Tag Archives: valentine’s day

UPS workers rally in Maspeth to save 250 drivers’ jobs


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Follow me @liamlaguerre

 

Elected officials and UPS workers held a rally in front of the company’s Maspeth distribution center Friday to save the jobs of 250 drivers—more than half the fleet—who were recently handed termination slips.

The cuts were made after workers for the parcel delivery service held a rally—while on the job—on February 26. The first demonstration protested the firing of Jairo Reyes, a UPS employee of 24 years. UPS showed Reyes no love on Valentine’s Day, when he was fired, escorted out of the facility, and had his employee card taken away.

“That was my Valentine’s Day gift from UPS,” said Reyes, who is married with two children.

Teamsters Local 804, which represents the workers, said Reyes should have had a hearing and meeting with his business agent before getting the hook.

Reyes filed a grievance with two co-workers before he was fired, arguing that junior workers were allowed to start earlier than their seniors, but the employee contract states earlier start times are based on seniority, Reyes said. He was fired officially for “admitted dishonesty” because he started his shifts earlier. But Reyes said a manager verbally okayed his punching-in early, starting from Jan. 6.

“They took a grievance with one employee and turned it into notices of termination with 250 workers,” said Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer. “That’s outrageous. These are good, hardworking employees who have a contract for UPS. To try and break this contract, break this union, is something that is unacceptable and we can’t tolerate.”

The company and the union were in ongoing talks about Reyes’ and other workers’ grievances, but negotiations broke down recently. Then UPS decided to ax the 250 workers for “illegal and unauthorized work stoppage,” following the initial rally.

“UPS takes its commitments to its customers very seriously, and must take action to ensure unauthorized employee actions resulting in refusal to work, does not prevent the company from meeting its service and delivery commitments,” the company said in a statement.

Union representatives and Public Advocate Letitia James passed along a petition with more than 100,000 signatures after the demonstration on March 21, to get the company to negotiate a settlement.

Reyes hopes to at least get his job back.

“I’ve dedicated my years to the company, my passion, my life. That would be good to have my job back,” he said. “I have a family to support.”

 

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Courier’s Valentine’s Day contest winners: 38 years of wedded bliss


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Kim Cody

Thirty-eight years of marriage, and Kim and Marlene Cody still hold hands.

Their long marriage follows a short courtship. The Whitestone couple tied the knot after only six months.

“And they said it wouldn’t last,” Marlene, 56, said.

Though she was born and raised in Whitestone and her husband moved there when he was three, they didn’t meet until they were young adults.

The first time Kim, 62, saw Marlene was when he was working as a rookie cop at a carnival in the parking lot of Shea Stadium.

But the two did not officially meet until a year-and-a-half later, in the summer of 1975, at the Whitestone Pool where Kim was a lifeguard.

By December they were married.

Almost two decades later they have two sons, William, 36 and Jason, 31, and six grandchildren, ranging from eight weeks to 10 years old.

Marlene stayed home to raise her children, while Kim worked his way through the NYPD, retiring as a detective in 1995.

The two now volunteer together for the Greater Whitestone Taxpayers Civic Association. Kim is the president and his wife is the vice president.

Though the two at times “agree to disagree,” they enjoy working together.

They also put a lot of work into their relationship.

“Every marriage is a series of ups and downs, and when you are with the ups, enjoy, and when you are with the down part of it, work through it,” Kim said.

On weekends they like to go on “adventures,” such as motorcycle rides, trips to the beach and fishing on their boat.

“We enjoy each other’s company after all these years. As a matter of fact we finish each other’s sentences,” Kim said.

As the winners of The Queens Courier Valentine’s Day Couples Contest, they will receive a gift certificate to Christie & Co. Salon • Spa.

 

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Plaza College raises domestic violence awareness


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Alexa Altman

Instead of flowers or chocolates, students at Plaza College celebrated Valentine’s Day by raising awareness about domestic violence.

On February 14, students at the Jackson Heights college sold sweets and raffled off prizes to raise money for Safe Horizons, an organization that helps victims of domestic violence by providing counseling, mentoring and assistance with finding jobs and homes as part of VDAY, a global initiative to end violence against women.

In the past, Plaza College celebrated VDAY with poetry competitions and performances of “The Vagina Monologues,” a play typically performed on Valentine’s Day that contains a series of stories about the feminine experience. This year, several on-campus organizations teamed up to expand the event.

“We have never done it this big before,” said Zahid Razack, chair of the Student Affairs Committee at Plaza College. “We decided to go a little larger so I decided to make it a little better and get a little more involved. We’re trying to raise as much money as we can.”

Razack said he hoped the event would raise more than $2,500 for Safe Horizons, which is located in the same building as Plaza College.

 

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Queens chocolate company gets $250K grant for Sandy recovery


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Terence Cullen

Normally, the staff of Madelaine Chocolate makes Valentine’s Day sweet for countless couples.

But this year, because of Sandy, their holiday was sweetened thanks to National Grid.

The gas company presented owners at Madelaine with a check for $250,000 on Tuesday, February 12 to help the confectioners continue their recovery. The money will go toward getting at least one leg of the Madelaine factory producing chocolate again, said co-owner Jorge Farber, and the staff back to work for Halloween candy.

“It’s a beginning for a long, long road that is ahead of us,” Farber said. “This grant from National Grid is the first substantial outside grant and resources we have received. It’s a very concrete first step because it helps us rebuild one of our 14 molding lines that produce chocolate.”

This is the first of several grants National Grid will give to companies in its floodzone that suffered severe damage from the storm. National Grid president Ken Daly said the power company has a $30 million fund, with roughly 100 companies applied. The amount of grant money will vary based on the company, he added.

Jack Friedman, executive director of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, said the grant would be a boost to Madelaine and the workers who live nearby.

“It’s going to help re-employ some of the workers who have been out of work since October, and probably will be out of work through the summer,” Friedman said. “And it’s going to help the community of Rockaway because most of their workers come from the local area.”

Madelaine, the largest Queens small business with about 450 employees, was the first on National Grid’s list, Daly said, because of the long working relationship between the two. The executives at National Grid are committed to getting Madelaine back and making candy as soon as possible.

“[For] many, many years, they’ve been supporting us as a company,” Daly said. “Today, it’s really our opportunity to return that support and help them get back up and running.”

Farber said the factory had already lost two seasons — Valentine’s Day and Easter — of candy production because of the damage from the storm. The combined cost of the damage and cost of doing business is still unestimated, he said.

The first of the eight kitchens, however, has been almost restored. That kitchen had a staff of 42 and produced about 46,000 of 100,000 pounds of chocolate per day.

The grant from National Grid was the first step in getting the staff back to work, as the company awaits potential loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. As more loans and donations come in, the staff can begin making chocolate goodies for distribution.

“We cannot lose another season,” Farber said. “We need to be back by Halloween.”

 

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Queens couples reflect on decades of happiness


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

LYONS

JUDY AND MEL GOSSETT

Neither Mel nor Judy Gossett knew that a friend’s small party would bring them together, but the moment they met, they knew it would be forever.

“It was a one chance meeting,” said Judy. “Had we not met that night, we never would have met. We clicked right away, we knew right away.”

Judy’s best friend, who she is still close with today, hosted a party and invited “some college guys,” Mel included.

“In he walked, and I looked at him, and I said, ‘Oh, he’s cute,’” said Judy.

Mel echoed his wife’s sentiment recalling, “I said to myself, ‘That’s a cute little girl.’”

Mel wrote Judy’s phone number down on a napkin, which he has saved to this day, and after three months of keeping in touch, they were engaged to be married.

Judy went to Boston to finish school, and Mel finished optometry school at Columbia. Then, the two got married, and “life took over.”

They have been married for 56 years; have three children and six grandchildren. “We’re just very happy, and we hope that we have many more years,” said Judy.

DEBBY AND HY NEWMAN

Hy and Debby Newman have spent their 70 years together all over the world – from here in the States, to Israel, to Turkey, the adventures never stopped. Their love started at a summer camp in Highland Mills when the two were just teenagers, spending camp casino nights together.

“We did everything together,” recalled Debby.

“We really fell in love,” Hy responded.

After the summer, Hy went to Penn State, and Debby went to California. The two didn’t see each other for a year, but that didn’t stop their romance from growing.

“I told him, ‘Marry me, or I’m going to marry someone else,’” laughed Debby.
From then, the two hit the ground running. Hy studied in Boston to become a veterinarian, and Debby enrolled in nursing school, also in Boston, so she could be close to Hy.

After finishing school, they moved to Virginia, then to Texas when Hy was drafted into the Army, then back to Virginia once he was discharged. Hy started his own veterinary practice, and they continued to raise their daughter.

When the war was over, Hy and Debby, Zionists, went to Israel for a time to help fugitives from internment camps start their lives over. Hy sold his practice, and the two dedicated themselves to the program in Israel.

While they weren’t working, Debby and Hy greatly enjoyed sailing. They also spent a great deal of time in the air, flying with Hy’s pilot license. Hy was also active in Israel’s opera.

“We had such a life,” said Debby. “We were involved with so many things.”

Now, things have slowed down, and the two do “a whole lot of nothing, but we do it together,” according to Debby. After all of these years, their love has not faded, and they have a wonderful life to look back on.

GLORIA AND JACK LYONS

Jack and Gloria Lyons have been married 65 years, but it still feels like they yesterday when they were paying just five cents to go bowling.

The two met one fateful night, when Gloria’s then-fiancé brought her along on a bowling trip with his buddies. At the lanes, Gloria and Jack were introduced.

“The truth is – he was so different from anybody I had ever met,” admitted Gloria. “I went home that night, and I told my mom that was the man I was going to marry.”

From there, Gloria broke it off with her beau, and embarked on a lifelong romance with Jack.

“We’ve been partners in everything since we met,” said Jack.

The two braved years of night schooling, and Jack became a lawyer while Gloria stayed home to care for their two children. Jack recalled nights where he would begin his day at 7 a.m., and not return until 11 p.m. after classes.

“Gloria would always have a hot dinner waiting,” he said with a smile. “She was always great.”

As Jack’s career progressed, traveling became very frequent, and Gloria would typically accompany him. Jack took care of business, and Gloria took care of entertaining guests and clients.

“She was beautiful and charming,” said Jack. “She’s friendly, and it sort of opened me up.”

After many years of happiness, they still love to do things together. They love music, dancing as much as possible, good food and great literature.

“Today, we enjoy more sedentary things,” said Gloria. “We manage to enjoy ourselves.”

This Valentine’s Day, they plan on enjoying a nice outing with family.

 

 

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More people finding love online


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

GirlComputerHeartsC1202

BY ANTHONY O’REILLY

Email is replacing Cupid’s arrows.

According to the publication “Psychological Science in the Public Interest,” online dating is now the second most common way for people to meet their significant other.

“Online dating is definitely a new and much needed twist on relationships,” said Harry Reis, co-author of the study.

The study showed that 25 million unique users used online dating during a single month in 2011.

Christian Rudder, a spokesperson from the dating website OkCupid.com, said for their website Valentine’s Day is only slightly busier than the rest of the year. “New Year’s Day and the week after is much bigger for us,” he said. “We see about a 20 percent bump in January and about five percent on Valentine’s Day.”

One such user who found e-love was Queens resident Patricia Harris. At the suggestion of a friend, she visited PlentyofFish.com.

“I went on a few dates, talked to a few weirdos and was overall unimpressed with my findings,” she said.

Harris said her experience changed when she received a message from a user who had grown up in Massachusetts.

“Sports have always been a huge part of my life,” Harris, a Mets, Jets and Rangers fan, said. “The person sending me these messages was a Red Sox, Patriots and Bruins fan originally from Massachusetts…in all ways wrong.”

Despite supporting rivaling teams, Harris became friends with the user and after a courtship through emails and texts for nearly a year, they finally met. Today, they are married.

“Without this website I never would have met him,” she said. “Call us a success story, a miracle.”

Comscore Report generated July 2012
(Courtesy of PlentyofFish.com)

 

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Queens couple stays strong through Sandy


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Frances and Peter Wilps

Frances and Peter Wilps of Broad Channel were selected as the winners of The Queens Courier Valentine’s Day Couples Contest:

In traditional wedding vows, the bride and groom often promise to love each other “in good times and in bad,” but for one Queens couple, it would have been more appropriate to say “in good weather and in bad.”

Natural disasters, however, were the last thing on Frances and Peter Wilps’ minds when they were matched on the dating website eHarmony.

Both were previously married with children, and for the first time decided to go online to find love.
Frances said she didn’t have high hopes of meeting someone, but thought, “what do I have to lose? Let me give it a whirl.”

Her first few dates were “a disaster,” but her first date with Peter was the opposite.

“Everything he said [on his online dating profile] seemed so sincere,” said Frances.

But that magical first meeting almost didn’t happen because Peter lived in Monmouth County, New Jersey and Frances resided in Broad Channel, a distance of one to two hours, depending on traffic.

“I thought, ‘I’m not going to go through with this. It’s a big waste of time, the commute seeing each other,’” said Frances.

Still, Peter was persistent and called her for a date, agreeing to meet her at Frenasia, an Asian restaurant on Cross Bay Boulevard in Howard Beach.

“[Frenasia] has kind of become our home. It’s our every Friday night thing,” said Frances.

About five months later, in August 2007, Frenasia was where Peter proposed.

It was also where the couple went to have a private moment following their wedding.

“We walked in there as husband and wife, and we sat down and someone sent us a bottle of champagne and we ate a little something,” said Frances.

Following the wedding, Peter moved to Frances’ home in Broad Channel, and the adjustment was easy. Like his wife, Peter grew up in Queens.

The real test of their marriage came a few years later when Irene hit New York City in August, 2011, followed by Sandy only 14 months later.

Their house sustained some water damage from Irene, but Sandy destroyed the Wilps’ entire first floor.

“We knew we would get water, but we never thought the magnitude of it would be what it was”, said Frances.

Though many personal items were lost, fortunately their wedding photos and other keepsakes were fine.

“On the mantle I had a bunch of pictures and my husband said take them off, bring them upstairs and I was questioning him, she said. “Thank God I listened.”

A few months later, they are slowly fixing their first floor, but there is still no heat, appliances or furniture in downstairs.
“You learn what you take for granted, that’s for sure,” said Frances.

For now, they are living in a bedroom and are dealing with the financial burden and rebuilding what they lost in the storm.

Sandy “has been very trying,” on their relationship, said Frances.

“We are on top of each other 24/7 and it’s tough, the stress of no money and the house is a mess,” she continued.
But along with adding stress, the disaster has also strengthened their marriage.

“The support from one another has been fabulous,” He’s just wonderful. When I need him, he’s always strong. And I’m there for him when he has his moments and he’s upset and he’s worried,” she said. “We’re each other’s backbone.”

As winners of The Courier’s contest the Wilps will receive a “King & Queens for a Day” spa package from Christie & Co. Salon * Spa in The Bay Terrace.

 

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Calling all Queens couples! Win a special Valentine’s Day prize


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

CoupleDiningC1112SMALL

The Courier wants to hear your love story. Do people tell you you’re perfect together? Is your love story one for the ages? Whether you are a newly engaged couple or have been married for over 50 years, we want to hear what makes you and your significant other a great couple.

The pair with the best story will win a romantic Valentine’s Day prize and will be featured in The Queens Courier paper and on our website.

Entries will be accepted until February 1.

Click here to enter.

Liu “Stunned” By Fraud Charges Against His Campaign Treasurer


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Arrest Made In Connection With Queens Synagogue Burglary

Police say tips from the public led them to an arrest in the burglary of a Queens synagogue. Efram Sanders, 28, was arrested Tuesday and was facing burglary, grand larceny and stolen-property charges in connection with the break-in at Congregation Degel Israel in Kew Gardens Hills. More than a dozen items were taken, including silver torah crowns and breastplates, worth thousands of dollars in all. Police say they were able to recover all stolen items except for two silver pointers. Read More: NY1

 

NYPD cop impersonators may have used high-quality masks to pull off check-cashing heist

Three cop impersonators wanted for stealing $200,000 from a Queens check-cashing business may have worn masks that were Hollywood quality, the Daily News has learned. Investigators began to suspect the trio that pulled off the Valentine’s Day caper had worn masks that were far from the average costume-shop props after they got a tip, the sources said. One of the false faces even looked like pro wrestler Bill Goldberg. Read More: Daily News

Liu “Stunned” By Fraud Charges Against His Campaign Treasurer

In a serious blow to City Comptroller John Liu’s 2013 campaign effort, authorities on Tuesday announced the arrest of one of his top campaign aides on fraud charges, and the comptroller said he was shocked by the allegations. The U.S. Attorney’s office says Jenny Hou, 25, seen above right, was taken into custody in connection to what authorities call a scheme to use straw donors to get over the limit campaign contributions to Liu. Read More: NY1

 

Mayor Stands By Released Teacher Rankings As Charter School Data Is Published

Mayor Michael Bloomberg again defended the release of teacher data reports Tuesday as the Department of Education released the same information for charter schools and District 75. Charter school teachers make up a majority of the 334 reports. Their participation was optional but District 75, which serves children with special needs, had to take part for two of the three school years represented. A DOE spokesperson says the reports for the charter and District 75 schools are not comparable to those for city schools. Read More: NY1

 

Hero cop: ‘I don’t know how he didn’t hit me from that range’

The partner of the NYPD cop saved by his gun belt said the stunning sequence was like the scene in “Pulp Fiction” where a gunman opens fire on the main characters at point-blank range and misses with every shot. “We were only a couple feet away. I don’t know how he didn’t hit me from that range,” Thomas Dunne told The Post of alleged shooter Luis Martinez. Dunne’s partner, Thomas Richards, 36, was saved when a round hit the extra clip in his pocket. Read More: New York Post

Elevator guy still on job

The lift mechanic whose botched job resulted in a young ad executive getting crushed to death was still allowed to tinker with the city’s elevators yesterday. Michael Hill arrived at his home in Glen Gardner, NJ, after a long day on the job — wearing a navy blue New York Elevator Operators uniform and covered in grease. Hill was working on the city’s elevators just one day after investigators on Monday released a scathing report, accusing him of overriding the critical elevator safety system that led to Y&R ad exec Suzanne Hart’s gruesome death on Dec. 14. Read More: New York Post

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.