Long Island Press

The Long Island Press

Do This: Long Island Concerts & Events July 28–August 3

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
LI's own Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

Heart / Joan Jett & the Black Hearts / Cheap Trick
This insane combo of rock and roll legends is one of the strongest lineups out there this summer, and a gig that’s just simply not to be missed. Dubbed the “Roll Hall Three For All!” tour, expect timeless rock hit after hit, with a hefty dose of several absolutely unforgettable anthems sprinkled throughout: “Bad Reputation,” “I Love Rock and Roll,” “I Want You To Want Me” and “Barracuda” surely among them. Will local hellraiser Jett break out fan favorite “Crimson & Clover” so we can all raise our smartphones up, our collective “Flashlight” apps glowing and swaying along to the timeless tunes of these salvationary rock gods, the moonlit ocean, the raging, healing sea? Only one way to find out! [Read: “Joan Jett & The Blackhearts Rock Eisenhower Park” “Cheap Trick Slays The Paramount” Concert Reviews] Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre, Jones Beach, Ocean Parkway, Wantagh. jonesbeach.com $31-$175. 7 p.m. July 28.

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Twist of Lemmon
Just back from his triumphant London West End debut, Chris Lemmon becomes his legendary father Jack Lemmon in his acclaimed multimedia play featuring live piano and an irresistible re-creation of their complex-but-loving relationship, all couched in the lore of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Includes post-show Q&A with Chris Lemmon, plus reception with Jazz guitarist Mike Soloway. Not to be missed. Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org $38 members, $46 public. 7 p.m. July 28.

Summer Southern Jam
Get ready to get out on that dance floor, raise that cup of beverage high into the air, and shout “Long live rock and roll!” Yes, this night is going to be that electric, that special. These mesmerizing tributes to Southern rock legends The Allman Bros. and Lynyrd Skynyrd, featuring The Allmost Brothers Band and Freebird, have that type of effect on audiences. Expect to hear “Whipping Post,” “Sweet Home Alabama,” and all those classic tunes that made these guitar-heavy heroes so beloved! Wow. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $10-$30. 8 p.m. July 28.

Concert Against Long Island Heroin Epidemic
Heroin has been tightening its lethal grip on our youth in neighborhoods and communities across the country, and nowhere else is this deadly, life-shattering drug’s wrath felt worse than right here on Long Island. It’s been claiming the lives of our children and destroying families at a horrifying rate, and no matter how many resources we’ve been pouring into fighting its scourge, one thing is horrifyingly apparent: We need to amplify the battle. [Read: “How Long Island Is Losing Its War On Heroin“] This concert signifies that special power of music and self-expression, to unite, and to translate our emotions and determination into a just cause that possesses the fire to make significant impacts, and most importantly, save lives. Proceeds from this concert will help fund Suffolk County Crime Stoppers fight the Long Island heroin epidemic. Performers include Led Zeppelin tribute band Zofolk and Big Shot, the only Billy Joel tribute band featuring musicians, namely Mike DelGuidice, who have actually shared a stage with the most famous Long Islander, The Piano Man himself. Come on out to support music’s extraordinary gift of instilling hope and change. Come on out to support the countless victims of this dastardly drug, and their families. Come on out to make a difference. The Emporium, 9 Railroad Ave., Patchogue. theemporiumny.com $35. 8 p.m. July 28.

Sugar Hill Gang
The Sugar Hill Gang is considered to be hip-hop royalty. Their first hit, “Rappers Delight,” was the first hip-hop track to be a top 40 hit on the Billboard top 100. The Englewood natives never had another hit after their 1979 single, but the group is credited with paving the way for future hip-hop artists and helping bring the genre to mainstream audiences. This is your chance to experience these living legends, live, in an intimate setting, and experience for yourself the birth of this transcendental musical genre. Hip hop in tha house! Not to be missed. Suffolk Theater, 118 E Main St., Riverhead. suffolktheater.com $10. 8:30 p.m. July 28.

Long Island Puppet Theatre Grand Reopening
Long Island’s only puppet theatre was recently closed for renovations, but now it’s back. This celebration will include magician and balloon artist John Reid, party clown Rich Fober, music from children’s musician Keri Wirth, award-winning picture books and gifts from Diane Bauman and Kidz Entertainment, raffles, a chinese auction, food & refreshments from Tocolo Cantina and Texas Taco food truck, and more! Puppets, food, and song?! Yes, yes, yes! Long Island Puppet Theatre, 10 Heitz Pl., Hicksville. lipuppet.com 11 a.m.-3 p.m. July 29.

Linda Fairstein
This author will be speaking and signing copies of her new thriller Killer Look (An Alexandra Cooper Novel). Meet this gifted storyteller and tell her exactly how much you appreciate her prose, appreciate her craft, and just how petrified you were when you first read those opening chapters! Yikes! Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington. bookrevue.com Free with purchase of book. 7 p.m. July 29.

Rodney Atkins
Do you like country like we like country? Of course you do! So strap on them cowgirl boots and that 10-gallon hat and strut on out onto that dance floor, because this is going to be one epic country fest. Atkins clinched won the Top New Male Vocalist Award from the Academy of Country Music in 2006, and since then has been nominated for seven other awards from the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association. Head on down and see what makes audiences swoon for this guy. (Hint: He sure knows how to move up there on that there stage!) Mulcahy’s Pub and Concert Hall, 3232 Railroad Ave., Wantagh. muls.com $32-$36. 8 p.m. July 29.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Dion will be making his way to Long Island this week. Originally a member of Dion and The Belmonts (named after Belmont Street in the Bronx), Dion has been taking his act solo for the last 40 years across the country. His more famous songs include “Runaround Sue,” which was voted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2002, and “Lonely Teenager.” Dion, an ageless wonder who made most of his bread performing rock tunes, has his talents span across multiple genres of music. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989, and brings his timeless tunes to this very special evening of rock! Get ready to have a fantastic time! NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $54.50-$99.50. 8 p.m. July 29.

Grateful Overkill
Jerry Garcia might be up there in the heavens singing along with Pigpen, Janis, Jimi and the Lizard King himself, but his spirit and music are being kept very much alive down here among us Dead Heads as well. This rockin’ gig includes Grateful Dead tribute band Half-Step and The Rumble, a band known for fusing rip-out-my-heart blues and get-up-out-the-chair-and-sing-sing-sing soul. Half-Step consists of dedicated students and fans of the Grateful Dead, attempting to capture the spirit and emulate the original band’s music, while The Rumble plays gritty, infectious original songs. Scarlet Begonias indeed! The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $10-$30. 8 p.m. July 29.

The Drifters
These doo-wop blues legends have been around since the ’50s, and helped to form soul music with their infectiously inspiring gospel-style vocals. Each group of The Drifters varies in members, but all reflect the same passionate R&B music we know and love. Beginning with the classic drifter Clyde McPhatter, all the way up to the current Damien Charles, the group has had more than 60 different musicians join its ranks. According to the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, the dramatic changes of The Drifters managed to set music trends, in addition to giving the public 13 chart-topping hits. Opening the show is Shirley Alston Reeves, the orig lead singer of Shirelles. Oh hells yes. Suffolk Theater, 118 E Main St., Riverhead. suffolktheater.com $49-$60. 8 p.m. July 29.

Meek Mill
This Philly raised hip-hop artist has worked with artists including Akon, Waka Flocka Flame, Rick Ross, and others, released his second studio album, Dreams Worth More Than Money, in June 2015, and cracked the Billboard Top 200. His “All Eyes On You,” which features Chris Brown and Nicki Minaj, reached #21 on the Billboard Hot list with the album’s release. Mill, who has been dating rap queen Minaj since 2015, sticks to lyrics that target poverty, racism, and religion. Though he is frequently compared to Drake, Mill stands out uniquely through his serious lyrics and emotionally-intense sound.  His new album, DC4, is rumored to drop later this year. The Emporium, 9 Railroad Ave., Patchogue. theemporiumny.com $40-$50. 10 p.m. July 29.

Laced Up – The Long Island Sneaker Convention
We’ve all been there: Jazzin’ home-slice style in our dapper new kicks, struttin’ em out to the par-tee, jivin’ and groovin’ and bumpin’ out those smooth soles with our friends and loved ones and holdin’ our heads high. This is the local gathering for sneaker enthusiasts to buy, sell, restore, trade and customize kicks, plus much more! Exclusive raffles for rare sneakers will be held, along with auctions for sneakers, battles and the best custom sneaker competition, all to the sounds of DJ Scoota! Experience the sneaker culture at its finest! Wow. Cradle of Aviation, Charles Lindbergh Blvd., Garden City. cradleofaviation.org $12-$20. 5 p.m. July 30.

Disturbed / Breaking Benjamin / Alter Bridge / Saint Asonia
The latest album from Disturbed, Immortalized, was an automatic fan favorite, but the heavy metal monsters have been wowing audiences with their raw voices and aggressive nature since ’94, when they were originally called “Brawl.” Breaking Benjamin co-headlines this tour, whose new record, Dark Before Dawn, hit No. 1 on the Billboard Top 100 charts. This is an amazing chance to experience all their crushingly fantastic tunes live, with opening acts Alter Bridge and Saint Asonia, as the sea rages in the background and the moon melts the waves. Yeah. Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre, Jones Beach, Ocean Parkway, Wantagh. jonesbeach.com $29.95-$79.95. 6:30 p.m. July 30.

This trio, most recognizable for their singles “She Is Love” and “Can’t Help,” just dropped their fourth studio release, Wide Awake, this past March. Their soulful, passionate sound combined with romantic and swingy lyrics, is perfect for the summer season, and they’ve been wowing crowds alongside Kelly Clarkson as well as Gavin DeGraw, and selling out three headlining tours around the country. Wide Awake’s opening track, “Without You,” hints at what the group is all about, cheerful, peppy, and soaring to popularity, with more than 50,000 views on YouTube since its June release. With supporting act Brynn Elliott, this gig is not to be missed. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $25-$35. 7:30 p.m. July 30.

Film Festival Shorts
This is a film lover’s dream: Eight short documentaries made by local filmmakers will be screened at this one-night-only event. To kick off the evening, Direct Cinema pioneer D.A. Pennebaker will be presenting his debut short, Daybreak Express. The film festival will focus on telling fascinating stories while giving the audience an opportunity to get a feel for the different styles these local filmmakers have to offer. Action! Sag Harbor Whaling Museum, 200 Main St., Sag Harbor. sagharborwhalingmuseum.org 7:30 p.m. July 30.

French Cookin’ Blues Band
These New York-based bluesmen meld renditions of timeless classics and original songs into a wide variety of soul-soothing treats, all with a solid bedrock in the blues. Guitarists Doc French and Josh Goldberg set the tone with their skills on the chords, while Bassist Bobby Day brings the deep, heavy blues with his bass. Glen “Bob” Allen weaves it all together on the skins for a gig you won’t soon forget. These four have been teaming up across the region for years to deliver a deep-South feel blues show. Whether you’re a lifelong fan of the blues or not, you won’t want to miss this one! Hot damn! Treme Blues and Jazz Club, 553 Main St., Islip. tremeislip.com $10. 8 p.m. July 30.

Vic DiBitetto
Whenever there’s a blizzard, you’ve heard his now-infamous expression. Hell, whenever there’s even a hint of a snowflake even remotely predicted to fall, you’ve heard it. Why? Because it’s so hilariously true! This is the “Bread and Milk” guy! His oft-quoted rant has more than 14 million views on YouTube, and you won’t believe how funny he is live. Bring some bread and milk for the fella, we’re sure he’ll get a kick out of it, and we’re pretty positive you won’t be the only one! This guy is hilarious! NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $39-$69. 8 p.m. July 30.

Colin Jost
From staff writer on Saturday Night Live to co-anchor on the late-night show’s Weekend Update, Colin Jost has moved his way up the comedic latter. Now he’s bringing his humor to Long Island for a night of hilarious, seam-splitting stand-up. Jost is from Staten Island and attended Harvard University, where he was president of the Ivy League’s humor publication, the Harvard Lampoon. He began his career in comedy as a staff writer at SNL in 2005 and served as co-head writer from 2012 to 2015. He is currently bringing viewers the night’s top stories with co-anchor, Michael Ché, for the wildly popular Weekend Update. Jost has garnered five Emmy Award nominations, two Writers’ Guild Awards, and a Peabody Award, which shows his genius doesn’t go unrecognized. His delivery, punchlines, and boyish charm all mashed together into a monstrous, glowing orb of hilarity will leave the audience laughing the whole night through, and into the following weeks, we’re sure. Yowzler, indeed. Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, 76 Main St., Westhampton Beach. whbpac.org $45-$65. 8 p.m. July 30.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Release Party
Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, and a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first to be presented onstage. Its world premiere is in London’s West End on the same day that the script book will be released. Hogwarts! Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington. bookrevue.com Free with purchase of book. 9 p.m. July 30.

Automat, by Berenice Abbott, 1936
Automat, by Berenice Abbott, 1936

A Feast for the Eyes
This sweeping, two-floor exhibition focused on food and dining in art, features works by an array of artists, including Audrey Flack, Red Grooms, George Grosz, Henri Matisse, Claes Oldenberg, Cindy Sherman and Andy Warhol, among many others. Drawn from a wide variety of media, the exhibition offers viewers eclectic portrayals of feasts, eateries, restaurants, cafés, groceries, and table settings. In conjunction with the exhibition, the Nassau County Museum of Art will also be offering public programs for adults and family groups. Well now we’re hungry. And cultured, perhaps, somehow. Wow. Nassau County Museum of Art, One Museum Dr., Roslyn Harbor. nassaumuseum.org $10 adults, $8 seniors, $ students and kids ages 4-12. July 30-Nov. 6.

Counting Crows / Rob Thomas
If you can sing every lyric to “Accidentally In Love,” or even if you just enjoy a talented classic rock band, don’t miss out on seeing Counting Crows and Rob Thomas perform live. Rob Thomas is not only famous for his prior role as the lead singer of Matchbox 20, but he also worked with Santana on one of the most recognizable rock songs to date, “Smooth.” Check out our recent interview with Adam Duritz, lead singer of Counting Crows, and get ready to sing your heart out to all those infectious hits! Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre, Jones Beach, Ocean Parkway, Wantagh. jonesbeach.com  $26-$80.50. 6:45 p.m. July 31.

Paul Anka
He’s done it his way, thank you very much, and he’s even got a book, My Way, An Autobiography, to prove it. He tells stories about his personal encounters with the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Dodi Fayed, Michael Jackson, Little Richard and Tom Jones, to name a few. His new album features duets with Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Michael Buble, Celine Dion and more. Anka’s been doing it “his way” for five decades and counting. Hard to believe this pop music legend started in Ottawa with his own vocal group, the Bobbysoxers, when he was only 13. Soon enough he had his first number one hit, “Diana,” and then he was on the road with Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry. This singer-songwriter once popped up in Sinatra’s Rat Pack and more recently as a co-writer of Michael Jackson’s posthumous worldwide hit, “This Is it,” cementing Anka’s stature as one of the most prolific and versatile songwriters of his generation. This is your chance to experience this living legend in an intimate setting, close to home. Magical. Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, 76 Main St., Westhampton Beach. whbpac.org $165-$225. 8 p.m. July 31.

Punjabi American Night
Songs! Dances! Joy! Part of the Nassau County International Music Nights Concert Series dedicated to music and culture, this free night of mesmerizing music is bound to satisfy the soul and inspire those dancin’ feet! Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre, Eisenhower Park, East Meadow. Free. 8 p.m. July 31.

Irish American Night
Do you like to eat bangers and mash? Enjoy drinking ale? Love to prance ’round the room with your friends and do the jig!? Of course you do. Part of the Nassau County International Music Nights Concert Series dedicated to music and culture, this free night of mesmerizing music and exuberant dance is guaranteed to leave you and all those in attendance with huge smiles on their faces and a whole lotta laughs. Oh, what an amazin’ celebration! Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre, Eisenhower Park, East Meadow. Free. 8 p.m. Aug. 1.

Donavon Frankenreiter
To create his fifth full-length album Start Livin’, Hawaii-based singer/guitarist/songwriter Donavon Frankenreiter holed up in a southern California studio for seven days with his longtime bassist Matt Grundy—and no one else. Just a dedicated duo doing what they do best. The follow-up to 2010′s Glow, Start Livin’ is a nine-track selection of folk-infused songs that sweetly reflect the simplicity of their recording. With its smooth showcasing of Frankenreiter’s rich, honey-thick vocals and masterful guitar work, Start Livin’ bears all the intimacy of an impromptu back-porch performance and the tenderness of a treasured love letter. Don’t miss this gig. The Stephen Talkhouse, 161 Main St. Amagansset. stephentalkhouse.com $50. 6:30, 9:30 p.m. Aug. 1.

Alice In Wonderland
Don’t be late for this very important date! Lewis Carroll’s magical tale is being brought to life by Long Island’s youngest actors. This timeless children’s story follows Alice down the rabbit hole into her journey through a mysterious and unfamiliar realm. Along the way, she encounters a very special rabbit, the Mad Hatter, a Cheshire cat, twins named Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb, and a Queen of Hearts. Join the adventure, remain curiouser and curiouser, and all along the way, be sure to remember Carroll’s immortal words: “Imagination is the only weapon in a war against reality.” NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $19.50. 11 a.m. Aug. 2.

Gemini Syndrome
These L.A.-bred alt-metal hellraisers dropped their debut, Lux, in 2013, and since then have been compared to fellow archangels Five Finger Death Punch, Tool, and Mudvayne. Their second firebomb, Memento Mori, will be unleashed August 19th. Opening the show is Stitched Up Heart, 9 Electric, Brand Of Julez, In Dead Silence and Symfinity. Don’t miss this insane lineup, or the chaos that is sure to ensue! Revolution Bar and Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. revolutionli.com $16, 18 DOS. 6:30 p.m. Aug. 2.

This trio’s stage chemistry is something that’s drawn praise from audiences the world over. “Where did this special rock and roll magic originate?” you might ask. It happened a long time ago, as each of the three original band members are brothers. Pete Loeffler is the lead singer and guitarist, Sam is on the skins, and Joe played bass until he left the band in 2005 and was replaced by Dean Bernardini, the brothers’ brother-in-law! Ha! Say that three time fast! Talk about a family affair! They hail from Chicago, where they first started hammering out their aggressive 21st century rock tunes (think Tool, just louder), and now invade The Mountler for a night of sonic fury not soon to be forgotten. Opening the show is Black Map. Damn. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $25-$60. 8 p.m. Aug. 2.

Seaton Smith
Although this funnyman hasn’t been in the business for too long, S-Squared (See what we did there?) is already becoming familiar. Smith’s energetic presence and crude humor leaves crowds roaring with laughter and splitting the seams of their pants. Hailing from Washington, D.C., Smith’s interest in comedy was sparked when he was just 10 years old. Later, he attended Howard University to study film, where he dreamed of producing a action-comedy. In 2011, he moved to Brooklyn, and three years later, his career skyrocketed. He landed the role of “Motif” on fellow comedian, John Mulaney’s, television show Mulaney. In 2015, he appeared on Late Night With Seth Meyers, Inside Amy Schumer, and the Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. He also appeared in HBO’s Girls and Hulu’s Difficult People. Now, he is touring and performing stand-up in New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Iowa. RSVP and get your tickets now, you don’t want to miss this hilarious night. Damn this guy is funny! Governor’s Comedy Club, 90 Division Ave., Levittown. govs.govs.com $20-$50. 8 p.m. Aug. 3.

Long Beach International Film Festival
Celebrating its fifth anniversary, this year’s lineup boasts more than 30 feature films, shorts and documentaries, including independent and studio films, as well as American and international movies—even animated flicks. The festival will feature a ton of special events, such as red carpet premieres, celebrations, filmmaker receptions, awards and musical performances. The special programs planned for this year include: Shorts On The Beach series, Taste On The Beach, and the Joan Jett Music film series. Don’t miss this amazing celebration of cinematic nirvana! Long Beach Cinema 4, 179 E. Park Ave., Long Beach. longbeachfilm.com Aug. 3-5.

–Compiled by Kate Nalepinski, Ana Borruto & Timothy Bolger (With Zachary B. Tirana III

15 Reasons Why There’s No Place Like Long Island

Long Islanders love to be reminded how much Long Island rocks. Sure, there’s no place like home. We here at the Press prefer this sweet saying: “There’s no place like Long Island.”

Why does Long Island rock? We’ll tell ya.


1. Beaches

Where else did you think we’d start with this list? Wherever you live on Long Island, you’re at most 30 minutes from a beach. Whether it’s located off a state park or it’s one of the Island’s many local getaways, this place is beach heaven from the Sound to the Atlantic Ocean.

New York City


2. New York City is so damn close

Hop on a train and you’ll likely be in the best city in the world in an hour’s time. Of course, those who live out east will have a longer trek but that’s okay. People travel long distances to visit our dear metropolis, so we can deal with sitting in a train for a little while. Besides, if you’re not slouched on the train, how else will you enjoy the spectacle of our own drunk hooligans flirting, screaming, nodding off and hugging the LIRR toilet like their life depends upon it?

Fire Island


3. Islands off the Island

Long Beach, that’s a barrier Island. Fire Island, yep another Island. Plum Island? Well, you technically can’t go there…but you get the point. We can hop from one island to the next via ferry or car to bask in the joy of life by the waterfront. Seriously, it doesn’t get any better than that.

Chicken souvlaki from the incomparable It's Greek to Me in Syosset.
Chicken souvlaki from the incomparable It’s Greek to Me in Syosset.(Christopher Twarowski/Long Island Press)


4. Food

Admittedly, we nearly dubbed No. 4 on this oh-so-important listicle “Diners.” But then we thought about how the Island has become a culinary playground and we realized it’s probably unfair to pigeonhole the region as simply the place for cheese fries and greasy omelettes. Instead, let’s highlight what we do best: Pizza? Check. Italian? Check. Spanish? Check. Cuban? Check. Japanese? Check. Chinese? Check. Greek? CHECK! CHECK! CHECK! Afghan? Check. We’d continue but we just dunked our faces in a plate of tzatziki-slathered chicken souvlaki with a side of kebabs, chicken parm, thin-crust pizza, wings, a lobster roll and some pad thai. [Read: “It’s Greek To Me: Syosset’s Mediterranean Masterpiece“]

Barrage Brewing Company
Barrage Brewing Company’s take on the popular “Black and Tan” beer, featuring YadaYadaYada and The Clancy. (Barrage Brewing Co./Facebook)



5. Craft Beer

This goes without saying. More than five years ago, the craft beer revolution invaded Long Island and ever since the number of microbreweries in Nassau and Suffolk counties has tripled. Blue Point Brewing Company in Patchogue may be the most famous but there are many smaller breweries producing mouth-watering ales, lagers, stouts, IPAs and more. You can’t go wrong with Long Island craft beer.

Long Island wine


6. Vineyards

Since we’re on the subject of food and drinks, let’s talk Long Island wine. Like beer, the wine industry has taken root on LI and thrived. The East End is now flooded with real and imagined wine connoisseurs who want to indulge in the incredible reds and whites produced to perfection by our local vineyards.

Greenport's downtown has been lively since the LIRR first stopped there in the 19th century. (photo credit: Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr)
Greenport’s downtown has been lively since the LIRR first stopped there in the 19th century. (photo credit: Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr)


7. Downtowns

There’s nothing quite like living in a place with a vibrant downtown dotted with restaurants, mom-and-pop shops, craft beer bars and a decades-old movie theater yet to be taken over by corporate overlords. From Babylon, Huntington and Greenport to Port Washington and Bay Shore, LI’s downtowns are the reason we never want to leave.

Long Island daycation


8. Daycations

Face it, vacations are a lot of money. So why spend an exorbitant amount of cash traveling to a far-away land when you can pack the car and spend a weekend, or longer, along the waterfront or at a bed and breakfast in an idyllic East End town? Go to Greenport, let’s say, and you get to enjoy some damn good seafood, knock back a few brews at Greenport Brewing Co., head to nearby Jamesport for some vineyard action or take the ferry to Shelter Island and visit the historic Sylvester Manor. Don’t overlook the treasures we have right here at home.



9. Farms

Some western Nassau County residents are often shocked to discover that there are indeed farms on Long Island. Seriously, they can’t believe it. Head out any time of the year and pick up some fresh veggies and pies from eastern Long Island farm stands. Or visit Suffolk’s farm havens during the fall for some of the best autumn festivals around. Speaking of fall…

Apple Picking on Long Island
(Photo credit: John Phelan/Wikimedia Commons)



10. Apple Picking

If it weren’t for apple picking, we don’t know how we’d get over our end of summer doldrums. There’s something about returning home with a bucket full of fresh apples that makes the transition to cooler weather easier to endure. But make sure you don’t wait too late because these apples disappear fast.

Ralph's Italian Ice in Freeport (Photo: Joe Mabel/Wikimedia Commons)
Ralph’s Italian Ice in Freeport (Photo: Joe Mabel/Wikimedia Commons)


11. Ralph’s

We tried hard not to single out any specific businesses but we would be derelict and morally irresponsible if we didn’t mention Ralph’s. There’s not one Long Islander who hasn’t enjoyed this Italian ice shop’s tantalizing menu of frozen treats. Indeed, you can go a whole summer without trying all its flavors. Now that we mention it, there’s one right across the street…

The 1975 took The Paramount in Huntington by storm on Dec. 9, 2014. (Photo by Kafel Benn)
The 1975 took The Paramount in Huntington by storm on Dec. 9, 2014. (Photo by Kafel Benn)


12. Awesome Music Venues

From the Nikon Theater at Jones Beach to The Paramount in Huntington and a handful of other great entertainment spaces, Long Island plays host to a number of intimate music venues. Each one has its own charm and welcomes hundreds of acts every year. Nassau Coliseum may be unavailable for shows for the foreseeable future, but once its renovation is done Long Island’s music venues will be hard to beat.

Montauk Air Force Station (Wikimedia Commons)
Montauk Air Force Station (Wikimedia Commons)


13. Weird Shit

Montauk Monster. Whatever went on at Camp Hero in Montauk. (Time travel, interdimensional espionage, psychokinetic torture.) Nikola Tesla’s experiments at his Wardenclyffe laboratory in Shoreham. The Big Duck. Alec Baldwin. Lindsay Lohan. Reptillinoids.

Massapequa Preserve (Rashed Mian/Long Island Press)
Massapequa Preserve (Rashed Mian/Long Island Press)


14. Hiking

The knock on us Long Islanders is that we are not much for walking. Instead of using our feet to go to the supermarket a half-mile away, we insist on getting into our four-wheel gas guzzlers. Fair enough. But that’s only because we like to save our energy for taking long hikes at one of our many preserves or state parks. There’s nothing quite like a stroll through the Massapequa Preserve or Caumsett State Park on a pleasant summer day.

garage sale
Shoppers sort through assorted random second-hand household items during a garage sale.


15. Garage Sales

Garage sales—or yard sales—are so ubiquitous on Long Island that there’s actually a website dedicated to tracking them. No matter where you live on LI, you’ll no doubt find a garage sale near you. And who knows what kind of treasures you’ll come across? It’s a veritable consumer paradise!

Meet the Two Long Island Pitchers Drafted by the Mets

Mets Long Island draft picks

By John Dundon

Look out, Long Island, the Mets are poaching our young baseball players right out from under us.

With their first two picks in this June’s Major League Baseball draft, the reigning National League champs drafted a pair of LI natives. The Mets selected Boston College right-handed pitcher and Freeport native Justin Dunn with the 19th overall pick, and promptly used their 31st selection to acquire lefty Anthony Kay of Stony Brook, who played college ball at the University of Connecticut.

will I be approved for a business loan

They both inked million-dollar-plus contracts before the signing deadline.

If all goes according to plan, the Mets’ pitching staff, if not its starting rotation, could one day feature a trio of hometown heroes. For Long Islanders, their dream roster would also include Stony Brook-native Steven Matz, who contributed immediately after being called up by the organization late last season.

But a lot has to happen before they take the mound.

Dunn, 20, and Kay, 21, were never teammates but they share similar qualities, according to their respective youth coaches and family members interviewed by the Press. On the diamond they exhibited strong, youthful arms, their coaches said. Off the field Dunn and Kay endeared themselves to teammates and friends, despite their star status. But do they have what it takes to make the majors and be successful? Those close to the hurlers will tell you the answer is a resounding “yes!”


“[Kay’s] not fazed by anything; the bigger the game, the better he pitches. It’ll be a quick rise to the big leagues,” Ward Melville High School head baseball coach Lou Petrucci told the Press about his former pupil.

Petrucci is no stranger to big arms, having also coached the lefty Matz. The Mets promoted Matz, then 24, to the majors last June, and the organization—and the fans—could not have been more thrilled. Matz contributed immediately, posting a 4-0 record and earning a spot in the playoff rotation. Not to forget his hitting a two-run double his first at-bat in the first game he pitched at Citi Field. Which he also won.

Kay will most certainly draw comparisons to Matz.

“They both possess elite mechanics, competitive drive and God-given ability,” Petrucci said. “Those are three things you need to succeed at the next level.”

Of the two, Petrucci added, Kay had a more distinguished high school baseball career.

Matz has become an idol to Long Island ball players of late. Like Kay, Matz doesn’t possess an over-powering arm. He instead relies on a precise fastball and off-speed pitches that tend to make batters look silly at the plate.

Although Matz and Kay didn’t attend high school at the same time, the imprint left behind by the current Mets pitcher through the halls of Ward Melville High School has been long lasting.

Justin Dunn Mets
Justin Dunn, who was selected by the Mets with the 19th pick in the draft, during his time at Boston College. (Photo credit: BC Athletics/John Quackenbos)

“We’re pretty friendly,” Kay said of Matz during a conference call with reporters after he was drafted. “We talk all the time. We go back in the winter all the time to high school (for clinics). It will be really cool to work with him.”

Kay signed a lower than expected deal this month after a post-draft physical prompted concerns about his elbow, according to reports. The pitcher has not yet been assigned to a minor league affiliate.

Ready for the bright lights

Like Kay, Dunn also played ball in Connecticut.

While he was born and raised in Freeport, Dunn attended high school at The Gunnery, a co-ed private school in Washington, Conn.

Dunn’s coach at The Gunnery, Jeff Trundy, said the pitcher is an “outgoing kid” who was beloved by everyone on campus. He sounded confident that Dunn’s skills will translate to the majors.

“It was pleasing to watch Justin’s growth during his time at the Gunnery,” Trundy told the Press. “He developed tremendously both on the ball field and socially.”

Dunn’s diminutive frame as a freshman—5-feet, 5-inches tall and weighing in at 110-pounds—was not a deterrent on the mound. (Dunn was listed at 6-feet, 2-inches tall this past season at Boston College.)

“Even though he was tiny and shy,” Trundy said, “he never lacked confidence on the baseball field.”

According to the people who know them best, both Dunn and Kay are outstanding.

“Justin has a very intense internal drive, but he’s always put his teammates before himself,” Trundy said. “That right there shows who Justin is and shows why the New York fans are going to love him so much.”

What about Kay?

“He was the first guy out of the dugout to embrace the guys after an inning, or when someone made a big play,” said Petrucci, Kay’s high school coach. “That’s the kind of kid he is. One of the highest character individuals I ever coached.”

This past season at Boston College, Dunn posted an ERA of 2.06 and struck out 72 batters in 65.2 innings pitched. A coach’s decision moved Dunn from the bullpen to a starting role midway through last season. That’s when he took off.

“All he cares about is helping the team win,” said Mike Gambino, his coach at BC.

Anthony Kay Mets
Anthony Kay celebrates a big out. (Photo credit: UCONN Athletics)

A baseball ‘hotbed’

During his own conference call with reporters, Dunn spoke about Long Island as a baseball hotbed for talent.

“A lot of people think Long Island can’t play baseball, but look at the track record. You have Marcus [Stroman], and then you have Steven Matz, and they’re doing pretty well in the league,” Dunn said. Stroman, who was raised in Medford, was drafted with the 22nd pick by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2012 draft. He is considered a future ace.

“You have guys like Keith Osik that have played, and other guys,” Dunn added, referring to the former MLB catcher. “This is something that should be known—that Long Island can play. I’m just happy to have my little part of it.”

Ed Dunn, Justin’s father, shares that sentiment. He had high praise for Long Island’s little league and travel baseball systems.

“What you’re seeing now with more kids playing is the culmination of the year-round travel programs, the coaches who are some of the best in the country,” the senior Dunn said. “Long Island can produce.”

Ed Dunn, a lifelong Yankees fan, was obviously ecstatic to see his son drafted, even if it was to the crosstown rival.

“I prepared myself for it. We knew they (the Mets) had interest,” Dunn recalled. “At the end of the day, it’s awesome no matter what.”

Dunn made his first professional start with the Mets’ minor league affiliate, the Brooklyn Cyclones, on July 23.

Now the hard work begins.

43 Fun Things To Do With Your Kids On Long Island

By Michael Harris

Growing up on Long Island, many children enjoy spending time at the beach, but since kids tend to get bored quickly, they often look for new and exciting things to do.

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For parents, keeping their kids entertained—and not by just letting them waste their days playing video games or watching TV—can be a full-time job.

But since parents and kids often disagree about what constitutes fun, here are some ideas for family friendly things to do on Long Island.



It’s a rare kid who doesn’t like going to the zoo. Although Long Island doesn’t have a full-fledged zoo, it offers petting zoos, fish hatcheries and an aquarium. Here are seven:

1. Long Island Aquarium
This aquarium is home to many fascinating living things and awesome attractions. Among these are the Lost City of Atlantis Shark Exhibit, which lets visitors dive into the tank and swim with the sharks with the protection of a steel shark cage. Visitors can also see penguins, seals, gators, sting rays, sea lions and other marine wildlife. 431 Main St., Riverhead. longislandaquarium.com

2. White Post Farms
This warm and welcoming farm in Huntington has been around for more than 130 years. White Post Farms is as kid-friendly as it can be. Whether bouncing on the bouncy castle or petting zebras at the petting zoo (yes, they have zebras), riding a pony or experiencing the action-packed bird sanctuary, there’s no shortage of fun. They also have a mini-train, tiny houses for kids to play in and, of course, a farm stand. 250 Old Country Rd., Melville. whitepostfarms.com

3. Long Island Animal Farm Petting Zoo
From petting zoo animals such as goats and pigs to watching more exotic creatures such as monkeys and cougars, this petting zoo has almost anything a child could dream of for a day of animal-filled fun. There’s even a puppet theater, a picnic area and a playground. 296 Wading River Rd., Manorville. afpz.org

4. Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery
Children of all ages will love these outdoor exhibits such as fish ponds, turtle ponds and trout pools. The hatchery is also home to an aquarium that contains more than 30 different species of fish. They regularly host various educational programs for kids. 1660 Route 25A, Cold Spring Harbor. cshfishhatchery.org

5. Jungle Bob’s Reptile World
As the name suggests, Jungle Bob’s Reptile World is far and away one of the most fascinating places on Long Island. The shop is the largest reptile-only pet store in New York with more than 100 animals on display. Jungle Bob’s is also a worthwhile destination for kids to spend some time because it boasts an outdoor educational nature center. Jungle Bob invites Long Islanders of all ages to come and learn about reptiles of all shapes and sizes. 2536 Middle Country Rd., Centereach. junglebobsreptileworld.com

6. Holtsville Wildlife and Ecology Center
Home to bears, foxes, bald eagles and more, the Holtsville Wildlife and Ecology Center offers visitors the chance to see animals that cannot be found anywhere else on Long Island. At the center there are gardens, pools and picnic grounds. 249 Buckley Rd., Holtsville,

7. Seal Tours
It’s one thing to see animals in a zoo, but it’s quite another to see them in their own habitat. Many people may not realize that the waters surrounding Long Island are full of marine life, including seals. Several groups offer tours of local seal hot spots around our shores where seals congregate. Here are a few outfits that offer seal tours on foot and by boat: Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island, Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation and Captain Lou Fleet. ADVENTURELAND


We may not have our own Six Flags Great Adventure, but Long Island’s amusement parks guarantee a great family outing. Here are four:

8. Adventureland
A staple of Long Island entertainment for decades, Adventureland still stands as one of the top attractions in our area. They have rides and roller coasters big and small, dozens of games as well as an arcade. Open spring through fall. 2245 Broad Hollow Rd., Farmingdale. adventureland.us

9. Splish Splash
From eight-story-tall water slides ending in splash pools, to smaller children’s lagoons, Splish Splash provides a super-soaked day of excitement for all ages. They have more than a dozen rides, slides and wave pools. Open during summer only. 2549 Splish Splash Dr., Calverton. splishsplash.com

10. Bayville Adventure Park
This waterfront destination is one of the most complete attractions on Long Island. The park is equipped with a pirate-themed miniature golf course, indoor rock climbing, bumper boats and much more. It converts to a giant haunted house for Halloween and a North Pole theme park for Christmas. 8 Bayville Ave., Bayville. bayvilleadventurepark.com

11. Long Island Adventure Park
Zip lines, rope bridges, hiking trails and more, Long Island Adventure Park offers the perfect opportunity to venture outdoors and enjoy a full day of fun for the entire family. 75 Colonial Springs Rd., Wheatley Heights. longislandadventurepark.org LONG ISLAND DUCKS


So what if Long Island doesn’t have a major league sports team anymore? Sports fans can still support three local top-notch professional sports teams, including the New York Lizards, the Long Island Ducks and the New York Cosmos. Each team provides fan-friendly amenities and affordable family-ticket packages.

12. New York Lizards
The Lizards are one of nine participants in Major League Lacrosse. The club plays its home games at Hofstra University in Hempstead, with single game or season tickets available. Last year, the team acquired lacrosse legend Paul Rabil, who racked up 29 goals in his first year with the Lizards. nylizards.com

13. Long Island Ducks
The three-time Atlantic League champion Long Island Ducks have a plethora of former MLB big leaguers on the roster. In the past, stars such as Dontrelle Willis, Lew Ford, Trayvon Robinson, Blake Tekotte and Kevin Baez have donned the Ducks uniform. Kids can joing team mascot QuackerJack to root for the club to bring the Atlantic League title back to Bethpage Ballpark in Central Islip. It’s a great venue for enjoying America’s pastime. liducks.com/home

14. New York Cosmos
The newly revived Cosmos are hoping to return to the top of the North American Soccer League. Like the Lizards, the Cosmos also call Hofstra University in Hempstead home. The club features players from all over the world, including Carlos Mendes of Mineola. nycosmos.com

15. Belmont Race Track
OK, so this is a sporting event that lacks a team and a ball, but Belmont Racetrack in Elmont offers family fun days, breakfast buffets and a children’s playground. Not to mention the excitement of cheering on your favorite horse from the grandstand. Win or lose, it’s a sure bet they’ll have a day they’ll long remember.

16. Riverhead Raceway
Don’t think auto-racing is a sport? Tell it to the drivers white-knuckling it with the petal to the metal as they speed around this quarter-mile track. They do it all, from monster truck rallies to stock car races, figure-eight races and demolition derbies. It isn’t the Indy 500, but it still gets spectators’ engines revving. riverheadraceway.com dad


No better way to channel children’s seemingly boundless energy than by getting them involved in some good old fashioned outdoor physical activity.

17. Surf School
Since this is an oceanfront island, Long Island is home to a number of surfing schools. What better way to spend a summer afternoon than learning to take advantage of this perk? Some of LI’s many surfing instructors include Bunger Surf Camp, Skudin Surf School, Surf 2 Live, Island Surf School and Flying Point Surf School.

18. Fishing
Whether chasing snappers in the bay or hooking big game fish in the ocean, a day spent fishing is a great way to bond with any child. With more than 1,600 miles of shoreline, there are more places to drop a line in Long Island waters than we can list here. But popular choices include taking a charter with the Captree Fleet, Captain Lou’s in Freeport, Montauk’s many fishing boats for hire, or those operating in the Long Island Sound. As for freshwater fish, trout is a big draw in Connetquot River.

19. Kayak tours
Kayaking allows paddlers to take in the beauty of Long Island from the water. It’s guaranteed to provide as much fun as beautiful scenery. Some local kayak rental companies include Long Island Kayak Rentals, Nissequogue River Canoe and Kayak Rentals, JK Kayak and Shelter Island Kayak Tours.

20. Ice Skating
There are more than a dozen ice rinks across Long Island. But whether it be indoors or outdoors, winter or summer, ice skating is always a good time. Some of the best ice skating rinks on LI include Christopher Morley Park Ice Rink in Roslyn, Superior Ice Rink in Kings Park and The Rinx in Port Jefferson.

21. Roller Skating
Few things provide the simple joy of strapping on a pair of roller skates or roller blades and cruising around a roller skating rink. The look on those kids faces while they’re freewheeling with their friends says it all. Where better to go skating than United Skates of America in Seaford or Hot Skates in Lynbrook? LONG ISLAND CHILDRENS MUSEUM


When kids hear they’re being taken to a museum, some balk at the thought of some dusty old boring building full of ancient artifacts. But if you take them to these three local museums, they’ll want to return again and again!

22. Long Island Children’s Museum
This museum takes seriously the business of making learning fun. Aside from their hands-on permanent educational exhibits, they also have rotating art exhibits, live performances in their theater and a slew of other things to do. Bonus: LICM is located on Museum Row next to the Cradle of Aviation Museum, the Nassau County Firefighters Museum and the Nunley’s Carousel. 11 Davis Ave., Garden City. licm.org

23. Children’s Museum of the East End
This museum offers educational fun for children of all ages. CMEE states its mission is “to spark imagination and foster learning for children of all backgrounds and abilities, and to build strong connections within the East End community by providing playful experiences.” What’s not to like? 376 Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Tpke., Bridgehampton. cmee.org

24. Vanderbilt Museum
Besides a museum that has the only Egyptian mummy displayed on Long Island, this fabled Gold Coast estate also boasts a phenomenal planetarium, which was recently renovated. The Vanderbilt gives kids the chance to gaze into the universe and learn about the solar system with a variety of compelling programs. There’s also an observatory on the roof that visitors can check out, weather permitting. Families can tour the mansion to see how the other half once lived, and check out the 32-foot-long whale shark in the Habitat Room. 180 Little Neck Rd., Centerport. vanderbiltmuseum.org

Related: “Exclusive: The Strange Case of Long Island’s Stolen Mummy Head”

The 30,000 acres of Pine Barrens in Suffolk were preserved 20 years ago to protect Long Island's drinking water supply from pollution.
The 30,000 acres of Pine Barrens in Suffolk were preserved 20 years ago to protect Long Island’s drinking water supply from pollution.


Since we’re a website, it’s safe to assume you’re reading this on your laptop, smartphone or tablet. Odds are your kids and significant other are also face-down in a screen. The best cure for this rampant Internet addiction? The healing powers of spending time in nature.

25. Muttontown Preserve
This “Mystery Trail” offers the chance for hikers of all levels to take in gorgeous scenic views of Long Island, including the ruins of the late former Albanian King Zog’s mansion. Good luck finding it. But press on! The 2.9 mile trail is located near Syosset. Muttontown Lane, East Norwich. nassaucountyny.gov

26. Otis Pike Fire Island High Dunes Wilderness
This eight-mile stretch of all-natural barrier beach offers a glimpse of what Long Island’s outer beaches used to look like before they were developed. Aside from hiking, backpackers can also go camping in the 1,380 acres of the only federally designated wilderness preserve in New York State. It’s named after Long Island Congressman Otis Pike, who served nine terms. Accessible via Watch Hill on Fire Island and Smith Point County Park. nps.gov/fiis

27. Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary & Audubon Center
Home to a wide range of bird species from egrets to red-tailed hawks and a plethora of songbirds because it’s part of the Atlantic flyway, the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary offers a wonderful learning environment for all ages. The center aims to create the best hands-on experience for all audiences to foster a deeper appreciation of the natural world. 134 Cove Rd., Oyster Bay. ny.audubon.org

28. Long Island Pine Barrens
This 100,000-acre stretch of protected wilderness in the middle of Suffolk County was designed to prevent the pollution of the underground aquifers that supply our drinking water, but the preserve is also open to hiking. There are various entry points including Manorville, Rocky Point and Quogue. pinebarrens.org

29. Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve
This waterfront park on a peninsula jutting into Long Island Sound offers some great fishing spots, scenic hiking and biking trails as well as lush gardens. It’s easy to get lost in the natural beauty here. 25 Lloyd Harbor Rd., Huntington. nysparks.com

30. Aboretoreums
Long Island, like most suburbs, is known for having well-manicured lawns, shrubs and gardens. But these arboretums take visitors to another world full of beautiful flowers, huggable trees and other plants that aren’t grown at typical homes. LI’s top arboretums include Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park in Great River, Bayard Cutting Arboretum State Park in Oyster Bay, Bailey Arboretum in Lattingtown, Bridge Gardens in Bridgehampton, Old Westbury Gardens and the Clark Botanic Garden in Albertson.

The William Floyd Estate in Mastic, as taken by Long Island artist/photographer Xiomaro, who was commissioned by the National Park Service to document the historic site. His photos will be on display July 4 through Aug. 17, 2014 at the Patchogue Watch Hill Terminal.
The William Floyd Estate in Mastic, as taken by Long Island artist/photographer Xiomaro, who was commissioned by the National Park Service to document the historic site. His photos were on display July 4 through Aug. 17, 2014 at the Patchogue Watch Hill Terminal.


From the Island’s role in the Revolutionary War when the Culper Spy Ring worked behind enemy lines to help Gen. George Washington defeat the British, to being home to Teddy Roosevelt, one of our most beloved presidents, it’s often lost on the locals just how much Long Island is steeped in American history. The best way to make the past come alive is taking a family trip to these sites:

31. Sagamore Hill National Historic Site
The former residence of Theodore Roosevelt, Sagamore Hill is one of the most historic sites on the island. During TR’s time as president, Sagamore Hill was declared his Summer White House. After a recent renovation, many more rooms are now open to the public than ever before. 20 Sagamore Hill Rd., Oyster Bay. nps.gov

32. Fire Island Lighthouse
Shedding light on what nautical life was like before ships had wireless communication and radar that made lighthouses obsolete, the Fire Island Lighthouse is a must-see. Aside from being extremely illuminating, the views on the boardwalk and from the top of the lighthouse can’t be beat. You can see for miles. Maybe you’ll spot a whale or two. East of Robert Moses State Park Field 5. fireislandlighthouse.com

Related: “A Beginner’s Guide To Summer On Fire Island”

33. Old Bethpage Village Restoration
Like a living time capsule, this collection of 19th-century houses painstakingly preserved in their original condition lets visitors wander freely through our country’s past while park staff play the part by dressing up in old timey clothing. They also regularly host Revolutionary and Civil War re-enactments, play old-fashionedbaseball games and present a slew of other events that show how Long Islanders lived in the 1800s. Also on the grounds is the Restoration Farm, which offers organic vegetables, berries, herbs, flowers, eggs and poultry at its farm stand. 1303 Round Swamp Rd., Old Bethpage.  nassaucountyny.gov

34. William Floyd Estate
The Mastic Beach home of this Revolutionary War general and signer of the Declaration of Independence is open for a guided tour of the grounds, a wildlife exhibit and an educational program. Few places on the island offer 250 years of history so well preserved. And no other place still standing on Long Island can say it once hosted both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. 245 Park Dr, Mastic Beach. nps.gov

35. Sands Point Preserve
In the heart of the Gold Coast is this preserve epitomizing the Gilded Era mansions described so well by F. Scott Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby. The former Guggenheim Estate features the opulent Hempstead House as well as Castle Gould, which was modeled after Kilkenny Castle in Ireland, and the Falaise Museum. 127 Middle Neck Road, Sands Point. sandspointpreserveconservancy.org

36. The Big Duck
It’s a giant duck-shaped store, one of Long Island’s most recognizable iconic oddities and a national historic landmark. What’s not to love? Every Long Island kid should see the Big Duck at least once in their life. Once upon a time duck farms ruled the roost. 1012 Flanders Rd., Flanders. bigduck.org laser tag


We would be remiss if this list didn’t include some of the traditional kid-friendly things to do on Long Island. But we can get a little more creative than Chuck E. Cheese’s and Dave and Busters.

37. Bounce, BounceU
Life may have its ups and downs, but Bounce and BounceU create an exhilarating experience for children to literally bounce for hours. Bounce features a trampoline park and BounceU has a bounce house arena. Both are can’t-miss, gravity-defying attractions on Long Island.

38. Monster Mini-Golf
There are dozens of mini-golf courses on LI so we can’t list them all for you here. But for those looking for a twist when they want to putter around, check out one of the most unique courses going: Monster Mini-Golf, an imaginative indoor, glow-in-the dark venue. 410-C Commack Rd., Deer Park. monsterminigolf.com

39. Go Karts
There are few more entertaining things to do as a kid than race go-karts. Granting children the best chance to channel their inner Dale Ernhardt Jr. are these three tracks: Pole Position Raceway in Farmingdale, Tiki Action Park in Centereach and Karts Indoor Raceway in Ronkonkoma.

40. Long Island Puppet Theatre
The Long Island Puppet Theatre offers parties, events and puppetry workshops. It is a lock for an afternoon or an evening of laughs and smiles. 10 Heitz Pl, Hicksville. lipuppet.com

41. Laser Tag
This is good for kids hooked on video games. It’s like they’ve entered a live-action, first-person shooter game! And no one gets hurt in this adrenaline rush. Some fun places to get in on the action include Q-Zar in Carle Place, Laserland of Long Island in Commack and Laser Kingdom in Farmingdale and Coram.

42. Build-A-Bear Workshop
Kids love stuffed animals. They also love things that are hands-on. Build-A-Bear Workshop encourages kids to customize their own stuffed animals from beginning to end. They have locations at Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City and Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove.

43. Take an Art Class
There’s only so much you can do to keep the kids from getting bored. And if they do, they might just end up coloring your walls–or driving you up one out of frustration. Here’s a way to let their creative juices flow in a controlled environment. There are several kid-friendly paint classes aimed at teaching children to make art creatively and imaginatively. Two art studios that come to mind are Picasso Kidz in Greenlawn and Not Just Art in Oyster Bay.

Do This: Long Island Concerts & Events July 21–27

Gwen Stefani
Gwen Stefani rocks Nikon at Jones Beach Theater with Eve on July 21!

Gwen Stefani & Eve
There’s “No Doubt” Gwen Stefani (see what we did there?) will put on an incredible performance with Eve, despite enduring the emotional aftermath of her recent divorce that got so much attention in the tabloids. Gavin Rossdale’s loss, seriously. In her “This Is What The Truth Feels Like” tour, Stefani plays new and old hits, so anticipate hearing “Make Me Like You,” as well as “The Sweet Escape.” Rapper and hip-hop artist, Eve, who hails from Philly, opens the show. Want to see what the platinum superstar songstress looks like on stage? Here’s your chance. And, by the way, Eve just might steal the show herself–or maybe these two ladies will make an amazing duo! Nikon at Jones Beach, Ocean Parkway, Wantagh. jonesbeach.com $29.95-$179. 7 p.m. July 21.

Robert Craig Baum
This local author will be speaking about and signing copies of his new book thoughtRAVE: An Interdimensional Conversation with Lady Gaga. Get ya paws up, people! Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington. bookrevue.com Free with purchase of book. 7 p.m. July 21.

Performing for nearly 23 years, this incredible tribute band has a wide repertoire of the best rock bands of all time, from the Rolling Stones to the Beatles to their favorite, the Grateful Dead. Fans of these great bands as well as anyone who just enjoys rock music performed live are in for a treat. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury.thespaceatwestbury.com $10. 8 p.m. July 21.

Gin Blossoms
Formed in 1987 in Tempe, Arizona, the Gin Blossoms first came into the public consciousness with their hit “Hey Jealousy.” After earning a Grammy Award nomination for Best Performance by a Duo or Group, their album, Congratulations I’m Sorry, sky-rocketed into Billboard’s Top 10. Will they play their fans’ favorite “Until I Fall Away”? Only one way to find out. Opening the show is The Adam Ezra Group. [Read Press music critic Zack “The B-Man” Tirana’s take on The Adam Ezra Group’s stellar opening for Doors legend Robbie Krieger HERE] The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $20-$60. 8 p.m. July 21.

Bobby Katz
Saxophonist Bobby Katz. (Photo credit: Bobby Katz/Facebook)

Bobby Katz Quintet
This quintet was the brainchild of Port Washington native Bobby Katz, who has been playing the saxophone for a decade. It consists of four other talented artists: Michael Rodriguez on trumpet, pianist Manuel Schmiedel, bassist Adrian Moring, and Tim Rachbach on the skins. While Katz has played with each of these individuals in different settings, the show at the Sands Point Preserve Conservatory marks the first time that the quintet will play together. The quintet’s first performance will likely be nothing short of superb, and they will be premiering Katz’s “Still Searching Suite” composition. We can’t think of anything better than listening to live jazz while sipping great wine. Sands Point Preserve Conservancy, 127 Middle Neck Rd., Sands Point. sandspointpreserveconservancy.org $20. 8 p.m. July 21.

Mamma Mia!
“Mamma Mia!” Here we go again. My, my, you cannot resist the music, the story and characters of this hit Broadway show. Now, Long Island fans can relive the enjoyable experience at the John W. Engeman Theater. If you haven’t seen this timeless tale, it’s a story of love and friendship as a daughter secretly invites three men from her mother’s past to her wedding in hopes of finally meeting her father and having him walk her down the aisle. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll have ABBA songs stuck in your head for a week. But trust us, it’ll be worth it. John W. Engeman Theater, 250 Main St., Northport. engemantheater.com
$71-$76. 8 p.m. July 21-Sept. 11.

Moose Blood
This event is comprised of various segments. To get in, people must first pre-order the band’s new album Blush, then witness a live performance by the band, and afterwards get a free poster signed by the members themselves. A live concert and a free autographed poster? Sounds like a good way to spend a Friday. Count us in! Looney Tunes, 31 Brookvale Ave., West Babylon. ltcds.com $13.99-$20.99. 1 p.m. July 22.

Josh Groban-Sarah McLachlan Tour
Josh Groban teams up with Sarah McLachlan. (Photo credit: Josh Groban/Facebook)

Josh Groban and Sarah McLachlan
Josh Groban has released four solo albums that went platinum and has earned a number of Grammy Award nominations, with the most recent coming this year for his hit album Stages. Sultry siren Sarah McLachlan joins Groban on their “Stages Shine On” tour, where she’s sure to please with her emotional artistic ballads and her clouds-high vocal range. Nikon at Jones Beach, Ocean Parkway, Wantagh. jonesbeach.com $32.50-$170. 7:30 p.m. July 22.

Video Games Live
Do you ever fantasize of actually jumping inside your favorite video game? With Video Games Live, now you can. Since 2002, this spectacular interactive show has been combining video game music and a symphony orchestra to create the ultimate, multi-sensory experience. As audience members listen to the soundtracks of Zelda, Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario Brothers and more, they see the video game acted out in front of them. Creator Tommy Tallarico pays homage to history’s most-cherished video games while bringing hard-core players together. Get ready to be taken to a whole different level! NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $39.50-$99.50. 8 p.m. July 22.

Summerland Tour 2016
This smorgasbord of ’90s pop heroes light up the stage once again on their annual, must-see, must-smile, must-dance tour. Groove to all the hits that made these bands so insanely popular and so insanely amazin! Among them: Sugar Ray, Everclear, Sponge and Lit. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $29.50-$99.50. 8 p.m. July 22.

Jay & The Americans
Known for their hits “Tonight” from the Broadway Musical “West Side Story,” “Only in America” and “This Magic Moment,” these Top 40 legends are bound to astound on this one-night-only performance! Suffolk Theater, 118 E Main St., Riverhead. suffolktheater.com $49-$60. 8 p.m. July 22.

Annie Lederman
Accomplished stand-up comedian-turned-TV personality Annie Lederman will be bringing her act to Long Island this week. It’s sure to be a long night of laughs delivered by the talented Pennsylvania native. Lederman is best known for recent appearances on MTV’s hit show Girl Code and Comedy Central’s Chelsey Lately, and ever since then she’s become an Internet star on Twitter and Instagram. Her act usually combines 21st century pop culture humor with poignant references to real-world social dilemmas to deliver a performance that is both relevant and laugh-out-loud hilarious. You won’t want to miss this rising star when she stops in Bellmore! The Brokerage Comedy Club, 2797 Merrick Rd., Bellmore. brokerage.govs.com $22. 8 p.m. July 22.

David Bromberg Quintet
The Godfather of Americana mixes blues, bluegrass, gospel, folk, Irish fiddle tunes, pop and English drinking songs until they’re happily coexisting as they can only do on a Bromberg album. Newcomers will be introduced to an astonishing performer whose range and musical depth have delighted audiences for more than 40 years. Did we say Bob Dylan is one of his biggest fans? Not-to-be-missed! The Stephen Talkhouse, 161 Main St. Amagansset. stephentalkhouse.com $80. 8 p.m. July 22.

John Coltrane

Coltrane Day
From jazz to funk, blues to soul and hip-hop to reggae, the John Coltrane Jazz Festival will satisfy all ears as music lovers come together to honor the jazz legend’s iconic album, A Love Supreme. Fifty years ago, Coltrane had a spark of inspiration while living in his Dix Hills home on Long Island, and with this breakthrough, he created one of the greatest albums of all time. Now, fans want to honor the saxophonist’s artistry by gathering the community together to enjoy his music, and that of other jazz musicians. Celebrities like famous drummer, Roy Haynes, Grammy-Award winning trumpeter and composer, Randy Brecker and New Orleans saxophonist, Charles Neville are just among the few who are expected to make an appearance. The festival’s proceeds will be used towards restoring the home of the critically-acclaimed artist. Listening to a wide range of talent and having the opportunity to take music workshops make this festival a once in a lifetime experience. Heckscher Park, 100 Main St., Huntington. thecoltranehome.org 12-10:30 p.m. July 23.

Laid Back Festival
The second year of this annual country outing features legend Gregg Allman, the former leader of Southern-rock stalwarts, the Allman Brothers. The other members at this year’s Laid Back Festival just so happen to be the Allman Brother’s group of close friends, including Jason Isbell, America, The Marshall Tucker Band and many more. If you love the Allman Brothers as much as you should, you’ll be jazzed that Warren Haynes will also be joining this insane lineup. Wow! Nikon at Jones Beach, Ocean Parkway, Wantagh. jonesbeach.com $20-$125. 4 p.m. July 23.

Stephanie Mills
This native New Yorker and Grammy Award-winner’s infectious R&B tunes have been on repeat for more than three decades. Mills burst onto the scene on Broadway, where she starred in “The Wiz” in the late ’70s. Her voice, tailored for soul music, earned her a chance in the music industry. Perhaps her best-known song, “Home,” pushed all the way to the No. 6 slot of Billboard’s top-100. Mills’ 1980 song “Never Knew Love Like This Before” captured the Grammy Award for best R&B vocal performance. You won’t want to miss this timeless legend! NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $40-$149.50. 8 p.m. July 23.

Purple Xperience I Prince Tribute
The recent death of Prince shocked and saddened the nation, but his music continues to live on and shall never die. The Purple Xperience, a five-piece tribute band from Minnesota, emulates Prince’s talent, fashion and charisma to keep his memory alive. Three-time Grammy Award-winner Matt Fink was an original member of the band, Prince and the Revolution, from 1978 to 1991. Now, he produces the most authentic re-creation of Prince’s legendary performances. Marshall Charloff is Prince personified; his voice, stage presence and multi-instrumental capability are uncanny. He is considered to be one of the best Prince imitators in the nation. In other words, a Purple Majesty. With Don’t Believe in Ghosts. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $15-$40. 8 p.m. July 23.

Certain Moves
Southampton-based Certain Moves is a jazz band at heart, known for mixing in some killer R&B, too. These smooth musicians consist of saxophonist Charles Certain, keyboard player Billy Gaines, guitar player Abdul Zuhri, drummer Randy London, and bass player Wayne Hart. Known as an interactive group, they are very open to taking suggestions from the crowd and deliver absolutely mind-blowing live performances. Not-to-be-missed! Treme Blues and Jazz Club, 553 Main St., Islip. tremeislip.com $10. 8 p.m. July 23.

Sutton Foster
Sutton, cute as a button, has clearly fostered her own talent from the moment she stepped onstage. The versatile Tony Award-winning actress, singer and dancer performed in 11 Broadway shows, starred in several television spots, such as Bunheads, Psych and Law and Order SVU. She has brought her artistry to crowds all over the world. Not too shabby. Currently starring in TVLand’s new series Younger, created by Darren Star, Sutton will knock your socks off like nothin’ you’ve ever seen before. Don’t miss her for an incredible night! Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, 76 Main St., Westhampton Beach. whbpac.org $70-$120. 8 p.m. July 23.

Louis Prima Jr. & The Witnesses
Not content with simply resting on his father’s legacy, Louis Prima Jr. and the Witnesses continue to wail, Prima-style, attempting to both stay true to Prima Sr.’s boisterous jazz, as well as put their own unique soul into their music. Since their first performance at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the band has released two critically acclaimed albums, Return of the Wildest and BLOW, which are both full of original and eclectic wall-shaking jazz. YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore. boultoncenter.org $40-$45. 7 p.m. July 24.

Valy Hedjasi
Afghan pop singer Valy Hedjasi was classically trained in Indian, Arabic and Persian music. His career evolved when he connected with Iranian-American label Avang Music, releasing his debut hit single “Bia Tu” and eventually producing his first album, After Love, gaining him immense fame in Afghanistan and Iran, especially. His first tour was in 2007, spanning Canada and the U.S., followed by the release of his second album, Crazy in Love, in 2011, and another international tour. He continues to find fame with his latest song “Setarah,” which is a mix of Persian and Pashto. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $45-$150. 7 p.m. July 24.

Darius Rucker
As the former leader of Hootie & the Blowfish, Darius Rucker has found much success as a country singer. His first three solo albums—Learn To Live, Charleston, SC 1966 and True Believers—all topped the Billboard Country album charts before he dropped his latest, Southern Style, last year. Opening the show is the fun trio, Dan + Shay & Michael Ray, adding a country-blues touch to the “Good For a Good Time” tour. Nikon at Jones Beach, Ocean Parkway, Wantagh. jonesbeach.com $32-$51.75. 7 p.m. July 24.

Dick Morris
This bestselling author, who once made “triangulating” the operative word heard round the White House during the first Clinton administration, will be speaking and signing copies of his new book Armageddon: How Trump Can Beat Hillary. Oh boy. If anyone should know how to hasten the end times, it might as well be Dick. Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington. bookrevue.com Free with purchase of book. 7 p.m. July 25.

Lukas Graham & Bebe Rexha
Lukas Graham’s songwriting talent manifested in his 2012 self-titled album, which went quadruple platinum in Denmark, had 40 million collective streams over the Internet, and yielded chart-topping hits: “Better Than Yourself” (which reached No. 1), “Ordinary Things” (No. 2), and “Drunk In the Morning.” Meanwhile, Albanian singer/songwriter Bebe Rexha has gained 800 million Spotify streams and 10 million overall single sales, in part due to her smash hit “No Broken Hearts” featuring Nicki Minaj, co-authorship of No. 1 hit song “The Monster” by Eminem featuring Rihanna, and featuring in “Hey Mama” by David Guetta and G-Eazy’s “Me, Myself, and I.” These two power figures in the music industry come together to create a unique and powerful sound, presented by 106.1 BLI by popular demand. Viva la Tirana! The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $19.50- $49.50. 8 p.m. July 25.

Beauty and the Beast
The whole family is sure to have an amazing time enjoying this live performance of a “Tale as Old as Time.” Regarded as one of Disney’s ultimate greats, the beloved film includes some of the most lovable children’s movie and theater characters of all time, such as Belle, Mrs. Potts, Chip, and the Beast. Don’t miss this great live performance of a classic fairytale! NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com  $19.50. 11 a.m. July 26.

Justina Valentine
Eclectic, raspy, and redheaded, Justina Valentine’s hip hop-and-soul-infused sound has gained her a variety of musical accolades, with such chart-topping collections as “Valentine,” “Red Velvet” and “Scarlet Letter.” Teaming up with big names such as Fetty Wap and Nick Cannon, her recent hit singles include “Candy Land,” “All the Way” and “Muse.” Her music has also been used in NBC Steven Spielberg hit Smash, VH1’s Mobwives, MTV’s True Life, Oxygen Network’s Running Russell Simmons, among other networks, and she has teamed up with rapper Mike Stud for two tours. Opening the show are CuzOH, Sarkazm, Truth, Scotty Mac, Long Island Sound and Eight Immortals. Revolution Bar and Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. revolutionli.com $12, $14 DOS. 7 p.m. July 27.

–Compiled by Luis Centeno, John Dundon, Ellie Schoeffel, Zack Tirana and Timothy Bolger

How Irrational Fear Is Driving L.I.’s Housing Crisis Over the Brink

By John Kominicki

Long Islanders have vehemently opposed apartment construction over the years, fearing rental properties would increase traffic, crowd schools, raise taxes and recreate the urban blight many moved here to avoid.

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I know that’s not exactly a news flash, but stick with me.

Forget that most of those fears were misplaced and, in some cases, just plain irrational. Renters, for example, actually pay higher per-foot taxes than home owners, and the record shows they produce fewer school-aged children. They also own fewer cars per household, which is understandable given how hard it is to find a parking space at an apartment complex.

“Our young people continue to leave the region in droves, seeking affordable places to live elsewhere.”

No matter. Nobody wanted apartments in their towns or villages and, thanks to local zoning and planning rules, almost nobody got them. As a result, the number of approved rental properties on Long Island flat-lined between 1980 and 2000, leaving developers either to fold their tents or sell out their interest in the stalled projects.

For those who sold, the buyer was often AvalonBay, a national real estate investment trust that specializes in upscale apartments and has been developing on Long Island—or trying to—for 25 years. It’s managed to complete nine projects in that time, with a tenth set to open later this year. Some have been a dozen years in the making.

A recent Long Island Index report called “The Long Campaign” chronicles Avalon’s many challenges and compares the process to running a political campaign: “Time-consuming, expensive and uncertain.”

But let’s focus on the “expensive.”

Beyond the high cost of land and construction, developers like Avalon can face years of legal and administrative haggling—the firm’s Rockville Centre development required a decade-long court fight—as well as other carrying costs. Community “give backs” can run the tab even higher. As part of Avalon’s negotiations in Garden City, for example, the developer agreed to donate land, make a $1 million contribution to local schools and build vets housing and a farm museum. The company even promised to haul out its own garbage.

Business being business, those costs get passed on to the tenants, helping put new units out of the financial reach of most young Long Islanders, the crowd in most need of affordable places to live. Nonetheless, there’s enough pent-up demand to allow Avalon and others to fill their developments for years to come, earning very nice returns on their investment, however time-consuming, expensive and uncertain it might be.

(And good for them.)

But that’s not a success strategy for Long Island.

Our young people continue to leave the region in droves, seeking affordable places to live elsewhere. They are increasingly joined by their parents’ generation, those around age 50, who either miss their kids or have grown tired of paying the Island’s crazy-high property taxes. The diaspora has begun to affect local businesses, which can’t find the workers they need to expand. That’s the makings of a very dangerous cycle.

Ending the exodus by easing demand and lowering rents will require many, many additional apartments—thousands a year instead of the few hundred being added today. That will require extraordinary resolve on the part of our local elected officials, who must stare down the vocal minority to pass streamlined approvals, place limits on environmental squabbling and enact “as of right” zoning.

Of course, given that we’re the ones who elect the elected, the extraordinary resolve really needs to come from us.

Time for a gut check, friends.

John Kominicki is president of Innovate Long Island.

TWA Flight 800 Remembered on 20th Anniversary

A photograph of the right side of the large three-dimensional reconstruction, with the support scaffolding visible.

By Ana Borruto

Sunday marks 20 years since TWA Flight 800 exploded over the Atlantic Ocean several miles off Long Island, killing all 230 onboard, yet the debate over the exact cause of the tragedy rages on.

The anniversary has brought new attention to old questions regarding whether terrorism, so-called “friendly fire,” or a technological malfunction brought the plane down. Theories have circulated since the disaster that Flight 800’s demise was the result of an errant missile fired by the U.S. Navy, or a terrorist. Victims’ families and loved ones joined first responders Sunday honoring all those who lost their lives.

“Sometimes I go ‘Well, why me? Why did I survive and then my friends did not?’” said David Crane, a former TWA flight attendant who was on the same plane days before it crashed. He said flight attendants went through more advanced training after the crash. “It went from ‘How to handle hijackers’ to how to handle ‘if you survive, if there is a bomb on board,’ which is a totally different scenario.”

The Boeing 747 destined for Paris fell from the sky 12 minutes after taking off from John F. Kennedy International Airport on the night of July 17, 1996. It ranks as the third-deadliest aviation accident in U.S. history. The victims are remembered at the TWA Flight 800 International Memorial at Smith Point County Park in Shirley.

Among those hosting memorial events is Barry Donadio, who was an EMT at the time. He responded to the crash site after he and other first responders were told there were survivors. But once on the scene, they soon realized the sad reality that there were no survivors, as the bodies of passengers and crew members were brought ashore.

“There are times you can be the best EMT, doctor, or whatever you are, and there’s sometimes nothing you can do other than pray for somebody,” Donadio said.

The victims included 16 members of a Pennsylvania high school French club, American composer David Hogan and Jack O’Hara, executive producer of ABC Sports.

Christine Negroni, an aviation journalist who was at the scene for six weeks covering the crash for CNN, recalled that she was on one of TWA’s 747s to Rome two weeks before the crash.

“It feels very personal when you [try to] imagine what it was like to be those people,” Negroni said. “I did think about that quite a bit when I was out at the scene for CNN.”

Negroni is the author of The Crash Detectives: Investigating the World’s Most Mysterious Air Disasters, which is due out in September, one of several books that explore the cause of Flight 800. Negroni doubts theories that a missile brought down the plane, as some witnesses have said. Four years after the crash, the National Transportation Safety Board concluded that the likely culprit was an electrical malfunction causing the fuel tank to explode.

“Problems have been solved,” Negroni said. “Every catastrophe creates an opportunity to make a safer airplane.”

Another book, TWA Flight 800: The Crash, The Cover-up, and The Conspiracy, by journalist Jack Cashill, released July 5, revisits theories that the plane was brought down by terrorists, by the U.S. military, or other means besides the NTSB’s narrative.

But regardless of what brought the plane down, the victims’ friends and family hope the anniversary will help bring closure, while keeping their loved ones’ memories alive.

Doggie Dining Law: Long Island Pups Can Now Dine Out With Owners

Outdoor dog dining

By Tyler Cianciulli

Restaurant patrons can dine al fresco with their canine companions at participating eateries on Long Island under New York State’s so-called “Doggie Dining Law” for the first time this summer, officials said.

The law went into effect in October, but local lawmakers, animal advocates and restaurateurs touted the bill last week to remind dog lovers to take advantage of their newfound ability to bring their cute and cuddly Fido and friends to outdoor restaurants while the weather is warm.

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“It is great for everyone, it’s great for the community and it’s great to get your dog out for some exercise,” a local proponent told reporters July 7 during a news conference on the Nautical Mile in Freeport.

New York State, which is home to more than one million registered dogs, is the second in the nation to pass such a law. California was the first.

The new law requires a separate entrance for dogs so they do not pass through the establishment. Restaurant employees are prohibited from having direct contact with the pups. The law also prohibits communal water bowls for dogs, which must also be on a leash.

It is still an individual restaurant’s choice to allow dogs to dine there, and establishments can legally refuse to serve pups.

Among proponents touting the new law are New York State Sen. Kemp Hannon (R-Garden City), who co-sponsored the legislation, Freeport Village Mayor Robert T. Kennedy, Jill Burkhardt of North Shore Animal League America, and officials from the Nassau County SPCA. They were joined by a pack of dog lovers and their pets ready to order lunch at a local pup-friendly restaurant.

“This action will give restaurants an additional option to boost revenue and grow their businesses by appealing to this new audience of dog-owning New Yorkers and their four-legged friends,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said upon signing the bill into law last fall.

Rules for outdoor dog dining

  • It’s an individual restaurant’s choice whether to allow dogs to dine there.
  • Dogs must use a separate entrance to avoid walking through the establishment.
  • Restaurant employees are prohibited from having direct contact with pups.
  • Dogs are not allowed on chairs, benches, seats or other fixtures.
  • Food and water provided to dogs must be in a “single-use disposable container.”
  • Restaurant owners must have adequate signage indicating dogs are permitted in outdoor dining areas.

Let’s Party Like It’s ‘1984’: Trump for President

Donald Trump

By Arnold Dodge

In the dystopian world created by George Orwell for his novel 1984, a tyrannical force is at work, controlling the masses by controlling reality. A mind-numbing distortion of what people see, hear and feel is enforced by a campaign of treachery. Opposites become the order of the day: War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. These are the slogans repeated ad nauseam by the people in power.

The rise of Hitler in Germany and Stalin in the Soviet Union had fueled Orwell’s mounting hatred of totalitarianism and political authority. His book came out in 1949 as the Cold War was hitting its stride.

small business loan scams

The arsenal of diabolical methods Orwell envisioned to sustain this nightmarish society re-appears in the campaign playbook of the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party in 2016. While Donald Trump is in the bluster phase—insults, taunts, bullying, harangues—can you imagine a Trump presidency with the gloves off? Can you imagine what we will witness if this megalomaniac is elected? It is not inconceivable that someone will read 1984 to Trump, and he will be in thrall to the success of the approach and borrow liberally from the techniques.

Democracy be damned. The Donald has arrived.

We have gotten to know the stripe of Trump: his misogyny, his xenophobia, his race-baiting, his lies, his distortions, his manipulations, his power obsession, his threats, his bellicose rants, not to mention his ability to say one thing with conviction and in the very same speech contradict himself with equal conviction.

Trump is beyond anything we’ve ever witnessed on the American political stage, and that includes the likes of Father Coughlin, Joseph McCarthy, George Wallace—and maybe even David Duke.

Trump’s terrifyingly large and feverish following in the American electorate should give pause to any who believe that he cannot win in November. Tyrants ’round the world were first dismissed as part of the lunatic fringe. With the prospect of Donald Trump strolling up to the podium on the Capitol steps to deliver his inaugural address, maybe we should turn to Orwell’s imagination for advice.

Related: Lines will be forming soon for the Trump Presidential Library

The samplings below are features of Orwell’s grotesque new world of 1984 cobbled together from several sources, including his original text. The comments in italics are strictly this author’s fear becoming palpable.

Surveillance State

Doublethink: the ability to hold two completely contradictory beliefs at the same time and to believe they are both true. Doublethink refers to the ability to control your memories, to choose to forget something, as well as to forget about the forgetting process. People ultimately lose the ability to form independent thoughts. Eventually, it becomes possible to convince the public of anything, even if it’s the exact opposite of what the public already knows to be true.

Trump could teach Orwell a thing or two about doublethink—he has mastered the art.

Thought Police: a police organization devoted to uncovering thoughts—known as  thoughtcrimes—that are not in keeping with the goals of the Party (the all-powerful state). The Thought Police could and eventually would arrest any citizen with any thought contrary to blind obedience to Big Brother.

A fanciful notion? Perhaps, but Trump might just direct the CIA to develop a thought-police unit, firing the director when he fails in his mission.

Newspeak aims to narrow the range of thought to render thoughtcrime impossible. If there are no words in a language that are capable of expressing independent, rebellious thoughts, no one will ever be able to rebel. The Party insists that it has the right to declare that 2 + 2 = 5, thereby making the claim to total control over every aspect of reality. The party could cancel gravity if it should wish.

Trump will no doubt trot out Sir Isaac Newton’s birth certificate exposing that he was not born in the U.S. Gravity? Cancelled.

The Ministry of Love (as described through the eyes of Winston, Orwell’s main character): “The Ministry of Love was the really frightening one. There were no windows in it at all. It was a place impossible to enter except on official business, and then only by penetrating through a maze of barbed-wire entanglements, steel doors, and hidden machine-gun nests. Even the streets leading up to its outer barriers were roamed by gorilla-faced guards in black uniforms, armed with jointed truncheons”

The White House after a Trump makeover.

Donald Trump Rally
Protesters decried Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant policies outside his rally in Bethpage on April 6, 2016. (Rashed Mian/Long Island Press)

Hate Week referred to staged events intended to increase hatred for the opposing party. Here’s how the novel describes one occurrence: “A member of the Inner Party…contorted with hatred…gripped the neck of the microphone with one hand while the other…clawed the air menacingly above his head. His voice, made metallic by the amplifiers, boomed forth an endless catalogue of atrocities, massacres, deportations, lootings, rapes, torture of prisoners, bombing of civilians, lying propaganda, aggressions, broken treaties. It was almost impossible to listen to him without being first convinced and then maddened. At every few moments the fury of the crowd boiled over and the voice of the speaker was drowned by a wild beast-like roaring that rose uncontrollably from thousands of throats…”

Related: Trump touts local ties at Bethpage rally

There’s no difference here between Orwell’s vision and coverage of a Trump rally. It takes your breath away.

In the afterword of the 1962 edition, Erich Fromm, the distinguished psychologist, sociologist and philosopher, had this to say about Orwell’s classic:

“If the world of 1984 is going to be the dominant form of life on this globe, it will mean a world of madmen, and hence not a viable world. [Orwell] wants to warn and to awaken us…The hope can be realized only by recognizing, so 1984 teaches us, the danger of a society of automatons who will have lost every trace of individuality, of love, of critical thought, and yet who will not be aware of it because of ‘doublethink.’”

So there you have it. Trump convinces us daily that we are on the road to an Orwellian nightmare.

A stretch?

Maybe. Maybe not.

Orwell’s genius provides a wake-up call for those who ignore tyranny knocking at the door. It’s high time we confront the ugliness. Our tolerance, forgiveness and love for others are under assault, weaponized by hate, threats and twisted logic in an attempt to co-opt reality.

We must never forget that the human race is one family.

But let’s watch out for Big Brother.

Arnold Dodge, PhD, is an associate professor of education at the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University, where he serves as the chairperson of the Department of Educational Leadership and Administration. Dr. Dodge is a former teacher, principal and superintendent. In his 45th year in education, he is particularly focused on the effects of high-stakes testing on schools.

(Featured image credit: Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons License)

Do This: Long Island Concerts & Events July 14–20

Florida Georgia Line tour

Cowboy Junkies
This alt-country/blues/folk rock band formed in 1985 in Toronto and gained popularity with their second album, The Trinity Session, which the Los Angeles Times named one of the best albums of ’88. Their version of The Velvet Underground’s “Sweet Jane,” which appears on the Natural Born Killers soundtrack, was described by Lou Reed as his favorite cover of the song. The Stephen Talkhouse, 161 Main St., Amagansett. stephentalkhouse.com $85-$100. 8 p.m. July 14.

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Lettuce has been performing classic funk for more than two decades. Their unique blend of hip-hop, psychedelia and funk makes Lettuce stand out in their genre as an ongoing experiment. Lettuce describes their latest album, 2015’s Crush, as being very open in terms of style, while staying true to its funk roots. Besides the innate ability to inspire large groups of listeners to uncontrollably get up off their tuckuses and groove, the band’s infectious, delirious, and utterly mind-blowing intoxicating tunes pays homage to classic rock artists, ’90s hip-hop, and of course, classic funk. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $20-$25. 8 p.m. July 14. (Postponed from July 8)

Jim Messina
A man of many talents, Jim Messina is a musician, songwriter, singer, guitarist, recording engineer and record producer who’s been a member of the folk rock group Buffalo Springfield, country rock band Poco, and half of the soft rock duo Loggins and Messina (which sold over 20 million albums domestically), with Kenny Loggins. Like a musical geyser that just can not stop gushing, Messina continues to drop compilations of his guitar work and previous hits and rock, rock, rock his greatest hits. YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore. boultoncenter.org $65-$70. 8 p.m. July 14.

The Slim Kings and Steve Urban
This 4-year-old Brooklyn-born band blends a soulful mix of old blues and classic rock. Consisting of veteran musicians who have recorded alongside Billy Joel and composed songs and soundtracks for popular shows such as Law and Order and Sons of Anarchy, these rockers are forever expanding from their supportive New York base to musical nirvana and beyond. They’ll be performing with multi-instrumentalist Steve Urban. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $10 8 p.m. July 14.

Great South Bay Music Festival
This waterfront music festival is back with an irresistible lineup including Third Eye Blind, Graham Nash, Manchester Orchestra, Umphreys McGee, Kevin Devine, Joe Nichols and Dopapod, plus many more. It would be a mistake to miss out on the largest-running music, art and cultural event on Long Island. What’s better than an amazing view of the water, live music and great food? Uh, Greek food? Sorry. Nothing, of course. And there’s a kidzone for the children. Shorefront Park, Patchogue. greatsouthbaymusicfestival.com $32-$125. July 14-17.

Long Island International Film Expo
For all movie lovers, the Long Island International Film Expo is a must-attend event, known for featuring films from countries all around the world, attracting a celebrity presence, and showcasing everything from documentaries to short movies to movie trailers. And the subjects covered are even more diverse. These films will make you laugh one minute, cry the next, and scream your lungs out in sheer, unrefined excitement a little later. Bellmore Movies, 222 Pettit Ave., Bellmore. longislandfilmexpo.com $8-$110. Runs through July 21.

Gaelic Storm
The Celtic band that has been around for nearly two decades is resurfacing after their latest, 2015’s Matching Sweaters. As the album is testament, Gaelic Storm cleverly combines traditional Irish music with modern influences by performing both traditional Scottish melodies and original songs in Celtic rock. Its five members have topped the Billboard World Chart fives times throughout their career. The group has played at music festivals such as Summerfest and Telluride, and regularly headlines Irish festivals around the world. A perfect set list of drinking songs, rapid instrumentals, and sing-along songs is something you don’t want to miss! The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $20-$40. 8 p.m. July 15.

Patent Pending, a Long Island-based pop-punk band, recently played a private show for a teenager with cancer.
Patent Pending, a Long Island-based pop-punk band (Photo by Joe Nuzzo).

Patent Pending
Hometown pop-punk heroes are making the long drive from their native Mt. Sinai to Amityville for their latest show to remind all the emo kids to cheer up. For proof that this band has a heart, check out this feature on the band in the Press. With opening acts Craving Strange, Silver Silver and Fawkes. Revolution Bar and Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. revolutionli.com $15. 6:30 p.m. July 16.

Nine Days
Nine Days, the Long Island-based band best known for their late ’90s pop hit “Absolutely (Story of a Girl)” is back and better than ever, ending a 10-year hiatus. In advance of their July 16 album release show, the Press spoke with the band’s lead singer, John Hampson, and lead guitarist, Brian Desveaux, to discuss their upcoming album, Snapshots, as well as working with legendary music producer Jim Scott and their relentless commitment to making music. Wow. A must-read, to be sure. YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore. boultoncenter.org $15-$20. 8 p.m. July 16.

A top R&B vocal group of the ’90s, Blackstreet continues to ride the fame of previous hit singles “Before I Let You Go,” “Booti Call,” “No Diggity,” “Don’t Leave Me” and “Take Me There.” Though their roster has rotated, with several members leaving to pursue successful solo careers after earning fame through the band, the group has partnered with big names like Jay-Z and Dr. Dre, and earned a Grammy Award after several albums went platinum. Opening the show is Jagged Edge and Shai. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $49.50-$99.50. 8 p.m. July 16.

Johnny Mac’s Blues Band
Based on Long Island, The Johnny Mac Band plays blues, R&B, funk and reggae. In other words, all the best stuff to get you up in front of the stage and shake, shake, shakin’! Known for their high-energy jams and in-the-moment improvisation, these jazz masters (See what we did there?) make every gig an unforgettable, soul-soothing experience! Treme Blues and Jazz Club, 553 Main St., Islip. tremeislip.com $10. 8 p.m. July 16.

The Lost Works (And World) Of Don Murray
Always more than a movie star, Don Murray demonstrated an unwavering commitment to social service on and off screen—and played roles that other actors weren’t willing to risk. By doing so, he forfeited a superstardom that was his for the taking in order to be true to his beliefs. Learn about his career in an exclusive documentary preview screening and one of the very first opportunities to see a compelling 1972 lost feature film. Don will be in person to discuss both films, along with documentarian Don Malcolm, son Chris Murray, and film historians Foster Hirsch and Jud Newborn. Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org $10 members, $15 public. 10 a.m. July 17.

Florida Georgia Line / Cole Swindell / The Cadillac Three & Kane Brown
Get out those 10-gallon cowboy hats, strap on those designer leather sham-shackle boots and let’s giddy-up a doozy, cause this country night, and you’re a country gal! The brothers who make up Florida Georgia Line, Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard, will perform their tasteful hit single, “Cruise,” which sold 10 million copies, making FGL the first-ever country band to receive RIAA’s Diamond certification. Cole Swindell, who has written singles for country boys such as Scott McCreery and Luke Bryan, in addition to releasing two albums, joins FGL this summer, too! Kane Brown, who joins The Cadillac Three on this tour, is an up-and-coming country star, whose first EP was only released a year ago. Wow now this night thar har gonna rock! Nikon at Jones Beach, Ocean Parkway, Wantagh. jonesbeach.com $32-$76.75. 7 p.m. July 17.

Gilbert Gottfried
Whether you find him absolutely can’t-stop-laughing hilarious or occasionally somewhat annoying, Gottfried is a master of his comedic craft. He is bound to leave all those in attendance of this must-see gig feeling a sordid mixture of both. That’s a good thing! It means they’ve been laughing so damn hard their gut will hurt for weeks after, which will leave them somewhat annoyed. That’s what we meant in the opening line of this blurb. Get it? Oh well. His voice will be ringing in your ears for years. McGuires Comedy Club, 1627 Smithtown Ave., Bohemia. mcguires.govs.com $25. 7, 9:30 p.m. July 16.

Micky Dolenz of The Monkees
George Michael “Micky” Dolenz, perhaps the most well-known member of The Monkees, is forever ingrained in America’s collective hearts and minds as that whirlwind heartthrob drummer, singer, actor, and all-around great guy who couldn’t help but make us all smile. In addition to their popular television show of the same name, The Monkees sold more than 65 million records worldwide and had three No. One singles: “Last Train to Clarksville,” “Daydream Believer” and “I’m a Believer.” This engaging, spirited 70-year-old musician is also credited with directing numerous theatrical and television shows. Back in the ’60s, Dolenz rocked the stage–and he’s still got it, as he’s joined by new members to play all the hits from those crazy, hilarious, insanely talented hellraisers, The Monkees. Suffolk Theater, 118 E Main St., Riverhead. suffolktheater.com $60. 7:30 p.m. July 17.

Dianne Reeves
Dianne Reeves is a five-time Grammy Award-winning jazz vocalist whose latest album, Beautiful Life, earned that prestigious honor for Best Jazz Vocal Album. Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, 76 Main St., Westhampton Beach. whbpac.org $65-$95. 8 p.m. July 17.

Eric Stonestreet
Hey, Modern Family fans, Cameron Tucker is coming to Long Island! Well, the actor, Eric Stonestreet, who plays the flamboyant character, is. The two-time Emmy Award-winning talent has graced our television and movie screens with a variety of personas. Growing up in Kansas City, acting wasn’t his top career choice. But, after being dared in college to audition for the play Prelude to a Kiss, and landing a small role, Stonestreet was hooked. Since then, he has built up an impressive resume, starring in popular television series, such as Malcolm in the Middle, American Horror Story: Murder House, and Nip/Tuck. Most recently, he voiced “Duke” in the new animated film The Secret Life of Pets. Now, he is on an interactive comedy tour, where audience members will hear behind-the-scenes stories, life experiences, and have the opportunity to ask Stonestreet questions about literally, anything. Something tells me this is gonna be really, really, really funny. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $29.50- $74.50. 8 p.m. July 17.

Chuck Mosley
Fans have missed former Faith No More frontman Chuck Mosley, but after a few years of silence, the alternative funk-metal legend has returned. Mosley will be bringing his unforgettable voice and stage persona to Long Island during his “Reintroduce Yourself” acoustic tour. These unplugged sessions will include music and favorites from his past bands. Mosley was the Faith No More singer in 1985 for two of the group’s albums, We Care A Lot and Introduce Yourself. After leaving the band, Mosley formed Cement and released two albums: Cement and Man With the Action Hair. In 2009, he dropped the EP Will Rap Over Hard Rock for Food. Now, he is reissuing the album We Care A Lot with new tracks. This is a must-not-miss gig. Like, “Epic.” Looney Tunes, 31 Brookvale Ave., West Babylon. ltcds.com $11.99-$39.99. 7 p.m. July 18.

Lost Emulsion
Glenn Andreiev’s new documentary revealing how and why so many silent and early sound films are missing includes rare film clips and images to illustrate the plight of lost cinema, along with lively interviews with noted film historians (including Cinema regulars Bill Shelley, Ben Model and Philip Harwood). Director Glenn Andreiev will be on hand to lead the audience in a lively discussion after the film. Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org $10 members, $15 public. 7:30 p.m. July 18.

Harry Chapin Tribute
What better venue to host a concert celebrating the music of the late, great folk singer, than the one that bears his name? There is none. Besides his hit single “Cats in the Cradle,” the Long Island native’s fan favorites include “Taxi,” Sniper” and “Flowers Are Red.” Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre, Eisenhower Park, East Meadow. nassaucountyny.gov/parks Free. 8 p.m. July 18.    

The whimsical story by Victoria and Elizabeth Kann about an exuberant little girl who adores everything pink comes to Long Island as a musical that is sure to delight her devoted following. The audience is sure to be dressed as fuchsia as the set. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $19.50. 11 a.m. July 19.

Patrick Colabella
This professor and author will be speaking and signing copies of his new book How to Get Rid of Socialism. Was going to add a political joke here and just decided to move on to the Yellow Ape Film Festival, instead. Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington. bookrevue.com Free with purchase of book. 7 p.m. July 19.

Yellow Ape Film Festival
Yellow Ape is not your typical film festival. It showcases local filmmakers’ movies intended for the midnight-hour audience. You can see anything from a silly zany comedy to a bizarre and disturbing horror flick. Not only are films shown, there are musical acts, stand-up comics, a celebrity panel, and sexy burlesque dancers that make it more of an event than just a film festival. Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org $25. 7 p.m. July 20.

Priscilla, Queen of The Desert
Get ready to “Shake Your Groove Thing,” and hop aboard the party bus Priscilla in our laugh-out-loud comedy musical smash hit, fresh off Broadway. This splashy, Tony-nominated musical is based on the 1994 film of the same name that tells the story of three colorful “divas” that drive their lavender bus, appropriately named Priscilla, across the desert and meet an array of fantastic characters, all while pushing the norms of society. Set to a score of well-known pop, funk, gospel, and disco songs such as “It’s Raining Men,” “I Will Survive,” “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” “Boogie Wonderland,” and “Hot Stuff,” this is one adventure you won’t want to miss! Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts, 71 East Main St., Patchogue. patchoguetheatre.org $59-$89. July 20-Aug. 6.

–Compiled by  Kate Nalepinki, Leo Capobianco, Ana Borruto, Ellie Schoeffel and Timothy Bolger.

[Featured image: Florida Georgia Line via Facebook]

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