As a way to remember their beloved Big Ang, family members and friends, her colleagues and regulars at the Funkey Monkey Lounge gathered Thursday evening on what would have been her 56th birthday.
Tommy DeGati, owner of the West Brighton watering hole, staffer Lori Falcone and Neil Murphy, Big Ang’s husband, brainstormed the idea because as they stated:
“She wouldn’t have wanted us to sit around mourning. That’s the way she was.”
As was previously reported, the bar/lounge has served as the stage of some of the drama on VH1’s “Mob Wives,” and over the years has become a tourist attraction for its myriad fans.
Falcone explained people have been flocking to the lounge from near and far just to feel closer to the Staten Island icon, who was involved in a number of charitable endeavors.
“People called us to say they were coming from Pennsylvania to join in the party for Big Ang,” she said. “And over the last several months people visited from England just to see the bar and talk about Big Ang’s life and all of her charitable efforts.”
Falcone added, “Mob Wives Drita and Natalie are also expected to stop by tonight.”
In recounting the last few months since Big Ang’s passing, Murphy noted it’s a sad time in the lives of all who were close to Big Ang. But Big Ang’s children — his stepchildren and grandchildren — are all doing OK.
Murphy added on Thursday Big Ang’s family visited her grave in Resurrection Cemetery, Pleasant Plains, where’s she was laid to rest in an outdoor mausoleum last February.
“We are trying to stay together. I have my moments too, but we are doing as well as we could be under the circumstances,” he pointed out.
In fact, just today in honor of his late wife, Murphy had a tattoo etched on his arm with a large “A” followed by Big Ang’s signature full lips.
“It’s hard since she’s not around. It just doesn’t feel right here. Birthdays meant a lot to her and her birthday would last a month. She just loved birthdays,” Murphy said.
A balloon launching in memory of Big Ang was staged outside the Funkey Monkey, as participants released a single balloon to remember their dear friend on her June 30th birthday.
Murphy wants to be sure Staten Islanders are aware of the upcoming disco party featuring music and dancing at Snug Harbor July 16, with proceed earmarked for three local nonprofits.
Entertainers who’ll perform during the evening’s fare include Lime, Reina, Carol Douglas, Carol Williams, Denise Montana, Musique, Jay of Machine, The Ladies of Skyy, Double Exposure and Carl Carlton.