FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM OCTOBER 8, 2020 • THE QUEENS COURIER 47
Thanks to my colleague
Tanya Phillips, I got a
chance to meet a couple
who have created a unique
haven in the hills of Cold Spring
Her decades-long friends Jerry
and Suzette Heller invited me to
join them at their home for an
outdoor dinner. I drove up the
hilltop to fi nd their home, which
was on a steep downward road
— I stopped cold as I entered
their driveway and saw statues,
painted animals and birds, colorful
gardens and huge butterfl
ies hanging between the trees.
Th ey have a sign entering the
“Milan Street” that reads “Enjoy
our feast on restaurant road in
Jerry, a dentist on Grand
Street on the Lower East Side of
Manhattan, has made his avocation
creating a home fi lled with
art, light, waterfalls and wonderful
gardens overfl owing with
colorful artifi cial fl owers that
give him a vibrant landscape all
I asked Jerry why he used
them and he simply said, “Well,
I like colors in my garden all
year round and these fl owers
As I toured the hilltop home,
my mouth dropped and my eyes
popped at every turn.
When I walked down the steps
My visit to Imagination Land
of their brick-and-mortar home,
I saw a “street” of trompe l’oeil
storefronts painted on the walls
recreating a street they had visited
I asked Jerry’s wife of 45 years
how they came to create the
scene and she said, with a smile
on her face, “When we went to
Milan, Italy, and walked down
the narrow cobblestone streets,
I was struck by the beauty of
the scene and when we came
back home we had artists recreate
I turned another corner of
their property where they had
recreated a scene in Venice.
I took steps further down into
the hilltop property and there
was a stunning waterfall with
a wood-carved gorilla perched
on top of the rock formation! I
thought he was blowing a shofar,
but Jerry corrected me and said
no, it’s marijuana!
What topped all of this was a
room Jerry created on the edge
of his property just to watch
the stunning sunsets that fall on
Cold Spring Harbor.
Th e evening even included a
delicious dinner of sizzling steak,
mouthwatering ribs and barbecued
chicken all prepared by
Jerry on his grill.
I will remember Jerry and
Suzette’s creative extraordinary
tweet me @vschneps
Painted wood sculptures and art work
can be seen throughout the property.
Tom and Tanya Phillips with the Hellers.
Claire lives on
When I lost my best friend — the implacable,
one-of-a-kind Claire Shulman — my heart
I know time helps me heal, so I was thrilled to hear
that a little Claire has been born: her great-grandchild
Leah Claire Brown, born to her granddaughter
Caroline Shulman and Paul Brown on Sept. 26, 2020.
It’s so special to know a new Claire was born. May she
be the impactful person that Claire was.
The Hellers had an artist recreate
shops they saw in Milan.