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Hicksville Voices

Shopping In Kara’s Closet

“I’m going shopping in Kara’s closet today!”

My daughter informed me, early last week, that she was going over to her friend’s house to borrow a few “things”. I’d assumed that she meant an article of clothing, such as a sweater or a pair of shorts.

I wasn’t expecting her to walk in the door with a Hefty bag.

Suffice it to say that my daughter enjoys shopping. It’s a favorite pastime that we have shared on occasion. And one of the most favorite parts of the shopping experience was scouring the clearance racks. It was a bit of a game that we played, she and I — the one who saved the most money at the end of the outing was the clear winner. Because she loves the appearance of being well-dressed, I would always find bags from Urban Outfitters, Gap, American Eagle, or Forever21 scattered upon her bedroom floor once she started working. Once retail stores became too mainstream (and expensive), she began shopping in thrift stores, and would come home to share her bargains with me, eyes alight from her latest “finds”. It would appear that I’ve taught her to shop well.

I’m grateful that she’s saving money, especially because she’s a college student sans employment, at the present. I’m even happier that she’s learned to shop at thrift stores, especially those that donate portions of their proceeds to local charities. It means that the lessons I’d instilled in her, during her childhood, have sunken in: stretch your dollars, so you’ll have enough for a rainy day; always give to those less fortunate.

We recently donated 12 (yes, folks, I did say 12) bags of clothing to BBBSLI. My daughter just cleared out three more Hefty bags of clothing from other areas in the house, and gave her friend Kara another full shopping bag, filled with beautiful clothing that still retained its shape. As I watched her, clearing out to make room for the “new” (in this case, gently used by Kara), I was infused with a sense of pride; she was talking about helping those less fortunate with all that she was giving away. That same light was present in her eyes as she spoke; I imagined that she might have been envisioning one less fortunate, enjoying all that she no longer wore.

Donating makes the heart smile. I’ve been donating my time, my energy, my efforts, for others for the greater part of my adult life. I’m learning the places of the greatest need, and I’m offering my services and belongings where it is needed most. I might not have much, but I’ve learned that the greatest way to feel good inside is to help another in need. When the money is tight and I’m not able to give financially, I clear out a closet and donate a bag of no longer used clothing. If there is no clothing to offer, I volunteer my services in order to continue the spirit of giving.

We’ve been blessed, over the years, with the ability to have a few extra dollars to pursue the pastime of shopping on occasion, and we’re grateful for what we have, which is why we choose to give back. Giving can come in all forms — you don’t have to just ship off a check to PETA or Habitat for Humanity. You can read a story to a small child. Serve meals at a local soup kitchen. Just do something — because the spirit of giving is alive and well, and must be nourished by all in order to thrive.

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