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Images of America: Great Neck

Local authors produce beautiful pictorial history

A wonderful new book, Images of America: Great Neck by local authors Alice Kasten and Leila Mattson, will be on sale in just a few days. On Monday, Aug. 19, this delightful pictorial history of Great Neck, up until the 1950s, will be available for sale.


Great Neck’s own Alice Kasten, president of the Great Neck Historical Society, and Leila Mattson, Thomaston’s historian, wrote the book, which boasts more than 200 vintage images and memories of days gone by. Great Neck began as a farming community and then a vacation spot for New York City residents. Large estates sprang up all over the peninsula and many actors and writers began to call Great Neck home. 


Eventually Great Neck became the suburb of today, but a walk through “old Great Neck” is all yours as you read through Images of America: Great Neck. The book includes some rarely seen vintage photographs and information about the residents of long ago who helped develop the area.


A part of the Images of America series that celebrates the history of neighborhoods, towns and cities across the country, the series is published by Arcadia Publishing. Each book in this series is produced to present the distinctive stories from the past that shape the character of each community today. The pictures bring history to life and Mattson assured that the information is “accurate as possible.”


Authors Kasten and Mattson began this exciting project last September. Kasten had been approached by Arcadia and Mattson firmly agreed that Great Neck “should have a book.’

Both said the book was “fun” to produce and would be ready for another one. Kasten explained that since this book ends around 1950, she would love to do a second, bringing photos of Great Neck up-to-date, to the 21st century.


Kasten, a science teacher, is a member of the Ephemera Society of American and some of the images in the book come from her vast collection. As president of the Great Neck

Historical Society, she enjoys researching Great Neck’s rich past. Mattson has a continuing interest in history in h and she is on the executive board of the Great Neck Historical Society. 


Mattson worked as a reference librarian at the Great Neck Library for 36 years and for all of those years she had an interest in developing and promoting the library’s Great Neck history collection. This was the source of some of the photographs and much pf the information for this book.


Images of America: Great Neck will be available for sale at area bookstores, including Barnes & Noble, and online retailers such as Amazon, or though Arcadia at 888 313-2665 or online at 


Kasten and Mattson will have a book signing at Barnes & Noble in Manhasset on Oot. 22 at 2 p.m. and will sign books and speak at the Great Neck Library on Oct. 23.


The list price is $21.95, but the book is discounted at bookstores.


The recent adoption the Common Core Learning Standards, a rigorous series of teacher and student assessment testing, and the potential sharing of confidential student information with third parties have resulted in a radical change in the educational landscape in New York State—one that many parents have been concerned about.

To address these growing concerns, the Great Neck School District’s United Parent Teacher Council recently hosted a question and answer session at South High School with New York State Regent Roger Tilles, a Great Neck resident who has been outspoken with both his support of content the Common Core and his disapproval in how the new set of learning standards have been implemented.

At a meeting last week, after almost four hours of back and forth between Clover Drive residents, the attorney representing builder Frank Lalazarian’s controversial Old Mill II project and members of the Village of Great Neck’s Planning Board, there was very little progress, no vote taken and far more questions than answers.

The subdivision plan, a project under discussion for the last five years and recently approved by the village’s Zoning Board of Appeals, calls for 11 houses to be built in the area behind the Old Mill Apartments, with sole access from Clover Drive. Complicating the builder’s efforts to gain approval to start building is the fact that one of the lots is within the boundaries of Great Neck Estates and will require that village’s approval also.  Additionally, Lalazarian’s project must gain the approval of several Nassau County agencies, including its department of public works, department of health and planning commission.


The Bears team before a recent game at the Andrew Stergiopoulos Ice Rink with Coach Dan Marsella.

Great Neck’s Ayal Hod is the proud coach of Great Neck’s winning Top Gun sixth grade team in the Island Garden Fall League. Hod puts together the team every season, mixing local youngsters from Great Neck and children son Dillon’s AAU Jamaica Queens team. The league is very competitive and challenging and it teaches the children many valuable lessons: “how to be great teammates by sharing the ball, how to compete hard on every possession and what you put in is what you get out.”

Hod says that the main challenge is for every child to bring their individual talent to the team and collectively they have something special. an ex-player, he says that “basketball was very good to me, it helped pay my college education and it  paid my-bills for many years to come via several basketball commercials ... basketball also opened many doors for me and it helped me tremendously in my business career.”

Hod enjoys sharing his basketball journey background with his son and his friends and having them learn lessons too.


Park District Swim

Saturday, Dec. 7

Board of Education Meeting

Monday, Dec. 9

Peter Max Exhibit Presentation

Tuesday, December 10


1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller,

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry,

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller,