When Christina Algarin and Michael Gentile made plans to ring in 2012 in White Plains with friends, Christina thought it was just another New Year’s celebration. A native of Frisco, Texas, Christina, today 23, met Michael, 25, who grew up in Harrison and now runs his father’s landscaping company in West Harrison, when she was 16 and first moved to Westchester. The two met through a mutual friend.
“We were pretty much inseparable,” Christina says. But she moved back to Texas senior year, “so we broke up for a year.” But after graduation she moved back. “The second day I was back, he was right on my doorstep.”
Fast forward to New Year’s Eve 2011. Christina—who works as an office manager for an electronic component company in Mount Kisco—was excited to have her best friend, who recently got married and moved to Pennsylvania, come visit. Since her best friend’s husband had never been to New York, Christina and Michael planned to show them around and ring in 2012 New York style. They arranged to go out in White Plains and watch the ball drop.
The four started the evening at Impulse Hibachi Bar & Lounge in White Plains, then called another couple—who were in on Michael’s proposal plans—to join them. “The only thing that was weird was that ten minutes before midnight, everyone got up and wanted to go outside. I kept saying it was cold, and we should just wait until the two-minute call, but they all said my friend’s husband who’d never been to New York wanted the whole experience.”
They stood together for the countdown, when , at the 10-second mark, Christina’s friends took a step back and stood in a circle around her and Michael. She turned around when midnight struck, to her surprise, saw him down on one knee.
“I was shocked. Shocked. I kept saying, ‘Are you serious? Oh my god, really?’” Her friends and the crowd around them went wild, clapping and cheering.
Her ring has a sapphire center stone, haloed by diamonds. Sapphire is Christina’s birthstone.
Christina and Michael—who live together in Elmsford—are hoping for a November 3, 2013, wedding. They anticipate having 300 guests. Potential venues include two Abigail Kirsch locations: Tappan Hill in Tarrytown, or the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx.