Publisher’s Memo: My Dad, My Hero

Westchester Magazine Publisher Ralph Martinelli on his father’s legacy and portrayal by Jim Belushi in an upcoming HBO special.

The holiday season is upon us and that means parties and get-togethers, great food and good conversation, and spending time with family and friends. This year, I know the conversations at our family holiday celebrations will be a little more exciting than usual, since my father, Angelo Martinelli, will be portrayed in a new HBO miniseries. 

Actor Jim Belushi will play my dad, who used to be the mayor of Yonkers, in Show Me a Hero. The upcoming television drama by award-winning producer David Simon will delve into the saga of the City of Yonkers and its housing desegregation battle in the late 1980s when Nicholas Wasicsko succeeded my father as mayor. Simon has co-written and produced several successful series, including The Wire, Treme, The Corner, and Generation Kill. Show me a Hero is based on former New York Times writer Lisa Belkin’s 1999 book that details the controversy surrounding a 1985 federal desegregation order and its aftermath. Belushi is joined by Oscar Isaac, who plays Wasicsko, and Winona Ryder, who plays former Yonkers City Council President Vincenza Restiano, in a growing ensemble cast.

“I don’t know if anybody will be able to capture those days. Those days were tumultuous,” my dad recently told me. “I was running for my seventh two-year term and took the unpopular position that the city should negotiate a settlement on its terms. It cost me the election.” 

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Belushi was interested in speaking to my father directly to hear more about his role during this captivating time in Yonkers, so Belushi recently met my father for lunch at X2O Xaviars on the Hudson in Yonkers. Belushi spent almost three hours with my dad that afternoon. Here is an email Belushi sent to my father after the meeting (along with the above photo): 

Thanks for a great lunch. You ARE the Mayor. I am so grateful for your time and your heart. You’re the coolest. 

—Jim 

My father is now trying to dig out old photos, newspaper articles, and other memorabilia from the ’80s for HBO to use. Our family could not be more excited! 

Something else I’m excited about is the December issue of Westchester Magazine. I’m looking forward to trying out all of the delicious destinations freelance writer Leslie-Anne Brill discovered researching the county’s burgeoning Latino dining scene for our cover story, which begins on page 58. From the top Latino restaurants showcasing cuisines such as Cuban, Peruvian, Brazilian, Mexican, and more, to where to find the most authentic Sangrias, Mojitos, Margaritas, burritos, empanadas, tortas, and tacos, this comprehensive tour—including beautiful photography by Andre Baranowski—will surely leave your mouth watering.

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In need of a bit of pampering during these cold winter months? Be sure to read up on the most luxurious and effective treatments from some of the county’s top spas, starting on page 70. An expert Muscle Meltdown Massage at Oasis in Dobbs Ferry or an invigorating Thai Massage at the THANN Sanctuary Spa at Tarrytown’s Castle Hotel & Spa, among the many others we feature, will no doubt work out those cold-weather kinks. 

Our final feature, on page 76, highlights seven Westchester kitchens in myriad styles including classic, transitional, an Aspen-inspired organic-materials kitchen, and a country kitchen with a touch of glam. You may be inspired to contact one of the featured designers and upgrade your kitchen after seeing these beauties.  

From our family to yours, we wish you a Happy Holiday!

Our Best of Westchester Party is July 24!

Our Westchester Home Design Awards event is June 26!

Our Wine & Food Festival returns June 4-9!

Our Wunderkinds event takes place on May 23!

Our Best of Business Ballot is open through May 15!

Our Healthcare Heroes Awards event takes place on May 9!

Our Westchester Home Builders Awards take place on April 4!

Our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Forum is March 14!

Unveiled: A Boutique Bridal Brunch is February 25!

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