First off, I want to wish all my readers a healthy, happy, and relaxing Chanukah, Christmas and Kwanza with all your families, friends and business associates and to think of one another as very special.
Treat each other with respect, consideration and a “pay it forward” attitude by acknowledging your neighbors, and to try to make a difference by saying hello to them with a good morning, a good afternoon and good eves and happy holidays by opening some dialogue of friendliness and togetherness.
Help someone, maybe one of the thousands of homeless Veterans and others that live nearby, by doing them a favor, provide financial and/or mental support, a warm coat, meal or cup of coffee this holiday season and just maybe, everyone will do the same for someone else and we can start a revolution of major consequences by all of us doing good deeds enabling all of us to “live and let live.”
As I make appointments with my clients to sell, invest in, purchase, rent or lease their homes, townhomes, condos, coops and commercial properties, I have seen the degradation of the retail markets and all those empty stores in and around Long Island due to the year over year increase in demand and convenience for purchasing on the internet.
However, I was amazed that what I found through my research, that the majority of sales (85 to 90 percent) is still brick and mortar and most are still going out and purchasing via retail; although I am not sure what are the statistics that show how many are buying online and picking up their merchandise at the retail outlet.
This brings me to another important point and an idea as I have seen in my own town of Great Neck, to get the people out, not only locally but from other surrounding towns, to converse, mingle, enjoy, spend some money locally and get some exercise; instead of being a “potato couch” with a “muscular overdeveloped thumb” due to streaming and watching the “boob tube.”
Our Great Neck Park District, headed by Robert A. Lincoln Jr., Frank S. Cilluffo and Tina M. Stellato, had come up with quite a creative, unique and fantastic idea to build a temporary ice skating rink in our Village Green Park down on Middle Neck Road in the Old Village of Great Neck.
I was there for the grand opening of its “Lights and Ice” event on Sunday, Dec. 8 skating with my children and grandchildren. Reminded me of skating outdoors on Whitney’s Pond down in Manhasset next to what was the Abraham and Strauss store.
It was quite an amazing show of support for literally thousands of people showed up to skate, watching some performances, all sorts of activities plus with Santa, bouncy houses, fire pits, heated igloos, concession stands, skate rentals and more! This event as well as its continuance Mondays through Sundays until Jan. 12 on its final day!
The rink and all its activities are open to the public, no matter where they may reside! Here is a link for more information:
This type of interactive event, as well as any type of entertainment, is what our towns desperately need to bring the masses out, during the winter months when most stay indoors due to the cold and snow. More importantly, it attracts people from other towns, allows them to get involved, feel the essence and makeup and geography of what there is to offer and I feel it creates a very positive and valuable spin with respect to the consideration of possibly moving and living there.
We know schools are one of the most important, if not the most important factor in deciding where many want to live, when they are ranked higher, due to the scholastic aptitude and scoring, it surely helps enhance real estate values.
But the importance of all the other activities that go on in a town is also a major contribution that will attract and enrich its environment. It is also tantamount to creating a viable and valuable entity, drawing in people and creating a magnet for those who have a desire to live there due to those “other things to do.”
Many towns have lost touch with their communities in not doing enough during the winter months (and evenings too) and the streaming of programming has kept many to be entertained at home to become “couch potatoes,” as I mentioned earlier.
My professional and personal opinion is that we need more of these types of events, getting all the town’s people out and about and the buzz will grow exponentially about why to reside in your town. I am hoping that our Great Neck park commissioners consider making this a yearly event, but at the same time to construct a permanent facility outdoor ice skating rink, with all the extras that they have now and which in the long run will be much more economical and fiscally smart and will be an added value and benefit to everyone!
Philip A. Raices is the owner/Broker of Turn Key Real Estate at 3 Grace Ave Suite 180 in Great Neck. He has earned designations as a Graduate of the Realtor Institute and also as a Certified International Property Specialist. He can be reached by cell: (516) 647-4289 or by email, at: [email protected] to answer any of your questions or concerns