Fashion Island’s Sizzling Night

The Great Hall at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center served as a beautiful backdrop for this lavish affair. Fashion Island celebrated  its first  ever runway show with a bash and a cool crowd of over 200 attendees. People everywhere were mingling and praising the extravagant designs from the “Sketch Your Style” competition while sipping on champagne and savoring appetizers at the cocktail reception.

Alexandra Porto, director of membership and outreach for the SIEDC, did an amazing job organizing and planning this event and making every last little detail a bit special. Looking around the room the atmosphere was that of an elegant fashion party with stimulating energy and amazing talent.  Aside from the one-of-a-kind designs, there were many items donated to the auction by such glamorous designers as Roberto Cavalli and Oscar de la Renta.

As the lights dimmed, statement-making styles inspired by Staten Island’s landmarks along with other fall- inspired looks, hit the runway. It was very exciting to watch these fashions come to live. The crowd was cheering and gushing over every piece. Drawing from the diverse range of inspirations, the designers put together a tremendous show that any Staten Islander would be proud of. It was a beautiful event and I left feeling honored to have been a part of it.


Designer and an FIT student, Tara Ricci, won the first prize for her children’s wear design inspired by the Staten Island Ferry.

Rosemarie Paone, a truly inspiring spirit at just 16 years old, took home a second-place for her Staten Island Zoo inspired gown.

                                                                      Walk, Walk   Fashion Baby!

A fabulous third-place winner, Monique Anderson, paid tribute to St. George Theater with her show-stopping gown worn by Sheena Colette.

Below are the highlights from Fashion Island shot by Dmitriy M.


My Big Fat Greek Festival

My visit to the annual Greek Food Festival, held in the parking lot of Holy Trinity – St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, was all about trying authentic foods, drinking good wine and experiencing the rich culture. The atmosphere was most festive with high energy, children laughing and music playing in the background. The parishioners, that prepare the tasty dishes, were very sweet and added to the overall experience. And you don’t have to be Greek to go!

I’ll be honest, when it came to Greek food, my experience was limited to a Greek salad with olives, which I prefer on many occasions for lunch. However, last weekend, I was pleasantly surprised by the flavorful variety of Greek cuisine. It came in many shapes and forms, from smoky shish-kebab to delicious pastries.

Wandering around the festival, one could witness the traditional cooking methods of grilling meat that enhances its flavor. Want to know the secrets? Try chatting up the cook over a glass of wine, you may take away some tips. Take the time to explore what’s on the menu and then start trying. All the food is wonderfully enjoyable.

It’s amazing to see how towards the end of the night the place gets packed with people. At every table friends are having conversations and sharing stories, all the while enjoying a good meal. Take your little ones along, there are lots of fun things for them to do. Complete with rides, musical entertainment and games, the Greek Festival is sure to be a fun affair for the whole family.


The fair runs for two weekends in September, 9-11th and 16-18th at 1641 Richmond Ave.


The images I took were enhanced for fun, to make them look as if they’ve been processed using old-fashioned darkroom technique. Enjoy!