lend a assistance.
hand for a good cause.
actiTvehealCl hyeriastr,mbaLusitcAmennogsseetldosfaStrhaeeleirs Person
But there’s no time of year where fundraising is [email protected]
that spirit of giving is more apparent dinner ainndDelwivceewmmwbu.esvri,cec.rTodhmeispsylceehtaeir,rwtehitaehlty.com
than the holidays. Here are just a few raffles
ways you can give back this holiday
season. event will take place on Dec. 6 at Martin Luther King Center volunteers last year 1063093
Bridgeview Yacht Club, located at 80 prepared an annual Thanksgiving dinner for
Meghan Gallagher, left, Doug MacConnell, Waterfront Blvd., Island Park. Visit www. local residents after collecting turkeys and
Kelly Hoarty, Larry Lopez, Kerry Ennis and Ed BeacitnrhandeiNteiodYn. al1d1in5n6er1tri•m5m1in6g-s4to3g1iv-e6t1o6fa0milies
Walpole attended the Long Beach Christmas longb1e0a2ch5cWhri.stBmeaesacnhgSelt.c.o•mL. ong
Angel fundraiser in 2016. Photo by Christina Daly/Herald
Photo by Sue Grieco/Herald
The Long beach christmas angel Food Pantry.
The Long Beach Christmas Angel
FREE Consultation andLend a helping hand to the Long
has a long tradition of assisting families beach Soup kitchen & MLk center
in the Long Beach School District who FREE Diagnostic X-Ray*The Long Beach Soup Kitchen,
are in need of financial help. The goal at 140 W. Pine St., serves hot meals
of the nonprofit is to help middle-class Monday through Saturday starting at
families hit with a sudden financial
burden, but their efforts have focused 11:45 a.m. The popular soup kitchen
on those affected by Hurricane Sandy
for the past few years. The group has also serves special holiday meals on
dispersed more than $670,000 to
families in need since the storm alone. Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.
Organizer Johanna Sofield said The nonprofit organization, run by its
that the organization works closely
president, Rob Blau, subsists mostly
Continued on page 40
The City of Long Beach, in conjunction with the on donations from local charities and
Long Beach VFW Post 1384, hosts the annual residents.
Jingle Bell 5K Fun Run for Toys for Tots.
Photo courtesy City of Long Beach The soup kitchen, in conjunction
with the Martin Luther King Center
and the City of Long Beach, collected
Toys for Tots turkey, stuffing
VFW Post 1384 will once again be and canned
hosting its Marine Corps Toys for Tots goods for a
drive this year, in partnership with the Community
Long Beach Chamber of Commerce. Food Giveaway
The postIwnvilliaslasolighonstathnedanTnruaadl itional oOnrNtohvo. 2d6oant tic Treatment
Jingle Bell Toys for Tots FufnoRruCn hinildren athnedMALKdCuelntster,
cooperation with the City of Long Beach at 615 Riverside
on Saturday, Dec. 7. Blvd. For more
St. Mary’s Parish typically receives information, visit
donations from both the Lions Club longbeach
and the Toys for Tots d®rive, as well
as collecting food, clot®hing and toys and lbmLlko.onrgg. Beach
Continued on page 41 Cou*rwtesityhLotnhgeBmeaecnhtSioounpoKfitcthheisn/aFdaceboo1k064549
WINTER 2019 | Long Beach Magazine | 39
We Offer Phone Order SGerviicve •iInnSGtoGreivDebliivnaerycFGREkEbaGcivkinGGivbinacGkbaGci
Phone: 516-431-5515 • Fax: f5o16r-t4h31e-589f9or the for the for the
e-mail: [email protected]
Almonte’s Keyfood of Long Beach
It’s no secret thIat’tsLnoonsgeBcreeatcthaist aLong Bewaitchhsisocaial worwkeitrhs sfroocmialthweosrkcehrosoflrsom the schoo
community thactocmarmesu. nTihtyouthgaht ict’asresa.sTyhougtoh dite’steramsyine wthoicdhetfeamrmiliinees wmhigichht bfaemilies might
to look to the atfotelromoaktthoothf He uarfrtiecramnaeth of Hustrrruicgagnleing at hosmtrueg. gTlhinegoargt ahnoimzaeti.oTnhe organizati
Sandy as an exSaamnpdlyeaosf anneiegxhabmorpsle of neighhabsohrselped sechuarse hceolnpteradcstiencgusrercvoicnetsra, cting ser
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to help ouUt. pFrootrmoDhtehelelipvLeooruynt.g. FBroemachthPeoLlaorng BfeuancdhraPisoilnagr is dfounnedraatisainganisnduoanl e at an annual
We Have BreakfastBears Super BoBwelaSrsplSauspheinr BFoewbrluSaprlyash in Fdeinbnruear riny Decemdibnneer,rcionmDpelceetemwbeitrh, complete wit
to the MichelletoO’tNheilMl VicohlleelylebaOl’lNeill Volleyrbaafflles and live rmafuflseisc.aTnhdisliyveamr, uthseic. This year, th
To Go!Tournament in TSoeuprtneammbeenrt, LinoSngepBtemacbher, LeovnegnBt ewailclhtake epvlaecnet wonillDtaekce. 6plaatce on Dec. 6 at
residents are alrwesaiydsenretsadayretoallwenadysaready toBlreidngdeaview YacBhrtidCgluebvi,elowcYaatecdhtaCt l8u0b, located at
hand for a goodhacnadusfoer. a good cause. Waterfront BlvdW.,aIstelarnfrdonPtaBrklv. Vd.i,sIist lwanwdwP. ark.MVairstint
But there’s no tBimutetohfeyree’asrnwohteimree of yealrownghbeereachchrislotmngabsaenagchecl.chorimstm. asangel.copmre.par1064546
that spirit of givtihnagt isspmiriot roef agpivpinagreinstmore apparent traditio
than the holidatyhsa. nHtehre ahroelidjuasytsa. Hfeewre are ju st a few in need
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Toys for Tots Toys for Tots
The Long beacThhcehLroisntgmbaesaacnhgcehl ristmas angVeFl W Post 1384VwFiWll oPnocset a13g8a4inwbiell once oangaNino
With All Your Dental NeedsThe Long BeacThhCehLroisntmg aBseAacnhgeClhristmahsosAtninggeilts MarihnoesCtinogrpistsTMoyasrifnoer TCootrsps ToysthfeorMT
has a long tradhitaiosnaolfoansgsitsrtaindgitiofanmoiflieassistindgrivfeamthilisieysear, dinripvearthniesrysehaipr,winitphatrhtneershipawt 6it1h5
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of the nonprofitoifstthoehneolnppmroidfitdilse-toclhaseslp midJidnlgel-eclBaessll ToysJifnogrlTeoBtseFlluTnoyRsufnorinTots Fun Rlounngibn
families hit withfaamsiuliedsdehnit fwinitahncaiasul dden fincaonocipael ration wicthoothpeerCaitiyonofwLiothngthBeeCaictyhof LsoonugpkB
326 West Park Avenue,burden, but thebiruerdffeonrt,sbhuatvtehefoirceuffsoerdts haveofnoScuatsuerdday, Deocn. S7.a turday, Dec. 7.
Long Beachfor the past fewfoyretahres.pTahset fgerwouypeahrass. The grdoounpahtioasns fromdboontahtitohnesLfrionms bColuthb the Lions Clu
on those affectoend tbhyoHseurarfifceacntedSabnydHyurricane SSat.nMdyary’s ParisShtt. yMpaicrya’lslyPraercisehivteyspically recei
Continued on page 4C0ontinfuaemd oilniepsagree4g0istefraemdiwlieitshrethgeisptearreisdh’ws ith the pCaoruisrthe’s
40 | Long Beach Magazine | WINTER 2019
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WINTER 2019 | Long Beach Magazine | 41
Restoring a prized piece of the
By Alyssa Seidman — people painted the boardwalk, the was in very poor condition,” said
beach, their homes, and some kids Kathleen Regan, president of the West
An iconic piece of the Long Beach expressed themselves with a mess of End Arts Visual Artists Guild.
boardwalk now has a new look. The colors. The final product was a 15-panel Last year, city officials called Regan
“Home Sweet Home” community mural mosaic consisting of nearly 500 planks to ask what West End Arts could do to
project, which spans 30 feet of the custom-painted by residents. save the mural. She and the Board of
boardwalk at Edwards Boulevard, was Since the installation is located out Directors devised a plan to restore the
recently restored to retain its physical in the open, just steps away from the original pieces and then seal the mural
presence as a symbol of hope for ocean, it is subject to harsh weather to protect it from additional damage.
residents of the City By the Sea. conditions like coarse winds, heavy Regan researched the best paint,
The mural was unveiled by the snow and torrential rains. Over the years primer and varnish to use in the
West End Arts Visual Artists Guild in the varnish began to bubble and crack, restoration, opting for marine-grade
2015, and consists of painted pieces of causing the paint to fall off with it, and materials that could sustain coastal
the old boardwalk that was destroyed the overhead sun had caused many weather conditions. She and fellow
in Superstorm Sandy. Following of the colorful planks to fade. Some West End artist Stuart Friedman spent
the storm, the organization held a pieces even went missing because the several months sanding, priming and
number of community painting events nails that were used to secure them repainting planks that were in bad
around town, asking residents to paint were too short. shape, then arranged all the pieces
something that represented what “By the summer of 2018 the mural back together.
“home” meant to them.
The boards were a blank canvas
42 | Long Beach Magazine | WINTER 2019
Home West End Arts hired constructed the “Home
HoSwmeeet ’s Harold Michelman, the Sweet Home” mural,
new features owner of Surf Glass, a built the panels in her
Long Beach-based glass studio. She spoke of the
• The original description box was destroyed by repair company, to encase importance of maintaining
the mural to protect it public art installations,
the old varnish and exposure to sunlight. West from future damage. and said that the project’s
End Arts hired a local carpenter to cut it out and Michelman used sliding, continued upkeep would
replace it with freshly written descriptions. The removable sun-retardant help it retain its presence
box was sealed with silicone and painted over Plexiglas panels to cover as a central piece of
the mural so the guild community pride.
•with new, marine-grade varnish. . could continue restoring After Superstorm
On the west side of the mural’s casing is a the individual pieces. Sandy, Connolly said
list of all the donors who contributed to the The mural was she believed that having
restoration. It is adhered to teak wood and encased in March. In residents come “together
April, West End Arts held to paint a piece of the
•sealed with a protective casing. a reception at Riptides boardwalk was what
The southeast portion of the mural contains to celebrate the restored brought hope and joy to
a poem about Superstorm Sandy written by installation and draw the community. It was the
Surf Glass owner Harold Michelman. It is also attention to some of its beginning of [a] healing
encased in special Plexiglas. new features. process.”
“West End did Regan said the Guild
fundraising all over Long continued to restore the
Beach and on Facebook mural over the summer.
to raise $3,000 needed “The restoration took
to restore and preserve seven months and we
this important public art,” have more to do.”
Elizabeth Connolly, Photo by Christina Daly
one of four original artists
Source: West End Arts Visual Artists Guild Inc. who conceived and
WINTER 2019 | Long Beach Magazine | 43
Artist’s boardwalk mural inspires
By Darwin Yanes “I’m still getting Manhattan, is no stranger to the barrier
pictures today of island. As a child, she spent a lot of time
Hundreds of people walking along the people having coffee surfing in Long Beach and she also works
boardwalk on Sept. 8 stopped and observed in the morning with with Skudin Surf, run by a local family
as 19-year-old artist Juliet Schreckinger, the mural.” dedicated to surfing and helping people
wearing a tie-dye sweater and white Doc with disabilities through their nonprofit,
Martens, painted a large mural featuring of the contest, “The Sacred Sea.” Surf for All. Schreckinger said she paints
a giant whale on a building at Monroe “The whale is supposed to be surfboards and auctions them off for the
Boulevard beach. representative of a beautiful creature, nonprofit.
Schreckinger’s freehand piece, titled and the nature on top of the whale are “I felt really honored to be
“Rise Above,” was selected out of more different trees around the world that need representing the ocean in this way,”
than 10 entries submitted to the LBNY Arts help to be protected,” said Schreckinger, Schreckinger said of the contest. “I think
Council as part of a design contest launched of Amityville.“The focus of the piece is the that everyone in [Long Beach] really
in August aimed at creating environmental importance of the beauty that we are trying tries to make a difference and it was
awareness about ocean pollution, to protect and not the negative aspects of really cool to make a piece of art that
conservation and protecting marine life. She pollution.” represents that for them.”
created the original sketch using only dots, As she was painting, she added, people Schreckinger’s work can be found on
she said, which took 208 hours to complete. stopped to take pictures, thanked her and her website at www.julietschreckinger.com.
Before Schreckinger’s piece was clapped when it was finished. To learn more about the Arts Council, visit
selected, the council went on a month- “It was a really happy and emotional www.lbny-arts.org.
long search to find a design that reflected moment,” Schreckinger said. “I’m still
the theme of the initiative, one that also getting pictures today of people having Artist Juliet Schreckinger and her freehand mural design,
provided a positive visual message. coffee in the morning with the mural.”
It took Schreckinger 10 hours to Schreckinger, who is currently studying “Rise Above.”
complete her piece on a nine-foot-high Illustration at the School of Visual Arts in Photos by Christina Daly
stucco wall facing the ocean. During that
time, she didn’t eat, drink or take a break.
The drawing, she said, embodied the theme
44 | Long Beach Magazine | WINTER 2019
By Brian Stieglitz Long get hit up by labels for the first Lilitri: A lot of time I like to
Beach time. We worked with really write about movies or books
Long Island emo and native small, niche, independent that I’ve read. This last album
punk fans first met Oso Oso talks D.I.Y. labels before. Once we went was pretty personal and
frontman Jade Lilitri when he roots and on that tour we got hit up by just about how life was and
played a show in November what’s bigger labels. A lot of these thoughts on life and stuff
2015 at a house in Hempstead next labels were interested, but like that. I started writing it in
rented by Hofstra University not in recording a new album. December and had to go into
students. LB Mag: Could you tell me a A big thing for us is that Triple the studio at end of January.
The D.I.Y. venue, Dong bit about when you started Crown was the only one that It was spending all day, just
Island, is where Lilitri, a Long making music and what your said, “This album just came writing and not really thinking
Beach native, introduced first projects were like before up. We like it a lot. If we’re too much about it, just trying
songs like the nostalgic the evolution of Oso Oso? gonna do this, we should look to dig from within.
anthem “This Must be My Exit” at re-releasing it and
before playing at local venues Jade Lilitri: I played in a band get it out to more ears
where he spent his teenage called Stateline, but [my and look at touring
years as both a musician and bandmates] kept moving. on it.” Triple Crown
a fan. I made Oso Oso as a side seemed to like the
The 26-year old released project to do stuff when other record and the music
Oso Oso’s “The Yunahon people couldn’t do stuff. that we’re making.
Mixtape” as a pay-what-you- When my band became
want album on Bandcamp in more inactive, I wanted LB Mag: Could you
January 2017. When he signed to keep making music tell me a bit about
to Triple Crown Records, the — I never want to not be your song writing
record label behind emo making music. In 2014, process, specifically
bands like Foxing and You I started working on my with the new album
Blew It!, the quality of his first album as Oso Oso. My and what some of your
project grew more refined, but first show was Nov. 2015 at inspirations and ideas
the sound stayed the same. Dong Island. I would play were?
Lilitri moved to plenty of shows over there.
Pennsylvania in the summer I was delivering pizza at the Jforaofd tnhetem L aialilnttre ia,r 2nn6da,t oiovnfe lL yroo pncegkr mgBreaoanucephn ,Ot i sms oteh Omes boe. r
of 2018 as he began writing time and would head there
songs for “Basking in the for shows after my shift.
Glow,” a 10-track record that
fits its name with songs about LB Mag: What led to your wLialitsr is piglanyeedd t oa tt hveen eumeso aacnrdo spsu Lnokn rge cBoerdac lhab aenld, T Lriopnleg CIsrloawndn bReefcoorerd Os.s o Oso
growing up and embracing signing with Triple Crown
hope, despite the uncertainty Records? What was the WINTER 2019 | Long Beach Magazine | 45
of the future. label shopping experience
Oso Oso released the like for Oso Oso?
album on Aug. 16, ahead of a
headlining U.S. tour with the Lilitri: We put out Yunahon
Sidekicks and Future Teens, for two months and then
followed by a co-headlining went on tour. Within the
U.K. tour with Prince Daddy first week, we started to
and the Hyena. Oso Oso is
back in the states this winter,
opening for the indie darlings
Manchester Orchestra. Long
Beach Magazine spoke to
Lilitri about his origins in the
D.I.Y. scene, signing to Triple
Crown Records and the
band’s new album.
Celebrating the arts in Long Beach
By Melissa Koenig Artists in which culminates with a Women in the
In the summer of 2000, more than Partnership’s Arts awards ceremony.
65 Long Beach residents gathered at annual events Mathieson-Ellmer said she realized
the library to discuss ways to create an female artists were not as immediately
art community in the city. Folk-2-Funk Festival recognized for their work, and wanted
What grew out of that meeting and Food Drive to change that. The event showcases a
was Artists in Partnership, a group that — variety of artwork and has become the
holds a number of events throughout Barrier Beach organization’s biggest event of the year.
the year showcasing literary, visual and Blues Festival “It’s just a great event that brings all
performing artists. — aspects of the art community under one
The organization received nonprofit Kickin’ Country roof,” Mathieson-Ellmer said. “It’s really a
status three years later, and has since Music Festival very eclectic evening.”
provided every type of artist with an — Such events, she added, helped
audience in the community. Cabaret Festival make Long Beach an artists’ town,
“We really try to incorporate every — saying, “We really were that spark.”
aspect of the arts,” said Johanna For more information,
Mathieson-Ellmer, the executive Women in the Arts visit www.aip-arts.org
director of the volunteer group, adding awards ceremony
that she and other board members Blues musician Guy Davis, son of actors Ossie
strive to bring “quality programming” to Davis and Ruby Dee, headlined the Barrier Beach
the City by the Sea. Blues and Arts Festival in June.
AIP hosts several events throughout
the spring and summer. In May, for Photos by Joe Abate
example, Artists in Partnership presents
a Cabaret Festival, and in June it Musician Benoir accompanied Lila Merriam to
sponsors the Barrier Beach Blues and perform a Jimi Hendrix song at the first Women in
Arts Festival. March is also filled with the Arts ceremony in 2017.
activities, as the organization holds its
Beyond the Dunes multicultural month, Sue Grieco/Herald
46 | Long Beach Magazine | WINTER 2019
SETTING THE BAR
1 SALE AT A TIME RICKI NOTO
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WINTER 2019 | Long Beach Magazine | 47
Happy Holidays & Wishing You a
Prosperous, Healthy New Year
from Our Family to Yours!
Results. Ethics. Quality. Class.
Barbara Mullaney Katy Connery
Licensed Salesperson Executive Assistant
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Tracey Johnson Mary O’Donnell Peggy Connery Alison Clements
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“Gold Circle Award Winner” “Gold Circle Award Winner” “Gold Circle Award Winner”
516-459-7611 516-225-9852 516-672-6038
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284 W. Park Avenue, Long Beach, NY 11561
48 | Long Beach Magazine | WINTER 2019 1061646