FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM MARСH 19, 2020 • AT HOME • THE QUEENS COURIER 53
Lucky me, I got to return last
month to one of my favorite
restaurants in New York
City: the River Café, snuggled
under the Brooklyn Bridge on
Th e proud, respected and popular
café owner “Buzzy” O’Keeff e
was one of several people recognized
for their contributions to
Brooklyn. Th e River Café’s sparkling
setting looks out onto the
Manhattan skyline and it was a
perfect place to make the honorees
Brooklyn Hospital President
Gary Terrinoni introduced
the board president Lizanne
celebrates 175 years
Fontaine and together, they gave
medals to the honorees. I was
particularly impressed to meet
Kristian Roebling, who expected
the reward on behalf of the
late Emily Warren Roebling,
who led the construction of the
The full list of honorees
includes: Keith Kinch
(co-founder and general manager
of Bloc Power); Robert Catell
(chairperson of the Advanced
Energy and Research Technology
Center); the late Seth Faison
(a trustee and former board
chair of Brooklyn Hospital);
George Harris (trustee emeritus
of Brooklyn Hospital); David
Henry Hwang (Tony-winning
playwright, screenwriter, television
writer and librettist who
serves as associate professor at
Columbia University’s School of
the Arts); Barbara Just (director
of nursing at Brooklyn Hospital);
the late Albert Kronick (former
chair and CEO of Abraham
& Straus); Dr. Yvonne Riley-
Tepie (vice president and senior
regional giving manager at TD
Bank Charitable Foundation);
and Michael “Buzzy” O’Keeff e
(founder of the River Café).
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The curtain has fallen ....for now
What a world! I always say “life is a great
adventure “ and what a ride it is —
and now changing by the hour.
As a fearless “traveler” (except real roller coasters
and zip lines), I tackle life and mine has been
fi lled with great heights — the birth of my six
grandchildren — and the low of losing my fi rst
Now, we are all learning to cope during these
anxious, historic times.
I’m raring to go, fearless of the coronavirus,
but my kids are sitting on me, figuratively.
I feel lucky that two of my grandchildren live
with me and my daughter.
Being captured in my house — I am self quarantining
— it is a great chance to be home with
My 8-year-old granddaughter Addy decided
to rummage through her room and then bring
the items down to sell them to me. She loves
shopping and, knowing I wasn’t going to take her
to a store, she made her own and I was her best
customer! I’m a sucker for her!
She found lipstick, stuff ed animals, necklaces,
a magnifying glass, a pretty star ruler, and best of
all, a willing customer: me!
Calling friends and family was a great way to
pass the time on Sunday. I think I may wear out
My company is operating mainly remotely
— everyone who is capable of working from
home is doing so. We will all do what we have to
do to stay healthy.
As my mom would say, “this too shall pass.”
We are all behind the curtain of our home, but
in the meantime it will take creativity to get
through this challenging experience.
My friend Todd Shapiro shared with me the
words of Albert Einstein, which I wanted to
share with you. His words are true and wise, even
Albert Einstein’s words of wisdom
“Let’s not pretend that things will change
if we keep doing the same things. A
crisis can be a real blessing to any person,
to any nation. For all crises bring progress.
Creativity is born from anguish, just like the
day is born from the dark night. It’s in crisis that
inventiveness is born, as well as discoveries made
and big strategies. He who overcomes crisis,
overcomes himself, without getting overcome.
He who blames his failure to a crisis neglects
his own talent and is more interested in problems
than in solutions. Incompetence is the true
crisis. Th e greatest inconvenience of people and
nations is the laziness with which they attempt to
fi nd the solutions to their problems.
Th ere’s no challenge without a crisis. Without
challenges, life becomes a routine, a slow agony.
Th ere’s no merit without crisis. It’s in the crisis
where we can show the very best in us. Without
a crisis, any wind becomes a tender touch. To
speak about a crisis is to promote it. Not to speak
about it is to exalt conformism. Let us work hard
instead. Let us stop, once and for all, the menacing
crisis that represents the tragedy of not being
willing to overcome it.”
— Albert Einstein
Joseph Pellegrino, honoree from TD Bank
Dr. Yvonne Riley-Tepie and David Bigelow.
Terry Hardaway, Judith Mennonna, Geatano Mennonna, Gary G. Terrinoni
(CEO of Brooklyn Hospital), Swaminathan Chennareddy, Vasantha Kondamudi,
Sarath Reddy and Armand Asarian.
Photos by Corazon Aguirre
Carlos Naudon, Kriss Roebling and
Ann Elizabeth Fontaine
With Bob Catell and Keith Kinch
Honorees River Café owner Michael (Buzzy)
O’Keeffff e and Bob Catell.