Proud Brooklynite


| vschneps@queenscourier.com |

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Having been born,bred and married in Brooklyn, I was thrilled to have come “home” when I bought with Josh, my son, the 50- and 75-year-old Home Reporter and Brooklyn Spectator newspapers. It’s said you can take the girl out of Brooklyn but not Brooklyn out of the girl. Well, that’s me and this week we officially opened our new offices in Bay Ridge in a building we bought last year.

We are now proudly a permanent presence in the borough of my birth and profoundly grateful to serve the people of my hometown. I’m sure my parents are up in Heaven smiling down on me, proud that we are building a business in the borough. After all, my dad owned a business in Brooklyn for 52 years.

Since I grew up and attended James Madison High School, many neighborhoods have changed names but Bay Ridge has remained Bay Ridge.

Ironically, it was where I wanted to move when I got married (as a Pisces I’ve always wanted to live near the water). But as a newlywed, only 20 years old and having no car, I had no way to visit my parents because there was no train connecting to the “BMT” from Bay Ridge. So I moved from East 21st Street between Quentin and R to East 21st between Church and Caton, staying along the BMT line.

It’s ironic that it took so many years, but here I am. How lucky to have an office just a few blocks from the majestic Verrazano Bridge on Fourth Avenue.

Building out what was Fergus Hardware Store for many decades was a labor of love. I was very lucky to find Ralph Succar, the contractor whose office is also in Bay Ridge. He came to me recommended by many Ridgeites who found he delivered what he promised. And he did.

We wanted to respect the rich history of the newspapers but bring a modern touch to our new “home.” So we used glass walls around our front and side with huge windows to bring in the sun and capture views of the bridge. To preserve the history of the papers we arranged to have the half-century-old signs and clock that stood boldly at our previous Third Avenue site brought over and rehung. We shivered in fear of the damage that might have occurred moving such old objects. But they survived thanks to Sign Select.

And so do the newspapers that we proudly took over two-and-a-half years ago to continue to serve the wonderfully unique neighborhoods of Brooklyn. Come and visit us at our new home, 9733 Fourth Avenue on the corner of Marine Avenue.

A Gala Gathering in Sarasota

It would have delighted my late husband Stu to see his grandson Josh celebrate his Bar Mitzvah in Sarasota, Florida. At 13, Jewish boys and girls come to the pulpit and read a passage of the Torah and recite ancient prayers.

The tradition is thousands of years old and is seen as a rite of passage when a boy becomes a man!

Learning the Hebrew lettering written with quill pens on parchment paper is not an easy task. It takes years of preparation, but there is usually a huge celebration and party to mark the occasion and congratulate the young man.

For Josh Yunis it was a weekend of partying because the family gathered for the festivities from all over the states. I brought with me my daughters Elizabeth and Samantha and their children. All of Stu’s children came with their children so I had 11 of 14 grandchildren there with me. We missed one-year-old Hudson, college man Sam and quarterback Zac who had a football game and college interviews.

Maybe the most beautiful part of the weekend, after Josh’s powerful prayer renditions and service, was seeing the love and bonding between the young people ranging in age from 2 to 26. There was four-year-old Jonah riding on the back of my hulk of a grandson Joe who is six feet tall and built like a football player. And two-year-old Addie dancing the night away with 14-year-old loving, handsome Ben. I was so impressed how the “big” kids engaged the little ones. And then there was the sweetness of seven-year-old Blake watching over his four-year-old sister Morgan.

My fun for the weekend was just watching the interaction between the generations. Oh Stu would have relished and loved being there. He would have been so proud. I lapped it up for me and him, but how he was missed . . .

Proud Hillary, Josh and Jon Yunis.

A beautiful cake to celebrate a wonderful occasion.

Two-year-old Addison transfixed at the service.