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Art Doctor

Restoring art requires scientific technique and an appreciation of the masters

Author: Joseph Finora | Published: Monday, January 26, 2015
Microspsy pigment analysis is a non-invasive, microscope-based technique and is the only 
method that enables the precise identification of materials used by artists during a certain period in a particular region.
Microspsy pigment analysis is a non-invasive, microscope-based technique and is the only method that enables the precise identification of materials used by artists during a certain period in a particular region.

Virtually every professional sector has some form of conservationist. It’s usually an individual with a heightened passion for the topic, an acute intuition for the ideal and of course, encyclopedic knowledge of the subject. In the esoteric world of fine art, a seasoned curator or art historian can provide important pre-purchase counsel, but a conservator is the one who’s called when a precious masterpiece is in need of care. Or worse, when there’s reason to believe a Monet is a fake.

Art conservators are at the forefront of an evolving field that combines cutting edge technology with old-world sensibilities. They’re unique professionals equally at home in the annals of the museum and at a forensics lab. And their credentials must be impeccable at the polar extremes of the academic spectrum—art and science. Perhaps this is why Alexander Katlan is one of fewer than 1,000 art conservators in the United States.

A former chemistry major, Katlan has painstakingly analyzed thousands of paintings for damage, deterioration and authenticity. “After we make our analysis, curators and art historians will be consulted with any new evidence, as will the owner, before a determination will be made. Decisions tend to be collaborative,” he said. An initial consultation lasts about 45 minutes while a full-length analysis can take months. “We take a long-term approach. We’ve been treating some collections for 30 years.”

Katlan works in relative obscurity bordering on secrecy at his lab in a nondescript office in Queens. He declined to name individual cases, citing confidentiality arrangements, but he offered a generous peek into his world for this interview, as he did last fall when he presented his lecture, “Be an Art Detective,” at the Art League of Long Island in Dix Hills.


Before the sleuthing begins, Katlan invests a considerable amount of time in researching the historical aspects of a piece. “You cannot bring a painting into the present without understanding its past,” he confided. “The secret is in understanding the process.” His first step is typically to ascertain which style or school influenced a piece to help identify the materials used. Wearing a surgical mask and gloves, he’ll remove a specimen from a fringe area for analysis—a fraction of a millimeter is all it takes. He draws his tools from something of a cross between a jeweler’s bench and a surgical tray holding various stainless steel scissors, razors, tweezers, loupes and other implements.

Another key step is to examine the painting’s “layers” under indirect light. This is critical to deciding how to begin the conservation process, which seeks to find flaws like pigment inconsistencies, bumps, indentations, tears, flakes, holes and cracks that time, environment and temperature fluctuations can cause. The type of damage also tells part of the painting’s story: excessive heat can shrink a canvas and mold attacks oils, glue and the panel. Evidence of either of these contributes to knowing where the piece may have lived for a time. “This is particularly acute on Long Island,” noted Katlan, who took part in “extensive artistic triage” at the Museum of Modern Art after Hurricane Sandy.

A paint sample is also taken to see which cleaning solvents can be used without adverse chemical reactions. Numerous notes and photographs documenting the painting’s pre-treatment condition are recorded. “Many things can go wrong with a painting. If we can prevent damage, that may be all the intervention a painting may need. Other times, stabilizing or retarding the deterioration rate is the most one can do. There’s no one way to treat a painting.”

Kaplan’s hi-tech methods include infrared reflectography, which works like an X-ray for paintings. It allows him to look through paint layers, revealing elements not visible to the unaided eye, like sketches buried lower down. Identifying pigments is critical for dating the work as well as for uncovering fakes or forgeries and for finding safe conservation treatments and environmental conditions for display, storage and transportation.

Katlan doesn’t appraise a work, but his findings can become part of a formal valuation. People often call when there is a problem or question with a painting. But, because it can be nearly impossible to put a value on the object of a collector’s affection—no matter how highly a painting may be appraised—he steers clear of those abstractions. “Lab people do not make the conclusions,” said Katlan, who has been examining paintings for more than 40 years. “We can provide the evidence which others may use to interpret.” Emotions or sentimentalism can drive an individual to purchase a significant painting, but after the initial thrill subsides clients turn to Katlan to assuage doubts and make other concrete determinations.

art doctor2
“There is always much more to learn about a piece of art by looking at its past than the actual image on the canvas,” said Katlan. This is where his investigations tend to start. For many private collectors, investment appreciation is secondary to the joy or prestige of owning a masterwork. Katlan, who specializes in paintings from the Hudson River School and has worked on art from Rembrandt to Willem de Kooning, acknowledged that what a person collects is an extension of his or her personality. “Appreciating art is a visual process that goes beyond beauty and style. Art is about life and discovering it. Coming to appreciate the talent behind a piece is very exciting.”

While issues like condition and scarcity influence value, seriously collecting art requires a great deal of education and experience. Despite images of financial finds on shows like Antiques Roadshow, treasures are rarely found at flea markets. Emerging artists generally have a dealer behind them, are affiliated with reputable galleries and there are many contributors to the price tag. “Auction houses and galleries are eager to educate would-be collectors on upcoming collections and can recommend a conservator,” noted Katlan.

For him, the work may be painstaking at times, but it’s also rewarding. “Returning a work to the artist’s original splendor can be amazing,” he said.


National organizations like the Fine Art Dealers Association (, The National Antique & Art Dealers Association of America ( and the Art Dealers Association of America ( are non-profit groups whose members are dedicated to promoting professionalism and integrity and can help with buying, selling and appraising art.

Joseph Finora
Author: Joseph Finora

The Best Week

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:

February, however short, is a cold month bent on keeping us indoors. We thumb our noses at that— there’s still plenty to do. Whether venturing out or staying cozy at home, following these ideas from the pages of Pulse will lead to having The Best Week.

Field trip to Latin culture: The Museum of Art and Design is showing New Territories, a collection of Latin American art from more than 75 artists. And it’s just a brisk walk over to Lyceum Theater where Disgraced explores Arab/Islamic and American relations.

The best way to beat back the blues is exercise (says our Dr. Bartell). Blow off some steam after work with an intense CrossFit workout. Not feeling that ambitious? Go renegade and row.

Art night out. The Art League in Dix Hills is exhibiting the work of Li Kang, master of Chinese woodcuts. Embrace the month of Chinese New Year by completing the thought with Asian fusion cuisine and ambiance at Woodbury’s MoCA.

Get over the hump in chill form. Explore a few local releases. Or dig into the backstory of a punk rock legend (Marky Ramone tells us about his tell-all). A classic martini should smooth out any remaining edges.

Taste some molecular gastronomy at Roots Bistro Gourmand. The dynamic duo in the kitchen is literally breaking down traditional fare. Make it dinner and a movie by catching Cronenberg’s latest, Maps to the Stars.

Live music is kicking at BOBBiQUE in Patchogue and at many local venues. You might find one with a mic open to scratch your performance itch.

Ski the East. Hit the slopes for the day at nearby Windham Mountain or make a weekend of it up in Saddleback Maine. There are a few mountains offering Peaks Plus. Make it extra special by packing a few goodies off our Luxe List.

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

The Producers

Long Islanders Neal Rubinstein and Tom Kirdahy are behind the biggest shows on Broadway

Author: Iris Wiener | Published:

Bright lights and Broadway marquees pervade the dreams of many aspiring artists. For producers Neal Rubinstein and Tom Kirdahy, a love for the theater eventually led to careers that put their names above some of the biggest shows on those marquees. Currently represented by On the Town and It’s Only a Play, respectively, they recently reflected on their unique paths from Long Island to the Great White Way.


Neal Rubinstein photographed at the Patchogue Theatre. image: rick wenner

Neal Rubinstein Credits: On the Town, The 39 Steps Neal Rubinstein is a self proclaimed contrarian: At all major turning points in his life he has chosen the road less traveled. At age 23 he watched as all of his friends looked for work in Manhattan while he chose to look anywhere but (even scoping out prospective employers in Alaska.) The competitive nature of the City did not entice the former WLIR jock who went on to win three Emmys as an editor and producer for NBC’s Nightly News and The Today Show. When Rubinstein retired early and began to pursue a second career on Broadway in his early 40s, his friends’; careers were peaking. Now he’s 65 and those same peers are starting to retire themselves. I’m definitely marching to a different drummer,” he laughed. “That’s applied to me since I was in grade school at Lee Avenue in Hicksville.” At the age of six Rubinstein took in his first musical, Bells are Ringing, which starred Judy Holliday and Sydney Chaplin. He was hooked from the first note and knew all the lyrics from a record his parents owned. “To this day I don’t know how they didn’t kick us out. I was singing along with the cast.” His parents aren’t the only people responsible for Rubinstein’s interest in all things theater. “In elementary school a teacher took me under his wing, Ted Savalas,” he recalled. “He ran the audio visual department at Lee Avenue. His brother was Telly Savalas. He got me involved with projectors and I became the AV nerd. I had a natural bent for it.” Rubinstein handled sound design and technical work for a slew of regional theaters. But it wasn’t until the late 2000s when playwright Hans Holzer handed him the script for TROJANZ ... NOT REQUIRED that Rubinstein ruminated on getting serious about producing. “I loved Broadway but I stayed away from it as a producer because I always felt it was the most risky. I said I wasn’t interested. Then Hans said the magic words: “I have a director. It was Hal Prince. I found out later he had a lot of friends like that.” Holzer died in 2009 and the show’s development was put on hold while Rubinstein invested in his first show, off-Broadway’s critically acclaimed Handle with Care. Doors opened and soon Rubinstein was an investor with Broadway’s Of Mice and Men, The Cripple of Inishmaan and Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Within a three week period I had three major shows on Broadway,” he marveled. The same season brought Rubinstein his first credit as lead producer with the acclaimed, yet short-lived Estelle Parsons vehicle, The Velocity of Autumn. Currently represented by the hit musical On the Town, he shows no signs of slowing. “I could listen to the music all the time,” he said of On the Town. “This is the kind of thing people are looking for. We figured people in their fifties, sixties, seventies would be coming to see the show. Nope. We get people in their twenties and thirties. They’re seeing a show pretty much for the first time the way shows were written forty years ago. That’s the beauty of it.” Rubinstein continues to commute into New York from his childhood home in Hicksville. He has resumed work on TROJANZ with great enthusiasm while simultaneously producing off-Broadway’s Tail! Spin! and a new off-Broadway production of The 39 Steps, which is set to feature some of the original cast. As if that weren’t enough, he is also wearing the producer hat for the film Ron and Laura Take Back America, a multiple award winner on the festival circuit. “All of a sudden I’ve got all of these different projects I’m involved in. It turns out this is a passion. I should have been doing this for years. It happened later in life, but I’m having the best time of my life.”


Tom Kirdahy grew up admiring ads for Broadway shows on the LIRR. Today he produces those same shows. image: rick wenner

Tom Kirdahy Credits: It’s Only a Play, The Visit Tom Kirdahy always knew that he wasn’t an actor, but that didn’t stop him from putting on shows in his backyard. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Tony Award winner Donna Murphy grew up across the street from him in Hauppauge. “Obviously she was the lead in all of our shows,” he laughed. “We used to have these beauty pageants. Donna was always Miss Talent and I was always Miss Congeniality.” The producer also credits Hauppauge High School’s librarian, Bill Lupine (Patti’s brother) with inspiring his passion for theater. “He took us to see Evita three times and that really fed my love of the form. Frankly, just growing up where you could get on the train and see shows independently at a young age was a gift.” Kirdahy gets nostalgic when he remembers the excitement of waiting in the TKTS line for a matinee. “I worked at a Dairy Queen and all my money went to theater tickets.” Kirdahy’s love for theater led him to law school with the intent of becoming an entertainment lawyer. However, he eventually decided that his knowledge could be put to use in a more personal way. “At the time the AIDS crisis was getting worse. A great number of my friends were getting sick and dying. I felt that I needed to do something about the crisis that was decimating my community.” Kirdahy began providing free legal services to people with HIV and AIDS, and didn’t stop until 17 years later when he revisited his original dream of working in the theater. Kirdahy continues to marry his past with his present, as was evident with last spring’s Mothers and Sons about the lingering effects of AIDS. The play, which was nominated for two Tony Awards and was written by Kirdahy’s husband, Terrence McNally, was also directed by Tony-nominated Long Islander Sheryl Kaller. With his current vehicle, It’s Only a Play, Kirdahy’s team is fundraising for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. “I’m very hands on. I see my role as giving the artists a safe and fertile space. To let artists be their best selves. We’re all committed to the common goal of making the production the best it can possibly be.” Kirdahy’s philosophy is clearly appreciated, as is evident with the starry lineup in It’s Only a Play: Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Stockard Channing, Megan Mullally and Rupert Grint. (Read our review of the show on “We had wonderful stars, so we knew it would go well. [But] this has exceeded every hope or expectation. This is crazy! It’s fun. I think it’s very clear that audiences are starved for laughter. They’re just screaming, laughing. I think people are fascinated by the story because it’s something they’ve never seen before. They’re witnessing in real time what happens on an opening night when people read a review of something they’ve put their lives into. They’ve worked so hard for this moment and then they’re publicly evaluated.” Next up is this spring’s The Visit, which was a favorite at the Williamstown Theatre Festival last summer. Kirdahy is looking forward to teaming up with star Chita Rivera on her return to Broadway. I’m living a dream. Chicago was the third show I ever saw and now I’m working with Chita Rivera and John Kander. When you’re on the Long Island Rail Road and you see all of those show posters; to dream about being able to see them is one thing, but putting them up and working with all of these legends is something different entirely. I don’t take anything for granted. I know I’m the luckiest guy on the planet!

Iris Wiener
Author: Iris Wiener

Shift Shape

Winter style is textured and bold

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:
Cashmere sweater by Magaschoni at Bloomingdale’s 
<br>Draped-collar one-button coat in wool/polyester by Halston Heritage 
<br>Pinstripe slacks by Lisa Perry Ring by M.C.L.
Cashmere sweater by Magaschoni at Bloomingdale’s
Draped-collar one-button coat in wool/polyester by Halston Heritage
Pinstripe slacks by Lisa Perry Ring by M.C.L.

Shot Exclusively for Pulse:
Photographer: Kamei Takashi
Hair & Makeup: Kisha Williams using Bobbi Brown cosmetics
Stylists: Izzy Ruiz and Eva Roberts for The Cannon Media Group Stylists’ Assistants: Alexandra Gramp and Emmy Colette
Shot in-studio at: Neo Studios

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Fight Songs

Live music is on life support as licensing battles rage

Author: Seth Combs | Published:
Only the top 200 artists are getting the money and guys that are independent aren't getting anything.
Only the top 200 artists are getting the money and guys that are independent aren't getting anything.

Rric Rifkin is one of the newest members of The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). Just don’t ask him what, exactly, are the benefits of his membership. “I hope to reap the benefits of being an ASCAP member, I really do,” said the owner and executive chef of Patchogue restaurant BOBBiQUE, hardly masking his sarcasm. “If you find out what those benefits are, let me know. If they give me round-trip airfare and tickets to the ASCAP Awards in Vegas, that’d be great.” BOBBiQUE was one of nine Long Island restaurants and clubs that were cited by ASCAP in August for copyright infringement. It sounds pretty ominous, but for most of the businesses involved the citations simply alleged they played music over the establishment’s
speakers or employed a live band that played a cover song.

For many in the community, it sounded like a proverbial case of David versus Goliath, the small business owner against the greedy, music corporations. But ASCAP isn’t technically part of any large record company, even if some of its members (read: musicians and songwriters) are signed to those companies. Along with organizations like Broadcast Music Incorpo- rated (BMI) and the Society of European Stage Authors and Composers (SESAC), ASCAP is a performing rights organization (PRO) tasked with licensing music and collecting royalties for artists when their work is performed in a public setting. Taken together, the three organizations represent hundreds of thousands of musicians and negotiate licensing deals that net billions of dollars.

Most of the time PROs are busy licensing music to radio stations, sound tracks and, in more recent years, streaming services. But they also enforce existing and, some would argue, outdated copyright laws regarding restaurants and clubs. These statutes essentially state that if a business owner plays music, they must pay the artists who wrote that music. Moreover, even if a business owner purchases a license from ASCAP (they range in price depending on the size of the business, but ASCAP claims most businesses pay from $700-$750 annually), that same business might also have to purchase a license from BMI or another PRO. PROs have been citing businesses for decades for these kinds of infringements. Many of these businesses believe that the PROs have stepped up enforcement of these laws due to musicians losing royalty revenues to illegal downloading and, more recently, music streaming. The latter’s revenue sharing model is still being fought out in court and on the Internet (see: Taylor Swift).

To put it in a term from the digital age: It’s complicated. Rifkin has since settled with ASCAP after originally being fined $30,000. (Neither side is allowed to disclose the actual amount of the settlement.) But Rifkin still believes ASCAP is going after local businesses because artists aren’t selling as many albums these days.

“It all comes down to dollars and cents,” said Rifkin, who received letters from ASCAP before he was officially cited. “ASCAP is a not-for-profit organization, so after they pay themselves, they take this pool of money from the whole country, from venues like mine, from bigger venues and so on, and they pay the top five percent of the performing artists of the year. So BOBBiQUE is playing blues and classic rock music, but Lady Gaga and Beyoncé are getting the money?”

ASCAP claims that just isn’t true. “I understand if they have an attitude like, ‘Oh, Jay-Z doesn’t need another dollar from me. I’m just a little business,’” said Vincent Cadilora, ASCAP Executive Vice President of Licensing. “I think that’s the biggest misconception. I don’t think they understand the difference between recording artists and the songwriter. The overwhelming majority of ASCAP members are songwriters, not recording artists. “I think that a lot of establishments that offer music, whether it’s recorded or live, tend to think they spent the money on the download and that ought to take care of it. The fact of the matter is it simply doesn’t. Songwriters get next to nothing from that. They rely on the performance of their works. Yes, a musical composition, a song, is an intangible, but it’s their property.”

But how much of that money are songwriters actually getting? Cadilora claims there are many factors that go into dividing the proverbial pie. Obviously, he said, the bigger a song is, the more money an individual will receive. It can be larger than six figures. It can be as low as six cents. But Kerry Kearney, a local blues musician, quickly jumped to the defense of local clubs. He explained that he’s seen firsthand how much musicians make in PRO royalties.

“I’ve been with BMI for a long time,” he said. “I used to play with Jefferson Starship when I was in my 20s, so I know how these companies work. Supposedly ASCAP is giving everybody on their roster the same amount of money, but I found out that’s not true. Only the top 200 artists are getting the money and guys that are independent aren’t getting anything. I can go and play a gig and make enough money to make a living so I’m not going to complain, but if you talk to the little guy, he’ll tell you he hasn’t seen anything.” Cadilora responded to this charge: “Google ASCAP and you’ll see that we just celebrated our hundredth anniversary,” he said. “Anybody who thinks we’re a scam or a shakedown, that just doesn’t hold water for me.”

Of the original nine area establishments cited, six had settled with ASCAP as this issue went to press. Now that the dust has settled there seem to be two areas in which both ASCAP and club owners agree: although these types of citations have been handed out for decades, they will likely increase in frequency now because the web has made it easier for ASCAP to track venues that play music. In the past PROs needed to send licensing agents out to collect data on the performance of copyrighted songs. Now all they have to do is log onto a venue’s website to get a general idea. The other gray area that both ASCAP and business owners would like to see improved is education. They feel that government should do more to educate business owners about licensing so that they’re not, as Rifkin put it, “banged over the head.”

“I didn’t know anything about these laws. But when I fill out a liquor application I have to get fingerprinted, background checks and they want to know everything,” said Rifkin. “One day [ASCAP] is going to cite the wrong guy and he’s going to fight them and then it’s going set a precedent. Things will change. But I don’t need to be that guy. I don’t have those pockets.”

Seth Combs
Author: Seth Combs

Luxe List 2015

The Greatest Gift

Author: Chris Connolly | Published: Saturday, January 24, 2015
Our annual list of luxurious gifts is more about good taste than expensive taste.
Our annual list of luxurious gifts is more about good taste than expensive taste.

What defines luxury? It’s a question with many answers. Luxury can be the feel of a hand turned leather boot, the look of a couture cocktail dress or the smell of a rare book, spirit or tobacco… It can be the sensations provoked by an incomparable wine or the glow you feel when savoring a breathtaking view. But of the many things that can justly be called luxurious, our favorites are those objects and experiences we treasure, but would never have purchased for ourselves. In other words: great gifts.

There’s an extra element of enjoyment to be found in something another person gives you. This derives from that fact that in order to find a really spectacular gift , the gift giver had to think about you, care about you, and in some ways, know you better than you know yourself.On the following pages are the things we’re thinking about giving or hoping to receive this year. (As a last resort, we might just gift a few of these items to ourselves.) Gift giving is an art, and these selections represent the state-of-the-art right now. Tear off the wrapping paper and enjoy our Luxe List.

Tunisian miniature cakes make a more creative statement than a box of chocolates from a drugstore.

Les Galets Gourmet Oriental Pastry
The next time an occasion calls for candy, be it Valentine’s Day (hint hint!), an anniversary or just a Wednesday, skip the tried and true drugstore chocolates and send that special someone a gorgeous box of Les Galets Tunisian sweets. Handcrafted of all-natural and preservative-free ingredients from a century-old family recipe, these nutty, honeyed miniature cakes are a refined departure from the everyday. Beautifully packaged, slightly sweet and temptingly exotic, Les Galets selections include baklava, chocolate sesame bouchés, jawias, kaak warka and more. They also have the added advantage of not being available at gas stations. Prices range from around $40 to $100, and it is possible to customize a box at

The Strand’s books by the foot staff build custom libraries for busy clients.

Book by the Foot, The Strand
You are what you eat; it’s true. But in an even more important way you are what you read. No one is more attuned to this idea than the bookworms at the world’s greatest bookstore: The Strand in Lower Manhattan. Sensitive to the fact that their clients may be too busy to build libraries, Jenny McKibben and Aya Satoh, The Strand’s Books by the Foot staffers, offer their services to outfit custom bookshelves based on a variety of client preferences. Some people are merely seeking a certain look—yellow books, for example, or law books or a library for a film—but most Books by the Foot libraries are meant to be read as well as seen. A collection of Strand bestsellers in hardcover runs $200 a foot, and poetry and cookbooks cost $125. At the top of the price list are English language antique leather books for $500 a foot and new leather classics at $300. Other options include classics for children, history books, over-sized art and coffee table books and modern classics. See

They call it the iPhone bikini.

Radius V2 iPhone case
The iPhone really is a work of art. Putting aside the many revolutionary functions it performs, the phone as an object is as substantial a design achievement as the Eames chair or the Coke bottle. In fact, when you factor in the social ramifications of the iPhone, the device may one day unseat the reigning benchmark of design innovation: sliced bread.

Unfortunately, as even iPhone converts will admit, the streamlined design of the phone also instills each unit with an unquenchable desire to squirt from its owner’s grasp and dash itself to pieces on the floor. As an unfortunate consequence of this, users must dumb down their phones’ sleek chassis with clunky cases that compromise their status as objets d’art.

The Radius v2 titanium comes to the rescue of those who appreciate their physical iPhones as much as the apps they run. The skeletal case, nicknamed the “iPhone bikini,” protects the device from physical damage while allowing the underlying design to show through. Unlike bigger, clumsier cases, the Radius v2, which fits around the phone via four precision-machined screws, does not interfere with signals or phone operation and complements the phone’s existing look.

Chris Johnson, operator of and one of the main retailers of the Radius case, is based on Long Island. An entrepreneur, Johnson was enamored of the many excellent Apple innovations made possible by crowd funding, but regretted that the products seemed to die out after initial launch. His small business now collects Kickstarter ideas that need a home and sells them online. $170—250 at


Do we need personal chopsticks crafted of stainless steel and bamboo? Probably not. Do we want personal chopsticks crafted of stainless steel and bamboo? Oh hells yeah.

This portable Carry-On Chopstick set from Portland-based outdoor lifestyle creators Snow Peak come with their own heavy duty canvas carry case. (A collaboration with Tanner Goods may make a limited run of leather cases available later in the year.) Each chopstick screws apart into two sections for easy transport and feels delightfully substantial in the
fingers. The upper sections are crafted of squared-off stainless steel tubing with a brass cap and a rubber o-ring for secure assembly, and the bamboo tips are sturdy and elegant. $40 from


Hasselblad Stellar
The Hasselblad name has been associated with photography since the days of hoods and flash powder trays. The Stellar collection from the Swedish company combines the most modern tech with the beauty of natural hardwoods and leathers. The idea behind this fusion is that the cameras will age in accordance with the preferences of the owner.

Just as a pair of photographers could shoot the same subject but create two different images, those same two photographers could own the same camera, but end up with very different machines. The Stellar collection incorporates a variety of body colors and grip materials including padouk, olive, zebra and other exotic woods. They also come in a custom case with signature-stitched shoulder and wrist straps. Under the hood the cameras have a 28-100mm Zeiss lens, a 20-megapixel sensor and 3.6x optical zoom as well as 13 program modes that will appeal to newcomers. The collection begins around $2,000 and increases in price for special editions.

Classic Car Club, eternal style.

Classic Car Club Manhattan
This exclusive club’s members share the keys to one of the most impressive fleets of automobiles ever assembled. From vintage classics like a 1956 Porsche 550 Spyder and a 1969 Ford Bronco to modern exotics like a McLaren MP4-12C, members enjoy a wide variety of driving experiences as well as 24/7 access to a clubhouse where happy hours and high-level networking are derigueur. Perks of membership include on-track driver training, racing and road trips and the fleet of almost 50 cars rotates regularly to ensure new experiences are available. Club membership costs $165 per month and the cars are secured by purchasing points packages for between $4,750 and $14,000.

Get on board

Journey Surfboards
We’ve been stoked on these surfboards since we shot one for our 2014 summer issue. “Handcrafted on the Island of Gods and Demons” (Bali) these custom sticks represent a compelling marriage of science and art. Each board is tailor-made for each client’s “journey” based on a conversation between shaper and surfer. The surfer explains his or her desires, skills and intentions for the board, then the Journey folks translate those ideas into a bespoke creation. Offering longboards, fish and fun shapes as well as paddleboards, Journey uses exotic hardwoods and Balinese batik inlays to make each surfboard an individual work of art. Journey’s creations begin at $1,200.

Chris Connolly
Author: Chris Connolly

2015 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II

There is the Rolls that you ride in and then there’s the Ghost—the one you drive.

Author: William K. Gock | Published: Friday, January 23, 2015

As a boy, I distinctly remember my father telling me it was against the law to drive barefoot. Though I never explored the legality of his claim, it rushed to my memory the instant I stepped inside the Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II. In this case, it seemed almost criminal to be shoed or otherwise buttoned and encumbered amidst its rich comfort.

Etching out a profile akin to the larger Phantom—which requires a chauffeur and bears association with old-money exclusivity—Ghost II is a driver’s car; positioned to attract
 a younger, more entrepreneurial spirit that doesn’t care to hide away behind strategically-placed C-pillars and curtains. Chiseled in classic lines, which are both understated and unapologetic, the second iteration of this coach has subtle differences from its forerunner: most noteworthy a channeled hood that seemingly lays a trail from the famed Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament and surrounding wind-swept LED headlamps. Taking a pull of its stout, chrome door-handle, I swiftly discovered its refined beauty to be more than these skin-deep niceties.

Everything about the Ghost II’s cabin space is butter—from the floors’ standard two-inch pile of lamb’s wool carpeting, to the leather devoid of any imperfection, the car’s smoothness defies poetics. Hard surfaces are hand- lacquered and polished to soft-touch levels. Outfitted with BMW’s iDrive control system, navigating the in-car electronics is a breeze. But atop the familiar control dial (also located in back for passenger convenience) Ghost II is equipped with a remarkably well-performing touch-pad that takes its cues from finger strokes. Why should one scroll, point or click, when he can blindly spell the playlist he’s searching for?

Echoing the crème de la crème accoutrements of the mobile chalet is the fluidity of its performance. If not for a sweep of its gauge needles, I may not have been convinced that pressing the start button did anything at all. Under 
the Ghost’s long bonnet 
hides the same, massive, twin-turbocharged 6.6-liter V12 of its predecessor: a ferocious culmination of 563 horsepower and 575 pound- feet of torque that, amazingly, barely emits a purr on idle.

My extended jaunt at its helm involved a trek through New England to Woods Hole, MA, and a ferry ride 
to the Vineyard—ample time to shake the car loose from its debonair demeanor. But I wasn’t exactly successful. Through Manhattan, the Ghost navigated gridlock with the presence and muscle of an Escalade, while growling about as much as a Tesla Model S. Finally hitting the straight ribbon of 95, I forcefully stomped its billet pedal to the wool, expecting my head to slam into the RR-embroidered headrest. Not so. Granted, the engine can be pushed to obnoxious levels from a launch, but accelerate hard at highway speeds, and one all but disappears.

The car’s eight-speed GPS-guided transmission—which holds or shifts according to the stretch of upcoming road—delivers a drive dynamic that’s almost eerily intuitive. Keeping in constant communication with the heavens, the system takes navigation a step further and tailors the gearbox for the road just ahead.

Ghost’s constant command of attention is flattering at first, still the graceful disappearing act is something you may 
in fact find yourself pulling quite often. Whereas a Ferrari will get you a thumbs-up (or often, another single-fingered salute), my journey garnered too many stolen glances and blind-spot lurkers to count. You can’t be mad at the gawkers though. Even with Rolls-Royce’s new target demographic, history dictates that sightings will be rare at best—a fact its builders and drivers alike are quite content with. For the rest, taking in all its opulence is only part of the viewing experience.


William K. Gock
Author: William K. Gock
William K. Gock is the automotive content contributor for Playboy Magazine. His car and motorcycle reviews can also be found in numerous national print and online publications. Born and raised in New York's Hudson Valley, Gock currently lives with his wife and son in Babylon.

Peaks Plus

Five mountains that offer great skiing and then some

Author: Peter Bronski | Published:

For a ski mountain to be good, it has to offer the right stuff—the right snow, the right terrain and the right amenities. But for a mountain to be great, it has to go above and beyond, offering a comprehensive winter experience beyond “standard” skiing and riding. These Northeast mountains do just that. From bobsledding to snowshoeing, they’re proof positive that lift-served downhill skiing and riding can be just the tip of the iceberg.

Mount Washington Resort
(New Hampshire)

There’s a reason the readers of SKI magazine ranked Mount Washington Resort #1 in the East for snow, #1 in New Hampshire overall and top 5 in the East for scenery. Set in the heart of White Mountain National Forest against the backdrop of the lofty Presidential Range—including 6,288-foot-high Mount Washington, the tallest in the region— this is New England alpine grandeur at its best. The downhill action takes place at the resort’s Bretton Woods alpine center, New Hampshire’s largest ski area with more than 460 skiable acres. Don’t miss the classically New England twists and turns of Bode’s Run on Bretton’s Mt. Rosebrook, designed by Olympic medalist and Granite State native Bode Miller.


The slower pace and quietude of snowshoeing is another great way to see and explore the White Mountains. The on-site Bretton Woods Nordic Center links to 62 miles of groomed trails. Half- and full-day snowshoe rentals and guided two-hour expeditions are a great way for first-timers to explore the snowy wonderland. Or, just a four-mile drive south on Route 302—is Crawford Notch State Park, home to a dramatic pass through the mountains flanked by steep, high peaks. From the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Highland Lodge the myriad trail possibilities can be paralyzing. Two of the best options are the Crawford Path, the oldest continually maintained hiking trail in the nation, and Mt. Willard, whose summits offer iconic and stunning views of the Whites.

For lodging, the must-stay locale is the Spanish Renaissance-style Omni Mountain Washington. The grand hotel opened in 1902 and in 1944 hosted leaders of the Allied nations for the famous Bretton Woods Conference that sorted out international monetary and financial details following the war.


Saddleback Maine

There’s no way around it: Saddleback is a hike and about as far north as a mountain gets before the currency changes. But that shouldn’t keep those looking for an authentic New England ski experience away. Saddleback’s natural snow is often rated as some of the best in the area and while the mountain is big (4,120 feet) it has the attitude of a little resort—especially as nearby Sugarloaf, with easily four times as many skiable acres, keeps growing into one of the largest resorts east of the Rockies.

Their 220 skiable acres service everyone; beginner and expert terrain each account for 35 percent of the mountain’s trails with the remaining 30 percent for intermediates. New to skiing? Their Ski & Ride School has a low instructor to student ratio, with no class exceeding five students per instructor. And Saddleback uses every bit of its 4,000-plus foot peak to make for some very challenging trails. The Kennebago Steeps features 44 woody acres of the double black diamond Casablanca, where ski-carved trails weave in and out under a dense conifer canopy. It all funnels back to the Kennebago Station, a yurt with a sundeck and great northern views.

At the base of the mountain is the Rangeley Lakes Trails Center with flat terrain dedicated to snowshoeing and a new intermediate trail a bit over a mile long. Expect to share the Geneva Loop with locals skijoring on skis behind their dogs. The center hosts two races in February, the state’s 5K and 10K snowshoeing championship on the 8th and the Rangeley Lakes Loppet (long distance cross-country skiing) on the 28th. When the six bodies of water that make up the Rangeley Lakes freeze over in late January it makes for scenic snowmobiling. A local club grooms 150 miles of trails that connect to the 260-milelong international circuit through Canada. Rent a sled from a local outfitter, grab a map and hit the trails or hire a guide to lead a group off the trails.


Stowe Mountain Resort

Stowe Mountain Resort features Vermont’s premier big-mountain skiing and riding experience on the slopes of Mt. Mansfield, the state’s highest peak. This is where the National Ski Patrol was born more than 75 years ago, and where the Army’s famed 10th Mountain Division recruited troopers for WWII. For those who can handle the trails’ expert rating, Stowe’s famous Front Four— Starr, Liftline, National and Goat—are a right of passage, the equivalent of walking onto the field at Yankee Stadium. Otherwise snag a ride on the Fourrunner Quad chairlift, which ascends Liftline, to watch others tempt their fate.

But Stowe is more than lift-served downhilling—it’s also home to some of the best Nordic skiing in the Northeast. The mountain resort offers an extensive network of groomed cross-country trails that connect to those of the adjacent Trapp Family Lodge (yes, that von Trapp family). Stowe hosts the Stowe Derby, North America’s oldest downhill race on crosscountry skis; the 70th running takes place on Feb 22.

Aptly named Mountain Road links one end of the picturesque, quintessentially New England village of Stowe—think white-steeple church and covered bridge—to the other end’s Smugglers’ Notch, a historical passage through the Green Mountains (closed to cars during winter). Many of the best lodging and dining options are along the road including Stowe Mountain Lodge, which blends modern amenities and base-area convenience with a “new Vermont alpine” style inspired by the rustic New England summer camps of yore.

Tip: Late February typically kicks off Vermont’s maple sugaring season. Be on the lookout for open houses at many of the state’s sugarhouses and pick up some fresh syrup. Tonewood Maple, in nearby Waitsfield, even offers an adopta- tree program which includes a certificate, photo of your tree and a sampler with bottles of four different grades of pure maple syrup.


Whiteface Mountain
(New York)

Nearly 500 feet taller than Vermont’s Mt. Mansfield, Whiteface Mountain is the fifth-highest peak in New York, and one of the kings of the Adirondack’s High Peaks region. It’s got more than 3,400 feet of vertical and boasts the greatest vertical drop of any ski mountain in the eastern US. From the top of Little Whiteface, accessed via the Cloudsplitter gondola, it’s tempting to immediately hit the ski runs, but don’t miss the view from a modest observation deck facing southwest across Lake Placid, Mirror Lake and Lake Placid Village. Even more impressive is the sweeping vista across the densely forested Great Range—culminating in Mt. Marcy, New York’s highest peak. It can be had from the Riva Ridge trail, accessed from atop the Summit Quad.  When conditions are good and ski patrol opens them, Whiteface’s Slides offer some of the only genuinely double black diamond in-bounds terrain in the East.


Whiteface is also a mountain steeped in history, one nearly synonymous with the proud Olympic legacy of the quaint village of Lake Placid at its base. Whiteface hosted the men’s and women’s downhill ski runs in 1980, but to truly seize the full Olympic experience, sign up for the Lake Placid Bobsled Experience at the Olympic Sports Complex at Mt. Van Hoevenberg just up the road. Rocket through the course’s famous curves and straight-aways with an experienced pilot, or, for those craving even more adrenaline, try luge or skeleton (face first!) on a rented sled. For a tamer experience, ride shotgun on a Zamboni machine on the hallowed ice where the US men’s hockey team made Olympic history against the Russians in 1980.

Whiteface Lodge, just off the edge of Lake Placid’s village, offers stunning views of its namesake peak and luxury accommodations evocative of the legendary Adirondack Great Camps. On-site restaurant Kanu (pronounced “canoe,” like the boat) offers some of the area’s best fine dining with locally sourced ingredients. Try Lake Placid Pub & Brewery’s New York State of Mind, a beer brewed exclusively with barley and hops grown in the Empire State.


Windham Mountain Resort
(New York)

Situated on the northern tip of the Catskill Mountains, Windham is Long Island’s go-to mountain. After a scant two and half hour ride, skiers face a summit elevation of 3,100 feet with 1,600 vertical feet of downhilling spread over 50 trails— nearly all of which can be covered with snowmaking equipment if February isn’t cold enough. (Fingers crossed.) Windham’s East peak has runs of all levels, including the black diamond WinTuck added in 2011, while the West one leans more toward experienced skiers. But it’s after dark when things get really interesting. After 4pm, when the sun starts setting, nine trails come alive for night skiing into late February. There are trails for all levels, including Whisper Run (beginners), Lower Wheelchair (intermediate) and Wilbur (black diamond).

Windham has non-skiing options aplenty, all of which are found at Adventure Park just across South Street. Want quintessential, Rockwellesq winter? Have at the 120x60-foot outdoor ice-skating rink. But if speed scratches the itch, there are two zip lines to sends kids (or adults up to 270 pounds) zooming 40 feet above the ground over 500 feet of snow. For group fun, pile six into a canvas-covered inflatable tube to swish down a 650-foot slope.


Nowadays, every mountain hosts boarders, but Windham caters to them with massive pillows of air. The Big Air Bag allows riders to land big jumps by caressing them on their return to Earth. Originally intended as a training tool for freestyle skiers, the bag was designed in The Netherlands and provides a 56x33-foot landing pad and refills every 10 seconds to keep the line moving. Seasoned riders can enter Monster Energy drink’s throwdown competition, which visits the bag on Feb 14, for a nighttime competition followed by fireworks.

Windham’s location makes it ideal for daytrips, but for those looking to spend the night, the Victorian Albergo Allegria is a quant, in-town bed and breakfast. Before hitting the slopes for the day, or I-87 for the ride home, fuel up on house-made granola or Belgian waffles.

Peter Bronski
Author: Peter Bronski
Peter Bronski ( is a Long Island native and award-winning writer from Boulder, Colorado. His book, At the Mercy of the Mountains: True Stories of Survival and Tragedy in New York's Adirondacks, came out earlier this year. His next book, Powder Ghost Towns: Epic Backcountry Turns at Colorado's Lost Ski Resorts, comes out this fall. Bronski's writing has also appeared in Men's Journal, Caribbean Travel & Life, Westchester Magazine, Vermont Life and 5280: Denver's Mile-High Magazine, among many others.

Maps to the Stars

David Cronenberg returns to Hollywood with a darkly funny portrait of tinsel town

Author: Dylan Skolnick | Published:

In the 1980s, Canadian master filmmaker David Cronenberg made movies in Hollywood. Two of them, The Fly and The Dead Zone, are among his most accessible and commercially successful films. Cronenberg’s brief liaison with Hollywood ended when he turned to subject matter that was too challenging for the studios’ corporate bean counters. Now, 20 years later, he has returned to bite the hand that once fed him with Maps to the Stars, a darkly funny vision of the greed and cruelty hidden behind tinsel town’s shiny facade.

Agatha (Mia Wasikowska) rides into Hollywood on a bus. At first glance, she seems to be just one more wide-eyed naif irresistibly drawn to the glamour of la-la land. However, a closer look reveals scars that hint at the secrets she conceals within. Agatha soon becomes entangled in the lives of several industry insiders and wannabes including Havana Segrand (Julianne Moore), an aging star who cannot escape the specter of her even-more famous mother; Jerome Fontana (Robert Pattinson), an aspiring filmmaker making ends meet as a chauffeur; Benjie Weiss (Evan Bird), a very spoiled child star with a growing list of bad habits even though his father is Dr. Stafford Weiss (John Cusack), a famous self-help guru. All of them will soon find their lives changed forever by the mysterious Agatha.


Cronenberg first made his reputation with a number of groundbreaking horror movies, including The Brood, Videodrome and Scanners. His later films have grown increasingly cerebral but even a comedy like Maps to the Stars crackles with a dark edge of menace and could even be accurately described as a horror film. For Cronenberg and screenwriter Bruce Wagner, whose novels (Losing You and Dead Stars) have established him as one of the foremost chroniclers of movieland excess, Hollywood is a literal ghost town haunted by its legendary past and filled with people who will sell their souls or commit any atrocity in pursuit of fame. Although Havana is the only one who might be stalked by an actual apparition, all of the characters are cursed by the devastation they have left in their wake and their devotion to a culture that worships selfishness and celebrity.

The stars of Maps to the Stars clearly relished the opportunity to directly explore the shadowy side of their own universe. Moore perfectly captures Havana’s intense desperation as she tries to remain relevant as an actress in a town where “menopausal” is one of the worst insults that can be directed at a woman and Wasikowska beautifully embodies Agatha’s particular mixture of innocence and insanity. But it is Cusack who nearly steals the movie as the malignant doctor Weiss. Playing against his famous charm, Cusack skillfully reveals how Weiss’ new age bromides and feel-good patter mask his total ruthlessness and willingness to sacrifice anyone, even his own child, to preserve his public image. Weiss’ true nature makes him the ideal poster boy for Cronenberg’s entertaining but nightmarish portrait of the Hollywood dream factory.

Dylan Skolnick
Author: Dylan Skolnick
Dylan Skolnick can usually be found at the Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington, where he is a Co-Director.

Antiguan Dream

With lush views and clear water, Antigua is a prototypical island paradise. However, it also has a unique culture all its own

Author: Deborah Geiger | Published:

Lush forested hills, single-story homes in mint green and canary yellow and the topaz ocean beckoning on the horizon: Antigua’s landscape bursts with tropical fl air as we drive south, past St. Johns, the largest city and its capital. We are not going to the city, but into the country in search of both adventure and tranquility.

Antigua and Barbuda (An-teega and Bar-boo-da), the 108- and 62-square-mile islands that comprise the two-island nation, o er the kind of legendary getaway that have drawn Eric Clapton, Giorgio Armani, Oprah and Silvio Berlusconi to purchase homes here. But whether for a second home or just a weekend away, Antigua offers a tropical, revitalizing backdrop of greenery, oceans and serenity.

As we drove through small towns—Jennings, Bolands, Urlings—my driver, Antigua native Maurice, told me how much he loves the island, would never want to leave. Why would he? As one of 16 children, a not-uncommon family size, he said the island has everything he ever wanted. “When you sleep, eat and live with siblings in close quarters in those early years, it bonds you for life,” he said. Asked what is special about the island, he thought for a moment and finally answered: “The people.” With that, he waved out the window at a fellow walking roadside, who smiled and waved back.

Situated on a small peninsula at the south side of the island, 72-room Curtain Blu appeared in the distance, flanked by Atlantic waves on one side while calmer Caribbean waves drifted gently into the other. Iron gates gave way to the 20-acre property and its idyllic main beach. The Caribbean side, where pristine white sand is speckled with palm tree-shaded lounge chairs, also keeps paddleboards, sailboats, scuba diving and snorkeling equipment at the ready.


As I arrived in the suite, which featured a king-size bed, Jacuzzi and a balcony overlooking the ocean, Atlantic waves crashed outside the room creating hypnotic white noise. Palm trees swayed and there was even a hammock outside—the perfect view. I put on my swimsuit and fl ip-fl ops and walked to the pool, surrounded by tropical foliage, comfy lounge chairs and a cabana. The cool water offered a crisp refresh from the 80-degree heat. Floating on my back with the sunshine on my face, I knew I had arrived in Antigua.

Founded by Howard Hulford in 1957, the property is a world unto itself—a tranquil respite and balm for the senses. While Howard passed away in 2009, his wife Chelle Hulford continues welcoming guests personally in a warm, inclusive way central to the Caribbean lifestyle. She knows almost everyone by name, and hosts guests at a weekly cocktail party in her home at the top of the blu . “The experience of being here is what makes us unique. For many of our regulars, coming back is like coming home. Certain guests have been coming for decades; they are like family to us,” she told me over dinner, just as a well-dressed couple came over to hug and greet her.

The open-air Tamarind Tree restaurant dishes up breakfasts of home-baked cakes, breads and omelets as well as romantic, candlelit dinners—opt for the fi let of Caribbean grouper served on a tropical-fruit-and tomato relish with crispy papaya chips. Beachside bar and restaurant The Sea Grape offers breezy buffet lunches and unique banquet-style dinners like wahoo fillet and passion fruit and raspberry panna cotta. The all-inclusive arrangement makes ordering easy: Get whatever you want in whatever quantity you desire.

The British established the first permanent settlement in Antigua in 1632, and the island is still infused with English tradition. Here at Curtain Bluff, high tea at 4pm offered up tea, tiny egg-salad sandwiches, chocolate pastries, coffee and incredibly moist and light coconut bread—a perfect meeting of European and Caribbean flavors.


Antigua has 365 beaches, one for every day of the year, according to its tourism authority. All of the beaches are public, but my favorites (so far) are Pigeon Point, Jolly Beach and Half Moon Bay which offered dreamy, quiet seascapes. It rained the morning of our zip line tour with Antigua Rainforest Adventures, where a scruffy white resident cat allowed our group—myself, a British couple with tattooed teenage daughters and their friend Sandra—to pet him. We saddled into our gear and helmets and walked into the rainforest to start our zip line adventure anyway.

Sandra and the teens zipped across our first track fearlessly. I followed, my toes grazing the treetops, gripping my harness, an exhilarating yet unnerving experience fl ying over the jungle. As the course advanced, heights increased; I found myself zipping from tree house to tree house first as the others lagged. At least 50 feet from the ground, it felt like flying—zipping swiftly over the rainforest is at once terrifying and invigorating.

Near the end of the course, we came to a “leap of faith” vertical descent, which required grasping a rope and walking off the edge of a wall. I stepped o and there was a terrifying drop before I was slowly lowered. I noticed that fearless Sandra went last and was crying to the rangers. To all the participants’ delight she finally did step off, and we cheered her enthusiastically.

Christopher Columbus named the island during his second Caribbean visit in 1493 after the Santa Maria de la Antigua in Seville, a saint. Like other Caribbean islands, Antigua was transformed into a sugar-producing capital and has a dark past involving the import of slaves from Africa, whose descendants comprise the population today. Over 100 sugar mills still dot the island along hills and roadsides, serving as a reminder of this history.


Beyond the beaches, Devil’s Bridge—a natural arch carved by the waves—is a dramatic experience. Numerous slaves died here, I learned, in ill-fated attempts to swim back to Africa. The haunting rock formation is nonetheless physically beautiful and we spent a contemplative hour admiring the view before heading to nearby Nelson’s Dockyard—the world’s only Georgian-era dockyard still in operation. The facility houses a museum and other historic buildings that once served as home to the British Navy.

Driving to our destination, we stopped at resident Elaine Duberry Francis’ roadside stand on Fig Tree Drive, where she grows black pineapples and makes jam. Black pineapple is the island’s symbol, smaller than a typical pineapple and dark green when ready to eat, it was originally brought to Antigua by the Arawak Indians from South America. Francis’ black pineapple jam is the freshest and sweetest I’ve ever tasted.

The long gravel road delivered us to the open-air lobby of Hermitage Bay, a secluded, 27-suite retreat on Antigua’s west coast which offers the privacy of individual cabins. My attendant placed my luggage in the back of a golf cart and we drove up the hill to my suite.

Upon entry it felt more like a private villa than anything I’d define as a “cabin.” I had my own plunge pool overlooking the bay and mountains and the room was enclosed by slatted, heavy wooden doors, that offered a rustic, luxurious look and feel. The bathroom contained a large bathtub and a back door that led to an outdoor shower facing the ocean. The sunset blasted pinks and purples across the sky and water, a view included in the rack rate.

Antigua’s warmth—hovering around 80 degrees year-round—along with its perfect white-sand beaches and crystal waters, lush forests and friendly, inclusive culture—make it the ideal winter getaway. It is soothing, calming and energizing all at once. It is hard to believe this magical experience is less than five hours from JFK. Arriving back in New York, the cold was a disturbing shock. I looked down and realized I was still wearing my beach sandals, my sandy toes peeking out to defy the winter air.



12oz margarine or unsalted butter
12oz brown sugar
4 eggs
1/2tsp vanilla
1 1/2 lbs flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups sour cream
12oz toasted coconut

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs slowly to the mixture; scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add vanilla. Fold in flour and baking powder. Fold in sour cream, then toasted coconut. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake in 300-degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until done.

Antigua Automatic
Six things you can’t miss on-island, and how to find them.

Curtain Bluff
Hermitage Bay
St. John’s
Zip line adventures
Sea combing and snorkeling
National Parks of Antigua

Deborah Geiger
Author: Deborah Geiger
Port Washington native Deborah Geiger has been writing professionally since 2005. She has written about travel for Destination Weddings & Honeymoons, Ocean Home, Northshore and other publications. She holds a journalism and psychology degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

No Game: Skipping the Super Bowl

Skipping the Super Bowl, America’s foremost secular holiday, allows savvy travelers to save money and avoid crowds

Author: Christina Vercelletto | Published: Thursday, January 08, 2015

It’s an All-American scene: A neighbor’s living room. A Super Bowl pool. Wings. Beer. Chips. Dip. We all know the drill. But what if a person decided to skip the Super Bowl? To forego the overblown halftime show and the overwrought commercials; to have nothing to contribute at the water cooler on Monday, but instead to use Feb 1, 2015 to travel, secure a table at a normally exclusive restaurant or just go shopping?

It turns out the Super Bowl’s popularity makes it a wonderful time to fly under the radar, said Phil Tufano, COO of hotel management company Kokua Hospitality. “Super Bowl Sunday has become akin to national holidays,” said Tufano. “Families are gathered together with friends at home; airports and hotels are quiet. Flights and hotels are usually more affordable.”

Skipping the Super Bowl can be a savvy traveler’s ticket to no lift lines, short waits at Disney and prime tee times. There are, of course, a few caveats. “Anywhere tropical is probably not the best idea,” cautioned Janene Mascarella, a veteran travel journalist from Miller Place. She said such places tend to attract a large number of international tourists “who don’t care about the big game.”

Between that and the fact they’re usually swamped in the winter, tropical destinations tend not to show much of a “Super Bowl Effect.”

All bets are also off on Las Vegas, where football gambling dominates on Super Bowl weekend. Whatever city hosts the game (Phoenix this year) is also a no fly zone, but once these exceptions are subtracted, the law of supply and demand can be exploited on game day.


Hit the Slopes
“Super Bowl Sunday is one of the best days of the year to get out on the hill. Travelers find wide open trails, no lift lines and plenty of room to spread out in the bars and restaurants,” said Evan Reece, co-founder of discount ski service Liftopia. (Reece added that an under-occupied ski resort just happens to be a great place to watch the Super Bowl.) Traffic around ski areas will also be light, said Jennifer Rudolph, communications director for Colorado Ski Country USA. Depending on who makes it into the Super Bowl, Colorado ski resorts may offer special deals that weekend. Rudolph recommends friending or following a few resorts to stay current with last-minute specials.
The Sundance Film Festival, at Sundance Resort in Utah, is offering package deals to combine skiing with a visit to the famous film event from Jan 22 to Feb 1. The Epic Package includes two festival credentials and access to eight screenings, while the Epic Premier Package piles on meals and massages.


Swedish or Hot Stone?
Speaking of massages, a local spa may be an ideal place to spend a few tranquil hours while everyone else is mobbing Costco. Spa appointments tend to fall off by about 12 percent on Super Bowl weekend when compared to other weekends in January and February, said Deborah Szajngarten of This means Super Bowl Skippers will have the saltwater pool all to themselves.

“Super Bowl Sunday weekend is the absolute best time to score a spa weekend. You’re likely to get a little extra special attention,” said Mascarella. “Some of the swankiest spa destinations run special packages and promotions.” If you want to stay local, head to the French-inspired oasis Guerlain Spa at the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan. Mascarella is a fan of the “Football Widows” promotion they offered last year on Super Bowl Sunday: facials, massages and hydrotherapy at reduced rates. (The spa had not announced this year’s Bowl bargains as of this writing.)

time square
Photo: J. Chensiyuan

Play Tourist
Super Bowl Sunday is the day to do what crowds usually take the fun out of, said Kyle McCarthy, editor of Family Travel Forum. “Think Mall of America, Universal Studios and Times Square.”

“My family loves Super Bowl weekend even though we’re not football fans,” said Amy Graff, Best Western’s family travel expert. “We go to popular tourist spots knowing we’ll have them to ourselves.” The statistics back up the perception. Nielsen reports 111.5 million Americans watched the game last year. That means a full third of the population won’t be standing on line at Harry Potter’s castle in Universal Studios, for instance. Graff’s family likes to browse the near-empty museums in Washington, DC. “We actually got a close-up look at the ruby slippers in the National Museum of American History,” she said.

Finding rooms in the biggest tourist cities shouldn’t be a problem, either. “With the NFL being as popular as it is, we frequently hear from groups that we must avoid Super Bowl weekend when quoting our availability,” said Gordon Taylor, of the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel in Chicago.

“Without that group base—over the past five years in particular—we are able to offer substantial discounts that are not normally available.

See a Hot Show
Super Bowl weekend is a great time to head into the city to see The Book of Mormon or Aladdin. Ticket prices are cheaper than on surrounding Sundays, particularly for the newer, more popular shows. Seat selection is also better. For example: The best orchestra seats for The Lion King on Jan 18 are $254. The same seats on Feb 1 are $230. The best mezzanine seats on Jan 25 are $144, but they’re $134 only a week later during the game.

Snag the Best Table
Remember that restaurant that seems incredible, but is so hard to get into on a weekend? Not a problem on Feb 1., the restaurant reservation site, has reported that there’s more availability on Super Bowl weekend. It also doesn’t hurt that Super Bowl kicks off at
6:30pm—dinnertime. Still, while reservations may be easier to get, they still need to be made for the most exclusive establishments. Big game or no, don’t expect to stroll into Per Se unannounced and sit down. Another tip: Even if an elite venue is booked solid, it doesn’t hurt to make an extra phone call. Restaurants often experience cancellations a week or so before the Super Bowl as diners gradually discover the scheduling conflict.

Photo: © 2014 Universal Orlando Resort. All rights reserved.

Ride Space Mountain
All the conquering heroes of Super Bowl XLIX will be “going to Disney World” after the game, but Pulse readers will beat them to it. The folks at Disney don’t release attendance numbers, but online chatter definitely suggests the lines shrink on Super Bowl Sunday. That may be partially because Feb 1 through President’s Day weekend are slow days anyway, but some diehard Mickey fans note eased waits on that Sunday. “We were at Epcot last year on Super Bowl Sunday and walked right on to everything all day,” said one poster on Another said, “We were at Downtown Disney that eve and found it on all the TVs, but no crowds watching.”


Go South for Golf
It’s hardly golf weather here, but in Arizona, California and Florida, the first week of February is the unofficial start to swing season. This usually means the links are crowded… save for one Sunday afternoon. Phoenix has a double whammy this year: It’s the host city for the Super Bowl, which coincides with the final round of the PGA’s Tour’s Phoenix Open.

But even with all the fans in town, there will be plenty of tee times available that day, reported Visit Phoenix’s Douglas MacKenzie. “Visitors will also have plenty of room on our hiking and mountain biking trails,” MacKenzie said.

Christina Vercelletto
Author: Christina Vercelletto

Athletic Altruism

They made a name for themselves in the spotlight and now they're giving back

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published: Monday, November 24, 2014
Marty Lyons, 
Chairman, The Marty Lyons Foundation 
Photos: yvonne albinowsk
Marty Lyons, Chairman, The Marty Lyons Foundation Photos: yvonne albinowsk

What happens when the game ends? The response from three former athletes to that question is clear: It’s time to give back. Marty Lyons, the former Jets star raises nearly one million dollars annually to help terminally ill children through his foundation. Legendary wrestler Mick Foley finds meaning by volunteering with the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN). After a 14-year baseball career Frank Catalanotto focuses on his foundation to help treat vascular birthmarks. These athletes have stepped out of the arena, but their work continues to inspire.

Marty Lyons
Chairman, The Marty Lyons Foundation

At the height of his football career, tragedy struck Marty Lyons. As part of a fearsome foursome dubbed The New York Sack Exchange, the defensive lineman for the New York Jets had just helped the team to the playoffs for the first time since 1969. Lyons and his wife had just given birth to their first child and then, in quick succession, the star found himself devastated by a twin loss. His father suddenly died from a heart attack and a week later, Keith, a young boy he mentored, lost his battle with leukemia.

“I could either run away or try to do something in memory of my father and in memory of Keith,” Lyons recalled. It was a conversation he had in 1979 with his Alabama Crimson Tide coach that steeled his decision. Paul “Bear” Bryant warned him, “You’ll play the game you love and have financial security, but a winner in the game of life is someone who gives of themselves so others can grow.”

The Marty Lyons Foundation was launched, dedicated to raising money to fulfill the wishes of terminally ill children between the ages of 3 and 17. Now, 32 years later, the charity is a network of 13 chapters across the country. Still, many of the wishes are the same as they always were: Owning a computer, meeting a celebrity and going on a shopping spree. And the most requested remains a trip to Disneyland.

More than 7,000 children have had their wishes granted by the foundation, which has only three paid employees and relies on hundreds of volunteers. “If we can improve the quality of life [for a terminally-ill child] even for a day, we’ve done something good for them and we’ve done something good for ourselves,” Lyons said.



Mick Foley
Volunteer with the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)

When the hardcore wrestler behind the shocking personas Mankind and Cactus Jack—and the more amiable Dude Love—called it quits from World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in 2000, he faced a crisis. “If I retired and I didn’t do anything, I would regret it for the rest of my life,” Foley recalled.

During his time in the WWE, Foley worked with organizations like the Marty Lyons Foundation, the Starlight Children’s Foundation and Muscular Dystrophy Association to entertain children with terminal illnesses. After retiring, he offered his services to anyone who could use him and also started visiting veterans in Washington, DC hospitals so often the Washington Times dubbed him a “legend among hurt troops.”

In 2008, singer Tori Amos introduced Foley to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN). “I knew about the issue of sexual violence but I thought it was an issue for survivors and women and… after I did some research, [I realized that] an unlikely advocate like me might be able to make a bigger difference.” Foley became a donor and also logged 700 hours over two years as an anonymous volunteer, manning the RAINN crisis hotline and online chat forum.

“My wife would go to bed at ten and wake up at six and I’d still be on the computer trying to talk one person out of ending their life… the two years I spent as a volunteer are as important as anything I’ve done.”

This month, Foley, a lover of all things Christmas, will put his passion on public display for the Holiday Magic charity when he dresses up as Santa Claus to deliver presents to children in Long Island shelters (it’s his 13th year with the group).

When asked how the once menacing Mankind gets people to warm up, he shared some advice he received from another celebrity and philanthropic Long Islander, rocker Dee Snider. “[People] can check out your tough guy resume and it makes it easier to do a one-eighty and be as kind and gentle as you possibly can be.”


Frank Catalanotto
Honorary Chairman, The Frank Catalanotto Foundation

Frank Catalanotto’s first daughter Morgan was born with a strange mark on the tip of her nose. The baseball player and his wife Barbara sought out their local pediatrician who said it would go away but, Catalanotto recalled, “it only got bigger and more red. We felt kind of helpless. We felt that there should be something we could do to help our child.”

When Catalanotto was traded from the Detroit Tigers to the Texas Rangers, they met Linda Rozell-Shannon, the founder of the Vascular Birthmark Foundation (VBF) who referred them to a doctor who treated Morgan’s birthmark—a disfigurement caused by clustered blood cells that affects as many as 1 in 10 children. Morgan underwent laser surgery twice and fi nally reconstructive surgery. At age 15, her birthmark is no longer visible.

The husband and wife team launched the Frank Catalanotto Foundation and their yearly golf tournament raises more than $50,000 for VBF, which helps to support medical missions and cover the cost of surgery for those who can’t afford it.

Catalanotto was a Smithtown high school standout when the Tigers drafted him. He was called up to the majors and had a 14-year career, playing a variety of infield and outfield positions for the Tigers, Rangers, Blue Jays and Brewers. And, before he retired in 2010, he spent a year with the Mets (though he grew up a Yankee fan). He currently works in real estate but also gives baseball lessons at Baseball Heaven in Yaphank. Barbara, his high school sweetheart, runs the day-to-day activities of the foundation.

The MLB veteran recently completed Heart & Hustle, his memoir about playing in the big leagues. “Growing up I was never one of the best players on my team,” Catalanotto said, “But I always dreamed about being a major league baseball player. The book is about letting kids know that they don’t have to be the best as long as they work hard and they’re passionate about what they want to do to fulfi ll their dreams.”

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Holiday Gift Finder 2014

Pulse’s ultimate guide to gift giving this season

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published: Sunday, November 23, 2014


Dive In
Lauren by Ralph Lauren red paisley print one-piece swimsuit, $99, Muche et Muchette burlap beach bag, $40
Available at Blum’s, Patchogue, (631) 475-0136


Come Together
Red wine crystal glasses, set of 4, $65, Cherry red carafe, $50, Round platter with cutting board insert center, $100, Compact lever corkscrew, $99
Available from Le Creuset at Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington, (631) 223-7070


Say it With Flowers
Pavé diamond cluster flowers on 14K rose gold bracelet, 14K, white gold necklace, 14K white and rose gold necklace and 14K white gold pendant on chain
All from the London Collection available at London Jewelers, Americana Manhasset, (516) 627-7475


Warm Up
Brown Spanish merino shearling vest with long hair Toscana ruffled border, $1,995
Available at Dimitri Fine, Furs & Leathers, East Northport, (631)-462-1313


Man of Style
Malo Italian cashmere V-neck, $750, Truzzi multi-color check sport shirt, $325, Orciani crocodile embossed leather belt, $195
Available at Tyrone, Roslyn, (516) 484-3330


Black & Tan
Pavé tag with black diamonds and black titanium on sterling silver baby black box chain,  Phantom gold obsidian tag with black titanium on baby black box chain, Braided black leather bracelet with sterling silver and black pavé diamond center
All by David Yurman available at London Jewelers, Americana Manhasset, (516) 627-7475


A. Black on Black
GiGi New York Lindsay embossed python leather clutch, $235
Available at

B. Color Wheel
Midnight Collection 18K white gold ring with .78ctw diamonds and 8.78ctw sapphires, 18K rose gold ring with .61ctw diamonds and 5.71ctw rubies, Buckle Collection 18K white gold 1.96ctw diamond strand bracelet, 18K white gold braided chain bracelet
All by Simon G. and available at Busy Bee Jewelry, Massapequa Park, (516) 882-0400


Suited Up
Vitamin A Neutra bralette, $88, and hipster $79, PilyQ Sunbeam strap back top, $82, and strappy full bottom, $78
All available at Great Shapes, Roslyn Heights, (516) 484-4555


Story Tellers
Every story is a special one whether starting a new beginning or capturing the charm of a legacy. 14K rose gold Art Deco ring with rubies and 28 points in diamonds Tacori RoyalT handcrafted engagement ring featuring the Dantela design, Platinum antique necklace containing 3.70ct in single- and mine-cut diamonds
Find unique designs both old and new at Good Old Gold, Massapequa Park, (516) 798-5151


A. Deco Diva
14K yellow gold spike earrings with 1.56ctw diamonds
Available at Nuha Jewelers, Plainview, (516) 931-3700

B. Coming Up Roses
Rose de France drop pendant necklace
Available at Smith Jewelers,
Oyster Bay, (516) 922-6744


On the Run
Garmin Forerunner 620, $400; $450 with heart rate monitor (HRM). Forerunner 220, $250; $300 with HRM.
Find these and all your running needs at Lynbrook
Runner’s Stop, Lynbrook, (516) 568-7333


Rustic Rugged
Lauren by Ralph Lauren black cotton corduroy pants, $75, Barbour Kirktown charcoal cable-knit sweater, $229, Haupt flannel button down shirt, $135, Barbour Hopsack check scarf, $54
All available at Renee’s, Mattituck, (631) 298-4223


Hard Wear
Guardian engraved sterling silver bracelet Equestrian sterling silver and black leather braided bracelet Sterling silver basket weave ring with black onyx center
All Scott Kay designs, available at Libutti Diamond Jewelers, Huntington, (631) 427-0126


A. Great Beginnings
Marielle engagement ring with 1.01ct center diamond in 1.15ctw diamond setting and .87ctw diamond band Stella 18K white gold diamond pendant with 1.02ct diamond center in .56ctw setting
Available at Devotion, Roosevelt Field Mall, (516) 415-5800

B. Cool Blue
14K yellow gold turquoise drop earrings with .7ctw diamonds
Available at The Window Shop Jewelers, Northport, (631) 261-0436


Exude Radiance
Feeling good on the inside should be reflected on the outside. Dr. James Marotta specializes in putting your best face forward with various procedures and products for a range of aesthetic needs. Shown here are a few of his tried and true daily facial pick-meups to complete any winter skin regimen.
Marotta Facial Plastic Surgery, Smithtown, (631) 982-2022


Back to Basics
Ba6 Botanicals Apotheca is an ultrarich botanicals complex line crafted in apothecary fashion. BA6 products hold powerful healing properties that nourish, heal and promote skin and body wellness.
Find these and other nutrient rich, restorative formulas at


Purple Luxe
Linea Pelle butter-soft unlined leather Hunter Tote, $299, Lilly Pulitzer Fishing for Compliments Murfee Scarf, $118, Raffi pure cashmere basic V-neck sweater, $190
Available at Debra Canavan Classics, Sayville, (631) 563-9385


A. Shaded View
Dolce & Gabbana black cat-eye frame with silver detail, $300, Gucci matte black aviators, $300Available at VistaSite Eye Care, (516) 568-2010
Find these and other fine retailers at Green Acres Mall, Valley Stream (516) 561-1157

B. Gentlemen Only
Stone Rose geometric print cotton shirt, $194, AG Jeans The Dylan, $265, Demeter Whiskey Tobacco unisex fragrance, $20 for 1oz
All available at Haus of Tova, Great Neck, (516) 466-1855


Bright White
18K white gold earrings with 1.17ctw diamonds and 20.44ctw rock crystal center, 18K white gold cluster bracelet with 4.99ctw diamonds
Available at Gelber & Mundy, Great Neck, (516) 482-1585


A. Fresh Faced
Nothing is better than the gift of self-confidence. Dual board-certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Andrew Jacono gives exactly that to all his patients with procedures and state-of-the-art
products that deliver results.
New York Center for Facial Plastic & Laser Surgery, Great Neck, (516) 773-4646

B. Must Have Monogram
Louis Vuitton W calfskin leather tote bag, $4,150
Find this and many other designer styles and accessories at Designer Exchange, Syosset, (516) 422-2270


Sophisticated Swimmer
Maaji Swimwear Blue Dots molded bra top, $68, hipster, $65, and tubekini, $72, Red Carter Lurex plunge swimsuit, $199
Available at Jerrie Shop, Woodbury, (516) 364-4062


Glistening Gold
Vahan 14K yellow gold, sterling silver and diamond bracelet, OWC 18K yellow gold faceted bead on chain necklace, OWC 18K yellow gold and diamond bamboo ring
All available at Rose Jewelers, Southampton, (631) 283-5757


Stunning Silhouettes
18K white gold diamond necklace 10.85ctw, 18K white gold mixed shape diamond drop earrings 5.05ctw
Available at H.L. Gross & Bro. Jewelers, Garden City, (516) 747-6666

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Joyous Rendezvous
Tagua seed slice tray with silver handles, $585, Jonathan Adler Marseilles coasters, $75, Etched wave rocks glasses, set of 6, $125, Humor flask, $19
All available at Sedoni Gallery, Huntington, (631) 547-4811


Taste of Home
The Crushed Olive is the gold standard for fine olive oils and vinegars. Their recent foray into artisanal plateware, chocolates and pepper mills (like those shown here) are an expansion of their international offering. Whether opting for a gift sampler of mini bottles or going big with their more standard sizes, the perfect gift of exquisite flavors awaits.
Visit any of their Tuscan inspired stores in Babylon, Sayville, Huntington or Stony Brook and at


A. Exotic Embellishments
Cheryl Dufault Designs blue-grey agate necklace with 24K gold over sterling silver elephant, $418, and aquamarine fossilized bone with mother-of-pearl horn necklace, $385. Buba London velvet, Swarovski crystal and Japanese glass bead one-of-a-kind clutch handmade in Delhi, $668.
All available at Haus of Tova, Great Neck, (516) 466-1855

B. Truth Be Told
Tattoo Collection pavé diamond, Truth pendant with 42 round diamond brilliants in 18K green gold and anti-tarnish sterling silver
A creation by Glenn Bradford Jewelers, Port Washington, (516) 767-1600


Radiant Rocks
14K white gold eternity band with 8ctw diamonds, 14K white gold eternity band with 3ctw diamonds, 18K white gold drop earrings with 6ctw diamonds
All available at Benny’s Jewelry, Hicksville, (516) 433-1588


A. Better With Age
Chinese symbol onyx and gold-over-silver bracelet, $125, 1950s Greek sterling silver ram cuff, $375
Available at Lotus Vintage, Huntington, (631) 470-7795

B. New Classics
18K white gold diamond hoop earrings, 14K white gold diamond ID bracelet,
Available at Fortunoff Fine Jewelry, Westbury, (800) 636-7886


Beach Babe
True Colours Pharoah Snake caftan, $85, Beach Bunny navy monokini with netting and gold detail, $175, Ray-Ban matte green aviators, $185
All available at Lovely Lady Lumps Swimwear, Stony Brook, (631) 675-9260


Perfect Complements
Pear drop earrings with 2.34ctw diamonds 18K sliced sapphire pendant with .56ctw diamonds, Halo setting .45ctw engagement ring with 1ct center diamond
Available at Goldie’s Jewelry, Hicksville, (516) 513-1877

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Radio Active

Locals Alan Hahn and Dave Rothenberg are the kings of New York sports radio—and they might not even agree on this point

Author: Seth Combs | Published:
Alan Hahn (L) and Dave Rothenberg (R) talking hoops at Sapsuckers in Huntington. Photo: matt furman
Alan Hahn (L) and Dave Rothenberg (R) talking hoops at Sapsuckers in Huntington. Photo: matt furman

For two guys who grew up in roughly the same area, their respective sports youths couldn’t have been more different. One grew up idolizing Jets players like Lance Mehl and Kyle Clifton. The other had a grandfather and great-uncle who were original Giants season ticket holders. The kid fromRonkonkoma basked in the glory of the Islanders dynasty of the 80s as a 10-year old playing pick-up hockey games (on roller skates, no less). The other recalls the Rangers defeat of the Islanders in the 1979 playoffs as a seminal moment of his youth. One delightfully recalls Bucky Dent and the 1978 Yankees, the one who was once a North Shore kid growing up a short ride from Shea and still thinks the ’86 Mets were the better team.

Sure, on the surface Long Island natives Dave Rothenberg and Alan Hahn don’t seem to have much in common, but both have become respected and authoritative voices over the airwaves of New York sports radio. Hahn, originally from Ronkonkoma, worked as a sports writer at Newsday for 15 years before becoming a studio analyst for Knicks games on the MSG Network and, most recently, co-hosting the Hahn & Humpty Show on ESPN Radio (the “Humpty” in question is former Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro). Rothenberg, from Roslyn, has been in sports radio for decades, covering teams up and down the East Coast before returning to New York in 2012. He now co-hosts the Ruocco & Rothenberg Show, also on ESPN Radio.

Pulse caught up with the two opinionated hosts to get the scoop on their Long Island roots and their favorite memories, as well as advice on how to deal with Twitter trolls and why they’re both optimistic about the Knicks, but not too optimistic.

Long Island Pulse: Tell us about your seminal sports moments as kids growing up.
Alan Hahn:
The Islanders and Rangers rivalry in the 70s and 80s was the first time I really understood what it was to be a fan. The Rangers beat the Islanders in the ’79 playoffs. My parents were Rangers fans and they were really excited about it. I said, “No, we shouldn’t do that. I’m rooting for that team from now on, ’cause I’m from Long Island and that’s my team.” Then they won four straight Stanley Cups, so that helped.

Dave Rothenberg: For me, it was the Giants… but they stunk when I was a kid. Then Lawrence Taylor came along in ’81 and changed everything. For me, it was this unbelievable interception he made on Thanksgiving Day in 1982. I dressed up as LT on Halloween when I was a kid.

Pulse: Did both of you know you wanted to work in sports?
I was only really good at sports until I was about 11 and I just knew that if I couldn’t play professionally then I could talk about it. But sports talk radio wasn’t even really a medium yet. I just knew I had to do something.

AH: Yeah, my mom would always joke that I learned to read from reading the Newsday sports section. So I went to LIU Post on a basketball scholarship, but I got a degree in journalism and just went from there. When I first got a job at Newsday, it was like Rudy getting to go to Notre Dame. I felt I had made it. [Laughs]

Pulse: There’s a long line of sports reporters and analysts from Long Island. You guys, Adam Schefter, Steve Levy, Bob Costas… Is it something in the water?
There’s definitely a lineage. Even if they’re not from here, a lot of guys started out at Newsday. Peter King, who is now one of the most respected commentators in the NFL and Tom Verducci, who called the World Series this year.

Pulse: Both of you got new radio partners this year. Alan with Rick Dipietro and Dave with Ryan Ruocco. Just as in sports, does there have to be good chemistry when it comes to on-air partners?
For sure. It seems so easy on the surface. Just put two guys together and let them talk sports, but it’s not once those lights come on. You have to have a great rapport otherwise it’s going to be difficult.

DR: I was used to always doing my own show so working with Ryan has been different for me. There was a little bit of an adjustment, but it’s great because we’re very similar personality-wise.

Pulse: How do you feel about each other’s style of commentary?
Actually, it was Dave who was the guy that originally got me into radio.
I would come onto his show after covering Knicks games in 2012 and we had such great chemistry. Dave is the radio pro. He’s got the voice and he’s got the delivery.

DR: Yeah, we had so much fun. Alan’s great, but he’s a little more reserved than I am. I see things more black
and white than he does. I can take a situation and find the good or bad very quickly. He’s more methodical and will analyze the situation a bit deeper.

Pulse: Thoughts about the Islanders leaving Long Island?
[sighs] There was a time, because of the Islanders’ success, that you couldn’t go down a street in Long Island without seeing a bunch of kids playing hockey. It was just that popular. I’ve used the word “bittersweet” a lot. This is an end to a chapter here, maybe the end of the book.

DR: [laughs] As a Rangers fan, there’s kind of something nice about having hated them for so long and that’s where they’ve always been. There’s a tradition there. I just wish they’d be awful every year and stay on Long Island.

Pulse: The only team you guys both like is the Knicks and neither of you seem to be too optimistic about the season. Are Knicks fans just naturally pessimistic?
I think it’s more a cautious optimism. It’s just been so long for the Knicks. Best-case scenario for the most optimistic Knicks fan is still a cautious optimism.

AH: It’s the puppy that’s been hit with the newspaper too many times and now it flinches all the time. That’s a Knicks fan. They flinch. I’m normally careful with optimism, but I’m pretty excited about the future. I think Phil [Jackson] and Derek [Fisher] will get them there.

Pulse: Who was your best interview?
Interviewing Pat Riley at the Hall of Fame media event was awesome. Everybody had kind of gone away and I asked him about the Knicks. No one ever asks him about New York. They all want to know about the Lakers and the Heat.

DR: Lawrence Taylor was like that for me. It was a lifelong dream. I mean, it wasn’t the most groundbreaking inter- view in the history of radio, but I’ll always remember it.

Pulse: Who was your worst?
Oh, there’s plenty. Warren Sapp was terrible. He yelled at me. He didn’t want to talk to me. He was really bad. Telling me I didn’t know anything about football. It was just really combative and uncomfortable.

AH: There was this one time I went up to Vinny Testaverde in the Jets locker room when [Glenn] Foley was the [starting] quarterback and he brushed me off and said something like, “I don’t play, I don’t talk.” He said it real flippantly and walked away and I remember being like, “Seriously?”

Pulse: How has Twitter changed things when it comes to sports reporting and commentary?
Great question. You have direct access to most athletes all the time and you can get information out a lot quicker. It’s also hurt journalism because of the desperate need for attention and the need for clicks so people might massage a story to make it sound more sensational.

DR: Right, Twitter is great and awful at the same time. I can get my opinion out there instantaneously and it makes our radio show more interactive. It’s also horren- dous because for all the people who are nice on Twitter, you have a small percentage who just insult you.

Pulse: How do you deal with the haters?
Don’t respond with anger. Just respond with a joke. If someone tells me I’m a terrible writer and a complete idiot, I’ll tell them they forgot that I also have bad hair.

DR: I ignore it for the most part. The ones that bother
me the most are the racially motivated ones or making comments about my family. On occasion, I’ll retweet them so that everyone who follows me sees that comment and my cool followers will start attacking them for me.

Catch Alan Hahn on his Hahn & Humpty Show on ESPN Radio weekdays from 7 to 10pm and Dave Rothenberg on his Ruocco & Rothenberg Show, also on ESPN Radio, from noon to 1pm on weekdays.

Related Content
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Seth Combs
Author: Seth Combs

Midnight Bewitching Gowns

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:
Jay Godfrey gown
Niki & Lola earrings
M.C.L by Matthew Campbell Laurenza cuff
Via Spiga shoes
Jay Godfrey gown Niki & Lola earrings M.C.L by Matthew Campbell Laurenza cuff Via Spiga shoes

Cast & Crew
Photography: Heidi Niemala
Photographer’s Assistants: Ted Maroney, Cory Beisser & Cindy Leaf Nguyen
Stylist: The Cannon Media Group, Eva Roberts Stylist’s Assistants: Alexandra Gramp, Jackie Federbush, Clarisse Sellem & Francesca Vecchioni Hair & Makeup: Kyle Goldfarb/Malone at Exclusive Artists using Mac and Murad Skincare
Model: Kirsty MacPhail for Wilhelmina Models

On location for Pulse:
The 1920s interiors of Coe Hall, at Planting Fields in Oyster Bay, are romantic evocations of rooms from the time of England’s Queen Elizabeth I. The recently restored interiors and pristine grounds are open for tours seasonally (March through October) and holiday events are open to the public this month.

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

The Best Week

Our agenda for seven great days pulled right from the pages of this issue.

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:
A seasonal cocktail from this month’s Master Mixologist.
A seasonal cocktail from this month’s Master Mixologist.

‘Tis the season we all laugh a little louder, smile a little easier and find comfort and kinship amongst family and friends. We’re hard pressed to offer a better week than the one that seasonal celebrations create, but we hope our efforts bring some added joy to this festive time of year. Direct from the pages of this issue, go ahead and have yourself a merry little Best Week.

Movie night! Hit the Netflix queue or scour the local Redbox and spend a day watching movies from our 10 Best Films of 2014. Keep things cozy and warm with a mug or two of glögg, a Nordic holiday warmer (recipe on page 41).

The weather outside may be frightful, but don’t let that deter you from maintaining a workout schedule. Benefit from a morning run. After work, keep the zen going. The Float Place offers repose and restoration in the form of tranquil isolation tanks.

Channel your inner Demi Moore à la Ghost with a pottery class at Art League of Long Island or try language lessons (more “class”y suggestions to suit a Resolution Revolution. If the resolve wavers, draw from Dr. Susan Bartell’s winning advice.

Do the holiday shopping while everyone else is at work. Our annual Gift Finder covers both the naughty and nice. Finish in time for happy hour at a Bohlsen Group restaurant for one of their creative cocktails by Master Mixologist Paulo Villela.

Neil Watson has been mixing the old with the new at Stony Brook’s Long Island Museum, resulting in the inaugural exhibit of the LIMarts group, part of the museum’s new direction. Grab some fine Italian cuisine at nearby Ruvo in Port Jefferson and let it all resonate.

It’s a good night for checking out the live music scene. Our Listening Bar has the local venues covered. Likewise, Huntington’s Paramount is never in short supply of options for a good night.

See the Tree, skate Wollman rink, maybe even dance on a piano at FAO Schwarz. Then seek repose at the lavish King Cole Bar in the St. Regis Hotel (full deets on page 30). End the night with the satirical stylings of Lane and Broderick in It’s Only a Play.

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Side Show

The real reason to gather at the holiday table is the side dishes

Author: Casey Dooley | Published:
photos: felicia perretti | stylist: joe kitchen
photos: felicia perretti | stylist: joe kitchen

The holidays are here. It’s time for the good china, the big meals with family and all the fixins. Which, let’s be honest, are really the stars of the show. Even quirky Aunt Helen’s stuffing with oysters and cranberries or the side of bacon-wrapped chicken livers that Grandma Rosa insists on bringing. Tradition allows for that one dish at the table that—though it would look out of place anywhere else—is a must at family gatherings.

We asked our Pulse crew to let readers in on their family secrets by sharing the side dishes that make their holidays. Steal a recipe or two from these pages for a surprise twist at the next gathering.


clam dip

Speaking of ruining family trade secrets, Nanny’s not going to be invited to too many family parties now that everybody will know how simple it is to create her signature dish—this delicious quintessential New England classic. You tell your recipe to one sweet granddaughter who happens to work at a magazine…

2 (6.5oz) cans minced clams,
drained with juice reserved
1/3 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup crushed Ritz crackers
1/3 cup minced onion
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
1 dash freshly ground black
Garlic powder to taste
6 tbsp melted butter
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Paprika to taste

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, slowly cook and stir minced clams in the lemon juice until heated and tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. Transfer clams to a medium baking dish. Mix in crackers, onion, parsley, oregano, black pepper, garlic powder, butter and approximately 3/4 of the reserved clam juice. Top with grated Parmesan cheese and paprika.
4. Bake clam mixture for 30 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve with Ritz crackers and lemon wedges.


This is a New York favorite with origins across the pond and is a perfect example of “it tastes better than it sounds.” It’s a creamy, sweet mélange of caramelized onions, butter and crumb crunch. But do not use cocktail onions! This error was made when associate editor Chris Connolly hired a caterer to recreate his ailing grandmother’s signature dish. The result of using pickled onions in place of fresh? “F-ing disgusting.”

2lbs white pearl onions, left unpeeled
1 1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 cups coarse breadcrumbs

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Blanch onions in a 3-quart pot of boiling water for 1 minute. Drain and transfer to a bowl of cold water to stop cooking. Drain and peel onions.
3. Put onions and 1 tsp salt in same pot and add fresh water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until onions are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and place in a buttered 2-quart baking dish.
4. Melt 1 tbsp butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat, add fl our and stir 1 minute. Add cream, whisking, and bring to a simmer, 2 minutes. Stir in pepper, nutmeg and remaining 1/4 tsp salt. Pour sauce over onions.
5. Melt remaining 2 tbsp butter in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over low heat, then add breadcrumbs and cook, stirring until golden, 3 to 5 minutes.
6. Sprinkle toasted crumbs evenly over onions and bake until sauce is bubbling, about 30 minutes.


This is pretty standard fare for any Spanish or Latin American table, though when it makes its way into the essential US holidays, it gets noticed. But when your mother was an Army brat who grew up in Peru and happened to remarry into a Hispanic family, how else are you going show off your cultural diversity?

1 box low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups rice (white or yellow)
1 bag frozen peas
1 small jar red pimentos
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 small white sweet onion, finely chopped
6 boneless chicken thighs, halved
3 sausages (your preference)
1lb peeled, deveined large shrimp
1lb sea scallops, halved

1. In a large pan, sauté garlic and onion in 1-2 tbsp olive oil until browned. Remove garlic and most of onion.
2. Add sausage and cook until brown. Remove from pan, slice each link diagonally into thirds and return to pan to sauté until browned again. Remove.
3. Add chicken, one part at a time, so they brown well. They should get a good color from the sausage already having been cooked in the same pan.
4. Remove chicken from pan and add the scallops for a quick sauté, 3 minutes. Remove.
5. Add rice to the pan drippings and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add chicken stock to the rice and stir so all pan drippings and rice are well coated.
6. Add the chicken and sausage back into the pan. The pan will start to get full at this point. Leave to cook for 20-25 minutes until the rice absorbs most of the liquid.
7. Before it is all absorbed, add the frozen peas and the preseared scallops making sure they get into the rice and liquid so they cook.
8. Five minutes later, add the shrimp on top with strips of pimento. Once the shrimp are pink and most of the liquid is absorbed, serve.


This made-from-scratch Italian staple is the pride of a staffer’s paterfamilias and is his unique spin on an Old Country favorite passed down from his mother.

8oz fresh spinach
6 tbsp olive oil
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 cups ricotta cheese
1/4 cup Romano cheese grated
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black
3 cups tomato sauce
3 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a medium frying pan. Add garlic and cook until it starts to caramelize lightly, then add spinach and cook until wilted.
3. In a large bowl, combine the spinach, garlic, ricotta and Romano cheeses, eggs, salt and pepper.
4. Put the crespelle, brown side up, on a clean surface (baking mat). Spoon about 4 tbsp of filling in center of crespelle, staying 1 inch from sides and roll into a cylinder. Place the seam at bottom of pan on pre-sauced 9x13-inch baking dish. Continue filling and rolling the rest then pour sauce over cannelloni and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 30 minutes until cheese bubbles.

*Crespelle Recipe
Makes about 12 crespelles
3/4 cup unbleached fl our
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups whole milk
3 tbsp olive oil for batter
Olive oil for cooking

1. Put all ingredients into blender or food processor, pulse until smooth. Cover and let rest for 35 minutes.
2. Heat a 7-inch nonstick frying pan over moderately high heat. Put a thin layer of olive oil on the pan with a brush or paper towel, then ladle 4 tbsp of batter and tilt pan to distribute it evenly.
3. Cook the batter until you are able to flip it, about 35 seconds. Once flipped, continue cooking for 5 to 8 seconds longer. Remove and stack on paper-lined plate, like pancakes. Repeat process.


This guilt-free side gets a subtle hint of nutmeg for cold weather noshing. The sister of a Pulse person brought this winner to the table last year and it’s likely to become a new family tradition.

3 tbsp light butter
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
3 cups 2 percent milk
3 lbs frozen chopped
spinach, defrosted and
squeeze drained
3/4 cup freshly grated
Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp freshly ground
black pepper
1/2 cup shredded Gruyere

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. In a heavy-bottomed sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent, about 10-12 minutes. Add the fl our and nutmeg; cook 2 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add milk and cook until thickened, about 5-7 minutes. Add the spinach to the sauce. Add 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese and mix until combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Transfer spinach to large baking dish and sprinkle remaining Parmesan and Swiss on top. Bake for 20 minutes until cheese bubbles. Serve hot.


“You know how you have one go-to dish that you bring to every get-together because it’s so good? This is going to be that dish for me, it’s that delicious,” said graphic designer Rebecca “Pepper” Canese.

Store bought pie dough
4 medium tomatoes, sliced
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup basil, chopped
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 3/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp hot sauce
1/4 tsp ground pepper

1. Line a baking sheet with paper towels, place single layer of tomato slices on towels, sprinkle with salt and let dry for 30 minutes. Pat dry and sprinkle with basil. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Roll dough into 12-inch circle, 1/8-inch thick. Place in a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Line dough with parchment paper and fill with pie weights (dried beans work well). Bake until crust begins to set, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove weights and parchment when cool, then bake until brown, about 10 minutes. Remove and let cool.
3. Layer in onions first, then tomatoes and basil. Mix 2 cups of the cheese, the mayonnaise, hot sauce and pepper. Spread over tomatoes and sprinkle on remaining cheese. Bake until golden brown and cheese is bubbly, 30-35 minutes. Cool before serving.

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Casey Dooley
Author: Casey Dooley

Hot Suggestions for Celebrating the New Year

It's that time again, time to bid farewell to the old year and usher in the new

Author: Casey Dooley | Published: Friday, November 21, 2014

Pop the corks and blow the noisemakers, 2015 is here! Will you succumb to the beck and call of NYC, or keep things local at one of the posh places on the Island? Maybe escape the Island and set sail for a few while the ball drops? The choices are open and we’ve got some hot suggestions for celebrating the Big Night.

Dinner and Dancing
Chances are your favorite restaurant is doing something special tonight— ours are, for more check our dining section starting page 199. But for a big party with music, a multi-course meal, flowing libations and a few hundred of your best new friends, check out these storied venues.


Chateau Briand
Carle Place, (516) 334-6125
There are four ways to celebrate in four separate settings at the renowned Long Island catering and event venue. There’s a buffet and dancing with a Body Rock DJ from 10pm-2:30am ($100pp) or a sit-down dinner with dancing from 9:30pm-3am. The last option is to make it an earlier night from 9pm-2:30am ($150pp). For the live music experience, enjoy the sounds of Voice with dinner and boogying from 8:30pm-2am ($150pp). There are four ways to celebrate in four separate settings at the renowned Long Island catering and event venue. There’s a buffet and dancing with a Body Rock DJ from 10pm-2:30am ($100pp) or a sit-down dinner with dancing from 9:30pm-3am. The last option is to make it an earlier night from 9pm-2:30am ($150pp). For the live music experience, enjoy the sounds of Voice with dinner and boogying from 8:30pm-2am ($150pp).

Lombardi’s on the Sound
Port Jefferson, (631) 473-1440
Throw on your flapper dress or seersucker suit, old sport! This Great Gatsby-themed gala will swing into the new year in style…1920s style. Butler served hors d’oeuvres start the night of decadence as charcuterie and artisan cheese are carved to order before dining on classic seafood and Italian dishes ($140pp). Jitterbug the night away until the ball drops with the beautiful Sound as a backdrop. Just be wary of any beckoning green lights across the water…

Just for Laughs
Try something a little different and laugh in the New Year.

Loads of Laughs
Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts
(631) 724-3700,
Six headlining comedians keep the chuckles coming until the ball drops. Price includes Italian buffet of hors d’oeuvres and light fare, open bar and a dessert at intermission, plus champagne toast at midnight ($85pp).

NYC’s Best Comedy NYE Festival
AMC 34th St, (212) 201-0735
The New York comedy scene is second-to-none and what better way to ring in the new year than in the comedy haven? This night of laughs is hosted by Maddog Mattern and will feature some of the best of New York comics and up-and-comers.

New Year’s Laughin’ Eve!
Theatre Three, Port Jeff
(631) 928-9100,
Long Island mainstay Paul Anthony hosts this evening of comedy featuring national headliner Bill McCarty and Dr. Oz Show warm-up act Richie Byrne. Tickets are $35 and $45.

Let’s Stay Inn

Homey and cozy, The Maidstone in East Hampton celebrates NYE in sedate style.

c/o The Maidstone
East Hampton, (631) 324-5006,
Indulge the upscale dining experience with a party atmosphere and then retire to a “Scandinavian cozy” cottage room. The Living Room restaurant at Maidstone has two seatings for NYE, at 7 and 8:45pm, which include a 5-course meal, live music and party favors and champagne all around. $145 dinner, rooms start at $325 per couple.

Fox Hollow
Woodbury, (516) 921-1415,
Take in the scenery of winding paths and picturesque landscapes on eight acres of Gold Coast before tucking into cocktail hour, a sit-down dinner, dessert and premium open bar. DJ provides entertainment. Dinner is $150pp, overnight packages start at $589 per couple.

Southampton Inn
(631) 283-6500,
Celebrate the start of 2015 and the 375th birthday of historic Southampton. The evening begins with a cocktail hour followed by a catered dinner. Enjoy an open bar all night, a birthday-themed dessert buffet, music, dancing and a champagne toast. Indulge in the spirit of the New Year celebrations too much? The party includes a late checkout for guests to enjoy a little extra rest. $375 per couple based on double occupancy.

The Big Apple is Grand Central for New Year’s Eve partygoing and the world-wide nexus for the evening is Times Square. The town is a veritable party playground with endless choice events for the evening. Our favorites:


21 9th Ave, (212) 392-5978,
Rooftop space is at a premium for NYE celebrations in the city. Venture to this Meatpacking District hotspot for breathtaking skyline views as the backdrop for an exclusive night; maybe even catch a glimpse of Brad Pitt or Kate Upton, both have been spotted at this posh grown-up clubhouse atop 21 9th Ave. Tickets starting at $99 and group packages at $1,600 and $7,500.

Chelsea Loft experience at Center548
548 West 22nd St,
For this one night only, step out of the ordinary and experience the serious New York City party life. Rub elbows with A-listers and hipsters and live the dream of stepping past the velvet ropes. For the fourth year, this Chelsea party lets guests in on the scene of invite-only loft affairs. Get in the action at Center548. Tickets from $79-$395.

Gotham Hall
1356 Broadway, (212) 244-4300,
Ring in the New Year with style at Manhattan’s historic Gotham Hall. The Grand Ballroom exudes sophistication and timeless elegance along with a touch of modern panache. Complete with a gilded ceiling and a 3000-sqare-foot stained-glass skylight, it doesn’t get much classier. Tickets from $99 to $240 with VIP and mezzanine access.

Times Square NYE Family Fun Fest at AMC
234 W 42nd St, (212) 201-0735,
AMC has a multitude of events to keep all comers happy and festive, especially those with families in tow. The family event goes off on the third level and provides movie concessions, an arcade center, PG-13 movies playing throughout the theaters and party favors for the ball drop, all in a no-alcohol zone. Tickets start at $29 and go to up to $129 for VIP and mezzanine access. Don’t worry, those without children can live it up on three more floors of grown-up parties just steps away from Times Square.

Say it with Music
A party’s not a party without music, and since this is the party of the year…well, there’s going be some good tunes going on.


Dark Star Orchestra’s Cosmic New Year’s Eve
The Paramount, Huntington; (631) 673-7300,
Groove into the New Year with the full Grateful Dead experience. There are two nights to catch the act, but New Year’s Eve is the real night to get it shakin’ on Shakedown Street. Tickets are $54-$145, doors at 7:30, show at 8:30.

Elton John
Barclays, (917) 618-6700,
If any rocker personifies the flamboyance and extravagance of a New Year’s Eve celebration, it would be Elton John. For the fi rst time in New York City he will headline a NYE show. Party starts at 9pm.

Long Island Philharmonic Annual New Year’s Eve Spectacular
Tilles Center for the Performing Arts, Greenvale; (516) 299-3100
A night of coattails, baton fl ourishes and orchestral splendor. Starts at 7:30pm, tickets from $58-$113.


LI Party Rides
Freeport, Baldwin, (516) 376-2244 or (718) 412-8365,
Why not make your own mobile party for the big night out? The fleet at LI Party Rides has every conceivable size and setup to suit your needs with 30 party buses and 40 passenger limos. For a girls-only event, they even have a pink Chrysler 300 stretch limo.

Set Sail for the New Year

Empress Yacht
South Street Seaport
(646) 801-2628,
A night this big deserves a megayacht. Aboard the Empress, there are 2 expansive floors that will be rocking with DJs spinning top-40 hits and an open premium bar from 9pm-1am. The five-hour tour will cruise the East River, passing iconic landmarks like Lady Liberty, the Chrysler Building and the Brooklyn Bridge leading up to the live countdown to midnight and the fireworks display. Tickets $99 general admission, $149 VIP.

Skyline Princess Cruises
World’s Fair Marina, Queens
(516) 504-9965,
Forget the city traffic and travel in style. The Skyline Princess is 120-feet long and 31-feet wide with 3 full passenger levels featuring an enclosed deck complete with skylights. The five-hour cruise leaves from Queens and into NYC waterways with an open bar, gourmet buffet and DJ. $205 adults, $175 children.

The Day After

It’s not known as National Hangover Day for nothing. For practical solutions, turn to page 147 in our “Holiday Handbook.” For more unconventional cures, check out these events sure to clear the cobwebs from addled brains.

5-Mile Hangover Fun Run
East Meadow,
Sponsored by the Long Island Road Runners Club, this annual run may stretch the definition of “fun” for some participants, but it sure will help sweat out whatever you got into the night before. $11 for non-members.

Commitment Day 5k
Life Time Building, Syosset;
Kick-start your resolutions with an honest commitment. The day begins with pre-race festivities and DJ’ed warmup (because after last night what you really want to hear is some bumping bass beats). Race begins at 10am and ends with a Commitment Day celebration that goes until noon. $20 for adults.

Coney Island Polar Bears Club New Year’s Day Swim
Boardwalk at Stillwell Avenue, Coney Island;
We can’t claim it as a cure, but it’ll sure wake you up. Take the plunge along with hundreds of other crazies eager to voluntarily run into icy water. A warm change of clothes and sneakers are highly recommended. Starts at 1pm, a donation of $20 towards Camp Sunshine is suggested.

Casey Dooley
Author: Casey Dooley

Hell and High Water

Producer Scott Franllin: the master of (averting) disaster

Author: Drew Moss | Published:
photo by dave j hogan/getty images
photo by dave j hogan/getty images

Scott Franklin knows a thing or two about preparation. Like so many Long Islanders, the Long Beach resident (by way of Bellmore), had to fight his way through the treachery of Sandy. But unlike any other Long Islander, he also had to fight his way through the treachery of saving a $125 million movie, Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, at the same time. That’s not hell or high water. That’s both.

Franklin’s built like a wrestler (which he was at Kennedy High School) and carries himself with that “Strong Island” ease; he has an everyman’s confidence and joie de vivre, an easy smile and a warm handshake that belie the fact that he’s one of the world’s most successful movie producers. As we sat alone over lunch at the Whale’s Tale in the West End, whipping winds and driving rains brought back memories from storms of, well, biblical proportions. Franklin raised a glass in gratitude.

“The irony wasn’t lost on any of us,” said Franklin, discussing his time at the helm of Noah, which was partially shot at the Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay that fateful October. “Fortunately for the production, when the storm came, we were all but done shooting in Oyster Bay and were then shooting indoors. We had to dismantle the top third of [the set], but the Ark wasn’t damaged at all.”

Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good, and Franklin was both. With production shut down but more or less on track, Franklin had to quickly pivot and deal with putting his life, and the lives of others, back together. “I live in Long Beach but it wasn’t only me,” Franklin said. “A lot of our crew was affected. It was definitely a wild time, a very hard, difficult, intense production. But it was a bonding experience. We came together and supported one another.”

As Aronofsky’s longtime producing partner, Franklin has nurtured this movie family and marched it successfully through Aronofsky’s oeuvre: Pi (1998), Requiem for a Dream (2000), The Wrestler (2008), Black Swan (2010, which earned Franklin an Oscar nomination for Best Picture) and Noah (2014). Aronofsky’s gift is fusing subject and style. Using his own cinematic language and his drive to tell stories, he pushes the envelope as he explores milieus from ballet to the Bible. drive to tell stories, he pushes the envelope as he explores milieus from ballet to the Bible.

scott franklin

Similarly, Franklin steers the creative ship through diverse waters by both adapting to circumstance and holding fast to his core principles. Not unlike Noah, he’s learned to plan and act at the same time; it’s what a producer does. And going from the darkly intense, claustrophobic and tightly budgeted Black Swan to the gargantuan, Paramount- backed Noah, put Franklin in a challenging position. Unfazed, he relied on the skills that got him there to see the project through.

“You gotta get people to the starting line,” Franklin said. “And once you do that, you gotta get ’em to the finish line. And you gotta manage the process the whole way through. It’s being a foreman. It’s putting out fires. It’s anticipating those fires and putting them out before they start. It’s managing a lot of personalities and keeping everybody headed in the same direction.”

When it was released in late March of 2014, Noah won the weekend at the box office, hauling in $43 million domestic. Since then, it’s grossed over $300 million worldwide. For a time, it also turned the Franklin/Aronofsky juggernaut into a lightning rod. Aronofsky’s libertarian take on the story of God’s chosen “prepper” was scrutinized by everyone from the religious right to studio execs—all of which Franklin himself had prepped for, and welcomed.

“Any time you’re dealing with religion, it’s going to be controversial,” Franklin said. “And any time you’re dealing with that type of money, understandably, you’re going to have to be responsible to someone. That’s part of the managerial process: Communicating with the powers that be while at the same time battling to protect the vision and the fi lm we set out to make.”

In the current creative climate—one in which cable TV is king and big name actors are willing, even eager, to cross over from big screen to small—producing any movie, let alone a profitable, compelling one on a grand scale, is something of a miracle. And while Protozoa has recently cut a development deal with HBO, Franklin’s faith in film is undiminished. It comes from his cinematic upbringing, anchored in the classics from our generation.

“I didn’t study (film) in college, but I always had a passion for film,” said Franklin of his movie loving roots. “It’s so vast. Sergio Leone, Once Upon a Time in America. Mel Brooks, Young Frankenstein. Rocky. Of course there’s Goodfellas and the Godfather. Kubrick and Spielberg. We grew up with movies like E.T. and Close Encounters. We’re filmmakers. We love the idea of TV, but I don’t think movies will ever be dead. There are certain stories that warrant the big screen, the big sound and the full experience. We’ll always be making movies.”

It’s this type of commitment that’s been part of Franklin’s skill set from the beginning, when he took his communications degree from Ohio State and bolted for a fairly brief, ambivalent stint in LA, then returned to New York to take an unpaid assistant production gig on a little film called Pi because he simply “loved the script.” Pi became the innovative cult classic that launched Aronofsky and Franklin to an enduring collaboration in which they both find creative safe harbor and the
courage to take calculated risks.

“I don’t think you can worry (about failure),” said Franklin. “If you don’t risk it all and put it all out there because you’re worried you’re going to fail, then I think you’ve failed already. Then you’re not taking the chances you need to take to make a great film. You have to go for it.”

Drew Moss
Author: Drew Moss
Drew Moss is an SAT/ACT specialist, journalist, filmmaker and musician. He teaches film and writing at Hofstra University and Adelphi University. He lives in Long Beach, NY with his wife and children. See his work @

Clash of the Crossovers

Find out why these crossovers are going to be getting a lot of attention

Author: William K. Gock | Published:
Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, starting at $41,000
Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, starting at $41,000

From their earliest introduction to 
the automotive landscape, crossover utility vehicles have been the model of vehicular practicality. Lighter and more fuel-efficient than their full-size SUV brethren, most trump the capacity of a typical sedan, while offering optimized ground clearance and standard—or at the very least, optional—all-wheel drive; a powertrain configuration that not only tackles inclement weather, but delivers maximum road connection for those who enjoy a spirited excursion. There’s been just one lingering drawback to most wares in the segment: A lack of character.

So great is this discrepancy, certain brands have even been non-committal to the classification, preferring to sell “small SUVs” instead. Nomenclature aside, as the car and truck mash-ups continue to grab increasing hunks of market share, manufacturers are finally embracing these figurative step-children as truly loved and respected family members. No longer the bland, tan-on-tan, lunch box-styled rides of just a few years prior, today’s crop of crossovers is more stylish, capable and faster than ever. For buyers in the market for utility—but not willing to compromise on panache—consider a few recent favorites from the 2015 roster.

Land Rover
Range Rover Evoque
I fell in love with the Evoque back in its LRX concept days. Much to my delight, not only did most of the bold, angular styling carry over to production, it also set the direction for the marque’s exciting new design language. Now on the market for a few years, the Evoque is still perhaps the most configurable crossover available (notably offered in both three- and five-door) and arguably the most capable. Most will never leave pavement, but mine braved the uncertainty of deep mud, ruts, ice and even a couple of boulders—all of which it conquered in nonchalant fashion. The compact Rover showed its range in “magically” knowing the difference between Vancouver highways and the rugged slopes of Whistler. Don’t let the sleek, bejeweled face fool you. The Evoque’s DNA is that of a wild, off-the- grid survivalist; what it lacks in cargo room is more than compensated for with raw, go-anywhere talent. Starting at $41,000

Mercedes-Benz GLA
Mercedes-Benz would rather refer to its latest work of craftsmanship as a “small SUV” than a crossover; testament to how the classification still has
some barriers to break. Make no mistake though, this impeccably styled four- door—based largely on its recently introduced sister sedan, the CLA—is about as crossover as they come, which I mean in a good way. Under throttle, the GLA’s standard 2.0-liter turbo engine is quick and spry, with quite a serving of get-up- and-go and no detectable lag. I opted to throw it into some hard, dry corners, pleasantly finding it had one of the most planted, rail-riding feels in its class. And I’m confident its standard 4Matic AWD will perform through the next Polar Vortex. Simply put, it’s a properly trimmed, option-rich beaut of a utility vehicle that’s also packed with capability. Starting at $31,300

Porsche Macan
Ever looked out on a mantle of white, longing for the day your 911 can come out of hiding? Porsche now has the cure for seasonal affective driving disorder. The Macan (Indonesian for “tiger”) is the brand’s first foray into the crossover segment, and it’s far from a shy one. Pushing it through the elements in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, I found the 400hp turbo variant
of the Macan to feel less like a crossover and more like a Carrera hopped up on beefy tires and ample suspension. Of course it’s
a Porsche, so the cabin is rife with carbon and aluminum trim, but the Macan is more than just an all-season canyon carver (though it fills that niche quite well). Unlike the Targa or GTS, it’s able to fit a couple
of six-foot-plus adults—or ample gear—in
its cargo area with ease. Just make sure they’re properly secured, as this is the wildest crossover ride I’ve encountered to date. Starting at $49,900

William K. Gock
Author: William K. Gock
William K. Gock is the automotive content contributor for Playboy Magazine. His car and motorcycle reviews can also be found in numerous national print and online publications. Born and raised in New York's Hudson Valley, Gock currently lives with his wife and son in Babylon.

Wentworth by the Sea

Snow, sand and surf are key elements for a proper winter escape

Author: Deborah Geiger | Published:
Wentworth's wedding cake exterior design gives way to a subdued seaside theme within and the turret suites offer sweeping 360-degree views. Photos courtesy of wentworth by the sea
Wentworth's wedding cake exterior design gives way to a subdued seaside theme within and the turret suites offer sweeping 360-degree views. Photos courtesy of wentworth by the sea

Snow, sand and surf make for a serene and restful getaway during the winter months. Wentworth by the Sea, a New England resort in New Castle, New Hampshire, offers this enchanting backdrop—plus, no long lines, passports or flight delays. For those only familiar with New Hampshire’s dramatic White Mountains and miles of lush, snow-covered forest, its pristine 18-mile Atlantic coastline can be a spectacular surprise.

Also surprising is the colossal scale and old world, wedding-cake design of the imperial Wentworth by the Sea. The 161-room historic luxury hotel comes into view just beyond Portsmouth, facing Maine across the cobalt harbor. This coastal fl air and the hotel’s grand style provide the perfect scenery to stage a transformative winter retreat.

Wentworth by the Sea offers all the trappings of a New England seaside destination and ocean and harbor views from nearly all rooms provide a sense of context and place (New York City will seem far more than just five hours away). Originally constructed in 1874, the property was once one of more than 200 grand hotels in the mountains and on the coastline of New Hampshire.

By 1982 Wentworth had fallen into disrepair, but it was rescued by the nonprofit group Friends of the Wentworth, along with the company Ocean Properties Ltd., and reopened in 2003 following a $32 million capital improvement program. Upgrades included a new 10,000 square-foot spa and key architectural preservations included the property’s three distinctive Victorian towers.


Innovative and bold, the cuisine at Wentworth’s two restaurants naturally features fresh seafood.

In its golden age, Wentworth hosted Annie Oakley, Gloria Swanson, Harry Truman, Prince Charles and other government and entertainment stars. Its past also includes a role as stately backdrop in the film In Dreams, which starred Annette Bening, Robert Downey Jr. and Aidan Quinn.

While the Wentworth itself has a certain celebrity appeal, the New England coastal culture, whose laidback warmth can be felt the moment you arrive, is the real star. Even as the past is apparent in its historic details—crown moldings, fireplaces and grand rooms—Wentworth has all the makings of a modern luxury resort: indoor and outdoor pools, Jacuzzis, a fitness center, spa and four ballrooms for weddings and events. (A new ice-skating rink at nearby Strawbery Banke’s Puddle Dock Pond is another option in winter.)

Wentworth’s Salt Restaurant and Bar dishes up imaginative fare like East Coast halibut with hand spun pasta and bronzed diver scallops. Latitudes, a seasonal bistro-style eatery, offers delicacies like pan seared lump crab cake and Prince Edward Island mussels along with innovative cocktails like spiced passion fruit mojito and blossom honey Maracuyá margaritas.

Situated in grand style on New Hampshire’s rugged coast, Wentworth by the Sea is a stunning winter destination.

Reserve one of the property’s three multi-level Victorian turret suites, each offering sweeping 360-degree views, and you will be treated to the ocean to the south and east, and the White Mountains to the north and west. There is also much to see in New Castle itself. At only 500 square acres, the town was first settled in 1623 and is the state’s oldest and smallest town—and also the only one made up entirely of islands.

Fort Constitution on the north side, set on a three-acre peninsula, is considered one of New Hampshire’s most important historic military fortifications. It was built-in 1632 and was one of seven forts that protected Portsmouth Harbor. East-facing Great Island Common offers 32 acres of traditional New England beachfront that’s ideal for a winter walk. Ten minutes away, Portsmouth, a tidy, 17-square-mile city, heightens the sense of history with Colonial, Federal and Georgian-style houses and brownstones.

According to the New Hampshire Historical Society, there were more high-capacity, luxurious, old-world style hotels in New Hampshire in the late 19th century than anywhere else in the country; Wentworth by the Sea offers a 21st century retreat in the style of this grand past. The hotel hosts Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve functions, providing effortlessly festive seasonal celebrations. Even just one weekend among the wintry ocean waves, historic opulence and fresh seaside air will refresh, rejuvenate and inspire visitors to welcome a new year.

Deborah Geiger
Author: Deborah Geiger
Port Washington native Deborah Geiger has been writing professionally since 2005. She has written about travel for Destination Weddings & Honeymoons, Ocean Home, Northshore and other publications. She holds a journalism and psychology degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Unlocking the Pleasure of a Wine Cellar

Living with passion

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:
Wine cellars are usually subterranean for a reason. A few feet beneath the Earth’s surface, the temperature is generally a stable 65 degrees.
Wine cellars are usually subterranean for a reason. A few feet beneath the Earth’s surface, the temperature is generally a stable 65 degrees.

The romance of wine flows like a seemingly never-ending river. Having a cellar of one’s own to store personal favorites extends the romance. If wine is part of a routine, a wine cellar can become a great part of that lifestyle. And, when spending on investment-grade wine, a properly designed space tailored to ideal storage is an absolute must and it can generally be had in less than a few months.

Peter Cimino of North Fork Wine Cellar Designs in Carle Place plans and installs wine cellars from Manhattan to Montauk ranging in capacity from 400 to 8,500 bottles. “They’re now regularly included in most new home construction,” he said. “Other times it’s a homeowner’s request.” Cimino will often visit a site before starting a design to be sure it can meet the demands of a proper cellar. “Sometimes the desired site may not work and an alternative needs to be found,” he said, as when a furnace is nearby or if the space is not large enough.

Capacity is a big factor and differences can be substantial. Consider that a 6-by-6-foot space traditionally designed for the specific purpose of storage may hold 1,500-2,000 bottles. A more modern design that incorporates seating and other decorative elements can shrink that number down to about 200. Farmingdale-based Ken Windt, who designs wine cellars for Kedco Wine Storage Systems, recently completed a design for a client who wanted space from which to hang artwork. While many clients want brick walls for an old-world, cavernous feeling, “some want a more modern look with lots of glass and steel shelving. This style will generally have a lesser storage capacity but has almost an art gallery feel to it where the collection is the focal point.” Windt said.

It really comes down to how the homeowner uses the space. Often, it’s a grab and go. But increasingly, the cantina is becoming a place to gather and socialize. Still, as important as size is, it’s not the only element in the design. Lighting and spacing are often overlooked said Mark O’Donnell of Alternative Construction Solutions in Westhampton Beach. “Basic track lighting is all most wine cellars need. You want to be able to easily read the labels. [When] people like to linger in their cellar with a guest or two, space for moving about and tasting should be incorporated. Four-foot wide aisles are comfortable.”

While a temperature-control system will help preserve wine in an ideal state, it can make the cellar chilly. In order for the beauty of a cellar to be enjoyed without having to wear an overcoat, many are being designed with a separate tasting area, where guests can enjoy dinner in a warmer setting with a view of the wine.

The material used to build the room and display the bottles influences the size of the refrigeration unit and therefore the cost of maintaining the wine. Wine cellars also require superior insulation and moisture proofing. According to Cimino, a room with solid, insulated walls and a wood door with insulated, double pane glass is ideal for keeping the conditioned air in the cellar. Cimino also noted that drains are often needed to remove cooling unit condensation, which is difficult to incorporate when the foundation makes for some of the walls and floor. That’s why some newer designs feature ventilation and refrigeration systems in a separate room.

For safe storage, oak or maple racks accommodate various bottle sizes and should be anchored to a wall or floor—you never know when a magnum of Chateau Margaux is going to fall into your hands and you don’t want that rack getting toppled by a mop. As always, bottles should be stored on their sides on sloping racks to keep corks moist. Surrounding those racks, savvy builders will construct the areas in materials other than wood, which can warp or erode in the moisture over time.

Other features include software that automatically values a collection, provides “recommended drink dates” and a bar-coding system to keep track of consumption. A wine’s value often increases as it approaches its peak drinking years and decreases once it passes that point. Anti-theft devices now include password-protected or fingerprint-identification entry systems although traditional key-locks are more common. Others are linked to home-security systems that can signal a warning should there be an unauthorized entry or the temperature strays too far from the desired level (common after power outages). In areas prone to hurricanes or other natural disasters, back-up generators can prevent extreme temperature fluctuation, a few hours of which can destroy a collection that may have taken years to assemble.

Buying and Storing

“There are plenty of wines to be had in the $15-$20 price range that age well,” said Paul DeVerna, chief wine buyer at Vintage Mattituck. “Some like to store wine to see how it evolves,” he added. Aging changes wine’s flavor over time. Marco Pellegrini, head chef and wine buyer at Caci in Southold recommended northern Italian reds such as barolo and barbaresco from Piedmont. “These are robust wines that age well.” Barolo tends to age better but each peak in about 10 years. Langhe Nebbiolo, also from Piedmont, is usually a very good “value wine” for starting a collection.

Similarly, DaVerna recommended buying what you like. “Most people start collecting with Bordeaux. Over time one may develop a preference for wines from a particular winemaker or region they visited and subsequently focus their collection in that direction.” Start a collection by appraising your diet. If that includes a lot of red meat and strong cheese, seek out bolder reds like Long Island merlots. Lighter eaters may prefer wines that better accompany fish and white meat like chardonnay and sauvignon blanc.

Insuring a Collection

To protect a collection, blanket coverage is the most common as one lump sum covers everything with a maximum or “per item” limit for a single bottle usually peaking out at $50,000. While this is overkill for most collectors, blanket coverage usually does not require an appraisal or receipt.

“Over 40 percent of wine claims handled by AIG Private Client Group are a result of power outages or malfunctioning of a temperature-control system,” said Katja Zigerlig, a New York City-based vice president of art, wine and jewelry insurance for AIG Private Client Group. “Water damage is the second most common source of loss. This can be from pipes bursting or flooding. Damage during transit is another concern.”

Events such as fire, lightning, explosion and theft are rarely adequately covered by a standard homeowner’s policy, but specialized coverage can usually be added, often with no deductible and little additional premium. For example, a collection valued at $100,000 may cost about $450 to cover. As with all fine collections, a photo or video recording is recommended and in some cases required by insurers. Worldwide coverage protects wine while it is in transit from anywhere in the world and better policies pay up to 150 percent of the agreed amount.

Temperature Fluctuation—the Enemy of Wine

Temperature consistency is the most important aspect of wine storage. While most reds comfortably rest at 55-57 degrees Fahrenheit, 60 degrees will generally work providing the temperature stays level. A week or two with temperatures above 70 degrees may impact the wine’s taste. But when storing wines that are consumed young, this may not be as big a problem. “Temperature fluctuations can create small degradations which can become noticeable over time,” advised Windt. Many merchants will not ship wines in the summer months for that reason.

Proper racking and a cooling unit can also minimize breakage. Basic residential cooling units start at about $800, less than half the cost of a case of Dom Pérignon Champagne. According to Cimino, many contractors often install a commercial-grade refrigeration unit for residential use, which may not be fully compatible with a household electrical system. “Commercial cooling units can create problems in residential cellars. We’ve had cases where we’ve had to remove and replace them with a residential cooling system.”

Variety is Key

While a cellar may provide a feeling of well-being, there are risks to consider, such as paying more than necessary for a given wine and building too small a cellar. “When someone tells me they want a 500-bottle capacity cellar,” said Cimino, “I almost immediately say that will not be enough. Once you have the cellar you’re going to naturally start buying wine to fill it. Aim for double your expected capacity.”

Too much concentration in any particular region, varietal or single producer can create a dull collection. Acknowledging that there is an enormous range of wine available, many seasoned collectors refrain from buying by the case despite the discounts usually offered, opting instead to limit themselves to three to six bottles per selection. This leaves room to store a variety, especially useful if members of the same household have different tastes.

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Pulse’s Handbook for Surviving the Holidays

The frenetic pace of eating, drinking and shopping is part of every holiday season—here’s how to do them better

Author: Max Fischer | Published:

The holidays are a joyous time of year filled with laughter, love and a ludicrous amount of food and wine. It’s the best time of the year, right? But sometimes Thanksgiving dinner can feel like the starting line of a bacchanalian marathon that extends well into January. One way to stay out of trouble is by shutting the social calendar down for six weeks. But that’s not realistic, or much fun. Instead, adopt a plan to enjoy the next few weeks without feeling bloated, heavy or nauseous the morning after.


That little voice inside knows when the body’s had its fill. But the spirit of the season—and that third glass of wine—has a way of silencing that vote. The trick is enjoying the dinner party in moderation without feeling cheated.

Start with the food. The richest most decadent dishes take center stage this time of year. Everyone dives right in because, what the heck, it’s the holidays. The key to avoiding overeating is planning ahead and snacking before the party on protein rich items like Greek yogurt or a piece of cheese and some nuts. Keep up the routine of breakfast and lunch, which should leave stomachs welcoming dinner, but not starving for it.


Grilled fish over greens is a smart and tasty choice

At a restaurant, look for the healthiest protein, usually chicken breast or fish, and ask for sauces on the side to control calories. “Even good foods can take a turn for the worse if they’re drowning in calorific sauces or dressings,” said Karen Ansel, a Syosset-based nutritionist. “The ultimate choice would be a piece of grilled fish, with no sauce and a side of vegetables plus a small side salad.” Avoid fat- or calorie-heavy proteins like duck, goose or lamb and ask the server for an extra side of fiber rich, low starch veggies like broccoli, Brussels sprouts or artichokes to keep calories down while still feeling full.

Come dessert things get harder, especially when the cookies come around. Ansel’s approach isn’t to ignore the desire, but rather make sure the stomach isn’t totally empty when bellying up to the sweets platter. “If you know you’ll be nibbling on Christmas cookies, do it after a meal so you don’t eat an entire tray.” Better still, go with a cappuccino or espresso instead, which provides that richness that signals the end of a meal.

Alcohol is the holidays’ most dangerous two-face: The right amount feels great, but one or two missteps not only makes the next day (or days) harder but can also make overeating easier. Knowing the limit of something regularly consumed, like wine or beer is easy, but holiday specific drinks like eggnog or brandy might require a slower pace. Mitigate tomorrow’s headache by varying between alcohol and a diet soda or sparkling water. “Try alternating one alcohol drink with something nonalcoholic throughout the night and stay away from mixed drinks or coolers, which can be higher in sugar,” said Jillian Panzella, a New York City-based nutritionist.


The holidays mean lots of photos, especially in the camera phone era. Follow these pro tips from Pulse’s contributing photographer Matt Furman for a pretty picture every time.

Start with the lighting: Always try to get subjects near natural light because tungsten bulbs can give off an orange glow. At night, fit a camera’s flash with an inexpensive diffuser to soften the harsh light.

Mix things up: Everyone tends to line up shoulder to shoulder at parties, which gets stale. “Grab your uncle and give him a hug, it will produce a natural smile and that’s what you want,” Furman said. “You’re trying to catch a moment.” Stagger the subjects a bit by having some stand and some seating. Furman likes to bunch families towards the end of a couch where the armrest provides interesting seating angles.

Watch the background: While no one can prevent a zealous photo-bomber, paying attention to what’s going on behind the subjects pays off. Furman is mindful of furniture so a lamp isn’t sticking out of someone’s head and he avoids TVs whenever possible because they become rectangular black boxes. Take a step or two back for better composition. “We have a tendency to get too close, as if when we’re shooting two people, those two faces should fill the entire frame.” Instead, remember that most cameras and smartphones can crop a photo before sharing.

Postproduction: When Furman’s not shooting with his professional camera he’s using the one on his smartphone and editing those shots with Google’s Snapseed app. Import a photo then adjust everything from contrast and saturation to special effects. The VSCO Cam app uses the smartphone’s camera to make shooting, editing and sharing photos easier. Both are free; iOS, Android.


Although drinking to excess is not the exclusive domain of the holidays, it sure does seem to happen more frequently this time of year. Think you’re too seasoned to overindulge? Think again. A Center for Disease Control and Prevention study found that nearly $160 billion in productivity is lost to hangovers every year. And the current trends in consumption make it even easier to loose a grip: Wine comes in glasses the size of punchbowls and cocktails take on the flavors of decadent desserts.

Water it down
One of the root causes for the morning after is dehydration exacerbated by the diuretic effect alcohol has on the body. Expect to lose about four times as much water for every drink. Hydrate by spacing one glass of H2O between each cocktail.

Order Smartly
As warming as three fingers of a fine Scotch may seem, ordering drinks on the rocks helps to increase the water intake. Avoid carbonated mixers whenever possible, the gas helps carry the alcohol into the bloodstream faster.

Pace properly
Keep it to one drink per hour—12oz of beer, 5oz of wine or about 1½oz of spirits. That’s about what the average person can metabolize.

See clearly
Generally, clear sprits like vodka wreak less havoc the next day than darker rums or whiskeys. The root of the problem is congeners, the chemical compound in alcohol that contributes to its color, smell and taste. More expensive brands tend to have less of the stuff, so stick with the pricier browns.

The morning after
While everyone has a “cure” for a hangover, the medical community hasn’t really made strides to solve the problem. Maybe it’s payback? Stick with the basics: Take ibuprofen before hitting the sack and again the morning after to help with the headache (avoid aspirin, it can increase the risk of internal bleeding when combined with alcohol and upset the stomach).

The hair-of-the-dog approach through a Bloody Mary helps, if it’s a virgin. The tomato-based drink has salt and fructose to help rehydrate and potassium and vitamin C, which the body needs after a night out on the town, but including alcohol in the mix only slows the body’s recovery. “If that doesn’t help, a big, fat bacon cheeseburger or chocolate milk always seems to work,” said Suzy Ribeiro, a bartender at Tweeds Restaurant & Buffalo Bar in Riverhead.


Gift giving is a big part of the holidays though it can quickly gobble up countless weekends and afternoons searching all over town for that perfect something. The Pulse staff shops. A lot. Here’s how we make it through the season.

Check the Tech
Buying a camera, smartphone or tablet for someone but not sure what to get? We check sites like Best Buy for the average Joe’s review and the more techminded opinions at CNET. Use scanning apps, we like Amazon’s App [free; iOS, Android]. It’s handy for checking the barcode of that camera to see if it isn’t less expensive at another store or website.

Dress appropriately
From the chilly temperatures to the warmth of the car to the even warmer stores, dressing the part can help shopping trips seem less of a marathon. Our favorite go-to: The vest. It’s keeps the torso warm enough from the house to the boutique, but not so stifling that indoor temps cause a meltdown.

Save on Shipping
Putting shopping on the back burner isn’t always a bad thing. lists coupon codes for free shipping from major retailers starting Dec 18.

Max Fischer
Author: Max Fischer

Resolution Revolution

Forget New Year’s resolutions, 2015 is all about the brand new!

Author: Chris Connolly | Published:

You say you want a resolution? Well, forget it. This year, we’re not quitting anything, cutting back on anything or trying to lose 15 of anything. Instead, we’re all about new acquisitions, baby. Drown out 2014’s broken promises with 2015’s new habits and skills.

Going, Going, Green!
Sweet Woodland Farm
45 Old Squires Rd, Hampton Bays

Being ecologically conscious and “green” is no longer just for trustafarians—it’s a survival imperative. But for those New Yorkers who need a road map on their return to nature, Sweet Woodland Farm in Hampton Bays offers help.

The farm is currently occupied by Rachel and Mike Stephens, their children Ben and Rayna, and also 12 chickens, 10 quail, 7 ducks, 4 guineafowls, 4 cats, 2 gerbils, a rabbit, a gecko, a frog and a beta fish. (Population numbers subject to change without notice.)


The family is always involved in some kind of homesteading occupation—spinning yarn, beekeeping, animal husbandry, growing organic foods—and they teach their skills to community members who’d like to emulate a piece of their lifestyle. Offerings include four levels of knitting (Getting Started, Scarf, Cowl and Hat), sewing, organic vegetable gardening, raising chickens and canning. They also run a summer farm stand where visitors can buy handcarved wooden items, fresh breads, herbs, vegetables, chicks and even the fertilized eggs of French Guinea Fowl and Northern Bobwhite Quail.

Dance: Shake What Mama Gave You
Learning to dance is one of those ideas that tends to live on the back burner. We always plan to do it, but it never seems like exactly the right time. Given the supply of first-rate dance studios on the Island, however, there’s really no excuse to continue living life with two left feet.

Ohman Ballet
60 Calvert Ave, Commack
Frank Ohman danced as a soloist with the San Francisco and New York ballets for 22 years before opening his school in 1979. His teaching system is non-competitive and isn’t recital-based, which equates to a relaxed atmosphere for beginners and others not set on some day playing Odette in Swan Lake. Masters classes are available as are intro classes and beginners’ pointe.

Ballet Long Island
1863 Pond Rd, Ronkonkoma
Despite the specificity of the name, Ballet Long Island actually provides a varied menu of movement classes for all ages. Among the courses offered are hip-hop, jazz, kick line (which sounds like a blast), lyrical, tap and more. They also off er a daddy/daughter dance evening for fathers looking to carve out quality time.


Shimmy Shimmy Dance Studio
3316 Route 112, Suite E, Medford
At the opposite end of the daddy/daughter spectrum is the Shimmy Shimmy Dance Studio where classes include “Burlesque Chair” and “Aerial Hammock Fitness.” Pole and belly dancing classes are also available, but don’t get the wrong idea: While the lessons certainly have applications in the boudoir, the focus here is firmly on fun and fitness.

Music: Play it loud
“One good thing about music/ when it hits you, you feel no pain.” Or so Bob Marley sang. But we’re willing to bet even Marley found the learning process a bit of a grind at the outset, which is why so many of us put off music lessons year after year. Luckily, Long Island is home to a great many music teachers who specialize in teaching reticent rockers and procrastinating pianists. Your journey to musical fluency starts here.

Family Melody Center
77 South Ocean Ave, Patchogue
Specializing in one-to-one instruction in their homey, Patchogue location, the Family Melody Center has been spreading the love of music since 1956! The shop rents a wide range of instruments and also offers their signature Rock Shop, which is always well-stocked with axes, drums, keyboards and amp stacks in case you need your own Wall of Sound.

Great Neck Music
625 Middle Neck Rd, Great Neck
The GNMC is something of a one-stop shop for all that musical ability we always meant to cultivate. They cover the basics, of course—Song Writing and Composition, Guitar, Basic Musicianship, Ear Training, Music Theory—but they also have an extended calendar of off -beat offerings that piqued our curiosity: Drum Circle anyone? How about Opera, Musical Theater or Intro to Ventriloquism?

The Music Institute of Long Island
90 Plandome Rd, Manhasset
The Music Institute has been instructing musicians from ages 3 to 103 for almost a quarter century. (We imagine if you’re 104, they’ll probably let you in anyway.) Their expertise extends to just about anything with keys, strings or reeds, and they offer both group and individual lessons.



The Art League of Long Island
107 East Deer Park Rd, Dix Hills
(631) 462-5011,
While we at Pulse love the arts all year-round, we’re feeling very fond of practical pottery for the new year. There’s something about sinking your hands into an earthy mass and coaxing forth a three-dimensional object that’s making us all warm and fuzzy. The Art League of Long Island offers all kinds of courses from welding and calligraphy to color mixing and graffiti, and their pottery offerings are equally diverse.

They teach beginner and intermediate clay workshops, ceramics courses at several levels as well as sculpture, wheelwork, clay handbuilding and even classes for partners. They also have lectures like Bill van Gilder’s “The Functional Pot: Tips, Tools & Techniques.” In this demonstration van Gilder, a potter for 40 years, deconstructs the functional form and shares his vast experience.

Other places to pot locally:
Artrageous Studio, 5 North Village Ave, Rockville Centre,
Earth Arts, 162 West Park Ave, Long Beach,
Earth ’n Vessel, 67 West Main St, Bay Shore,
Gather Studio, 85 East Main St, Patchogue,
Haven Art Studio, 29 Haven Ave, Port Washington,

Say What? Language!
Vai jus runaijat Latviski? Kâpêc ne? That’s how you say “Do you speak Latvian? Why not?” in Latvian. In case you’ve been meaning to learn Latvian or another new tongue, here are several ways to get multilingual.

Listen and Learn

Their locations in Babylon, Oyster Bay and Islip employ native speakers to teach individuals and small groups in nearly 50 different tongues from Afrikaans to Zulu.

Great Neck Music Conservatory
625 Middle Neck Rd, Great Neck
Remember these guys from the music section? They also teach Yiddish and invite you to “kumt khapn a shmues.” (Come have a chat.)

Sign Language for Adults
501 South Broadway, Hicksville
American Sign Language is recognized by New York State as a foreign language and these classes, arranged by Mill Neck Services for Deaf Adults and taught at the Interpreter Services Building in Hicksville, cover the beginner and intermediate levels.

Kerry Travaglione contributed to this story.

Chris Connolly
Author: Chris Connolly

Ride the Powder Highway

A guide to skiing and riding the better Rocky Mountains

Author: Peter Bronski | Published:
photos: dave heath / red mountain resort
photos: dave heath / red mountain resort

With all due respect to the Colorado Rockies, the Canadian Rockies offer some of the most stunning mountain scenery in North America and some of the best skiing and riding in the world. Up north the mountains are more rugged than their sister sites to the south in Colorado and Utah. Thousands of glaciers feed mountain lakes so brilliantly blue the water (when it’s not frozen over and covered in snow) could pass as an import from the Caribbean. Canada’s resorts get truly unbelievable amounts of snow—up to a mind-boggling 45 feet or more at some of the most snow-blessed resorts. But this is all like saying New York is the greatest city in the world— the question remains: What’s the best part of the best?

The epicenter of Rocky Mountain paradise is a core of mountain ranges north of Idaho and Montana along the northwest-southeast border between British Columbia and Alberta. Weaving amidst the peaks and valleys, a number of genuinely world-class ski resorts are strung out like pearls along a powder highway. The most logical entry point to that alpine utopia is Calgary. It’s Canada’s Denver: An urban gateway just east of the mountains and home to a major airport a little over five-hours direct from New York. And with currency exchange rates the best they’ve been in five years, now’s the time to go.


best luxe

Best Luxe Experience: Baff -Lake Louise

In Banff-Lake Louise, an easy two-hour drive from Calgary’s international airport, skiers and riders access the heart of a crown jewel of Canada’s park system: 1.6-million-acre Banff National Park. A trio of resorts known as the Big Three—Sunshine Village, Mount Norquay and Lake Louise Ski Resort—are where the action is, while the town of Banff, a quintessential Canadian Rockies mountain community, anchors the experience.

Split a visit here into two parts. Start at Sunshine Village, the closest to the town of Banff. Sunshine’s trails go right off the Continental Divide, cradled between Goat’s Eye and Lookout mountains. Then spend the night at Sunshine Mountain Lodge, the only slopeside lodging in the park. It’s accessible only by gondola, so once day-skiers leave, lodge guests own the mountain for the night.

Craving a touch of civilization? The Banff Centre in the nearby town is known for its music, arts and mountain culture programs. Head over to The Bison Restaurant & Terrace in downtown Banff where Canadian fare includes British Columbia steelhead trout, Quebec duck, Alberta beef and of course, bison from the Canadian prairie.

For part two, head 45 minutes up the road to Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. This luxury hotel— perched on the edge of its namesake lake, with a stunning backdrop of jagged peaks and the famous Victoria Glacier to frame the view—is as close to a real Disney castle as North America gets. From here, hit up the Lake Louise Ski Resort and the aptly-named Men’s Downhill trail. It hosts the opening races of the FIS Ski World Cup series each year and is a member of the Club 5, making it one of the world’s classic downhill courses. Then complement the luxe experience with dinner at The Post Hotel Restaurant. It’s one of North America’s top restaurants and one of only four in Canada to earn Wine Spectator’s Grand Award.


Best Expert Experience: Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

When Kicking Horse opened in 2000, it was the first new four-season resort in the Canadian Rockies in a quarter century. Located just outside the town of Golden, and in the heart of one the highest concentrations of epic ski resorts anywhere, Kicking Horse had to bring something special to the table. It did that with expert terrain in spades. A full 60 percent of Kicking Horse is dedicated to advanced runs, a higher percentage than any other mountain on this list. That terrain includes the famous (or infamous, depending on the perspective) CPR Ridge and Redemption Ridge, with double-black-diamond steeps and chutes.

Kicking Horse offers myriad lodges, townhomes and other slopeside accommodations, but there is only one boutique experience: The Copper Horse Lodge and its 10 luxurious suites. Or, nearby in Golden, Kicking Horse River Lodge has earned rave reviews from guests for nearly 10 years. The onsite Bugaboo Café is a great spot to grab breakfast to fuel a day on the slopes.

Come dinnertime, don’t miss the Eagle’s Eye. At 7,705 feet above sea level atop the resort’s lofty ridge, it’s Canada’s highest-elevation restaurant and requires a gondola ride. Eating there is worth it just for the views alone, which include five national parks from that single perch. To truly appreciate the view, skip the dinner reservation and go up for lunch, when the sun is still shining.

Off the mountain, the region’s best fare is found at Cedar House (try the house-made charcuterie), a 20-minute drive from Kicking Horse. Right in downtown Golden, beloved Eleven 22 offers an eclectic menu that lists Stilton fondue alongside pot stickers. And while in town pay a visit to the nearby Northern Lights Wildlife Wolf Centre to get up close and personal with a pack of greys—either from behind a fence that separates guests from the wolf enclosure or on a guided hike in the enclosure.


Best Big-Mountain Experience: Revelstoke Mountain Resort

In Revelstoke, that one word says it all. It’s the name of a striking mountain, a Canadian national park, the town and the ski resort. Put the emphasis on the “stoke,” which describes the feeling of driving over legendary Rogers Pass, the high mountain road through Glacier National Park that leads to Revelstoke.

This resort is big. Seriously big. It boasts the greatest vertical drop of any resort in all of North America: 5,620 feet. That’s more than a vertical mile. And the resort’s longest run is 9½-miles long. That’s like a single ski run starting in Harlem and finishing near Battery Park. Revelstoke also claims to be the only resort in the world that offers lift-served, cat skiing, heli skiing and backcountry skiing all from the convenience of the same base village.

For food and lodging, the best bet is a mountain-town split. Bed down for the night with the ski-in/ski-out convenience of the luxury Sutton Place Hotel, but make sure a stay includes at least one dinner at the farm-to-table Woolsey Creek Bistro. To keep things more casual, plan a tour and tasting at downtown’s Mt. Begbie Brewery. Their Darkside of the Stoke stout is brewed with their own Stoke Roasted Coffee.

When legs turn to Jell-O from Revelstoke’s insane vertical, head to the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre, hailed as Canada’s best national park museum. It’s modeled after a historic railway snowshed (Canada’s first trans-continental railroad went through here). According to Parks Canada, the Rogers Pass area has the highest avalanche activity of any highway in North America. That alone would be worth the drive from Revelstoke—you can watch massive avalanches thunder down the mountain slopes after Canadian Department of National Defence soldiers fire explosives from 105-mm howitzers.


Best Authentic Experience: Red Mountain Resort

Located in Rossland, British Columbia, Red Mountain Resort offers the authentic experience only an original can provide—this is where skiing in the Canadian Rockies began and later came of age. The town is home to Canada’s oldest winter carnival, dating back more than a century to 1897. (This year it takes place Jan 29 – Feb 1.) Red Mountain is also the birthplace of modern skiing in Canada. The first chairlift in western Canada was installed here and Red also hosted North America’s first alpine World Cup skiing race.

Red’s 4,000-acre sweeping terrain includes a near 1,000-acre expansion from last year. With volcano-shaped summits, there’s even the rarity of 360-degree skiing off certain chairlifts. Meanwhile, Red now offers in-bounds cat skiing on White Wolf Ridge for $10 per run on a first come, first served basis. It’s an affordable and safe way to test the cat skiing waters normally reserved for more serious skiers and riders.

On-mountain lodging is the way to go in Rossland, either the ski-in condos of Granite Mountain Chalets or slopeside Slalom Creek, Red’s newest venue. Rafters on the mountain and Rock Cut Pub between Red and Rossland, which doesn’t have a single traffic light, are the places to go for après drinks. For a proper meal, Idgie’s Fine Food looks modest but delivers the goods from a small but excellent menu. (Go on Tuesdays for specials on the house pasta.)

Best Total Experience: Fernie Alpine Resort

Imagine a historic downtown of low-slung restaurants and shops, the main street covered with snow (upwards of 37 feet of it fall each winter at the nearby ski resort!) and soaring mountains that seem to rise up right from the edge of town. Welcome to Fernie, a winter wonderland in the southern Canadian Rockies.

The town got its start more than a century ago from coal mining. These days, it’s the surrounding mountains—and the alpine ski resort—that are the economic lifeblood of the community. Fernie has diverse terrain that offers something for everyone. That sounds cliché, but here it’s true. The terrain is split evenly between beginner (30 percent), intermediate (40 percent) and advanced and expert (30 percent). The resort is especially known for five alpine bowls that sit below the imposing mountain trio of Elephant Head, Polar Peak and Grizzly Peak.

To stay close to the action, the townhomes at Cedar Ridge Estates offer luxury ski-in convenience close to the Elk Quad chairlift. For a unique historic-yet-contemporary alternative in downtown Fernie, 901 Fernie offers high-end accommodations in the town’s restored and rebuilt original public school dating to 1908. Plus, it’s located right on the edge of downtown shopping and dining and the on-site Spa 901 offers a great way to pamper and soothe tired, sore muscles.

For après ski, the Griz Bar on the mountain is it. A lot of bars can claim to be their mountain’s go-to spot for post slope swill, but the Griz has been doing it for more than half a century. Craving a slice of home while cruising the powder highway? Stop in for breakfast at Big Bang Bagels. No, it’s not a Long Island bagel, but locals and visitors alike rave about this version.

Peter Bronski
Author: Peter Bronski
Peter Bronski ( is a Long Island native and award-winning writer from Boulder, Colorado. His book, At the Mercy of the Mountains: True Stories of Survival and Tragedy in New York's Adirondacks, came out earlier this year. His next book, Powder Ghost Towns: Epic Backcountry Turns at Colorado's Lost Ski Resorts, comes out this fall. Bronski's writing has also appeared in Men's Journal, Caribbean Travel & Life, Westchester Magazine, Vermont Life and 5280: Denver's Mile-High Magazine, among many others.

The Best Week November 2014

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published: Friday, October 31, 2014

November is the month we indulge in culinary comforts. It’s a good time to start enjoying the warm embrace of enclosed spaces, but it’s not hibernation season…yet. There’s plenty to enjoy in and out of doors on a crisp fall day.

Head over the bridge and taste the crispy fowl perfection served at Peking Duck House (finger-licking review on page 30). Afterward, walk off the coma-inducing poultry by taking in the El Greco exhibits at the Frick and the Met (backstory on page 36).

Indoor sports heat up this time of year. Get to Sky Zone in Deer Park and bounce your way to fitness (jump to page 109 for details). Or smash some dingers at Baseball Plus in Hicksville (page 118).

T.J. McBrews in Sound Beach fills growlers to-go. Grab a jug (or two) of your fave and settle in for a night of comedy—Island-native Ken Marino is dishing laughs on his new show Marry Me (see page 85). Or just chill to the latest sounds by alt-j, proclaimed as the next Radiohead (all the hype’s on page 70).

Huntington has seasonal treats for the eyes and taste buds. Check out the Long Island Biennial at Heckscher Museum, a fall showcase of local artists like Alan Richards and his photo mash-ups (see some on page 83). Grab drinks afterwards at Honu and taste their seasonal cocktail with figs and fennel (page 40).

If you make Thursday lunches a time to catch up with friends, the weekend starts that much earlier. Work your way around the Island taste testing highlights from our Great Sandwich Survey (page 131).

Work’s done and it’s time to hit the town. We’ve got you covered for today, next week… in fact, a whole month of date nights, girls’ nights, guys’ nights or an evening with a group. Our Diners Club (page 100) is a full list of Friday night delights put together by your favorite insiders.

Improve your wine palate today (primer on page 146). Learn about the art of the blend with Bedell’s reds or compare aging notes with Macari and Lenz merlots. Hungry? Our annual 18 Things to Eat (page 142) is the perfect complement.

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Portrait of a Supercar: Jaguar F-TYPE Project 7

Author: William K. Gock | Published: Thursday, October 30, 2014

It pays to dream. At least it has for Cesar Pieri, a recent addition to Jaguar’s England-based design team. Pieri, who dared to re-imagine the brand’s latest star, the F-TYPE roadster, set off a whirlwind chain of events culminating in yet another option for those looking to pounce on a car that’s already impressed the automotive world for some time.

Meet Project 7, a series of sketches-turned-concept that begat a limited-production run, the first from Jaguar’s MI6ish-sounding Special Vehicle Operations division. Inspired by the marque’s iconic D-TYPE racecar, P7 pays homage to Jag’s rich racing heritage and seven wins at Le Mans with some well thought out nips, tucks and chops. Lighter, lower and considerably more aggressive in demeanor, the track-tuned offering also received
a noticeable bump in power over previous F-TYPES, with a total of 575 horses being harnessed from
its supercharged V8. After a brief West Coast stint at its reins, I’d dare wager it has even more to deliver if tinkered with.

Like the coupe and convertible before it, simply firing up the P7 is an enjoyable exercise in itself and maybe the most auto-erotic fun you could have while at a standstill. Pushing the start prompts a brisk swipe of the gauge needles and unleashes a throaty cackle quite fitting its character.


Though styled as a two-seat racer, there is no shortage of proper, bespoke-quality trimmings inside. The seat is noticeably lower than that of its cousins and controls are simple and driver-centric. Like everything from Jaguar’s recent lineup, the cockpit indulges the sense of touch just as much as
sight. If a surface isn’t wrapped in buttery-soft leather or Alcantara, it’s probably crafted from aluminum or carbon fiber. No helmet is required for operation, but the aeronautic-inspired switches and toggles had me ready to get my Top Gun on. While much of the trim has been carried over from the standard F-TYPE, this special edition’s racy stitching and color options scream performance.

With a paddle blip and a stomp, the Project 7 is out of the gates like a Triple Crown contender. The 25 additional horses it has over the next fastest
model, the F-TYPE R coupe, may sound minimal on paper, but paired with a remapped engine management system their force is thunderous. The upgrades shave off 0.2 seconds for a new naught- to-60 time of 3.8 seconds, but it feels like you’re there in half that. And though the car sits a half-inch lower—courtesy of an even finer-tuned suspension—curves are something that should be approached with respect. Even with traction control and all electronic babysitters on duty, the car’s backend is eager to sidestep should you lead your dance with too much reckless abandon. Still, P7’s steering is connected and precise; with a little self-restraint and proper throttle control, the car dashes and weaves with the athleticism and agility of its feline namesake.

Warning: Plan jaunts accordingly. P7’s menacing new front fascia and D-TYPE inspired fin are finely executed examples of form meeting function. Its removable roof panel however, was more of an afterthought. An automatic convertible mechanism would’ve added 44 pounds. It was nixed in keeping with the racy nature of this beast—keeping dry can be accomplished with the included manual fabric panel, but it’s clearly not the priority.

Those dreaming of their own Project 7 may want to sketch out a plan to order now. Set for a spring 2015 release, only 250 of this fine species will be bred worldwide. Don’t expect them to sit still, that’s the last thing they’ve been built to do.

Engine: Supercharged DOHC 32-valve V8
0-60: 3.8 seconds
Max Speed: 186mph (Limited)
Max Torque: 502lb-Ft
Max Power: 575hp
Base Price: $165,925

William K. Gock
Author: William K. Gock
William K. Gock is the automotive content contributor for Playboy Magazine. His car and motorcycle reviews can also be found in numerous national print and online publications. Born and raised in New York's Hudson Valley, Gock currently lives with his wife and son in Babylon.

The Great Sandwich Survey

The national obsession is taken to the next level, locally

Author: Sal Vaglica | Published:
photos: stuart goldenberg
photos: stuart goldenberg

The sandwich has always been about mobility. It’s something cobbled together with what’s at hand, slung between whatever leftover bread is lying around. So linked is lunch to the sandwich that without the latter the noon break would be little more than a snack. Think about it: It’s probably the first thing you fed yourself as a child and chances are you’ve had at least one this week. Yet as often as we bring stuffed bread to mouth we’ve all suffered through more than a few uninspired creations made up, ad hoc, in line at the deli. Chefs have never paid more attention to the art of sandwich making than now—and believe us, it’s an art. The bread has never been better nor the produce fresher or more local. Time and effort are poured into things like roasting meats in house or making chutney and sauces, those secret pockets of flavor that can take a sandwich to the next level. From a defunct railroad car in Mineola to a quaint café on the North Fork, menus are filling up with new combinations or those with more than 100 years of history.

Pulled Pork

The Breakfast Pulled Pork
Jam, Massapequa Park
The staple lunch of the Carolinas is reimagined for lazy weekends. Co-owner Peter Mangouranes came up with the idea while conceiving dishes for an all-pork food truck that never happened. A nine-pound Berkshire pork butt is brined for two days in sugar, salt and water to infuse moisture and flavor. After that the skin is scored and covered with a wet rub of maple syrup, bay leaves and cinnamon before developing flavor over three hours in an oven. A fork-pulled heap is heated in the pan with more maple syrup and bacon drippings then piled onto a house-baked brioche roll that was buttered and grilled. The meat is topped with two eggs—get them over medium for just the right amount of yolk sauce. It’s all there: Soft and chewy, with the salty and sweet flavors of a good diner breakfast.


The Buffalo Blue Cheese-Stuffed Meatloaf Sandwich
Roast Sandwich House, Melville
Each morning a batch of artisanal ciabatta is dropped off at the back door of Roast, still warm from a Queens bakery. Inside, the bread is used for a variety of sandwiches, but none soothe the football soul better than meatloaf infused with Buffalo wing sauce. Ground beef, veal and pork are soaked in a proprietary sauce that includes a touch of sweetness and smokiness. Out of the bath the meat is sprinkled with blue cheese, formed and baked. Meatloaf slices meet the griddle to crisp up before joining sharp cheddar and slices of thick-cut, applewood-smoked bacon. It’s the familiarity of meatloaf with a tangy sauce combined with crisp, pressed bread and rich cheese flavor that makes for comfort food you can hold with two hands.


Relish, Kings Park
The best BLT is a delicate balance of restraint and excess. Chef and co-owner Stephen Cardello learned the difference when he offered the sandwich at his local-food-inspired diner. “The first two years I’d use heirloom tomatoes,” he said. “And I’d throw a yellow and green tomato on your BLT—people would get freaked out a little bit. You take a 75-year-old guy who’s got his BLT and you try to tell him his yellow tomato is ripe and he’s like, ‘No. It’s yellow.’” Cardello went back to the basics: Thick slices of white bread, the Hellmann’s you grew up using paired with juicy, acidic beefsteak tomatoes from Calverton and crispy greenleaf lettuce from Riverhead. And plenty of bacon. “You get nine full slices of bacon—and I’m standing in the window making sure that every BLT goes out with nine.”


More Steak Than Philly, Baldwin
He was on the Jersey Turnpike heading back to Long Island when Melvin Walker Jr. turned to his best friend and said, “We’re not coming down here to do this anymore. I’m going to find a spot and open up my own.” In the car were 62 cheesesteaks from Dalessandro’s Steaks & Hogies on Philadelphia’s north side, coming home for friends and family. True to his word, Walker opened a steak shop—Philadelphians don’t call it a cheesesteak—and now he fi nds himself back in his birth city every 2 weeks to make the 4-and-a-half-hour trip to bring back 70 rolls from Philly because “the water is different and the bread doesn’t get crusty like a New York Italian roll.” The sirloin patty is also prepared in Philadelphia. The steak is a 12-inch roll layered with white American cheese that melts under hot, glistening chopped steak dotted with griddled onions. Thanks to Walker we’ll all save a ton on tolls.


The Gasm
Se-Port Delicatessen, Setauket
When we polled readers to find out their favorite local sandwiches, this one took top honors. Coleslaw covers a garlic bread hero that is topped with nearly 3/4 of a pound of fried chicken cutlet strips, mozzarella and bacon, then finished with Russian dressing. The whole deal is heated until the cheese melts. The bread is pungent with garlic and the house-made dressing adds a sour and sweet element along with the tang of the coleslaw. It’s cheesy, smoky, salty and almost too much for one person to finish. Almost.

James Tchinnis Chef/owner, Swallow in Huntington and Montauk “The last great sandwich I ate was Ronnie’s Tastemaster at Ben’s Kosher Deli in Woodbury. It has corned beef, tongue and turkey served on rye with Russian dressing and coleslaw. They serve a few different kinds of pickles with it. My wife craved their sandwiches when she was pregnant.”


hipster ruebenn

The Hipster Reuben
Cook’s Scratch Kitchen & Bakery, Northport
Even though he has roots in fine dining (first at Four Food Studio and then at Insignia), Josh Cook is just “a Jewish kid from Plainview who likes a Reuben.” His take changes all the rules. It starts with covering heirloom pork belly with his rub for seven days before smoking it on the stovetop for two hours. After a five-hour braise, slices are cleaved o for sandwiches. Pickled fennel replaces sauerkraut and Gruyère stands in for Swiss. And it all gets built between two slices of Tomcat Bakery sourdough smeared with peppery whole-grain mustard. The smoke is there and the vinegary fennel cuts through the pork’s fat and the cheese.

nicole roarke Nicole Roarke Executive chef, J.A. Heneghan’s Tavern in Point Lookout “The last memorable sandwich I had was a chicken apple sausage topped with an over-easy egg and Swiss cheese on a croissant from the Salt Air Café two minutes away from me in Point Lookout. The croissant was incredibly buttery, yet sturdy, and the sausage had a very snappy casing, so it was not only delicious but it was texturally satisfying.”



The Muffuletta
Biscuits & Barbecue, Mineola
Sicilians marked their spot in the history of sandwiches in 1906 when Central Grocery’s Salvatore Lupo stuffed a round muffuletta bread with cold cuts, cheese and a flavorful olive relish and started selling it to blue-collar deliverymen stocking the French Market district. Bobby Bouyer, the Louisiana-born, half-Creole and half-Cajun chef brought the sandwich to Mineola and keeps it traditional: A round loaf from a local Italian bakery is halved, then soaked with olive oil. The base is coated with a relish made with six kinds of olives, then the packing starts with layers of mortadella, deli ham, Genoa salami and provolone cheese until the sandwich slice is about 4-inches tall and dense. Bouyer remembers having a slice from Central Grocery: “It was thick and packed with love. It had everything you could want. You just need a cold beer to wash it down and that was lunch and it would hold you over for a while.” Have a seat at the bar for a quarter loaf, then take the leftovers home— it gets better the longer it sits.

pig n fig

The Pig n’ Fig
The Cheese Emporium by Bruce & Son, Greenport
As great as what is inside this sandwich, the textural contrast of the crispy panini shouldn’t be overlooked. “It’s really the best part,” said chef Scott Bollman, son of the café’s proprietor. Inside is the familiar combination of salty prosciutto di Parma and sweet fig, in this case, a potent jam made using local fruit. The arugula and basil pesto add a peppery creaminess and the whole thing is elevated with the texture of melted, sweet and pungent Comté. Pressed, the cheese melts and the whole assemblage becomes a dense mass. It covers a lot of bases: sweet, salty, crunchy and, for good measure, it comes with chips from potatoes grown in Cutchogue.

thanksgiving knish

The Thanksgiving Knish
Press 195, Rockville Centre
After opening the original Press 195 in Park Slope, Brooklyn, sandwich maker Brian Karp found himself standing in the hotdog cart line in lower Manhattan. “The guy in front of me got a knish and stuffed every topping inside of it along with the hotdog,” Karp recalled. “I said, ‘That could be a great way to make a sandwich, just stick everything in there.’” The knish sandwich landed on the Rockville Centre menu shortly after and was paired with roast beef or pastrami. But the turkey take on things hits all the flavors of Thanksgiving dinner. The dense knish, made by Gabila’s in Copiague, is cut, then covered with a house-made roasted pear-and-cranberry chutney. Fontina cheese and sliced turkey make up the middle, the sandwich is pressed for a few minutes and served with a house-made gravy from beef and pork drippings.

Kyle Koenig Kyle Koenig Chef de cuisine, Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton “The fried steak torta at La Hacienda in Southampton is served on a nice soft roll with beans, avocado, lettuce, cheese and sour cream. Maybe because the meat is basically chicken-fried steak, which is very close to my roots in Texas, or just that it is pretty good Mexican food, but it reminds me of home. I always wash it down with a Jaritos soda.”


Villa COmbo

The Villa Combo
Villa Italian Specialties, East Hampton
Nearly every deli has an Italian-style hero. But when a shop comes up with one that is ordered up to 250 times a day, there must be a secret. The Villa’s is a house-made dressing with serious roots. “The dressing is very simple and from a recipe that’s probably 40 years old,” said owner Francesco Gardner. The Villa Combo starts with olive oil, white vinegar, fresh garlic, oregano dried in house, salt, pepper and the whole thing is thickened by Romano cheese. Deli ham joins a spicier version made with cracked pepper, fennel, Spanish paprika and oregano. Provolone provides some richness and the vinegar peppers lend some tang. But the dressing brings the right amount of heat from the garlic and oregano and the cheesy saltiness that works well with a rich olive oil.

Sal Vaglica
Author: Sal Vaglica

The Mystique of Mongolia

Adventure into an unknown land

Author: Robert La Bua | Published:

Charlene was impressed. Her seat was very comfortable; the business class cabin was spacious and airy, staffed by friendly flight attendants who spoke their English with charming, mysterious accents. The landscapes below were spectacular, thousands of miles of what would be defined by real estate developers as wasteland and by world travelers as the pristine beauty of a terrain at once harsh, rugged and inviting. How far from Sands Point she was, here on a plane headed for, of all places, Mongolia.

On the ground at Chinggis Khaan International Airport, the view was no less remarkable. Along with rolling hills and the huge sky from which she just descended, Charlene was greeted by the handsome guide who was to accompany her around a small portion of a vast land only now being explored by the more intrepid of the world’s affluent travelers. Unlike his compatriot flight attendants, the guide spoke the Queen’s English as would be expected of a graduate of Cambridge University, which he was. Once on their way to the hotel, Charlene first heard Mongolians speaking to each other in their native tongue as the guide informed the driver of their destination and engaged in conversation.

Beyond Words
Mongolian must be one of the most ethereal languages in the world. It sounds like nothing else. Unlike almost all their fellow Asians, Mongols speak very softly, as if the words are mere confirmation of some silent communication already exchanged between speaker and listener. Perhaps it is thousands of years of Tibetan Buddhist influence that persuades Mongols that words are superfluous to human interaction. Maybe it is the nomadic lifestyle for which Mongolia is famous that has conditioned them to think and speak to themselves first and foremost. Either way, the aural seduction of this ancient language is jarringly counterbalanced by the replacement of elegant Mongol script with the Cyrillic alphabet, a vestige of the ruthless period of Soviet hegemony that sought to replace Mongolia’s entire history in the span of a few decades. It succeeded all too well, but the winds and whispers have changed; Mongols are recovering their history with a heartfelt joy, as if having stumbled across a sentimental gift lost a long time ago. One they never expected to find again.

A Musical Interlude
They were not going to the hotel after all. Oddly, or so she thought, their destination was a music hall. As the guide explained, Charlene had arrived in Ulaanbaatar just in time to catch the evening performance of the Tumen Ekh ensemble, a group of musicians, singers and dancers who take an active role in preserving Mongolia’s performing arts. During the course of the performance Charlene felt this to be the warmest of all possible welcomes. Tumen Ekh is the country’s most prominent troupe and are authentically faithful to tradition.


Hearing the extended syllables of urtiin duu, known in English as long song, which features notes held for up to a full minute, and the added feature of shuranhai—vibrato accenting notes—the first-time visitor feels the history of this country in a single tone, sustained, unrelenting. So significant in Mongolian history is long song that it has been declared a UNESCO Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

Another of Mongolia’s unusual vocal styles, throat singing, demands a technique that has the voice emanating from the back of the throat to create low-pitched and high-pitched notes at the same time. Accompanying the singers are musicians playing instruments both common and peculiar that also provide the soundtrack to the costumed dancers who perform ceremonial movements against an elaborate backdrop.

Settling In
This time on her way to the hotel for sure, Charlene reflected on the exhilarating experience she had just enjoyed, the first of many in the days to come. She was staying at the Kempinski Hotel Khan Palace, Ulaanbaatar’s best hotel, a well-managed, five-star property run to the exacting standards of the Swiss-owned Kempinski group. (Well, as much as that is possible in Mongolia where a shaman’s warning can cause an employee to stay home for fear of spiritual retribution.)

Kempinski guests revel in clean and comfortable accommodations, friendly service and excellent cuisine. Finding food palatable for Westerners can be a problem in this land where mutton is the basis for virtually every dish. (Airag, a delicious beverage of fermented horse milk, is another popular item.) The hotel has become a favorite with expatriates because of the quality and variety of the food they manage to create from what’s locally available.

Ulaanbaatar is the capital of Mongolia and the only real city in the least densely populated nation in the world. It is urbanizing rapidly however, thanks to a mining and petroleum boom. At times, economic development can seem to be the only thing moving quickly in a city where traffic has become heavily congested and where newly arrived country people remain pastorally unaware of the heightened pace of the 21st century. Charlene’s guide pointed out the ger camps located on the fringes of UB. (Ger is the Mongol term for a yurt.) In contrast to the tight clutch of gers Charlene saw on the outskirts of UB, she would later glimpse a nomad’s single dwelling alone on an immense plain.

More monumental attractions are found on the enormous Sükhbaatar Square whose impressive buildings include the national parliament and the main post office—a destination popular with philatelists keen to purchase colorful Mongolian stamps. The salmon-pink opera house on the southwestern corner of the square is one of the few beautiful remnants of the Soviet era, which ended in 1990.

Worldly, Otherworldly
Beyond Sükhbaatar Square are such attractions as the exquisite interiors of the Gandantegchinlen Monastery complex and the Choijin Lama Temple Museum, two revered sites that are re-embracing the Buddhist culture previously forbidden by the Soviets. The huge statue of Chinggis Khaan, more familiar to Westerners as Genghis Khan, sitting in front of the Sükhbaatar Square parliament building is immense, but it seems like a toy in comparison to the colossal Khaan monument situated in the mountains east of the city.

Once out of the urban environment, Charlene began to gain a deeper understanding of Mongolia. A capitol usually reflects the extremes of a culture, good and bad, but UB seemed to her a capital not truly representational of the Mongolian ethos, which could be more accurately observed away from the city. This is, after all, a people built on the solitude of vast expanses, and Charlene felt the Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, east of UB, would be more reflective of the value Mongolians place on their connection to the earth.

From her research back on Long Island, Charlene knew it was possible to visit Gorkhi-Terelj as a day trip, but she had decided to stay at the Terelj Hotel—a small luxury accommodation located in the middle of the park itself. Terelj made a fine base from which to explore the park, Charlene found, and she enjoyed the scenery, exploring Melkhii Khad (Turtle Rock) and touring the 100 Monks Cave, an evocative meditation center where holy men hid during the Soviet era.

Getting There
Celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, Juulchin Tourism Corporation, the national tourism office of Mongolia, is one of the oldest in the world. As such, Juulchin knows Mongolia very well and is an indispensable ally in setting up arrangements for visitors whether they’re returning backpackers or first-time luxury travelers. Juulchin is able to organize every detail of a visit for the most demanding of travelers, up to and including use of a private jet to cover the huge country’s attractions and accommodations in some of the most isolated locations.

Mongolia is the type of place where a guide (male or female), car and driver are invaluable assets in making the most of a visit. Companions such as these make Mongolia a relatively easy destination for single women or groups of women and for travelers who simply don’t want to worry about planning. One more note: Americans are among the few nationalities not requiring a visa to visit Mongolia for tourism.

The World’s Best Cashmere
Due to Mongolia’s extremely cold winters, the country’s goats grow a very dense under layer of insulating hairs. The result is the thickest, most luxurious cashmere in the world, all of it controlled by one enterprise, Gobi. Unlike most companies in developing economies, Gobi does not sell its best to foreigners and leave the seconds for the domestic market. In fact, Gobi does not sell its cashmere to anyone, keeping it all for use in its divinely soft shirts, blouses, scarves and blankets. Their factory is in Ulaanbaatar’s Khan-Uul district where an insightful tour is available.

Robert La Bua
Author: Robert La Bua

Pick a Side

Author: Bruce Northam | Published: Sunday, September 28, 2014
Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa  is a
Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa is a "secret" tucked in along the west coast. photo: allen kennedy photography

Nicaragua has been enjoying the limelight as a travel destination of choice. It turns out choice is really a big part of it - the east and west coasts offer very different experiences.

Little Corn Island: Place of Peace
Opened on Little Corn Island in late 2013, Yemaya Island Hideaway & Spa is proving that the evolution of a tourism trade does not require compromising a location’s native elements. In the case of Little Corn Island, this includes arrival itself. There’s only one way to get to this car-free tropical paradise: In a wave-riding, sea-spraying open-air skiff . The get-wet boat ride that delivers guests to this Caribbean outpost is a tourist-class filter (as in, whiners are deterred by word of mouth). Once on dry land, 43 miles east of Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast, Yemaya is really the only option that suits honeymooners and those who prefer a few amenities.

Visitors toting rolling luggage are new to this getaway that was once claimed solely by backpackers. And Yemaya has introduced a bit more luxury in the form of 16 individual cabanas, each with a spacious ocean-view patio. Framed by tall, swaying palm trees, each has handmade mahogany, cedar and Brazilian-cherry furniture, as well as in-bathroom sand gardens that keep guests feeling grounded.

A laid-back staff including 35 locals accommodates a youngish crowd, mixed with yogis and vacationing couples in a casual resort-meets-retreat atmosphere. The restaurant, which doubles as the reception and lounge area, is beneath an open-sided palapa (a thatched, palm-leaf dome) overlooking the Caribbean Sea, and underlining the sleepy vibe.

The food surprises. There is one chef from Thailand and another from Canada, the two collaborating on international specialties like massaman curry tweaked with local garden seasonings and a dash of traditional Nicaraguan salsa (aka Lizano). I also dove into their native fried chicken recipe served with coconut-oil crisped plantains, and—sipping a roasted pineapple margarita—the vegan kofta blend of chickpeas, pecans, garlic and spices complemented by coconut rice. Beyond guilt-free languor and splashing around at sunset, activities launched from your roost on Yemaya include hiking 30 minutes through pure jungle into the “town,” which is really a small portside village. The rainforest trail breaks into a few meadows. One of these is an isolated field where horses serve as lawn mowers and prep a diamond for a homegrown baseball game. The trails eventually give way to sidewalks and then a village of homes, a school and eventually the seaport “strip,” which features a hangout called Tranquilo Cafe—a backpacker-style restaurant and local beer pit stop. As the island’s circumference is barely two miles, it’s hard to get lost. Everything (including you) must pass through neighboring Big Corn Island, which is also pretty tranquil, except for the cars you’d forgotten about.

Yemaya is surprisingly upmarket for this island without motorized vehicles—local laws prohibit anything rolling to have an engine. And this emerging Caribbean destination is determined to not outgrow its charm. I’m sure that once people see Yemaya’s success there will be further development of Little Corn Island. But when I saw a group of construction workers using a single rolling supply cart to accomplish their work, I got the satisfying feeling that development is going to take a long time.

West Coast Swing
In a flash (well, two boat rides, an airplane hop and a three-hour drive) I was on Nicaragua’s other coast. And in another world. Everything is different on the western side of this triangular country where the Spanish-descended Latino flair remains in full swing. Switch out the Creole twang, switch in the classic salsa and tango melodies. Even the wind smells different over here. The imposing west coast’s mountains create a private Pacific Ocean beach cove, which provides an idyllic and secluded spot for Nicaragua’s first five-star resort. Mukul (pronounced ‘moo-cool’ and meaning “secret” in Mayan) is a totally unexpected, understated presence in the developing country. The posh resort in Guacalito was recently opened by the Pellas family, who, among other things, produce the country’s famed Flor de Caña rum. The new property hosts weddings, upscale surfers and Nicaragua’s elite, none of whom are doing belly shots.

The 1,670-acre development overlooking Manzanillo Beach could host a thousand holidaymakers, but its true edge is that Mukul, consisting of only 12 beach villas and 23 hillside bohios, is designed for just 90 guests. There is plenty of room to roam. A maze of cobblestone pathways used by golf carts links the lush estate’s different architectural moods.

I recall sleeping in many mid-80s backpacker huts on Southeast Asian beaches that had matchless ocean views for five bucks a night. But, I don’t suffer much of what comes with backpacking anymore (mainly a lack of privacy). The view from our bed at Mukul—dancing trees, scenic mountains and roaring Pacific—was worth every penny. Fortunately, you don’t need to splurge on the mini bar because everything is included, even the homegrown rum. Here an invasion of privacy is only upon invitation. And an equally impressive vista can be had from the dual monsoon showers, which overlook not only the ocean but also a deluxe golf course.

Actually, golf legend Jack Nicklaus was considered to design the course, but his original vision, which involved cutting the native trees, wasn’t accepted. Founder Don Carlos Pellas’s idea involved reforestation and preserving the property’s indigenous ceiba trees, which resemble billowing, green beach umbrellas. Instead, he hired Scottish golf course architect David McLay Kidd, who fit the course into the existing landscape by using seasonally dry creeks as sand traps and moving, rather than cutting down, those lovely trees. The 18-hole course purposely ends a few feet from the waves crashing on the white-sand beach. It’s also telling that upon arriving at the resort’s front entrance, guests are greeted by an impressive, relocated ceiba tree that would otherwise have met its fate in the teeth of a chainsaw.

Mukul has two decadent restaurants. La Mesa, the indoor option, has a superb menu and colonial setting that transports you back to Central America during its version of the roaring 1940s. La Terraza, a beachside terrace, features Executive Chef Cupertino Ortiz’s Nicaraguan fusion cuisine, which he calls Cocina Nikul, the owner’s mom’s recipes blended with Mediterranean flavors.

Meanwhile, swarms of discreet waiters tend to your every need— many of the resort’s employees are local rookies on a mission to take center stage and compete with neighboring Costa Rica’s tourism savvy. The country’s international culinary debut is being fanned by the realization that there’s no need to import anything, including grass-fed beef.

Just when guests have had their fill, another indulgence awaits. Mukul’s spacious spa complex is an odyssey offering six completely different experiences, each casita with its own décor, ambiance and signature ritual. The ancient healing traditions include the Secret Garden’s watsu (think underwater shiatsu), a hammam theme and the “Secret Spa,” a sequence of ancient Nicaraguan healing practices with medicinal plants, herbs, spices and flowers grown on the property.

High-end but low-key has been achieved here with seemingly flawless execution. The resort is a triumph. Not bad for a rookie. And unlike other Pacific Ocean beaches I’ve visited lately—some of which are becoming overbuilt—Mukul still feels like a bit of a secret.

Eastern Encounter
ON NICARAGUA’S WEST COAST Spanish descendants dominate the language spectrum. On Little Corn Island a dark-skinned, Creole-accented woman walked past me talking to a friend. “He a haggis,” she said. I stopped her to ask what a haggis was and she explained she was talking about another friend with a tendency to overeat (as in, “hog ass”). Poor but proud Nicaragua, I gathered, has at least two faces. The two women disappeared into the lush greenery of the jungle.

Bruce Northam
Author: Bruce Northam
Bruce Northam is the award-winning journalist and author of The Directions to Happiness: A 135-Country Quest for Life Lessons, Globetrotter Dogma, In Search of Adventure, and The Frugal Globetrotter. He also created “American Detour,” a show revealing the travel writer’s journey. His keynote speech, Directions to Your Destination, reveals the many shades of the travel industry and how to entice travelers. Northam’s other live presentation, Street Anthropology, is an ode to freestyle wandering. Visit

Long Island’s INSIDER

Diane McInerney can be seen on millions of televisions every week, but she calls the North Shore her home

Author: Matt Furman | Published: Friday, September 26, 2014

As a correspondent and weekend anchor for the wildly popular news show Inside Edition, Diane McInerney has been around the world, trained with Navy Seals and covered the 2011 royal wedding. But every night, this talented journalist returns to her yellow colonial home on the North Shore of Long Island.

McInerney, 42, lives with her husband Edward Palermo, a criminal defense attorney, and the couple’s two daughters. “Becoming a TV reporter was a trajectory that never crossed my mind,” McInerney recalled, sitting barefoot on her living room couch as her elderly English bulldog Sophia snored loudly nearby. “I just like telling stories… I think the only thing I had was a desire to be a reporter and the determination to make it happen.”

McInerney traces her success back to the work ethic her parents instilled in her as a child. She grew up in Richmond Hill, Queens. To save money on rent, her father, a carpenter at Macy’s, acted as the superintendent of their building. Summers for the young McInerney were spent on her grandparents’ farm in Ireland where she, along with her dozens of cousins (her father is one of 13, her mother of 15), milked cows, fed chickens and cleaned up after the pigs.

“I tell my kids these stories and they don’t believe me,” she said. “It was fun.”

She graduated a private Catholic high school and then moved on to St. John’s University where she finished with a degree in communications. After dabbling in the world of public relations for two years, McInerney met some journalists from LI News Tonight at a fundraiser. LI News was a basic cable program run out of the New York Institute of Technology campus. The show offered journalism training and internships as well as college credit.

“As the saying goes: ‘If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.’ I quit my PR job and joined the LI News Tonight team.” McInerney, then 25, enrolled at NYIT full-time and moved back in with her parents. She spent weekends working at the Pace Wildenstein art gallery in New York City to make ends meet. Realizing that it would take at least a year to make a tape to send out to networks, McInerney began showing up at the office every day of the week and honing her talents in a variety of positions from anchor to video editor to camerawoman. After six months, she had enough clips to send out to news stations, which she did… on Betamax. Shortly thereafter, she received her first break when a Fox affiliate in Georgia offered her a position.

McInerney’s first stories coincided with the floods that swept through Georgia in 1998. Quite an adventure for the young journalist who “took boats down the street to cover those stories.” The flood stories ended up becoming national news and the Georgia affiliate worked with the national Fox team, including anchor David Shepard Smith. (Smith is the current host of Shepard Smith Reporting.) Despite the national spotlight, McInerney learned that no matter how big a story is, news is a team effort.

“You still rely on your photographer and your photographer relies on you,” she explained. “You have to know his or her needs and they have to know what you need. You have to work together.”

Working at the local news station was a “baptism by fire.” Each weekend, whichever reporter was on duty would take home a scanner and listen for police chatter. The more chatter on the radio, the bigger the story was. Reporters memorized the police codes for murders and robbery. If a big story broke, “It was your job to cover that story at one o’clock in the morning.” One of the first times McInerney brought home the police scanner, she heard a large amount of chatter and after driving the news van out in the middle of the night, she ended up covering her first murder.

Back home for a short Christmas vacation, McInerney walked a tape into the headquarters of News12—a bold move for someone with only a year of experience. Two months later, she got a call that there was an opening for a freelance position. Drew Scott, then editor, couldn’t promise much more than one gig a day, but McInerney once again took the chance.

She moved into her parents’ house (again) and the first day she anchored the news, John F. Kennedy Jr.’s plane went missing. McInerney and her co-hosts broadcast around the clock as the frenzied search continued. “We were hoping and praying that they would be found safe,” she recalled of the tragic day.

After proving her mettle, McInerney was hired full-time at News12 where she stayed for a year until she was offered a job at Fox. After a year at Fox, she heard from Charles Lachman, executive producer of Inside Edition. Lachman said as soon as he saw McInerney on Fox, he knew he wanted her for his show.

“To me she epitomized a young savvy New York reporter,” he recalled. “She had a delivery and charm that was magical. There’s some indefinable magic that great news people have. It’s hard to put words to it but when you got it, you got it. And she’s definitely got it.”

McInerney moved to Inside Edition in 2003. She now helps write several segments every week and hosts the weekend edition of the show. The program is the longest-running syndicated news magazine show on the air and despite all the changes in the news world Inside Edition is always near the top of the charts.

Most evenings McInerney manages to make it home for dinner as the show tapes live at 3pm. The New York version airs the next day with an additional update.

McInerney cites two favorite moments from her tenure at Inside Edition—both involving her kids. The first was the segment she did on the royal wedding, which her daughters watched with glee from their home. “They thought it was like Disney princesses,” she explained.

The second was when she brought the camera crew from Inside Edition to her daughters’ school for career day. Both of her daughters attend public school and McInerney is a proud supporter of the public education system on Long Island.

“Enrolling our children in public school has provided them with optimal choices for early childhood learning in addition to a wonderful sense of community. Our children are our world and their happiness is our top priority. Our kids love their school!” Of course, Both girls made their own Inside Edition debuts early during a special segment when the show visited McInerney in the hospital after giving birth to Olivia.

McInerney said that she holds dear a principle that Lachman once shared with her. “You’re only as good as your last story,” she said. “So make sure your story counts.”

Matt Furman
Author: Matt Furman

Close Cover

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:
Photography: Jean-Bernard Villareal
Photography: Jean-Bernard Villareal

Above: Ports 1961 Japanese felt wool double-breasted coat
Brandon Sun Vanner’s jacquard asymmetric dress with Swarovski crystal embellishments
Andrew Kayla Dylan flats

Missoni wool and cashmere jacket
Brookes Boswell Nelson two-tone cloche
Young Frankk Converge ring

Max Mara Ghia camel hair coat, Kaita jersey dress and Gambo tobacco wool trousers
Alibi pendulum pendant
Aoko Su Double Gaze cuff
WXYZ Jewelry spring coil bangle

Lie Sang Bong printed coat with leather trim
Coach vintage leather belt
Psyche Jewelry Mons necklace

Ports 1961 wool chevron oversized caban, textured felt wool tuxedo trousers
Femme d’Armes Geneve top
(nude) Scarpia knit scarf
Young Frankk Agent necklace
Rings from left: Alibi Double Focal ring, Young Frankk Zenith ring, Alibi Double Rim with Stone ring

Sally LaPointe mohair peacoat with oversized pocket detail and top
Missoni wool and cashmere trousers
Emm Kuo No 5 On The Bund portfolio expandable clutch
Collette Ishiyama Katana studs

Lie Sang Bong beaver and fox fur, silk blouse, leather cuff trouser and buckle detail booties
Aoko Su Hexa cuff
Psyche Jewelry Thronas cuff

On-Location in NYC for Pulse:
Photography: Jean-Bernard Villareal
Stylist: Aki Maesato
Hair: Adam Maclay
Makeup: Jackie Sanchez using MAC and Dermalogica

Styles shown in Close Cover can be found at fine retailers throughout NY or online at the brands’ websites.

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Thinking Beyond Pink

October is awash in pink, is there room for other colors in the charity spectrum?

Author: Alexandra Spychalsky | Published:

This month, things are going to get a lot pinker. October is breast cancer awareness month—a fact that seems to saturate our collective conscience more and more each year—and pink is the vehicle taking us there. Breakfast foods, professional sports, scarves, mugs, pencils and virtually every retail outlet will encourage consumers to buy a pink something or make a donation. Many will make those contributions to marquee charities, but those funds may not trickle down to support the great work being done at home on Long Island, pink or not. In a strange quirk of philanthropy, the year’s most active and effective month of breast cancer fundraising can actually leave local groups out in the cold.

According to the New York State Department of Health, from 2007-2011, an average of about 2,500 cases of breast cancer were diagnosed annually on Long Island. These patients need help paying for treatment, traveling to and from chemotherapy, taking care of their families and coping with the emotional strain of a cancer diagnosis. While those big-name charities support research, awareness, education and more large-scale programs, it’s the many grassroots organizations that provide the vital everyday services.

Is Bigger Better?
Advocating for small, local charities is not to be confused with denigrating bigger ones. Activist and fundraiser Dan Pallotta addressed the attitude we have towards charity financials in a TED Talk in March 2013. He said that rather than viewing charities as “evil” for spending money on overhead or advertising, we should view that as an investment that grows the entire pie.

Organizations like the American Cancer Society (ACS) contribute million of dollars to research annually. While the scientists and researchers funded by the bigger groups are doing important work, they’re unlikely to help an individual patient rake leaves or fold laundry when s/he’s feeling nauseous after chemo. That’s where the locals come in.

The Problem with Pinkwashing
Another problem that’s emerging from the increasingly viral nature of fundraising is the proliferation of for-profit corporations looking to cash in on people’s altruism. It’s hard to criticize soft drink companies or sports leagues for kicking a portion of their pink proceeds to charity, but it’s also undeniable that sending a check directly to a local group is more economically efficient than buying a Smith & Wesson M&P9 pink-accented handgun.

The group Breast Cancer Action, which hails itself as a watchdog of the breast cancer awareness movement, created a website called “Think Before You Pink.” It is a guide for people looking to navigate these murky waters. One of their biggest campaigns is against companies that sell pink products, but at the same time produce things that may be unhealthy or hazardous.

The grassroots group has specifically called “fowl” on KFC’s pink buckets of fried chicken as well as the Yoplait yogurt company’s use of the hormone rBGH, which has been linked to cancer. (Yoplait’s parent company, General Mills, discontinued using the hormone in its yogurts in 2009.)

The BCA website offers a list of critical thinking questions donors can apply before buying pink products and they also warn consumers against companies that set a donation cap but don’t announce when the limit has been met. The pink merchandise, they point out, is not pulled from the shelves once the contribution has been made.

The Girls Next Door
There is a tendency to think that all breast cancer donations end up going to the umbrella cause of fighting the disease. And while this is true in the most general sense, local charities do not actually benefit much from donations that are sent to national campaigns. In fact, a few Long Island organizers said the most frustrating part of October is the way donors fail to research where their contributions end up.

“The amount that makes it out from national organizations, it’s not what a regular person thinks,” said Kristie Moore, public relations director for the LI2DAY Walk, a half-marathon walk along a scenic route in Suffolk County. Moore suggested that to be more efficient, donors should look for charities that contribute 75 to 80 cents of every dollar to programs and patients. She mentioned the large charities ACS and Susan G. Komen as generally meeting this benchmark.

Stacey Quarty, co-founder and president of Lucia’s Angels, said that even though the East End has one of the biggest fundraising teams for Relay for Life, an ACS event, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations come from the area every year, that money ends up being distributed nationally. ACS does donate money to help East End patients get to and from chemotherapy, she said, but they will only give a maximum of $75 per patient, per year—not much help to those undergoing treatment once a week or even once a day.

“We’re a bit frustrated sometimes with the way these big organizations rake in millions and millions, and at the same time we struggle to make the money for our people right here in the community,” Quarty said.
Jacqui Errico, co-founder of Strength for Life, said that she would love to expand to reach more people, but does not have the funds. Errico, along with many other charity founders, pursues grants in addition to donations, but said the applications are baffling. She’d like to hire professional grant writers who know the necessary “buzzwords” to obtain funding, but admits she can’t afford them.

Clique Smarts?
What about those who are suffering from cancer, but not breast cancer? The explosion of support for all things pink has unintentionally ostracized millions of people suffering from other cancers. Errico said that her organization offers free exercise classes to both men and women suffering from any cancer, and that the symbolism of pink effects her decision-making in all sorts of ways. For a recent fundraiser, she had to make sure not to decorate with too much pink at the risk of alienating people with other cancers.

“I have a few women with [uterine] cancer and they say, ‘Where’s the peach? Everything is pink,’” Errico said. “You can’t find a peach bracelet; that means something to them.”

Teresa Ward, founder of Teresa’s Family Cleaning, which cleans homes for women undergoing cancer treatment, encountered the same problems with pink overload. The concern actually became so significant that she started a separate charity, Cleaning Angels USA, to offer the same services to people battling other encumbering diseases.

“The pink is great, but you’re bombarded by it,” Ward said. “There are so many other people out there with other types of diseases that get pushed aside because there’s so much pink.”

This October, and throughout the year, consider thinking beyond the pink. There are many organizations that continue to help Long Islanders, even without much of the pink money that will be raised, and your support ensures you’re helping neighbors with a variety of needs.

Think Pink, Think Local
Here are a few local charities that work hard to raise funds exclusively for Long Islanders.

Friends for Life Foundation
Breast cancer survivor and founder Hillary Sweet started this support group for cancer patients and survivors in memory of her friend Barbara Daniels. They host free yoga classes, guest speakers and writing workshops for participants to share their feelings about their experiences through poetry and stories. Kids for Life is an affiliated support group for children and teens who know people battling breast cancer.

This organization’s purpose is to fundraise exclusively for Long Island cancer charities—its motto is “what’s raised here stays here.” LI2DAY Walk has an extensive network and the scale of their event also brings these groups together. In 11 years the event has raised $5 million for a number of local charities. Recently the event has expanded to supporting services for not just breast cancer patients, but those suffering gynecological cancers as well.

Lucia’s Angels
After her friend Lucia Terzi Baga passed away from breast cancer, Stacey Quarty founded Lucia’s Angels as a way to keep her spirit of generosity alive. The group supports women with late-stage female cancers, paying for salon services, gift cards for gas and groceries, airline tickets so relatives can say their goodbyes and funeral expenses. Lucia’s Room at Southampton Hospital is a comfortable room for women to use when going through end-of-life services or radical treatment.
This organization networks the vast real estate community through exciting events that raise funds to fight breast cancer on Long Island. Started by Mike Cave, CEO of 1st Equity Title & Closing Services, their annual April event gathers well over 1000 professionals to hobnob with sports legends. And micro events are being held regularly—their following has grown to include Long Islanders from other business sectors. According to, they support only 100 percent charitable organizations to ensure every penny raised goes directly towards services.

Strength for Life
Strength for Life offers free exercise classes for those undergoing cancer treatment as well as those already years into their recovery. Founders Jacqui Errico and Debra Hughes started the organization in memory of their friend Evelyn Knapp, who said that while she was undergoing breast cancer treatment, exercise gave her control in a situation that was out of her control.

Alexandra Spychalsky
Author: Alexandra Spychalsky

Robert Davi

The multi-talented Dix Hills product stars in song and on screen

Author: Ellen Sterling | Published: Thursday, September 25, 2014

Robert Davi

On film Robert Davi’s been a bad guy, good guy, tough guy and a softie. In addition to acting, he’s been successful at screenwriting and directing. But his latest endeavor, and his current passion, is singing.

Davi has appeared in blockbusters like The Goonies, Die Hard, License To Kill and his successful late 90s TV series, Profiler. His latest film, Expendables 3, was released in the summer. But while Davi is staying busy as an actor, he’s also turning his attention more and more to music. His show, Davi Sings Sinatra, is playing around the world and will make a stop in New York next month at Huntington’s Paramount.

Born in Queens, Davi’s family moved to Dix Hills when he was five. His theatrical talents first became apparent in fourth grade when he was cast in the play George Washington Slept Here. “I played Sam, the black butler,” Davi recalled. “When the play ended my teacher walked my parents out to the parking lot and told them, ‘You should encourage him in the arts.’”

Davi’s parents were supportive. Not only of his acting, but also of his musical interests—there was always music in his home. “My family idolized two people” he recalled, “the Pope and Frank Sinatra. (Not necessarily in that order.)”

Once he was on his way, the early days were a mixed bag—one that gave him the thick skin that’s essential in show business. Davi won a singing competition sponsored by the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) at Seton Hall High School in Patchogue. The prize was an audition with the Metropolitan Opera, but something happened on the way to his big break. “On the train into the city for the audition, my throat was scratchy so I started taking honey lemon cough drops. Unfortunately, their sticky, chewy texture made my vocal cords seize up. It was like what happens when you squeeze lemon on a fresh clam. The clam just curls up. That was my vocal cords.”

So it was back to Long Island and enrollment at Hofstra University instead of an early start in opera. After Hofstra, Davi moved to Manhattan where he studied acting with Stella Adler, Lee Strasberg, Martin Landau and others. And although his acting career began to take off, he never stopped pursuing music. Over the years, he studied voice in Italy with Tito Gobbi, at Julliard and in Los Angeles with Gary Catona.

Davi won the first of his more than 130 film and television roles at the age of 24. The TV movie, 1977’s Contract On Cherry Street, was Davi’s debut and starred his idol Frank Sinatra. After wrapping Cherry Street, Davi was flown to California for postproduction and was put up in The Beverly Hills Hotel. There, the young Long Islander made important contacts in the film industry and he soon made the move permanent. He has lived in California ever since but still returns to Long Island frequently (his sister Michelle and her family live in Mastic Beach). Last July he received the Long Island Filmmaker Achievement Award from the LI International Film Expo and called the Island the home of his “creative roots.”

Davi is also an associate of Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, which led to two concert appearances at Eisenhower Park. The latest show, in July, drew nearly 13,000 people who heard Davi perform songs from his album, Davi Sings Sinatra: On the Road To Romance. (The record reached the sixth spot on the Billboard jazz chart.) At the concert Mangano presented Davi with a reminder of his connection to Long Island: A replica of a banner that was signed by the Grumman Aircraft Engineering workers who built the Apollo Lunar Excursion Module. Davi’s father, Sal, a Grumman employee, was one of the names on the pennant the astronauts carried into space. Receiving the gift, Davi recalled that when the original banner was planted, his father said to him, “Look, son, I’m on the moon!”

Davi is finding great acceptance and success as a singer but at the moment he’s still best known for acting. But that might change as he continues to perform internationally. His singing career is no mere vanity project and although Davi sings songs made famous by Frank Sinatra, he presents his own take on the familiar tunes. “Robert has a big voice, almost Paul Robeson-like,” said Len Triola, a Long Island-based promoter who works with Davi. “He’s not like those impersonators who, I think, embarrass Sinatra because they’re just trying to copy him. He’s Robert Davi singing Sinatra, not Robert Davi trying to sound like Sinatra.”

Another Long Islander, Ervin Drake, who composed the famous Sinatra song “It Was A Very Good Year,” is also a Davi fan and has seen the Long Island shows. “When we come to hear him we’re delighted that he does what he does,” Drake said, adding that Davi’s version of “It Was A Very Good Year” almost always draws a standing ovation.

Hear him: Robert Davi performs Davi Sings Sinatra at the Paramount in Huntington on Nov 23.

words: ellen sterling | photo: brian smith

Ellen Sterling
Author: Ellen Sterling

Portrait of a Supercar: Alfa Romeo 4C

Author: Abigail Bassett | Published:
Italian styling has always been sexy, but with the Alfa Romeo 4C its also aggressive.
Italian styling has always been sexy, but with the Alfa Romeo 4C its also aggressive.

words: abigail bassett

It’s early and I am driving a tiny white Italian car up into the hills outside of Carmel, California. The world famous Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the Olympics of car shows, has descended on the Northern California coastal town. The streets are lined with people armed with digital cameras and sun hats peering hard through the fog to capture visual proof of multimillion dollar cars speeding around a bend. As I pass, they raise their cameras to their faces and click away. I feel a little like a celebrity caught without make-up. And I like it.

I’m piloting Alfa Romeo’s brand new 4C—the small 4-cylinder engine sits directly behind my head in the two-seater. Its guttural sounds rattle around the carbon fiber monocoque and bring a wicked little smile to my face. The car is low to the ground, curvaceous and wide. The gaping intakes accentuate the hips and help direct airflow into the engine bay.

The hawkish nose gives a subtle nod to the racing history of Alfa Romeo, a company making its first foray back into the US after being absent for 20 years. Even the steering is reminiscent of the sports cars of old. Stripped of the accoutrements like computer assistance, the Alfa Romeo is one of the last cars available on the US market without power steering. The drive is direct, full of the right kind of feedback and makes for an exhilarating experience. Each undulation of the road translates to the steering wheel.

The Alfa Romeo 4C embodies a physical package that harkens back to the days of the Italian car maker’s racing heritage and it’s an interesting re-entry into the US market. The famed Enzo Ferrari began his racing career driving Alfa Romeos in Italy and created the Scuderia Ferrari racing team while working at the company in the early 1920s. The 4C draws its inspiration from the 1967 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale, the company’s first attempt to bring some of its famous racing technology to the public. It was the most expensive car on the market in 1968, priced at $17,000 and was one of the first cars to feature butterfly doors.

The visual and physical power of the Alfa Romeo 4C continues inside. Climbing into the cockpit you step over the exposed carbon fiber tub and into body-hugging leather sport seats. The mid-mounted, aluminum engine is enclosed in glass, showing off its 237 horsepower and 253ft-lbs of torque. In fact, when Chrysler/Fiat, the current parent company of Alfa Romeo, built the car they decided to drop the weight instead of raising the power. That means that even with a dry curb weight of 2200lbs, the car still has a weight-to-power ratio of less than 10lbs per horsepower. That helps push the car 0-60 in about 4.5 seconds and makes it a ton of fun to throw into corners.

There are a few quibbles on this near perfect little sports car. On uneven roads the suspension can be harsh. The “DNA” settings (standing respectively for Dynamic, Natural and All Weather) change the suspension and tuning slightly but even in Natural or All Weather, it can give passengers quite the beating on a rough road.

The interior could’ve been outfitted with seats with finer adjustments and an infotainment screen that doesn’t look like an Android phone lodged into the center console. Also, the 4C won’t be available with a manual transmission but only with the dual-clutch automatic controlled with paddles. However, that transmission isn’t bad, especially when paired with the direct manual steering. In fact it adds to the enjoyment of the Alfa Romeo 4C as you crank through all six speeds.

Alfa Romeo is looking to make a comeback and the 4C is its best chance—and its first impression for many buyers who don’t remember it from generations past. Made iconic in the US by the film The Graduate, Alfa Romeo never really maintained its foothold here despite a 40-year presence in the market that ended in 1995.

If the number of flashes is any indication, this stripped-down homage to Alfa Romeo’s racing heritage may give the company what it needs to bring the glamour of this Italian brand back into the limelight.

Engine: 1.7L inline turbo 4-cylinder engine
0-60: 4.5 seconds
Max Speed: 160mph
Max Power: 237hp @ 6,000rpm
Max Torque: 253lb-ft @ 2,200rpm
Base Price: $55,000 ($70,000 as tested)

Abigail Bassett
Author: Abigail Bassett

Weekend Getaways 2014

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published: Monday, August 25, 2014

The weekend is such an enticing thing. Forty-eight scant hours to spend however we want. For this year’s Weekend Getaways package we drew a circle on a map represent- ing a two-hour drive from long island, then looked for the most wonderful ways to wile away a weekend within those confines. We found a relaxing restored mansion, a treasure trove of art and a thoroughly modern enclave with a healthy respect for its past.

Following the Connecticut Art Trail

Greenwich, on Connecticut’s Gold Coast, is rich with galleries, antique dealers and the remarkable Bruce Museum of Arts and Science, making it a sophisticated first stop.
Read Full Article

Glenmere Mansion

The pastel-shaded Gilded Age manse that crowns the 150-acre hilltop estate overlooking picturesque Lake Glenmere in Chester, New York, is located only 60 miles from the Triboro Bridge.
Read Full Article

Roundhouse at Beacon Falls

Just 60 miles north of New York City is one of the dreamiest—and easiest—getaways imaginable.
Read Full Article

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Following the Connecticut Art Trail

Zeroing in on America’s treasures

Author: Irvina Lew | Published:
On Columbus Day weekends the Bruce Museum’s Outdoor Arts Festival showcases artists selling their work.
pictures courtesy of the bruce museum
On Columbus Day weekends the Bruce Museum’s Outdoor Arts Festival showcases artists selling their work. pictures courtesy of the bruce museum

The circuitous Connecticut Art Trail leads to 17 art-centric venues like world-class art museums, studios, house museums and estates, all easily accessible from the area’s bridges and ferries. This itinerary—from Greenwich, along the New York border, up and east to the Cross Sound Ferry terminal in New London—focuses on venues within an hour’s drive from one another and can be adapted for a day-trip, an overnighter or a longer stay.

Greenwich, on Connecticut’s Gold Coast, is rich with galleries, antique dealers and the remarkable Bruce Museum of Arts and Science, making it a sophisticated first stop. Here, there’s a sculpture by Auguste Rodin and paintings signed by Childe Hassam, Emil Carlsen and Leonard and Mina Fonda Ochtman—all associated with the Cos Cob Art Colony.

In the 1890s, the Colony painted en plein air at the Bush-Holley Historic Site (c. 1730), just a few miles from the Bruce. Today, its American Impressionist collection and restored grounds and gardens make it easy to imagine Hassam and John Henry Twachtman teaching there.

The route to the 153-acre Weir Farm National Historic Site, about 30 miles north of Cos Cob, nears the Center for Contemporary Printmaking in Norwalk, where works are on view in the 19th century stone carriage house. Julian (aka J.) Alden Weir, the Father of American Impressionists, purchased the farm in 1882 and he and his colleagues—Twachtman, Hassam, Theodore Robinson, Willard Metcalf plus Albert Pinkham Ryder and John Singer Sargent—painted their best work there over the next 37 years. Indoors, bucolic landscapes are on display within the fully restored and historically furnished house. Outdoors, the 60-acre park looks just as it did originally. For those who find the urge to create their own works, complimentary art supplies are provided. In nearby Ridgefield, the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum delights enthusiasts of cutting-edge art with changing exhibits by emerging and mid-career artists. (The famous Sultana Salt Caves are also just two miles from the town center.)

From Ridgefield, it’s a 30-mile drive northeast, mostly along Route 202 in the unspoiled Litchfield Hills, to storybook Washington. The picturesque road passes The Silo, home to an art gallery, shop and cooking school; in town, the Washington Art Association’s gallery has a varied rotation of exhibits. Woodbury, “the antiques capital of Connecticut” is just 10-miles further and a must-stop destination for collectors of authentic 18th and 19th century American Federal antiques.

From Woodbury, it’s 25 miles south to New Haven, where there are two world-class museums just footsteps from the New Haven Green. History buffs should head to The Yale University Art Gallery to see paintings of the American Revolution by George Washington’s aide, Colonel John Trumbull. Animal aficionados should visit the Louis Kahn-designed Yale Center for British Art to admire Paul Mellon’s collection of sporting and animal paintings, considered the world’s best.

It takes an hour from New Haven to Farmington’s Hill-Stead, where masterpieces by French Impressionists include works by Cassatt, Degas, Manet, Monet and Whistler displayed in a gracious mansion overlooking a sweeping lawn. Ten miles east, in Hartford, there are old masters at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum (Trumbull Kitchen is a perfect lunch stop) and 20th century American works at the Art Gallery at the University of St. Joseph. En route to New London, the Florence Griswold Museum—a former boarding house in Old Lyme—displays American Impressionists just 13 miles from the ferry.

Delamar Hotel
In Greenwich, the contemporary waterfront Delamar Hotel near the Bruce Museum boasts marina views from the Lounge and l’escale restaurants.

The Mayflower Grace
In Washington, the luxe, antiques-filled Mayflower Grace offers 30 rooms, a stunning spa and Jonathan Cartwright’s recently refurbished The Muse.

The Study at Yale
In New Haven, The Study at Yale, near the Green, is a sleek, contemporary hotel with farm coastal cooking at the Heirloom Restaurant.

Irvina Lew
Author: Irvina Lew
Irvina Lew is an author and freelance contributor to guidebooks, magazines and websites who shares intriguing stories about the world’s best destinations including hotels, restaurants, spas, cruises and safaris.

Glenmere Mansion

Author: Irvina Lew | Published:
The rolling farmlands of the Hudson Valley are home to the Gilded Age Glenmere Mansion. Once one of America's finest country homes, the updated luxury hotel and spa now welcomes discerning travelers.  
photos courtesy of the sargent photography
The rolling farmlands of the Hudson Valley are home to the Gilded Age Glenmere Mansion. Once one of America's finest country homes, the updated luxury hotel and spa now welcomes discerning travelers. photos courtesy of the sargent photography

A patchwork palette of river and mountain scenery lured financial magnates, literary giants and the politically powerful to build estates along the Hudson River in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Among them, Glenmere Mansion, an Italianate villa complete with marble columns and statuary, appears as if transplanted from the Tuscan hillsides. But the pastel-shaded Gilded Age manse that crowns the 150-acre hilltop estate overlooking picturesque Lake Glenmere in Chester, New York, is located only 60 miles from the Triboro Bridge.

Carrère and Hastings, the architects for the New York Public Library, The Frick Museum and Nemours, a DuPont mansion, designed Glenmere. Alan Stenberg and Daniel DeSimone, owners and Maîtres de Maison, impeccably restored and transformed it into a luxury inn and spa. They personally influenced the design of the 18 exquisitely appointed accommodations, which feature fine woods, soft colors, lush fabrics and every amenity.

That happy-to-be-here grin grows along the long, winding driveway and becomes a vocal wow! when the car slows to a halt at the entrée court facing the Mediterranean pink villa with azure blue shutters. The butler is waiting; he greets, carries luggage, offers a complimentary Bellini and an escort to the room. Whenever a guest chooses, there’s a house tour to introduce the fine art and collectibles in the library, the scenic lake vistas from the grand porch, the classically proportioned Italian garden with authentic fountain and swimming pool, the fitness center, yoga studio and a glorious, 8,000-square-foot spa.

Speaking of the spa, it can be accessed in robe and slippers via a loggia from the main house. At its reception and boutique area, an inviting, window-walled library in contemporary furnishings faces a fireplace and the outdoor fountain. Each of the five treatment suites is done in Moroccan décor, has its own bathroom facilities and a soaking tub; the Couple’s Suite adds twin tables, side-by-side soaking tubs and a fireplace. The wet spa is called the Bath House and its herbal steam shower, cool mist shower and vitality pool—with a waterfall for an all natural head and shoulder massage experience—adjoins the steam room, or hammam. Three signature hammam rituals take place in the oversized Carrera marble steam room where the huge, heated, marble-topped “belly stone” (actually an all-marble treatment table) is used for exotic soap scrubs and oil applications.

Overnight guests, day-trip visitors and local foodies flock to dine at Glenmere Mansion where the culinary reputation was one of the factors that earned it entry to the Relais & Chateaux family of small inns. Executive chef Geoffroy Deconinck’s fabulous farm-to-table dishes incorporate locally grown, seasonal ingredients. Prix fixe menus (and breakfast) are served in The Supper Room Thursday to Saturday and at Sunday brunch; a la carte fare is available at The Frogs End Tavern and in the Il Cortile courtyard. One of the perks of dining in The China Room—which is reserved for groups of 34 or fewer—is choosing which pattern from Glenmere’s extensive porcelain and silverware collection to use for a table setting.

There’s biking, swimming, croquet, tennis and bocce on site (along with a helicopter landing pad). Shopping is available at the nearby Woodbury Common Premium Outlets and art can be found at Storm King Art Center. There’s golf at Mansion Ridge Golf Course, hiking at Harriman State Park and in the fall, winery-tasting and apple and pumpkin picking are all on offer. But even with everything there is to do around Glenmere, most guests don’t leave the property until checkout.

Irvina Lew
Author: Irvina Lew
Irvina Lew is an author and freelance contributor to guidebooks, magazines and websites who shares intriguing stories about the world’s best destinations including hotels, restaurants, spas, cruises and safaris.

Roundhouse at Beacon Falls

Author: Deborah Geiger | Published:
The sound of the nearby waterfall is a constant, calming influence at the 23-room Roundhouse. 
photos courtesy of Eric laignel
The sound of the nearby waterfall is a constant, calming influence at the 23-room Roundhouse. photos courtesy of Eric laignel

The sound of roaring Beacon Falls and Fishkill Creek, the dewy scent of fresh air and foliage-covered Mount Beacon beckoning in the distance make it hard to believe that we are a 90-minute drive from home. Just 60 miles north of New York City is one of the dreamiest—and easiest—getaways imaginable in a modern yet elegant feat of adaptive reuse: The 23-room Roundhouse Hotel in Beacon, NY.

The breathtaking makeover was completed in 2012 by architect David Rockwell and a variety of local artisans. Nestled past Beacon’s most walk-able gallery, café and restaurant-laden stretch of Main Street, the Roundhouse’s main building overlooks a creek and waterfall. The redbrick, crescent structure was previously home to America’s first lawn mower manufacturer, part of a six-acre site of 19th century industrial buildings that now compose the hotel.

We arrive at 4pm on a warm summer weekend, ready to relax, unwind and leave the city behind. Entering the property, its lobby is welcoming and warm, spilling into the stunning 12-foot, floor-to-ceiling windows of Swift, its dramatic restaurant. Adjacent corner lounge 2EM, overlooking Fishkill Creek, erases the noise of the city as water rushes below, a meditative preview of what’s to come.

We’re thrilled to learn our deluxe king room (with a view) has a bed-facing vista of Beacon Falls. In-room minimalist design is paired with locally-sourced furnishings—like Atlas Industries’ gorgeous raw wood beds and desk, and Wickham Solid Wood Studio’s sliding bathroom doors. These make it easy to relax and absorb the serenity. Everywhere on the property the waterfall is audible; being here is a kind of sensory experience hovering between an urban and rustic visual aesthetic; the smell of wood and flowers, and the sound of moving water.

The past decade has been good to Beacon, its artistic emergence followed the 2003 unveiling of international attraction Dia:Beacon—one of the Dia Art Foundation’s outposts featuring its collection from the 1960s—and the exodus of artists priced out of New York City that followed. For a weekend getaway, the town has much to offer: Hiking trails like Breakneck Ridge; kayaking on the Hudson River; art galleries, coffee houses and a flourishing dining scene all within walking distance of the Roundhouse. We visited Hops, a craft brewery, enjoying the casual fare and a colorful beer sampler; Max’s on Main dished up a late dinner and our hummus was unlike any we’ve had, with notes of curry and a hearty texture.

Walking back down Main around 11pm toward the Roundhouse after a luxuriously late dinner, we noticed how quiet and still Beacon becomes. Its shops and eateries wait for morning in two- and three-story brownstone-style buildings, (think Park Slope or West Village). The air, however, is cleaner and crisper here and in this silence we can truly relax both mind and body.

Roundhouse owners Bob and Patti McAlpine—originally from Centerport, Long Island—discovered the dilapidated cluster of buildings shortly after they moved to the Beacon area in 2007 and had a vision of transforming the property into something truly unique using local design. In addition to the Roundhouse building, the destination also includes former felt manufacturer Mase Hat Factory, now used as a large-scale events space with a showstopping ballroom overlooking the falls. Two other former factory buildings on the property will host 18 additional hotel rooms, a spa and two condominiums.

“We fell in love with the property the first time we saw it,” Bob said. “It’s truly been a labor of love restoring the buildings to maintain their architectural integrity while applying a modern aesthetic to their interior design and function.”

Deborah Geiger
Author: Deborah Geiger
Port Washington native Deborah Geiger has been writing professionally since 2005. She has written about travel for Destination Weddings & Honeymoons, Ocean Home, Northshore and other publications. She holds a journalism and psychology degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Tails of Glory

A walk with Long Island guide dogs

Author: Lee Landor | Published: Sunday, August 24, 2014
photos: kenny janosick
photos: kenny janosick

Gunner, an 80-pound black Labrador retriever, proved himself a true guide dog just four days after meeting his partner. As they slept in a cozy Smithtown dorm room on a cool April night last year, Gunner sensed trouble. He ran over to his new charge, who was lost in a nightmare, and set his reassuring paws on the man’s chest. Gunner nuzzled his buddy’s rib cage and whimpered faintly until the man opened his eyes.

Prodded suddenly awake, Brian Pearce lay gasping in the dark on a small bed crowded by Gunner huddling up against him. In his turbulent sleep, Pearce had been reliving the moment he nearly died seven years earlier while on a tour of duty in Iraq. He’d had the nightmare countless times since then, always trembling in his slumber and awaking alarmed. But this night was different: Gunner was there and he had performed his first successful nightmare interruption.

“He picked up on what he needed to do right off the bat,” said Pearce, an Army veteran who lives with his wife and two children in Virginia. Gunner’s conduct caught Pearce by surprise, but it was a prime example of the work achieved by the Guide Dog Foundation. The Smithtown-based nonprofit has spent seven decades pairing the blind with highly trained dogs—mostly Labs and golden retrievers—using time-tested criteria such as need, lifestyle, pace and personality.

Pearce lost his vision in 2006 when an improvised explosive device (IED) hit his Humvee 18 miles north of Baghdad. He also sustained a traumatic brain injury and continues to suffer the ravages of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Foundation staff recognized his need for more than a guide dog and matched him with Gunner, who had also received training from GDF’s sister organization specializing in raising service dogs, America’s VetDogs.

The story of Pearce and Gunner is one of about 150 similar tales that emerge annually from the two organizations that operate almost entirely on donations and spend more than $10 million a year uniting those in need with four-legged companions. “Our mission is to improve the quality of people’s lives,” Chief Executive Officer Wells Jones said. As CEO, he oversees a network of 100 employees and more than 1,500 volunteers located in hubs throughout the East Coast. “This is the type of organization where the whole village is involved,” said Deana Izzo, a long-time GDF trainer and field representative based in Georgia.

Guide dog programs begin even before birth, when breeders—stationed at the foundation’s Smithtown campus—handpick mating pairs to produce the highest quality offspring. Then carefully vetted volunteer puppy raisers, including prison inmates in eight state correctional institutions, foster individual puppies, housebreaking and socializing them for about 12 months.

“They never cease to amaze me,” puppy raiser Susan Semple said while keeping close watch over Max, the rambunctious 11-week-old yellow Lab she’s raising. “Every day is a new adventure.”

Max is the ninth puppy Semple has raised in her Huntington home in the last eight years and she’s never had a single regret. “People always wonder about that parting moment,” she said. “It’s why people don’t want to raise puppies. But it’s highly overrated as far as being a hard moment. By not being ready for it, you miss a year to fourteen months of pure joy.”

After leaving their foster homes, the puppies return to campus for four to six months of training in their respective fields. Guide dogs learn to lead and orient the visually impaired around obstacles, through crowds and elsewhere. Service dogs are taught to retrieve items, provide balance, respond to seizures and nightmares and assist with physical and psychological rehabilitation. All dogs, including those who end up working as nursing-home pets or law enforcement and military dogs, learn intelligent disobedience and unique evaluation skills. It’s what keeps them flexible and better able to mitigate specific disabilities.

“Exposure to the outside world is critical,” said Izzo. And that’s where the bulk of the training is done: At train stations, in busy residential areas, inside dining establishments and even on airplanes. “Dogs have to be well-socialized to be able to properly assess a situation. We make it as positive as we can for the high-stress environment it can be.”

The dogs are kenneled in Smithtown during their training and up until they’re matched with a recipient, but even then, they’re kept company. Kennel volunteers visit with the dogs daily, feeding and grooming them and cleaning their living quarters. Some also spend up to two hours a visit walking and playing with the dogs.

“They have to know the warmth of a human being,” said Jeannette LaRock. She and her retired husband, Dennis, have been puppy raisers for the better part of a decade and began volunteering at the kennel three years ago. Living nearby, they make regular trips to the campus. “You can’t walk away,” she said. “It sucks you in.” LaRock is proud of their part in improving the lives of those in need. She shed tears reminiscing about a recent encounter with Vinny Boo, a puppy she raised. He looked regal and resolute walking alongside his new handler, an amputee, a gratifying moment for LaRock personally.

But getting there is no easy task. Although the dogs receive casual training early on and official training with the foundations’ 30 instructors (16 for GDF, 5 for VetDogs and 9 traveling field reps like Izzo), the real work doesn’t begin until they’re partnered up. Recipients are invited to stay on campus—or flown in if they live far away—for team training free of charge. They’re given private rooms, served meals cooked by an on-site chef and catered to individually for the duration of their 12-day training program.

The recipients meet their dogs and begin a bonding process that fosters a successful working team. They rehearse basic obedience, recite commands, participate in grooming sessions and practice crossing streets. They learn each other’s abilities, manners and styles; develop a solid rapport and gain an acute understanding of one another.

“What you really have to do is learn to trust your dog,” said Rosanna Beaudrie, a Levittown mom of three who is blind. “Your dog learns to do fifty percent, you learn to do fifty percent.”

It took Beaudrie and her three-year-old black Lab, Jillian, some time to develop trust. They hit challenges early on, but Beaudrie decided to use GDF’s aftercare option to bring the dog’s original trainer to their home.

Once Beaudrie and Jillian overcame their barriers, life together flowed comfortably. “I was very well-matched with Jillian,” Beaudrie said. At the sound of her name, Jillian dropped her neon green football under the kitchen table and bounded toward Beaudrie. “She has an outgoing personality, she’s easy to work with. At home she’s just an ordinary dog, but she’s all business as soon as the harness is on.”

Grateful for her good fortune, Beaudrie jumped at the opportunity to give back. She joined GDF’s alumni council, conducting research and developing literature for projects aimed at offering disabled individuals more amenities in public places. “GDF gave me back my sense of pride, my sense of independence,” she said. “Now I’m trying to help make life easier for the grads.”

Pearce is also spreading awareness of the life-altering potential of GDF and America’s VetDogs. He speaks publicly about the groups, sharing his own story to encourage veterans in need to seek assistance. Pearce returned from Iraq devastated. He’d spent two months in a coma and endured numerous medical issues. He had to retire from his 17-year military career and relearn basic skills. He experienced flashbacks of the day when he was sitting atop a Humvee, gripping a machine gun and surveying the road when an IED exploded and changed his life forever.

Since he teamed up with Gunner, the nightmares have subsided. “If I told you I didn’t have dark days, I’d be lying,” he said. But things are better. “Having a dog gives you purpose. And when you’re feeling the worst about things, that dog will come to you. All he cares about is you. It makes things 100 percent better.”

Pact Mentality
A veteran and his dog form a lifetime bond

Up until February, Joseph Gormley was depressed and living a life of isolation in his Floral Park home. Retired, single, hearing impaired and suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the 67-year-old leg amputee was fed up. He took his therapist’s advice and reached out to America’s VetDogs.

Gormley spent 12 days at the Smithtown campus getting to know London, a 2-year-old yellow Labrador retriever whose attentive brown eyes and gentle demeanor captivated him and melted some 40 years of pain from his heart.

It didn’t take long for the pair to adjust to life together, even though there were some big changes. Gormley was shy and soft-spoken, but London was friendly and forward. Where he liked to observe, she liked to approach. She brought him out of his shell and he helped her mellow. Socialization became a part of Gormley’s life, whether he liked it or not.

London was trained primarily to alert and orient her hearing-impaired partner to car horns, doorbells, smoke alarms and telephones. As a service dog, she was also taught to retrieve items—including Gormley’s prosthetic leg—open doors, turn light switches on and off and provide balance. But her greatest ability, according to Gormley, is recognizing when her handler is in need of affection.

Drafted into the army at 20, Gormley became a helicopter machine gunner and was sent to combat in Vietnam. He returned a couple of years later, crushed and carrying emotional baggage that would burden him for the next four decades. Gormley bore the burden quietly: He married and raised three children, worked as an electrician and spent his free time as a volunteer firefighter.

But Gormley was suffering from PTSD and combat stress, though he didn’t know it until a routine trip to the Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center. “I went for hearing aids,” Gormley said, “and ended up having a reaction when I saw guys wearing different unit patches. I had a flashback, broke down and started crying.”

That breakthrough started Gormley on his three-year journey to recovery. He underwent a 90-day inpatient PTSD program at Northport and now attends group therapy there. London accompanies him on all of his trips.

“It’s good therapy for other people,” Gormley said. “People are depressed, they see an animal, it changes their attitude completely.”

Adorned in her black and beige harness, London garners attention wherever she and Gormley go—for a stroll around the block, an outing at the dog run or a long walk through nearby Alley Pond Park. “There’s times I’m up and out at five in the morning with her. This young lady loves the water and rolling in it, mud puddles and all,” Gormley said. “She’s had more baths…my friends laugh. They say, ‘Who’s taking care of who?’”

Lee Landor
Author: Lee Landor

Men of Style and Substance

Four local guys make good in our men’s fashion story.

Author: Nada Marjanovich | Published:

words: nadA
photos: roberto chamorro
photography assistants: antonio rodriguez & david gipson
hair & makeup: monae everett using MAC cosmetics and oribe
stylists: aryana herz & nicole mcconnach

Rich Barrabi

Our region’s top legal minds
Read Full Article

Robert Vitelli

Robert Vitelli is doing his part by advocating for equality, fighting to end homophobia and developing leadership programs.
Read Full Article

Steve Katz

For this style guy, it’s the more complicated risks—the ones with a little hair on them—that drive him.
Read Full Article

Justin Haynes

Haynes honors his lineage sartorially and also by making a positive difference in his community through philanthropic activities and donations, both in his personal life and through his dealership.
Read Full Article


Nada Marjanovich
Author: Nada Marjanovich
Nada Marjanovich is Publisher and Editor of Long Island Pulse Magazine. Prior to founding the title in 2005, she worked extensively in the internet. She's been writing since childhood and has been published for both fiction and poetry.

Men’s Style - Rich Barrabi

Author: Nada Marjanovich | Published:
photos by roberto chamorro
photos by roberto chamorro

Rich Barrabi
News12 Long Island, General Assignment Reporter

News guys are typically thought of as being larger than life, superhero types taking down “the man.” Although Rich Barrabi might be doing some of this when he’s covering everything from politics to speed cameras, he considers himself a low-key family guy. “I’m the meat and potatoes guy…if you look at me and another reporter, we might be totally different… in television, that works well, you gotta have that mix.”

Barrabi was at News12 Bronx for a year before this past one, when he came to his hometown shop, News12 Long Island. The East Meadow resident is used to being in front of the camera, but this is his first foray as an on-camera style guy. The big difference between broadcast and print? Everything. What’s similar? “You shine a light on things and get people talking.”

And that’s the thing of it: The story. Getting behind what a subject is trying to show and drilling down to the vitals. When the new father isn’t peeking behind the curtain, he’s changing diapers and feeding his son. “Before that—and some time soon again—I’m golfing and spending time with my wife. I’m similar to our viewers…going to the beach and spending time with family.”

Barrabi’s wardrobe provided by Saks Fifth Avenue, Walt Whitman Shops

Armani Collezioni Georgio Model suit
Saks Fifth Avenue Collection gray print tailored shirt
ISAIA wool plaid tie
Saks Fifth Avenue Collection Taber oxblood lace-ups

Armani Collezioni navy box plaid jacket
Sand diamond print cotton sportshirt
Santorelli coffee wool slacks
ISAIA wool neat dot tie
Saks Fifth Avenue Collection Tyler cognac lace-ups

Armani Collezioni 3D mesh
Guru jacket
Sand red and blue print sportshirt
AG Adriano Goldschmeid Protégé straight-leg jeans
Salvatore Ferragamo suede calfskin loafers

Nada Marjanovich
Author: Nada Marjanovich
Nada Marjanovich is Publisher and Editor of Long Island Pulse Magazine. Prior to founding the title in 2005, she worked extensively in the internet. She's been writing since childhood and has been published for both fiction and poetry.

Men’s Style - Robert Vitelli

Author: Nada Marjanovich | Published:
photos by roberto chamorro
photos by roberto chamorro

Robert Vitelli
LI GLBT Services Network, Chief Operating Officer

Long Island would not be a great place to live if it weren’t for nonprofits bettering our quality of life. Robert Vitelli is doing his part by advocating for equality, fighting to end homophobia and developing leadership programs. “One of the reasons I love my job is I’m having a major impact. When I started here 13 years ago, it was a staff of 3. Now we’re 26.”

As COO Vitelli works on fundraising and financing—a suit for meeting with funders, a pair of jeans and updated western boots when he’s in the thick of grant writing.

Vitelli sees it as a good thing that men are ramping up their style quotient. “Ten or fifteen years ago a professional man could get away with an older shoe. But now, if you’re of a certain age, you’re expected to dress in a more contemporary way.”

He is a Long Islander through and through. “What I love most about Long Island is the energy… strong, robust, focused energy… that is different from being a New York City person or being from somewhere else.” He brings that energy to the human services programs at his organization and in working in his own community.

Vitelli’s wardrobe provided by Beltrami, Huntington, (631) 421-0117

Serica cotton grey tailored shirt
International Laundry charcoal grey stretch cotton jeans
Ted Baker wool suit jacket with velvet collar
Shoes Robert’s own

Beltrami wool and cashmere blend black suit
ViV cotton striped tailored shirt
Serica silk paisley embossed tie

Nada Marjanovich
Author: Nada Marjanovich
Nada Marjanovich is Publisher and Editor of Long Island Pulse Magazine. Prior to founding the title in 2005, she worked extensively in the internet. She's been writing since childhood and has been published for both fiction and poetry.

Men’s Style - Steve Katz

Author: Nada Marjanovich | Published:
photos by roberto chamorro
photos by roberto chamorro

Steve Katz
Marsh, Client Developmen

Steve handles middle market and larger scale clients, trying to improve their insurance programs and risk management. “Is insurance sexy? Yow! Insurance can be exciting… Trying to land on a certain premium number, it’s winning and losing… Anybody can do insurance, it’s the exposures that are risky and scare a lot of brokers.” For this style guy, it’s the more complicated risks—the ones with a little hair on them—that drive him.

In Steve’s world, there are only 3-5 successes per year. That means he’s got to keep everyone juiced—and always look the part. It takes mind reading, quarterbacking and a lot of glad-handing. And of course, “first impressions are everything… If you’re not early, you’re late.”

On his own time, he plays tennis with his wife, basketball with the guys and does CrossFit. His 11- and 14-year-old daughters keep him on his toes, and help keep him modest. “In sales, you have to be humble. Confidence with humility. Cocky and arrogance isn’t going to win someone’s business… ‘Integrity in sales’ is not an oxymoron.”

Katz’s wardrobe provided by Bloomingdale’s, Walt Whitman Shops

Burberry Brit purple cotton polo, pebble plaid button up and black quilted jacket
Joe’s Jeans Brixton grey denim
Salvatore Ferragamo suede high-top sneakers

Canali blue and brown plaid suit
Boss Hugo Boss sharp fit white tailored shirt
Bruno Magli Maioco leather oxford

Nada Marjanovich
Author: Nada Marjanovich
Nada Marjanovich is Publisher and Editor of Long Island Pulse Magazine. Prior to founding the title in 2005, she worked extensively in the internet. She's been writing since childhood and has been published for both fiction and poetry.

Men’s Style - Justin Haynes

Author: Nada Marjanovich | Published:
photos by roberto chamorro
photos by roberto chamorro

Justin Haynes
Audi Lynbrook, General Manager

Haynes has always been a car guy—he moved to Long Island seven years ago to take a step in his career that would lead to his current post. He likes that Audis feature both beauty and brawn. “Get anywhere anytime without any fear—they handle the winters well. And they’re definitely at the forefront of style, the front of the vehicle, the lights, the lines of the car, everything.”

Haynes has always wanted to work in the automotive industry and it’s not just the product. He loves working with people. “You meet all walks of life, you can never judge… you never know who you’re going to meet.” He points to this deep interaction with a wide swath of customers as part of what drives him.

When he’s not working, the expectant dad loves trying Long Island’s restaurants—the lifestyle is all part of the same ball of wax, which he learned from Grandpa Haynes, his style guru. “He was just the man, how he dressed…he’s the first person I saw wear cufflinks. He always had his initials on his custom shirts, wore custom suits… no matter where he was going, even a lunch, he was dressed to the nines.”

Haynes honors his lineage sartorially and also by making a positive difference in his community through philanthropic activities and donations, both in his personal life and through his dealership.

Haynes’ wardrobe provided by Saks Fifth Avenue, Walt Whitman Shops

Hickey Freeman silk cashmere blend sportcoat
Robert Graham Torino tailored shirt
Santorelli French wool slacks
Ike Behar mini polka dot bowtie
Saks Fifth Avenue Collection silk polka-dot print pocket square

Robert Graham Salisbury sportshirt
Michael Kors battleship linen pants
Block Headwear woven fedora
Saks Fifth Avenue Collection Tyler cognac lace-ups

Vince cotton t-shirt, cotton button up and leather hoodie
Hudson Byron dark wash jeans
Salvatore Ferragamo suede calfskin loafers

Nada Marjanovich
Author: Nada Marjanovich
Nada Marjanovich is Publisher and Editor of Long Island Pulse Magazine. Prior to founding the title in 2005, she worked extensively in the internet. She's been writing since childhood and has been published for both fiction and poetry.

The Fundamental white dress shirt

The white dress shirt is a rare bastion of understatement in the flamboyant fashion world.

Author: Chris Connolly | Published:

The world of fashion is necessarily a place of flux, a place where Next and New can transform into Old and Out in a New York or Milan minute. This is why the few fashion staples capable of standing the test of time must be treasured: The chic trench, the black blazer, the perfect dark-wash jeans and of course the white dress shirt.

The simplicity of the white dress shirt is the key to its appeal. It is a blank canvas, but it’s a blank canvas on display at a canvas-stretching showcase where canvas is the whole point. The Taoist concept of p’u celebrates the beauty of the uncarved block—the idea that while a well-sculpted piece of wood is a thing of wonder, we should not ignore the beauty of the wood in its unaltered state.
The white dress shirt offers no hiding places for designer or end consumer. A too-narrow collar cannot fade into the pinstriping, a misplaced second button will rise up like a double chin, detracting from the look. And speaking of double chins, if you have one, as I do, you must make sure your white dress shirts fit perfectly since there are no slimming stripes to conceal your love of zeppoli.

But while white dress shirts do showcase shortcomings, when done right they are ineffably perfect. Never the star of the show, the well-tailored white dress shirt is an irreplaceable supporting player that makes the bigger names shine. It is the straight man that yields to the punch line, the dancer that imbues excruciating movements with fluidity, the lighting designer who brings out the violet in the leading lady’s eyes.

In a world too often focused on newer and more, the white dress shirt should be celebrated for holding its own on pure quality and execution. Restraint is a trait that’s all too rare in the modern world and it’s one we often forget to appreciate.

Get Your Shirt Together
Five rules of proper shirting*

Know Thy Size
Forget small, medium and large. For a proper fit, it’s all about neck size and arm length. Many elements of a dress shirt can be tailored, but collars can’t be changed and arms can’t be made longer. Also, most people have one slightly longer arm. Get both measured, then use the higher number as the sleeve size.

Poke Around
One finger should always be able to fit comfortably between the shirt collar and your neck. If you can fit two fingers, it’s too loose. If you can’t jam a finger in there, close the magazine and dial 911 immediately.

The Long and Short
The shoulder seams on a dress shirt should coincide with your own shoulders. If the sleeve seam sits on top of your shoulder, you need a larger size and vice versa. Speaking of sleeves: The cuff of a dress shirt should touch the hinge of the wrist; about half an inch of shirtsleeve ought to extend beyond the jacket.

Ain’t No Collar Back
There are lots of collars in the world: Wing tip, tab, eyelet, spread, semi-spread, British spread, Italian spread. Our advice? Ignore ’em. A classic or standard collar will never look out of place, though there’s some chance a more flamboyant one will seem overwrought.

Fit and Trim
The button-down shirt is a button down look. That’s where the term comes from. When buying dress shirts, look for the slimmest fit you can comfortably wear. Rule of thumb: Snug is iffy, tight is too tight, fitted is fine. A blousy, outsized dress shirt is a non-starter. Hiding your bulk inside a baggy shirt will at best make you look bigger than you are. At worst it will make you look like a squirmy 11-year-old at a wedding.

*Rules subject to change without notice.


Building the Perfect Shirt
Calling their method “research based design” and utilizing the same “phase change materials” that helped NASA astronauts regulate body temps, the company Ministry of Supply is obsessed with simple perfection. Co-founded by Gihan Amarasiriwardena, Kit Hickey and Aman Advani, who met at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ministry of Supply “hacks” modern business clothing by applying principals pioneered in rock climbing and other performance apparel. Pulse asked Amarasiriwardena, who studied chemical engineering at MIT, about his company’s approach to building their white dress shirt.

Long Island Pulse: What is important about the white dress shirt?
Gihan Amarasiriwardena:
The white dress shirt is the foundation of a guy’s wardrobe. It’s a staple. It can be the basis of a suit, but can also be worn with dark denim and leather shoes. It’s a blank slate. That’s why our white dress shirt was the first thing we worked on when we started our company.

Pulse: What were you looking to create in your basic shirt?
We wanted something that could transition between the different parts of your life. A work/life integration without punctuation. We believe that home life and work life and social life can all be married.

Pulse: What features did you build into your shirts?
When we started, we designed the Apollo dress shirt. It’s a moisture wicking shirt made with phase change material—which is what NASA used for astronauts. In space it can be extremely hot in the sun but very cold in the shade. This material draws heat away or stores it depending on the conditions. We were talking about easing the transitions in your life. So, you’re on the subway and it’s 90 degrees, but then your office is 65 degrees. We wanted clothing that could handle those different phases of life. It’s also wrinkle free and it stretches. Some of our apparel has a brushed finish inside—like a pair of sweatpants. We added details like that, but at the same time our shirt never promotes itself, it promotes you.

Pulse: What are you hearing from customers?
We launched the Apollo shirt on Kickstarter in June 2012. We were trying to raise $30,000 and we ended up with almost $430,000. It was the most funded fashion project ever at the time. People are really responding to our thinking. We’ve been able to grow from 4 employees to 13 and now we’re creating a whole wardrobe that works together: Base layers, chinos—a clothing system.


If the Shirt Fits… Excellent tailors on Long Island
Enzo’s Custom Tailors, Smithtown, (631) 265-2929
Montella Custom Tailor, Bellport Village, (631) 286-2280
Saks Fifth Avenue Men’s Made to Measure, Huntington, (631) 350-1100 
Tyrone Men’s Clothing, Roslyn, (516) 484-3330
Victor Talbot’s, Greenvale, (516) 625-1787

Chris Connolly
Author: Chris Connolly

From Huntington to Hall of Fame Meet and Greets

One Long Islander is living the dream

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published: Saturday, August 23, 2014
Huntington's Kelvin Joseph was a high school athlete, and now lives his dream facilitating events for sports stars. 
words: julie mansmann | photo: matt furman
Huntington's Kelvin Joseph was a high school athlete, and now lives his dream facilitating events for sports stars. words: julie mansmann | photo: matt furman

Kelvin Joseph was a 16-year-old Walt Whitman High School athlete when Derek Jeter made his major league debut for the New York Yankees in 1995. Joseph watched in awe as the shortstop became one of the best players of his generation, raking in World Series rings and earning the adoration of players and sports fans like himself.

When Joseph was a Huntington teen, Jeter was just a legend in the making. Joseph could not have anticipated that by age 35, he would be planning a farewell luncheon for the Yankee captain as well as know the perennial All-Star on a personal level. But Joseph’s role as the COO and executive vice president of sales at Steiner Sports Marketing & Memorabilia has made it all part of a day at the office.

Joseph’s interest in both sports and marketing was born in the halls of Walt Whitman, where he was an all-county wrestler, volleyball player and student government leader.

He also liked to wear a suit, even as a teenager. He was fascinated by Wall Street icon Gordon Gekko, thinking he wanted to be an investment banker—until he visited the New York Stock Exchange on a field trip, that is.

“Everyone was stressed out and balding,” he said with a laugh. “I was told accounting was the language of business, but I never thought of becoming an accountant. I do a lot of things now, like sales and marketing, but my accounting class in high school allowed me to build a foundation.”

Joseph’s pursuit of a college degree and a career in business did not stop him from hitting the gym—he was even a featured News12 scholar athlete. And when he watched television, it was usually sports—especially the New York Knicks. Today, a photo of Joseph with Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing, taken at a Steiner event, sits in his office. “The reason that was so special to me had nothing to do with the fact that he was a great Knick and great guy, which he was,” Joseph said. “It took me back to being a teenage guy trying to find his way.”

After graduating from Walt Whitman in 1997, Joseph studied public accounting at Pace, obtaining his BBA in 2001. But even before he graduated, while he was still 19, he began a 7-year stint at Ernst & Young. Joseph credits INROADS—a nonprofit assisting businesses in gaining greater access to ethnically diverse talent—for the opportunity that paved the way for Steiner to welcome him as CFO in 2009. Now that he is COO, Joseph said he is able to do more for companies expanding their businesses by having an athlete attend an event, as well as charities that raise funds by selling signed items or helping plan events that become experiences attendees rank as top moments in their lives.

“Everyone has some kind of connection to sports,” he said. “If it is their dream to meet Derek Jeter, and I can make that dream come true, that is very powerful.”

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Sole Aim

Fall shoes step forward

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:
photographer: roberto chamorro
photographer: roberto chamorro

ABOVE: Jimmy Choo Heath leather pointy toe pump, Jildor Shoes
French Connection classic fitted turtleneck

Paul Green Optimist soft leather boot with oversized buckle, Nordstrom
Christopher Fischer Radha cashmere Buddha crew neck sweater

Charlotte Olympia Domina leather pump with spur strap, Nordstrom
Merino Possum poncho by Lothlorian
MaxMara gold double bangle

Vince Brigham open-toe leather bootie with Velcro strap, Jildor Shoes
Magaschoni net hooded sweater

Kate Spade Licorice navy blue suede pumps, Nahla & Co
525 America cropped knit navy blue sweater, Canavan Classics

SJP Lee side lace Napa leather bootie, Nordstrom
Sand men’s tailored shirt

In studio at Pulse’s Gold Coast office:

Photography Assistants: Antonio Rodriguez & David Gipson
Hair & Makeup: Monae Everett for Pix Management using Gorgeous Cosmetics and Oribe
Stylists: Aryana Herz & Nicole McConnach
Model: Kendra for MSA Models

Shopping Directory:

Canavan Classics
Sayville, (631) 563-9385

Christopher Fischer
East Hampton, (631) 907-0900

Jildor Shoes
Cedarhurst, (516) 569-4880

Southampton, (631) 204-0207

Nahla & Co.
Huntington, (631) 367-0300

Roosevelt Field Mall, (516) 746-0011

Underpinnings and briefs provided by Blum’s, Patchogue, (631) 475-0136

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Fall Fresh

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published: Friday, August 22, 2014
Photography: Keith Major
Photography: Keith Major

ABOVE: Valentino long sleeve floral embroidered gown
Lana Jewelry rose gold and black onyx studs and black onyx hexagon ring

Michael Kors alpaca and silk oversized oatmeal knit
Etro printed silk maxi skirt
Lana Jewelry black mother of pearl and quartz earrings

Sportmax ladino fox fur vest with leather
Alexandre Birman python and suede over the knee boots

Chloé Open-front piping neutral cape
Contrast piping trousers
Silk hi-lo tunic
Lana Jewelry pendant necklace and yellow gold ring

Dolce & Gabbana bordeaux lace applique shift dress
Donna Karan cashmere turtleneck
Alexandre Birman python and suede over the knee boots
Lana Jewelry yellow gold and black onyx circle ring, yellow gold ring

Salvatore Ferragamo
Astrakhan fur and calfskin vest
Baroque design pump
Lana Jewelry gold small hooked hoops

Michael Kors taupe floral print chiffon dress
Lana Jewelry mother of pearl and quartz earrings

Photographer’s Assistants: Antonio Rodriguez & Cesar Rebollar
Stylist: Rory McDonough
Stylist’s Assistant: Laura Maniscalco
Hair & Makeup: Daryon Haylock

Shopping Directory:

Americana Manhasset
Donna Karan
Michael Kors
Salvatore Ferragamo
Sportmax at Max Mara

Alexandre Birman,
Chloé, Madison Avenue, (212) 717-8220
Dolce & Gabbana, Madison Avenue, (212) 249-4100
Lana Jewelry,
Valentino, Madison Avenue, (212) 772-6969

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Sound Space

The music studio as collaborator

Author: Michael Block | Published: Thursday, August 21, 2014
Red space waffles are the key to hit records.
words: mike block | photos: rick wenner
Red space waffles are the key to hit records. words: mike block | photos: rick wenner

A recording studio is more than the acoustic and inspirational aspects of its physical space. It is more than the quality of its equipment. It is defined by the abilities of the engineers and producers who work there. While much of this flies under the radar of the average music fan, musical artists understand that in choosing a recording studio they are also selecting a collaborator that can make or break a project. Pulse took a look at five such Long Island collaborations.

MonkMusic Studios
Vibe: Comfortable East End chic
Artist: Joe Delia & Thieves

Architecturally stunning, MonkMusic Studios provides both state-of-the-art technology and an East Hampton anonymity that has attracted everyone from Paul McCartney and Beyoncé to local favorite Joe Delia. Cynthia Daniels, an affable and articulate Grammy winner (soundtrack for The Producers Broadway production, for one) simultaneously wears the hats of owner, producer and recording engineer.

Daniels on MonkMusic Studios:
The most unique characteristic of Monk is that it’s out of the fray of the city; it offers the sonic excellence of a New York City studio with the environment afforded by East Hampton. My overarching philosophy stems from my early training with [producer] Phil Ramone at A&R Recording. The music and the artist come first. The tools we use should maintain the integrity of the specific project. For me, sonic integrity includes being true to the genre—the right attitude, the right headset—helping to create the vibe for the artist is always going to be the nuts and bolts of getting it done.

Daniels on working with Joe Delia:
Joe’s project Smoke and Mirrors was the first tracking session we ever did at MonkMusic when we opened in 2011. He knew we were going to put the studio through its paces. Not only was the sound amazing because the band was great, we also realized the studio worked like a charm. Everything came together.

Joe Delia on MonkMusic Studios:
Cynthia’s studio is a combination of perfect acoustics and feng shui. That, coupled with a master engineer at the board, makes the recording process a transcendent experience. The tracking [for Smoke and Mirrors] had been done in two other studios as well as at Monk and there were sonic issues that seemed insurmountable. Cynthia was somehow able to make it sound like every track had been cut in the same room.

Suffolk Recording Studios
Vibe: Low-key ambiance, high-end amps
Artist: Funkin’ A

Enter Dan Welsch’s studios in Patchogue and it becomes clear why the owner chose the catchphrase “the vibe is on.” From the Williamsburg-esque lounge area to the very large Nashville-inspired live room, the studio exudes an unpretentious yet sumptuous charm. Rows of show posters from 89 North, the acoustically superb music venue that Welsch co-owns, serve as subliminal reminders of a potential reward beyond the recording experience. Welsch may be the idea man, but top-flight engineers/producers such as Eamonn Vaughan, who navigates the sea of high-end technology, remain the x-factor that attracts artists like “the horn-driven jam band” Funkin’ A.

Welsch on Suffolk Studios:
I’ve been a musician all my life. I always wanted to own a studio. I saw this space, which was way too big for what I needed, but it looked perfect for a studio. The main room is almost exactly the same size as the RCA studio in Nashville where Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins recorded. And the treatment on the walls is the same thing they used.

Vaughan on producing Funkin’ A’s Generation Zombie:
This band has a very big sound and some really fun vibes. I wanted to capture their massive energy while still being concise. Keeping the rhythm section together in one live room and the horn section together in another allowed for maximum isolation while still allowing the band members to feed off of the energy of the others.

Kyle Fitzpatrick, songwriter and guitarist for Funkin’ A, on Suffolk Studios:
They know music. And they know that recording music is not only a lot of fun, but sacred. Eamonn essentially became a part of the band while recording this album. We have many time changes and contrapuntal rhythms in our music that Eamonn was able to navigate for us effortlessly. We are an eight-piece funk band and were able to capture the “live” feeling we were looking for. We were all in headphones and were able to communicate our music with each other just as we had hoped.


Lantern Sound Recording Rig
Vibe: Going mobile
Artist: Bryan Gallo

Mick Hargreaves, the vet roots rocker and leader of The King Guys, likes to record musicians in their natural habitat. It might be their favorite venue to gig, their homes or a cool space that was found through happenstance. The engineer, producer and musician has transported his numerous equipment-filled cases to all of the above. Many top-level studio folks believe a professional recording requires the silently throbbing nexus of technology that only a studio can offer. But Hargreaves prefers to exploit the acoustic and psychic potential of the particular space he’s working in. Local artist Bryan Gallo chose the Lantern Sound Recording Rig (LSRR) to capture his soon-to-be-released album, The Party Guest. The session was set in an East End cottage with Butchers Blind serving as backing band.

Hargreaves on the LSRR:
“Cowboy” Jack Clement once said that a recording studio is the worst place you can pick to make a record. So I go on location to make records—and that could be some interesting places. A lot of it is about comfort and putting the artist at ease. Overdubbing can be done anywhere.

Hargreaves on making The Party Guest:
The way the Bryan Gallo record happened was that Butchers Blind did extensive pre-production rehearsals with Bryan. When then they came in to record with me they played everything down as a band. They were literally sleeping in front of their amplifiers at night.

Gallo on recording The Party Guest and the LSRR:
I reached out to Mick knowing that he recorded the last Butchers Blind album (Destination Blues) at the cottage. There’s just a great natural sound in there for drums and other acoustic instruments, so everything came out sounding organic. At first I was in disbelief knowing such great sounds could come from a compact unit and not from a fancy high-end studio. That’s a testament to Mick knowing the ins and outs of his equipment and also how to treat a physical space as part of the character of the recording. Essentially, with the LSRR there are even fewer limitations than you’d have with a conventional studio.


Pie Studios
Vibe: Where the glory days live
Artist: Paul Rodgers

Perry Margouleff’s formative years included watching his uncle, Robert Margouleff, record Stevie Wonder’s classic 1970s material at Crystal Sound Studios in Los Angeles. When the junior Margouleff opened Glen Cove’s Pie Studios in the early 90s, the producer/engineer/guitarist bought much of the vintage equipment from such legendary NYC studios as RCA and the Record Plant. Margouleff shuns the digital sheen that has become the current norm. Pie’s client list includes The Rolling Stones and Alicia Keys, but it is with Paul Rodgers (lead singer of Free and Bad Company) that Margouleff’s zeal for the authentic has blossomed. The two have written, performed and recorded together for more than 20 years. The ongoing collaboration includes their current R&B album The Royal Sessions.

Margouleff on Pie Studios:
All the good studios of late 80s NYC were closing up. I went to all the auctions. All of the gear here is a product of the demise of the NYC studios. We really are more of a traditional recording studio by virtue of the fact we have a large live room and the right kind of recording equipment. A band can actually come into this room and we can capture the energy of a performance.

Margouleff on playing with Paul Rodgers:
Back in the 90s, I spent two years auditioning singers for my band (Catweezel), and my ads in the paper would say “singers in the style of Paul Rodgers.” And then one day he just called me up and went, “Hey, I heard your music and I’d really like to do something with you.” I thought it was a prank call until he identified himself by reminding me of a visit I had made to his home. We put a single out in 2012—a song we recorded at Pie called “With our Love” that went to number four on the classic rock charts. We recorded The Royal Sessions at Royal Studios in Memphis. We wanted to have all those players be in their natural environment where they’ve worked all their lives. We did the final mixes at Pie.

Rodgers on Margouleff and Pie Studios:
Perry is what makes Pie Studios a unique place to record. It is his dedication to real music, performed by real musicians. Perry knows because he is a musician, songwriter and producer himself. Pie Studios and the Royal Studios reflect each other in terms of the organic ambiance. We just captured the music pure and simple and that philosophy applied to the mixing too.


Parcheesi Recording Studio
Vibe: Casual setting, serious production values
Artist: Miles to Dayton

“You wouldn’t believe the stuff that comes out of that place,” said Steve Holley, former Paul McCartney drummer, referring to Huntington Station’s Parcheesi Studio. The no-pretense recording space is located in the basement of Bob Stander’s home. Stander owns the studio, serves as sole engineer/producer and is a multi-instrumentalist who plays on many of the studio’s recordings. He won a Grammy for his contribution to the children’s record All About Bullies…Big and Small. It is Stander’s deep reservoir of musical knowledge and top-shelf equipment that brings Great South Bay Music Festival prime-timers Miles to Dayton (m2d), back to Parcheesi time and time again.

Stander on Parcheesi Studio:
It’s not intimidating. It’s like the old days being in your buddy’s basement. It sounds like you went to the best studio in the world, and that’s basically from having good equipment and doing this every single day. I look at a piece of equipment as a big camera: If you have your thing together I can take a really good picture of it. Basically the studio thing is taking care of the client and giving him a product he’s going to love.

Stander on engineering/producing m2d’s Pass It On:
I do love their music. I really dig John Preddice’s writing. They have a sound and the violin gives it a folk rock foundation. What I’ve added to them, besides my production techniques, was another dimension with my electric guitar sound. I also play live with them. How it usually starts is they invite me to a rehearsal. When they have all their material together, I’ll listen and take notes and suggest arrangement alterations.

Dave March (m2d’s bass player) on Parcheesi Studios:
I like the personal atmosphere, the quality of the gear and I respect Bob’s level of expertise and his knowledge of recording techniques. He is also an amazing musician and his sense of humor really keeps us grounded. Playing with us allows him to get a better idea of what we are trying to present. He has time to hear the new songs develop before we record them, and it helps him with presenting new ideas or even different instruments to our palate. It keeps our minds open.

Michael Block
Author: Michael Block
When roused from his frequent reveries featuring himself as a Beatle, Mike Block is happy to resume his daily pursuits of providing occupational therapy for children with disabilities at Eastern Suffolk Boces and writing about the local music scene for Long Island Pulse magazine.

Portrait of a Supercar: 2015 Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4

Author: William K. Gock | Published:

The time has come: That moment every generation or so when all the pretty ponies tremble in fear of the tempest on the horizon. Tie up your loose ends and prepare to dip into your emergency fund, for I am that tempest—the latest fighting bull from the celebrated grounds of Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy. Come find your way into the eye of this storm and enjoy one of the most harnessed displays of power these shores have ever seen.

Following in the wake of my wildly popular predecessor, the Gallardo, I am a leap forward, a vision of smoother edges and power-reining technology. Gone are the sharp, jagged angles of Aventador; I boast subdued visual demons with a fluid design that stampedes at the drop of a flag. My lines rush into a windswept posterior that is smoother than just about all my predecessors and almost other-worldly. Coupled with adjoined tail lights, I appear poised to enter hyperspace—I just may if you attempt to lay chase. Underneath this aerodynamic paneling lies my lightweight, stiff, hybrid aluminum-carbon fiber frame, a composite that accounts for a 54-pound weight reduction and increased rigidity compared with big brother Gallardo. Translation: stability and quick response.

In fact, my standard-operating doors are about the only element left comparable to him. Flipping up the cherry-red cover that shrouds my ignition will have you feeling like you’re about to launch a missile. The roar of my rear-mounted 610-horsepower V-10 is visceral. You’ll be dying to embed my aluminum-clad gas pedal into the floorboard to a top speed of 202mph (no school zones, please). But while the big G was out winning his popularity contests, I was in charm school, learning to be a responsive listener, taming my inner beast when my driver seeks a more pragmatic cruise. After all, no need to be flashy when posed at a 25A stoplight. My countenance says enough.

No manual option is available to subdue me, but I’m newly minted for a reason and sport something even better: ANIMA—an all-new system that adjusts my attitude to one of three driving dynamics: Strada (street), sport and corsa (track). The moniker may be an acronym for Adaptive Network Intelligent Management, but proud Italians know this translates to “soul” and it is the guiding hand over my throaty power. Combined with my other new addition, a seven-speed dual clutch gearbox (the Lamborghini DoppiaFrizione, or “LDF”), I am both the calm before the storm and the raging hurricane itself. Tapping into my ANIMA can rapidly transform me from well-mannered East End cruiser to a Watkins Glen-shredding beast, quicker than you can say “Andiamo!”

Coddled in slim, high-backed Alcantara-trimmed seats, a quick glance around my cockpit will elicit that feeling of refined power. Crafted to exceptional levels of driver-centricity, my cabin comes off more aeronautic than automotive and has technology unrivaled by my predecessor or others claiming to be in my class.

Though a bevy of rather militant toggles decorate my center stack, you may notice it is devoid of any display unit. Look in my dash where gauges would typically reside and find an oversized digital screen. Commissioned by my Audi brethren in conjunction with technology partner Nvidia, the vibrant display can toggle between drive, infotainment or split-functionality on command. Just another advancement that keeps my features at your immediate control.

$237,000 is a starting point for this bullfighting lifestyle. Accoutrements such as lighter 20-inch diameter wheels, factory matte paint and a speed bump-friendly nose-lift system can easily upgrade the category level of this Huracán. Collateral damage aside, I may be the most adaptable and forgiving iteration of a Lamborghini yet conceived, just as easily at home on strada or corsa. Make no mistake, my gale-force power is no trifle, although you may deftly direct which way my wind is blowing.

Vital Stats
Engine: 5.2L Naturally Aspirated V10
0-60: 3.2 seconds
Max Speed: 202mph
Max Power: 610hp @ 8250rpm
Max Torque: 413lb-ft @ 6500rpm
Base Price: $237,250

William K. Gock
Author: William K. Gock
William K. Gock is the automotive content contributor for Playboy Magazine. His car and motorcycle reviews can also be found in numerous national print and online publications. Born and raised in New York's Hudson Valley, Gock currently lives with his wife and son in Babylon.

Studio Chef

How chef George Hirsch’s home kitchen doubles as his show’s studio

Author: Sal Vaglica | Published: Monday, June 30, 2014

Anyone who has survived a kitchen renovation can attest to what seems like a rapid-fire succession of problems. If it’s not the wrong cabinets that show up, it’s the plumber that doesn’t, or the mushrooming budget. While things didn’t get that trying for chef George Hirsch during the renovation of his Noyak kitchen, he did cut it close to a deadline. “It was finished two days before the first shoot,” Hirsch said, referring to the production of his new show George Hirsch Lifestyle.

After 20 years of traveling and filming the culinary world for public television, the Islip native decided to return to his Long Island roots and the fundamentals of cooking. While portions of the show are filmed on South Fork locations with artisanal purveyors, the cooking happens in his kitchen. Because the space pulls double duty as a studio and a home kitchen, the makeover had to balance aesthetic details and smart design that would fit any home.

When Hirsch cooked in restaurants it was all about efficiency of movement and that’s still the case here (lots of open shelves), but the kitchen also has inviting warmth. “It doesn’t matter where you set guests up when you entertain,” Hirsch said. “You could have a drinks station off to the side or a platter in the living room, they all gravitate into the kitchen.

George Hirsch Lifestyle airs Sundays at 2:30pm on WLIW21.

Open shelves here replace upper cabinets, reducing clutter and keeping often used items accessible. Taking the glossy 3x6-inch subway tile to the ceiling bounces light around.

The wet wall features an 11-inch, extra deep sink with a sliding colander for rinsing and draining. The faucet’s pull down head reaches every corner without the countertop clutter of a separate sprayer.

The salamander is a splurge typically found in commercial kitchens that blasts food with up to 22,000 BTUs of flame heat, finishing them quickly for the show.

This island is wider than the one it replaced but there is still at least 36 inches between it and the base cabinets so 2 people can walk by. The cooktop makes it easier to interact with guests during meal prep.

The hot wall’s commercial-style range sports six burners with grates at the same height so pans can be pulled off the burner to a lower heat without tipping.

Hot, hot heat
Hirsch expanded his pantry area and made room for less frequently used appliances like the toaster oven and drawer-style microwave. While the salamander isn’t a must, Hirsch loves the griddle option on his range for everything from Johnnycakes to flatbread.

Sal Vaglica
Author: Sal Vaglica

The Best Week July 2014

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:
photo by lynn spinnato
photo by lynn spinnato

Summer’s in full swing and there’s no better time to enjoy the benefits of Island living. The sun is shining, the beaches are thrumming and our villages are hopping with activity…get out and enjoy the best week of the best season.

Start the week with a little chill factor, like on the back porch of a local winery listening to live music. While on the North Fork, stop by The Jedediah Hawkins Inn to experience what chef Craig Attwood can do with a combi oven and a little improvisation.

Deny a case of the Mondays with some “me” time. Choose a new best seller, light a locally rolled cigar and sip a new beer.

No need to get crazy and attempt five-plus miles like the diehards tackling the annual Cross Bay Swim, but it’s still a good day to start the morning in the water and make it to the office on time, sort of. Swim trunks? Check. Killer goggles? Check. Underwater beats machine? Oh you better believe that’s a check.

Get rolling with bocce—everybody’s doing it. Hump day spent with friends in the backyard or at a local park is a Wednesday well spent. It’s made all the better with a resting point cocktail of strawberries and tequila (drinking responsibly, always).

It’s gallery night in Midtown, but the culture doesn’t end there. Off-the-beaten path tunes (as in subterranean) are at SubCulture in NoHo. Or keep it closer to home, like in Port Jeff. The Summer Harborside Concert Series is in full swing there.

’Tis the season for High Weekends in the Hamptons. Check into Montauk Yacht Club early, there are more than just sea vessels to grab your attention. As daylight starts to wane, the stars come out (especially at Guild Hall).

Put those summer whites to good use. Pack a bubbly picnic and watch the sport of kings at Bridgehampton Polo Club. Take in some art at the Parrish or grab some eye-candy at Lawrence Fine Art Gallery. Both are Pop-ing off this summer.

3 can’t miss events

July 4th
Fourth Fireworks by Grucci Family

On the hallowed date, you can catch the Grucci’s signature exploding lights show at Umbrella Beach in Montauk, Pennysaver Amphitheater in Farmingville, the Southampton Fresh Air Home and the Great South Bay off Fire Island. Don’t worry if you miss one of these; their rockets go off throughout July across the Island.

July 18-20
8th Annual Great South Bay Music Festival

Shorefront Park, Patchogue
This three-day music and arts event will feature over 50 musicians. It’s the largest fest of its kind on Long Island, headlined this year by B.B. King, moe. and Taking Back Sunday (interview with moe. on pg. 86). There will be the Kidzone to educate and entertain the young ones and the Artisan Market will have handmade and import crafts.

August 23-24
23rd Annual Long Island Maritime Museum Seafood Festival 2014

Long Island Maritime Museum, West Sayville
Food sponsor Blue Island Shellfish/Naked Cowboy Oysters will provide the seafood bounty, while tribute acts like Songs in the Attic, Bad Medicine and Evolution play music. There will also be artisans, pirate performances, pony rides, a petting zoo and treasures hunts.

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

High Weekends in the Hamptons 2014

The season to be seen is officially upon us

Author: Elisa DiStefano | Published:

When the 4th of July celebrations fizzle, the Hamptons social season starts to sizzle with celebrities, style and glamorous galas—all in the name of charity. Pack your best weekend wardrobe (remember to practice safe sun at these outdoor events) and head out east to party with a purpose!


Sayre Park, Bridgehampton; (631) 227-0188
Fashionable foodies indulge in the festivities of Dan’s Taste of Two Forks—the East End’s most fun food and wine festival. Experience some of Long Island’s best culinary talent in one night, under one tent. Sip wines from our local vineyards and sample diverse and decadent dishes and desserts. The great gastronomic dinner party is hosted by The Kitchen’s Geoffrey Zakarian and Katie Lee. Go hungry, designate a driver and arrive early to beat the line. Or better yet, splurge on a VIP ticket for champagne, early entry and a gift bag ($240).


Bay Street Theater, Sag Harbor; (631) 725-0818
Perhaps the most picturesque party of the charity circuit, Bay Street Theater’s Summer Gala is nestled on the Long Wharf in Sag Harbor. Watch the sunset over the Island’s largest and most luxurious yacht docking area, dance the night away to the music of Nancy Atlas and hobnob with some of Broadway’s biggest stars. In recent years, Susan Lucci, Mario Cantone, Kim Cattrall, Blythe Danner, Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber have attended to support the theater’s programming. The event is open to all and ticket prices accommodate: $395/young professional, $550/individual and $1000/VIP.


Guild Hall, East Hampton; (631) 324-0806
It’s that girl! Marlo Thomas takes the stage at Guild Hall in East Hampton starring in Clever Little Lies. Her famous friends are sure to come out for opening night. The show also stars Greg Mullavey, Jim Stanek and Kate Wetherhead and runs through Aug 3. Next stop (hopefully) Broadway, though tickets will likely be pricier than the $40-75 at this staging.


Children’s Museum of the East End, Bridgehampton; (631) 537-8250
Bring the little ones for a day of fun in the sun. You’ll recognize famous faces like Edie Falco, Mariska Hargitay, Mark Feuerstein, Jane Krakowski, Tiffani Thiessen and their families. There are arts and crafts, games and water rides to splash in at this annual bash to benefit the Children’s Museum of the East End. Tickets start at $100/child, $150/adult.

Two Trees Farm, Bridgehampton;
(631) 237-5388
Find a fancy hat and see if you can snag one of a limited number of field-side tailgate tents available for purchase throughout the season. A gourmet picnic and champagne for 10 are included in the cost—it’s the next best thing to finding your way into the invitation-only opening day VIP tent. Rubbing elbows with oft-spotted Hamptons queen Christie Brinkley is not far off. Or pack a picnic and take in the action from the sidelines, for a mere $20 per-car entrance fee. Participants can also enjoy the polo tradition of divot stomping at halftime.


Nova’s Ark Project, Water Mill;
(212) 268-1002
The most star-studded Saturday of the season kicks off with the biggest shopping event of the summer. Serious shoppers charge through the gates (and charge the day away) at Super Saturday at Nova’s Ark Project in Water Mill. Dubbed “the Rolls Royce of garage sales,” Super Saturday, hosted by Kelly Ripa and Cedarhurst native Donna Karan, is bargain hunting at its best. Designers donate and sell every item at a discount and every dollar benefits the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. Buy up bargains like celebrity shoppers including Beth Stern, June Ambrose, Lisa Rinna, Zosia Mamet, Jonathan Cheban and try to keep up with the Kardashians—spotted scooping up sales in recent years. Get there early for the most stylish selection and stay late when prices are slashed. Be sure to wear a swimsuit under your clothes if you plan to try anything on—there are no fitting rooms—and don’t forget to grab a glamorous goodie bag. Tickets are $450-850 (kids are $150), but with a little luck the savings will outweigh the entrance fee.

Fairview Farms, Bridgehampton;
(212) 254-6677
It’s the annual Simmons soirée to raise money for the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation. The house is packed with hip-hop heavyweights, powerhouse performers and friends of Uncle Rush (organizer Russell Simmons). Last year, for the first time in over a decade, Art for Life was at Fairview Farms in Bridgehampton instead of at the Simmons estate. The music mogul said, “by doing it on the water we found two things—it had a nice breeze and we saved ourselves $100,000 for air conditioning, which went directly to the kids!” The venue change also allowed for creative celebrity entrances such as Michael Strahan’s boat arrival. This year the gala honors Michael Bloomberg, Valentino Carlotti and Kimora Lee. Simmons said to expect surprise performances as well. Last year, Estelle, Maxwell and Rick Ross shared the stage making the $1500+ tickets a bargain.

Wölffer Estate Vineyard, Sagaponack; (212) 627-2308
Pop the corks and let the champagne flow at the James Beard Foundation’s Chefs & Champagne. This elegant affair features fine dining from a select group of chefs as the sun sets over the stunning Wölffer Estate Vineyard. Cheers to this year’s honoree: Celebrity chef, restaurateur and Hamptonite Bobby Flay. The price of entrance ($200/members, $275/general) is a bargain considering the menu and culinary extravaganza.


Montauk Playhouse, Montauk; (631) 668-1124
Begin August…at the end. Make your way to Montauk for The Diamond in the Rough Gala for the Montauk Playhouse Community Center Foundation. The laid-back gala heats up with honorary co-chairs Nancy Mack and Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Keep your eyes peeled for Montauk resident Julianne Moore. Tickets start at $250.


location TBA at press time, East Hampton; (631) 324-0222
It’s a star-studded signing session to benefit the East Hampton Library. Stock up on summer reading material at Authors Night. Bring a Sharpee, meet and greet acclaimed authors and celeb scribes including Lee Grant, Jennifer Esposito and James McBride. Authors usually sit in alphabetical order, so stop by your favorites first before books sell out. See what’s on founding co-chair Alec Baldwin’s summer reading list as he shops around (you can usually find him at Nelson DeMille’s signing spot). Tickets start at $100 but $2500 will include a pass to attend a themed dinner after-party at a private estate in honor of your favorite author.

AUG 16

Herrick Park, East Hampton
Superstars step to the plate! It’s artists vs. writers in this annual charity softball game at Herrick Park in East Hampton. Come casual and watch celebrities like Matt Lauer, Alec Baldwin and Chevy Chase play ball. Grab a hotdog and keep your eye on the outfield. Last year President Bill Clinton stopped by. Score autographs during practice before the game. Game time is 2pm and the rain date is Aug 23. $10 suggested donation. For an inside look at this famous game, see page 156.

AUG 22

Guild Hall, East Hampton; (631) 324-2722
Laugh out loud as celebrity memoirs are acted out…by celebrities. Alec Baldwin, Christie Brinkley, Ralph Macchio, couple Jerry O’Connell and Rebecca Romijn and more star in Celebrity Autobiography at Guild Hall. Tickets start at $40.

AUG 24–31

It’s one of the top-rated horse shows in the country, attracting the world’s best equestrians. The show grounds feature food, fun and plenty of shopping. You can spot famous faces like Billy Joel keeping a low profile around the grounds. Sunday’s Grand Prix boasts one of the biggest VIP tents of any sporting event in the nation—and perhaps the best dressed. Last year it had major star power with local horse farm owner Matt Lauer, Hamptonite Jon Bon Jovi, LA Reid, Sofia Vergara and Mary-Kate Olson. Not bad for $10 tickets ($20/carload, kids under 6 free). Head to page 151 for more on this classic summer event.

Elisa DiStefano
Author: Elisa DiStefano

Sea Stars

Celebrities discuss summering out east

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:


Chairman and CEO of Rush Communications; co-founder of Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation

Favorite Hampton
East Hampton will always be close to me, I have spent a lot of summers watching my daughters Ming and Aoki grow up.

Favorite Restaurant
Nick & Toni’s
Can’t Miss Event
15th Annual Art For Life on July 26th. I still hold my biggest fundraiser in the Hamptons every summer at Fairview Farms in Bridgehampton, which benefits my Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation. This year we are honoring former NYC Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Kimora Lee Simmons and Valentino D. Carlotti, my dear friend Soledad O’Brien is back to host and more.

This Summer You’ll Be
Relishing the success of ADD, my new Youtube multichannel network, All Def Digital comes down to being All Def everything—music, comedy, poetry and more.


Chef and partner of The Lambs Club, culinary director of The Plaza and cookbook author of My Perfect Pantry

Favorite Hampton
How can you choose just one? It’s like being asked to choose a favorite child!

Favorite Restaurant
Sant Ambroeus in Southampton

Can’t Miss Event
Grill Hampton [July 11] which I’ll be hosting this year.

Hangs Out With
Marc Murphy and family

This Summer You’ll Be
There’s no extended break to be had. Margaret [my wife] and I are busy working on re-launching The Palm Court at The Plaza Hotel.


Founder and chief designer, Donna Karan New York; founder, Urban Zen

Favorite Hampton
All of them - really! Especially East Hampton, where I live, and Sag Harbor, where my Urban Zen store is located.

Favorite Restaurant
Tutto Il Giorno, my daughter Gabby’s restaurants in Sag Harbor and Southampton.

Can’t Miss Event
Super Saturday

Hangs Out With
Family and friends. I also hang out at Urban Zen with the many artists and artisans we exhibit throughout the summer.

This Summer You’ll Be
Relaxing, practicing yoga, taking boat trips with my family and planning my next adventure.

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Commuting with Class

Not too long ago, arriving at Wall Street by yacht was the height of fashion.

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:
Saga, a commuter yacht, used to race from Long Island to Wall Street.
photo courtesy of mariners museum
Saga, a commuter yacht, used to race from Long Island to Wall Street. photo courtesy of mariners museum

Modern Long Islanders stuck in traffic on their way to work—or despairing over whether the tunnel linking the Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central Station will ever be completed—may be happy to consider commuting by yacht, a regional phenomenon a century ago.

In 1900 the Brooklyn Daily Eagle wrote that the North Shore, and in fact a good portion of Long Island, was within “easy, comfortable commuting distance” of Wall Street by water. Even if one lived 5 or 10 miles from the shore, the paper observed, a mere “25 minutes or so in your carriage,” would allow you to “jump on your yacht, and there you are.” Two years later, the New York Herald reported an expansion of the trend: “An enormous fleet of private yachts carry owners at racing speed twice a day from their great estates to the wharf on Manhattan Island nearest their offices.”

The seasonal practice which ran from early spring to late fall soon led to a whole new class of yachts known as “commuters” or “business boats.” While these Manhattan-bound fliers first relied on steam for propulsion, combustion engines developed for aircraft during World War I were installed by the 1920s and whisked their owners along at speeds ranging from 30 to 50 mph. Marshall Fields’ Corisande, a 50-footer built by Gold Cup legend Gar Wood, was powered by two 450-horsepower V-12 Liberty aircraft engines that consumed 175 gallons of fuel as it raced in and out of the city every day.

Otto Kahn, the investment banker who built Oheka Castle, preferred German technology and had three Maybach zeppelin engines in his glorious 1927 commuter, Oheka II, built by Lurssen of Vegesack, Germany. Perhaps the most famous business boats, Saga and Aphrodite, were owned by brothers-in-law Charles Payson and John Hay “Jock” Whitney.

Needless to say, Saga also consumed a prodigious amount of fuel. Stopping for gas on one voyage, Payson was surprised to see a crowd waiting; the fuel dock’s creditors had heard Saga was coming and came to collect on their debts.

Built to beat Saga, the Purdy Boat Company of Port Washington’s Aphrodite is still extant and is perhaps the most beautiful commuter ever built. During the Whitney years, her guest list included Fred Astaire, Vivien Leigh, Helen Hayes, Shirley Temple, Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn and Joan Crawford. In government service during World War II she was powered by Packard V-12s and attained a speed of 54mph.She was used as a chase boat in PT boat trials and also to run dispatches up the Hudson to FDR at Hyde Park.

Not everyone felt the need for speed however. J.P. “Jack” Morgan preferred the sound of steam to the roar of combustion engines and commuted on a steam flier built by Herreshoff in 1917.

Many of the commuters spent the day rafted to piers at the New York Yacht Club’s landing at the foot of 26th Street in Manhattan. Larger yachts, presumably used by those who did not need to get to work on time, were anchored in the East River. The Yacht Club maintained a satellite clubhouse at the site, replete with bar and billiard room where owners could gather before shoving off.

The Depression and Robert Moses’s parkways, which were then lightly traveled, were among the factors that conspired to bring the era of water commuting to a close. However, as we consider the transportation challenges of the 21st century, it is interesting to think there is a great 30 lane highway out there, Long Island Sound, that may hold some of the answers.

Robert B. MacKay, Ph.D. is a Long Island historian and the author of Great Yachts of Long Island’s North Shore. This story is based on the book.

photo of oheka II courtesy of mariner’s museum
photo of The New York Yacht Club courtesy mystic seaport, rosenfeld collection

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Animated Personalities

Current comic creators from Long Island

Author: Alex Costello | Published:

Secret Identity: Bob Rozakis
Lives In: Farmingdale, grew up in Elmont
Credits: Pretty much everything that DC published, I wrote a story or three.
Favorite Villain: The Calculator, I created him.

Origin Story: Bob Rozakis has been a Long Island boy all his life. He started his career in comics as a letter hack—writing to the editors of DC Comics every month. Eventually, more than 100 of his letters were published.

Because of this, people at DC got to know him. When he was in college, he asked one of the editors if he could come in. He brought some superhero-themed crosswords and word searches he was doing for a fan- zine and the editors liked them enough to hire him on a freelance basis.

After he graduated college, DC hired Rozakis to answer the mail. “Which was funny, because I found a lot of my old letters in it.” Rozakis worked his way up through the ranks—from the mailroom he became an assistant editor, then moved to production and finally became a production manager in the early 1980s.

Rozakis originally got into comics because it was something he loved. “I grew up with them. I had hundreds of them. I pretty much knew everything that I could learn about Superman and Batman.” He worked at the company until 1998 (he even helped kill Superman) and got out of the industry when, as he put it, “time was up.” Today, he is putting his accounting degree to good use as the comptroller for a local company.

Secret Identity: Steve Golebiewski
Lives In: White Plains, grew up in Farmingdale
Credits: Archie Comics
Dream Superpower: Hulk transformation.

Origin Story: Golebiewski has been an artist for as long as he can remember. “I was one of those kids that had a marker in my hand and I never stopped,” he said. When it came time to pick a career, Golebiewski went to the School of Visual Arts and majored in cartooning, honing his craft.

After graduation, he started working on his own comic, Faceless Soldiers. Set in post-World War I Poland, it pitted harried soldiers against undead forces in the harsh winter. Golebiewski did everything himself— wrote the story, penciled, inked and did the lettering and layout—though a college friend did the colors.

That book helped Golebiewski get his start in the field. “I would take this to the comic conventions,” he said. “That’s the big Mecca for any comic creator.” He would hand out his comic to anyone who was interested, giving one copy to a college friend who already worked for Archie Comics. A few days later, he got a call for a job interview.

“It was like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders because I was working at a job I hated,” said Golebiewski. “Getting hired at a comic book company was definitely a step in the right direction and very elating.”

He has been working for Archie Comics for more than four years now, focusing on the production side of the business. He also takes freelance work in his spare time. And he does a lot of reading. “I’m a big fan of Afterlife with Archie,” Golebiewski said. “That’s a book I look forward to.”

Secret Identity: Francis Bonnet
Lives In: Seaford, originally from Oceanside
Credits: Suburban Fairy Tales, Made to Malfunction, Insane Forest
Favorite Comic: The Peanuts. I love that Charles Schultz did it for the en- tirety of his career and never let anyone else lay a hand on it.
Dream Power: It would be cool to have Green Lantern’s ring, because he can create whatever he wants and fly.

Origin Story: Near the comic book store in Oceanside where Bonnet grew up was Stan’s Book Bin, which sold used books. Bonnet used to frequent the store, always purchasing copies of Peanuts and Garfield, his favorites, although he read classics like Superman and Green Lantern as well.

“I took cartooning and art classes in high school,” he said. “Eventually I went to FIT and I learned other things like painting and illustration. But comics and cartoons is always what I wanted to do.”

Bonnet really got his start in 2001, when a Newsday reporter was at a meeting of the Burnt Toast Gang—a society of Long Island cartoonists. The writer was doing a piece on underground cartoonists and Bonnet was one of those he profiled. One of the strips from his comic, Crunchy, was featured in the story. It helped get him exposure and another local newspaper chain started publishing it.

Bonnet’s day job is in graphic design but he also self-publishes his webcomic Suburban Fairy Tales three times a week. He’s been creating the comic for nine years with occasional breaks to work on other strips. This summer, he will be publishing his fourth Suburban Fairy Tales book, which collects two years’ of strips.

Many comic superheroes were born in a backyard in Hewlett Harbor and in a basement art studio near Mineola. Learn about the history of Marvel Comics on Long Island in “Marvel and the Apple Tree”.

Alex Costello
Author: Alex Costello

Marvel and the Apple Tree

Author: James H. Burns | Published:
Many Marvel superheros were dreamed up in Hewlett Harbor and Mineola.
Many Marvel superheros were dreamed up in Hewlett Harbor and Mineola.

Audiences at the multitude of internationally popular Marvel Comics movies might well believe that their impressive lineup of superheroes were born on some farflung battlefield, in a gamma-ray infused radiation burst or in the mythic halls of Asgard. But in truth, many of these dimension-spanning titans were born in a backyard in Hewlett Harbor and in a basement art studio near Mineola.

Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were visionary fountainheads for Martin Goodman’s Marvel Comics, devising the majority of the company’s characters throughout the 1960s. These included the Fantastic Four, Hulk, Thor, Silver Surfer, Nick Fury and the X-Men. (Captain America, another Marvel stalwart, was co-created in 1941 by Kirby and his long-term collaborator, Joe Simon.)

Kirby had been a prolific comics contributor since before World War II and Lee was an editor and writer at Marvel for nearly the same duration. By the time these characters debuted, the two creators had also been Long Islanders for over a decade. In fact, most of the ideas that came from the first several years of Marvel were almost exclusively a native product.

Lee was raised in upper Manhattan and graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School (the same school that, incredibly, produced Batman originators Bob Kane and Bill Finger and the man behind The Spirit, Will Eisner). In 1949, Lee and his bride, Joan, bought a home in Woodmere. Three years later, blessed with a daughter, they shifted a few miles east to Hewlett Harbor.

Kirby grew up on New York’s Lower East Side during the toughest years of the Depression. By pure coincidence, Kirby also moved to Nassau County in 1949, relocating from Brooklyn with his wife, Roz, and their two children. The young family moved to East Williston and welcomed two more daughters in 1952 and 1960. (The aforementioned Joe Simon, another comic book legend, bought the house right across the street.)

In Hewlett Harbor, Lee liked to take off a day or two a week from Marvel’s Manhattan office to devote to his writing. His favorite pastime in the warmer months was to type at a specially-engineered bridge table on his South Shore terrace—the table had been modified to accommodate Lee’s quirk of writing while standing up.

Kirby had his own peccadilloes, often drawing for 18 hours at a stretch in a room his family called “the dungeon.” He would go to New York City to drop off assignments and to discuss plots with Lee for upcoming issues. Lee and Kirby, along with artist Steve Ditko and others, jointly developed the “Marvel Method.” This consisted of Lee, or another author, supplying his artist with a story outline. Some of these were embryonic, just a single sentence, and others were more like film treatments, detailing layout suggestions and story summaries. The penciller would then fully plot and draw the issue and return it to the writer for scripting, narration, dialogue, dramatization and exposition. This process often generated new ideas as the scribes were inspired by the art boards before them, adding further revisions to address the developing storylines.

Even at the height of Marvelmania around 1970, the fact that Lee and Kirby lived on Long Island was generally unknown even though Kirby did at times welcome fans to visit his studio. One group of stalwarts must have gotten the thrill of their young lives when they biked to Lee’s house, uninvited, and were graciously welcomed into the inner sanctum to watch Lee write, standing up, while fielding questions from his surprise guests.

Meanwhile Marvel’s Long Island roots grew even deeper. Centereach resident Don Heck took over as artist for The Avengers in 1964 and helped create the characters Hawkeye and Black Widow in addition to helping Lee, Kirby and scripter Larry Lieber (Lee’s brother) conceive Iron Man and his alter ego, Tony Stark. Port Jefferson’s John Buscema followed Heck on The Avengers in 1967 and his style, built on the groundwork laid by Kirby, soon became Marvel’s virtual house style.

Buscema, who would go on to draw for Thor and the Conan titles among others, expanded his influence in 1978 when he co-authored How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way. The book was massively popular and long-lived—especially in public libraries—and helped mold the early ideas of a generation of would-be comics creators.

Writers and artists were not the only members of the holy trinity of comics creation who called Long Island home. Inkers—the genre’s most misunderstood talents—also lived here. An inker receives a penciller’s finished assignment and embellishes it using a variety of special pens, brushes and inks. Pencils can vary between being extremely tight and almost “camera ready,” to the roughest of breakdowns, barely indicating the characters’ emotions and the desired action. A skilled inker can elevate a pedestrian effort to the level of a wonderful rendering—razor sharp and defined or shadowy chiaroscuro. The best inkers try to keep to the penciller’s intent, elaborating only where the mood, story or design require.

Marvel inkers who lived on Long Island included East Meadow’s Frank Giacoia (as “Frank” and “Frankie Ray” in the era when some artists used pen-names), George Rousos (George “Bell”) from Central Islip, George Tuska of Hicksville and Mike Esposito from Huntington.

Another major Marvel talent was Spider-Man artist John Romita from Bellerose, who went on to become Marvel’s longest-tenured art director. John’s wife, Virginia, also worked as traffic manager for Marvel, and the couple’s son, John Romita Jr., would become a comics superstar who worked on Spider-Man and The X-Men.

With so many Marvel minds living and working on Long Island, it’s no wonder some of their characters established homes and bases here as well. The Fantastic Four had a rocket base on Long Island and two of its members—siblings Sue and Johnny Storm, the Invisible Girl and the Human Torch, lived in the fictional Long Island village of “Glenville” during the early 1960s. Tony “Iron Man” Stark had a high-tech facility in nearby Flushing Meadows, Queens, and also a research complex on the Island. Scientist Hank Pym—who secretly served as Ant Man, Giant Man and Yellow Jacket—also had a local lab.

But this era did not last forever. Kirby moved to Thousand Oaks California in late 1968 because doctors suggested one of his daughters needed a warmer environment and Lee exited a few months later for a condo in Manhattan. (He also later went west to Los Angeles where he worked on developing Marvel’s Hollywood presence.) Both Lee and Kirby were quoted as saying they enjoyed living and working in a peaceful and friendly environment. Actually, in his memoir, Excelsior, Lee said he could work longer and with greater concentration in his Long Island home than he could in his Manhattan office, adding that during the Long Island creative sessions writing didn’t feel like such a solitary occupation.

One of the most idyllic images of childhood is that of a youngster reading a comic book by the shade of a tree. As a new generation encounters Marvel superheroes for the first time, it’s riveting to remember that this potentially everlasting realm of the imagination sprang from the fertile soil of our own backyards.

Learn about some of the current comic creators from Long Island.

Photo of Jack Kirby by Suzy Skaar | Captain America drawings courtesy of

James H. Burns
Author: James H. Burns

Savoring the Long Island Cigar Experience

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published: Friday, June 27, 2014
words: joseph finora  |  photos: kenny janosick
words: joseph finora | photos: kenny janosick

In an earlier era Captain Kidd and other merchants bartered for bundles of contraband leaves with Long Island’s Native Americans to avoid England’s tobacco tax. Later, the region’s first farmers grew tobacco for their own consumption. It’s no longer necessary to take the pains Kidd did to enjoy a good smoke. Today the experience can be very graciously had at several Long Island shops.

Besim’s Fine Cigars
The Vibe: Worldwide selection, friendly staff

One would be hard pressed to find a more knowledgeable and friendly tobacconist than Besim Cukaj, who regularly helps novices as well as aficionados navigate his selections from around the world. Besim’s features individual lockers, loose tobacco, specialty pipes and accessories such as humidors and cutters.

“We help people new to cigars all the time. The more popular cigars are those that can be smoked in twenty-five to thirty minutes, like a robusto,” he said. While acknowledging that cigar smoking is “very personal,” Besim noted most prefer a mild to medium selection. “You don’t need to be overwhelmed,” said Besim. “The only rule is to find what you like and smoke it.”

99 Jobs Ln, Southampton, (631) 287-9230

Huntington Humidor
The Vibe: A haven for the literary smoker

The quaint old-English library atmosphere is a unique find: Modern touches like a poker table and big-screen TV are happy complements to curling up with William Blake over good smokes. It displays a “cigar store cowboy” instead of the traditional Native American and the team truly takes pains to learn your name, said staffer Charlie Dipietro.

In addition to having an in-depth inventory covering all price points, Huntington Humidor has a lively events calendar. The lobby contains oldstyle cabinet humidors and glass cases displaying smokers’ accessories; there’s no walk-in humidor. While the cigar lineup is broad, cigarettes are limited to the Nat Sherman line, especially the New York Cuts (some imports are on hand). So-called “roller nights” as well as “launch nights” when new cigars are presented, offer the novice a chance to learn and experience social smoking. “We’re a friendly bunch here,” said Dipietro. “We welcome newcomers and veteran smokers.”

8 New St, Huntington, (631) 423-8599

The Little Cigar Factory
The Vibe: A smoke amid the vines

Attached to Vineyard 48, this cigar- smoking sanctuary offers hand-rolled cigars made at its parent factory of the same name in Massapequa. They use imported and domestic tobacco, some of which is grown to their request. While inventory is limited, the shop has a cozy, tropical motif. In addition to cigars, smokers can enjoy the vistas, the music (on weekends) and the wine made next door.
18910 Rte 48, Cutchogue, (631) 734-5200

Matador Cigars
The Vibe: Total cigar satisfaction

Matador Cigars may be the most complete cigar lounge on Long Island. It features a nearly endless inventory, 2 smoking lounges, 60 lockers, 6 TVs, a billiard table, leather seating and a walk- in humidor.

“We’ve got something for everyone and are happy to explain the various nuances behind each cigar,” said Matador’s friendly proprietor Boris Grossman who added that about 10 percent of his customer base is female. Matador can also be counted on to regularly feature the latest cigars from high-end manufacturers such as Ashton and Tatuaje. “People shouldn’t be intimidated when cigar shopping. It’s a great experience and tradition.”

38 Lincoln Ave, Roslyn Heights, (516) 626-4966

North Fork Cigars and Fine Gifts
The Vibe: Cozy, elegant

This recently opened smoke shack is one of the most eastern points to buy a cigar. It features over 100 types of cigars from $2 to over $50 and regularly adds to its inventory. Stored in temperature- and humidity-controlled, Spanish cedar-lined humidors, the small but elegant shop also has a full line of accessories such as lighters, cutters, humidors, travel cases and ashtrays. Co-proprietors Todd and Rachel Johnson are planning cigar-maker talks, rolling demonstrations and book signings.

“Cigar smoking is quite popular among young professionals,” noted Rachel. “When looking for a cigar gift, it’s important to know what kind of smoker you’re buying for. If a customer isn’t sure, we have a few go-to brands. Most look for a good thirty- minute cigar. When buying for, say, a golfer, consider a box-pressed cigar. These last longer than a traditionally rolled cigar.”
28100 Main Rd, Cutchogue (631) 734-5130

Polanco Cigars
The Vibe: Rolled fresh daily

Entering Polanco Cigars is like going into a small, ethnic restaurant with a limited menu but where each item is first rate. Polanco may be low on atmosphere—just two couches, a television set and glass display cases—but fresh tobacco is delivered almost daily and each cigar is rolled on site. President, tobacco buyer and chief roller Julio Polanco personally rolls 100-200 cigars per day. Most feature a long, Dominican filler and classic Connecticut shade wrapper, such as in his signature corona. The inventory is predominantly limited to what’s produced on site, which in the case of Polanco Cigars, leaves one with excellent choices. The reasonably priced, pyramid-tipped cigars are a great value for strolling along the local waterfront where one can often peacefully enjoy a cigar.

9 Mill Creek Rd, Port Jefferson (631) 473-3326

Tobacco Plaza
The Vibe: A smoker’s Shangri-La

Imagine an absolutely high-end cigar retailer with nearly everything the smoker could want including humidified cigar lockers, personalized cigar bands, individualized cigar samples, cigar dinners/events and a full-service tobacconist on staff.

Co-proprietor Mike Holman, who is fond of hosting “cigar launches,” said customers are welcoming new offerings such as Kentucky fire-cured cigars. Cultured over hickory, maple and oak woods and rolled in Nicaragua with a Mexican-grown wrapper and some American-grown filler, it is of medium strength and delivers a “smoky, barbeque taste.”

218 Lakeville Rd, Great Neck (516) 829-7134

What to Buy/How to Buy
Giftshopping? Try to determine when and where the lucky smoker enjoys his cigars. If he enjoys a smoke in a relatively isolated spot like the golf course, on a boat or during a long walk, a medium- to long cigar like a corona may fit. If he smokes during lunch hour or on the drive home, think robustos, which are less than six inches and can be consumed in 25-35 minutes. For a special-occasion smoker consider a “limited cigar,” such as an Opus X or Zino Platinum. Ranging in price from $15-25, limited cigars are made in strict quantities and are typically something smokers appreciate but do not regularly buy for themselves. Brands such as Ashton, Arturo Fuente, CAO, Camacho, Davidoff, Cusano and Macanudo reliably make them. Most cigar shops also sell other merchandise that can make for good gifts like cutters, humidors, cases, lighters, pipes, pipe tobacco and high-end cigarettes.

When buying cigars online it’s impossible to get a feel for their condition and they can be damaged in shipping. While a lot goes into what’s often perceived as a simple pleasure, selecting a cigar needn’t be confusing, intimidating or expensive. Most Long Island tobacconists are friendly and willing to help a curious novice or seasoned smoker with fine selections.

Cigar Selection 101
Like all matters of taste, cigar smoking is highly subjective. Tobacconists can generally be relied upon for good suggestions. Below are some basic terms that should help.

Binder: The better binders come from Cuba, Connecticut, Mexico and Ecuador. Java and Sumatra binders are also prized for their durability and flexibility.

Fillers: The best cigar filler or interior comes from Honduras, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. Long-filler cigars demand a premium over medium-and short-filled versions. Long-filler cigars also burn more smoothly and must be puffed to keep from going out. Short-filler cigars burn quickly as the tobacco length resembles that used in cigarettes and is generally considered of lesser quality.

Size: Cigars are measured by length and width. Length is in inches. Width is in ring gauges. One ring is 1/64th of an inch. A typical robusto is a 50-ring gauge and 5 inches long. A “gran robusto” will be longer or wider. A toro is 6 inches long and usually a 50-ring gauge. Churchills are narrower at 48-ring gauge but stretch to 7 or 7 1/2 inches in length. Other popular sizes include corona (the larger version of robusto), panetela (a long, thin cigar) and lonsdale (longer than corona but shorter than panetela). The “torpedo” is slightly irregular in composition, about six inches long, pointed at one end and a bit fatter in its center. NB: One manufacturer’s petit corona may overlap with another’s robusto.

Tasting Notes: Terms used to describe cigars are difficult to define because they can mean different things to different people. A light- colored cigar typically means it is mild. But “mild” to one smoker may be “weak” to another. While some seek a “robust” or “full-bodied” cigar, others may find such traits “overpowering.”

Wrapper Leaf: The wrapper or outer covering is made from tobacco leaf that’s often different from the interior. It provides most of the flavor. Connecticut shade is traditionally one of the best wrapper leafs. Wrapper color ranges from very light tan (claro) to an almost black-brown (maduro), with many variations. Wrapper color should be rich, even and smooth with a slight shine from its natural oils. A box of cigars should be consistent in appearance and free of leaf veins, cracks or tears.

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Portrait of a Supercar: BMW i8 Plug-In Hybrid

Author: William K. Gock | Published: Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Form and function fuse in a hyrbrid dream car from BMW.
Form and function fuse in a hyrbrid dream car from BMW.

Please stare, I’m inviting you to. You’ll be forgiven for drawing comparisons to sci-fi transports and Tron wizardry—I know I look otherworldly and it’s hard to find the words. My design went from concept to production model almost as smoothly and seamlessly as wind flows over my sculpted, carbon fiber exterior. Sometimes a concept is more than an idea—it’s a design that’s ahead of its time.

How avant-garde am I? I can be equipped with laser headlights, which emit 70 percent more light than anyone else’s LEDs. Add my sporty gas-electric nature and I truly am form following function into the future and boldly going where… well, you know the rest. From the Hamptons to the High Line, you’ll see nothing else like me—even the all-electric crowd takes note. So-called pioneers may short out from extreme buyer’s remorse, shocked at my electrifying charisma. Owners of those other hybrids will wonder why they didn’t round up just a little more green. Most electrics and hybrids will not keep up with my dainty carbon footprints, mind you. The hypnotic purr of my dual-drivetrain propulsion system is even a touch more ambitious than my brand’s sporty M-Division. And it mimics the operation of a certain million-dollar Spyder out of Stuttgart, Germany. Exotics could even experience inadequacy when next to these lines of mine that seem almost more alien than Bavarian.

Unlike a full electric, there’s no need for range anxiety or hypermiling. Smooth and fluid from gradual start, yet forceful when prodded, I’m everything the ultimate driving machine should be—while averaging 30mpg. I am not my brethren, neither in design nor force. My gas-fueled cell is a 1.5-liter turbo 3-cylinder borrowed from my MINI cousin, which pumps 228 ponies to my rear wheels. My electric motor—which can be fully juiced through a standard 120V connection in about 4 hours—cycles 129 horses to the front and can power me for 22 miles. Together, the way they play along this svelte chassis will make you grin and babble like a young man on prom night. My total output measures up at 357hp and 420lb-feet of torque and combined with a smart design—a trim curb weight of just 3,275lbs thanks to an alloy frame and carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) passenger cell—I’ve got pleanty of get-up-and-go.

Easing open my graceful vertical-lift doors, one almost expects to hear the shoosh of a spaceship airlock. Swing your legs inside, pull down the ergonomic handle on my hatch and attempt to compare my cabin to, anything, really. Perhaps “command center” is a more fitting label for my cascading center-stack of controls and technology, which place everything from infotainment to vehicle diagnostics in clear line of sight and operation. Paired with my Bimmer family’s now famous iDrive gearshift, this cockpit is anything but drone; it feels more fighter jet than car. While rocketing around town, notice how no playlist ever quite drowns out my melodic exhaust? You’re actually being sirened by artificial intelligent noise, derived from a sampling of my engine notes funneled through my speakers.

I know you’re still not looking past my futuristic femme-bot curves, so try to listen as I proudly boast about my carbon-neutral manufacturing process; the same one that utilizes 100 percent renewable electricity. What’s more, my build time halves that of conventional cars and—while you can always have too much of a good thing—I can theoretically be born on all-out clone war levels of scale. Though my signature kidney grill, side trim, interior lines and derrière are all aglow with shimmering metallic blue accents, my appearance is anything but generic.

Never thought you’d take your stable to greener pastures? You’re not the first. But trust me, you won’t want to be the last to experience my eco-friendly, truly enthusiast driving experience. Find your way behind my wheel and gaze into this healthy look at the future, now.

Vital Stats
Engine: 1.5-liter turbo 3-cylinder and synchronous electric motor
0-60: 4.2 seconds
Max Speed: 155mph
Max Power: 228hp (gas engine), 129hp (electric motor), total output 357hp
Max Torque: 236lb-ft (gas engine), 369lb-ft (electric motor), total output 420lb-ft
Base Price: $136,625

William K. Gock
Author: William K. Gock
William K. Gock is the automotive content contributor for Playboy Magazine. His car and motorcycle reviews can also be found in numerous national print and online publications. Born and raised in New York's Hudson Valley, Gock currently lives with his wife and son in Babylon.

Dawn on the Amazon

Author: Kevin Raub | Published: Tuesday, June 24, 2014
A restored riverboat cruise on the Amazon brings passengers face-to-face with undisturbed nature.
A restored riverboat cruise on the Amazon brings passengers face-to-face with undisturbed nature.

It takes little more than a few hours for the monotonous ho-hum drone of the engine to fade into the surrounding silence. From the open-air upper deck of the Dawn on the Amazon riverboat, views of the world’s largest tropical rainforest become a tableau scrolling by at the unhurried pace of the river. There are the occasional interruptions: A chorus of yaps from gaggles of parrots that pull flybys as the sun sets over the uninterrupted green, the periodical gasps of awe from fellow passengers when pink river dolphins surface alongside the boat, the frequent pops of Cusqueña beer cans taking their first breath of jungle air. But other than that, there isn’t much sound at all. And that’s exactly what’s so beautiful about navigating these waterways of the Amazon: The mute button is on.

This is Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve. Clocking in at an area twice the size of Yellowstone National Park, it’s one of the least explored and most pristine patches of preserved jungle in the Peruvian Amazon. A biodiversity hotspot, the reserve counts both pink and gray freshwater dolphins, 13 types of primates and 449 documented tropical bird species as residents, among others. There is little to do on a sedate cruise other than sit back on the breezy top deck, riding the wind with feet propped on the side rails and a beer in hand. As Dawn on the Amazon is one of the few riverboat companies with a permit to operate here, there is little to startle the trance-inducing nature other than nature itself—exactly what a riverboat trip in the Amazon should be about.

In charge of the remote control is Bill Grimes, a jovial Indiana native who packed up and left the Midwest in 2003, married himself a purely pleasant local named Marmelita and worked with her to start one of the most modest and hands-on riverboat cruise companies in all of the Amazon. Where in Brazil a crowded boat strung with a maze of hammocks is the most common way to traverse these massive jungle arteries—or, in Colombia, where rustic lodges are far more common than riverboats at all—Dawn on the Amazon specializes in custom cruises on traditional, triple deck, Brazilian-style, flat bottomed, wood riverboats fit for Fitzcarraldo. Comfort levels here hover just on the humble side of luxurious to ensure passengers don’t get so comfortable that the sense of adventure is lost on Egyptian cotton sheets and bottles of bubbly.

That’s not to say this is roughing it. Grimes runs a tight ship, overseeing the customer experience personally (no travel agents, no middle man, nothing left to chance) and the hospitality and crew with Naval-like efficiency. “My mandate to myself is to only hire locals,” he said. “I have a crew of 20. Many have been with me for years. We are like family.” Along with Marmelita, the duo makes sure guests are getting the most out of their jungle experience, whether that means serving up another perfect pisco sour, encouraging interaction with the deckhands or making sure the gourmet jungle cuisine exceeds expectations (guests can often angle their own exotic river fish, like peacock bass, pacu or piranhas for dinner).

Trips are customizable according to guest interest—birding, jungle treks, scientific research—and last as long as individual groups require. The languid cruises are spent mostly on the aforementioned observation deck, watching fascinating worlds go by: Pacaya-Samiria when the water level is high, Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve, Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve and Yanayacu Reserve when low. The best moments, of course, cannot be controlled: Spontaneous soccer matches with local villagers deep in the jungle, a blowgun bullseye with native weaponry or an impulsive monkey riding your shoulders on Monkey Island. Or the look on your face the first time you see an Amazon river dolphin.

Inkaterra Hotels
Native culture and artistry, rugged nature, luxurious accommodations

Looking for a place to stay once back on land in Peru? Inkaterra Hotels has been specializing in authentic, sustainable tourism since before any of us knew what sustainable tourism was. The company’s Peruvian hotels combine the best of both worlds: Relais & Châteaux-level luxury with a Rainforest Alliance-certified commitment to the environment.

Our favorite location sits near the base of South America’s most dramatic attraction, the indomitable Machu Picchu, where Inkaterra’s Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel is buried in jungle-y surrounds on a private 12.3-acre mountainside reserve in Aguas Calientes. A luxurious retreat made to resemble a rustic Andean village, the 85-room hotel isn’t small, but its 1- and 2-story whitewashed cottages instill a sense of Incan isolation nonetheless, being strategically spread out to avoid crowding. Startling views of orchid gardens, the rushing Vilcanota River or imposing Andes mountains never let one lose a sense of place; and larger villas feature private terraces and plunge pools to take it all in. Call it Eden.

The company recently launched new multi-day bird watching experiences that can turn even the staunchest avian naysayer into a birder. The three-night itineraries are available at Machu Picchu and Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica.

The latter, sitting on the banks of Madre de Dios river in the Tambopata Basin (an area lush with virgin rainforests that feeds into the Amazon) offers the possibility of framing more than 500 species in your binoculars, including the seemingly prehistoric hoatzin, pavonnine quetzal and red-bellied macaws. At Machu Picchu, 18 types of hummingbirds fight for your attention. But don’t worry if you dip out (that’s birder for getting shut out), there’ll be a fine Peruvian pisco waiting back in the room, ensuring all is well.

Kevin Raub
Author: Kevin Raub

Classic Weekend

50s era fashion inspires a modern weekend on Fire Island

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:

Tess Giberson emerald green romper
Mango shiny slim belt
Gemma Simone gold laced cuff
CHAR Ant gold plated rings

Zara pale blue chambray shirt
rag & bone Blade IV lightweight black pants

Topman baroque print smart shirt
Frankie Morello navy ribbon-tie pants
Carlo Pazolini lace-up suede sneaker

Erica: Tess Giberson white sheath v-neck dress
ASOS full metal waist belt
Gemma Simone gold-plated cuff
CHAR Ant deca bangle

Martin: Topman blue texture crew neck knitted t-shirt and black and checkered skinny fit trousers

Topshop tailored strapless jumpsuit
Mango suede obi belt
Gemma Simone rose gold cuff and structured choker
Carlo Pazolini suede floral-detail pumps

LA Made loose knit hooded sweater and knit shorts
CHAR Ant gold-plated finger cuff

Erica: Zara contrast print top
Tess Giberson perforated leather shorts
Gemma Simone wired cuff
BCBG yellow ombre fringe earrings

Martin: Topman burgundy poppy print short sleeve shirt and stone cotton skinny pants

Scotch & Soda striped pullover with leather pocket
Kenneth Cole slim cut khaki cargo pants
Carlo Pazolini lace-up leather sneakers

Exclusive Long Island Pulse fashion:
Photography: Keith Major
Photo Assistant: Antonio Rodriguez
Stylist: Chris Laboy
Hair: Elin Nyberg
Makeup: Suzana Hallili using TEMPTU and Per-Fekt Beauty
Talent: Erica Rose and Martin Martinov for Major Model Management

Shot on location at The Palms, Fire Island. A modern, artful boutique hotel nestled into Ocean Beach.

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

The Macchio Curve

Q&A with Ralph Macchio on New Film 'Across Grace Alley,' Francis Ford Coppola, and the 30th Anniversary of 'The Karate Kid'

Author: Niko Krommydas | Published: Monday, June 23, 2014

Ralph Macchio is allowed to bury Daniel LaRusso—especially in 2014. The boyish-faced actor, born and raised in Huntington, is revered for his roles as Johnny Cade in The Outsiders and Bill Gambini in My Cousin Vinny. It is LaRusso, the scrawny, crane-kicking protagonist of The Karate Kid, however, that has principally defined, and will perpetually define, his opus.

The film, which spawned three sequels—two with Macchio—and a remake, was theatrically released on June 22, 1984. It was immediately a critical and financial success, and even three decades later, has remained relevant: for dynamically exploring the timeless theme of alienation; for containing heaps of entertaining, ‘80s-cheeseball dialogue and an epic, musically driven denouement; and most prominently, for serving as a portal into our own 1984, or whenever we first encountered Daniel-Son and Mr. Miyagi. Ay.

Macchio could ignore, even abhor that connection and the incessant attention one role has garnered, but instead, the importance of The Karate Kid is understood and embraced. He congratulated LaRusso on the anniversary on Twitter, writing “You have enhanced my life, dude! As well as so many others. Here’s to another 30 years of inspiration.”

This decision hasn’t typecast his career. Macchio has successfully maintained a presence with television, film, and, perhaps inevitable for an actor who worked with Francis Ford Coppola, Walter Hill, and John G. Avildsen, as a director. His latest directorialschtuff is Across Grace Alley, starring Karina Smirnoff, his partner during his stint on Dancing With the Stars. It screens at the Stony Brook Film Festival on July 17.

Long Island Pulse: Tell us about Across Grace Alley.
Ralph Macchio: It’s a coming-of-age story born out of my time on Dancing With the Stars, believe it or not, which I swore I would never do. But I did it and didn’t suck at it, and I developed an amazing relationship with Karina [Smirnoff], a spectacular dancer who was my partner on the show. I had seen Cinema Paradiso, one of my favorite films ever, Hitchcock’s Rear Window and The Artist, a silent film from a few years ago, all in about a week’s time. Out of that came this voyeuristic concept of a young boy struggling with his parent’s divorce, trying to make sense of where he belongs. I always gravitate toward stories told through the eyes of a child. It’s such a pure time in our lives. So he’s staying at his grandmother’s house and he becomes infatuated with this woman, played by Karina, who he sees through his window, from her window, across the alleyway. He’s a lost, broken kid and she’s a woman also at a crossroads in her life, but only silently does he see her turmoil. And these two unexpected characters connect with a brief encounter that has profound emotional affects for both of them. With Karina, I wanted to infuse it with music and dance, but I also wanted to unveil her talent as an actress. So first as we know her, then slowly peel back the layers. It also stars Marsha Mason, an amazing four-time Academy Award nominee, and Ben Hyland. There’s no movie without the kid. Ben’s from Manhasset, which is a cool tie-in with the Long Island folk. He had the innocent face I needed to give that window—literally a window—through the eyes of a child; that non-jaded point of view. He did a tremendous job.

From Across Grace Alley

Pulse: Do you like working with child actors, being that you were one? Was it easier to get you needed from Ben?
That’s a good question. I think so. Mainly because they just don’t storm off to the trailer if you give advice. You have an opportunity to massage their performance in a way. You know, it’s always mentioned that I don’t look my age, like 52-year-old child actor Ralph Macchio… [Laughs] I was always older than you thought in film roles, but yeah, I had that experience of being a young actor with not much under my belt. When I worked with [Francis Ford] Coppola on The Outsiders or [John G.] Avildsen on The Karate Kid, I was pretty young working with some pretty heavy-hitting filmmakers. I think I was able to use what I learned from these iconic storytellers and infuse it into my own experiences. With Karina, this was her first time on film with dialogue, and in her second language—she’s Russian. Ben had limited experience, too, but then I had Marsha, a seasoned veteran. With directing, you’re really conducting an orchestra because you’re dealing with all these instruments that have a different sound and you have to make music out of it. I love that. I love creating the story and the music.

Pulse: Being around, say, Coppola, did you know then you wanted to direct someday?
Totally. I was always hanging around the cinematographer and crew guys, asking questions. Why are you using that lens? What does that mean? I was one of those. When I think back, I was probably really annoying. The Outsiders had a lot of downtime, so I would go watch [Coppola] and that made me want to learn more. I remember, he had to introduce Matt Dillon’s character, Dallas, in a scene. This wasn’t in the original film, but it’s in a director’s cut version. And he said, I have to introduce Dallas: How would you do it? I had this Ralph Kramden look to me. Hummana, Hummana, Hummana. I’m asking questions and now he’s asking me to step up to the plate and take a few swings. I don’t remember exactly what I suggested, I think through the back of the house. He liked the concept, but then he noticed a problem about the camera placement. Anyway, it was just a little bit of a dialogue and I got a chance to see what my issues would be if I shot it. So my very long answer to your very simple question is yeah, I always wanted to do it. I just didn’t know how to get from point A to point B. But once I started directing—and I haven’t done a whole lot, I’m still working on the trajectory of that—once I started prepping and got on set, all those lessons that I had absorbed over time just started oozing out.

Screenshot from The Outsiders.

Pulse: You were raised on Long Island, right?
Yeah. I grew up in the Huntington area. My parents still live in the same house from when I was in Kindergarten. But I always had my head out the window at school. I just graduated Half Hollow Hills West. I wanted to be on Broadway. I wanted to be Gene Kelley. I wanted to be De Niro. I got to work with De Niro on Broadway in ’86, so a lot of my dreams have come true. The Outsiders, too. The book came out when I was 12 and I loved it. When they were casting, I had to be Johnny. I started acting at 17, so I looked 14. You always have to subtract a few years with my roles. It’s like “The Macchio Curve.”

Pulse: I like that. That should be a thing.
Yeah. I’m actually going to write that down right now. Maybe I could pitch a show on that. Anyway, so I went right into acting. I never went to college. I’m living through my kids right now. My daughter just graduated Hofstra about two weeks ago. My son is heading up to Boston in the fall. Time flies. 

Pulse: Speaking of time, can you believe it’s the 30th anniversary of The Karate Kid?
Isn’t it nuts?

Screenshot from The Karate Kid

Pulse: I was reading something that said you’re now the age of Pat Morita, who played Mr. Miyagi, when it was filmed.
I’ve actually eclipsed that. That was last year. I was doing an episode of How I Met Your Mother last year and that story broke the week I was on set. Everyone was like, My God, you’re that old? I felt like I was 100.

Pulse: But you still looked 13.
Right. But yeah, I guess I do make people feel old from playing an iconic character that was a piece of all of our childhoods, which I honestly think is an amazing thing. What amazes me most is the movie is still relevant. So many people are still being affected positively in some way by that film, by that character. They remade the film in 2010, as we know, which I think has only enhanced the original. It still holds the heart, soul and magic that happened in 1984.

Pulse: When was the last time you watched it?
Well, I’m being asked to watch it a lot now. A lot of cities want to screen the movie for the anniversary and fly me in. I haven’t watched it cover-to-cover in probably 10 years, when we did the DVD commentary. I did do a Q&A at the 92nd Street Y which went really awesome. I just showed up for the Q&A, but I heard everyone cheering during the final scene from outside. It was like The Rocky Horror Picture Show. People were yelling stuff out. Finish him! It just amazes me that the lines have stood the test of time.

Pulse: What’s your favorite quote?
I’m getting asked that so much now and I’m trying to come up with a cool response that no one expects. Is it “Put him in a body bag” or “Get him in a body bag?” You would know.

Pulse: He goes “Get him a body bag,” but the clincher for me is the “Yeahhhh!” that follows. It’s demonic.
I’ve always liked “It must be take a worm for a walk week.” That’s another great one from Rob [Garrison]. Did you ever see the “Sweep The Leg” video?

Pulse: No. What is it?
William Zabka, who played Johnny Lawrence, he directed it. I have a cameo in it. It’s for the band No More Kings, and it’s like a “Thriller”-type music video and short about the Cobra Kai, and now they’re living in a trailer park watching the movie over and over again. They didn’t win the tournament and things just fell apart for them. It came out great. You should check it out.

Pulse: You did your own short piece, too. What prompted you to make the “Wax On, F*ck Off” short for Funny or Die?
That I had to make. I was a little bummed: I had two or three shows I was pitching and couldn’t get any of them sold. And I knew the remake [of The Karate Kid] was coming out. I knew I couldn’t just sit here and do nothing when this movie came out. So the whole Tiger Wood scandal was going on and Charlie Sheen was doing his whole “Winning” thing, and I just thought, God, I am the most non-relevant, unsexy guy there is: I’m married, I have two kids, I kiss my kids at night—I’m boring myself. So I thought, what if we did a reverse intervention where my family is pleading me to mess sh*t up and be a degenerate. I just started writing and the material came right out. I’m not Chachi, mother*cker! I walked into Funny or Die with just the title, and they jumped right on it. And they did a beautiful job of releasing it the day before the remake came out. I love that video. If I’m pissed off, I watch it and four minutes later I’m happy.

Screenshot from Funny or Die

Pulse: As a director, do you look back at your older stuff?
There are still certain scenes that I think are good, but then certain things are like, what was I thinking? I thought that was good? I don’t really go back though. You can’t fix it. There’s actually one scene in The Outsiders that Coppola was giving me direction not to do anything, not to act, trying to strip down me trying from perform. It’s at the end of the film when Pony Boy’s reading the letter. It’s a superimposed shot of me verbalizing what he’s reading. It’s really one of the purest pieces of acting I’ve ever done. And getting back to [Across Grace Alley], I think I shared it with Ben. If not, I knew I had that in my back pocket to explain to him some of the times he would “act” because it’s meant to be a certain way. And that actually circles back to your question before, about directing a child. I knew I had in my back pocket, and as an actor and director, you hope you can pass on what you learned.

From Across Grace Alley

Ralph Macchio’s ‘Across Grace Alley’ plays at the Stony Brook Film Festival on July 17. Tickets are available now.

Niko Krommydas
Author: Niko Krommydas
Niko Krommydas is...

One Family’s Spiral Into Long Island’s Addiction

Author: Brianna Borresen | Published: Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Editor’s Note: In the May 2014 issue a piece on heroin addiction generated much discussion online. The below story is one that was submitted to us as telling the story of heroin addiction from the view of an addict’s family. The response has been edited for length and style but has not been fact-checked to the same standards as the original piece in the May issue.

“I can’t wait until he gets arrested,” Charlotte, a 21-year-old Long Island resident said casually. So, casually that the coffee I’m drinking catches in my throat.

She’s talking about her own brother. Adam, 24, is a heroin addict.

For Adam and a surprising number of people like him on Long Island, heroin addiction has become the new normal. 

The drug claimed 121 lives in Nassau and Suffolk Counties in 2012, and at least 120 people in 2013, the highest totals on record according to police. And Heroin-related arrests have more than doubled in Nassau County during a two-year period with 500 in 2013, up from 228 in 2011, police data shows.

Charlotte’s wish for her brother came true one wintry evening. Police pulled Adam over for a traffic violation. He had 89 bags of heroin on him and was arrested on multiple counts of drug possession, with intention to sell.

“My parents were just waiting for the day that somebody would call and say he’s dead,” Charlotte said. “When he was arrested, my dad was happy as a pig in shit… When I got the call, I was happy too. I honestly thought he was dead.”

Heroin disproportionately affects young people like Adam, possibly in part due to their still developing brains and their social networks.

“If you’re pouring heroin into your body then obviously that development is in some ways stunted, in other ways it’s rewired,” Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, executive director of the Long Island Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence (LICADD) said. “Your body adapts to whatever you give it.”

Heroin becomes popular among young people so quickly due in part to an exponential network effect.

For example, one young person decides to try it after experimenting with prescription pills becomes too expensive.  Once they use heroin for a couple of months the habit spirals out of control financially. So to fund their use, they turn to dealing, often to their friends.

“Young people have larger social networks than folks in their 30s and 40s,” Reynolds said. “So the average heroin dealer now is not some guy carrying pounds of heroin in an Escalade with darkened windows. He’s a kid on a cul-de-sac that has simply found the easiest way to finance that habit.”

The descent into addiction is hard to watch.

Charlotte said she’d have had to been blind not to notice the changes in her brother’s appearance and behavior. He had been athletic and outgoing. And then suddenly he wasn’t.

Adam lost 40 pounds as a result of his addiction.

“He was all skin and bones. And when you looked at him, you saw it. He was acting different, and then stuff started going missing.”

In the two years before he got arrested, Adam stole and pawned his brother’s laptop, his sister’s iPads and countless pieces of jewelry. He even tried to pawn his mother’s wedding and engagement rings.

The family was torn between wanting to help and wanting to throttle him.

“We started locking everything up. It was just too much that we had to worry about,” Charlotte said. “Like can I leave my wallet right here for ten minutes while Adam is sitting right there? You couldn’t do it.”

At times, Charlotte is quick to judge her brother. She blames his drug-use on boredom: “the problem is whenever he’s got money in his pocket and he’s bored… he feels like there’s nothing else to do. He’ll tell you that’s his problem.”

Adam was not interested in being interviewed, nor were any other members of the family. The last few years have been hard to swallow. “It’s just too upsetting to talk about,” his father said.

Adam’s rehab experience has been long and tumultuous.

In 2012, Adam’s family sent him to detox at Nassau University Medical Center for a week. It cost $40,000, but they were lucky, their insurance company covered it.

Adam went right back to using after his detox stay. He overdosed not too long after while at his girlfriend’s house. His family wasn’t informed until hours after the fact. Adam’s girlfriend never called them.

Now more panicked than ever before, Charlotte and Adam’s parents decided an intensive inpatient rehab program would be best for Adam. They chose a private, church affiliated facility in South Carolina. That didn’t do any good either.

Following his arrest, Adam was mandated by Nassau County to comply with rehab as a part of his sentence. This after spending a few months in jail, which Charlotte thinks was best for him.

“It can’t be mommy and daddy saying you can’t do this. It’s either you want to do this, or you want to go to jail. That’s it.”

Adam was sent to Odyssey House in Manhattan, a co-ed social services agency that helps individuals and families deal with substance use disorders, mental illness, homelessness, and medical problems.

Charlotte was no fan of the place, or the way they treated her brother.

“He had a problem with a roommate who was gay. The roommate would wake him up in the middle of the night and proposition him. He asked to be removed and they wouldn’t do it.”

The problems with other patients didn’t end there.

“They had people in there with gun charges and possession of marijuana that said they were addicted to marijuana to get a rehab sentence that they don’t even need… it doesn’t help, because you’re not in there with people who really need help,” she said.

However, despite their many problems with Odyssey House, the family was content with the therapy Adam was receiving. Adam’s counselor was an addict himself and was able to understand many of his problems on a personal level.

Traditional methods of counseling are invaluable to the rehab process, but Charlotte thinks the best course of action is the use of methadone, a synthetic opioid used as maintenance anti-addictive.

Reynolds is more cautious.

“Methadone will help readjust your body to not using heroin or opioids, but it won’t deal with the psychological or spiritual aspects of addiction,” he said. “And unless you deal with those things, you’ll wind up on medication for the rest of your life.”

Methadone is not the only choice. Suboxone, is harder to abuse because its effects are limited even in large dosages. It is more manageable and is available in a doctor’s office.

On the road to recovery, the identified addict isn’t the only one that struggles.

For Adam’s family, it’s been a living hell. They are in a constant state of fear.

“I call my dad every day and all we talk about is Adam. Is there anything anybody can do? Is he going to his meetings? Is he doing drugs? You just worry and you think the worst,” said Charlotte.

Part of the work Reynolds does with LICADD is to help families like theirs reclaim their lives.

“If you help a patient get well and they come home to a family that’s still in that place where they were running after them, it’s not helpful,” said Reynolds. “Just as the patient’s brain adapts to the drug, the family adapts to this reality. Getting back to normal can be very difficult.”

Reynolds stresses the importance of therapy and support groups for all parties, but Charlotte isn’t into it.

“My dad wants to go, but I’m completely not interested. Adam can’t feed me any more bullshit,” she explained. “There’s no way he’s going to stop any time soon.”

Reynolds, who has never met with Charlotte or her family, says that this response is not uncommon.

“It’s a survival response. Some people choose to go all in, they’re in therapy 4 times a week… other people say ‘just stop it. I just need to get off the merry-go-round right now,’” said Reynolds.  “Sometimes the best thing we can do is to say ‘long term, you ought to talk to someone about this in order to try to work it through. But if you need to get off the merry-go-round for a period of time, I get it. That’s your right.’”

Charlotte is exhausted.

“I’m not angry. I don’t have remorse [for the situation]. He put himself in it. We all tried to help him. Even now, we all try,” she said quietly. “Any time he says anything, we’re like why are you doing this? We’ve supported you this whole entire time.  You stole from us. We’re still here, a lot of families wouldn’t do this for you.”

“There were times when we just wanted to throw our hands up, like ‘screw you, do your own thing!’ My parents threw him out at one point, but my siblings and I still called him to make sure he was okay,” Charlotte said. “You just have to support them, as much as you don’t want to.”

Brianna Borresen
Author: Brianna Borresen

The Summer Almanac 2014

Have the best summer ever by following our local’s guide for three months of Long Island amazement organized by day trip

Author: Barry Kaufman | Published: Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Wave hello! Our guide to all things sun and fun.
Photo by Mathew Clark
Wave hello! Our guide to all things sun and fun. Photo by Mathew Clark

The winter coats have been returned to storage, the spring days of muddy boots and rain-soaked commutes are preparing for the final bow and another sun-kissed Long Island summer is about to dawn. You’ve earned this summer. You deserve to taste every last drop of its intoxicating elixir, lazy beach days and nights spent barefoot on the porch. How you go about creating another year of memories is up to you, but consider the following your checklist for the best summer ever.

North Shore

Ah, the Gold Coast. Where winding ribbons of asphalt thread otherwise unspoiled hills. It’s summer, roll down the windows, drop the top if you can and point your wagon toward 25A, where the season greets you with sea breezes.
Read Full Article

The Great South Bay

The small towns along the rim of the Great South Bay are key to summer. A big part of what’s happening is at the beach (it is the South Shore), but these homey main streets pack plenty of small town charm.
Read Full Article

The Hamptons

With all due respect to the many wonderful townships and villages that comprise this exquisite Island, perhaps nowhere else within our borders has captured the nation’s imagination quite like the opulent, elegant Hamptons.
Read Full Article

The North Fork

The march of progress has given us much, but we can be thankful for the unspoiled reminder of a simpler time the North Fork provides
Read Full Article

Shelter Island

The soul of Shelter Island does not live on its beaches. It doesn’t live in its small stretches of Main Street, either. The soul of Shelter Island lives in its silence.
Read Full Article

The Ocean

All over the world people are blowing their nest eggs and rearranging their lives for just one perfect day in the sun, toes buried in the sand and waves crashing nearby.
Read Full Article

Bikers Do it Better

Biking is the answer for those seeking high-energy, low-impact fitness activity on Long Island.
Read Full Article

Paddle Power

Kayaking takes advantage of the Island’s nooks, crannies and open surf
Read Full Article

Get in

Stretch to new heights on the North Shore’s beaches
Read Full Article

Balloon, Raft & Zipline

The Island has a lot going for it but there are reasons to venture out, like catching an adventure that can’t be found here (and not seeing anyone you know for a day). This expands the canons for “the best summer” well beyond our shores.
Read Full Article


Barry Kaufman
Author: Barry Kaufman

The Summer Almanac 2014 - North Shore

Author: Barry Kaufman | Published:

Ah, the Gold Coast. Where winding ribbons of asphalt thread otherwise unspoiled hills. It’s summer, roll down the windows, drop the top if you can and point your wagon toward 25A, where the season greets you with sea breezes. Culture, shopping and restaurants thread together picturesque port towns and historic, stunning homes (some of which are open to the public).

Town: Port Washington
Hit Port Washington on a clear, sunny day and prepare for a clinic in port town living.

Start by the town dock on Main Street and head up the hill to take in all the scenery and unique boutiques (there will be more of this, wear comfortable shoes). Where Main Street meets Shore, you’ll notice a restaurant dead ahead with a patio commanding an elevated view of the street below and the port beyond. This is Ayhan’s Mediterranean Marketplace Cafe, a good stop for catching up with a book over lunch.

Eat lightly however, because the trek up the hill continues shortly. Where the sidewalk winds behind the massive public library, take a break if needed under the shade of the old growth linden tree. This is the halfway point. Check the lineup at Landmark on Main Street, stage of folksy singer-songwriters (Roseanne Cash), Broadway divas (Christine Ebersole) and roots, jazz and rock (Buckwheat Zydeco). You’ll want to come back here.

At the top of the hill, find Blumenfeld Family Park. If you brought the kids and if they brought their swimsuits, set them loose at the water park at one end of the wide, curving pathway. Pick any one of the numerous old growth trees that dot the open space and finish that book you started at lunch.

For a more in-depth nature experience, hop back in the car and head south for Leeds Pond Preserve where trails wind around hills, vales, trees and a trickling stream that invites a moment of reflection.

Feel like swinging?
Port Washington’s Harbor Links boasts award-winning 18-hole play, instruction and mini golf.

Town: Northport
If this downtown had not been carved out of a long, sloping hill over centuries, you’d swear it was engineered to coax every drop of quaint out of the waterfront. The way the towering spire of the Edward Thompson Co. building looms over a sprawling grassy field that stretches toward Long Island Sound, the way a streetcar line bisects Main Street and meanders down to a park, the way back alleys lead to wide courtyards dominated by bubbling fountains and ivy, it all seems too perfect.

It’s a small wonder that Jack Kerouac settled here after famously criss-crossing the country. You could travel the world and not find a place that felt more like home.

Speaking of the beat poet, his favorite haunt, Gunther’s, still stands exactly as it did during his heyday (it even still has—get this— a payphone). Stop in for a quick drink or five and check out some Kerouac memorabilia. Be sure to ask about the time they parked a motorcycle inside the bar. Or beg to see the Prohibition era tunnels that lead to the waterfront.

The small-town bliss continues down the street at Tim’s Shipwreck Diner with buttery pancakes and superb coffee (until 3pm!). Walk through a small corridor and find their surprisingly open courtyard. This ivy-strewn oasis is one of Northport’s hidden gems. The restaurant happens to share this courtyard with Maroni Cuisine around the corner. Maroni offers up some life-changing Italian food in a 20-seat restaurant. The recipe for meatballs is almost a century old, which proves that when you get it right once you never have to change.

Town: Port Jefferson
There’s an odd function of tourist-driven coastal towns that they must always have one of each of the following: A store selling pirate memorabilia, an ice cream store, a fudge shop, a coffee house, a store selling hand-crafted wooden toys.

You can go from New Orleans to Savannah to, San Francisco and see those same five shops. So what makes Port Jefferson so special?

It’s a tourist-driven coastal town that doesn’t feel like a tourist-driven coastal town. When the horn blasts for the Connecticut ferry and the traffic streams up Main Street, you realize this is a fully functional downtown that just happens to have some tourist spots scattered around it.

But you can’t blame summer revelers flocking to Port Jeff. While there’s not necessarily a boardwalk, there’s still plenty to take in within walking distance. If you’ve brought the kids along, treat them to a belly full of fudge, ice cream, candy and numerous other treats at The Port Jefferson Frigate, the wide front porch of which dominates the water front. It’s the one with the giant ice cream cone, you can’t miss it.

If you left them at home, enjoy a relaxing spa day at the The Blue Sapphire Spa, a romantic waterfront dinner at WAVE Seafood Kitchen or a flight of local craft beer at Port Jeff Brewing Company.

Or, just walk the main street from the top of the hill down and pop into a bevy of shops, dining spots and attractions. There’s more than you can see in a day, take a leisurely pace and plan on returning.


Go shopping at Americana Manhasset, home of 60 deluxe boutiques framed by unique landscaping and architecture.

Drive 25A, the Long Island Heritage Trail, and soak in the ambiance of the Gold Coast.

Tour the historic homes of American luminaries like Walt Whitman, Teddy Roosevelt and the Vanderbilts.

Write a poem about it all later. 


Summer Splendor, Northport: A self-guided tour of some of the splendid private gardens in and around Northport.

Theatre Three, Port Jefferson: Sizzling Summer Concert Series plus Dramatic Academy runs throughout the summer with Mainstage performances every Friday and Saturday.

Midsummer Night Dances at the Vanderbilt Museum, Centerport: Dance lessons every Thursday night. Also at Vanderbilt expect drumming circles, live painting and Grateful Dead fests.

Summer Arts Festival, Heckscher Park, Huntington: The outdoor summer concerts take to the Chapin Stage all summer long and range from jazz to comedy.

Barry Kaufman
Author: Barry Kaufman

The Sky’s the Limit

A local fireworks dynasty continues to push the envelope

Author: Alexandra Spychalsky | Published:
Photo by Lauren Grucci
A Long Island family turned Dubai into Boomtown.
Photo by Lauren Grucci A Long Island family turned Dubai into Boomtown.

The elegant mahogany table and plush chairs in the conference room of the Bellport office of Fireworks by Grucci are fit for the boardroom of any major corporation, but the walls tell a different story. Framed family photos are hung side by side: Black and white pictures of earlier generations building fireworks by hand, a shot of a man peering up from inside a fireworks shell and a portrait of family members in blue lab coats. Scrapbooks line the shelves, the yellowing pages detailing the history of a business spanning more than a century.

On Long Island, the Grucci name is synonymous with fireworks. Five generations have worked through both triumph and tragedy to maintain their place as “America’s first family of fireworks.” The Gruccis now hold the world record for largest fireworks show, set in Dubai this past New Year’s Eve, and they continue to innovate. Phil Grucci is the man at the helm.

The president and CEO carries a black notebook with him at all times. The graph paper pages are covered with sketches of firework bursts and ideas for new designs—he always knew he wanted to be in the family business. As early as seven years old, his father and grandfather would let him ride along in the truck on the way to set up shows. He would be at his father’s side, observing his every move until right before the show started when he would be ushered away to a safe distance.

“You get in a truck, and you’re like ‘this is cool, I’m with the guys,’” Phil said. “You hear the audience screaming, people come up to your dad or grandfather congratulating them, and it’s easy to say ‘hey, that’s what I want to do.’”

Five Generations of Gruccis
Phil’s great-great-grandfather started the business in 1850 in the seaside town of Bari, Italy. At the time, it was a labor of love. They would build the shells and then shoot them off in contests, maybe winning a few lira in the process.

The business was brought to the US in 1870 and set up in Elmont, where Phil’s grandfather apprenticed under his uncle. In January 2013, the company changed hands to the fifth generation in the person of Phil and the sixth generation is quickly coming down the pipeline. Phil’s siblings and cousins don’t all work full-time with the company, but after being brought up in a fireworks family, it’s hard to avoid. “They may be stockbrokers and lawyers and mechanics, but there’s nobody in this family that’s at a barbeque on the 4th of July,” Phil said. Every year Phil’s sister fires the New Year’s Eve show at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, then she goes back to her regular job as a fiber optics specialist. Even the retirees find it hard to hang up their hats.

“Mostly, the whole family goes out on a show or two and they come back and share war stories,” Phil joked, describing the scene at holiday dinners. “It’s ‘this is what I did.’ ‘No, it was harder at my site.’ ‘Well we had more equipment.’”

Overcoming Tragedy
Phil credits the family dynamic of the company for many of its successes. This tenacity was put to the test after a tragic explosion in 1983 killed Phil’s father James and his cousin Donna and almost brought down the business.

Phil’s dad was the innovator of the family and liked to be in the plant every day, which is why he was there on that Saturday in November. A series of large explosions not only leveled the facility and wiped out all the inventory, it also rocked the town of Bellport where the factory had stood since 1929. “…We lost family members. We lost our entire business. We’d sit around my grandmother’s dining room table and had to make that hard decision: What are we going to do?” Phil said. “We were all beat up. We didn’t even know if we could go back in business. Financially, emotionally, we were down to zero.”

They forged ahead, moving into Phil’s garage. The cold draft leaking under the garage door, biting at their ankles, was a far cry from the facility they were used to, but it was all they had and they made it work. “My grandmother was the glue of the family,” Phil said. “Every Sunday, we would get together for dinner and that was our board meeting. We’d talk about fireworks over pasta and sauce.”

The company was able to keep all of its New Year’s Eve commitments barely a month and a half after the accident. Soon enough, they bought close to 100 acres in Bellport and a new facility rose from the rubble. “If it wasn’t for the strength of the name and a few friends in the business, we never would’ve gotten through it,” Phil said.

Building a Reputation
The Grucci family is big on delivering—promises to a client are an unbreakable bond. But what really elevated the company to international status was the Monte-Carlo International Fireworks Competition in 1979. The Gruccis took first place, which is where they were dubbed “America’s First Family of Fireworks.” Since then they have produced some of the most-viewed shows in the world including seven consecutive presidential inaugurations, the bicentennial celebration and the opening ceremonies at the Olympics in Lake Placid, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City and Beijing.

“When they invite you from China—where fireworks were invented—to come design their ceremony, that’s a pretty big honor,” Phil said. But no matter how many shows Phil fires, it’s still nerve-racking: Unlike other forms of entertainment, there’s no dress rehearsal. You get only one shot.

That reputation, and execution, has launched Grucci to the forefront of the industry, including achieving the Guinness World Record for largest fireworks show this past New Year’s Eve. The show, at the Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, fired 479,651 shells in 6 minutes and traced the more than 60-mile outline of the palm-shaped island with 250 floating platforms. The 6-minute performance took 200 pyrotechnicians, around 5,000 man hours to install. A few miles away at the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, the Gruccis shot fireworks off the façade of the building. Pyrotechnicians rappelled down the sides of the structure to place equipment at more than 400 locations. And that show wasn’t even part of the world record.

Innovation is a priority for the Gruccis, not only in designing shows, but also in designing new fireworks. (See sidebar.) They measure the height of the fireworks, the sound of the blasts and the speeds at which they fire. They also take high-speed video so they can review every aspect of the launch. Long gone are the days of lighting a fuse and then ducking for cover.

Phil is working on incorporating technology into the fireworks like computer chips that could control the height of the burst. He is also experimenting with environmental safeguards such as biodegradable materials and propellants that limit smoke to make shows more visible. But surprisingly, despite all the technology being explored, most of the fireworks are still made by hand and almost every Grucci show contains a family signature: The Gold Split Comet. “It’s something my father developed,” Phil said, describing the firework as leaving a golden trail as it falls.

But for all of the marquee events they produce and all of the different countries they fire in, for Phil, the best shows are still the small ones at home on Long Island. “I get more excitement out of the smaller shows,” Phil said. “They’re a bit more innocent, a little less of a spectacle. You sit there on the beach and you watch a modest, beautiful fireworks show. And you just listen to the people talking and reminiscing. That’s the real reward.”

Rockets Red Glare
The Gruccis not only produce fireworks for festive occasions, they also create military simulation tools. Phil said the practice began in the 1950s when his grandfather developed an atomic bomb simulator. The explosive recreated a mushroom cloud as well as the sound of a nuclear blast and was used in military training exercises.

From Blueprint to Boom
Though Grucci has over 2,000 firework varieties in stock, some shows warrant creating custom originals. Plans for an upcoming Star Spangled Banner centennial show include a firework that will explode into a 600 x 900-foot. American flag consisting of 700 individual bursts. Additional refinements for the centennial include explosions timed to the lyrics of the national anthem: The words “twilight’s last gleaming” will be accompanied by a strobe; “broad stripes and bright stars,” will see red and white streaks decorate the sky; and “the rockets’ red glare” is, of course, self-explanatory.

“We treat the fireworks as our cast, our performers, and the sky as the stage,” Phil Grucci said.

After a design is engineered, production on the firework begins. A cardboard or plastic biodegradable shell is loaded with compressed balls of pyrotechnic chemicals. Each orb, about the size of a marble, produces colored flame when ignited. The balls are packed into the casing manually in the pattern they are intended to produce—a process Grucci admitted is “arduous.” A bursting charge—essentially black powder—is inserted in the core of the firework and this catalyst ignites the individual marbles. A timing mechanism, either a fuse or a computer chip in the unit, is also used to control the height of the explosion. Finally, a lifting charge is attached to the base of the shell to get the whole package airborne.

“It’s a lot of science and design, but it’s also very much a craft because it’s a manual operation,” Grucci said.

When they reach the site the fireworks are loaded into a series of numbered mortars. The mortars are wired to an electric igniter and the launches are controlled from a laptop computer. Each shell is triggered through what Grucci called an “Excel spreadsheet-like program.” This “script” matches the bursts to the music.

“If you break down all the parts, its fairly simple,” Phil said. “The challenge is to do it consistently. You need to make sure you’re not overproducing the show to the point where it’s not reliable.”

Top of the World
Joseph Mercante, director of international business development for Fireworks by Grucci, spoke to Pulse about installing fireworks on Dubai’s Burj Khalifa—the tallest building in the world.

The only way to get to the pinnacle is take the elevator to the 160th floor, then walk up multiple, multiple flights of steps. The last 400 feet we had to climb up a hand-rung ladder. So think about a vertical ladder, you’re inside a tube, not even five feet across, and you’re climbing up, step, step, step, for 400 feet. Then you open a submarine hatch that’s just wide enough to climb out, and only two people can be up there at the same time. We hung out over the side, clamped in, full harnesses, and then hoisted up the pyrotechnics because we couldn’t carry them up.

Some parts of the building you couldn’t reach except by hanging down on a rope. But it makes all the difference in the world in terms of how the show looks, so it was worth the effort for us—even though it’s very dangerous. What it all boils down to is that at that midnight moment the building erupts in color and it’s worth it.

It’s an amazing look, when you’re up there looking down over the edge. It’s a beautiful city, but it also just sprung up from the desert. The water is nearby, and you can see it very clearly from the top, but then you face the other direction and you see stark desert sands.

I grew up in East Meadow, so I’ve been to the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. New York is the most beautiful city in the world, but all you see from up there is buildings. At Burj Khalifa, the tallest man-made structure in the world, you can practically see the Iranian shores across the Persian Gulf. That’s when you realize you’re in a different world.

Photos courtesy of Fireworks by Grucci

Alexandra Spychalsky
Author: Alexandra Spychalsky

The Summer Almanac 2014 - The Great South Bay

Author: Barry Kaufman | Published:

The small towns along the rim of the Great South Bay are key to summer. A big part of what’s happening is at the beach (it is the South Shore), but these homey main streets pack plenty of small town charm.

Town: Sayville

Walk the streets of downtown Sayville and breathe in deep the bustle of activity and excitement. The calendar of events keeps the vibe hopping, with street festivals nearly every weekend and family events of every stripe. For one, The Common Ground is generally drawing a crowd with a regular mix of live music and events like Erik’s reptile “Edventures.” It’s a rare chance to pet an alligator in the backdrop of a blissfully idyllic Long Island park. If the calendar is clear that day, there’s always Loughlin Vineyard for a winery visit and a BYOF picnic (bring your own food).

Summer on the South Shore

Summer in Sayville is punctuated by a number of family-friendly events. During Pirate Festival (June) a fleet of buccaneers will descend on the Long Island Maritime Museum, rattling sabers and firing cannons, for a family fun day that will essentially be mandatory. Eye patches optional, but encouraged.The Seafood Festival (August) provides a chance to dig deep into a plate of the ocean’s tastiest bounty. SummerFest carnival and music festival (August), also serves as a fitting exclamation point to the season.

In Babylon, the summer sunset concert series hits Argyle Park every Friday at 8 p.m. The town of Babylon sponsors a free summer concert and movie series with a rotating mix of venues, acts and films across all the towns within greater Babylon. Films last year included Raiders of the Lost Ark, Soul Surfer and Wreck-It Ralph, while live acts included tributes to The Beatles and Journey, plus Billy Ocean, Starship and Jo Dee Messina.

Patchogue’s downtown hums with new activity. The Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts anchors a main strip filled with restaurants, shops, art and music around almost every corner. Cupcake shop? Check. Wine bar? Check. Meatball joint? Check. Craft beer boutique? Checkmate. A lot has been said in previous issues of Pulse, go now.

Patchogue’s Shorefront Park will host two huge events this summer, the first being the Great South Bay Music Festival (July) which continues bringing world-class musical acts to Long Island. The second is the Battle of the Burger presented by Amstel Light and sponsored by this magazine (August). Believe it, you’ll want to come hungry.

Sail the Great South Bay

Tucked safely behind Fire Island, but with enough open water for a daylong pleasure cruise, the GSB makes for some excellent sailing. A few places let you get out and try your hand on the waves.

Bay Shore Yacht Club: The season starts in June for non-member registration for classes.

Bellport Bay Sailing Foundation: This community-driven nonprofit group is dedicated to spreading the love of sailing.

South Bay Cruising Club: Members enjoy a summer packed with coordinated cruises, races and a few on-shore festivities.

Wet Pants Sailing Association: Regular races like the Tuesday night sunfish races share the water with big regattas like the Long Island Leukemia Cup Regatta in August.

Barry Kaufman
Author: Barry Kaufman

The Summer Almanac 2014 - The Hamptons

Author: Barry Kaufman | Published:

The phrase itself is shorthand for luxury. With all due respect to the many wonderful townships and villages that comprise this exquisite Island, perhaps nowhere else within our borders has captured the nation’s imagination quite like the opulent, elegant Hamptons. Bear witness to the many reality shows, soap operas and romance novels set amongst its quaint streets. Hamptonites seem to live life a little larger, but it’s a slightly different perspective when Alec next door is a movie star and Russell down the road is hip-hop royalty.

A cautionary reminder before venturing in: You are not alone. Thousands upon thousands of city-dwellers will join you on this trip, all of them filing down the same two lanes of Montauk Highway. Plan accordingly, which is to say, make it a weekend.

Town: East Hampton
East Hampton Village, its row of shops dedicated to the highest of high-end, lays out in no uncertain terms that this town is a playground for the wealthy. But venture beyond the main strip and you’ll find a town begging to be explored.

Along the winding roads that lead north to the glistening waters of Sag Harbor waits Breakwater Yacht Club. Located in a rustic cedar-shingle boathouse, BYC takes a decidedly democratic approach to the Hamptons lifestyle, offering public sailing sessions for adults and lessons for young pups. An hour out on the water and it’ll become clear why these shores have harbored mariners for centuries and wealthy yacht owners for decades.

For the old school, the game of choice is golf. And in East Hampton, the course of choice for those without a membership to a private club is Poxabogue Golf Center. If you’ve made time in your busy schedule or if you’re just waiting for traffic to die down, pick up a bucket and send a few balls downrange. Maybe get two buckets.

A spot to eat doesn’t have to break the bank just because you’re dining among the rich and famous. While no one can (or should, responsibly) play favorites, Bostwick’s Chowder House offers up some unpretentious but undeniably tasty seafood. Don’t be scared by the paper plates and plastic cutlery. For reasons not worth getting into, Bostwick’s doesn’t have a dishwasher. It may come in a basket, but the food is worthy of china. As for dining among the stars, Nick & Toni’s is a longstanding favorite.

East Hampton Village boasts five beaches, moving west from Georgica Beach east to Main, Wiborg, Egypt and Two Mile Hollow beaches. It’s the aptly-named Main Beach that draws most of the locals. The gentle waves, wide white-sand beach and snack bar make it not only one of the best beaches in town, but it often places on “top ten” lists published internationally. The town gives out just 40 parking passes per day, be sure to lay claim early. Alternate transport: New in recent seasons is Hamptons Free Ride, and yes, it is what it sounds like.

Town: Southampton
It’s been written well past the point of cliché that to step into certain towns is to step back in time. But when a town has a 17th century silversmith shop that still functions, the words just come naturally. However, this civic point of historic pride is just a preamble to a summer calendar bursting with activities.

Every Wednesday, catch part of the summer concert series at Agawam Park. The schedule dives from genre to genre, expect the gamut of classic rock, steel drum and singer/songwriters. The famous white sands of Coopers Beach make for great sunbathing, but only the adventurous should dare brave its waves. Come to surf, boogie board or just body surf, though shaky swimmers better stay on land. Parking is $40 per car.

If golf is a good walk spoiled, Southampton is one of the most spoiled walks on the Island—courses abound, some are even public. The shopping district stretches up Main Street, down Jobs Lane and splits down both Hill Street and Windmill Lane, a sprawling ode to luxury commerce. Make your first purchase some comfortable shoes.

Hey kids, your move!
Chess Camp comes to The Georgica this summer. Check out

Barry Kaufman
Author: Barry Kaufman

Bikers Do it Better

Join the club

Author: Casey Dooley | Published:

Biking is the answer for those seeking high-energy, low-impact fitness activity on Long Island. The North Shore features rolling hills for challenges and the South Shore’s flatness promotes speed. And everywhere, beautiful scenery abounds and quaint downtowns beckon. It can be done solo, but in a group the experience also becomes a social outing. More than that, clubs organize safe and beautiful rides to allow riders to, well, enjoy the ride.

“My favorite roads to ride are those that head east from the club’s Greenlawn start,” said John Greene, vice president of the Huntington Bike Club. Like many area clubs, Huntington’s avoids heavily trafficked or poorly maintained roads opting instead for quiet neighborhood routes with smooth roads and interesting destinations.

In fact, most club rides are destination rides—meaning riders might have to drive to the starting point, bike to a specific location and come back via a different route, with stops for food in between. The plan allows for individuals to enjoy more relaxed riding and sightseeing, rather than counting the distance, planning stops and managing water or supplies.

The benefits to the clubs and road biking lifestyle are numerous. Cardiovascular fitness is the most obvious, but Tracy Riedinger, a physical therapist and president of HBC got back into biking after a third knee surgery.  “It’s an activity that my knees can tolerate,” she said. In fact, bad knees seem to be par for the course, almost a de facto membership requirement. “We have a lot of ex-runners in the club because running just pounds your knees into the ground and cycling is much more forgiving.”

Plus, there’s safety in numbers, especially when riding along at 20mph with traffic whizzing by. “I’ve become very attuned to bicycle safety…that’s my number one issue and that’s the theme for anything we do with the clubs.” said Bob Devito, president of Suffolk Bicycle Riders Association, the Island’s largest cycling club with about 1000 members, and the director for the Nassau Suffolk Bicycle Coalition, the umbrella organization for the Island’s bike clubs.

Joining a club is as easy as reading their online calendar of scheduled rides. All clubs allow and encourage a try-before-you-buy mentality to membership. Rides are graded on a familiar ABC system; rides in the C range generally make frequent stops, average cruising speeds of 10-14mph and leaders will wait for slower paced riders. This is a good place for beginners to start, even with a hybrid bicycle, though higher rated routes require a road bike. The main thing is just getting out, discovering the Island and enjoying the ride.

When buying a road bike, make friends with the local bike shop to ensure the proper fit and type. They might even hook you up with The Strava app and enabled devices to virtually compete with friends, club members or your own trackable runs.

The Clubs
Suffolk Bike Riders Association (SBRA). Ride locations are from mid-Suffolk to East End. Membership is $20;
Huntington Bicycle Club (HBC). Rides start in Greenlawn. Membership is $25/person, $30/family;
Massapequa Park Bike Club (MPBC). Rides start in Bethpage. Membership is $20/person, $25/family;
Long Island Bicycle Club (LIBC). Rides start at Westbury High School. Membership is $20/person, includes 10 percent discount at select bike shops;


Casey Dooley
Author: Casey Dooley

The Summer Almanac 2014 - The North Fork

Author: Barry Kaufman | Published:

The march of progress has given us much, but we can be thankful for the unspoiled reminder of a simpler time the North Fork provides: peaceful, vast agrarian fields, small shops and friendly faces. This is exactly the sort of lofty, romantic thought you’ll have after a visit to a few of NoFo’s famous wineries. But before you go unleashing your inner poet, there’s a lot more to see (and probably a cab ride you should arrange).

Town: Riverhead
The gateway to the East End has character, grit and plenty to do. For those piling the kids into the SUV for some family time, the Long Island Aquarium offers close encounters with otters, penguins, exotic fish and even snow monkeys. You should probably take the kids to The Big Duck on the edge of Sears-Bellows County Park while you’re in the area too, because…well, because there’s a really big duck there.

The town itself hums with a funky working-class energy at distinct odds with the upscale areas to its east. Exhibit A: The annual Cardboard Boat Race, delivering exactly what it promises. Exhibit B: The East End Arts Council. The larger-than-it-looks-on-the-outside gallery tucked inside a small house on Main Street offers that Riverhead funkiness in a quiet atmosphere.

The vibe comes deep fried and slathered in sauce at Spicy’s, where shouting your order over the bank of fans makes the barbecue that much sweeter. Still not full? Tuck into The Texas sandwich massacre at Cody’s BBQ & Grill (made with four kinds of meat!) or step out onto the back patio for some live music and sunshine. The feel-good Riverhead vibe will ring clear. All of this eating can be worked off with a little retail therapy at the Tanger Outlets near the Long Island Expressway end of Main Street.

Town: Southold
Here the endless rows of grapes bend toward the sun. Here the North Fork wine country truly begins.

There are as many wineries in this town as there are variations of wine. Upscale vintners share equal billing with rustic mom and pop operations, but look beyond all this and find a town with a very old soul. Colonial-era homes dot the streets to make for a quaint bike ride or walk. Stop into the shops along Main Street, enjoy a sandwich from the Grateful Deli or meander the sidewalks and enjoy time passing by. Visitors who possess the coveted town pass can head south and enjoy a stretch of quiet coastline with a view of the luxurious manors of Shelter Island and beyond. Dig into the sands just a few feet offshore and be rewarded with a clutch of tasty clams.

Town: Greenport
Holding court at the end of a stretch of vineyard-spotted roads, Greenport is as close to a major town as the North Fork has to offer. Major towns not being the stock in trade of this region, Greenport is decidedly low-key and therein lies its charm.

History is showcased, but always built upon with the utmost taste. The antique carousel stands just as it has for a lifetime, but it is housed in an ultra-modern pavilion fronting the attractive waterfront. Caudio’s boasts of its speakeasy past, happily pointing out that boats used to float under the restaurant to enjoy contraband hooch, all while offering fine dining on the shoreline.

All of this history couched in modernity informs the past-meets-present vibe of Greenport. The thought is completed by chic and cheery restaurants, a craft brewery, a few art galleries and shops.


Sip a flight of innovative craft beers at Greenport Harbor Brewing Company.

Take a spin on the antique carousel. (Note: Do not do this list in order)

Wakesurf at Peconic Water Sports. It’s all the fun of wakeboarding, but with a complete disrespect for the laws of physics!

Nosh on Oysters Friskafella at the Frisky Oyster (garlic, chipotle, parmigiano aioli…oh my).

Barry Kaufman
Author: Barry Kaufman

The Summer Almanac 2014 - Shelter Island

Author: Barry Kaufman | Published:

The soul of Shelter Island does not live on its beaches. It doesn’t live in its small stretches of Main Street, either. The soul of Shelter Island lives in its silence. Nowhere can the honking of an occasional car horn penetrate the wall of the serene quiet that blankets the whole of the island. it is a shelter for the spirit.

Accessible by ferry from either North Haven or Greenport, it’s an ideal day trip when serenity is in order. The meandering trails of Mashomack Preserve reconnect us to the summers we wish we’d had in our youth, immersed in nature’s primeval glory. Roam amongst the trees, spying ospreys and piping plover, or stop by the welcome center and get an education in the many flora and fauna that call the island home. Either way, expect an enrichment of the soul that comes only from exploration.

Cap off the day trip on the nine stunning holes at Shelter Island Country Club. Time it right and you’ll be finishing up at sunset, when the course is bathed in breathtaking golden light. Head over to Sunset Beach and grab a table on the beachside rooftop to sample French-influenced cuisine and stellar people watching. The energy flows at sunset, but in keeping with Shelter Island standards, the vibe is subdued.

The summer ends in a very shelterless bacchanal:
The Shelter Island Beach Blast. Costumes, libations, revelry… it’s all out in the open. Boat up, walk up or swim up, just make arrangements for the ride home.

Barry Kaufman
Author: Barry Kaufman

Paddle Power

Kayaking takes advantage of the Island’s nooks, crannies and open surf

Author: Casey Dooley | Published:

When asked what she loves about kayaking on Long Island, Elizabeth O’Connor’s response was impassioned. “Freedom,” she said. “The freedom to go in places that many other craft cannot get to.”

O’Connor is the founder and head instructor for Sea Kayaking Skills and Adventure, which shares paddling opportunities with all ages and skill levels by running tours and classes throughout the Island. She is also an instructor with Island Park-based Empire Kayaks, they organize tours and rent equipment off Middle Bay’s Barnum Channel near Shell Harbor.

Empire’s owner Mike Fehling found that kayaking opened his perspective. “I discovered how beautiful the waterways are and it piqued my interest in the different wildlife, like the ospreys and oystercatchers,” he said.

While gliding over calm waters is common in a kayak—the Island does not claim any rapids—our topography offers several types of adventures. “For a little more challenge,” O’Connor offered, “there are the protected harbors of the bays and mudflat areas. Still more challenging is Long Island Sound and then the ocean and the surf. Each new level has more demanding skills to master.”

Serious outdoorsman will combine paddling with wilderness adventure, like fishing or accessing remote areas like Shelter Island’s wildlife habitats. But it’s vessel type and launch site that are the keys to enjoying the experience.

Beginners start in stable and easy to maneuver recreational kayaks. They have a flatter base and cockpit roomy enough to stow gear. They are ideal for use on quiet water like lakes, ponds and slow-moving rivers. Besides staying connected with a personal floatation device, the most important thing to focus on is moving forward efficiently. For a focused and proficient stroke pattern, Fehling advised using the whole torso to power through a stroke, not just the arms. Make sure the hips are loose and that the body is centered over the kayak.

The propensity for riders to quickly want a challenge is common. This is where the ocean sides and bay fronts become a playground and sea surf can be a riding experience all its own. Rougher surf requires a sea kayak, which is typically longer than the recreational-type boat. That length, and the addition of a skeg (or rudder), improves straight-line tracking and makes it easy to control the kayak in currents or side winds, albeit from a tighter cockpit.

When moving into more advanced conditions, O’Connor advises taking a lesson and/or tour to truly understand the Island’s conditions and maximize not only skills, but safety as well. Understanding how to work the winds, dressing for the weather (and colder waters) and general seamanship skills are the basis for enhancing a paddling adventure at any level, whether in the Sound, ocean or bays. After that, all it takes is the need to connect with the outdoors.

Experience quiet waters like Forge Pond in Calverton, the Upper Peconic River, Nissequogue River and Lake Ronkonkoma, Long Island’s largest freshwater lake.

View 10 Places to Launch Your Kayak on Long Island in a larger map

Casey Dooley
Author: Casey Dooley

The Summer Almanac 2014 - The Ocean

Author: Barry Kaufman | Published:

All over the world people are blowing their nest eggs and rearranging their lives for just one perfect day in the sun, toes buried in the sand and waves crashing nearby. For this one glorious moment they plan for months, pack suitcases, pile into cars, book hotels and travel God knows how many miles. Just for one day of perfection. For you, it’s a trip up the road. Maybe even a step out the back door. Try not to gloat too much.

Town: Long Beach

Cruising slow up Lido Boulevard, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d taken a wrong turn and wound up in California. After all, shirtless surfers ducking through traffic on their way to the beach is hardly something you’d expect to see this close to Brooklyn. Therein lies the magic of Long Beach. An unhurried, unhassled, laid-back, geographically improbable, funky beach vibe all its own.

The first stop is the boardwalk. To stroll along its rebuilt planks is to bask in the town’s victory over sandy. The beach beyond it offers an everchanging buffet of oceanside activities for a mere $12 entry. Depending on the day, take in surfing lessons, harness the waves by windsurfing or watch gravity get taken out behind the woodshed during a half-pipe skateboarding exhibition right there on the sand. The natural side to an order of beach life is of course, a cold drink. And there are plenty of opportunities in long Beach to sip something cold, possibly blended. unrepentantly unrefined, The Beach House infuses a typical sports bar with a funky seaside vibe and creates something that locals flock to for a bit of respite from the sun.

Beware: Time will accelerate the second you drive away, suddenly lurching to meet the hectic New York pace that surrounds the town.

Town: Fire island

Jaw-dropping white-sand beaches extend out to two horizons, but Fire island is also comprised of many towns. since some of these towns consist of a dock and a building, you’ll forgive us for condensing somewhat—though the microtowns make up no small measure of Fire island’s charm. Travel is limited to water taxis and flip-flops for anyone other than locals; prepare for a day on Fire Island with a wad of bills, ample water and a GPS. Note: some roads are, technically speaking, no more than gaps between sand dunes.

Start at Kismet, where the Bay Shore ferry unloads passengers directly to “downtown” (a restaurant and convenience store). The rest of the town—like neighboring saltaire—is devoted to boardwalks that criss-cross low-slung beach houses. Getting lost in these paths is a sweet adventure with pleasant surprises at every turn: Retreats with whimsical names like “Boozer’s playhouse,” a large deer casually crossing your path and a baseball field that seems to spring out of nowhere.

But not all of Fire Island is tucked- away discovery. ocean Beach wears its fun on its sleeve. During daylight hours, the shops defy you to describe them as anything but “adorable.” It’s a mix of ice creams parlors, small craft galleries and gift shops you’d expect, but scaled down to munchkin proportions by the tiny streets that connect them. At night, the adorable gets turned down and the outrageous gets cranked to 11 when Fire Island’s famed clubs open.

Town: Montauk
This village “at the end” lost its innocence (and remoteness) to weekend revelers a few seasons ago and there’s no turning back. Yes, there is quiet at the grand lighthouse. Yes, there are marinas dotting the north shore, with their fishing tournaments, charter boats and maritime adventure. Fishermen have been plying these waters since the powdered wig days, a few fashion- driven party-crazed young professionals aren’t going to change that.

Montauk Village is, make no mistake, a fishing and beach town. But it is now one with a buzzing scene. The areas around The plaza hum with activity, like surf shops offering an array of neon-drenched floatables, restaurants tempting passersby with cool beverages and hotels harboring a steady flock of beachgoers. Beach houses mingle side-by-side with motels, towels hang over every railing and massive gold-painted moai statues hold court on Elmwood Street (fashioned after the famed easter island ones). Fact.

The beaches here are as beautiful and serene as any you’ll find on the planet, but their popularity with surfers does mean you have to keep your wits about you when you swim. It’s hard to take in the scenery when you’ve been beaned by a longboard.

The old saying goes that Montauk is a small fishing village with a big drinking problem. Sounds like the perfect place to grab a bite.

Harvest On Fort Pond
11 South Emery Street
Mediterranean cuisine in the quaint, smallish garden or the understated white-and-wood dining room.

Gosman’s Dock
500 West Lake Drive
Casual seafood dining at the entrance to Montauk Harbor. Ideal for partaking of the raw bar and lobster bake for two.

Fishbar On The Lake
467 East Lake Drive
Montauk fish sliders and sangria? Hell yes. especially when enjoyed on an enclosed deck on the lake. Oh, and there’s an indoor and outdoor bar.

Duryea’s Lobster Deck
65 Tuthill Road
Very fresh, very well-done, tried-and-true seafood. can’t get a table? Take some lobsters on a field trip (they do takeout from the restaurant or buy it at the market).

Cyril’s Fish House
2167 Montauk Highway
Caribbean specials on Napeague stretch. The Harleys out front testify to the roadhouse atmosphere—expect bottled beer to be pulled out of a bathtub.

Swallow East
474 West Lake Dr
Decidedly cool: the kitchen is exposed to bar-seating (sushi style, though the cuisine isn’t). Food is hip, easy to eat and mainly small plates. The bar area is very laid-back.

Navy Beach
16 Navy Road
Ceviche lovers will be happy here. so will any foodies who like to be surprised. Dieters can feast on the views: this is waterfront dining, directly on the beach. Special menus welcome large parties.

Shelter Island by Eric Striffler; Surfing by Matthew Clark; Fire Island by John Williams; Montauk by Jason Molinet

Barry Kaufman
Author: Barry Kaufman

Boulder Pursuits

Stretch to new heights on the North Shore’s beaches

Author: Casey Dooley | Published:

Long island is not exactly the first place mountain climbers call home. But, as they say, necessity is the mother of invention. When those seeking new heights want to feel the sun on their
faces, they head to the craggy coastline of the North Shore for a day of bouldering, rock climbing’s unencumbered little brother.

About 20 years ago the island’s hotspot of massive stones, know as “erratics,” were discovered by climbers. According to Mark Leventhal, vice president of Planview’s Island Rock climbing gym, Chris Ortiz and friends found the boulders in East Marion just off the sound and established the early bouldering scene. Sometimes referred to as the island rocks, these beach-bound boulders are the most well-known, with monikers like Fatman, Little Boy and Secret Beach and routes named Big and Spacey, Fisherman’s Friend and Talk is Cheap.

Bouldering heights are generally 12-15 feet, which can be daunting without restraints, though a foldable foam crash pad specifically engineered to help cushion falls is often employed, along with grippy climbing shoes and chalk.

Leventhal is an old-school climber, rock climbing for 18 years and bouldering for nearly as long. “Most people get into rock climbing first because it’s more secure, so you get more comfortable on the rocks and climbing,” he said. Some boulders can reach over 20 feet high, but that’s an extreme height and would be considered a “highball” bouldering situation, though one of those is yet to be discovered here—or at least spoken of.

Bouldering movements are condensed, so climbers are stretching great distances to reach the next grip. The routes up the rock are called “problems” and require precise, exacting poses to be performed as opposed to the more expansive vertical pursuits of rock climbing. “The moves are more powerful and dynamic than rock climbing, where you’re roped in,” said Leventhal. Because the sport doesn’t require technical gear, it’s enticing for established climbers, who are comfortable with intense climbing maneuvers, but not for rookies still learning the ropes (pun intended).

Bouldering engenders a communal mentality, which Leventhal said is part of the appeal. “It’s more a group sport…people can go together, try a few problems, instead of climbing where you may have just two people on ropes. you get to hangout with friends.” In fact, even the accepted rating system for bouldering’s difficulty seems to be set by consensus. “It is somewhat subjective, but generally benchmarks are set by more advanced climbers who know what a [specific problem’s rating] should be,” said Leventhal.

Much like a local surf spot, the boulders here maintain an aura of exclusivity. but for native climbers in the know, they offer a unique experience that’s pure Long Island: it’s on the beach with views of the water and untouched vistas.

Catch hand-to-stone thrills mid-island, like in Wading River’s Wildwood State Park and Stony Brook-area “exit 62 boulders” on the beach.

Casey Dooley
Author: Casey Dooley

Balloon, Raft & Zipline

3 adventures that can’t be had on Long Island

Author: Casey Dooley | Published: Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Try floating untethered in a balloon over Huntington and expect to be found adrift somewhere in the Atlantic. Yeah, exactly. Long Island’s narrow, ocean-locked landmass is not conducive to floating uncontrollably about the sky (despite the spectacular views). The Island also lacks the peaks and tree-canopied slopes fit for zip-line adventures. And while there are plenty of nooks and crannies for excellent kayaking (see our primer on page 112) there’s nothing around here that compares to the raw, frothing energy of the whitewater channelling out of upstate mountains. But take heart. Some of best places to capture these adventures are just an hour or two away.

Hot Air Ballooning
We know: You’ve always wanted to go ballooning. Your brother did it in Africa. Your parents did it for their anniversary. That guy in HR with the bad breath did it in Napa last year. This is your summer to do it. Imaging floating swiftly, gracefully and absolutely silently while taking in endless views in every direction. You can’t do it on Long Island, but you can get there from here.

Most tour companies have several launch sites in open countryside, allowing for weather variations—landing coordinates are never exact, just educated guesses based on weather and wind speeds. Heights also vary from a few hundred feet to a few thousand and the experience can last up to four hours. Don’t worry, there are ground crews tracking the balloons to ferry riders back to the start. Helping pack the balloon and gear is sometimes part of the experience, for which riders are traditionally rewarded with a post-flight champagne toast.

CT Ballooning
Central Connecticut
Experience breathtaking views of the Farmington River Valley, Connecticut River Valley, Long Island Sound and mountain ranges in New York and Massachusetts. After the post-flight bubbly, hit up world-renowned Ted’s Restaurant in Meriden or Cromwell to experience the juicy, melted perfection of steamed cheeseburgers, a Connecticut specialty. Rides start around sunrise. $275/person, up to 5 per balloon.

New Jersey Festival of Ballooning
July 25-27
Readington, New Jersey
This annual spectacle celebrates all the whimsy, fun and grandeur of these expertly manned and crafted billowing pillows of hot air. Grab a ride, watch them soar or go for the tunes—the festival’s headliners are America, 3 Doors Down and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts.

Wandering Winds
Orange County, New York
Situated at the base of the Shawangunk Mountains, this trip showcases dramatic views of both the Catskill and Adirondack Mountains. On clear days, spy the NYC skyline as the ride passes over rolling hills, racehorse farms and the Wallkill River. This is a quaint, historic region, make it a weekend of hiking, antiquing and exploring. The owners of The Sleepy Valley Inn, just 25 minutes south, are a master pastry chef and the proprietor of a locally revered pub restaurant. Flights are $225/person, includes a champagne picnic created by a Culinary Institute graduate.

Whitewater Rafting
Wouldn’t it be nice if, for just one day, the rush of the waves filled your head instead of the rush of the LIRR or whatever static is part of your morning rush hour? The Adirondacks boasts rafting options most of the year on the untamed Sacanadaga, the backcountry Moose and the picturesque Black rivers. And, winding over 300 miles from Mount Marcy’s Lake Tear of the Clouds all the way into metro NYC, the historic Hudson River is famous for its exhilarating array of river-riding experiences. This calls for a full weekend excursion but is well worth it—the Hudson River has been named one of the top-10 whitewater rafting trips in the US. For the full immersion, hop a train ride to soak in the scenery or detour on a scenic byway—Central Adirondack Trail offers a snapshot of the wild waterscapes about to be experienced. With the springtime snowmelt, put that life vest to the test on Class IV and V rapids; by mid-summer, the river has mellowed to Class II and III, which are a bit more family friendly.

Adirondac Rafting Company
Indian Lake, New York
The company is located right where trips launch and a beautiful rustic lodge accommodates the site for relaxation post rapids and recounting mid-trip rock jumping. A much-appreciated full changing facility is also onsite. This family-owned outfitter was selected by National Geographic as a Hudson River’s Quality Outfitter. $85/person, $79/person in groups of 6 or more.

Adirondack River Outfitters
Old Forge, New York
In operation for more than 30 years, this was the first New York outfitter to tour the Moose River and they discovered and pioneered the whitewater on the Black River. They are one of the founding members of the Hudson River Professional Rafting Association and run various trips and vacations in and around the waters of Northern New York and eastern Lake Ontario reigon. Rafting prices run between $30-$100, depending on season and experience level.

Zip Lining
Suspended on steel cables 60 to 600 feet up, a nylon harness and some carabineers are all that keep riders aloft as they soar over gullies, through leaves and across canyons at up to 50mph. The thrill of riding metal-roped courses started as an ecotourism activity in Costa Rica almost two decades ago and has since gained popularity worldwide. Most tours last 2-3 hours and often include additional outdoor adventure components like suspension bridges and rappelling. This isn’t heart-pounding adrenaline-junky stuff the whole time, but it’s certainly not for the faint of heart. Consider it an afternoon spent outdoors, connecting every part of the body with nature and all her elements. Beats the hell out of the step machine.

NY Zipline Canopy Tours
Hunter Mountain, New York
Steel yourself for a jolt because the first step off the SkyRider Tour’s Catskills scaffold is a doozy—it’s the fastest, longest and highest zipline in North America, and the second largest in the world (around $120/person). For families or nature buffs the Mid-Mountain Tour is choice; along with the ziplines, four ropes bridges and rappel, the nine tree platforms are like mini-museums, each one showcasing an aspect of the area’s history, flora and fauna ($89/person). There is also a 60-feet-tall, ropes course Adventure Tower, $19/person.

Zoom Zipline
Mountain Creek, New Jersey
Ok, this one is for the adrenaline junkies: The cable ride thrills by zipping over a lake, offering unique views, and the trip includes a refreshing climb. Pack hiking shoes and don active-wear for this one. Situated 1040-feet up atop Mountain Creek, this adventure includes a two-hour guided trek through pristine woodland settings and a ride in a customized, canopied, off-roading Mog. $60/adults, $200/family

Casey Dooley
Author: Casey Dooley


Taking a ride with Long Island’s street racers

Author: Brian Kelly | Published:
In the cockpit of a modified street racer fear can be swept away.
words: brian kelly | photos: kenny janosick
In the cockpit of a modified street racer fear can be swept away. words: brian kelly | photos: kenny janosick

It was late April and over 200 cars were crowded outside the Dave & Buster’s in Farmingdale. Mustangs, Civics, Subarus and Camaros revved their booming engines, leaving behind plumes of smoke and traces of hot rubber. Stereos blasted beats as cars zigzagged around the lot. A motley swarm of teens and 20-somethings ambled around jabbering about horsepower, turbo engines and slicks. Some of them strictly talked shit, looking to hustle by racing cars at impossible speeds.

“You wanna run one?” one guy asked. A cigarette dangled from his lips as he stood in front of his teal Mitsubishi Eclipse.

“Is your shit stock or what?” responded a tall, bearded guy who drove a Mustang.

“It’s pretty much out of the box. Pull up the hood, amigo. Check it. I’ll smoke you no matter what,” he said.

“You need to quit running your mouth,” Mustang answered, his voice getting more contentious. “I don’t ever lose.”

Mr. Mitsubishi lifted the hood and they began examining the guts of his shiny, blue machine, speaking in a language all their own. A crowd circled, smelling a race.

“This isn’t stock. Don’t bullshit me,” shouted Mustang, nervously stroking his beard. “I know all cars. Import cars, muscle cars… You’re not even a car guy.”

“You’re right. I’m not,” Mitsubishi said. “I’m a racer.” It was like they were reenacting a scene from some Hollywood film. Any moment the drums would start pounding and fists would fly.

One bystander introduced himself as Toby. “This is normal. It’s good for racing. It makes it more competitive.”

Toby is a 23-year-old mechanic who drives a Subaru he bought for $30,000 and spent an additional $20,000 modifying. “It’s an expensive hobby, but there’s always ways to improve your car. I work two jobs to pay for my car,” he laughed. Numbers of this kind are not uncommon amongst these enthusiasts. Most purchase a car for about $10,000 and put anywhere from an additional $10,000 to $80,000 into building and maintaining it.

“The expense is worth it, man,” Toby said earnestly. “You can’t explain the feeling. When you’ve got that G-force pushing against you, everything bad in your life seems okay.” I was skeptical.

“What are you escaping from? What’s so bad?” I asked.

“I’m not sure,” he said. Then he changed the subject. “Let’s get this race on. Why are we wasting time?”

Mr. Mitsubishi and Mr. Mustang were still entangled in their histrionics. Hands flailed, empty threats persisted.

“Is it going to happen?” I asked.

“Maybe, but these races run small. It’s more for the thrill of winning. I mean, the pot will get up to fifty bucks, maybe a few hundred,” Toby said. “If you want to see a real race, catch a money-run.”

Another guy, Bobby, a diesel mechanic who looked no older than 18, offhandedly mentioned that he recently took his motorcycle to 187mph on the LIE. When I asked if he was afraid while driving so fast, he replied quite romantically: “There’s no time to be afraid.”

“But you can kill someone going that fast…”

“We know. But you can’t think like that. If you’re afraid that’s when accidents happen.”

Who were these people? It only takes a blowout or an oil slick at those speeds and someone is dead. But I said nothing, simply marveling at the abandonment, the unadorned youth—so fleeting and pure.

Moments later Toby told me that a couple weeks back his “riding-buddy tore off his arm while dragging his face along the blacktop at 150mph” during a pick-up motorcycle race. His friend died, but Toby was back on the road the next day. I felt my stomach collapse. I told him I was sorry, to which he responded, “What did Paul Walker from the Fast and the Furious say? The guy who just died? ‘If I die driving fast, then I’ll die smiling.’” There was something lonely, existential in his remarks, but I think he was moving too fast to realize it.

About 40 car-lengths away, a Civic spun its tires, blanketing the lot in smoke. “That’s my favorite smell,” someone shouted. Another guy was perched on the roof of his truck, steering with his feet through the skylight. Two girls ran up, “Are we racing or what?” one giggled. “I drank two Red Bulls and vodka for this!”

“Do people drink when they race?” I asked.

“No way! They love their cars too much.”

A fine mist started to fall and some cars began to leave. The Mitsubishi/Mustang race was called off. “Rain isn’t good,” Bobby said. “It’s too dangerous to drive on.”

A few minutes later a pair of cops rolled into the lot. The remaining cars scattered. These kids seemed so brave a moment ago, now they were disappearing down the road.

Some days later, we met again at a mechanic’s shop in Suffolk County. The silver-blue sky was cloudless with no portent of bad weather. Seven or eight kids were hanging out boasting about how they planned to soup-up their cars when they got some money.

“We live simple lives, working our asses off so we can work on our cars. I’m buried under that hood every day. But if I wasn’t doing that I’d probably be getting into trouble,” Toby said. “I’d rather buy a new engine than blow my wad on drugs or booze.”

“This is coming from a guy who can’t even afford work boots,” interrupted Michael, a 22-year-old mechanic. “But he was able to drop a ten thousand dollar motor in his car.” They all laughed and continued to exchange anecdotes about the cars they’ve totaled or the cops that chased them.

“What happens if you lose your car?” I asked.

“You fucking cry your eyes out. It’s like a death, man. You work for years on this thing and then it’s gone? I’ve lost two cars. Both totaled. And I thought I was going to give it all up. But I’m addicted,” Bobby said.

“Wouldn’t you rather race on a track where it’s safer?”

I asked.

“If there was a track we’d be there every night. There used to be one in Westhampton but they shut it down because of noise complaints,” said Toby.

“We’re going to race no matter what,” Bobby continued. “So they might as well build a track and I can guarantee street racing would disappear. We’re not looking to hurt anyone. We just want to race.”

I wanted to believe him, but I wasn’t convinced that a racetrack could eclipse street racing. “What do your parents think about you driving illegally and spending all your money on your cars?” I asked.

“My dad got me into this! He’s come to a few of my races. He’s still got a muscle car that he works on,” said Bobby.

Michael interjected, “This is an American tradition. What’s better than hanging with your boys, driving fast cars and meeting women?”

Joel the mechanic who owned the shop walked up and said, “Are we going to do this or what? I feel like winning a race tonight.”

Joel is 32 with 2 kids at home and serves as a father figure to many young racers. When he’s not fixing cars, he’s building and modifying them for street racing. “These kids come here to have a place to go, an identity. This gives them a sense of belonging,” Joel said. “I remember when I crashed my first car. I felt like such a loser. Your car becomes your identity. We are our cars,” he said, smiling.

Joel is well-known for his car all across the Island. And for his expert knowledge modifying Subarus to make them faster than Porches and Ferraris. “There’s no school for this. It’s all trial and error,” he said. “You might get a few tips, but people don’t like to give out their secrets. It’s what makes them competitive.” In addition to building cars, Joel is a big-time Long Island racer. But unlike his followers, he only opts for “money-runs” that pay big returns.

These “money-runs,” are highly organized events that can pay upwards of $10,000. Toby said that last year he’d been to a $20,000 race where the loser tried to leave with the money. “They caught the guy and beat the shit out of him,” he said. “The stupidest thing you can do is run from a race.”

After a price is settled, the racers meet in a remote location, usually a service road off the highway where no cars can shoot out. The whole process takes 15 minutes or else the cops break it up and “people get arrested and cars are impounded.” Small crowds usually attend, and side-bets pile up. The cars then perform a series of burnouts to heat up their tires so they will grip the street better. Someone flags the race and then they’re off.

“Some cars run a quarter mile in ten seconds. That’s quick, man,” Joel said.

“How do you know that the other guy won’t swerve into you?”

“That’s a risk you take,” interceded Bobby. “But you anticipate that the other driver is going to swerve. You’ve got to train your instincts to react.”

“Are the gains really worth such a risk?” I ask.

“It’s a feeling, man. You really can’t explain it. It’s you versus that dark road,” Toby said.

“What feeling? Everyone keeps saying it’s this ‘feeling.’”

Joel added, “It’s like asking: What does a blowjob feel like?”

At that point I knew I wasn’t going to get any more. I was on the outside looking in on something esoteric and specific with its own rules and ideology. It seemed that only if I dropped $50,000 into my car could I begin to understand their language, their culture, their existence.

“I’ll take you for a ride,” Joel said, nonchalantly. “Give you a taste of what we do.”

“No thanks. I’ve got a two-year-old at home and I don’t drive past sixty-five in my KIA.”

They laughed at me.

“Get in,” said Joel. “You’ll be safe, I promise.”

Suddenly I was in a racecar on a highway. Traffic was sparse as I held on with two hands to the handle above the window. I don’t know why I trusted this stranger, but I wanted to experience this elusive “feeling” everyone was talking about.

“We’re going to pull onto a service road so you feel safe,” Joel reassured me.

And that’s when it happened: We went from 30 to 110mph in 2 seconds. The engine thundered, my chest flew back, street lights whirred by, time stopped and I was nowhere but inside that moment. And just like that: It was all over and I couldn’t stop laughing—a child’s giggle that wouldn’t let up.

“You see! You hear that giggle!” Joel shouted. “That’s why we do it! That’s the feeling! Now what does that feel like?”

“I think I’m going to leave my wife and kid,” I joked. “Buy a car and head for the road.”

That night, we went to another car show on North Ocean Avenue. Once again, the parking lot teemed with cars and trucks. Engines roared, tires burned, kids laughed and milled about, cops came and went. Although I now had a sense of why they were drawn to this dangerous game, I was still conflicted. What would happen when one of them flipped his car on the Southern State or plowed over a kid on a bicycle? Did they understand that this feeling they were chasing could have very real consequences?

I suppose the fact that I asked these questions partly explains why I’m not a street racer. Racing gives its devotees definition—a purpose. And even if it is all an illusion, they do manage to be happy in the moment. They’re kids acting like kids, after all, and at these speeds there’s no time to be afraid.

Brian Kelly
Author: Brian Kelly
Brian Kelly is a journalist, writing instructor, songwriter, playwright and a mediocre cook. His own writing has appeared in Blackbook Magazine, MEDIA, and The East Hampton Press. His off-Broadway play, Hello Superstar will open in 2012; it details the vibrant lives of Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick. His band Aeroplane Pageant will put out their 3rd LP Float Above the Yard on September 20th. He currently lives on the fading shoreline of Long Island where now he’s writing/directing a short film for Off-Hollywood and Technicolor Studios.

The Best Week June 2014

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:
Whether our plan for the best week is followed forwards or backwards, stellar results are assured.
Whether our plan for the best week is followed forwards or backwards, stellar results are assured.

It’s summertime and the living is easy. This month we’re urging readers to take a vacation (or just play hooky) and spend seven days indulging in Long Island’s finest offerings. After all, the way to have the best summer is to begin by having the best week.

Start the week appreciating Long Island’s maritime history. Bring Nancy Solomon’s fond look back as a guide and enjoy the working waters out of Bay Shore. The kids will love a Lauren Kristy paddleboat cruise along the coast. Watch the sunset over dinner at Fatfish where the fruits of the sea are plenty.

Go east young (wo)man. Go east until the ocean spreads out before you, then stop. Monday’s a great day to tour Montauk since the city slickers have taken the Jitney home. We recommend packing a fishing pole or surfboard and testing the waters, but leave dinner to Montauk Yacht Club’s chef Robert Reed.

It’s time to catch up on some reading. Choose a promising volume from our Local Summer Reads section, then spend the day going cover to cover under the old growth trees of Port Washington. For retail therapy and other diversions, reference our North Shore checklist.

Try kayaking. It’s easy, you don’t need any gear and you can go at your own pace. We’re giving you a choice of two venues: Hit the waters of NYC for an urban naturalist adventure or get your paddle cranking locally. Landlubber? We’ll forgive you for road biking or bouldering instead.

Head for NYC to check out the Harold Koda costume exhibit at The Met. Then see the irrepressible Bryan Cranston as LBJ in All The Way or the brand name of your choosing from our list of stars taking the stage this summer.

Followers of this plan haven’t exactly accomplished a whole lot of official “work” this week, but don’t start now. Get your Friday night off to a rockin’ start with some live music. Get your roots fix with The Last Hombres, folk with First Aid Kit or any spot on our local Listening Bar.

Yes, it’s time for dads and grads. Surprise your special one with a piece that makes the Quintessential Gentlemen or the Hot Commodity fit for a queen. Complete the thought with seasonal cuisine from the sea or check our Dining Guide to find choice reservations.

3 Can’t Miss Events

June 8
Woodstock Revival
The Great Lawn at Vanderbilt Museum, Centerport

They’ll be plenty of peace, love and music to groove to at this throwback festival. Local tribute band favorites like Half Step, Milagro, Jellyband and Dragonfly will play music by some of the original Woodstock lineup: The Who, Grateful Dead, Santana and Jimi Hendrix. There will also be live painting and exhibits from over 50 artists throughout the day.

June 14-15
Father’s Day Twofer:
BBQ Boot Camp, Saturday
Beer and Sliders, Sunday
Waters Crest Winery, Cutchogue

Chef Tom Fazio dishes out BBQ tricks of the trade to transform any dad into King of the Grill. Pops will learn all the tools—from easy marinades, rubs and injections to smoking meat on the grill. Sunday brews provided by Greenport Harbor along with selections from the winemaker’s secret stash and sliders by Fazio.

June 29
Bill Maher
NYCB at Westbury

Maher has been a voice of unflinching, politically charged humor and insight on his Real Time with Bill Maher. Our sit down with Maher on page 67 is a good primer for the Republican folly, liberal-blood boiling, and incisive satirizing that a night with Maher is sure to entail. Laugh, be entertained and informed when seeing him perform live and uncensored.

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Making of a Bill

The host of Real Time with Bill Maher brings his political musings to Westbury

Author: Lisa Heffernan | Published:
words: lisa heffernan | photos: janet van ham
words: lisa heffernan | photos: janet van ham

This Republican Party is not your father’s Republican Party. Somewhere along the line they got on a short bus to crazy town. —Bill Maher

Bill Maher, the outspoken political commentator, stand-up comic and host of HBO’s Real Time, wasn’t always so self-confident. Growing up in River Vale, NJ, Maher knew he wanted to be a comedian from a young age, but he never shared that with anyone. “I was a very shy kid,” revealed Maher, “not the type to make a spectacle of myself at school. But I think I had kind of a sly, subtle sense of humor. I didn’t even tell my parents that I had any notion of doing comedy until I actually started doing it after I was out of college. I was living in New York and they were like, ‘What are you doing?! Your life has started and you’re not telling us what you’re doing.’”

The son of a radio newsman and a nurse, Maher was used to discussing politics at the dinner table. But the Cornell grad didn’t become a political comedian right away. “When I was younger I tried to be political,” recalled Maher, now 58. “It’s just very hard for the audience to accept political commentary when you look like you just started shaving a week ago. So it didn’t really go over until I was a little older and had more gravitas.”

Maher’s gravitas is apparent when he’s challenging his talk show guests on weighty issues like income inequality, climate change, voting rights, healthcare and religion. In his irreverent 2008 documentary, Religulous, the proud atheist said “faith means making a virtue out of not thinking,” which is reminiscent of the Mark Twain witticism “faith is believing what you know ain’t so.”

A modern-day hybrid of Mark Twain and George Carlin, Maher is interested in effecting real change by trying to flip a gerrymandered congressional district in the November midterm elections. Real Time’s Flip a District campaign encourages viewers to use social media (#flipadistrict) to state why their entrenched representatives should be fired. Hoping to counter balance some of the excesses arising from 2010’s Citizens United ruling (which allows corporations to spend unlimited sums of money on political ads) Maher is expected to spotlight the chosen congressman on his show and occasionally perform stand-up in the district.

In 2012, Maher became a minority owner of the Mets. He’s looking forward to visiting New York in June to catch a game at Citi Field and perform his stand-up act at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury. The liberal satirist discussed the electoral process, voting rights, Obamacare, the talk show host playbook and his beloved Mets.

Long Island Pulse: How do you respond to those who say money doesn’t always affect elections?
Bill Maher
: Of course it doesn’t always work, but that doesn’t mean that one person like Sheldon Adelson should be able to single-handedly finance an entire presidential campaign. I don’t think this is how the founding fathers envisioned democracy would work. Someone has to explain to me just where the theory that money equals speech came from. It’s like saying a microphone is speech. It’s not speech. A microphone enables speech. And the fact that the Supreme Court is so naïve to think that money doesn’t influence elections? They’re either liars or they’re reading My Little Pony too much.

Pulse: They also say we can ignore all the political ads.
Yeah, and Americans are so good at ignoring ads. If they were good at ignoring ads, would anyone ever drink Budweiser? Have you ever heard anyone say, “Yeah, Budweiser, that’s the best beer I’ve ever had?” No, they drink it because it’s advertised the most.

Pulse: Could restrictions on voting actually motivate more people to vote in the midterms?
Well, that’s the hope. Of course the word has to get around to them. And the people who are least likely to vote are the people who are most needed to vote. We should have voting on the weekends. Afghanistan recently held an election on the weekend and 60 percent of the people turned out—and this is with the Taliban staging attacks on polling booths. We don’t have attacks on voting booths in America and we didn’t get 60 percent of the people to turn out. Why can’t we at least get to where Afghanistan is with elections? We should make voting easier, but of course the Republicans only ever want to make it harder because that serves them. The only way they can keep winning elections is by gerrymandering the districts and restricting people from voting because the demographics are all against them. Women, minorities and younger people are all moving in the column away from the Republicans.

Pulse: Do you think you’re an equal opportunity offender?
: I don’t know if I’m exactly equal. But I never make fun of people because of a political party. It’s just that in today’s political atmosphere, I’m sorry, but the Republicans are mostly wrong and they do mostly say the stupider things. Even Bobby Jindal, the Republican governor who had presidential ambitions, once said Republicans have to stop being the party of stupid. You don’t find Democrats saying things like legitimate rape, or that fetuses masturbate in the womb, or that they caught cancer like Herman Cain.

Pulse: Will Obamacare continue to grow in popularity?
I’ve always been a believer that Obamacare’s best friend is going to be word of mouth. Because, in the absence of tangible results, all a lot of people will hear is rumor, Fox News and pundits on TV. But when you start talking to your brother-in-law and he says, “You know, I would’ve been fuck out of luck if it wasn’t for that damn Obamacare because I got this and we went there and the pre-existing condition was not a deal breaker.” That word is going to get around. It is after all people’s health. The Democrats should stand up for what they passed. It’s not that hard a sell to make. I mean, they gave people health care. It’s not like they gave them herpes.

Pulse: Why do Republicans claim Obama is abusing his executive power when he’s signed fewer executive orders than most presidents?
Of course when the drama queens hear that he used executive action, he’s declared himself a king. They have this idea in their heads that he’s the first president to do it when of course all presidents have done it. He hasn’t abused it. His executive orders are things like setting higher fuel efficiency standards on cars and trucks. It’s a way for the government to lead the way on issues that are good for the country. But if Obama does it, it’s suddenly Dracula crossed with Hitler times lung cancer.

But if Obama does it, it’s suddenly Dracula crossed with Hitler times lung cancer.

Pulse: What do you say to those who say you’re polarizing?
I think they’re right. Every time you tell the truth, you’re polarizing. You’re never going to get everybody and that’s okay. I remember when I started doing Politically Incorrect twenty years ago, the knock on the show from the get-go was that you could never be a television host if you take a stand and tell people what you think. People were thinking about Johnny Carson and that whole playbook—which, by the way, played right up until the end with Leno and Letterman. They played by the Carson rules of never tell people who you voted for, do one joke that’s sort of a knock on the left and another one that’s sort of a knock on the right and always stay in the middle. That’s fine. But I said, “You know, maybe it can work. Maybe the people are a little more sophisticated than you give them credit for. Maybe they’ll keep watching the show even if they don’t agree with the guy 100 percent of the time.” I’ve been a host for twenty years now so it’s kind of true. They can take it.

Pulse: How about those Mets?
They have a real serious pitching staff and when you have good pitching you could be in every game. So I think if they get a little help with some bats coming alive, they could surprise a lot of people. But, hey, win or lose, they’ve sure got me for life.

Bill Maher performs at NYCB Theatre at Westbury on June 29.

Lisa Heffernan
Author: Lisa Heffernan
Lisa Heffernan received a master’s in Communications from Emerson College before moving to New York. She has worked for publications such as: Details, Nylon, Rolling Stone, Time Out, Newport Mercury, American Songwriter and W magazine.

Recipe for Relaxation

Set in beautiful South Seas lagoon, bake on medium until stress evaporates

Author: Robert La Bua | Published: Monday, May 19, 2014
Pacific Resort Aitutaki 
photo courtesy of pacific resort hotel group, pacific resort aitutaki, cook island
Pacific Resort Aitutaki photo courtesy of pacific resort hotel group, pacific resort aitutaki, cook island

Island life takes a variety of forms, none of them involve rushing. In the Cook Islands, hushing is a more common practice and “expressway” refers to the shortest stroll from the villa to the ocean. Here, there are no tolls, only atolls.

Rarely talked about, even less frequently visited, the Cook Islands bring to life all the stereotypes of a South Pacific paradise—or at least a Broadway musical set in one. But thankfully, they also take visitors beyond cliché into a thoroughly rewarding vacation. The big, blue ocean dominates life now as it has for centuries, only instead of the local economy being based on what can be taken out of the water (delicious seafood and valuable pearls) it now depends mainly on what can be put into it (fortunate travelers).

Situated between Samoa and Tahiti, the Cooks constitute a sovereign country in free association with New Zealand, which means the locals have the best of two worlds. All Cook Islanders are citizens of New Zealand, sharing that country’s ethos of honesty and integrity in daily life as well as its English language and briskly dry sense of “humour.” Cook Islanders are engagingly hospitable people doing a good job of moving forward into the 21st century while not forgetting the traditions of past eras with regard to culture, language and business practices. Foremost among the latter is the islanders’ respect for the world around them; this is a place where nature and humans exist as allies rather than adversaries.

The Aitutaki Lagoon
Gorgeous both above and below the water, the arrowhead-shaped Aitutaki lagoon is the Cook Islands’ top attraction. A picture-perfect lagoon encircled by 15 islets varying in size from small to minuscule, Aitutaki is the classic postcard of a South Pacific paradise right down to the refreshing absence of tourists beyond a number that can be counted on two hands. The largest of the small is the island that gives the lagoon its name; others have such charmingly appealing monikers as One Foot Island and Honeymoon Island, and their shallow waters and swift breezes serve as catnip to kite surfers. Of course most visitors to the Cook Islands do not choose to soar above the whitecaps strapped to a gigantic kite, but these reasonable folks are always able to amuse themselves by diving, snorkeling, fishing or just relaxing beside the beautiful turquoise water.

Culture Club
Complementing Aitutaki’s marine attractions are their terrestrial counterparts. Even non-denominational visitors will enjoy Sunday morning services at Cook Islands Christian Church, where the congregation’s euphonious singing resonates throughout the structure (built in 1828, CICC is the oldest church in the islands). Local historian and preservationist Ngaa Kitai Taria, owner of Aitutaki Culture Punarei Tours, offers insightful excursions into local Cook Islands’ Maori culture. Singlehandedly redressing a prevailing inattention to local history, Mr. Taria explains life as it existed before the havoc wrought by 19th century missionaries, who took it upon themselves to change, forbid or otherwise discourage local customs to suit their own goals. Mr. Taria—in the Cook Islands it is rude to refer to someone by name without it being preceded by a polite form of address—is helping islanders rediscover the common sense of their ancestors in maintaining a balance with the island’s fragile ecosystem. It is in large part due to his dedication to the preservation of the past that visitors nowadays can see Maori sacred grounds, the marae, which were previously lost to the forest.

A morning tour begins with a thorough explanation of Cook Islands Maori life and an anecdote about how the stone monuments, now easily visited, were unknown for decades to local adults even while they remained a favorite place for childhood games. Mr. Taria came to know of their existence as a wee-one bounding over what seemed to be vine-covered boulders. He returned as an adult and spent several years helping to uncover the marae by hand to avoid damaging the overgrown artifacts. The cultural tour ends with an umu lunch cooked in traditional earth ovens covered by hibiscus leaves that impart their own nutty flavor into the food.

From Eating To Dining
Though the cultures of the South Pacific are not generally renowned for their culinary expertise, the Cook Islands lives up to its name nowhere more than at Café Tupuna’s, a small and highly personal restaurant where food is exquisitely prepared by owner Tupuna and her staff. The casual atmosphere of the open-air dining room and lush garden belie the sophistication of flavor combinations emanating from the kitchen. Utilizing the fresh ingredients that form the basis of local cuisine, Miss Tupuna is most famous for her curries and chili-lime fish, but an array of other tempting dishes is regularly featured on the rotating menu. The overall experience here is not as earthy as an umu lunch, where large banana leaves are used as plates, but it is still fun to see the faces of other patrons as they take the first bite of what is to many of them a flurry of new food sensations.

Eating on Aitutaki is also fun on the beach at Pacific Resort, where feet enjoy the sand while mouths enjoy the sandwiches, fresh salads, ceviche and extraordinarily delicious coconut cake for dessert. As in other isolated destinations where contemporary travelers expect culinary nirvana, local efforts to take visitors’ palates beyond boiled taro root are paying off. Previously the most common presentation of taro—a South Pacific staple—was a glutinous white purée. But these days taro is being dressed up in guises ranging from spiced chips to poultry stuffing and even sweet pudding.

Medicine In Bloom
Both in the kitchen and out, leaves, flowers and plants play important roles in local life. The Cook Islands’ history of traditional medicine continues in modern-day society and now extends to more generic health products rather than just medical applications. The Secret Garden is a great place to gain insight into the importance and value, both cultural and economic, of plants in Cook Island culture. The Secret Garden is the work of Swiss Bill Tschan, a decades-long resident of Aitutaki who has cultivated a huge assortment of botanical specimens. Stringent regulation of the importation of plants obliged Mr. Tschan to grow every single plant and tree in The Secret Garden from seeds. An authority on the use of botanical remedies to combat illnesses, Mr. Tschan is a walking encyclopedia of knowledge. He suggests, for example, placing a few soursop leaves under the pillow as a cure for insomnia.

Sleeping In Style
It can be a revelation for some people to discover just how well they can sleep in the hush of silence (even without soursop leaves). Pacific Resort Aitutaki, a member of Small Luxury Hotels, offers sumptuous accommodations in a fine setting at the edge of the lagoon. Happily, the resort reaches the level of comfort and service expected by demanding travelers. Spacious villas with separate living and sleeping rooms suit the location admirably; showers are similarly large and built to be enjoyed à deux.

A favorite among titans of industry and entertainment, Rumours of Rarotonga is the place where artistic types from Hollywood and London come looking for peace and quiet. A small ensemble of individual villas set in their own gardens with pools, Rumours’ discreet street presence gives little indication of the superb accommodations and exceptional service within.

Rumours’ villas are private homes away from home, with two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a spacious central living room graced by an indoor waterwall, plus a fully equipped kitchen that need never be used by guests who prefer to employ the services of a private chef. In the Beachfront Platinum Villa, a smart design provides both sunny and shaded outdoor areas any time of the day. The garden’s waterfall into the pool provides a relaxing sonic respite—the only sirens here emerge from the sea, even then only during a peaceful night’s tropical dreaming. The Beachfront Platinum Villa’s screening room makes for an enjoyable place to rest up between kayaking on the lagoon, taking in the views from the hammock or evaluating the quality of the locally produced Matutu beer.

Further relaxation comes at the Rumours spa, where sublime Vichy treatments wash away any cares that weren’t already rubbed out by bodyscrubs and massages administered by expert therapists. Rumours is especially popular with a certain set of British visitors, being as far away from London’s social scene as geographically and culturally possible. Some of the West End’s most creative theatrical types come to the Cook Islands to trade the complexities of urban living for the simplicity of bare feet in the sand in order to free their minds from the congestion of Shaftsbury Avenue. Not that the Brits have the islands to themselves. Hollywood screenwriters have also discovered the quintessence of the South Pacific without sacrifice in cuisine or threadcount.

Shades Of Black
Larger than Aitutaki, Rarotonga is the country’s main island and center of commerce and government. Rarotonga has its own picturesque lagoon, this one on the island’s edge; in fact, most everything on Rarotonga is located along the island’s perimeter, its middle being left to the dense vegetation of emerald mountains looming above an aquamarine coastline. All visitors to the Cook Islands arriving by plane land at Rarotonga International Airport, it makes sense to visit the main island before or after a stay on Aitutaki.

The Punanga Nui Market is worth a look around on a Saturday morning when it is at its most bustling. Amid a congenially raucous atmosphere, everything from succulent papayas to esteemed handicrafts, stone carvings, batik prints and shiny pearls vie for attention with an ensemble of traditional musicians and dancers performing on a small stage right in the middle of the action. Music and dance are integral to Cook Island culture and can be observed more comprehensively at Te Vara Nui Cultural Village, whose tour, dinner and show offer entertaining insight into Cook Islands history.

For shoppers, the most precious Cook Islands souvenirs are the beautiful black pearls cultivated in the waters of Manihiki Island. Connoisseurs admire the deep luster and exceptional surface quality of Cook Islands black pearls, which are among the world’s rarest. Several companies create unique pieces to complement the strands of flawless specimens (they’re actually more a hematite gray than black, with yellow, green or pink undertones). Artisan Tokerau Jim creates unique jewelry by carving designs onto the surface of the pearls using dental instruments. Mr. Jim said these tools, plus immense concentration, are required to carve his abstract South Pacific motifs.

Although their name conjures up images of fine cuisine, the name Cook Islands does not come from the kitchen. They were in fact named in honor of Captain James Cook, that roving British seaman who sailed around nearly the entire Pacific Ocean from Alaska to Australia. Deeming them unworthy of a stop, the captain bypassed the Cook Islands, merely acknowledging their existence in his log without stopping to investigate. Sophisticated travelers today do not make that same mistake.

The Glamorous Coral Route
One of the most evocative sights in the Aitutaki lagoon is a vestige of the old jetty on tiny Akaiami, used by the Tasman Empire Air Line (TEAL) when Solent flying boats flew The Coral Route from Auckland to Tahiti via Suva, Apia and Aitutaki. The Coral Route was considered one of the most glamorous air routes in the world. In an age when flying was still an exclusive experience, TEAL’s Solents had only one class of service—First. On the plane’s two decks, a maximum of 45 passengers enjoyed spacious seating areas and a dining room where meals were prepared by an onboard chef. The Solents flew only a few thousand feet above the water, thus providing stunning views of the South Pacific as the aerial adventure continued with afternoon tea, lavish dinners and sightseeing at each stop. Akaiami was a morning stop where breakfast was followed by a dip in the lagoon before continuing the journey.

Plane Facts
Air New Zealand offers full-service Business Class nonstop flights from Los Angeles To Rarotonga every Sunday. Domestic Air Rarotonga takes passengers onward to Aitutaki and other islands in the Cook group. Air Rarotonga also offers private flightseeing tours on demand. Rumours of Rarotonga can arrange a private jet for its guests from anywhere in the world.

photos courtesy of pacific resort hotel group, pacific resort aitutaki, rumours of rarotonga & cook island tourism

Robert La Bua
Author: Robert La Bua

Endless Montauk

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:
Photography: Kevin Michael Schmitz
Photography: Kevin Michael Schmitz

ABOVE: Mariana at Montauk Yacht Club
Gottex Nouvelle collection bikini top and high-waist bottom

Mariana and Jayden at Swallow East
Splendid Pop Geo string bikini, Blum’s
Gottex Beach Goddess blue bandeau bikini
Nassau woven beach bag, Lotus Vintage

Jayden at The Montauk Beach House
Cynthia Rowley red floral wetsuit

A.Ché one-piece with crocheted detail at hip, Blum’s
Urban Zen rounded coil leather bracelet

Athleta Shirrendipity halter bikini top and Shirred high-waist bottom

Accessories by Urban Zen:
Twisted mahogany leather necklaces, leather and gold layered cuff, natural oversized ring

Kenneth Cole bandeau cutout one-piece, Blum’s

Vitamin A Stella Stripe Natalie Mitered maillot, Great Shapes
Eric Javits Va Voom oversized tri-color visor

Vintage structured handbag, Lotus Vintage

Cynthia Rowley blue-flower molded bikini

Journey Surf 9-foot 2-inch hand-shaped longboard with black and white “fishbone” glassing, mahogany and mindi wood veneer finish with hand stamped Bali batik fabric inlay. Check out for more custom hand-shaped boards.

Shopping Directory:
Blum’s, Patchogue (631) 475-0136
Complements, Bridgehampton (631) 537-7770
Great Shapes, Roslyn Heights (516) 484-4555
Lotus Vintage, Huntington (631) 470-7795
Urban Zen, Sag Harbor (631) 725-6176

Shot on location around town in Montauk:
Montauk Yacht Club, 32 Star Island Road
(631) 668-3100,

The Montauk Beach House, 55 South Elmwood Avenue
(631) 668-2112,

Swallow East, 474 West Lake Drive
(631) 668-8344,

Photo Assistant: William Bert
Stylist: John Slattery, Aryana Herz & Nicole McConnach
Hair: Dora Roberti
Makeup: Carlo Longo

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Portrait of a Supercar: 2014 SRT Viper TA

Author: William K. Gock | Published:
Super Viper TA up in your grill.
Super Viper TA up in your grill.

It’s going to take more than your usual charm to keep me under control. Have you learned to syncopate your eyes, hands and feet in precise rhythm? Then together we’ll strike, taking any tarmac or twisting stretch we find. But handle me with the intent to showboat and you’re bound to get bitten, my lovely. I’m the 2014 SRT Viper Time Attack (TA), an even sharper fanged, Mopar race-laced variant of the snake that’s already notoriously hard to tame.

Like a serpent about to assail his prey, my hood stretches wide before tapering down to an agile frame. Underneath is nestled the same pushrod 20-valve aluminum block V10 from my more common species; a deliciously cruel power plant from Dodge’s SRT division, good for 640 naturally-aspirated horses, not to mention a frame-twisting 600 pound-feet of torque. You were expecting more? With those numbers, I can already swallow competitors whole—without unhinging my jaw. No, instead of making me even more of a beast to master, my masters had your sinfully sweet driving delight in mind. Every piece of skin shed and scaly hide groomed is not about upping power; it’s about making this power even more focused, targeted, venomous.

At all four corners, I sit perched on model-exclusive Pirelli P Zero Corsas—track inspired to give my underbelly maximum traction and stopping power, keeping me from lunging out of line. My devilish smirk has been amended with a pair of subtle, aerodynamic carbon fiber splitters that are almost invisible given their proximity to the Earth—yet paired with a new rear spoiler, their triangulation routes air in a way that delivers a fierce 460 lbs of down force at 150mph.

That’s up a touch from the base model’s 75 lbs at the same speed, wouldn’t you say? This enhancement is not for street racers that treat Deer Park Avenue like an NHRA drag strip. These are serious, track-tried modifications that—along with a more aggressive suspension, stiffer roll bars, and carbon-fiber engine-bay brace—are meant to help shave seconds off your lap times. I’m not saying I can’t get you to your favorite track in comfort, but keep in mind that city or highway, I’m a very petrol-thirsty reptile.

Being swallowed up inside my belly is not the hot, dark, eighth level of hell that it once was. My predecessors were admittedly little more than an engine, seats and a steering wheel draped in daunting snakeskin. My confines, though still tight and only suitable for driver and co-driver, have reached a level of refinement that is commensurate with my price tag. From my multi-ringed gauge cluster, to sport-trimmed wheel, to short-throw shifter, I’m a serpent poised to strike. And it seems as if I’ve recently dined on a few plush hides…and perhaps a tailor or two—my inner body scales and center console boast style—stealthy, sleek, sexy style. Like the sunset delineates the coming night, a bright orange trail of stitching traces my interior.

The heat of this setting sun can extend to my outer skin, too. SRT will only breed 159 serpents of my kind, the majority in exclusive orange (93 to be exact). My 66 remaining brethren will be split evenly between equally mysterious shades of black and white. And while my enchanting basket of add-ons will be available in full over the Mopar parts counter, building me à la carte will also have you miss out on the numbered dash plate, a testament to the world that you have what it takes to charm the likes of me into submission. But we shall ssssssee about that my lovely, won’t we?

Vital STATs
Engine: 20-Valve Aluminum Block V10
0-60: 3.2 seconds
Max Speed: 193mph 
Max Power: 640hp @ 6200rpm
Max Torque: 600lb-ft @ 5000rpm 
Base Price: $120,480

William K. Gock
Author: William K. Gock
William K. Gock is the automotive content contributor for Playboy Magazine. His car and motorcycle reviews can also be found in numerous national print and online publications. Born and raised in New York's Hudson Valley, Gock currently lives with his wife and son in Babylon.

The Best Week May 2014

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published: Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Spring fever? Yeah, us too. Make the best of it with this abbreviated look at what’s happening this month, pulled from the pages of this issue. Go ahead, have the best week.

May is for Mother’s Day and stunning Objects of Mom’s Desire abound (starting on 28). Use any Sunday this month for a unique brunch (try Parlay Gastropub’s red velvet pancakes) or elegant and classic (The Carltun). Better yet, get the goods and present them at brunch.

Play hooky to catch the Mets at Citi Field. At the very least, get color commentary at home from former Mets’ pitcher Ron Darling. If the Monday of your choosing is the 19th, snag a ticket to Darling’s golf fundraiser.

Time to bowl. Bocce, that is. This gentlemanly game is getting some life injected into it with the hipster crowd). Grab a pallino and get rolling (facial hair optional). Soak weary limbs in a little Bathemactics afterwards.

Gotta have more cowbell, baby? Painters’ Restaurant in Brookhaven has Blue Oyster Cult drummer Jules Radino rocking open mic every week. “He’s burning, he’s burning, he’s burning for you” every Wednesday.

The flowers are in full bloom in every sense of the word at Nassau County Museum’s Garden Party, revel at garden imagery by masters such as Chagall, O’Keeffe and Mapplethorpe. While in Roslyn, check out Besito’s locally-sourced tacos.

Go West! Find tranquility at Noguchi Museum’s sculpture garden (in Queens and on page 39). Next, hit the hard stuff. We’re talking the weird, wild, rare and experimental at Brooklyn’s Berl’s Poetry Shop (be amazed on page 40).

It’s time to go out and play. For inspiration, read up on the record-setting athlete with a prosthetic, Amy Palmiero-Winters. Follow suit by joining a team. Adult leagues like volleyball and tennis are open for registration.

3 can’t miss events

May 2-4
Long Island Marathon Weekend

Eisenhower Park, East Meadow & Mitchel Athletic Complex, Uniondale
Run, cheer or just enjoy the food, music and festivities of this annual race weekend. It starts with the Sports & Fitness Expo, open for exhibitors and walk-in race registrations. Running events include a full and half marathon, 10K and 5K races, a 1-mile run and a kids’ fun run.

May 19
Ron Darling Foundation Celebrity Golf Classic

Seawane Club, Hewlett Harbor
This former Met hurler’s foundation regularly contributes money to research for diabetes and to aid local communities in the tristate area. “Real money to real people with real needs” is their motto. The event includes a cocktail reception and dinner. Each golfer receives a ticket to the celebrity-guest party at Citi Field in August.

May 30
Inaugural Casino Night

Presented by Jets defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson’s T.E.A.M. 96 Foundation, this charity event benefits high school student-athletes, 10 of whom will be awarded college scholarships. Expect appearances by current and former Jets players, music, a silent auction, food and of course gaming tables.

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Long Island’s Addiction

Heroin hits home

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published: Saturday, April 26, 2014

Two years ago, I was a terrible person. Some would say I still am. Back then I was 146 pounds and 6-feet-tall, shooting $400 worth of heroin a day. I was raking in $3,000 a week pushing sleeves of this junk on the streets. When I wasn’t peddling, I was robbing houses, holding up banks and liquor stores, stealing thousands of dollars from my parents just so I could keep up with my spiraling habit. I was 21-years-old. I was dying. I was killing my family. My family was killing me.

But then suddenly, there were no more turns in the road. I got caught and thrown into jail. I was a sloppy thief and if I didn’t get snagged I’d be dead right now. I know this because most of my closest friends are buried in the cemeteries near my town. In fact, just a mile down the road from where we used to play hide-and-seek, my best friend’s gravestone sits. She always said she was going to be a doctor and now she’s nothing. I put her there. I sold her that last shot and I walk around with that every day.

Where am I now?

I’m at Hope House. I’ve been here for six months. It’s a free, long-term recovery center for young addicts tucked away in the hills of Port Jefferson. I’ll be here for another 12 months learning to live, to feel again. There are 40 beds and 40 guys here and a waiting list that’s 8 months long. People care about each other in this house; it’s a community where you can reflect and grow and even eat a decent meal. For a full year I had to beg to get admitted. Every week I’d call from jail. I even wrote letters to Father Frank, who started the program over 30 years ago and still runs it himself. When I finally got in, I remember crying on the phone to my mother. I hadn’t cried in years. They were letting me out of jail; it was a second chance—a place where I could try to make sense of the disaster I’d become.

My story begins in Sayville, the small, picturesque South Shore community where every face is familiar. Most families here have two cars, two kids, a dog and that proverbial picket fence. My father ran
a textile business and made $200,000 a year and my mother pulled in another $100,000 as a teacher. I held a 90 average at school and was the captain of my varsity tennis team. I had a job at my local pizza place. A beautiful brunette once loved me. The world was mine to make as I wanted.

Then the pills started and this “world” began to fall apart. Why do any of us start? Because we’re kids, curious, ignorant, willful, impressionable, insecure and self-destructive. It could’ve been pot or beer, but our parents’ medicine cabinets overflowed with pills and we figured if they were gobbling this stuff then how bad could it be? So we ransacked our homes and started throwing weekly pill parties with Vicodin, oxycodone, Roxys… anything we could find. And from that very first pill, that warm, wicked rush, that sudden absence of inhibitions, everything seemed better: Conversations, sports, work, screwing, sleeping, driving. Within a few months, I couldn’t even get through a class without getting lit. No one knew anything. If they asked, I was just tired.

But the problem was: I wasn’t the only one hooked. I’d say 3 out of every 10 kids at school were tangled up in this opiate-craze. It wasn’t just Sayville. Head over to Miller Place, Dix Hills, Great Neck, Wantagh, Garden City, anywhere on the Island… And we weren’t the typical wayward addicts everyone imagines. We were athletes, honors students, cheerleaders—the kids you’d invite over to your house for a chicken cutlet dinner.

Soon my little pill fascination escalated into a full-blown problem. And when the street prices rose from $5 to $40 a pill, we couldn’t afford our 20 pill a day habits anymore. That’s when the transition to a cheaper, more powerful opiate seemed like the right idea. Heroin, at $8 a bag, was now cheaper than beer. In no time Manhattan was importing the stuff by the carload and soon we were all nodding off in our parents’ basements.

A couple of months elapsed and 5 bags skipped to 10 a day, then 30 and so on. I went to detox centers, rehabs, outpatient programs, South Oaks, it didn’t matter. It just got worse. Overdoses and funerals cropped up, slews of robberies ensued. By the end of that year, I even took a bat to my dealer’s head so I could snatch the rest of his stash and a few hundred dollars. Then two towns over my friend’s 19-year-old sister hung herself from a tree in her front yard. That was the third suicide in two months. The newspapers started to chime in, but we kept pushing forward. The drug demanded it. You have to listen to your body, your disease, or else you get junk-sick: The super-flu, shivers, vomiting, itching, body aches, paranoia and hallucinations.

I remember the first time I woke up with slops of jelly on my chest, a shouting doctor hovering over me, shocking my flatline back to life. Within an hour of getting out of that hospital, completely withdrawing, I was right back at it, stabbing the black stuff into my veins. That was even after seeing my own mother howling in the emergency room, the horror stretched across her face, those spidery lines circling her eyes. I was destroying everyone. I knew this. But I also knew I had to get high.

Right after that near-death hospital visit, no one in my family said a word to me. I was getting high every day, sleeping all hours while my parents sunk deeper into denial. They became drones, dragging through life, mechanical and empty. They even became kinder to me than before all this madness began. I was given money when I needed it. They made excuses when I crashed cars, got fired from jobs and lifted jewelry from their bedroom. I was dying and my all-too-petrified parents were too embarrassed to admit it. Because their storybook life had to continue, they presented another illusion to the outside world, one that said “everything is all right.” How could I blame them? They were just trying to protect me, right?

Then there was jail. After spending nearly two years high every day, I was now desperate enough to get caught. On a whim, I decided to rob a bank. I needed quick cash to get high, but I had no idea what I was doing. I wrote a note demanding $5,000, walked inside a bank, passed it off to the clerk and she gave me my 5 Gs. It was too damn easy.

But for whatever reason, I lingered in that bank a little longer than I was supposed to. Staring up at the piercing lights, gazing into the surrounding crowd, I couldn’t believe what I had just done. When I ran outside there was a parking lot full of cops pointing their pistols at me. Please shoot me, I thought. All I craved was the simplicity of death. Instead, I was thrown in jail and Newsday slapped my gaunt, ugly mug in their paper. Suddenly, I was a local celebrity and my little town was now buzzing about the monster they gave birth to.

But I wasn’t the only one. There were others out there too and the community began to perk up. Put those losers in jail, they all quietly shouted from behind their tall, white fences. But wasn’t I your star athlete? Your A student? Didn’t I take your daughter to the prom?

The judge gave me three years and I was locked up at Suffolk County Jail, given a cell, a uniform and a number. My dignity, privacy and identity were wiped away. Jail is something you never get used to. It claws at your soul. You vanish. Time slows to a crawl and yet days, months, fly by. I remember after six months, when my head started to clear, I’d wake up in a cold sweat. It was always that same dream: A crisp blue spring day and I was at the park with my parents. I must’ve been four or five years old as they pushed me on a swing. I was giggling. My mother’s movements were light and free and I could hear my father’s warm voice, “Up to the moon we go!” Then I’d be staring at those concrete walls again.

Right now, I’m at Hope House, trying to do the right thing. Life is simple here. There are no distractions, no cell phones, no Internet, no Facebook. It’s just people listening to each other. I have real friends in this place. We share breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. We go to NA meetings daily, meet with counselors all week, volunteer at homeless shelters and take on regular chores. We read books and write in journals. This morning I sent my parents a letter. I plan on attending college next semester. I want to be an architect. These days I even laugh. I cry. I feel. My family loves me and I love them. I’m living again. I like being clean. I like who I am.

And I’m only here because of Father Frank and the donations that keep this place going. It’s not just me, who can afford $30,000 a month for rehab? That’s why all these kids are rolling up in coffins. There’s nowhere for them to go and the insurance companies and the government are not helping. This is a long-term problem but most places try to fix it with short-term answers. Twenty-eight days isn’t enough for any addict to recover. Even after I finish this 18-month program, there are still no guarantees. I know this. Every addict knows this. For the rest of my life I’m going to have to confront my disease. So what happens when I finally go home and all my friends are still getting lit? What about when I visit my best friend’s grave? Will I be able to cope? I hope so. I want to. But how can I be sure?

This epidemic is bigger than any one of us and it’s happening right here. Every day someone on Long Island dies from heroin and if it’s not your child, then it’s your brother, your friend, your neighbor. Is it going to take finding some congressman’s kid face down in a bathroom with a needle in his arm before anything changes? I hope not. Because no one wants to live this way. I was once a good kid. I just happened to make some really bad choices.

For more about Hope House or to help support Father Frank’s efforts, please visit

LICADD has been providing attention and referral services through intervention, education and guidance for more than 57 years. Help support them at their annual Angel Ball on May 12th.

Addiction by the Numbers
words: chris connolly

The approximate percentage by which US drug overdose death rates increased in the last quarter century.

The approximate percentage by which admissions for opiate dependence treatment for ages 25-34 increased in New York City between 2007 and 2012.

The number of Americans who reported using prescription pain relievers to get high for the first time in the year 2010-almost 5,500 new users per day.

Percentage by which heroin-related deaths increased in New York City between 2010 and 2012.

Percentage by which drug store robberies increased nationwide between 2006 and 2011.

Approximate percentage of prescription pain pill abusers that get their supply from friends and relatives, according tot he US National Survey on Drug Use.

121 and 120
Heroin deaths in Nassau and Suffolk counties in 2013 and 2012, respectively the two highest figures ever recorded.

Approximate cost of one bag of heroin on Long Island due to its proximity to New York City.

Approximate cost of one bag of heroin in rural tri-state areas and New England, where the supply chain is more convoluted.

(516) 747-2606
Number for the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. If you or someone you know is using heroin, call for help right now.

Sources: Center for Disease Control, CDC, New York Mayor’s Task Force on Prescription Painkiller Abuse, CDC, NYC Department of Health, USDEA, US National Survey on Drug Use, Newsday, Newsday, Newsday

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Profound Jewels

Alex and Ani welcomes spring with carnivals, caravans and Scent 7

Author: Lisa Heffernan | Published:

One of the fastest growing private companies in America, Alex and Ani was born in the former costume jewelry capital of the world. When founder/creative director Carolyn Rafaelian was growing up in Cranston, RI, she would help out at her father’s jewelry factory, Cinerama. “I’d play around and create my own pieces,” recalled Rafaelian. “Eventually, I created cocktail rings, which were the first official Alex and Ani pieces in 2004.” Still based in RI, the eco-friendly business, named after Rafaelian’s first two daughters, has helped revive the industry by obtaining recycled materials from local mills for its signature expandable wire bangles. Along with the wildly popular customizable charm bracelets, rings, chain necklaces and endless hoop earrings, Alex and Ani has branched out into other areas. They have an app on the way, two Teas and Javas cafés in operation, a candle collection and a new beauty line in 40 U.S. stores and over 1,500 retailers worldwide. In the company’s book, Path of Life, customers explain why they wear Alex and Ani products, which are filled with positive energy (involving shamans and physicists) to empower the individuals who wear them. The spiritual Rafaelian discussed spring lines and the vital force of her lifestyle brand.

Long Island Pulse: How do you define positive energy and how are your products infused with it?
Carolyn Rafaelian:
I design pieces that I want to wear, things that hold positive energy. The ancients called it chi or prana. Today’s science knows it as vital force, the natural energy that supports life. each product is infused with positive energy in three important ways. It’s manufactured with positive intention in carefully selected American factories. The symbols featured in our designs carry their own energy and are accompanied by thoughtfully crafted and meticulously researched meaning. And each design is positively intended to empower the wearer and reflect the unique qualities of the individual.

Pulse: What are your best-selling bangles right now?
Path of Life, Lotus Peace Petals and Because I Love You Mom. These charms portray—with integrity, symmetry and beauty—what Alex and Ani is all about. The thoughts, prayers and intentions that go into our products are coming from a place of love.

Pulse: What’s new in your jewelry line for spring and summer?
We’ve recently launched Natural Wonders and Carnivals and Caravans—a nod to the whimsy of American traveling carnivals. Both collections are playful, bright and ideal for summer weather. They perfectly complement the spring trends of natural elements and earthy tones. The 2014 collections are full of energy, corresponding to the powerful Chinese Year of the Horse.

Pulse: Why is your new beauty line of soaps, body creams, mists and perfume called Scent 7?
The name was inspired by the spiritual number seven, which categorizes many wonders of the natural world: Days in a week, biblical days of creation, colors in the rainbow and notes on a musical scale. The collection represents the four elements: Earth, air, fire, water; and the soul’s three directions: Above, below, within. Crafted with harmonious energies and essential oils like Tarocco blood orange and pomegranate, the hypoallergenic ingredients balance the body’s chi.

Pulse: 20 percent of each Charity by Design bangle sale goes to the organization it represents, such as Stand Up To Cancer. What nonprofits do you work with in New York?
: Our Charity by Design department currently works with Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, public charter school network KIPP NYC and generationOn, a global youth service movement.

Pulse: Last year Alex and Ani generated over $230 million in revenue. Why do you think your products are so popular with celebrities and others?
Alex and Ani is about love, integrity and positive energy. People are connecting with our brand on a subconscious level. They’re feeling the energy that we give off. They believe in who we are and what we’re about. Connecting with a brand on a soulful level is powerful and our customers feel and experience that.

Pulse: Your CEO, Giovanni Feroce, recently stepped down. You’ve said you’d like his replacement to take the company to the next level. What might this entail?
We’ll be launching a line of small leather goods, including clutches and wallets in the fall. We’re exploring various opportunities to move forward as a lifestyle brand. But Alex and Ani will always stay true to its roots. We will continue to inspire, spread positive energy and create eco-friendly pieces made in America. The possibilities are endless.

Lisa Heffernan
Author: Lisa Heffernan
Lisa Heffernan received a master’s in Communications from Emerson College before moving to New York. She has worked for publications such as: Details, Nylon, Rolling Stone, Time Out, Newport Mercury, American Songwriter and W magazine.

Fire Starters

Upgrade the simple act of cooking over live fire

Author: Sal Vaglica | Published: Friday, April 25, 2014

Memorial Day symbolically kicks off summer, but for some the sweetest season can’t start without the sound of something sizzling and the smell of charcoal. Grilling, while primitive in concept, doesn’t have to be so in execution. To get the most out of it we rounded up three grills that feature smart designs that elevate the fire-meets-meat (and the occasional vegetable) experience. Please pass the ketchup.

1) On the go: Stok Gridiron
Despite the name this grill is equally at home on the beach, back patio or campsite. A built-in stand and rugged wheels make this collapsible model easy to drag anywhere and store. Under the gas grill’s elongated hood are porcelain-coated cast-iron grates with a unique removable section that can be replaced with accessories like a pizza stone, griddle or vertical chicken roaster. $200;

2) Weeknight dinner: Napoleon PRO22K kettle grill
The charcoal-fueled workhorse of backyard cookouts is upgraded from top to bottom, starting with a hinged, clamshell-style lid that lifts easily without dragging a forearm over the fire. The beefy cast-iron grate holds heat better than stan- dard steel while the diffuser below pushes heat out to the sides of the kettle, reducing hot spots. Tabs inside the steel ring hold the grate at three different levels for precise heating. $280;

3) The summer party: David Rockwell by Caliber
Guests gather to interact with the cook, not watch his back as he tends to dinner. This unit is designed with a retractable top to encourage a more social form of grilling. Everyone can enjoy an open vantage point from any side of the gas grill. You can even let the picky ones tend to their own food, there’s plenty of tabletop for loading and unloading dinner and storage below on a Brazilian cherry shelf. $9,500;

Sal Vaglica
Author: Sal Vaglica

GMOs: How Far Will Big Ag Go?

Author: John Capone | Published:
words: john capone  |  illustration: matt hollister
words: john capone | illustration: matt hollister

Whether we are on the cusp of an agrichemical age or already chin deep into one seems to be a point less pressing than how we will actually handle food labeling. Advocates are lining up both for and against transparency, but it seems the devil is in the details and he (it) is pulling out all the stops.

What’s the last food you put in your mouth? Where did it come from? Who gave it to you? Who prepared it? How was it processed? Who grew it? What did they put on it? Where did the seed come from? Who planted it. Was it engineered or modified from what nature intended? Who engineered it?

Unless you know the answers to all these questions and more it’s almost unavoidable that in the very recent past you’ve eaten a GMO (genetically modified organism).

Thanks to our collective cultural fetishization of food purveyors and market gardeners it’s easy to think we’re living in some sort of pastoral golden age. One in which all our produce is grown locally on organic farms where plucky anthropomorphic pigs are doted on by overly protective yet highly intelligent and cloyingly precocious arachnids. After all, Williams-Sonoma does sell a home butter kit. But this is far from the truth.

Despite the fact that there are an increasing number of highly visible tiny-scale micro producers, the agro-industrial complex grows larger by the year. For every tiny rooftop Brooklyn beekeeper, it seems 10 small-to-midsize farmers succumb to Big Ag. The giant international mega-conglomerate food corps keeps getting more mega and the legitimate small family farm continues to become more and more a relic of the Frank Capra sepia-toned past.

You’ve likely heard this line before: Monsanto is the devil. “Barack Obama,” you might shriek, “signed a bill authored by the devil himself.” It refers to the so-called “Monsanto protection act,” which was heavily influenced by agrichemical company lobbyists. The act sought to streamline FDA approval of GMO products and side-step opposition to bioengineering, but it was killed in Congress at the end of the year. GMOs might make you think of pink Technicolor rodents and beanstalks Jack would envy, but the truth about GMOs is mostly much more mundane than all that. Monsanto might be the devil though.

There’s an argument to be made that GMO foods represent significant scientific progress. If you’ve ever been to Disney’s Tomorrowland and seen the animatronic people talking about the farms of the future where crops grow in drought conditions and science wipes out world hunger, well you see where this is going.

But, are those who oppose GMOs just Luddites? Isn’t all farming and food production technology to some degree, as George Orwell pointed out in his book The Road to Wigan Pier?

“A human being is primarily a bag for putting food into; the other functions and faculties may be more godlike, but in point of time they come afterwards,” Orwell wrote. “I think it could be plausibly argued that changes of diet are more important than changes of dynasty or even of religion. The Great War, for instance, could never have happened if tinned food had not been invented. And the history of the past four hundred years in England would have been immensely different if it had not been for the introduction of root-crops and various other vegetables at the end of the Middle Ages…”

But these technologies that Orwell outlined in 1937 met with no opposition at the times of their introduction. SPAM is every bit the abomination against nature that a magenta rat is, yet better living through chemistry now faces fierce resistance even though SPAM, at the time of its popularization during WWII, was “food for victory,” keeping our GIs fed.

If The Graduate were made today Benjamin would not be told the one word was “plastics.” If Say Anything hit theaters tomorrow, Lloyd Dobler would not prattle on about not selling anything, buying anything or processing anything. As a career, what he wouldn’t want to do would be grow anything modified or engineered or modify anything grown or processed or process anything modified, engineered or grown.

However, the debate before legislators and voters isn’t about whether we should or should not create a Jurassic Park of corn and soy.

The front in the fight against the devil right now is not an argument of science, or even agriculture. It’s about regulation and a bid for transparency, a seemingly sober drive to have foods containing genetically modified ingredients labeled as such. It’s about enabling consumers to make a choice about the types of agriculture they wish to support with their dollars and the types of foods they want to put into their mouths.

“The use of GMOs has spread at an alarming rate, with little or no regulation,” said Scott Chaskey, director of Quail Hill Farm in Amagansett and author of the recent book Seedtime. According to Chaskey, a labeling law is going to happen; he has testified before New York state on the subject of GMO transparency. “It’s just a matter of time. But there’s so much money on the other side.”

Big Ag famously spent tens of millions of dollars and defeated labeling ballot initiatives in California and Washington state. But an opinion poll conducted by The New York Times in 2013 showed the public is overwhelmingly behind labeling laws, with 93 percent supporting some form of labeling. The devil, as they say, is in the details. Despite the support for some sort of labeling there is widespread disagreement over exactly how it should be done. Which is why Monsanto could march into California in 2012 when GMO labeling was on the ballot and create enough confusion ($70 million worth) that not even half the voters would support prop 37. Then Monsanto did it again in Washington state.

In New York, legislative bills A.3525 and S.3835 seek to make labeling of foods for retail sale mandatory when they contain genetically modified ingredients and genetically engineered seeds. The bills, being driven by Assembly member Linda Rosenthal (D) and Senator Ken LaValle (R), are moving through the legislature, but New York faces the same battles that took place in California and Washington. “It’s David versus Goliath,” Chaskey said.

“The opposition is incredibly deep-pocketed,” said Stacie Orell, founder of GMO Free New York. “There are multiple lobbyists roaming the halls in Albany every day.”

In a memo of opposition to the Rosenthal Assembly bill signed by a coalition of agribusiness and biotech trade organizations last June, the case against labeling was made. It’s based on the three tiers that have defeated similar initiatives in the past: Labeling laws are going to bring lawsuits, science said it’s safe and it’s going to be expensive. In the case of this last point, the memo claimed that the annual grocery bill for a family of four would increase $450 to $500—a figure based on a report funded by opposition to Initiative 522 in Washington state. Still, an independent study by the non-partisan Washington State Academy of Sciences made no such claims.

“They’ve used [the same tactics] to scare farmers,” said Orell, “and now they’re using them to scare retailers…it’s just BS.”

Currently the industry supports voluntary labeling of GMO foods and retailer Whole Foods, for one, has pledged to have all products containing GMOs labeled by 2018. “It’s our hope that statewide initiatives such as this will lead to further transparency for shoppers and ultimately, one uniform set of federal standards regarding the labeling of genetically modified foods,” said Whole Foods spokesperson Michael Sinatra.

Proponents of GMO transparency would like a federal regulation mandating coherent labeling, which is common in Europe. Currently at least 20 states, most of them on the coasts, have some form of labeling legislation in the works. With the exception of Vermont, most of the northeastern states have triggers in place that would prevent the legislation from going into effect until surrounding states also passed similar legislation. Connecticut has passed such a “trigger” law. The utility of this is two-fold. For one, it’s more practical to have the region under similar labeling regulation so manufacturers don’t have to have different packaging for every state. Second, Monsanto has threatened to sue states that enact “unconstitutional” labeling laws. The states have to assume there’s strength in numbers.

In contrast to what is happening at the state level, federal regulation seems to be moving in the other direction. In April, Representative Mike Pompeo (R-Kansas) introduced what is somewhat misleadingly titled “The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014,” which has the support of biotech and agribusiness giants and is widely seen to protect their interests. (It’s worth noting Pompeo’s efforts are supported by the Koch brothers, the Republican megabackers.) Already, pro-labeling groups have derisively renamed the proposed legislation “deny Americans the right to know” act (DARK).

Ultimately these early fights over labeling set the stage for what will certainly become a pitched battle over reining in (or at least examining) the use of GMO crops. Monsanto, Big Ag and the biotech industries see this as wedge issue, one that could open the door to closer inspection of their practices. And they’ve spent a great deal to make sure that doesn’t happen. Then there are the mono-crops that GMOs make possible. These massive fields of one crop go on uninterrupted for thousands of acres, however questions abound about their impact on the ecosystem—many blame honeybee colony collapse on this practice, for example.

And many more, like Chaskey, remain skeptical about the process altogether. “The reasoning behind releasing GMOs is absurd to me. It’s using mythology to make food.”

John Capone
Author: John Capone
John Capone is an expatriate New Yorker navigating the wilds of Northern California. His writing has appeared in New York magazine, MEDIA, Radar, and BlackBook, and he is currently the editor of

C’est Chic, Seychelles

After a winter like this one, the thought of a luxurious getaway on a tropical island far, far away has never been more appealin

Author: Robert La Bua | Published: Thursday, April 24, 2014
Cozy up off the African Coast
photos courtesy of raffles praslin & kempinski seychelles resort
Cozy up off the African Coast photos courtesy of raffles praslin & kempinski seychelles resort

Does the idea of a private villa on a bluff overlooking a dozen shades of blue ocean sound good right now? Throw in beautiful surroundings, its own pool, a deluxe spa, exquisite culinary experiences—maybe even a helicopter transfer to arrive in style on Fregate Island—and you have the apotheosis of indulgent escapes where the only snow is served in a cone.

The islands of Seychelles, home to one of the most ethnically blended cultures in the world, will impress even the most jaded traveler with its pristine beaches, verdant mountains and granite boulder formations. The country’s tourism infrastructure is attuned to the needs of those accustomed to the very best in their vacations, offering outstanding accommodations, fine dining and exceptional experiences. Seychelles has been a favorite destination for Europeans since the opening of the country’s sole international airport in 1972 ( just in time to coincide with the advent of the Jet Age), but nowadays when William and Kate are not on their honeymoon, Seychelles is rarely in the news; the 87,000 people here like it that way.

Though Seychelles is often classified as an African country, the truth is that these islands in the Indian Ocean have passed from obscurity to prominence via discovery, colonization, revolution and tourism. Having African, Indian, Chinese, Arab, Malagasy and European influences in the gene pool and often in the same family, it is normal to see faces considered exotic most everywhere else. Naturally enough, because of this racism is almost nonexistent. How could it possibly exist in a place where brothers and sisters often look completely different?

As tends to happen when people from different places come together, society in Seychelles is open minded and progressive, especially with regard to the arts. A burgeoning arts scene, showcased in such venues as the Creole Institute and Kenwyn House, is seeing a growth in painting, photography and sculpture to complement the wall murals that brighten the streets of Victoria. Rightfully so, the Seychellois are fiercely proud of their unusual history and make great efforts to see that it is preserved and passed on to the next generation.

A mixture of cultures generally makes for an interesting spice rack in the kitchen, too. In this regard, Seychelles pleases the palate with a wide variety of traditional ingredients and cooking methods from Africa and Asia influencing conventional European dishes to create Seychelles Creole cuisine, which also uses edible pods of the locally grown V. planifolia orchid (vanilla) in many of its dishes. Seychelles has some of the best vanilla in the world and it is used to flavor the many coconut and seafood dishes that form the basis of the islands’ cuisine.

Almost all visitors to Seychelles come to enjoy the gorgeous beaches, splendid scenery and alluring resorts that cater to every need. Foremost among them is Fregate Island. Only 14 villas are found on Fregate, serviced by a staff that maximizes guest privacy and minimizes thoughts of the world beyond the flour-fine sand that encloses this extraordinary island. Fregate is the realization of the ultimate vacation fantasy where perfection is the rule. During a recent visit for example, a guest touring the island’s farm commented on the lovely fragrance of a ylang-ylang tree. Overhearing the remark, the chef captured that aroma in a surprise sorbet served the following evening.

Guests enjoyed the sorbet in Fregate’s restaurant, but it could just as easily have been served on the beach, atop the mountain or in a tree house 50 feet above the ground—all locations available for meals. Not surprisingly, complete buyouts of the island are popular for families wanting to celebrate special occasions or simply relax in total seclusion. And these different venues allow them to mix things up when it’s time to eat.

Home to one of the most famous beaches in the world and one of the country’s best resorts, the island of Praslin attracts its share of high-end travelers looking for idyllic pleasure on their vacations. They find it at Anse Lazio, a beach at the northernmost tip of the island where coast and water meet in peaceful harmony and sublime color; it is the combination of calm blue sea, soft white sand and splendid unspoiled scenery that places Anse Lazio on the must-see list for the world’s beach aficionados.

Nearby on Anse Takamaka (anse means beach) Raffles Praslin’s superb accommodations in stylish villas offer beautiful views of the water and sky as well as the best view of Curieuse Island just across the strait. Like the original Raffles in Singapore, the group’s Praslin property excels in providing personal service, fine dining and entertaining experiences for its guests. Among the latter are private visits to the Vallée de Mai and private excursions to Curieuse for exploration of this uninhabited island complete with picnic lunch on a deserted beach.

In order to reach Fregate and Praslin, visitors must first pass through Mahe, the main island and home to the capital of Seychelles, Victoria. Mahe is itself a very attractive island of tall peaks at its center and smooth sand along its perimeter, making for picturesque topography. Victoria is the smallest national capital in the world, with a mere 25,000 inhabitants. Although it’s attractive any time of the year, the town is at its most charming during cultural events such as the annual Festival Kreol taking place the last week of October or the Carnaval International de Victoria held in April.

Mahe’s most beautiful beaches are found on the island’s southwest coast. Kempinski Seychelles Resort, located between an imposing granite monolith and the waters of Baie Lazare, offers comfortable rooms and suites on extensive grounds. As in other Kempinski properties around the world, the level of attention and service is matched by superior culinary offerings, here found in the casual Café Lazare and more formal Indochine restaurants.

While the granite boulders of Mahe are impressive, it is the island of La Digue where the most famous granite-backed beaches are situated. Anse Source d’Argent is the postcard view of the island and of all Seychelles. The tiny island with a tiny population is only a short ferry ride from Praslin, or a bit further from Mahe, part of what makes it a popular daytrip for guests at resorts on these two islands. Those seeking even further removal from their daily realities can take shelter at Le Domaine de l’Orangeraie for overnight accommodations or just a tasty lunch in the hotel’s open-air waterfront pavilion.

US citizens require no visa to visit Seychelles. In fact no one does, making for an urbane mix of international visitors as cosmopolitan as the Seychellois themselves. True to its roots, Seychelles welcomes the whole world with equal hospitality.

Party Time! Seychelles festivals are as much for the locals as international visitors.

April: Carnaval International de Victoria
Seychelles’ biggest international event, Carnaval sees the main streets of Victoria taken over by dancers, floats and marching bands. The parade of nations marks the culmination of weeklong festivities that include exhibits and informative presentations.

October: Seychelles India Day
Newly added to the festival calendar is this day to recognize the important role played by Indians in the development of Seychelles.

October: Festival Kreol
Seychelles’ annual celebration of miscegenation sees art exhibits, theatrical performances and literary readings linked to the Creole presence in Seychelles, the Caribbean and other places in the world where people commingled to create new cultures.

November: Subios
This unique underwater festival focuses attention on Seychelles’ marine attractions by combining diving and snorkeling activities by day with film screenings and audiovisual exhibits by night.

Art Scene In Seychelles
The Creole Institute is Seychelles’ leader in preservation of local culture, especially the literary arts. Kenwyn House, one of the first European-style homes built in the country, is now a boutique and gallery showcasing fine works by local painters and sculptors. The recently reopened Les Palmes Theatre provides a new location for local actors and musicians to present their latest endeavors. Meanwhile, concerts and performances take place around Victoria on a regular basis.

An Eyeful and an Eiffel in One Trip
Flying from JFK, Emirates through Dubai and Etihad through Abu Dhabi are the easiest routes. The country’s surprisingly luxurious national airline, Air Seychelles, will be introducing flights from Paris to Seychelles this year, allowing for a stopover in the world’s most romantic city to/from the world’s most romantic islands. Zil Air helicopter services provides immediate connections from international flights to Fregate and Praslin as well as Kempinski on Mahe.

Robert La Bua
Author: Robert La Bua

Epic Men’s Style

Work and Play

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published: Wednesday, April 23, 2014
photos: roberto chamorro
shot on location at Rechler HQ
photos: roberto chamorro shot on location at Rechler HQ

Boglioli blue cotton linen sport coat, Tyrone Men’s Clothing
Haupt check cotton shirt, Polo Ralph Lauren white relaxed fit shorts and Tommy Bahama blue boat shoes all available at Renee’s of Mattituck

Calvin Klein plaid two-button blazer, Renee’s of Mattituck
Truzzi blue, tan and white stripe shirt, Tyrone Men’s Clothing
John Varvatos cotton knit v-neck sweater and Burberry Brit cotton slacks both available at Bloomingdale’s


Boglioli herringbone cotton sport coat, Tyrone Men’s Clothing
Life After Denim Bandana Shirt with anchor print, John Varvatos v-neck tee shirt and Scotch & Soda slim-fit chinos all available at Bloomingdale’s
Painting by Al Held, Hard edge geometric abstraction, acrylic on canvas

John Varvatos collarless denim vest, Bloomingdale’s
Michael Kors two pocket linen shirt and Zanella Nantucket red cotton-blend pants both available at Tyrone Men’s Clothing

Harris Wharf London Sartorial sport coat, Truzzi houndstooth cotton shirt and Andrea Ventura French suede drivers all available at Tyrone Men’s Clothing
Agave Rocker jean, Bloomingdale’s

Scotch & Soda Mr. Blue vintage style leather jacket, Bloomingdale’s
Truzzi blue, white and tan plaid cotton shirt and Belstaff Enmore stitched cotton sweater both available at Tyrone Men’s Clothing
Alberto Italian dark wash business jeans, Renee’s of Mattituck

Natural cotton knit boat neck sweater, peach polo and midnight shorts with polka dots all Michael Kors, all available at Bloomingdale’s

Red cotton cardigan with blue stitching Tyrone Men’s Clothing eponymous label
Maker & Company plaid cotton shirt, Haupt linen shirt, Vineyard Vines seersucker club pants and Tommy Bahama boat shoes all available at Renee’s of Mattituck

Calvin Klein Lotus khaki peacoat, Haupt blue stitched floral cotton shirt and Palm Beach light wool trousers all available at Renee’s of Mattituck
Zerosettanta faux denim raincoat, Tyrone Men’s Clothing


Cast & Crew:
Photography: Roberto Chamorro
Photo Assistant: Tye Worthington
Styling: Nicole McConnach & Aryana Herz
Groomer: Dana Hodges for Eufora HERO for Men

The Car:
The Maserati GranTurismo has the muscular purr this maker is known for worldwide. It’s the perfect combination of high-performance handling and beautiful curves. The 444HP will get you 0-60 in 4.6 seconds, thanks in part to the 32-valve aluminum-block V-8. Ferrari Maserati of Long Island is the only authorized Maserati dealership Island-wide. MSRP begins north of $140,000.

About the Location:
The iconic Rechler HQ perched on the LIE near exit 48 is a testament to modern architecture built with a nostalgic feel. The property was redeveloped to suit the base operations of the company’s third generation leadership team. Every detail conveys the hip, forward thinking and unique creative values inherent in the firm’s DNA. State-of-the-art amenities and design include a gym, virtual golf room, an extensive kitchen and of course, plenty of wall space for the famed corporate art collection.

Bloomingdale’s, Roosevelt Field Mall
Burberry Brit
John Varvatos
Life After Denim
Michael Kors
Scotch & Soda

Renee’s, Mattituck, (631) 298-4223
Calvin Klein
Maker & Company
Palm Beach
Polo Ralph Lauren
Tommy Bahama
Vineyard Vines

Tyrone Men’s Clothing, Roslyn
(516) 484-3330
Andrea Ventura
Harris Wharf London

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Portrait of a Supercar: 2015 Ferrari California T

Author: William K. Gock | Published:
California Dreaming? Yeah, us too. Pulling up to In-N-Out in the Ferrari California T would be sublime.
California Dreaming? Yeah, us too. Pulling up to In-N-Out in the Ferrari California T would be sublime.

Chances are my stock has graced the walls of your bedroom growing up. And your obsession with my family grew—who can blame you, we are a sexy bunch. You likely owned a heavy, die-cast metal model of my older brother the Testa Rossa. You took him home, studied his lines, felt his fluidity and marveled at the hallmarks of Italian design. Now here I come along and rip the top off of what you thought a Ferrari could be.
I’m the fierce, sculpted trophy you’ve been hearing about for quite some time. Like the 1957 250GT—which first bore my Golden State nameplate—I’m a targeted testament to the power of going topless.

But West Coast adoration isn’t rooted in complacency and neither are my makers in Maranello. My badge was reborn in 2008 when we stunned you with the growl from Ferrari’s first front-engine V8. Necessary to leave room for my retractable metal hardtop, another first for Ferrari. I have this California dreamin’ thing down to a tee.

Or “T” for turbo, if you will. This marks the first time this svelte beach body has been fitted with that one-two punch. Fire me up and in addition to the rumble, you may catch a whistle from their spooling. Paired with my three-piece, tuned exhaust manifold, my elements will romance you aurally. It’s la dolce vita for sure, even before you mash my pedal and send us zipping down the road from 0-62 in a mere 3.6 seconds. When you consider that kind of performance, are you surprised that my push-button transmission controls have a button marked launch?

There is no such thing as an ugly ducking in the Ferrari family, but in the la-la land that is the Left Coast, beauty is boundless and is meant to be pursued to perfection. Maintaining my original road trip-worthy Grand Tourer dimensions, Ferrari collaborated with renowned design house Pininfarina for my second coming. The result is an aesthetic that echoes the classic 250 Testa Rossa and its famous pontoon-fender sculpting. Granted, this coy façade of mine really didn’t require more than a nip and tuck, but my new eyes, lifted almost directly from my cousin F12berlinetta, are a flirtation that delivers more than a wink or raised eyebrow, don’t you think? Paired with deep hood vents, my refreshed visage induces double takes from the toughest of critics.

Inside I’m covered in the finest Italian craftwork—semi-aniline leather trim lovingly supplied by esteemed upholsterers Poltrona Frau. Would you expect any less? And I’m packing some new tricks, like a sleek, 6 ½-inch wide infotainment unit, with accompanying touch-screen turbo boost gauge mounted proudly on the center console.

Don’t let all the form fool you. In here, we drive. Hard. If you’re looking for something to relax in during coffee runs, we will both be disappointed. My makers drink espresso.

Buttoned up, many of my hardtop convertible rivals resemble a pair of those ghastly zip-off pant/shorts. Roof on or off, there is never a fashion faux pas when I’m on the guest list. Under these curvy hips sit a new generation of Magne Ride dampers that are twice as fast as their predecessors. Working in hand with my body motion accelerators, they translate thousands of electronic data points per second into a smooth, responsive and incredibly exhilarating road dynamic. Paired with my refined F1-Trac technology, we’ll spring out of each corner turning any road from Montauk to Mulholland into an asphalt-banded slingshot.

On top of it all, I still manage 15 percent better fuel efficiency over last year’s West Coast lady of lure. I know, talking gas savings is pointless, given my estimated $200K+ price tag, but touting a little bit of green is the in thing to do. What more can I say? Like gorgeous San Diego weather or exclusive Hamptons galas, I’m your date.

Vital Stats
Engine: 3.9 liter twin-turbo V8
0-60: 3.6 seconds
Max Speed:196 mph
Max Power: 552hp @ 7,500rpm
Max Torque: 557 lb-ft @ 4,750rpm
Estimated Base Price: $200,000+

William K. Gock
Author: William K. Gock
William K. Gock is the automotive content contributor for Playboy Magazine. His car and motorcycle reviews can also be found in numerous national print and online publications. Born and raised in New York's Hudson Valley, Gock currently lives with his wife and son in Babylon.

The Best Week April 2014

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published: Monday, March 24, 2014

The likelihood of snow is well behind us making it ideal to get out and do something, lots of things. Our lineup makes now the ideal time to have the best week.

Head west for possibly a once in a lifetime experience: Chinese dissident, controversial artist and mastermind behind the Olympic “bird’s nest” stadium Ai Weiwei exhibits at Brooklyn Museum. According to What? is his largest US show and the final stop on this tour.

Who said you need mountains to get a challenging bike ride? We don’t need no stinking mountains! Head out early this morning and pound the dirt at one of the Island’s many bike trails. There’s no better way to stare down the week and get ready for all the challenges to come.

Got the urge for a food-and-drink excursion? Keep things local but still international with a trip to the Currywurst Company, the new German Biergarten-style eatery in Long Beach. Post knockwurst, loosen the belt and enjoy some armchair travelling courtesy of Pulse (see our Vineyard Vacations feature).

Climb over hump day, literally. Explore the “peak” of physical fitness by rock climbing at an indoor boulder wall. At home, reconnect with rock ‘n’ roll highs by checking out David Crosby’s latest, Croz.

Enjoy a unique, inventive and rocking 25 courses at Maroni Cuisine in Northport. You’re in for epic eating of whatever Maroni puts together. Strap in, there’s nothing to plan. It’s a paradisiac tasting menu from caviar on potato chips to the man’s signature meatballs. Bring friends.

Every decade needs a film about an alien seductress. Scarlett Johansson is ours. Before letting her Under the Skin, take a ride to Dixie with Mixologist Ryan Garrison at Tullulah’s. His Danville Train is worth the trip to Bay Shore for a pre-Prohibition era beverage channeling smooth, southern Levon Helm-inspired goodness.

Poetry is alive and well on LI. Celebrate National Poetry Month at an area reading, maybe inspiration will take hold and you’ll find yourself at the mic. For more cultural endeavors, Tilles Center boasts a worldly lineup of performances, like the one with Ben Vereen.

3 can’t miss events

Sub 30 Poetry Slam
April 12
Parrish Art Museum
In honor of National Poetry Month, The Parrish will host its first Sub 30 Poetry Slam, featuring young artists up to the age of 29. Audience members will judge this youthful and exuberant short poetry competition, with the winner receiving the coveted title of “Sub 30 Champion” along with a cash prize.

Ai Weiwei: According to What?
Opens April 18
Brooklyn Museum
This will be the final stop for this traveling exhibition, which is the largest showing of Ai Weiwei’s work stateside (and also his first major exhibition in the US). Forty-six monumental works, including the controversial Straight, will fill over 13,000-square-feet of gallery space at
the museum.

Long Island Restaurant Week
Begins April 27
Nassau & Suffolk
Eight days of deals, from Sunday to Sunday—that’s eight chances for great, affordable meals from all across the Island. Nearly 40 restaurants representing Nassau and Suffolk’s best culinary destinations are participating in this foodie festival. All are offering prix fixe 3-course dinners at the bargain price of $27.95.

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Rescue Gals

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:

We love our pets here on Long Island. We dote on them, buy them things and bring them on field trips. To celebrate the Island’s commitment to loving our animals, Pulse checked in with three ladies who put the active in animal activist. ¶ Cover girl Beth Stern’s feline-friendly work with the North Shore Animal League America is having an impact for the Port Washington-based organization. London Jewelers’ Candy Udell started the Rescue Paw Foundation to connect orphaned animals in the South and loving homes on Long Island. And Barbara Miller, President of the Long Island Kennel Club, is tirelessly advocating for our canine companions through her work with dog shows and as a breeder. ¶ To round out our look at Long Island’s passion for pets, we compiled a matchmaking guide to finding the right dog, a beginner’s guide to essential cat breeds and profiles of the vets who take care of all our domestic creatures. Cuddle up with your favorite furry friend and enjoy.

Wild Life

Animal advocate Beth Stern assists adoption and rescue efforts on the Island
Read Full Article

Candy Udell

Rescue Paw Foundation, Founder
London Jewelers, President
Read Full Article

Barbara Miller

President of the Long Island Kennel Club
Read Full Article

Dogged Personalities

Canines have unique characters suited to distinct lifestyles
Read Full Article

Here Kitty Kitty

In the pet world cats fill a niche between hands-on animals like dogs, and fish, which are difficult to interact with.
Read Full Article


Jason M. Berg
DVM, Diplomate ACVIM
Bohemia; (631) 285-7780

Dr. Jason Berg is a board certified veterinary neurologist. He provides medical and surgical neurology services, including surgery for brain and spinal tumors. His primary area of interest is advancing medical and surgical treatment options for neurological patients. He has published articles in various journals, has presented at conferences around the country and chaired three committees for ACVIM.

George A. Kramer
DVM, Diplomate ACVIM
Bohemia; (631) 285-7780

Dr. Kramer is a board-certified Veterinary Oncologist. His professional interests include cardiology, internal medicine, oncology and ultrasonography. Dr. Kramer serves as ultrasonographer for the Bronx Zoo, Coney Island Aquarium and is a fellow of the Wildlife Conservation Society. NY Magazine has listed Dr. Kramer as the best veterinary cardiologist in the NY city area.

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Rescue Gals - Wild Life

Animal advocate Beth Stern assists adoption and rescue efforts on the Island

Author: Lisa Heffernan | Published:

Beth Stern’s passion for animals is in her blood. The wife of shock jock Howard Stern comes from a long line of animal lovers—on her desk sits a picture of her great grandmother with a huge mixed St. Bernard. Stern grew up with a variety of pets in Fox Chapel, a suburb of Pittsburgh, where her family kept an eye out for injured wildlife. “If we found any injured animals in the neighborhood we would call the wildlife rescue rehabilitator and he’d come to our home,” recalled Stern. “Even as a little girl, it was always about saving animals because they deserve to be comfortable too.”

For the past 10 years, the former model has been a national spokeswoman for the largest no-kill rescue and adoption organization in the world, North Shore Animal League America (NSALA). In 2004, Stern was asked to do a runway show modeling couture gowns while holding puppies that were up for adoption from the Port Washington-based NSALA. Proud to donate her time for the cause, Stern didn’t leave the runway until every last puppy was adopted. She then asked if she could volunteer at the center. “I just started spending time there and when they realized I was Howard Stern’s girlfriend, they thought, ‘What a good way to help promote our organization,’” said Stern. “I started doing morning shows on their behalf. But my favorite thing in the world is actually being at North Shore.”

The proud parents of five cats, the Sterns made a pact to adopt adult cats or those with health issues because it’s easier to find homes for kittens. Since June, Beth and Howard have fostered over 50 kittens and cats in their Southampton home until they were ready for adoption. “Howard’s my partner in all of the work that I do,” said Stern. “He loves our cats and picks names for them. He shot the league’s 2014 calendar and has been so instrumental in helping me find homes for the animals by talking about them on his radio show.”

Because cats aren’t adopted as readily as dogs, they spend more time in shelters. But Stern always thought the felines would be more appealing if they were comfortable and happy. Based on the success of an animal sanctuary in Utah, Stern proposed creating a cage-free habitat at NSALA with a wellness center, skylights and tunnels where cats could roam freely and people would see them thriving. The Sterns decided to call the project Bianca’s Furry Friends in honor of their beloved bulldog that passed away two summers ago. “Bianca loved all of the cats that we adopted,” said Stern. “She was just so kind and gracious to all of them that we decided to name it after her.”

Both dogs and cats are currently housed on NSALA’s first floor so the second-floor addition would also free up space for more adult dog and puppy mill rescues. Now all Stern has to do is raise $7 million for the 14,000-square-foot expansion. But the league is halfway there and may soon be able to break ground thanks to generous donations at fundraisers hosted by Stern. Good friend Billy Joel informed her he’s donating all of his earnings from a sold out May 9th birthday show at Madison Square Garden to the cause.

“It just shows Billy’s love and passion for animals,” noted Stern. “His most recent adoption, Rosie, was a special needs pug from the league. He and his girlfriend are incredible adoptive parents to puppy mill rescues.”

In addition to promoting shelter adoptions and going out on rescues with the animal league, Stern works closely with Long Island Bulldog Rescue and transports animals for Wildlife Rescue Center of the Hamptons. “I took a course on transporting injured animals,” said Stern, “and I have my wildlife rescue kit ready to go when I get a call.”

When asked if she would host Hallmark Channel’s first annual Kitten Bowl, Stern knew they needed kittens and asked NSALA to supply the players. Over three million viewers tuned in for the show, which was emceed by legendary Yankees announcer John Sterling and featured Stern’s animal-loving friends Rachael Ray and Regis Philbin. Those who weren’t entertained by Super Bowl XLVIII would have been better off watching the lively Kitten Bowl, where kittens froliced across a customized football field with balls and cat toys. The program was successful in finding homes for all 71 “catheletes.” “I had a blast,” said Stern. “They even gave extra points for cuteness. If they ask me to host it every year for the rest of my life I’m in.”

The proud author of 2010’s 500-page dog manual Oh My Dog can sometimes be seen interviewing celebrities as a special correspondent on ET, but Stern’s heart is in animal advocacy. “I’m just really fortunate that I can spend my days living out my passion to work with animals,” said Stern. “I love being involved with the entire process of adoption and everything North Shore does when I visit each week. It really fulfills me.”

Model and animal activist Beth Stern is trying to raise $7 million for the North Shore Animal League America.

For more information:

Lisa Heffernan
Author: Lisa Heffernan
Lisa Heffernan received a master’s in Communications from Emerson College before moving to New York. She has worked for publications such as: Details, Nylon, Rolling Stone, Time Out, Newport Mercury, American Songwriter and W magazine.

Rescue Gals - Candy Udell

Author: Nada Marjanovich | Published:

Rescue Gals - Candy Udell

Rescue Paw Foundation, Founder
London Jewelers, President

It started four years ago after the BP gulf oil spill. When the people living in the Gulf states started losing their jobs and homes, they began dumping their pets off at shelters to the tune of thousands of animals per day. Candy Udell, a dog lover, signed a petition urging BP to take responsibility for the animals and it became a catalyst for her rescue efforts in Alabama. It’s what led her to Bobbie Taylor, a lone rescuer in Lawrence (Alabama’s poorest county) who was “drowning in animals.”

It wasn’t just BP’s impact that made the orphan animal situation untenable. Alabama, a state that doesn’t have spay/neuter law, is prone to “black dog syndrome,” where light-colored dogs are selected over black ones. Aside from that and dire economics, it had another problem: Hunters used dogs for a season and when they’re done, they dumped the pups off.

Udell had been involved in animal organizations for 15 years prior to teaming up with Taylor. She established Rescue Paw Foundation in 2011 mainly, “to know where the money was going and to help raise money to be able to care for these animals.”

That evolved into Udell designing a line of jewelry from which she’s able to allocate 90-95 percent of proceeds directly to the cause. Rescue Paw in turn disburses the funds to transportation, vetting, Taylor’s rescue services and no-kill Animal Rescue Shelter of Lawrence County. She’s also contributing to shelters in Texas and throughout the South. Udell saw a propensity for animal dumping there and a lack of adoptable pets here as needing a liaison. “I like to do the places that are really off the radar, that nobody looks at. It’s easy to work in a place where there’s a lot of help. It’s a challenge to work in a place where no one wants to help.”
But really, her interest in helping animals started long before the Gulf disaster.

Growing up in Northern New Jersey, the pets in Udell’s home were more than just animals she cared for, they were her friends and part of the family (even the baby alligators, ducks and chickens). “We always had animals in the house. Animals make a house happy, just like children do. And it’s important to have that in your life and to teach it to your children… it gives them responsibility and it teaches people to be kind to other living things.” She continues to credit taking care of her childhood pets as instilling her with a strong belief in humane education, the core of her mission.

Udell’s taste for the exotic shouldn’t be a surprise. As president of London Jewelers, she is regularly in contact with some of the world’s most precious stones and gems. The brands found in her locations are synonymous with those in the most exclusive shopping capitals of the world. Through London Jewelers the Udells support a number of local charities such as The Boomer Esiason Foundation, Katz Women’s Hospital, Lustgarden Foundation, and Sunrise Children’s Camp. For Glen Cove Homeless Shelter, Udell has even personally cooked and bought groceries or delivered Dunkin’ Donuts cards so those who access the shelter’s services have somewhere to go when its doors close.

But saving animals is a different kind of passion for Udell. Dogs and cats are constantly getting dropped on her rescuer’s doorstep. Rescue Paw can raise the funds to bring them to credible adoption shelters here like Bidawee (Westhampton), Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons (East Hampton) and Little Shelter Animal Rescue and Adoption Center (Huntington). The foundation covers the gas to transport the animals as well as the medicine needed to ensure the pets arrive healthy. Through tornados, floods and everything that’s come their way, Rescue Paw has saved almost 3,000 dogs and cats.

Other organizations are regularly contacting Udell for her help too. She donates the paw jewelry and dog tags to their fundraisers and contributes her energy as an advocate. In Lawrence, she recently secured two grants: One for a spay/neuter law, which she hopes will snowball and a second for transportation of southern dogs to come to northern shelters.

This past fall Udell also teamed up with HEART, an organization focused on humane education. The Rescue Paw and HEART collaboration created a program for Lawrence County addressing shelters, spay/neuter programs, animal fighting, kindness, compassion, care and safety. It will become part of the curriculum in the schools there for grades 4—6. “This is a really fundamental part of change down there,” she said. “To change the young peoples’ attitudes on how they were brought up to treat animals.”

For this year, Udell’s priority is to get humane education programs into Nassau County schools similar to the ones she started with HEART; and eventually Suffolk and NYC. It’s not a small undertaking, but it’s a natural extension of her belief that improving attitudes towards animals has a direct influence on how people interact. “As long as I see change,” she said, “I’m always ready to stick with it… There’s a lot to tackle here at home as well. And the time is right.”

Find out more at

Nada Marjanovich
Author: Nada Marjanovich
Nada Marjanovich is Publisher and Editor of Long Island Pulse Magazine. Prior to founding the title in 2005, she worked extensively in the internet. She's been writing since childhood and has been published for both fiction and poetry.

Rescue Gals - Barbara Miller

Breeding, dog shows and a life devoted to (wo)man’s best friend

Author: Emily J. Weitz | Published:

Rescue Gals - Barbara Miller

President of the Long Island Kennel Club

The Long Island Kennel Club’s annual dog show is one of the oldest sporting events on Long Island, having first incorporated with the American Kennel Club in 1903. From its roots as a high society club, LIKC has evolved into an organization focused not only on showcasing purebred dogs, but also holding breeders to a high standard and giving all dog lovers an outlet for their passion.

Barbara Miller has been president of LIKC since 1973, though she’s been an active member of the dog breeding communitydl Club’s National Breeder of the Year in 2007. Miller, who works in her family’s Nassau County real estate company when she’s not on LIKC business, is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to dogs, shows and her favorite breed: The Norfolk terrier.

Long Island Pulse: Have dogs always been an important part of your life?
Barbara Miller:
It goes back to early childhood. I was seven when I got my first dog, an Irish setter. From there I got into collies. And then in 1967 I was one of the first people to get into Wheaten terriers. In 1973, I purchased my first Norfolk terrier. Dogs rely on us. And they also give a tremendous amount of comfort. When you’re a kid and you feel like crap and you failed your test and don’t know how to tell your mom, who are you going to go to first? Your dog.

Pulse: This year, the pre-eminent dog show in the country, Westminster, decided to include mixed breeds in the competition for the first time since the 1800s. What do you think about this decision?
If a dog barks and wags its tail, it’s a dog. It has every right to compete. It cannot compete against a purebred, because that’s a different ballgame. Purebred dogs have a certain standard—a written picture of that breed—and dogs are judged on that. I think it’s a good idea that Westminster is allowing mixed breeds. It’s their prerogative to do it and it makes for a more open canine society.

Pulse: You’ve been recognized as the top breeder of Norfolk terriers in the country. What’s special about this breed?
The first Norfolk I saw, I didn’t even know it was a purebred. I said, “That’s the cutest little mutt I ever saw.” And my friend said, “That’s not a mutt.” I got my first little dog, named her Rum Raisin ‘cause I’m an ice cream freak and the rest is history.

Every dog was originally bred for a purpose. A Maltese was bred to sit on someone’s lap. Herding dogs have a job. Terriers are working dogs. Norfolk terriers were originally, in the early 1800s, bred to go to ground—which means to go down in a hole to get the vermin out. They’re ratters. That’s how the breed developed and they can still do it. There are only about 400 Norfolk terriers registered with the American Kennel Club in a year. Compare that with Labradors, which are maybe 155,000. There are only one to three puppies born on average in a Norfolk litter. If you want one, you need to have the patience to wait.

Pulse: Why is it important to purchase a dog through a breeder?
Good breeders test their dogs. Every breed of dog is predisposed to something. But when you breed a dog and sell a puppy, you need to be sure to do so in good faith.

Pulse: How has the Long Island Kennel Club’s tradition changed since it first began in the early 1900s?
If you go back to the early years you’ll see that the people involved were very upper class. Rockefellers and Vanderbilts. Especially on the East Coast, the clubs started as a couple of guys getting together as a social event. At one time it was high society, but it has trickled down since then… With LIKC, we go into schools to talk about dogs, to let kids interact with dogs and to educate them about the importance of buying from a breeder. Members bring their dogs to hospitals and nursing homes. LIKC also has a tremendous rescue area. We will go to any dog that’s lost and try to help find kennel space.

Barbara Miller has been Long Island Kennel Club president since 1973.

Find the LIKC through

Emily J. Weitz
Author: Emily J. Weitz

Dogged Personalities

Author: Casey Dooley | Published:

Canines have unique characters suited to distinct lifestyles. Five favorites include:

Weight: 19-24 pounds
Height: 13-16 inches
Grooming: Basic, frequent bathing
Tolerant to a fault, this nimble, happy-go-lucky pooch is playful and always up for adventure. They are not averse to a little roughhousing either, despite their small size, which makes them an excellent choice for families with smaller children.

Weight: 50-90 pounds
Height: 22-29 inches
Grooming: High maintenance
Briards are a shaggy-yet-agile herding breed that enjoy an active, busy lifestyle and owners with a similar sporty mindset. They relish a good workout and are a handsome mix of intelligence and athleticism.

Great Dane
Weight: 120-200 pounds
Height: 28-34 inches
Grooming: Easy and minimal
Described as a gentle giant, the Dane’s sheer size belies its reserved nature. For owners whose spare time is limited, Danes are as at home alone on a couch or holding court, requiring minimal grooming and not much exercise.

Weight: 60-80 pounds
Height: 27-30 inches
Grooming: Minimal, just a bath
As pets Greyhounds are known as “the world’s fastest couch potatoes.” They are low-key—quiet, calm and well mannered—and rather independent minded. While affectionate, they don’t feel compelled to dote. A smart choice for people who aren’t the “dog type.”

Yorkshire Terrier
Weight: 7 pounds
Height: 6-7 inches
Grooming: Regular, weekly combing/brushing
Yorkies are built for portability. They are adaptable little beasts that relish being toted around. The choice dog for owners on the move who need their furry pals on hand at all times.

illustrations courtesy of american kennel club

Casey Dooley
Author: Casey Dooley

Here Kitty Kitty

Author: Sal Vaglica | Published:

In the pet world cats fill a niche between hands-on animals like dogs, and fish, which are difficult to interact with. Since most cats are low maintenance and affectionate, though fickle, picking the right one has a lot to do with looks.

Maine Coon
Coat: Shaggy, uneven, often tabby
The official feline of Maine is dressed for the weather sporting a shaggy beard, long hair and an equally furry tail to curl around himself for warmth. Large paws help distribute his weight (up to 18 pounds) when he’s walking on snow and he doesn’t mind a little water. Like dogs, these cats are friendly and trainable.

Coat: Long, luxurious, light shades
These smooshy-faced cats have a dedicated following because of their sweet, gentle personalities. Heavy bones and short legs keep them on the ground and off tall furniture. Like living artwork, they pose regally while sitting on a lap or perched on a sunny windowsill. However, their coats do require consistent maintenance.

Russian Blue
Coat: Clean, sleek, plush and short
Silvery blue hair contrasts with bright green eyes for an iconic look. And the sculpted stature commands attention. While shy around strangers they are affectionate to owners and family members. These sensitive cats are better suited to a quiet game of fetch than a battle with the vacuum. The lineage is cloudy, but there is speculation that they are decedents of Russian Czars’ cats.

Coat: Short, fine, silky coats that darken with age
The stunning blue eyes on this breed make it one of the most recognizable. Exported from Siam (now Thailand) in the late 1800s, their bodies are sleek and faces deeply defined. An inquisitive, intelligent cat that likes attention. Expressive with their bodies, eyes and voices—especially at mealtime—Siamese are often described as having human qualities.

Coat: What coat?
Commonly thought of as hairless, these cats are actually covered with a very fine down that is hard to see. Petting them feels like stroking a warm peach—though they require routine cleaning to get rid of bodily oils. Full of energy, curiosity, mischief and intelligence, Dr. Evil’s companion is one of the most famous of this breed.

Sal Vaglica
Author: Sal Vaglica

Square One

A road map to the proper pocket handkerchief fold

Author: Matthew Ambrosio | Published: Sunday, March 23, 2014

Square One

When properly folded, a simple 19-inch square piece of silk or cotton speaks volumes about a man’s style. Unlike the rules that dominate shoes and ties, the pocket square plays things looser. But that doesn’t mean a gent can pick the color blindly or jam it into his pocket, either. Remember: The pocket square’s pattern should work with the shirt and tie, but also stand apart.

For the office: The mad man
During the business week keep things simple with a cotton hanky that forms a classic straight line just above the pocket. The execution is easy enough to handle in the elevator, while on the phone or in the middle of the commute. The simplicity of the straight fold guarantees a clean and professional look. But that doesn’t have to mean dull: Turn the square askew to create a single peak.

For casual occasions: The puff ’n stuff
After hours, the pocket square can be as loose as the tie. Few folds are as casual as the one that isn’t a fold at all. Simply gather the pointy ends of the fabric in your fingers, tuck them into your pocket, then give the emerging poof of fabric a couple plucks to ensure that jaunty attitude. Imagine securing your pet octopus’ tentacles in your pocket, you’d still want the little guy to have a view.

For formal events: The three-peak fold
The more ornate style of this fold shines with some flair against a typically conservative suit color. The pattern is more complex, but it’s far from origami:

Step 1: Fold the handkerchief in half triangularly, then fold the bottom right corner up to form twin peaks.
Step 2: Fold the left corner up and to the right to create the third peak.
Step 3: Now take the remaining corner and wrap it around the base of the structure. Gather the bottom of the fabric and tuck the handkerchief into the pocket so the points stick out about 1½ inches.

Matthew Ambrosio
Author: Matthew Ambrosio

Summer Cashmere

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published: Friday, March 21, 2014

Summer Cashmere

Pulse checked in with Christopher Fischer about the luxurious fibers he’s knitting for any season. Fischer, a designer who began his career in the Hamptons but has since gone global, is known for his work with cashmere the way Calvin Klein is known for jeans and Hermès is known for scarves.

Long Island Pulse: What types of cashmere items are wearable in warmer months?
Christopher Fischer:
Lightweight and fine gauge styles knitted with superfine cashmere yarn spun from only the finest and longest fibers.

Pulse: How do your pieces dress up for formal or professional settings?
We always incorporate both fine gauge and fitted shapes into each collection. These can be worn to an evening event or in a professional environment—from a little black cashmere dress to the perfect piece for layering under a Chanel jacket.

Pulse: Where do you find your inspiration for each line?
All designers are influenced by what they see and what happens around them. I have always relied on my instincts in reacting to that.

Pulse: Where did your passion for cashmere originate?
As a teenager in England in the late 60s and 70s I had a passion for black cashmere turtlenecks. At the time the fashion craze was for skinny Shetland sweaters, “Le Shetland” as they were known in France. But for me there was only cashmere… Much, much later the president of a major luxury department store said to me that I “live in a world of cashmere. That I dream it, create it and live with cashmere all around me.” I suppose the passion has only grown over the years.

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Shop Like a Pro

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:

You are itching for spring and you are ready to shop. We asked the pros to tell us where to find the best deals on the latest trends. These five masters of their craft have scoured thrift stores, racks and showroom floors to provide the intel needed to spruce up a stale wardrobe, work in fads with no remorse and blend vintage with new at home. Follow these words of wisdom and be prepared to start hearing,  “Where did you get that?” A lot more often.

New York-based image consultant and style expert Bernadett Vajda helps her clients
discover their inner beauty to enhance their personal style. What’s she looking for?

This spring I’m looking for anything pastel, low-heeled pumps and metallic anything, especially in makeup. My current favorite shops include Intermix, Barneys Co-op and Scoop NYC. Don’t shy away from stores that may not cater to your exact needs. If a lonely item sits in your closet for more then a year with the price tag still on it, donate the item to an online charity retailer like Invest in key items—think little black dress, raincoat, black pumps—that will provide longer wear throughout the years. Mondays are a great day to shop because the frenzy from the weekend is over and stores are restocking. Shopping for new clothes is about becoming an even better version of yourself—it’s how you want the world to see you.

Carol Davidson is president and chief style officer at StyleWorks of Union Square, an image consulting company. She teaches others how to use their visual identity to influence the image they project. For the spring shopping list, she suggested adding a touch of trend:

Floral prints, colored stripes, boxy cropped jackets, collarless coats and pattern matching. Spend on the investment pieces…a great trench, fabulous black pants and signature accessories. Add a bit of “cheap chic” for the trendier items from Zara, Michael by Michael Kors and Vince Camuto. For chic pool, patio or beachside looks, Calypso St. Barth. Shop on Friday—most stores do the bulk of their business on the weekends and the store is fully stocked.

Cindy Lee Bergersen is the president and owner of Decoding Décor Design. She believes interior design is the most complicated of all art forms, but worth every effort. Her tips?

Always assess what you need and take measurements before leaving the house. Great home purchases can be found anywhere from flea markets to high-end furniture stores…think outside the box. When it comes to buying good furnishings, always invest in the best quality you can afford. Be wary of impulse buys—a good home design purchase should last for years—it morphs slowly over about a decade. Last year’s model, now marked down, could be the smartest purchase if it fits your needs and looks great.

Julie Rath, founder of New York-based Rath & Co., a men’s image consulting and personal styling firm, believes there is a “right” style for every man. A little hunting can lead to a look that is as unique as the individual. She reported:

I’m looking for spring sweaters to layer with glasses, sunglasses, a leather jacket and the perfect brown leather Chelsea boot. Department stores are great to shop at if you have a big shopping list. Otherwise, check out local boutiques. Depending on where you are, you can often find hidden gems. No good shopping decisions are ever made by wandering into a store without an agenda. Consider getting multiples of basics that work, but be wary of overzealous salespeople. Only buy things you absolutely love.

As manager at Antique Center Southampton, Susan Allicino sees a lot of the best merchandise come through her doors. She believes a special antique or vintage item gives the home a fresh and interesting focal point. A large ornamental antique mirror or mid-century modern coffee table could do the trick. But she cautioned:

Decorating a room completely in one style instead of selecting a few vintage or antique pieces that add interest and character is a fad I could have done without. Always carry measurements and fabric swatches with you; you never know when you’re going to come across something wonderful. Antiques and vintage objects are a personal choice. If a piece speaks to you, you will always find a place in your home for it.

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

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