Category Archives: Profiles


Reid Hall at Manhattanville College in Purchase is modeled after the historic estates left standing by European royalty in the medieval era. It has never been home to a king or queen or a duke or duchess, but it is was deemed a national landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior. The castle, which is built in the Norman Gothic style, earned the designation due to its rich history, architectural influences, landscape and many secrets.

Reid Castle serves as an office for many Manhattanville employees, such as Gary McLoughlin, 60, an employee with the college’s Office of Disability Services. “For me, it provides a sense of place deeply rooted in tradition,” McLoughlin said.The castle was constructed as an estate for Pony Express tycoon Benjamin Holladay in 1864. It was originally known as Ophir Farm and served as a home for the tycoon. Unfortunately for Holladay, by 1873 he had lost most of his wealth, which led him to put the mansion up for public sale.

More than a decade later, the estate became the first residence in Westchester County to be equipped with both telephone and electric wiring. However, one month before the estate’s new owner, Whitelaw Reid, and his wife, Elizabeth, planned to move in, a short circuit started a fire that engulfed the house, leaving only the granite foundation remaining.

Story originally appeared in the March 15, 2013 edition of The Harrison Report

Lighting Up The Little North Pole

The Christmas spirit is still very much alive and well in Rockaway, where each Christmas, Neponsit resident Joe Mure puts on a show for friends, neighbors and the greater Rockaway community.

Source: Lighting Up The Little North Pole

Q&A With Brendon Small

Back in 2007, I was given the opportunity to speak with Brendon Small, the creator of such hilarious late night cartoons as Metalocalypse and Home Movies.

Recently Adult Swim, Cartoon Network’s late night counterpart, has announced that the cartoon band Dethklok from Metalocalypse will be doing a tour across the nation at many large venues with Solient Green and Chimaira.

For those who have never watched the show, Dethklok is cartoon band consisting of Nathan Explosion (lead vocals), Skwisgaar Skwigelf (lead guitar), Toki Wartooth (guitar), William Murderface (lead bassist) and Pickles the Drummer (he plays the drums). Of the five, Brendon voices three — Nathan, Pickles and Skwisgaar.

Before traveling across the country, on his live stage show, Dethtour, The Viking News met up with Small about the rising popularity of the show and how he plans to bring the show, from the TV to the stage.

Q&A w/ Luxury Dutch

Growing up on the concrete sands of Far Rockaway, 28-year-old rapper Davon “Luxury Dutch” Portee, has been making music since he was just 9-years-old after the loss of his mom.

Over the years, he has performed at several clubs across the New York- Metropolitan area, including Arena Lounge in Elmhurst, Magnet in Elmont and Mavi Lounge in Hollis.

The Wave recently caught up with Luxury Dutch to talk about his music, concerts and life in Far Rockaway.

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Q&A w/ Rapper Porche Boxx

Far Rockaway rap artist Donald Bradley, a.k.a. “Porche Boxx,” feels his community always gets a bad rap. That’s why he hopes to spread a more positive message to the easternmost part of the peninsula, with his upbeat bars and rhymes.

Bradley grew up in a difficult situation. Never knowing his father, he was raised by his mother, who inspired him to write. Outside of school, Bradley spent a lot of his time at the Ocean Bay Action Center.

“We would play ball to stay out of trouble,” he recalled.

The Wave recently met up with the upand coming rapper, Porche Boxx, at the Queens Public Library on Mott Avenue in Far Rockaway, to talk about his music, community and his love of basketball.

Robodawgs Put Island Trees On The Map

According to the team’s advisor, Dr. Andrew Sass, the group was first inspired to enter the contest after attending a presentation at Half Hallows High School, last October, where the students were able to meet the researchers behind the Incredible Bionic Man. He said that when people ask why the group of high schoolers decided to enter the contest by building a bionic arm-hand combination—a robotic body part that researchers said was the most challenging to construct—that he would reply much the same way as George Mallory did when he climbed Mt. Everest. “Because it was there,” Sass said.

This story originally appeared in the Dec. 25, 2013 edition of the Levittown Tribune

Harrison Student Spreads Message Around The Globe

RajanHarrison High School junior Rajan Mehra has taken on the task of teaching kids the importance of making informed decisions in their community and beyond.

His mission is to preach volunteerism and activism to young people at a time where many feel youths are not as engaged as they should be. Mehra, 17, started a program called the Civics Workshop at the high school last fall to fulfill the 150 hours of community service required by the International Baccalaureate program.

 “But it became much more,” Mehra said. “I wanted to do something unique that would combine politics and public speaking with a positive impact.”
This story originally appeared in the June 8, 2012 edition of The Harrison Report.

Levittown Opera Singer Kathryn Wieckhorst


Before graduating from Division Avenue High School, Levittown-native Kathryn Wieckhorst would never have guessed her vocal talent would someday land her center stage, performing in such world-renowned venues like Carnegie Hall in New York City, the Festival of the Aegean in Greece and Festival Junger Künstler in Bayreuth, Germany.

She first realized her love of music in fourth grade when she decided to try her hands at performing cello. “Funny enough, I wanted to play something I didn’t have to put my mouth on,” Wieckhorst said, jokingly.

Unlike many of her friends at the time, Wieckhorst wasn’t listening to any of the pop music hits. Instead, she would ride her bike over to the Levittown Public Library to rent CDs of classical composers.

This story originally appeared in the May 23, 2014 edition of the Levittown Tribune.

Craft Distillery Comes To Queens

Photo/Courtesy of Queens Courage

Photo/Courtesy of Queens Courage

Nothing beats a cold cocktail on a hot summer day. Well, for fans of mixology, the “World’s Borough,” has finally inspired a drink as unique
as Queens itself.

Introducing Queens Courage, a refined interpretation of Old Tom gin—a clear spirit popular in the 1800’s, before Prohibition—craft-brewed in Astoria. Unlike the more popular variations of gin—such as “New American” and the standard “London Dry”—Old Tom provides a sweeter taste, smooth enough to drink neat, mixed or on the rocks.

“A lot of classic cocktail books call for Old Tom gin,” Christopher Murillo, founder of the Astoria Distillery, said. “It’s crazy that one of the key tools that bartenders need isn’t being produced. Queens Courage is an Old Tom gin that would work well with these classic cocktails.”

This story originally appeared in the Queens Tribunes annual Dining Guide.

Local Long Islander Decorates Home For Father


Each year, around Christmastime, Charles McLaughlin of Farmingdale would decorate his home at 35 Marion St. with lights, wreaths and homemade decorations.But, last year, when he was too weak to set them up, his son Robert McLaughlin picked up the reigns to light up the house.

On Jan. 31, 2014, Charles McLaughlin passed away after a hard-fought battle with cancer. In his honor, his son Robert, 45, said he will continue to put up the holiday decorations as a tribute to his father.

“It’s good to keep with the tradition, by doing this in his memory,” Robert said. “He always liked to decorate the house around the holidays.”

This story originally appeared on on Dec. 17, 2014

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