On the Avenue: Towne cooks up special visit from social media star

What’s cooking at Towne Boutique?

Popular social media influencer and cookbook author Dena Fenza made a very special appearance “on the avenue” Feb. 8, greeting fans and signing copies of her brand-new cookbook at the popular clothing shop’s special Galentine’s celebration.

Fenza’s “My Italian-American Table” is written as a traditional Italian cookbook for the social media age, according to her website, miciamammas.com. It “pairs more than 65 easy-to-replicate recipes with QR codes to corresponding videos so readers can watch their way to a beautiful meal.”

Among those who flocked to Towne, 9002 Third Ave., to meet the Brooklyn-born social media star was Third Avenue merchant Catherine Luke O’Rourke of Cellary Inc., 8916 Third Ave. She posed for a photo with Fenza and Towne owner SallyAnn Russo.

The Galentine’s event featured new pink and Valentine-themed clothing items for sale, plus delicious chocolates for shoppers to enjoy throughout the day.

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Merchants have been seeing red “on the avenue” this month — but only because beautifully decorated hearts have been hung in their windows as part of the Merchants of Third Avenue Civic Improvement Association, Inc.’s “Hearts on Third” campaign.

Customers and store owners “on the avenue” have been donating $3 per heart to show their appreciation for their favorite businesses; the hearts have been colored in and hung in the windows of Third Avenue businesses to spread love and awareness about the association’s ongoing beautification efforts.

“We’re pleased that this promotion has allowed so many of our merchants to feel the love from customers this Valentine season,” Merchants President Dan Texeira said. “With so many great shops and restaurants located on Third Avenue, really — what’s not to love?”

Maureen Brody of The Green Spa & Wellness Center shows off the “Hearts on Third” templates she will be displaying in her windows.

Merchant members like The Green Spa & Wellness Center, Panino Rustico of Bay Ridge, Amanda Jean, Bohemian Rose, The BookMark Shoppe, Towne Boutique, Hom and The Ridge Kids have joined the love fest and helped to raise more than $1,700 at press time.

Events Coordinator Chrisie Canny said she is looking forward to using the money that is raised to help beautify the avenue.

Interested supporters can contact her at chrisiecanny@gmail.com.

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Is it summer yet?

Not quite, but that doesn’t mean members of the Merchants of Third Avenue Civic Improvement Association, Inc. aren’t preparing for another successful edition of the Summer Stroll on 3rd program. Talks have already been had about the 2024 installment of the immensely popular Bay Ridge tradition, and board members are excited to share their ideas at a meeting to be held “on the avenue” at Greenhouse Café, 7717 Third Ave., Feb. 26 at 6:30 p.m.

“We’re holding a meeting for members to discuss upcoming plans for not only the Summer Strolls, which we’re excited about, but anything coming up on the avenue of note,” President Dan Texeira said.

Among the noteworthy events on the calendar is a “Grow with Google” workshop for business owners hosted by the association and the New York Small Business Development Center. The workshop will take place Monday, March 11 at Greenhouse Cafe, 6 to 8 p.m. To register, call 718-982-2560.

“We’re always looking to help provide the tools merchants need to thrive and we are happy to partner with our friends at SBDC to offer this important workshop on how we can use Google effectively to grow our businesses,” Texeira said.

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