Written by Pat Grace Friday, 05 February 2010 00:00
NBC’s LX New York featured Manhasset on its Wednesday, Jan. 27, broadcast. LX New York is a live, weekday, lifestyle show produced by LX.TV and hosted by Sara Gore, Siafa Lewis and Michael Flocker.
Siafa Lewis interviewed the “man on the street” on Plandome Road the day before, for the pre-recorded segment of the program, then filmed live on Wednesday at Villa Milano.
Helen Weitman taped on Plandome Road with Lewis. “He was so comfortable in front of the camera and we were so nervous, but he tried to put us at ease as he asked questions. He asked why we moved here and our experiences living here. We mentioned the strong community feeling and the different aspects of both a neighborhood feeling and access to the city,” said Weitman. On Tuesday NBC also visited the Americana, Young’s Fine Wines and Spirits, Gallery Couture, The Frame Shoppe and interviewed Nancy Morris, State Farm Insurance in front of the gazebo at Mary Jane Davies Park.
Public Information Officer for the town, Sid Nathan, said NBC phoned the town explaining their interest in doing segments on local villages—they had completed one in New Jersey—and had selected Manhasset for another. Nathan put them in touch with community activist Morris.
For the live portion of the show, to take place at a local eatery, Villa Milano on Plandome Road was selected. Owners John and Don Benvenuti, brothers and owners of Villa Milano, said they didn’t have to spiff up very much, as they keep a clean and neat establishment. “What you see is what you get,” Don said with a smile. “It’s very exciting,” he added, “even more exciting to me is when our customers found out about it and were so happy for us. That’s what’s great.”
While making cappuccino Becky Benvenuti explained how exciting it was, “having been here for such a long time (24 years) to see the community enjoying this with us.”
Tables in the restaurant filled up in anticipation of the live cameras. Town Clerk Leslie Gross and Councilwoman Maria Christina Poons settled into a little table in the corner. And there was a table of town staffers who spotted the NBC truck and tower in front of Villa Milano around 4:15 and decided to have a bite when they realized cameras would be rolling.
The staffers—Connie Terry, Dolores Connelley, and Cathy Mizzi—work a short block away at town hall and said they enjoy lunching on pizza at Villa Milano.
What Siafa discovered, shown when the segment aired, is that Manhasset is a village on Long Island with small-town appeal, proximity to New York City and a reputation as a family-friendly community.
NBC chose Manhasset, in the town of North Hempstead, for its profile of a local New York village and Money magazine ranked North Hempstead 46th on its annual list of the 100 best places to live in the Unites States and the second best place for a healthy retirement.