LONG ISLAND ODDITIES: CURIOUS LOCALES, UNUSUAL OCCURRENCES AND UNLIKELY URBAN ADVENTURES BY JOHN & LAURA LEITA
If you were born and raised on Long Island, you know that it’s a strange, strange place. Growing up here, you sort of just accept it as such and go about your daily ways. Perhaps in elementary school you learn about the Big Duck and Big Indian Chief. Maybe in middle school you begin to hear stories about Mount Misery and the Massapequa Hell House. By high school you’re making treks out to the Amityville Horror House, King’s Park Psych Center, Pilgrim State and Montauk, smoking cigarettes while snooping around the giant radar tower and cemented-over bunkers where the abductions, mind-control and time-travel experiments took place. By college you know all about Lake Ronkonkoma, the Fire Island Lighthouse and Bellmore Pool Hall. Recently published, this book does a decent job chronicling the trip down memory lane. They left out the chapter about the reptilian-oids, though. Now that’s truly odd.
THE CLASH HITS BACK & SOUND SYSTEM (LEGACY RECORDINGS)
I don’t care if you’re into rock, reggae, hip-hop, blues, jazz or salsa, this is the Holy Grail of greatest hits and box sets and it will make you and your loved ones that much better human beings. The two-disc Hits Back drops Sept. 9 and replicates the set played at the Brixton Fair Deal (now the Academy) on July 19, 1982, along with crushing numbers that failed to make the gig. Designed by bassist Paul Simonon and invading Sept. 10, 80s boombox-shaped Sound System not only includes newly re-mastered versions of all five Clash LPs—1977’s The Clash, 1978’s Give ‘Em Enough Rope, 1979’s London Calling, 1980’s Sandinista! and 1982’s Combat Rock (!!!)—but three discs of singles, demos, B-sides and rarities, a DVD with all of the band’s videos, including unseen footage, reprints, a new issue of The Only Band That Matters’ fanzine Armagideon Times, a poster, stickers, dog tags, badges and a giant cigarette, among other memorabilia. No armadillos though, unfortunately.
AN ORGANIC HOME-GROWN TOMATO
Our juicy “fruit” of summer: A big red tomato picked from the good Earth at the Robert M. Kubecka Memorial Organic Garden, a 17-acre piece of paradise located just near the intersection of Dunlop and Greenlawn roads that is prime property for the Town of Huntington’s Organic Garden Program. This was our first season. There’s a waiting list to get one of the 20 by 30 feet plots, which rent for $25 a year, but the manure is free and so is the mulch. And the value of harvesting something fresh that has a little bit of your self in every bite is priceless. Because you know—and the blisters on your hands bear mute witness—that you were out there in the hot sun and the rain, tearing up the weeds, fighting the insects to a draw and trying to get an edge on the unknown forces that always threaten to shape the destiny of your produce before it reaches your kitchen counter.
BRAGG ORGANIC RAW – UNFILTERED APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Unpasteurized and naturally gluten-free, this health heal-all elixir is replete with the amazing “Mother” of vinegar—that thick gooey slick settling at the bottom of the bottle—strand-like chains of protein enzyme molecules that your body needs oh–so-badly. Swig it straight from the bottle, toss it back in a shot glass, or slather it atop some Greek food, apple cider vinegar has been imbibed for thousands of years for its health benefits and pseudo-magical medicinal qualities. These include relieving inflammation, helping the immune and digestive systems, skin, hair and muscles, among so many others. At less than $8 for a 32-oz. jug (this one was purchased at Organic Corner in Massapequa), you simply can’t go wrong. Buy this and drink it! Thank me later, friends.