2017-10-11 / Front Page

Mayor Di Blasio Honors Italian Heritage With Reception At Gracie Mansion

By Dan Miller & Joyce Vetere Milowski

Mayor di Blasio talking to hundreds of proud Italian Americans at Italian Heritage reception at Gracie Mansion Thursday October 5.
Mayor di Blasio talking to hundreds of proud Italian Americans at Italian Heritage reception at Gracie Mansion Thursday October 5. Italian culture and heritage was the main agenda at Gracie Mansion on Thursday October 5, 2017 as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio celebrated New York’s Italian Americans and his own Italian roots just four days before Columbus Day and the big parade up Fifth Avenue.

As guests arrived at Gracie Mansion for the traditional Italian heritage reception they were greeted by platters of delicious Italian pizza prepared in a wood burning oven. The reception was held on the lawn of Gracie Mansion with a magnificent view of the East River and the tip of Roosevelt Island.

As we mingled with the guests we met many guests, with root in Italy, who lived in Queens, including hero police officer Lt. John Russo, credited with breaking the Howard Beach jogger murder case. In addition, Astoria resident Maria Ambrosini, who came to the United States in 1959 and has lived there ever since. Joining her were her friends Ana Maria Giordano, Margherita Micheletto, Cristina Narri ad Maria Rosano also from Astoria. Louis Pavone, principal of PS/IS78Q was seen enjoying himself on a good looking pasta dish.

First Lady, Charlane McCray, greeted everyone for joining her at Gracie Mansion. She spoke about mental health and urged everyone to tell their friends about the free services available in New York City for those who need assistance, who need someone to talk to.  Call 1-888-NYCWELL.

She introduced her husband the mayor of the City of New York Bill de Blasio. The mayor A group of Italian Americans who call Astoria Queens their home- resident Maria Ambrosini, who came to the United States in 1959 and has lived there ever since. Joining her were her friends Ana Maria Giordano, Margherita Micheletto, Cristina Narri ad Maria Rosano
A group of Italian Americans who call Astoria Queens their home- resident Maria Ambrosini, who came to the United States in 1959 and has lived there ever since. Joining her were her friends Ana Maria Giordano, Margherita Micheletto, Cristina Narri ad Maria Rosano gave some history about celebrating once heritage and went on to talk about his own roots traced back to Italy. He spoke about his families multiple trips to the homeland of his ancestors. Many of his relatives still reside there. Discussing his family trip to Italy to meet his relatives the mayor said, “… we saw our heritage. We saw some towns that your families came from. So far away from New York City in every way. And those brave souls, our parents, our grandparents, our great grandparents came here to make a new life.” He went on to say, “Think about how difficult it was to go off to the unknown because they believed they had to do better for their families and their future generations. And all of us today are the proof of what they achieved.”

Hero police officer Lt. John Russo,Queens resident, credited with breaking the Howard Beach jogger murder case with fellow NYPD Lt. Ralph Cilento.Photo Dan Miller/DMD IMAGESHero police officer Lt. John Russo,Queens resident, credited with breaking the Howard Beach jogger murder case with fellow NYPD Lt. Ralph Cilento.Photo Dan Miller/DMD IMAGESMayor di Blasio introduced many of his staff who are from Italian heritage including his Legislative Director, Jonathan Shabshaikhes, also a Queens’s resident. He introduced other city officials who are Italian, including Brooklyn Councilman Vincent Gentile and New York City Department of Education School Construction Authority leader Lorraine Grillo, who he complimented for leading the construction of many brand new school buildings. Many of those bright, shiny new buildings were built in Queens as the Gazette recently reported, many spearheaded by Council majority leader Jimmy Van Bramer.

Mayor diBlasio invited everybody to join him at the Columbus Day Parade on Monday October 9.


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