Tag Archives: north shore towers

Officials inaugurate new ‘Courtesy Bus’

| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photos Courtesy of North Shore Towers Apartments Incorporated

Towers residents now have a new set of wheels to take them round and round.

In a ribbon-cutting ceremony on December 19, co-op officials inaugurated the new North Shore Towers Courtesy Bus and opened its doors to the community.

The Courtesy Bus — which has been around for at least 20 years — mostly accommodates the older residents in the com­plex who don’t drive anymore. One bus can fit 28 passengers, and major location stops include Roosevelt Field Mall, Source Mall and other local shopping areas.

The bus operates Monday through Friday, except on certain holidays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.



9:45 a.m. – Local shopping at Roosevelt Field Mall, Source Mall,

Union Turnpike, Lake Success, Pathmark, Waldbaum’s.

11 a.m. – Pick-up/Drop-off at local shopping.

1 p.m. – Pick-up/Drop-off at local shopping, Union Turnpike,

Lake Success, Pathmark, Waldbaum’s.

1:45-2 p.m. – Pick-up at Roosevelt Field Mall and Source Mall.

3 p.m. – Pick-up at local shopping.


9:45 a.m. – Local shopping at Great Neck, Macy’s,

Union Turnpike, Lake Success, Pathmark, Waldbaum’s.

11 a.m. – Pick-up/Drop-off at local shopping.

1 p.m. – Pick-up/Drop-off at local shopping, Union Turnpike,

Lake Success, Pathmark, Waldbaum’s.

1:45-2 p.m. – Pick-Up/Drop-off at Great Neck and Macy’s.

3 p.m. – Pick-up at local shopping.

4-4:30 p.m. – Pick-up at Great Neck and Macy’s.


9:45 a.m. – Local shopping at Garden City, Roosevelt Field Mall,

Union Turnpike, Lake Success, Pathmark, Waldbaum’s.

11 a.m. – Pick-up/Drop-off at local shopping.

1 p.m. – Pick-up/Drop-off at local shopping, Union Turnpike,

Lake Success, Pathmark, Waldbaum’s.

1:45-2 p.m. – Pick-up at Garden City, Roosevelt Field Mall.

3 p.m. – Pick-up at local shopping.


9:45 a.m. – Local shopping at Great Neck, Macy’s,

Union Turnpike, Lake Success, Pathmark, Waldbaum’s.

11 a.m. – Pick-up/Drop-off at local shopping.

1 p.m. – Pick-up/Drop-off at local shopping, Union Turnpike,

Lake Success, Pathmark, Waldbaum’s.

1:45-2 p.m. – Pick-Up/Drop-off at Great Neck and Macy’s.

3 p.m. – Pick-up at local shopping.

4-4:30 p.m. – Pick-up at Great Neck and Macy’s.


9:45 a.m. – Local shopping at Manhasset, Union Turnpike,

Lake Success, Pathmark, Waldbaum’s.

11 a.m. – Pick-up/Drop-off at local shopping.

1 p.m. – Pick-up/Drop-off at local shopping, Union Turnpike,

Lake Success, Pathmark, Waldbaum’s.

1:45-2 p.m. – Pick-up/Drop-off Manhasset.

3 p.m. – Pick-up at local shopping.

Crocheting for a cause

| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Winter winds may keep on howling, but hundreds of U.S. soldiers are warmer now thanks to the Towers’ Knit and Crochet Club.

The group — 35 members strong — knits for a good cause. For the last four to five years, the North Shore knitters have fashioned and donated hundreds of yarned creations to U.S. service members, mothers in need and battered women.

“It makes people feel good. People want to come together for the good of the community and for charitable causes,” said club leader Linda Cohen-Pignataro. “It gives us a really great feeling to be giving something to the community and to be supporting others. It’s all for charity.”

Club members meet once a week, every Thursday night from 6:30 to 9 p.m. to knit and crochet together. Among many others, their hard work has benefited the Reserve Center for Marines, Sailors and Airmen, the Pennsylvania Air National Guard’s 111th Fighter Wing, Warmth for Warriors, Long Island Jewish Medical Center, and the Women’s Health Center in Jacobi Medical.

The handmade crocheted constructions vary from scarves, hats, blankets, baby caps and booties, depending on where they’re shipped.

“I made these for my babies when they were young, and now I’m still making them,” said club member Shirley Mendell, who said she has been knitting since she was little.

The 83-year-old speedy stitcher can knit one baby sweater — complete with cute baby animals on the front — in just one week.

“It makes me feel very good, and it keeps me busy,” she laughed.

The group donates at least six scarves a week to the Reserve Center in Lafayette, Pennsylvania.

“We have American soldiers in harm’s way. The most important thing that civilians can do is let the soldiers know we haven’t forgotten about them,” said club member Annette Mauer.We want the soldiers to know that there are civilians back home who really care about them.”

In fact, about a month ago, the 111th Fighter Wing awarded the Towers’ Knit and Crochet Club with a Certificate of Appreciation. The group also frequently receives “beautiful thank you notes” from the organizations they help.

“I enjoy that they appreciate this,” Mendell said.

To join the Towers’ Knit and Crochet Club, or to donate much needed material and money, call Linda Cohen-Pignataro at 718-224-2881.

To view more photos, see the North Shore Towers Courier’s January issue.

Bringing fabric dolls to life

| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan.

Three women — donning deep purple-hued feathery dresses and gossipmonger smirks — make themselves home in Sylvia Landau’s apartment.

The trio has spunk and attitude, only their stories are fiction and they’re made of fabric.

“It’s where your imagination takes you,” Sylvia said. “When you’re in that mode, you just want to try everything. What can you lose, right?”

The North Shore Towers resident’s passion for creating fabric art dolls stems from her early love for arts and crafts as a teenager. Sylvia’s first stint with sewing slowly grew into making jewelry — before her love for creating fabric dolls took over full force.

“I love these dolls and I love doing this. I just have to. I don’t cook or clean, so I have to do something with my time now that the children are grown,” she said.

Sylvia — who also dabbles with sculpting — even taught a few fabric doll making classes at the Adult Education Center in Great Neck, but she said she wasn’t able to recently because not enough people signed up.

“There are not too many crazy people out there who want to do this,” she laughed. “It’s a little kooky.”

Still, the pleasure that comes from making dolls come to life is enough for Sylvia to continue creating every single day.

“I’m obsessed,” she said. “My eyes are always open for things that will give the doll a story. It’s just something that is always with me.”

Sylvia works on at least three to four dolls at a time, and it can take a couple of weeks to finish one piece, she said, “depending on how the motor is going.”

To this day, Sylvia has fashioned at least 50 fabric dolls, most of whom live in the nooks and crannies of her husband Herb’s and her cozy Towers apartment.

“It’s getting crowded in here,” she joked, taking a step back to look at the multihued hodgepodge of dolls that line the walls and tabletops — each with its own individual story, telling of a different “ah ha!” moment.

“I don’t always know what I’m going to do or where I’m going with it, and sometimes it will lie around for months when all of a sudden, it hits me with what to do with it,” she said.

And the studio to produce these soft figurines is located right in Sylvia’s very own apartment.

The doll making fanatic dedicated an entire workroom with enough fabric inside “to take care of the entire world.” It’s overflowing with fabric, lace trim, paint, shoelaces, tassels, string, yarn and polyester-filled blank doll heads.

“My grandchildren laugh and laugh, but they usually go along with me,” she said, adding that the doll’s face very often dictates the end product.

In fact, Sylvia’s “Are You Shopping or Just Looking?” doll — prominent for her sour face — won an Artists Craftsmen of New York honorable mention in 2009.

“It’s the way her face turned out. She just didn’t look like a nice person,” Sylvia said, adding that the doll — holding a pencil and writing pad — was an angry shopper totaling her bill. “She looked nasty, and once I put the apron on her and filled the paper bag with merchandise, I knew what she was going to be,” Sylvia said.

“Your imagination just starts to run.”

To view more photos, see the North Shore Towers Courier’s January issue.

Tower trees lit to kick off holiday season

| photographers@queenscourier.com


The night before Thanksgiving, North Shore Towers started to show its holiday cheer with a tree lighting event sponsored by Greenthal Property Sales.

In addition to lighting the outdoor lights, residents enjoyed refreshments and took part in some holiday karaoke.

To view more photos, see the North Shore Towers Courier’s December issue.

Diva tribute held in VIP Room

| photographers@queenscourier.com


Singer JC entered residents recently with her diva tribute on Friday, November 25 in the Country Club’s VIP Room. During the revue, JC performed songs made famous by Cher, Judy Garland, Barbara Streisand, Bette Midler, Celine Dion and Aretha Franklin, among others.

To view more photos, see the North Shore Towers Courier’s December issue!


Country Club hosts ‘Spooky Spectacular’ Halloween party

| photographers@queenscourier.com

Maryanne Langone  Sheila Levine   Patti Mcarty

To help celebrate Halloween, the Country Club held its “Spooky Spectacular Halloween Party” on Friday, October 28.

Party-goers were encouraged to come in costume and were able to enjoy food, drinks, live music and dancing.

To view more photos, see the North Shore Towers Courier’s December issue!


Bob Ricken honored as a ‘King of Queens’

| jlyons@queenscourier.com


North Shore Towers Board President Bob Ricken was one of 35 honorees at The Queens Courier’s recent fourth annual “King of Queens” event, which recognized leaders in the borough from a variety of fields.

While Ricken might have at first been unsure about accepting the award, he said he eventually did so because of the cooperative.

“I really felt North Shore Towers deserved it [the honor] so that’s why I became very excited with the opportunity,” he said. Ricken also said, “I really believe we’ve been a miracle in the last few years.”

Ricken explained that the “miracle” has been avoiding maintenance increases for the last two years and Country Club dues increases for the last three even in the current economic environment. He also noted that the cooperative is waiting on the New York City tax rates to determine what will happen with maintenance for next year.

“One of the promises I made when I got onto the Board was I would work to that end but I never thought we’d achieve it in this economic environment,” Ricken said.

Ricken said that he thought the November 3 event, which was held at Terrace on the Park, was “magnificent.” He said he was excited to meet everyone, particularly Matilda Cuomo, who was honored as “Women of the Year,” and New York City Comptroller John Liu, who was recognized as “Man of the Year.”

“I found that the people there were excited to be there; the program was just brilliantly put together,” Ricken said. “The whole tone was a pro-business, pro-community, pro-Queens kind of an affair and it made you feel good to be there and be a part of it.”

Among the people on hand for the event were Ricken’s wife Susan; Board members Herb Cooper, Phyllis Goldstein, Phil Plafker and Jim Short; General Manager Glen Kotowski; Assistant to the General Manager Bruce Vogel; Controller Robert Serikstad; Security Director Kris Debysingh; realtor Linda Rappaport; counsel Errol Brett; Country Club Manager Mary Anne Langone and vendor Pouran Eshghi.

“I really appreciated them being there,” Ricken said.

Ricken said that the event was a great public relations opportunity for North Shore Towers since he was able to speak with bankers, lawyers, business people and political people.

“These are people who can well afford to live here,” he said.

When it comes to being a leader, Ricken said that he thinks it’s important to be “a warm fuzzy with teeth.” This means being good to all people while still making tough decisions when necessary. He also said it’s important to treat people fairly, collaborate and recognize that “a mass of people know more than you.”

Ricken has served as the President of the North Shore Towers Board of Directors for about the last three and a half years. In that leadership role, he said the most rewarding part has been having the community grow to respect the Board and appreciate their accomplishments. He also said there is now a tone in the buildings that the Towers is a great place to live.

“I’m also very appreciative to have a Board that works cooperatively together. That doesn’t mean we have any yes people on the Board,” Ricken said. “It means that we have our own arguments, our discussions and then come out with a decision that’s best for the community. I think that collaboration and cooperation on the Board is what I appreciate probably more than anything.”

To view more photos, see the North Shore Towers Courier’s December issue!

Dancing in a winter wonderland

| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photos by Mike Savitzky

The cold December weather did little to discourage Towers residents from celebrating the start of the holiday season, as they danced to warm up during the North Shore Tower’s Country Club’s “Winter Get Together” event.

On Friday, December 2, party-goers enjoyed a buffet of appetizers, open bar, desserts and a night of music and dancing — provided by DJ Lynn Johnson — in the VIP Room.

See the North Shore Towers Courier’s January edition for more photos.

Country Club holds open meeting to update members

| jlyons@queenscourier.com

Open Country Club Meetingresized

Country Club members gathered in the VIP Room in November for an open meeting to update them on finances and activities.

Near the beginning of the meeting, Board president Bob Ricken encouraged members to join the Country Club Committee.

“It’s one thing to be in the Country Club,” Ricken said. “It’s another thing to be involved in letting us know what you’re feeling.”

Phil Plafker, a Board member and chair of the Country Club Committee, thanked the committee’s volunteers for their time, effort and input.

Plafker shared the Country Club’s membership numbers as of October 31, 2011. As of that date, there were 1,327 general members; 111 house members; 52 tennis members; and 333 golf members. Total membership was at 1,823, which represents a six-member increase from 2010.

For the third year in a row, there will be no increase in membership dues for the Country Club.

“I think that’s a really big plus,” Plafker said.

Plafker explained that for next year’s season the only increase will be cart fees for 18 holes of golf, which will increase from $18 to $20.

During the meeting Plafker also detailed the Country Club’s sources of revenue. The largest amount, 41.3 percent, comes from general house membership, which is expected to produce $1,265,000 in revenue for 2011 and $1,285,000 in 2012 revenue. The second largest revenue generator is golf membership, which represents 39.3 percent of the Country Club’s overall revenue. It is projected that golf membership will bring in $1,203,000 in revenue both in 2011 and in 2012.

The Country Club has budgeted $329,000 for capital improvements in 2012. Of that, the largest amount, $135,000, has been designated for interior refurbishments, including in the VIP Room kitchen.

“The kitchen will be expanded. It’s going to be expanded to help us maintain what we had this past year,” Plafker said. “I think everyone was happy with [the food service] we had. I personally have never seen such social activity here at the Club in my 18 years of living here as we did this past year.”

Plafker said that other work to redo the VIP Room will not be done until the kitchen expansion has been completed.

The ladies’ card room will also be expanded to include more tables.

Another item on the capital improvement list that Plafker highlighted was $15,000 being allocated for a golf course architect and planning. He said that the Towers is currently working with a golf course architect to determine what needs to be done to maintain the course so that it won’t “cost a bundle of money at a later day” to take care of it. Plafker said they are also determining what the cost would be to improve the golf course and “beautify it that much more.”

Plafker also said that the suggestion box that was placed in the reception area of the Country Club a year ago “has been very useful.”

“We have made some minor changes as a result of these suggestions and I’d like to thank everyone who did participate in giving us some suggestions,” he said.

Controller Robert Serikstad reported that, as of October 31, 2011, the Country Club operations were $8,815 ahead of budget. Additionally, cash on hand was at $925,181, which is slightly higher than what it was at last year at this time.

Subcommittee chairs also spoke during the meeting. Towers Men’s Golf Association co-president Ed Vesel said that they “had a wonderful season.” He noted that the sponsored golf program is still in effect and that a number of those members have already purchased apartments at the Towers.

Roz Worobow, president of the Towers Ladies’ Golf Association, also spoke about the sponsored golf members.

“We have integrated them. It’s as if they live here,” she said. “They are very happy so we’re happy. We would love to get more lady sponsored members. If you want to recommend someone we’re here to help.”

Tennis Association president Werner Nass said that they too had a “very, very successful season.” He said members enjoy the fun and competitiveness of tennis in addition to participating in the group’s many social events. In addition to having about 50 active Tennis Association members, Nass said the group also has 25 associate members.

Plafker spoke on behalf of a couple subcommittee chairs. In regards to publicity, he said that the Country Club has been having a dialog with North Shore-LIJ about them using the facilities once in a while as a “thank you for being our neighbors.” He also said that there will be new member receptions held twice a year.

Board member Shelley Sander also gave an update about the newly formed committee that she chairs, the Gym, Aerobics and Pool (GAP) Committee. It includes the gym, fitness classes, indoor and outdoor pools, billiards room and boxing room.

Sander that that there is money in the 2012 budget for new gym equipment.

“But it’s very crowded in there so we will be reviewing our current inventory to see what might be a candidate for replacement based on condition and utilization,” Sander said.

Other things that the committee is working on are expanding aerobics class offerings, a decorating upgrade to the boxing room and selecting new furniture for the outdoor pool area.

Following the committee updates, the floor was opened up for questions, during which time it was asked what the entertainment would be for the holiday shows.

“The committee has decided not to have two of the three shows,” Plafker said. “We only will have the Memorial Day show because July 4 and Labor Day were not well attended.”

However, Plafker said there might be events in the VIP Room instead for those two holidays.

New Classes Added to Aerobics Course Offerings

| jlyons@queenscourier.com

The Country Club has made some changes to its aerobics class offerings, in part to accommodate residents who are unable to attend daytime classes.

Shelley Sander, chair of the Gym, Aerobics and Pool (GAP) Committee, said that they had received requests from members because the class schedule was heavily loaded during daytime hours when many are not available, such as because of work or volunteer commitments. Along with making changes to evening class offerings, changes were also made to what’s available on the weekends.

“In consideration for that, we looked at the calendar and we saw where we could inject some more classes to fit these people’s [schedules],” Sander said.

Some classes, such as the line dancing and evening Zumba, were added to accommodate resident requests for certain classes.

“We just want to make sure we don’t neglect any significant population group,” Sander said.

Aerobics Director Lori Scolaro said that the Towers also wants to make sure that its offering a large variety of classes. She also noted that Zumba is very popular, which is why they want to have it available to Country Club members.

“We have a wide range of classes,” Scolaro said. “We’re just tweaking it a little bit.”

The new classes are:

-Zumba on Tuesdays at 7 p.m.

-Line dancing every other Wednesday at 7 p.m. (beginning on December 21)

-Aqua Zumba at 10:15 a.m. on Sundays

-Body blast at 10:15 a.m. on Sundays

Sander said that she has personally attended the Tuesday even Zumba class, which began around the start of November. She said there have been 12 to 16 participants, which is “very good attendance.”

“We’re laughing, we’re having a good time. It’s not an easy class but it’s fun,” Sander said, adding that you can take breaks when you need them and do as much or as little as you can.

Scolaro said that most of the aerobics classes offered at the North Shore Towers Country Club are for any fitness level. She said that participants can slow down and take the classes and their own pace.

“Don’t be afraid to go in and try any of the classes that are on the schedule,” Scolaro said. “Never be intimidated.”

Sander and Scolaro encouraged Country Club members to continue to give their feedback about the aerobics class offerings.

Members should be sure to check out the aerobics schedule every month to see any future changes.

“We’re going to continue to monitor classes,” Sander said, adding that they’ll be looking at other classes that might be available and seeing where there could be the opportunity to add or juggle classes.

Gym Tour Held to Encourage Use of Facilities at North Shore Towers

| jlyons@queenscourier.com

Photos By Jessica Lyons

The Gym, Aerobics and Pool (GAP) Committee held a gym tour in November to try to encourage usage of this amenity by making it seem less intimidating.

“The key purpose of today is to help familiarize you with the many options available to you as a Country Club member,” said GAP Committee Chair Shelley Sander.

Lori Scolaro, aerobics director, said, “We want to really make you guys feel comfortable…”

In addition to hoping that current members will start to use the fitness programs more, Sander also said she hopes that individuals who aren’t yet members would decide to join.

“I don’t think that you can beat the value that you get with your membership,” she said.

Before event attendees were taken on tours of the facilities by committee volunteers and gym instructors, a video was shown to highlight the facilities and group fitness programs offered at the Country Club.

In addition to the gym, there is an indoor pool, billiards room, boxing room and aerobics classes that include cycling, Zumba, yoga, water aerobics and stretch classes, among others.

“We offer everything,” Scolaro said. “We have a fabulous staff.”

Scolaro also noted that there are gym attendants who can show members how to use the machines, although they cannot come up with specific fitness programs. However, there are personal trainers available, too.

Bob Rochedieu, a chair of the subcommittee that planned the event, said that the programs and activities offered can be tailored to the person’s own level of activity.

During the event, members were also reminded to consult with their doctor before beginning fitness programs.

June Rochedieu, also a chair of the event, described it as “a big hit” and said that about 70 people attended.

“Tours were given, many questions asked and renewed interest shown to attend the gym, aerobics and pool by everyone. There was an excitement and buzz about the event that surpassed our goals to get people excited about our fitness programs,” June said. “My husband and I are dedicated to helping people take control of their health and well-being through fitness. We’re seeing lots of changes at North Shore Towers and this new ‘pumped up’ spirit to start an individual wellness program for the New Year is great for every North Shore Towers resident.”

June said that she and her husband “wish everyone would go down to the gym.”

“There’s no other place I can think of that offers this type of extensive fitness program in your co-op complex,” June said.

Anyone interested in learning more about the gym can call the Country Club to make an appointment for a gym attendant to take them on a tour.

Sander also noted that the GAP Committee plans on holding gym tour events a few times a year and will likely do another one around the time that snowbirds return.