Natalie Weinstein, Allied ASID, IDS, is an accredited designer, acknowledged business leader, entrepreneur, author, media personality and motivational speaker. Her interior design firm,    Natalie Weinstein Design Associates   , has been creating lifestyle changes in homes and public spaces since 1973. In 2001, the    Natalie Weinstein Home Decorating Club    was launched to guide "do-it-yourselfers" with a little help from a pro.    Uniquely Natalie   , a quality furniture and accessory consignment boutique was opened in 2014 to give every shopper an opportunity to create a beautiful home no matter what the budget. For questions, you can reach us at 631.862.6198 or
Why Is This Fourth of July Different From All Others?
On Father's Day, I watched an amazingly universal movie, Fiddler On The Roof. In it, the Rabbi is asked if there is a blessing for Mottle, the tailors’, new sewing machine. He replied, “There is a blessing for everything and everyone – even the Czar.” When asked what that was, he responded, “God Bless and keep the Czar – far away from us!” But not even a blessing kept Anatevka and all the other Jewish villages in Russia from being destroyed and its people thrust out of their homes and their land. The Jews were thrown out of many places, as history tells us, and Tevya quips, “Perhaps that is why we always wear our hats.”

Whether it is what covers a person’s head, the color of their skin, or their gender, the injustices created by the earth's people continues and history is stained with the blood of those loved and lost fighting for and against freedom.

This country and the world are being tested once again. We are facing unknowns and how we deal with them will determine our future. Will the “haves and the have not's” continue to dictate society or will we learn to live together in peace in a land of opportunity? Has this pandemic brought out the best in us or the worst? What will we leave for our children and theirs as our legacy?

As we celebrate the 4 th of July, for some, our world is not a better place. There is much to be done to destroy injustice and intolerance. Yet, in America, when “enough is enough”, people can demonstrate without asking the government’s permission. In America, change is difficult, often heart wrenching, but not impossible. In America, there is opportunity even in adversity.

We still live in the greatest country on earth – warts and all. We’ve learned a lot about ourselves in 2020, personally and as a society. We’ve learned to social distance but we can’t distance ourselves from the truth of what we are and how we need to go forward. Change is inevitable – hard or easy. So as we get ready for a summer unlike any other in our lifetime, let’s celebrate this 4 th of July and America for what we have, rather than what we don’t have. Let’s gather our families around us, virtually if necessary, and celebrate their health and well being, as we remember those that are no longer with us. Let’s toast our heroes, and they are all around us – and lets’s be thankful that we have the freedom to speak our minds and bring about change for a better world.
And The Flag Was Still There
“Our Flag Was Still There”

Everyone knows where they were when the planes hit the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. I was in my office at 130 Prince St. in lower Manhattan, when a call came in from one of my co-workers who said she’d be late because an airplane had hit one of the Twin Towers. I remember thinking, “Sure and the dog ate your homework”. When she insisted I put on the T.V., I saw the second plane hit. I rushed outside and stood transfixed. In
what seemed like an instant, the view of the Twin Towers was transformed into a blinding cloud of ugly smoke. Little did I know then, how the circumstances of that day would affect my life.

I had, through my employer, an advertising and marketing guru, met many interesting and famous people. But when in 2005, we were asked by Lee Ielpi to photograph the artifacts rescued from the Trade Center site before they would be placed in his under construction Tribute Center, I met another kind of greatness. Lee was a FDNY firefighter for 26 years and a volunteer firefighter in Great Neck for another 38 years, receiving 24 recognitions of exemplary service. Prior to joining FDNY, Lee was a US Army Recon specialist in Vietnam
and was awarded 3 medals for valor.

A half hour after the collapse of the second tower, Lee and his son Brendan, also a firefighter, reported to the WTC site to start the rescue cleanup and recovery process. On Dec 11, 2001, he and Brendan carried out the body of his other son Jonathan who was lost on that fateful day. Putting aside his own grief, he joined with Jennifer Adams to create the Tribute Center, a place where people who suffered loss of a loved one that day could come together to help and get help in their time of sorrow. He believed that as long as people who were most deeply touched by the events of September 11, 2001 could tell their story, this
tragedy would never be forgotten.

The 911 Tribute center is that physical place where people can meet surrounded by beautifully displayed artifacts from the WTC site with their story told in words and pictures. A room in the lower level of the Tribute Center is especially moving, although the walls, tables, and chairs are not impressive. It is the place where people who have lost someone, or just people who want to offer their prayers, can write them and pin them on the wall for all to see.

My employer began the process of photographing the artifacts, but when he came to Lee’s son’s uniform and helmet he and Lee were unable to continue. I carried on, surrounded by items such as melted glass from the buildings, pieces of the aircraft, and melted police revolvers. When I came to the flag that was miraculously recovered from the rubble, I felt the presence of all those who were lost that day crying out to me. I carefully and respectfully opened the flag that was folded in the ceremonious triangular shape that is done at military
funerals. I photographed it and shed a tear as I remembered the message of the Star Spangled
Banner, “Our flag was still there”. How many times had I sung the words of Sir Francis Scott
Key, yet now they had new meaning for me. I shall never forget that moment and I pray that America will never have to experience such a tragedy again.

My lone photo of the fallen flag, the original signed by Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Thomas Von Essen, then Fire Commissioner who lost his entire command that day, along with so many other fire fighting heroes, hangs in the Tribute Center. It is a reminder to all who visit that while we have suffered horrific loss, we will continue to survive.
Photographed by St. James’ JACK ADER – noted Long Island Photographer

This American Flag is the chosen historic image of the 9/11 Miracle Flag displayed
at the September 11 th Families’ Association and World Trade Center Tribute Center located on Church Street in NYC. The image of the 911 Flag is available in many stock sizes .

  • Matted giclee's on art paper priced from $30 - $50 -$80. 8 1/2 x 11 - 11 x 14 - 16 x20 
  • Gallery wrapped canvas giclees 12 x 16 $95 - 16 x 20 for $125
  • Custom framed canvas giclees are available starting at 200.00 in various sizes 

** A portion of the sale goes to 911 Families Organization.** 
You can reach Jack at Uniquely Natalie at 631-686-5644 or