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Hollywood Comes To Hicksville

It’s not every day you see Tina Fey and Amy Poehler shopping at your neighborhood retail store. But that was the case last Thursday as camera crews, producers, makeup artists, bodyguards and some of the funniest people in Hollywood descended upon the Big Lots in Hicksville to film a scene for Universal Studios’ upcoming comedy, The Nest.

Big Lots remained open for most of the day, with certain aisles closed off to make room for equipment. Lighting equipment and huge trucks could be seen in front of the store and certain aisles inside were marked off to make room for equipment and props.

The Nest stars Fey and Poehler as two sisters who while cleaning out their childhood home, throw one final wild party for their former high school classmates. In the scene at Big Lots, the two could be seen pushing shopping carts overflowing with goods toward the door, only to be stopped by Maya Rudolph (Saturday Night Live, Bridesmaids). We can only imagine that what follows is hilarious dialogue.

Local residents got as close as they could to catch a glimpse of the stars through the windows.

Hicksville High School junior Alexander Kalemkeridis was at school and heard that Amy Poehler was filming at Big Lots. Knowing that Poehler and Fey are real-life best friends, Kalemkeridis came down to the set in hopes that his heroine would be around.

“I adore Tina Fey, she’s my idol. She’s smart and has so many achievements and is such an inspiration. I think it’s really exciting that I could maybe meet her,” said Kalemkeridis, who spent over six hours at the set hoping to get a picture with Fey.

Michael Themistocleous is a film major at LIU Post and lover of all things comedy. “It’s so exciting to think this is less than a mile away from my house," he said. "Plus three comedy legends are here so I’m enthralled by this."

While around the set, Themistocleous got to mingle with some of the crew and pick up some tips about his future profession.

“They showed me some programs and told me some tips about how to apply and where to apply. It’s helped with my future career quite a lot,” Themistocleous said. 

Hicksville resident Marissa Lant got a heads up about the filming from her parents who were eating at the nearby Friendly's and immediately called her friend Lisa Mantone to come scope out the scene.

“I thought she was pulling my leg! I’ve never had a movie filmed by my house before,” said Mantone. “Amy Poehler and Tina Fey are so amazing. I love both of them.”

“I just think it’s really nice that this is so close to our home and that we can be privy to this and that we can stand here and look in the window and see Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. That’s like a once in a lifetime thing,” said Lant.

The film also stars James Brolin (Catch Me If You Can) and Ike Barinholtz (The Mindy Project), and with Jason Moore (Pitch Perfect) directing and a script by Paula Pell (writer for Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock) the movie is sure to be comedy gold.

The movie will continue filming all over New York, including in Westchester and several more locations on Long Island. The Nest is set to release in theaters Dec. 18, 2015.

News

Vastra boutique finds a niche

in hand-embroidered dresses

Who says a bride has to wear white on her wedding day? For South Asian brides, no color is off limits including brilliant reds, blues and golds. For the past 17 years, Vastra in Hicksville has been helping brides from New York and across the country find the perfect dress for their special day.

There’s no lack of Indian sari boutiques in Hicksville but according to Marketing Director Prachi Jain, what sets Vastra apart from the others is its emphasis on one of a kind, hand-embroidered Indian dresses.

Many would consider it rude to play with your food. That is unless, you’re participating in the Long Island Potato Festival. The event, which was held in Cutchogue, NY, included a mashed potato sculpting contest which was dominated by Hicksville’s Sarah Tsang, who won first place in the youth division.

Contestants were allowed to use any tools and materials to help bring their creation to life. Sculptures were left on display throughout the day and voted on by festival goers.


Sports

Somehow LSA, the Levittown Swimming Association, has always been a part of our Hicksville summers. My family’s introduction to the organization in 1975 began when our two older daughters tried out for the Parkway Swim Team, one of the nine teams that competed through July and most of August.

It was no small task for the younger girl, swimming her first full lap in the deep end of the pool to qualify at age six, but both girls made the team and donned the coveted gray tee shirts as the trees cast their shadows over the pool water at the end of practice.

I’m convinced that the soul and the center of Hicksville is Cantiague Park. And why not? Every weekend it’s a beehive of activity ranging from tennis matches, hand ball games, basketball and baseball games, swimming, hockey and of course ‘the beautiful game’ called soccer. Cantiague has two professional soccer fields that are perfectly manicured and begging to be played on. And they were. This weekend was the finals of the East Meadow Soccer Tournament which is one of the largest youth soccer tournaments in the nation, sponsored by the US Soccer Federation. There were 18 boys and girls teams in the finals and a large staff of referees.

Two of the refs were Steven Orozco and Randy Vogt who told me how soccer had been growing and has now become the second most popular participation sport in America with 25 million of us watching this year’s World Cup.  I also met and interviewed Joe Codispoti who along with Tim Bradbury is the head coach of Rockville Centre United, a U16 boys club.  This U16 team has a group of standout players led by  Jack Graziano, AJ Codispoti and Pat Basile who have been playing together for six years.


Calendar

Close Encounters with Benevolent ETs and Ascended Masters

August 29

Adventures in Genealogy

September 4

Greek Festival

September 5-7



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com