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Rotten tomato battle? Sounds good to Annmarie Simonelli

Editor's note: Community journalist Brittany Wait is chronicling the efforts of Long Islanders to check off an item on their bucket lists. If you have a suggestion for the video series, contact Wait at

In sweltering summer heat, Annmarie Simonelli picked up a rotten tomato, squeezed it between her hands and launched it at the nearest body, splattering juice and seeds across the person’s shirt and face.

Simonelli, of Massapequa, has always wanted to be a part of a food fight, and she finally got to cross it off her bucket list on July 20 at the New York Tomato Battle at the Aviator Sports and Event Center in Brooklyn.

“I’ve always wanted to do something like this,” said Simonelli, 32. “It’s organized, I’m not wasting food because all the tomatoes are rotten already. I’ve been in so many food fights as a kid and it’s not allowed as an adult, so it’s great.”

Simonelli, a financial analyst at Estee Lauder in Melville, says she often searches for new challenges to conquer and fun activities to dive into on weekends.

“I book it, I go figure how to do it and get it done,” she said. “... Things like a scavenger hunt or obstacle course. I want to do different things, I don’t want to just sit around and think back to a whole year and say, ‘What’d I do last year?,’ and not even remember something significant.”


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