Zack Tirana


Last-Minute, Out-of-the-Ordinary Valentine’s Day Events On Long Island

Long Island Valentine's Day Events
There are plenty of last-minute, out-of-the-ordinary Valentine's Day events taking place all across Long Island!

Been too busy to plan a show-stopping Valentine’s Day night out with your sweetheart, and now in panic mode to figure something out? Sick and tired of the typical mucho-dinero “romantic dinner” thing? Majorly screwed up in your relationship recently and it’s only now just dawned on you that a spectacular, unforgettable Valentine’s Day could be just what Cupid ordered to repair all the damage you’ve done and restore that sweet, loving bliss?

Fear not, for this list is replete with last-minute, out-of-the-ordinary Valentine’s Day Events on Long Island that are guaranteed to leave a lasting impression on your loved one! From succulent Shrimp Nibblers by candlelight at White Castle and transcendental insights about love to communal mass protests and even a brokenhearted bar crawl, there’s no doubt that participation in any of these happenings will be sure to make this year’s Valentine’s Day go down in your sweetheart’s book as truly unforgettable!

Paint & Prosecco

Prove your love with this romantic twist on “Sip & Paints” as you and your sweetheart create a shared portrait of an inviting tropical island paradise, complete with swaying palm trees and a melting setting sun! You’ll both paint one side of the overall image, titled “Paradise Cove”—creating a museum-worthy masterpiece when merged together! Dessert, as well as a complimentary glass of prosecco will be waiting for the lovebird-artistes once finished, and guests are also welcome to bring their own special feasts to enjoy during the session! Check out this Guide to Long Island “Sip & Paint” and “Paint Night” Venues for additional wine-inspired misadventures, too! Pinot’s Palette, 61 W. Main St., Bay Shore. 631-446-4777. pinotspalette.com $48. 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Editorial Cartoon Exhibit

Wait—politics? On Valentine’s Day? Please, if ever there was a day for a reprieve, it’s this one. Well these aren’t talking heads, nor dissertations about the latest executive order, by any stretch of the imagination. This exhibit exemplifies how artists can breathe life into topical subjects of the day through visual interpretations bound to inform and inspire. Romantic? Sure, especially for those out there who’ve been glued to the television since November, or those who’ve since discovered an inner thirst for public participation, organization, and perhaps, revolt (the Women’s March, anyone?).

This phenomenal exhibit features works by award-winning editorial cartoonists including Walt Handelsman, Steve Kelley, Matt Davies and Signe Wilkinson, as well as historical works from Thomas Nast. If you opt for the less-intellectual option, a candlelight dinner, perhaps, instead, know that it runs through March 12 and is titled “Political Slant II: Editorial Cartoons.” Hofstra University Museum, David Filderman Gallery, 112 Hofstra University, Hempstead. 516-463-5672. Free. 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Planets & Moon Viewing

There are a constant barrage of unseen forces pushing and pulling all matter in this universe, from the immeasurable draw of our nearest star, the Sun, to the magnetic fields permeating our precious Earth’s inner core and poles. Poets and star-crossed lovers throughout the ages have, in perhaps fewer and much more eloquent worlds than these, written and spoken and sung about the all-dominating force tugging at humans since the dawn of time: love. True, the gravity of one’s own heart and eternal yearning for another, reciprocal magnetism is perhaps greater than all the forces throughout this vast universe, combined. Whoa.

This otherworldly Valentine’s Day event enables those in attendance to discover this deeper, invisible gravitation, as well as those massive orb-like spheres silently encircling our world: the planets, including Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn—and possibly, the International Space Station! It also gives couples the chance to telescopically magnify that omnipresent celestial body that’s been artists’ muse throughout the eons, too: the moon. There will also be a quick astronomy class involved!

Experience these timeless enigmatic creations together, as one, and unleash your eternal love throughout the heavens! If this Valentine’s Day is not weather-permitting, fear not, this intergalactic masterpiece of illuminating hearts continues through May 1! Northport Harbor Park, bottom end of Main Street at Woodbine Avenue, Northport. More information: sidewalktelescopeviewing 631-486-4818. 7:15 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Free.

Anti-Valentine’s Day Bar Crawl

Celebrate the fleeting emotions and banal insignificance of love and relationships while tossing back endless beverages and conversing with equally jaded broken-hearted vagabonds on this truly unforgettable crusade through some of Patchogue’s best bars and pubs. True, this intoxicating event perhaps belongs more so on a Valentine’s Day Events for Long Island Singles list, but couples can surely crash it to bestow the intimate knowledge of relationship bliss with the frustrated heathens crying in their beers all night throughout this trek! True love, indeed! Meet at Roast Coffee & Tea Trading Company, 41 E. Main St., Patchogue. roast.coffee 631-207-1000. $15 ADV/$20 DOS. 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Buddha’s Modern Relationship Prescription

Money? A fancy car? Lotsa bling-bling? Love permeates the materialism of this realm and radiates from our very souls. Bring your honey bear to this intimate, transcendental experience, and learn from the experts the true, deeper meaning of Valentine’s Day, as well as insights on how Buddha viewed relationships. Guaranteed to open the eyes, ears and hearts of all those star-crossed romantics in attendance, and also bring you closer to the genuine divinity of existence! Kadampa Meditation Center Long Island, 282 New York Ave., Huntington. 631-549-1000. meditationonlongisland.org $15. 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Protests For Love: ‘Protect Our Care’ & ‘Love Fights Back

Sponsored by Long Island Progressive Coalition, Long Island Activists, the New York State Nurses Association and 1199SEIU (United Healthcare Workers East), bask in the all-enveloping love derived from exercising your constitutional rights to dissent at either of three simultaneous Valentine’s Day actions to tell Reps. Lee Zeldin and Peter King to “have a heart and save our healthcare.” Dubbed “Protect Our Care,” activists and community groups will be delivering a special Valentine’s Day card to Zeldin’s Patchogue office, and those who can’t physically make the rally are encouraged to participate by either creating and emailing along your own digital Valentine, to be printed and delivered for you, or sharing your healthcare story telling the lawmakers why the Affordable Care Act is important to you and your family via a video, to be posted on groups’ Facebook pages! Congressman Lee Zeldin’s Office, 31 Oak St., Patchogue. zeldin.house.gov Noon – 1 p.m.

Following the Valentine’s Day delivery to Rep. Zeldin’s office, protestors can hop on the LIRR to join yet another demonstration in Manhattan at Foley Square dubbed “Love Fights Back: Rally For #ImmigrantNY,” the New York Immigration Coalition will stand alongside other concerned groups and New Yorkers to show their love and solidarity with “immigrant communities who are under attack!” Foley Square, 111 Worth St., New York, NY. 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Classical Ballet Class

Anyone who’s ever been in a long-term relationship knows that it takes a great deal of communication to make it all work, and that alone, we may stumble, but that together, as one, we may discover true grace. Well, relationships share some of the fundamentals of dance. This extraordinary class by instructor Nora Goodman—who’s highly trained in classical ballet, modern and Irish Step dance—will help couples not only discover the untapped talents residing within themselves, but the meticulously choreographed beauty of all relationships—as dance serves as the perfect vehicle for cooperation, collaboration and trust between partners.

Who knows—this first foray into ballet may inspire couples to return again and again, as these sessions continue throughout June 13! The Ballet Center, 1863 Pond Rd., Ronkonkoma. 631-737-1964. theballetcenter.org $20. 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

White Castle Valentine’s Day Sizzlin’ Spectacular

Forget those fancy high-end steakhouses and hosh-posh bistros serving insanely expensive snacks that have been booked up for weeks leading up to this Valentine’s Day, anyway. Head to White Castle and enjoy their addictive burgers in scintillating style, while making forever memories to be shared for a lifetime. Now in its 26th year, the popular go-to spot for those smooth, delicious sliders is yet again offering a special Valentine’s Day experience for all couples looking for romantic meat-and-cheese bliss. Tables will be draped in pink and red, with various loving decorations. Diners can share these scrumptious meals over candlelight, as tableside service takes your orders.

No Valentine’s Day would be complete without some quality photos and Shrimp Nibblers! White Castle. Multiple Locations. whitecastle.com Regular menu process. 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Who needs a bouquet of roses when you and your loved one can participate in all these extraordinary Valentine’s Day events?! Always remember: Love is eternal, so get out there and share some! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Sex Pistols’ Steve Jones Talks Punk Mayhem At Book Revue

Sex Pistols
Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones will be signing copies of 'Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol,' at Book Revue in Huntington on January 18! (Photo: Sex Pistols Facebook profile)

Their mission was to “destroy” anything and everything in their path.

Along the way, the Sex Pistols—Steve Jones, Johnny Rotten, Paul Cook, Glen Matlock, and later, Sid Vicious—revolutionized rock and roll, stripping it down to its most primal and guttural elements and injecting rage and disharmony and purpose, consequently inspiring entire generations of future hellraisers and mutant musical genres.

Formed in London in 1975 from the mad visions of Malcolm McLaren, the Sex Pistols didn’t just rewrite musical history, they burned it down and spawned, kicking and screaming, an entirely new breed that sought to tear down and decimate any and all of the establishment and challenge pretty much any and all societal norms. This bastard hybrid was called punk rock.

They did this in merely two and a half years and with only one album, 1977’s Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols, though its four singles—“Anarchy in the U.K.,” “God Save the Queen,” “Pretty Vacant” and “Holidays in the Sun”—might have well been musical atomic bombs, the former two perceived as direct attacks to the command of the English Crown itself.

The Sex Pistols—with Rotten on vocals, Jones on guitar, Cook on drums and Matlock, later replaced by Vicious, on bass—became synonymous with chaos and controversy. Gigs that weren’t outright banned ended in absolute mayhem. So did pretty much any of their public appearances. Their songs ignited outcry, sparked radio blackouts, and literally made the band a group of outlaws.

By 1979 the Sex Pistols were broken up—Rotten infamously announcing the band’s breakup in a newspaper article in January 1978—and Sid Vicious was dead of a heroin overdose shortly after being released from Rikers Island on charges he’d killed his girlfriend Nancy Spungen at the Chelsea Hotel the previous year.

Steve Jones, the Sex Pistols’ legendary guitarist, has told interviewers he should be dead, too, and the band’s insane lightning bolt of an existence is testament to that (it’s a miracle any of them survived, actually).

The host of an incredible rock radio show called “Jonesy’s Jukebox,” on 95.5 KLOS out of Los Angeles, this punk pioneer has recently penned a book chronicling some of the band’s countless exploits, titled Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol, and its associated tour is an opportunity for fans of any musical genre to hear some of these priceless tales from the mouth of one of punk’s original fire-starters.

Here’s a quick one from Lonely Boy… about when Jones, posing as a roadie, stole a vanload of gear from David Bowie following a Ziggy Stardust gig at the Hammersmith Odeon:

I’m not sure which of the two closing nights I struck on… Either way, after the gig, I had my minivan outside and I just went in and got as much stuff off the stage as I could fit in the back: Trevor Bolder’s Sun bass amp was one of my best trophies, as well as a few cymbals and this little Electro Voice microphone that still had a smudge of Bowie’s lipstick on it.

Bizarrely, his January 18 appearance at Huntington’s Book Revue falls on the exact date, 39 years ago, that Rotten announced the band’s demise.

Somehow, fitting.

Legendary Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones will be signing copies of Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol, at Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington, on January 18 at 7 p.m. For more information, and future guests, visit bookrevue.com The event is Free with purchase of book.

‘X-Men: Apocalypse’: A Mesmerizing Mega-Mutant Masterpiece

X-Men: Apocalypse
X-Men: Apocalypse is a mega-mutant masterpiece.

X-Men: Apocalypse is a fun, mesmerizing, mega-mutant masterpiece.

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This declaration may fly in the face of most reviews out there panning the film since its recent release, but Tirana calls it like he sees it, and it was, well, quite phenomenal, indeed. Besides mind-bending special effects that include cities across the globe obliterated as Magneto painstakingly disembowels Earth, the film is notable for its many insightful (and fascinating) scenes between the young mutants who will comprise a later incarnation of the X-Men. It’s an absolute joy to watch these burgeoning superheroes discover their powers, interact, and ultimately, bond.

Directed by Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects, X-Men, X2, Superman Returns, X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past) and set in 1983, X-Men: Apocalypse is the ninth installment in the Marvel X-Men film series and centers around the resurrection-awakening of ancient mutant supervillain Apocalypse, and the X-Men’s attempts to defeat his plans to destroy the world.

X-Men: Apocalypse
Marvel mutants Jean Grey, Nightcrawler and Cyclops are just three of the many mesmerizing heroes in ‘X-Men: Apocalypse.’

As always, the most fascinating aspects of X-Men: Apocalypse (and biggest draw for fans) is obviously the infamous X-Men and all the various mutants, and they absolutely kill, literally and figuratively. Michael Fassbender stars as the metal-manipulating Erik Lehnsherr, Magneto; Jennifer Lawrence as the shapeshifting Raven/Mystique; James McAvoy as telepathic mastermind Professor Charles Xavier; Sophie Turner (aka Sansa Stark from Game of Thrones) as omega-telekinetic Jean Grey/Phoenix; Tye Sheridan as laser-focused Scott Summers/Cyclops; Nicholas Hoult as super-intellect Hank McCoy/Beast; Lucas Till as plasma-blaster Alex Summers/Havok; Evan Peters as supersonic Peter Maximoff/Quicksilver; and Kodi Smit-McPhee as teleporting Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler; among others.

Hugh Jackman appears in a cameo role as beloved, adamantium-clawed anti-hero Logan/Wolverine, who is discovered by Jean Grey, Nightcrawler and Cyclops in an arctic laboratory and brainwashed as Weapon X.

The very first mutant, Apocalypse—aka En Sabah Nur, portrayed masterfully by Oscar Isaac—has survived the millennia by stealing the powers of other mutants through a horrifying Egyptian ceremony enabled by his lieutenants, The Four Horsemen of Apocalypse (cue Metallica’s “The Four Horsemen;” shout out to Dave Mustaine). He enhances the powers of Psylocke (Elizabeth Braddock, played by Olivia Munn), Storm (Ororo Munroe, portrayed by Alexandra Shipp), Angel/Archangel (Warren Worthington III, played by Ben Hardy), and Magneto as his Four Horsemen.

Standouts include Magneto, who reaches into the Earth’s core to carry out Apocalypse’s plans; Nightcrawler, whose teleportation powers are just amazing to watch, as he flashes in and out of anywhere within his sight or anywhere he’s ever been; and Quicksilver, who has become an insanely popular character throughout the franchise, and who is actually Magneto’s son (though the metalhead has no clue).

The audience literally broke out into resounding applause and laughter at the end of one of Quicksilver’s key sequences saving young mutants from an attack on Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. The diehard Rush fan (love it) downs a can of Tab, shoots darts, and even saves a bowl of goldfish while successfully evacuating everyone from sudden death! (Well, maybe not everyone, unfortunately; you’ll just have to watch to learn who.)

Flashbacks throughout the film to earlier installments are also stellar, including a not-so-veiled hit on its third, and a blatant nod to Star Wars (Isaacs did star as Poe Dameron in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, after all, and X-Men: Apocalypse does take place in 1983, when Return of the Jedi was released).

X-Men: Apocalypse
Michael Fassbender slays (again, literally and figuratively) as the metal-manipulating Erik Lehnsherr, aka Magneto, in ‘X-Men: Apocalypse.’

[Partial Spoiler Alert!] Though mutants are for the most part tolerated in the United States, elsewhere across the planet they’re feared and hunted—in East Berlin, for example, captured mutants are forced to battle each other to the death in brutal cage matches. Magneto, who’s been living incognito in Poland until the accidental killings of his wife and daughter (whose powers include communicating with animals), is convinced to join Apocalypse and his band of mutant terrorists before recognizing that he still has family left—Professor X and his fellow mutants. There’s an insane scene where Apocalypse, by amplifying Professor X’s mind-control powers, compels soldiers from every Earthly army possessing nuclear arsenals to deploy their warheads into outer space, thus effectively disarming the entire globe. (Love that part.)

As mentioned earlier, two of X-Men: Apocalypse’s strong points are the scenes showcasing the relationships between its many mutants and their backstories, and those between Jean Grey, Cyclops, and Wolverine are moving and prescient. Fassbender absolutely slays as Magneto, and his are some of the most electrifying scenes in the movie, especially those regarding his life underground and a visit with Apocalypse and his crew to Auschwitz, where his parents were slaughtered and his powers first manifested. Witnessing the emotionally torturous psychic tug of war between Professor Xavier and Apocalypse, and apocalyptic (see what I did there) glimpse of Grey flexing her insane powers during the final scene are singularly well worth the price of admission.

Besides the kick-ass special effects on full display throughout X-Men: Apocalypse, it’s a must-see installment of the super-mutant franchise for the humanistic moments shared between its stars.

Nor’easter Welcomes Spring With Snow On Long Island

Nor'easter Long Island Snow
A nor'easter will welcome the first day of spring on Long Island with several inches of snow.

Break out those hats, gloves, and ice scrapers, Long Island, because Old Man Winter is not through with us just yet.

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The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory, as well as a winter storm watch, for parts of Nassau and Suffolk counties on Sunday, the first day of spring, predicting—you guessed it—snow. You can thank Winter Storm Regis, which has been dumping snow across the Midwest on its trek east, morphing into a good, old-fashioned weekend nor’easter—just in time for the Monday morning commute.

The winter storm watch—in effect from Sunday afternoon, March 20, through Sunday night—warns of possible snow accumulations of 4 to 7 inches with wind gusts of up to 25 mph in eastern Suffolk County, and “hazardous travel due to reduced visibilities and significant snow accumulations.”

In effect from 6 p.m. Sunday till 10 a.m. Monday, March 21, the advisory forecasts accumulations of the good white stuff from 2 to 6 inches throughout Nassau and western Suffolk County. A mix of snow and light rain will develop early Sunday afternoon, the National Weather Service states, with the snow continuing through Sunday night and tapering off by Monday morning.

“Visibilities will be reduced in spots due to blowing snow,” it warns. “Travel will remain difficult due to accumulating snow.”

The snow will be accompanied by wind gusts up to 20 mph, continues the advisory, with temperatures in the lower 30s.

“Periods of snow, sleet, or freezing rain will cause travel difficulties,” it adds. “Be prepared for slippery roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while driving.”

Homeless Man, 28, Found Dead On Beach Near Port Jefferson Harbor

A 28-year-old homeless man’s lifeless body was discovered on a beach near Port Jefferson Harbor Thursday, Suffolk County Police said.

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A Village of Port Jefferson constable found the body of Marlon Lewis, 28, who apparently drowned, at approximately 1:45 p.m. March 17, police said. Sixth Precinct officers responded to the scene, and describe Lewis as homeless.

Suffolk homicide detectives are currently investigating the death, and an autopsy will be performed by the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s Office.

West Babylon Woman, 23, Killed In Lindenhurst Crash

A 23-year-old woman was killed in a two-vehicle collision Thursday morning in Lindenhurst, Suffolk County Police said.

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AlyssaMarie Gerbasio, 23, of West Babylon, was traveling north on Straight Path at 7:12 a.m. March 17 when her 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee was struck by a 2015 Jeep Liberty headed east on 49th Street that attempted to cross Straight Path, according to Suffolk County Police First Squad detectives.

Gerbasio was ejected from her vehicle, said police, and pronounced dead at the scene by a physician assistant from the Office of the Suffolk County Medical Examiner.

The 17-year-old female driver who collided with her, of Lindenhurst, was transported to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip and released, said police.

The investigation is continuing, and First Squad detectives ask anyone with information about the fatal crash to call 631-854-8152.

Long Island Snow Storm: Up To 8 Inches For Suffolk; 2 To 5 In Nassau For Morning Commute

Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos might have brought home the Vince Lombardi Trophy Sunday night, but Mother Nature is bringing more snow to Long Island during the post-Super Bowl Monday morning commute.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning Sunday evening forecasting 4 to 8 inches of snow for southwestern Suffolk County, effective 3 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday.

Up to 5 inches of the menacing white stuff is possible in Nassau.

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The NWS predicts strong wind gusts up to 35 mph and reduced visibilities up to one quarter to one half mile at times, with the heaviest snow falling from the Monday morning commute through the afternoon.

“The combination of strong winds and a heavy wet snow will bring down tree limbs and power lines,” warns the agency. “Hazardous travel conditions are expected due to greatly reduced visibilities and significant snow accumulations.

“Blowing and drifting of snow with near blizzard conditions are expected due to strong winds,” it continues. “Significant amounts of snow are forecast that will make travel dangerous. Only travel in an emergency.”

Abe Vigoda, of The Godfather & Barney Miller Fame, Dead (For Real)

Abe Vigoda
Abe Vigoda, the legendary actor who portrayed capo Salvatore Tessio in The Godfather, died Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016.

Known for his sad, sunken-eyed grimace that somehow had the opposite effect upon his legions of fans, Abe Vigoda, the film and television legend, died Tuesday.

He was 94.

Abraham Charles “Abe” Vigoda became forever seared into the hearts and minds of countless fans with his portrayal of Salvatore Tessio, the Corleone Family’s most trusted capo in director Francis Ford Coppola classic The Godfather, which had several scenes filmed on Long Island. (Coppola is also a 1960 alumnus of Hofstra University, where he studied drama.)

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Vigoda is also well-known for his role as Det. Sgt. Phil Fish on the ’70s television sitcom series Barney Miller.

Though false reports of his death more than three decades ago sparked years of Internet speculation as to his mortality, Vigoda’s daughter, Carol Vigoda Fuchs, confirmed to the Associated Press Tuesday that her father had passed away in his sleep at her Woodland Park, NJ, home of old age.

That news didn’t stop jokesters from continuing the gag on Twitter, however, where an account under the actor’s name @abevigoda declared Tuesday afternoon: “I was alive and now I’m not:(” and another titled Abe Vigoda Status offering “daily check-ins on whether Abe is alive or not,” tweeted “Still alive” before simply stating, “Dead,” amid dozens of heartfelt messages from well-wishers.

Admirers ranging from friends and fellow celebrities to television fans took to the social media site and many others to pay homage throughout the day.

“#AbeVigoda is gone. What a life. What a career. What a warm & funny man he was. His performance in ‘Godfather’ still amazes me,” tweeted talk show host Larry King.

“Rest in peace Abe Vigoda. 94 years young. January is shaping up to be a very sad month,” shared fellow actor Rick Moranis.