Tag Archives: love

Ridgewood woman goes on TV to change look

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of TLC

When Ridgewood resident Sarah Feldman decided to take the brave step of changing up her look to go with her growing businesses and roles in the community, she didn’t ask for advice from friends and family or stop by a local clothing store — she turned to national TV.

But the show, TLC’s “Love, Lust or Run,” had a larger impact on the 27-year-old and some of its viewers than she ever imagined.

“I was worried. I didn’t know what they would do,” Feldman said.

“I thought they would put me in a boring business suit,” she added.

Feldman had only seen the makeover show, hosted by Stacy London, formerly of the same network’s “What Not to Wear,” once before applying, and thought it would be “funny” to send her footage, but didn’t think she would be “weird enough.”

But her look made the cut, and it made quite the impression on London. When Feldman stepped into the studio with her pink hair and cat coat, London reacted by saying, “I’m confused” and “You look like a sherpa.”

Another of Feldman’s looks, which she described on the June 19 episode as “granny chic meets acid princess raver goth child from the ‘60s,” showed her sporting butterfly wings.

But  the busy entrepreneur knew it was time to stop hiding in her clothes, something she felt like she was stuck doing from her adolescence.

As a new member of Community Board 5, she wanted a more appropriate look for her new role, but to also maintain her artistic, creative side, said Feldman, who also runs Ridgewood Social and Ridgewood Market.

The premise of the show, beyond a basic makeover, is to ask people on the street to rate the person’s look and say whether it makes them feel “love,” “lust” or makes them want to “run.”

Though the comments were unflattering, including that she belonged in an “artisan enclave,” and that her look wasn’t appropriate for business, Feldman said she “felt relief” when she heard the comments because she had been hiding for a long time. She was actually more apprehensive about the makeover.

Sarah in an after look.

Feldman trying on clothes during the show.

Feldman not only ditched the pink hair, turning into a brunette (she had predicted that the hair stylist would make her blonde), but was also shown by London how to pick out better fitting clothes.

“I look so smart,” Feldman said during the reveal.

Not only did the people on the street now love what she was wearing, but her fiance Neil surprised Feldman by appearing via video to tell her that he loved her new look and to say that she was “still the beautiful girl I fell in love with.”

London also surprised Feldman with a bag — made from her cat coat.

“Everything she was doing beforehand was really about creating a distraction and now she is going to see herself as an asset,” London said.

Stacy London with Sarah in her after look.

Stacy London with Feldman in her after look.

Since the show, Feldman said she has kept the brown hair and gotten rid of her old clothes.

“I didn’t really think shows like that had an impact,” she said.

Feldman’s appearance also made an impression on some of those watching. She has received letters from girls around the country saying that they can relate to her experience and honesty, and that they “don’t feel alone anymore.” Some even told her they cried during the episode and lauded Feldman’s bravery for going on the show.

“It wasn’t my intention,” she said, “but it was a definite positive.”



Valentine’s Day Love Stories: Sandy and Stanley Gussin

| dbeltran@queenscourier.com

Sandy and Stanley Gussin (1)w

With Valentine’s Day upon us, The Queens Courier asked local couples what made them fall – and stay – in love.

Sandy and Stanley Gussin

Q: How long have you been together?

A: We’ve been married for 53 years.

Q: How did you meet?

Sandy: It was out of spite. I was expecting two phone calls — Stanley called but the other man didn’t so out of spite I went out with Stanley.

Q: Do you have any plans for Valentine’s Day?

Sandy: We’re going to come here [the Howard Beach Senior Center] and enjoy the people here.

Q: What are some activities that you do together as a couple?

Sandy: We hang out here, spend a lot of time with our grandchildren, and watch Broadway shows. He plays cards, watches sports and shoots pool.

Q: What qualities or traits do you like about your partner?

Stanley: I like that she does everything as hard as she can. She’s pretty beautiful and has a lot of perseverance.

Sandy: He’s great at laundry; he was a dry cleaner.

Q: Any memorable moment in the relationship?

Sandy: There are quite a few. One of our grandchildren has a heart problem; he couldn’t talk to his parents about it but he could talk to us.

Stanley: When our daughter was pregnant, the doctor came out and said we were going to have another grandson and another granddaughter. It was the most exciting thing when we got those twins.

Valentine’s Day Love Stories: Leonard and Beverly Ciaccio

| dbeltran@queenscourier.com

Leonard and Beverly Ciaccio (2)w

With Valentine’s Day upon us, The Queens Courier asked local couples what made them fall – and stay – in love.

Leonard and Beverly Ciaccio

Q: How long have you been together?

A: We’ve been married 57 years

Q: How did you meet?

A: We met at a dance

Q: Do you have any plans for Valentine’s Day?

LC: I’ll take her out to dinner.

Q: What are some activities you do together as a couple?

LC: We do practically everything together. Wherever she is, I am. We don’t go out together much. I shoot pool and she works out.

Q: What qualities or traits do you like about your partner?

LC: She’s soft-hearted, a loving mother, doting grandmother and a good friend.

BC: He’s a good kid

Q: Any memorable moment?

LC: I took her to the Motel on the Mountain for dinner and she surprised me with a sapphire ring. We ended up staying there even though it was winter and we hadn’t packed anything.

Q: Any advice for couples?

LC: Fifty seven years does not happen with one person, it takes two people. It’s important to think. Try to imagine yourself without that person. I don’t know what I would do.

Valentine’s Day Love Stories: Louis Mascaro and Rosemary Stanton

| dbeltran@queenscourier.com

Louis Mascaro and Rosemary Stanton (1)w

With Valentine’s Day upon us, The Queens Courier asked local couples what made them fall – and stay – in love.

Louis Mascaro and Rosemary Stanton

Q: How long have you been together?

A: Seven years

Q: How did you meet?

LM: I was sitting in some corner feeling sorry for myself and she came and said “hi” and that was that.

RS: He was a friend when I needed a friend.

Q:What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?

LM: Probably get some flowers and chocolate. Have a nice dinner of shrimp cocktails and lobster.

Q:What are some activities you do together as a couple?

RS: Just about everything. We go on trips together, do yoga and watch movies.

Q: What qualities or traits do you like about your partner?

RS: He’s a good baker, he’s kind and considerate

LM: She’s a nice, kind, feeling lady.

Q: Any memorable moment in the relationship?

RM: Just being together.


Valentine’s Day Love Stories: Ellie Greenberg and Abraham Feldman

| dbeltran@queenscourier.com

Ellie Greenberg and Abraham Feldman (1)w

With Valentine’s Day upon us, The Queens Courier asked local couples what made them fall – and stay – in love.

Ellie Greenberg and Abraham Feldman

Q: How long have you been together?

A: Twelve years

Q: How did you meet?

EG: At the center. I gave him a card with name and number on it and it took him a couple of weeks to call. He was shy.

Q: Do you have any plans for Valentine’s Day?

EG: Well I’m going to be away, I’m going to be in Florida. In the past we’ve had very nice dinners and he brought candy.

Q: What are some activities you do together as a couple?

EG: I like to go to Atlantic City and go on lots of different trips. We’ve been on seven cruises and also been to Vegas.

Q: What qualities or traits do you like about your partner?

AF: It’s really funny, our daughters knew each other in high school and my daughter told me, “Grab that lady and don’t let go.” It’s been a very pleasant 12 years and I would do it again.

EG: He’s a good person and can be a little annoying but on a whole he’s a good person. Hopefully it’ll be another 12 years or however long it lasts.


Valentine’s Day Love Stories: Mary Nally and Tony Gugliucci

| dbeltran@queenscourier.com

Mary Nally and Tony Gugliucci (1)w

With Valentine’s Day upon us, The Queens Courier asked local couples what made them fall – and stay – in love.

Mary Nally and Tony Gugliucci

Q: How long have you been together?

A: Twelve years

Q: How did you meet?

MN: We met right here [at the Howard Beach Senior Center]. I used to sell crafts and Tony used to come buy things. Tony came by one day and said, “You always have my number but how come I don’t have yours.”

Q: Do you have any plans for Valentine’s Day?

MN: Not yet, we’ll probably eat together.

Q: What are some activities you do together?

MN: Sometimes we visit our children. We used to go dancing and go out with friends.

Q: What qualities or traits do you like about your partner?

MN: I like that he’s a good-hearted person. He never says no.

TG: I like everything


Their language of love is dance

| squigley@queenscourier.com

Photos Courtesy of Nelson and Madalyn Avila

Nelson and Madalyn Avila met each other in 1988. At the time, Madalyn was an elementary school teacher. Nelson — an international tango star — was performing on Broadway with the smash hit “Tango Argentino,” which introduced much of America to classic Argentine tango for the first time. He was also touring Europe, South America, Japan and Canada while teaching the art of the tango to such notable pupils as Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Sharon Stone and Anthony Quinn — just to name a few.

Nelson and Madalyn’s first encounter with each other took place a few years after her budding interest in tango began, when she took a class with the renowned dancer. The two began a casual friendship from afar, sending each other letters and visiting when possible. Madalyn even made the trip overseas to see him perform in “Tango Argentino” in London in 1991.  However, Nelson remained frequently in transit around the world, immensely busy and insatiably committed to his work. He was also married at the time, thus hindering any possibility of an emerging relationship.

Yet the two got a second opportunity to rekindle their relationship and start anew in 2004 when they happened to meet up at a Manhattan tango hot spot. At this time, a newly-single Nelson was leaving Toronto, where he was temporarily living, and planning on heading back home to Buenos Aires.

Regardless of Nelson’s lack of fluency in the English language, the two connected on a new level through the language of dance and continue to do so today.

The couple got married two years later in August of 2006 after Nelson stayed with Madalyn in North Shore Towers, where she has lived since 1995 and where her parents have lived for a decade prior.

Today, the two perform and teach Argentine tango. They also organize tango events and private parties while training professionals and amateurs alike in the art of the dance. Due to its popular nature, they are currently hoping to organize another “Tango Evening,” alongside friend and neighbor Linda Gibbs at Towers on the Green.

Last year’s first “Tango Evening” was wildly successful, the couple said, and it featured live music, free classes, plenty of good food and, most importantly, non-stop dancing all night long.

During the rare instances when the two are not passionately locked in “un abrazo” (an embrace), Nelson can be found playing countless games of billiards at North Shore Towers and writing poetry, while Madalyn dances ballet, goes swimming, teaches various classes and plays music. Nelson has also had a book of poetry published which Madalyn helped him translate to English.

Still, nary an activity holds their attention or affection more than being entwined in the heat of tango, together as one.

The two said they cherish every moment together, living in North Shore Towers, and as far as plans for Valentines Day are concerned, Madalyn said, “For me, every day is Valentines Day.”

The couple can be seen performing together with frequent gigs throughout Long Island. They currently perform at Cafe Buenos Aires inHuntington,Long Island most Fridays from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. and also dance for a Sunday brunch from noon to 3 p.m.

Their love is like an ocean

| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photos Courtesy of Melissa Molfetas

Melissa Molfetas and Billy Pardue can never look at a beach in the same way again.

Before the currents of love brought the pair to North Shore Towers (NST), it was on sandy shores, in crashing sapphire waves, where the two began to fall in love.

In 2008, Molfetas and Pardue served in the U.S. Army together. They were both shipped away for basic training but met up shortly after when they were stationed together in an Army base inNorfolk,Virginia.

On an off-duty Saturday afternoon, Molfetas — an inexperienced swimmer — decided to take a dip in the ocean offVirginia Beach, only to be pulled in by a riptide.

“I was swimming as hard as I could, but the water pulled me out and I couldn’t get back,” said the 24 year old.

And just like a romantic-comedy, now-boyfriend Pardue — a licensed lifeguard who was on the beach at the time — swam out and saved her.

“I didn’t think twice. I kind of just went,” said Pardue, 23. “She was out of her mind for being out so far. Now it’s funny, but before it wasn’t funny. It was kind of terrifying. People think we make this stuff up, but it’s really true.”

Molfetas went to thank him for saving her life a day later, but the only payment Pardue wanted was a date.

“He said, ‘If you want to pay me back, let’s get together later,’” Molfetas laughed. “But there was nothing to do there. We were stuck on an army base.”

The duo hit it off after a night of cheesy on-base bowling.

“He’s so charming. It was instant. I was so drawn to him,” Molfetas said, adding that the two had to keep things quiet until their term of service was up. “I had to avoid him at all costs because we couldn’t show any affection in the military. We had to pretend like we didn’t know each other. Everything was like a big secret,” she said.

But once they were back inNew York, “that was it.”

“We couldn’t get enough of each other,” Molfetas said.

Now, the two live together inElmontwith Pardue’s family, with hopes to someday soon own an apartment together. They have an ongoing joke that Molfetas is in debt to him with “a lifetime of servitude.”

They also work together at NST, where Molfetas is a sales marketing director and Pardue works for maintenance.

“He’ll walk by my [office] window, and he’ll wave like Peter Brady — like a dork,” Molfetas said. “I always tell him to get back to work.”

Pardue admitted to being “dorky” and said, “I do it to make her laugh.”

The two — both musicians who play in the same rock band — still like to hit the beach, where they enjoy running. Molfetas said although she refuses to get back in the water, she knows she’s in good hands if she does.

“It was a coincidence but lucky at the same time. He’s my personal hero,” she said.