Bridge’r Tunnel

…A Regency-Style Romance Set in Staten Island

Dearest Readers,

The ton are abuzz on the Isle of Staten and this author has it on good authority that the match to watch for this season is between Giana Tomasso of Pleasant Plains and Gino Loprese, Jr, of Princess Bay. I dare say that, based on a variety of reports, young Gino’s was a promposal for the books.

Clad in his best “Italian Stallion” t-shirt, the young Loprese approached the most enticing Giana in the halls of Tottenville High School, wielding a banner that read, quite plainly, “Giana, will you go to prom with me?” Flanked by his bros in addition to his actual brother, Gino was reported to blush when Giana screamed, “Oh, thank GAWD” and threw her arms around his neck, only scratching him the slightest with her long, manicured nails.

A source close to the Tomassos recently spotted young Giana and her mother in a hemline dispute at one of the Staten Island mall’s more notorious dress shops, with the elder Tomasso urging her daughter’s hemline higher and higher. Eventually, at least according to her mother’s Instagram account, Giana “said yes to the dress!” though whether such small amount of fabric actually amounts to a “dress” is a point of dispute among the ladies of the island’s South Shore.

Is it any wonder Giana, having secured her attire prematurely, is now relieved to have an escort for the occasion?

The young lovers will soon dance the night away at the Island Chateau, arriving in white stretch limos paid for by devoted parents who perhaps remember their own adolescent frivolity at such affairs. Back in the day, the more adventurous youth of the island dumped laundry detergent into the into the grand fountains of the nearby Excelsior Grande and watched the waters suds up before retiring to the Colonnade Diner or, if among the more privileged, riding in style to rented houses at the Jersey Shore’s Benny-friendly towns.

There is no doubt that when the big night arrives, the island’s royalty will be out in full force. Reports of whispers at the back doors of the venue about payments for collection of trash abound, as ever.

As such, the only question that lingers between now and then is whether Giana is the right kind of fetching to keep Gino’s affections. Spotted at a local tanning salon just before this missive went to print, Giana was screaming, “I said BRONZE!” An interesting choice, for sure, since rumor has it that her date has a wandering eye and was just last fortnight spotted in a compromising position with a certain Irish lass who lifeguards at the Great Kills Swimclub.

I must refrain, of course, from making predictions, but I eagerly await reports of how things play out under the ballroom’s splendid lights before the DJ spins “Last Dance” one more time.

Yours truly,

Lady Whistlemaldonato

Tara Altebrando is the author of numerous young adult novels, including The Leaving and Take Me With You. She also created the Pinna podcast Dream Breachers. 

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