Samuel Podolsky


Girls Rising Opens New Headquarters in Sea Cliff

Girls Rising held a ribbon-cutting ceremony outside their new Sea Cliff headquarters on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2019.

Girls Rising, a nonprofit founded by all-female rock band Antigone Rising, cut the ribbon on its new headquarters in Sea Cliff on Thursday.

The nonprofit dedicated to empowering girls and LGBT children to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) was founded by rockers Cathy Henderson, Kristen Ellis-Henderson, and Nini Camps. A host of local officials were on hand for the ceremonious ribbon cutting.

“We must provide young women with a strong foundation to empower them and help them grow into successful leaders,” said New York State Sen. Jim Gaughran (D-Northport). “Girls Rising’s new headquarters will assist them with their fantastic work and service to our community, and I am thrilled to be joining them at the opening of their new location.”

Girls Rising also provides creative outlets in the form of music festivals, most recently performing at the Sea Cliff Mini Mart. Grants and scholarships are additionally offered to students in underprivileged school districts.

“We host women from all sorts of fields to speak at our workshops,” said Camps. We’ve had an astronaut, a WNBA player. We try to promote STEM fields.” 

Officials were optimistic that the new headquarters would help Girls Rising advance their mission.

“I’m thrilled to see the Girls Rising office opening as it indicates the expansion of such a wonderful organization that empowers young girls to learn skills, gain confidence, and be successful in future endeavors” said Glen Cove City Councilmember Marsha Silverman.

Girls Rising’s new headquarters is located at 247 Sea Cliff Ave. in Sea Cliff. For more information on Girls Rising can be found on their website

3 New Restaurants To Try on Long Island This Weekend

Chen's Poke serves up customizable poke bowls.


Serving up traditional native Hawaiian dishes in Mineola, Chen’s Poke invites diners to customize their meals.

Chen’s offers the delicious yet healthy poke bowls at this spot where patrons can tweak their bowl with various bases, proteins, and toppings, or choose from a diverse selection of the restaurant’s own creations.

Featuring several rice, salad, and zucchini bases as well as raw fish options such as salmon and ahi tuna, there is a bowl for everyone at Chen’s.

The eatery opened in April and the owners are looking to expand across the island with a few new locations within the coming year.

106 Old Country Road, Mineola,


The popular Philadelphia-born chain Philly Pretzel Factory that has been expanding on Long Island finally makes its way to Babylon.

Devoted to knotted bread and a wide variety of accompanying dips, Philly pretzels are twisted and fired on site into all sorts of shapes and sizes. Dips include everything from nacho cheese to tangy sriracha, brownie batter, and butter cream for the bold.

For those with even more of a sweet tooth, cinnamon twists and frozen lemonade are mainstays of the menu.

Franchisee Joe Russo, who has opened a prior location in Massapequa Park, will open the store in October. The chain also has locations in Syosset, Bellmore, Franklin Square, and Smithtown.

1150 Deer Park Avenue, North Babylon,


Greek, Spanish, and Italian food come together to form a delicious dining experience unlike any other on Long Island at Herb and Olive Marketa.

Specializing in tapas, or small plates, this market sets itself apart from other eateries by selling everything they make fresh in the attached market.

Any Feta, prosciutto, and other regional specialties are both served and sold, with all ingredients sourced from their respective homeland.

Set to open soon, Herb and Olive Marketa looks to be a unique staple of Mediterranean cuisine.

172 Plandome Road, Manhasset,

5 Products That Help Find a Cure for Breast Cancer

NakedCashmere Love Scarf

Enjoy the warm embrace of 100 percent cashmere products from Naked Cashmere. Slippers, beanies, scarves, and gloves help stave off the cold while simultaneously funding breast cancer research. The Love gloves are priced at $85, Puff Love Slippers at $125, and Love Pom Beanie at $95, with $25 of each purchase donated. The Love Scarf costs $175, $50 of which is donated. Find these products at

GET BEANEDThe childhood favorite candy has returned with an adult pre-workout supplement. Jumpstart your activity with 100-calorie packets of Jelly Bean Sports Beans, with flavors ranging from fruit punch to strawberry banana smoothie and more. With 24 1-oz. bags for $34.99 and 6 1-oz. bags for $8.99, 5 percent of the price is donated.

TAKE A SEATSitting has never felt so good with Vivora’s Luno Standard Felt Sitting Ball. Engage in activities that strengthen core and balance, or feel the boost in posture that sitting on one provides in any circumstance. Side handles make it easy to transport. Find one for  $54.99, with $10 of every Pink Luno donated at

Fight redness and breast cancer with Darphin INTRAL Redness Relief Soothing Serum. Not only does the serum eradicate redness while calming the skin, it also leaves behind a wonderful scent. Through June 30, 20 percent of the purchase price is donated, to a maximum of $7,000. Sizes of 30mL for $90 and 50mL for $130 are available at

Run, sprint, or simply take a stroll in Peloton’s Breast Cancer Awareness Shoe, built for maximum comfort in both training and leisure. The pink shoe is sized for women, and 10 percent of the $100 purchase price is donated during the month of October at


Taylor Hicks Reflects on His Roots Ahead of New Album

Taylor Hicks plays My Father's Place on Oct. 11, 2019. (Courtesy of Adkins Publicity)

Armed with a voice unique even among his fellow American Idol winners, Taylor Hicks is poised to release next year the long-waited sequel to his 2009 sophomore effort, The Distance. He’s back on the road, playing songs blending soul, rock, country, and blues from his forthcoming album and Idol days. Ahead of his Oct. 11 performance at My Father’s Place at the Roslyn Hotel, the Press spoke with Hicks about his influences, favorite venues to play, and what else he’s been up to since Idol.

What was your first significant musical memory? I think catching a clip of Otis Redding in Düsseldorf, Germany in 1967. And then I went and found the clip, and then I started studying from there. That’s when I think I got the disease.

How conflicted were you when deciding to drop out of Auburn University to pursue music full time in Nashville? It was just kind of in the back of my mind for a long time. Being an entertainer is not easy. Catching a break is not easy. But I felt like there were some tools that I could work with. And luckily I’ve been in show business for over a decade now.

Was there a catalyst, or rather something that made you say, “Let’s go to Nashville and give this a try?” I think it was just learning instruments, starting out on harmonica, learning guitar, then starting writing. I think those were all pathways to knowing that you have a calling. All of them were self taught, so I think those were pretty good indicators.

You’re set to release your first studio album since 2009’s The Distance. How has your sound changed during this hiatus? I don’t think that the sound has changed much, I think the songs’ strengths are something that’s different. I think that these collections of songs, whether they were written or not, are the strongest I’ve ever put out.

Was there a specific moment after your run on American Idol when the reality of being a winner truly set in? Believe it or not, I think one of those moments was realizing I was able to do a golf Pro-Am at Pebble Beach. I walked up onto the tee box and my foursome was Alice Cooper, Clint Eastwood, and Scott Hamilton, and there were four or five thousand people waiting for me to tee off. I think that was one of those moments where it was a little bit surreal. They were all standing there waiting on me, because I was late for my tee time..

What’s your favorite venue to perform at? The Crystal Ball Room in Portland, Oregon. It’s a historic ballroom, been there since the ’20s. It’s a really historic musical dance venue that will allow a fan to be able to jump two feet off of the floor, because it still has springs in the floor from the old spring ballroom dancing days. That’s the coolest venue I believe I’ve played in.

What is your memory of Long Island from either prior visits or while on tour? It’s long. And traffic’s hell. I’m just kidding. The coolest memory, I opened for Earth, Wind, and Fire at Jones Beach. I just feel like that’s a really cool venue. Love that area. There’s a lot of blue collar mentality, and I feel like I’m a blue collar artist.

You spent a year at Bally’s Las Vegas as their house musician. What was your favorite aspect of your residency? To be able to be in Vegas and have a show is one of those things that you always dreamed of. As an entertainer, to have one in my mid-30s, it was something that you’re just really fortunate to be able to have the opportunity. But then to be able to be a part of the history of the landscape of Vegas was something else.

How did you decide to pivot to television and food with your INSP series State Plate? I co-own a restaurant in Birmingham, Alabama called Saw’s BBQ. And I’ve been in the restaurant business for about nine years. I felt like television is kind of where I was born. And I felt like being around and having hosted a few things along the way, just small, good things, this was an opportunity to really learn how to host television. Luckily, with four seasons, and 50 states, and 50 plates, we were able to pull that off.

You recently teamed up with charity NS2 Serves. What made you come together and would you like to say anything about them? Wonderful organization. And really making a difference in the lives of veterans. To be able to put a veteran to work is a wonderful thing to do, it’s a wonderful thing to be able to say that you’ve done. And the organization just really makes sense, and it’s effective. That’s a very important word when you’re dealing with organizations in that capacity. Effectiveness.

It was said in a prior interview that had an “in” on American Idol that would tip you off to results before they were formally announced. How did that connection come to be? I’m not familiar with what you’re talking about *wink, wink.*

Taylor Hicks plays My Father’s Place at The Roslyn Hotel at 8 p.m. Oct. 11. The venue is located at 1221 Old Northern Blvd. in Roslyn. Tickets are $40. For more information, visit 

Valley Stream Chef Competes on Beat Bobby Flay

Chef Alexcia Smith of Valley Stream faced off against celebrity Chef Bobby Flay on Thursday on the Food Network’s cooking competition show Beat Bobby Flay in a Mean Girls-themed episode hosted by Tina Fey.

In the first round, Flay challenged Smith and her competitor, stuntwoman-turned-chef Asia Mei, to make the best dish using rutabaga as the main ingredient for the chance to take on Flay in round two. Smith’s rustic rutabaga puree with a warm rutabaga hash won out over Mei’s kimchi rutabaga rösti with rutabaga green apple slaw. But once Smith took on Flay in round two, she had backup from Fey, who started reading from a “Bobby Flay Burnt Book.”

“Somebody started a petition that says ‘Keep Bobby Flay out of the Hamptons,’ signed by Ina Garten, Katie Lee, Neil Patrick Harris, Rachael Ray,” joked Fey, as she tried to psyche out Flay so he would lose.

That’s because Fey and Flay made a bet that if he lost to Smith, he would have to cook for all 70 members of the Mean Girls‘ Broadway production. Smith chose lamb shwarma as her signature dish to compete against Flay, but in the end, three independent taste testers named Flay the winner — yet Flay cooked for the production crew anyway.

Born in Kingston, Jamaica and raised in Hempstead, 34-year-old Chef Smith graduated from The Culinary Institute of America in 2006, which served to launch a career that found her managing food services for corporate clients, such as The New York Times and Condé Nast. Today she is a private chef, who has worked for a number of celebrities, such as Bow Wow and Alicia Keys, and provides catering, cooking lessons, and host of other services.

“I came here to prove that private chefs play a major role in this game and I’m still really proud of what I accomplished tonight,” she said.

For those who missed it, the episode, “Fey vs. Flay,” will air again air on November 3 and 4 or can be purchased on YouTube.


Long Island Halloween Haunted Houses & Spooky Walks 2019

Bayville Scream Park
For those who believe they can bare to brave a marathon of scares, Bayville Scream Park dares you to enter. Six haunted houses come together under one park to frighten even the most fearless of wanderers. Family and child oriented attractions are featured during the weekends before sundown. 8 Bayville Ave., Bayville 516-624-4678. $21.75-$25.75, 6-Attraction unlimited ticket: $75. 6 p.m.-12 a.m. Fri.-Sat., 6-10 p.m. Sun.-Thurs. through Nov. 4.  

Chamber of Horrors
The largest indoor haunted house returns to host three bone-chilling attractions, a live horror stage show, and 40 actors ready to make your nightmares come true. Once again voted the No. 1 haunted house in New York by 1745 Expy Dr N., Hauppauge, 516-710-1845. $35, R.I.P. Pass: $45. 7:30-11 p.m. Fri., 7-11 p.m. Sat., 7-10 p.m. Sun every weekend in October and Oct. 30-31 beginning at 8 p.m.

Darkside Haunted House
More than 14,000 square feet of scares comprises this 21 year old haunted landscape, made up of both an indoor attraction “The House” and outdoor space “The Village”.. 5184 NY-25A, Calverton, 631-369-7227. $30-$40. 6-10 p.m. Sun., 7-11 p.m. Tues.-Thurs., 7 p.m.-12 a.m. Fri., 6 p.m.-12 a.m. Sat. through Nov. 3.

Darkness Rising
Venture into a mid 17th century village cursed by unspeakable horrors in a completely revamped attraction. New sets, special effects, and scares comprise the haunted landscape. Proceeds will again be donated to YES Community Counseling Center. 800 Chettic Ave., Copaigue,, 516-799-4747. $25. 7 p.m.-12 a.m. Fri.-Sat., 6-10 p.m. Sun., 7-10 p.m. Thur. 24 and Halloween

Dreams and Nightmares
A brand new limited run experience takes over the Hempstead House, as visitors are plunged into beautiful and terrifying dreamscapes over the course of this 60 minute experience. The mature content is suggested to be consumed only by those 16 and older. 127 Middle Neck Rd., Sands Point 516-304-5076. $40. 7-11 p.m. Oct. 18-20, Oct. 24-25, Oct. 30-31.

Gateway’s Haunted Playhouse
Feel your heartbeat quicken and stomach drop at Gateway’s Haunted Playhouse, featuring “The Midway”, a fear-fueled carnival where food, drink, and attractions such as fire breathers and fortune tellers meet.  215 South Country Rd., Bellport,, 631-286-1133. $30-$45. 7-11:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 7-10 p.m. Sun., Wed.-Thurs. through Nov. 2.

Haunted Trail Nights 
This year, the Manor forgoes the nighttime haunted trail for a terrifying “escape the haunted funhouse challenge.” Children will also enjoy the “Not-So-Spooky-Trail”, a guided tour through the trail that ends with pumpkin picking. $7-$15. 210 Manor Rd., Huntington,, 631-213-1927. Not-So-Spooky Trail: 5 p.m. Oct. 18-19, Oct. 25-26. Escape the Haunted House: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 18-Nov. 10 (Reservations Suggested)

Joe Allocco’s Franklin Square Horror
Celebrate the last year of the Long Island haunted house staple as they prepare to go all one for their 23rd and final Halloween. Voted “Best Haunted House on Long Island” five years in a row. 1148 Norbay St., Franklin Square, 6-10 p.m. Oct. 31.

Milleridge Halloween Village and Haunted House
More than just a haunted house, this village is inhabited by stilt walkers, fire eaters, magicians, face painters, and fortune tellers, and offers a pumpkin patch, trackless train, and bounce houses. Try your hand at the escape room truck, the village’s latest attraction. 585 North Bwy., Jericho,, 516-931-2201. Admission: Free. Haunted House, Tarot Cards, Escape Room Truck: $15 Pumpkin Picking: $8 small pumpkin, $12 large pumpkin. Train: $6. Bounce House: $5. 6-10 p.m. Fri., 1-11 p.m. Sat., 12-6 p.m. Sun. Oct. 4-27.

Rise of the Jack O’ Lanterns 
Upwards of 5000 intricately carved pumpkins illuminate the garden path in this revamped classic. More giant pumpkins, more animated pumpkins, and brand new 3d sculpted pumpkins make this a night to remember. 71 Old Westbury Rd. Old Westbury,, 516-252-3392. $22-$26. 6:00-10-30 p.m. Oct. 4-6, 10-13, 17-20, 24-28.

Restless Souls Haunted House Complex
With both an indoor and outdoor haunted attraction, escape room, and 3D attraction “Klownkatraz”, there is a fright for everyone at this complex. 301 West Hills Rd., Huntington Station, 631-319-9662. $27. 6-10 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 5-9 p.m. Sun. Oct. 11-13, Oct. 18-20, Oct. 25-27

Schmitt’s Farm Haunted House
Celebrate the 25th anniversary of Melville’s family owned haunted house asylum and psycho path corn trail, with daytime walkthroughs featuring on actors on the weekends, and select nights where visitors brave the asylum with nothing more than a lantern. 26 Pinelawn Rd., Melville,, 631-271-3276. $15. 7 p.m.-12 a.m. Fri-Sat., Sun. Wed., Thurs. 7-11 p.m., Mon. 7-9 p.m. Oct. 4-6, Oct. 11-14, Oct. 18-20, Oct. 24-27, Oct. 30-Nov 2.

Spooky Fest
Younger Halloween-goers will enjoy the less intense activities hosted at the exhibit, which features a scare-free walk, face painting, live animals, and more. 1450 Tanglewood Rd., Rockville Centre 516-764-0045. $10-$15. 6:30-9:30 p.m. Oct. 12, Oct. 18-20, Oct. 25-27, Nov. 2.

Spooky Walk
The longest haunted trail in Long Island is back, clocking in at about 45 minutes of sheer terror. All proceeds are donated to Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck, a camp for children and adults with special needs. 2 Chet Swezey Rd., Center Moriches,, 631-878-1070. $20. 7-9 p.m. Oct. 18-19, Oct. 25-26.

Yaphank Trail of Terror
This year’s trail fuses old horror favorites with brand new scenes, and the concession stand bonfire, and movies return to make an unforgettable experience. 65 Main St., Yaphank, 631-282-8223. Free. 7-11 p.m. Oct. 11-12, Oct. 18-19, Oct 25-26.

Bohemia’s Nicole Anthony Places Third on Big Brother

Nicole Anthony is the last houseguest to be evicted on BIG BROTHER on the season finale, Wednesday, Sept. 25 on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Nicole Anthony of Bohemia was the last person voted off Big Brother on the reality show’s season 21 finale Wednesday, but the lovable underdog’s third-place finish still earned her $25,000.

Anthony, a 24-year-old special education preschool aide who works at Leeway School in Sayville, was voted America’s Favorite Houseguest by the audience, thanks to her good nature. She took losing out on the $500,000 grand prize in stride.

“I’m not shocked,” Anthony told host Julie Chen Moonves. “I was not expecting anything, but it is in my nature to always be hopeful and always have faith, and if it was meant to happen it would, and obviously it didn’t, so it is OK.”

She was one of 16 house guests who were in the house when the season started in June. But on the last episode, Anthony found herself struggling in the final head of household competition. 

In the second leg of the competition, contestants match various pictures of events that took place inside the house to the corresponding days they took place. Anthony stumbled toward the end of the challenge, mixing up the dates of two pictures twice before locking in the correct answer. A 14 minute and 38 second finish was not enough to defeat contestant Holly Allen.

The final leg of the competition saw first leg winner Jackson Michie face off against Allen, which saw the former win then proceed to evict Anthony, who finished in third place. 

“It’s OK,” exclaimed Anthony, who seemed to be in high spirits despite having lost the half-million dollar prize moments ago. “It’s a game.”