Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Queens casas de Cuomo

From the NY Times:

The Cuomos may be New York political royalty, but Andrew M. Cuomo and his father have always made note of their humble Queens roots.

Mario M. Cuomo, the former governor, would often weave into conversations some reference to how his mother had arrived from Tramonti, Italy, and how he was a Queens man whose father’s “very special dream” had been to have a “house with a yard and a tree to call our own.” Andrew Cuomo’s campaign Web site — it says “Attorney General 2010,” as he has not officially declared an intention to run for governor — mentions his childhood in Hollis and his grandmother’s grocery store in South Jamaica. Andrew Cuomo said in an interview that he still considered Queens his first home.

“That’s where we grew up,” he said. “I lived in Queens. I went to school in Queens. I worked in Queens. I have a lot of friends there.”

But like many prosperous New Yorkers, the Cuomos have largely left Queens behind, at least in real estate terms. Mario and his brood have dispersed through Manhattan and parts of Westchester, to some of the metropolitan region’s most coveted towns and addresses.

Despite the fancier addresses that members of the family now call home, the Cuomo name still echoes in their ancestral borough. In 1995, Mario Cuomo sold the Holliswood home where he grew up, but neighbors still call it the Cuomo house, said Michael Cavounis, who bought the three-bedroom center-hall-colonial-style home in 2000 for $400,000.

The state still sends Mr. Cuomo some mail there, Mr. Cavounis said, and visitors still stop by to see, hug and take photographs of the spruce tree in the front yard that Mr. Cuomo described in his children’s book “The Blue Spruce.”

Mario Cuomo’s father, Andrea Cuomo, had chiseled castle-shaped statues out of stone for his children and grandchildren, and at least a couple of the statues remained behind after the Cuomos left Queens. In 2009, Mr. Cavounis called the former governor to offer him the last one left on the property.

The next day, Mr. Cavounis received a call from his wife that a man was digging in the garden with a shovel. After Mr. Cavounis rushed home, he realized that the man was Andrew Cuomo.

Oh my what a lovely article about the Cuomos! I guess we know who the Times is pulling for.


Anonymous said...

Mario Cuomo also attended St. Monica's Church in his youth. As governor, he did nothing, as the church slowly decayed, then collapsed.

Anonymous said...

LOL, his mother lives in the Upper East Side. She was the one with the housing scandals that place homelessness people in 500/night hotels in time square and herald square for years. They made a killing of that contract.

Anonymous said...

Holliswood is also among the most desirable and affluent areas in Queens.