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Oman For The Senses

The Sultanate Of Oman embraces its guests with a tradition of hospitality that recalls the graciousness of Old Arabia

Author: Robert La Bua | Published: Friday, April 24, 2015
photo courtesy of al bustan palace
photo courtesy of al bustan palace

Twenty years ago, few people had ever heard of Oman, let alone takena vacation there. Today, the situation is…not much different. As this spectacularly beautiful country becomes better known to the world for its dramatic scenery, laid-back culture and friendly inhabitants, there will be more travelers coming home with tales of Old Arabia, the one that existed before the intervention of modern-day politics into a fascinating part of the world.

Located at the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula, bordered by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen, and just across the Strait of Hormuz from Iran, the Sultanate OfOman’s neighborhood is not the most beloved by the world press. Unlike the headlong sprint toward ultra-modernization sought by some of its neighbors though, Oman drives along its new highways with a rearview mirror to the past.

Skyscrapers are virtually nonexistent in Muscat, the national capital where building codes regarding height and color (maximum six stories, white) keep a neat uniformity to the city’s downtown that leaves the natural setting un-obliterated by glass and steel.

photo courtesy of alila jabal akhdar resort

Though visitors are eager to explore Oman’svarious regions, almost everyone passes first through Muscat, a city reflecting the national ethos with verve and enthusiasm.It is a sensory experience without the overload so common elsewhere in a multi-connected world; though the picturesque Musandam Peninsula, the extraordinary greenery in the mountains of Dhofar and the historical coast of Sur are well worth visiting, first-timers may be fully content with Muscat, where there are enough sights and activities to keep busy for a week, maybe more,depending on how many senses one wishes to stimulate.

Scent To Please
Like its country of origin, fragrance company Amouage is virtually unknown outside the Gulf region, but this nimble corporation is currently in full expansion mode. Its exquisite products can now be found in fine department stores throughout the world, but the full Amouage experience is best enjoyed insitu. A visit to the headquarters o ersa look into the full process of takingrare Omani ingredients such as oud,frankincense and mountain rose, thelatter of which is still picked by hand inthe Hajar Mountains and distilled usingtraditional methods.

Cliffs at Dofhar. photo: robert la bua

Good Taste
Another local enterprise, Salma’s Chocolates, began small but keeps on growing. The company’s single retail location is found in a pedestrian promenade on the ground floor of the Bank Muscat headquarters. Inside the store is a display of chocolates in colorful wrappers and silver and gold foil. Don’t expect to find anything remotely like Whitman’s Sampler here, not when there is the zesty taste of zatar (rosemary), the smooth mouthfeel of mahoo (a deluxe Omani version of halwa) or the alluringly aromatic luban (frankincense). The key to success has been originality; the owners have taken classic local flavors and “chocolatized” them to become unexpected taste sensations found only in their store.

Sounds Good To Me
The Gulf region’s first opera house, The Royal OperaHouse Muscat, immediately gained a loyal patronage from the moment it opened in 2011. Though opera has been a celebrated musical form for hundreds of years in Europe, and even longer in the Far East, it remains an unknown style in this part of the world.

As in Sydney, Paris, New York and other cities where the halls play influential roles in the cultural scene, the Royal Opera House Muscat hosts a diversity of events to appeal to a range of audiences. The ROHM’s seasonal calendar mixes classic Western opera and ballet pieces with a variety of musical performances from other genres, all of which benefit from the fine acoustics. The audience benefits from the remarkably large and comfortable seats upholstered in cloth patterned with violins. In Oman, no detail goes unnoticed.

The Royal Opera House Muscat. photo: yoko hartono

Sight To Be Seen
The aesthetic lines and opulent decor of the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque make a deep impression on visitors who step into its immense interior. Everything about this ambitious project is impressive. Unlike some mosques in other countries the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque welcomes non-Muslim visitors. The carpet covering the floor of the main hall was woven in Iran and measures 196 by 230 feet; whatever floor is not intricately carpeted is covered by Italian marble. Suspended above are enormous crystal chandeliers drawing the eye upward.

The architectural features of Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque take into consideration the cornerstones of Islamic culture; the Mosque’s five minarets, for example, represent the five pillars of Islam. In Islamic culture high respect is also given to the written word. Carved inscriptions decorate doorways throughout the complex, which includes a library, an information center and several other outbuildings clad in sandstone imported from Rajasthan.

The Royal Touch
Many hotels around the world have the word palace in their names; most of them use the term with hopeful hyperbole.The Ritz-Carlton Al Bustan Palace, Muscat’s finest hotel, is a true palace. Al Bustan was built on the orders of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos in 1985; 30 years (and several major renovations) later, Al Bustan still sets the benchmark for excellence in hospitality, a trait of local culture in which the Omani people take great pride. The entire top floor of the hotel is reserved for the private use of the Sultan, but guests elsewhere in the hotel are treated like royalty by a team of smiling, helpful hospitality professionals accustomed to providing a high level of service.

Al Bustan Palace staff will do anything short of walking on water for guests. photo: yoko hartono

As if the structure itself were not regal enough, the Palace’s sublime setting underscores the point that this isa special place. The hotel occupies a privileged position in a private cove backed by desert mountains and fronted by a deep blue Gulf of Oman. The water is Oman’s secret draw even as more divers and snorkelers are discovering its abundant marine life, reefs and pristine waters every day. For excursions into the city to experience Muscat in every sense, the hotel can make arrangements through select tour operators whose professional guides can gain access to sights and locations not necessarily open to the general public. Adding another sense to the Al Bustan experience, a Six Senses spa is now under construction in anticipation of receiving guests in an exclusive facility on the hotel grounds where mental and physical relaxation will be experienced in this most regal of vacation destinations.

Beyond Muscat
Oman offers a variety of destinations and experiences including the exotic sight of lush greenery and waterfalls in what is one of the driest countries on Earth. Not all year long, though. During the khareef season in July and August, when the tail end of the Indian Ocean monsoons make landfall at the base of the Arabian Peninsula, the mountainous areas above the Dhofar region’s coast catch the last of the moisture, turning an otherwise barren landscape into a temporary stand-in for Ireland. Rain sounds mundane to New Yorkers, but for residents of the Gulf it is a special experience,making the Dhofar region especially busy with visitors during the khareef season.

It is also in Dhofar where the best-quality frankincense grows high in the wilds of the coastal mountains. Frankincense has been a highly prized substance for thousands of years. Though grown ina few other places in this part of the world, Dhofari frankincense is recognized as the best.

The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque was a gift from the sultan marking the 30th year of his reign. photo: yoko hartono

A visit to any perfume vendor in Salalah, the capital of the Dhofar region, can see perfumes and colognes custommade exactly to one’s preferences and specifications―a nice souvenir to match the memories of seeing sights such as Mirbat Castle, Museum of the Frankincense Land and the wild coastline.

To the north of Muscat is Musandam, a part of the Sultanate Of Oman separated physically from the rest of the country. Perhaps the most scenically bewitching of the country’s landscapes, Musandam’s dramatic cliffs,rock formations and ancient villages, some of which are accessible only by water, are surrounded by the various hues of blue in the sea and by pods of dolphins that jump alongside each passing boat.

In this part of the country, a dhow cruise through the desert fjords is an absolute must (a dhow is a small, traditional sailing vessel). One ofthe can’t-miss spots on such a cruise is TelegraphIsland, a hidden British outpost. The island is reportedly the source of the phrase “around the bend,”a term that derived from the heat and isolation endured by officers stationed there,who often went a little crazy.

For an experience outside the capital, it is not necessary to go far to Dhofar. Just two hours’ drivefrom Muscat International Airport is the city of Nizwaand the Birkat Al Mawzoasis. In Nizwa, a former capital, traditional life can be best observed every Friday at the ceremonial goat and cattle market.

Ifinity pool courtesy of al bustan palace

More fun than it sounds, the market is a vibrant commercial event that follows elaborate customs with regard to presentation of the merchandise. No matter what the day, Nizwa Fort retains its position as one of the country’s most majestic man-made sights and provides a fresh perspective into a world vastly removed from life on Long Island. Near Nizwa is the newly opened AlilaJabal Akhdar resort, a landmark building set on the very edge of a cliffwith sweeping views of the valley below. The Alila brand may not be well known in the US, but it is one of Asia’s leading luxury hotel companies.This property on Jabal Akhdar (which means Green Mountain) is its first in Oman.

The Oman Ministry of Tourism maintains an extremely informative website, providing future visitors with useful background information for planning their trips. Those who have been to Oman already know why the country is growing in popularity; those who have yet to visit don’t know what they are missing.

GettingThere By Air
Though national carrier Oman Air does not fly to the United States, it is worthwhile connecting with the airline’s services from London, Paris, Frankfurt, or Zurich to enjoy a Business Class on par with most airlines’ FirstClass. A 1-2-1 configuration and seat pitch measured in feet rather than inches are only the start to the comfort. Oman Air has followed its country’s economic growth over recent decades and now ranks as one of the most pleasant airlines for passengers looking for amore genteel experience inflight and on the ground.

Robert La Bua
Author: Robert La Bua

The Year of the Jacket

Lightweight jackets and sport coats are where it’s at for men’s fashion this season

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:

Photography by Roberto Chamorro

Shot in Pulse Studios:
Stylist: Aryana Herz
Grooming: Kyle G at Exclusive Artists using Murad and Mac
Photographer’s Assistants: Eric Bissell, Mary Hautman
Model: Sotiris Palladas for Images

Shopping Directory
Bloomingdale’s, Roosevelt Field (516) 873-2892

Tyrone, Roslyn (516) 484-3330

Marshs, Huntington (631) 423-1660

Aston Martin courtesy Long Island Sports Cars, Roslyn (516) 478-4326

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

2015 Aston Martin Vanquish Volante

Author: William K. Gock | Published:
images: drew phillips
images: drew phillips

I’m outside Miami’s EPIC Hotel, parked where the valets keep the really nice cars. Inches above my head, the drops from a torrential rainstorm pound the layers of fabric that comprise the soft-top of a 2015 Aston Martin Vanquish Volante. This is not what I had planned.

Since I wasn’t going anywhere for a while, I figured it was best to get really acquainted with the cabin of this hand-built, V12-powered British bulldog. After a 100-year existence, this has been touted as the Vanquish to lead Aston Martin into its second century. Expectations are high.


Glancing around, flash is not found. For a car that commands north of $300K, the cabin is incredibly Spartan from a driver’s perspective. Its steering wheel, save for the small silver and green wings, is almost nondescript. The analog gauges echo the feel of a simple, black-dialed chronograph with zero unnecessary trim. Perhaps the most attention-grabbing aspect is a cascading center-stack, which pours obsidian down from the windshield. Yet aside from its three prominent push-button controls and central knob, it too is executed in a flush, perfectionist but low-key manner. If diamond cuts and pearled trim are more your thing, this may not be the GT for you.

The rain has let up, it’s time to finally see what this car was built for. Pressing the hefty, glass and metal key fob square into the center console, the Volante roars to life with a cacophony of growls and gurgles that alarms a nearby crowd of onlookers. The sound is symphonious.

On the wheel near my right thumb, a red “S” pulses to life. I’ve been informed–or perhaps warned–that the car’s default is sport mode. I cautiously switch it off until I clear all the standing water. Five hundred and sixty-eight horsepower in a rear-wheel drive rocket ship can be intimidating on any surface, never mind a flash flood. The car’s “leisure” setting suits urban driving rather nicely, easing my nerves.

On that note of numbers, 568hp may not sound as impressive as it did just a few years ago. After all, you can buy a 707hp Hellcat or 545hp GT-R for much less; but neither of the aforementioned is constructed by hand or boast almost completely carbon-fiber bodywork. At a near-perfect 51:49 weight distribution, the Volante is Holyfield power in a Pacquiao frame, and I’m itching for the bell to ring. Driving down Biscayne Boulevard I see the standing water has subsided and switch back to sport mode. Immediately, the gentlemanly demeanor of this Vanquish is, well, vanquished. Luckily, the highway is not far off. Pulling aside to put down the automated top (without having to really stop), it’s finally go-time.


“Go” is something the Volante does with little provocation. Flattening the pedal in full automatic mode results in a slight delay, then an onslaught of power. But blip over to paddle-shift and experience an immediate, satisfying punch to the gut. Under hard acceleration, the exhaust note is an alarming drone that sounds like a turbo-prop about to buzz your head—and it’s delightful. Ripping through its eight-speed gearbox, the power is consistently aggressive. As I head southwest towards the Keys, the pavement dries and the tires heat up. In these optimal conditions, the convertible rides the pavement as if it’s on rails. I fight the urge to wave my arms in delight.

Over the past few years, there have been more than a couple “it looks like an Aston Martin” comments made on makes from the Jaguar F-Type to Ford Fusion. It’s not until you stand outside a car like the Vanquish, when you realize that nothing else out there truly mimics the low-slung, gaping-grilled visage of an Aston Martin. Gorgeously sculpted and stunning from every single angle, even the harshest of critics would be hard-pressed to find flaws.

A slow roll down Ocean Avenue is all it takes to validate that last statement (or, closer to home, Ocean Parkway). On a stretch of pavement where Lamborghinis and Rolls-Royces often go unnoticed, the attention the Vanquish garnered me almost got annoying. Almost.

HP: 568 @6,650rpm
TORQUE: 465lb-ft @5,500rpm
0-60: 3.8 sec
TOP SPEED: 197mph
FUEL ECONOMY: 13 city, 21 highway
MSRP: Starting at $300,000

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.

Dive into Long Island’s SCUBA Scene

A glorious underwater kingdom off the East End

Author: Chris Connolly | Published:
images: chris paparo of fishguyphotos
images: chris paparo of fishguyphotos

There’s a secret, slow motion world right under ours. A mostly dark, mostly silent dimension where strange, peaceful creatures creep and swim through a thick ether of eddies, sweeps and tides. Happily, human beings are capable of exploring this magical world, but first they must bite down on a regulator, strap on some SCUBA tanks and tighten their dive masks.

SCUBA divers do not generally dream of following a descent line into Long Island’s sounds and bays, but I believe they should. Our shores may not boast the same warm, sapphire conditions found off Cozumel or the Bahamas, but there are plenty of fish in New York seas, and they’re well worth a visit.

Long Island offers diving on every level— from chilly, long-lost wrecks to sedate shore dives just 15- or 20-feet deep. Like so many things in and around New York, diving off the East Coast does tend to be tougher and colder than in other locales, but in some ways that sense of challenge can add to the experience. Although I’ve been a certified SCUBA diver for more than five years, my guide to the local dive scene, Randy Randazzo of the Hamptons Dive Center in Riverhead, started me in a swimming pool. Randazzo explained that divers who’ve spent most of their dive time in tropical locales under near-flawless conditions, can be taken by surprise in New York waters, “You’re dealing with a hooded suit and gloves and boots, a lot of people aren’t used to that,” he said.


The Hamptons Dive Center pool was a great place to review SCUBA basics like mask clearing, regulator recovery and buoyancy control. The goateed Randazzo also advised me to shave the little bit of beard under my nose so the hairs wouldn’t make my mask leak. After I felt comfortable with the slightly increased difficulty level of East Coast diving compared to warm water diving, Randazzo and I agreed to meet at the Ponquogue Bridge just before low tide on a weekday evening.

There are actually two bridges in Ponquogue. Well… one and two thirds. A new span was built over Shinnecock Bay in 1986. This new construction is used by the traffic between Hampton Bays and Westhampton Island. The old wooden drawbridge was retired, the middle section was removed and today the two approaches on either side serve as fishing piers. The negative space previously spanned by the drawbridge is now a marine park.

Randazzo and I donned our wetsuits and strapped on our tanks in the flatbed of his pickup. Then we walked across the parking lot and into the water—a much simpler exercise than the hot, overly neoprene-y boat rides one generally takes in the Caribbean. We followed a sunken pipe out to the end of the abandoned bridge approach, then swam a couple dozen yards west to explore the marine life between the pylons of the new bridge.

When I told friends that I was planning to dive off Long Island the most F’d AQ was, “What will you see down there?” The answer turns out to be… a lot! The world off of our shores is distinctly browner than the azure waters in warm dive spots, but it is no less lively. As we descended, following the natural slope of the sea floor, Randazzo pointed out the diversity of marine biology spreading out beneath us. Hundreds of crabs scurried sideways to avoid our approach and families of fluke flattened themselves out to become invisible against the sandy bottom. As we dove deeper, the size and variety of fish increased. We saw a small school of sea robins, large-headed, armored fish with thin pectoral fins that look like legs. The sea floor was completely blan- keted by a vast field of muscles and Randazzo showed me how to break open the black mollusks and attract nearby fish for a snack.


Among the most interesting things we saw under the bridge was what I must assume was the great grandpappy of all horse- shoe crabs. I’m not telling fish tales when I say this old fellow was 18 inches across and had a whole apartment building of snails and barnacles growing on its back. Another surprise was the number of tropical fish we saw. Randazzo later explained that these fish are usually swept up from warmer climes by the gulfstream and become trapped off Long Island. We saw several juvenile snowy groupers—purple-black fish with iridescent white spots—and our photographer, Chris “Fish Guy” Paparo, used a sunken Pepsi can to catch a tiny, coppery Short Big Eye, which he gave to a marine biologist friend. (Most of the tropicals die if left to winter here, so divers collect them for aquariums or their personal tanks.) Other exotics that can be seen off Long Island include sargassum, triggerfish, leatherback sea turtles, octopi, puffers, seahorses, dolphins and seals. But, a grandfatherly fellow we encountered as we removed our gear post-dive told us that if we were looking for mermaids we were out of luck. He’d already caught them all.

It’s easy to forget that the waters around us don’t stop at the beach or among the white-capped waves, but by peering through a SCUBA mask we can see the active alien dimension that’s always churning away right below our own world. It may be a little harder to achieve that rare glimpse here than in other places, but now that I know the opportunity exists, I plan to drink in the view a lot more frequently.

Chris Connolly
Author: Chris Connolly

Yoga’s Reigning Rock Star is a Long Island Kid at Heart

Krishna Das

Author: Emily J. Weitz | Published:

When the voice of Krishna Das resonates through a room, it’s a connection back to India, the birthplace of yoga. Whether it’s a yoga studio in the heart of Manhattan or someone’s living room in small town America, Das has brought sacred Indian chants to American yogis like none other. He was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2012 and then played at the Grammys in 2013. He’s got more than a dozen albums to his credit and he’s been dubbed the reigning rock star of the yoga world. But the clear baritone voice uttering those ancient mantras comes from a surprising source: Jeffrey Kagel, aka Krishna Das, a Jewish kid from Long Island. And although India has completely stolen his heart, he says he’ll always be a New Yorker.

Kagel, now 67, felt like something was missing in his life while he attended high school and college on Long Island. (He explained that he studied “basketball and the blues” at Stony Brook University.) Music was almost always a part of his life—he started on the trumpet in junior high school, played piano and took up the guitar as a teen- ager—but music alone didn’t fill the void for him.

For most musicians, it’s all about the music. But for Kagel, it’s not about the music at all. The music is a vehicle for something larger. When he was young and he hadn’t yet identified that “something else,” he felt empty. There was a lack of spirituality that he felt in a profound way. “Living in America at that time was terrible,” he said, “I was neurotic, frustrated and couldn’t find lasting satisfaction.”

In 1968 Kagel left Stony Brook and moved near New Paltz where he drove a school bus and lived on a friend’s farm. It was the late 60s, everyone had heard about Richard Alpert and Timothy Leary and their wild experimentation with LSD at Harvard. Alpert, a western yogi, had found his guru in India, and had changed his name to Ram Dass. He was yet to write his seminal book, Be Here Now, when Kagel’s friends decided to go see him lecture, and Kagel declined to join them. “I wasn’t interested in American yogis,” he said. “I only wanted the real thing. It’s a stupid statement, but I was stupid at the time.”

Kagel remembers he had just finished milking a pair of goats when his friends returned from seeing Ram Dass. “[My friend] had this crazy look on his face, and the light shone out of him. I said, ‘Write down the directions. I’m going.’ I left within an hour and drove all night to Dass’ place. I met him and that was the beginning.”

Over the next year, Kagel got deeper into his meditation practice and traveled around the country with Dass. He spent the following summer meditating with Dass in New York, then, without any intention of ever returning, he left for India.

“It was completely life-changing. It was extraordinary to meet people who, no matter what they were doing on a daily basis, had so much spirituality in their lives. I was searching for inner peace and inner connection and it was mind blowing to be around people who had that.”

It was also in India that Kagel met Maharaj-ji, his guru. He and his traveling companions took a rickety old taxi through the mountain roads northeast of Delhi to Maharaj-ji’s temple where they were offered food. “He always fed people. Anyone who came to the temple got a full meal. In India, where food is more valuable than money, it’s incredible to feed people. He fed everyone who came to the temple and didn’t ask for anything in return.”

After their meal, they were led to another room to be with Maharaj-ji. There was no formal teaching. Maharaj-ji didn’t show them how to breathe or sit or slow down their minds. That’s not how it worked. “He was like the sun shining on everyone and everything equally all the time. We asked how to find God and he said to serve people. We asked how to raise kundalini [a yoga term for corporeal energy] and he said to feed people. The idea was to think of others instead of yourself.” Kagel took the name Krishna Das and started chanting as part of his spiritual practice. This branch of yoga, called Bhakti yoga, is the yoga of devotion. “But after two years, Maharaj-ji sent me back to America. He said I had attachment here and I had to come back, to go right through the middle of my own bullshit.”

Kagel had a rocky relationship with his parents and all sorts of desires he wanted fulfilled—things that had to be dealt with in America. Maharaj-ji saw that he was pushing away things from his homeland, running away and hiding. Kagel returned to the US and spent some time with his mother on Long Island and his father in New York City. But only six months after he’d left India, Maharaj-ji died. Kagel turned to music to deal with the loss and found solace not only in chanting but also from western musicians like Ray Charles, Van Morrison and Bruce Springsteen. (Kagel calls Springsteen the Bodhisattva of New Jersey.) He started visiting others who had been to India and shared similar experiences, then moved to California and started a kirtan band called Amazing Grace. He’s been playing kirtan ever since.

Playing kirtan and performing music are not the same thing. Even though there’s no disputing that Kagel/Krishna Das has been gifted with a beautiful voice and plays the harmonium deftly, he does not put on shows or entertain. “A kirtan is a spiritual, meditative practice.

And that is completely different from a concert. [Chanting] is something I share with people. When I sing, I am sharing my practice, and they are doing the practice themselves while we chant together.” This is where Kagel found the purpose of his music. He believes it was meant to take him somewhere—not to fame or fortune, but to enlightenment. Music and Bhakti yoga are the vehicles of his transcendence.

“It’s a repetition of mantras, the names of your own inner being. The practice is to repeat those names and to pay attention and have an experience of quieting down and opening up.” Kagel thinks the problem with our culture is that we’re always looking for happiness from external sources. That kind of happiness is fleeting, he believes. “Everything is changing all the time and one has to find peace of mind within.”

When he was a young man enamored with the Indian lifestyle, Kagel was struck by the spirituality of the Indian people. He saw it as a great contrast to his own existence on Long Island. But as he’s grown older and traveled farther, he’s learned that no matter where people come from, they want the same things.
“Everyone wants to be happy. The way they define that is different for everyone, but the feeling is the same inside.”

Kagel now lives in Rockland County. And as much as he’s contributed to the enlightenment of yoga practitioners across the world as Krishna Das, he’s also still a guy named Jeff Kagel who grew up on Long Island. Asked about the dichotomy, he declines to differentiate between the two personas. Did one have to die in order for the other to come alive? “Nope. It’s all the same person. Just me. They say you can take the boy out of New York but you can’t take New York out of the boy. I was formed by my experiences here and you take that with you wherever you go.”

Emily J. Weitz
Author: Emily J. Weitz

The Best Week

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published: Thursday, April 02, 2015

Whoever wrote that “April is the cruelest month” is full of
 it. It’s the month when fools are made and baseball season begins. Earth Day happens. It’s Poetry Month (ironic, because poet TS Eliot wrote the derogatory lines in question.) April has plenty to recommend it, not least of which is our Best Week, lovingly compiled from Pulse’s pages. Enjoy.

After work, explore “urban suburban” environs in Rockville Centre. Grab post- work pints at Croxley’s Ales and then eats at George Martin The Original. Our Town Matchmaker has the lowdown on RVC and other up-and-coming villages.

Mixologist Brandon Torre is mixing up mescal and tequila magic at Garden City’s Tocolo Cantina . Grab tacos
and cocktails and then head south for some tunes. Listening Bar covers all the Island’s music scenes, and KJ Farrell’s in Bellmore fits the bill today.

Get inspired by the Welsh coastal trails in Wales of a Time and plan local biking and hiking adventures (coasteering?). Rocky Point Pine Barrens State Forest offers off-road trail excursions and nearby Port Jeff bike path has two paved lanes through the woodlands.

Illustrator Jeffrey K. Fisher’s work lives on at Gallery North in Setauket this month; it’s well worth visiting the legendary Long Island artist’s lifework. Also take advantage of Restaurant Week at Mirabelle in Stony Brook.

Fill up on down-to-earth grub at Sapsuckers in Huntington then mosey over to see some of
the edgiest theater to hit Long Island in a long while. Bare Bones Theater Company is staging The Motherfucker with the Hat .

Channing Daughter’s tasting room is the spot to be for Cool Weather, Light Reds. Linger at nearby Parrish Art Museum for a look at “Parrish Perspectives,” which includes the art of Robert Dash, a painter in grey. Nosh on Todd Jacobs’ woodsy fare at Fresh Hamptons cuisine.

War-r-iors, come out to plaa-aay...” It’s time to rediscover the Bronx in all its glory, and The Bronx: Who Knew? is the guide. Stroll verdant pastures in Pelham Park and experience the “true little Italy” and eateries on Arthur Ave. Embrace a spring afternoon in this community that is more neighborhood than city borough.

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Designer Profiles: The Spring Preview

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published: Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Birds Eye View
Cool neutrals, silver accents and warm textures mixed with an exotic take on an occasional chair to create a unique expression of modern elegance. This living room features our Hunter sofa and chair, Melrose cocktail table and new for spring 2015, our Bastille chair that has a sexy 70s vibe, with a stainless steel “cage” filled with comfortable cushions and matte-black steel base.
1900 Northern Blvd, Manhasset
(516) 726-2850

With the largest selection of products in the industry and rich, vibrant colors that are present throughout each paver, Nicolock products will exceed your expectations the day they’re installed and everyday thereafter. Nicolock Paving Stones and Retaining Walls manufactures a complete line of interlocking concrete paving stones, architectural paving slabs, precast concrete products and segmental retaining wall systems.  Technological advances such as our Paver-Shield ™ technology, select materials and rigorous quality control guarantee product consistency and ALL manufactured Nicolock products come with a limited lifetime warranty.
640 Muncy Ave, Lindenhurst

Our 8,000-square-foot showroom displays the largest selection of lighting fixtures in Suffolk County and includes hundreds of chandeliers, ceiling fans, exterior lights, flush mounts and vanity lights. Our LED light lab offers one of the largest assortments of LED lighting in the metropolitan area (opening spring 2015). 

Our design staff includes LED lighting specialists, professional interior designers and trained lighting designers who are all available for in-home consultations. We are also the home of ENIA, Long Island’s premier fashion and jewelry boutique.
326 East Jericho Turnpike, Huntington Station

Jim Naples, Sr., president of Eastbay Builders, has earned a strong reputation for high-quality workmanship and service with attention to detail in every one of his projects. East Bay Builders is a family business serving Long Island from Montauk and Orient Point to western Nassau since 1980. They provide reliable, on-time service in every aspect of residential and commercial design and construction. 

Men on the Move is Long Island’s premier moving and self-storage company. As repeat winners of Angie’s List Super Service Award and Long Island Press’ Best of Long Island, we are proud to offer some of the best moving services and self-storage facilities on Long Island for over 30 years!
50 Carnation Ave. Floral Park

From design to installation, Ocean Spray Hot Tubs and Saunas is Long Island’s premier sauna builder. Custom designs, environmental products and in-house design and installation team provide the homeowner with unparalleled workmanship and customer service.
97 Old Riverhead Road Westhampton Beach

Creating beautiful spaces is our passion! It is a pleasure to be able to share our knowledge and creativy with clients. Our objective is to create stylish & sophisticated interiors. Let our team bring some style into your home.

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Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

2015 Long Island Top Vets

Listing of Caring Local Veterinarians

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published: Monday, March 30, 2015

Joshua W. Tumulty, DVM, DACVIM
Long Island Veterinary Specialists

Dr. Tumulty’s goal is to work together with referring veterinarians to provide the highest level of medicine, as well as to support and educate families as they explore all available options for their pet. This allows pets to enjoy a life free of pain and suffering, preserving their dignity and elevating their quality of life.

Long Island Veterinary Specialists

In 2013, Dr. Kim completed a three-year residency program in comparative ophthalmology at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine and achieved board certification as a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.

Rada Panich, DVM
Long Island Veterinary Specialists

Along with Dr. Marino and Dr. Sapienza, Dr. Panich is a founding member of Long Island Veterinary Specialists. She has a particular interest in managing dogs and cats with atopic dermatitis, immune-mediated dermatoses and infectious diseases.

Catherine A. Loughin, DVM, DACVS, DACCT
Long Island Veterinary Specialists

Dr. Loughin accepted a one-year general internship at Long Island Veterinary Specialists. That one year progressed into a second year as a surgical intern, and then three more years for a surgical residency. After her residency was complete Dr. Loughin joined LIVS full-time.

Jacqueline Carver, DVM, DACVS
Long Island Veterinary Specialists

Dr. Carver is currently on staff with the Department of Surgery at Long Island Veterinary Specialists. Dr. Carver’s areas of special interest include cardiovascular, urogenital and exotic animal surgery.

Ann Bilderback, DVM, DACVIM
Long Island Veterinary Specialists

Dr. Bilderback has lectured on a variety of neurology/neurosurgery topics and has published articles in scientific journals.  Although she enjoys all aspects of veterinary neurology, her special interests include seizure management and autoimmune encephalitis.

Brian P. Grossbard, DVM, DACVS
Long Island Veterinary Specialists

Dr. Grossbard has been practicing veterinary surgery in New York since 2006. He is board certified by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. Dr. Grossbard is also a certified provider of Vet-Stem regenerative medicine and has been providing stem cell therapy for dogs and cats since 2006. 

Shadi Ireifej, DVM
Long Island Veterinary Specialists

Dr. Ireifej is presently completing the surgical residency requirements for certification in the American College of Veterinary Surgeons at Long Island Veterinary Specialists under the direction of Dr. Dominic J. Marino. He enjoys all aspects of surgery with special interests in joint replacements.

John S. Sapienza, DVM, Dip. ACVO
Long Island Veterinary Specialists

Dr. Sapienza is the consultant veterinary ophthalmologist at the Bronx Zoo and the NY Aquarium and is the head and department chairman of the ophthalmology section at Long Island Veterinary Specialists.

Joseph Domenic Stefanacci, VMD, DACVR
Long Island Veterinary Specialists

Dr. Stefenacci joined the Long Island Veterinary Specialists team in 2000. His professional interests include abdominal and cardiac ultrasound and alternate imaging, i.e. CT and MRI. Dr. Stefanacci is an active member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the New York State Veterinary Medical Society, the Long Island Veterinary Medical Association, and the American College of Veterinary Radiology. 

Sabrina Poggiagliolmi, DVM, MS
Long Island Veterinary Specialists

Dr. Poggiagliolmi is an integral member of the Long Island Veterinary Specialists Behavioral Medicine Department. Dr. Poggiagliolmi is an active member of both the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior.

Dominic J. Marino, DVM, DACVS, DACCT, CCRP
Long Island Veterinary Specialists

Dr. Marino is the chief of staff of Long Island Veterinary Specialists and is the veterinary surgeon for the New York City Police Department, MTA Police Department, Nassau County Police Department, Nassau County Sherriff’s Department, Suffolk County Police Department, Port Authority of the State of New York, US Customs and Border Patrol, Federal Air Marshalls and the Secret Service.

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Special Section: April 2015

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published: Sunday, March 29, 2015

This is the time of year we get cracking on stalled home projects—DIY or otherwise. Our collection of stories covers home design from the ground up, literally, and everything in between.

Design Profiles

Read Full Article

Extraordinary Estates

We celebrate the opening of the real estate season by peeking inside luxury dream homes across the Island.
Read Full Article


Every room needs a “wow factor,” but the budget isn’t always accommodating. A faux finish, using special paints and techniques to simulate texture or materials, can dramatically change a space’s look without breaking the bank.
Read Full Article

Flexible Family Space

Designer Keith Mazzei’s clients handed him a lengthy wish list for a room in their 1950s Georgian colonial in Locust Valley. He delivered a space to gather around for cocktails, a game of pool, a roaring fire or Netflix.
Read Full Article

From The Ground Up

Building a custom home starts with building the right team.
Read Full Article

The 5th Element

One of the best ways to infuse style into a space is hiding right in front of you—or, more accurately, above you. Look to the ceiling and apply some imagination
Read Full Article

Town Matchmaking

One of the best ways to infuse style into a space is hiding right in front of you—or, more accurately, above you. Look to the ceiling and apply some imagination
Read Full Article

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Seeing A Man About A Dog

Long Island dog whisperers share the dos and don’ts of training

Author: Lee Landor | Published:

Dogs don’t really come with instructions. Sure, even newbie owners have a general idea of what not to do (feed them chocolate) but there’s much more to it if you want a thriving canine companion. Where there are dogs, there are dog trainers. These so-called dog whisperers are as widely varied in background as they are in methodology. Pulse caught up with some of the best to learn about their stories and styles.

For trainer Asha Gallacher, who runs the North Fork School For Dogs with business partner Dawn Bennett, successful dog training requires a hands-off , rewards-based approach. In Glen Cove, Jackie Comitino doesn’t limit herself to any one technique, preferring instead to operate Back 2 Balance Dog Training and Rehabilitation with an open mind and to tailor training to individuals. Meanwhile, SuperPaws Dog Training founder Chris Smith is all about trying whatever works to solve problems and achieve results. Their varied backgrounds made for interesting insights that can help just about every dog owner.

Long Island Pulse: Tell us about the experience that launched you into dog training.
Asha Gallacher: I rescued a Cardigan Welsh Corgi, and this dog was really damaged, a really fearful dog. I worked with her intensively and she really came around. It was that love of being able to help this poor animal that was just a bundle of nerves and fear. For her to be able to live a normal life—I said, “Wow, this is awesome. I want to do this again.”

Jackie Comitino: Me and my ex adopted a dog. We did everything we could possibly do wrong and we kind of created a little monster. She followed us everywhere, she whined about everything. Little did we know at the time, we were really just feeding into a lot of anxiety and a lot of problem behaviors that were just beginning to surface. So I started reading up on basic training behaviors and it grew from there.

Chris Smith: I got a German Shepherd that would kind of beat me up a little. I had no a clue what to do with him, so I enlisted the help of a dog trainer. He did a wonderful job with my dog and really inspired me to think that I might be able to do it myself. After a lot of browbeating, he agreed to enlist me as his apprentice.

How early is too early to start training?
AG: You can never start too early. That’s what our philosophy is: start training them now before these problem behaviors occur. For example, jumping up on people. You can eliminate that if you just reward the dog and pet the dog when they’re sitting. That’s it. And then you’ll never have a dog that jumps.

JC: I think you just know in your gut. It really comes down to: do you want to help your dog? The goal is for you to coexist.

Is training more about the dog or the owner?
JC: I’d say it’s all about relationship building. I don’t focus so much on rehearsed behaviors. I focus on what’s [the dog’s] state of mind, getting them to a calm state of mind where they can actually make better choices and I teach the owners how to maintain that. If I can get a dog to do something, that’s great. But I’m not going to be very successful if the owners can’t do it.

CS: Yeah, whatever works for the dog and for the client is what we’ll use.

What’s the most common mistake people make when getting a dog?
CS: I think it’s failing to crate train. Even if you don’t plan on using the crate for a long time, it actually helps the dog build bowel and bladder strength, which makes your life easier.

AG: Socializing puppies young will make your life easier. There’s a very important window… a fear imprint stage and it’s really important that you expose your puppy to positive new things in a very positive way so they don’t develop these fears later on. If you isolate your puppy and don’t allow them to be sponges that can soak in all this information, they develop phobias later in life.

What was your most challenging case? How did you resolve it?
JC: A dog who was guarding his crate. You couldn’t get near it. It was bad. He tried to bite me a few times. Little by little, by counter conditioning and throwing some food in every time I walked by—just making positive associations—we did get to the point where you could take him in and out of the crate without getting your hand ripped off.

CS: His name was Louie. He was a Central Asian Ovcharka—225 pounds and responded to nobody but his owner. It took almost two months of daily interaction before we were able to get close enough where I could pet him without him trying to bite me.

What about the overall most challenging behavior problem?
CS: Fear-aggression is the trickiest.

AG: Well, 99 percent of behavior problems are fear-based.

JC: And aggression in itself, a lot of times, is just fear. Dogs are really the key to help rehabilitate aggressive dogs.

What’s up with the need for dog training on LI specifically?
AG: We’ve found that rural dogs are less socialized than city dogs. From day one, [city dogs are] exposed to noise, trucks, honking, dog parks, loads of people walking by… where our country dogs maybe see one other dog on a walk. Everything is quiet.

CS: Yes and a byproduct of this could also be mentally under-stimulated dogs, which may produce destructive behavior.

Top tips for owners?
AG: Reward the good behavior, ignore behavior you don’t like.

JC: I think it’s more about getting to know dog behavior. If you’re not going to hire a trainer, definitely get to know your dog and dog behavior, just the little subtle signs, and it could create a better relationship.

CS: To create a good relationship from the get-go, you have to do your research, figure out what’s going to be best for you, for your house setup and for your family setup. Make sure you have your resources in place prior to accepting the new member of the family.

Lee Landor
Author: Lee Landor

Pets & Vets

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:

Our second-annual Pets and Vets section is all about animal well-being. Last year we took a look at a brave collection of activists working to save neglected local animals. (You can still find here) This year we’re focusing the spotlight a little closer to home with advice on taking care of the animals we’ve already welcomed into our lives. We coaxed some tips and advice from a variety of trainers, and rounding out the section is a listing of caring local veterinarians.

Seeing A Man About A Dog

Long Island dog whisperers share the dos and don’ts of training.
Read Full Article

Posh Products For The Pup

This beautifully made leash and collar set are off the chain!
Read Full Article

2015 Long Island’s Top Vets

A Listing of Caring Local Veternarians
Read Full Article

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Wales of a Time: Pembrokeshire

The unexpectedly lush and sunny coast of Pembrokeshire, Wales, offers tourists plenty of reasons to keep touring

Author: noah lederman | Published: Friday, March 27, 2015
"Go jump off a cliff," is not always an insult in Wales. It may be an invitation to participate in coasteering—a nascent sport combining rock climbing with uh... falling. Image: Crown copyright (2014) Visit Wales

Perched in the cliffs above Saundersfoot Harbor, where the dramatic Welsh tides left some ships leaning on damp sand, is the St. Brides Spa Hotel. My massage treatment had just ended; it was the first time that I had ever fallen asleep on the table, despite the great service. After just two days in Wales, I had already exhausted myself. A surf off the Gower peninsula, a hike to Dylan Thomas’ writing shed that looked upon Sir John’s Hill and a 15-mile bicycle ride along part of the country’s 870-mile coastal trail (Wales is the first nation to have a path covering the entire coastline), meant the treatment couldn’t have come at a better time.

I left my masseuse and tried to shake this enervation before dinner. I disrobed for a freezing therapeutic shower in the spa’s thermal suite, grabbed ice from a basin to rub across my face, and poured myself tea before slipping into the infinity pool. From the ledge, I watched the tide continue its retreat from the harbor. Beachgoers who probably set their blankets a few meters from the shoreline earlier in the day were now left half a soccer pitch from the sea.

Dinner at the hotel’s Cliff Restaurant was a sleepy affair. I waited for dark- ness to steal the views before giving myself permission to trudge off to bed.

In the morning I walked out onto the balcony outside of my marine- themed room and saw the return of the tide. The ships’ masts bobbed like stuttering hands on broken clocks flirting with their twelves. I could have spent days in the luxury of St. Brides, but
I knew that I had to see the country. I stationed myself at a table at the Cliff and plotted out my Pembrokeshire County itinerary over a feast of eggs and haddock.


First on my list was the nearby seaside city
 of Tenby. After arriving
 in Tenby, I drove to one
of the elevated roads above the shoreline. In the distance, across the hazy Bristol Channel, sat Caldey Island, home to the famous chocolatier monks, who also dabbled in baking shortbreads and handcrafting perfumes. I looked down at the pair of beaches and wondered how the city’s famous mathematician, Robert Recorde, could have conjured up the equal sign living by such inspiring, yet incongruous waterfronts. The head- land that ran from the town and toward the sea separated the beaches. To the north was one long stretch of sand while the southern beach had a small harbor with dozens of boats waiting for the tide to return.

Back in town, a similar disparity existed. Thirteenth-century medieval castellated walls neighbored the more modern Gregorian townhouses. I walked to High Street, where the cafes were setting up. The streets are closed to traffic around lunch time and as the locals grabbed tables, street performers filled the cobblestone paths and pushcart owners in the nose-piercing business waited for guests to feel daring in Wales.

I stumbled around and found a small lane called Quay Hill that offered a slice of sea view. I entered the Plantagenate Restaurant, famous for having the oldest and largest Flemish chimney inside a building, but decided that there wouldn’t be enough time to eat if I wanted to squeeze in a hike along the coastal trail.
 I exited Tenby through one of the five archways of the city’s beloved barbican and drove up the coast to the smallest city in the United Kingdom, St. David.

The entire coastline is connected by a continuous path, but the most beautiful section of the trail is arguably in this region of Pembrokeshire. The trails near St. David offer hikers a pilgrimage in numerous forms.

The ethereal cliffs, rimmed and striped with bleached and tar-black lichen, bracketed the sea as a series of headlands. Plotted out on the page, the cliffs would have resembled musical scales. The cliff tops wore cloaks of fern and along the trail songbirds chased the sounds of crickets, butterflies danced upon flowers threaded into the bouquets of heather and Queen Anne’s lace, horses roamed, sheep paddocks bleated with life. In the royal blue waters at the base of each precipice, Atlantic gray seals periscoped their snouts from the sea before sunning atop boulders. They had come to the protected coves to pup. Nature was luxurious. And as I hiked I spotted only six white sailboats cruising the expanse of the Bristol Channel.


Journeys of a more theistic nature are possible in Wales as well. At White Sands Bay, to the north of St. David, a consecrated mound sits beside the car park where a church once stood. The church was built to honor a miracle that began at the bay. According to legend, pirates had abducted a Welsh boy named Patrick—better known as the Irish patron saint. In slavery, the boy performed his first miracle: converting his captors. To the south sits another destroyed holy site, the original St. Non’s Chapel, which was erected beside the spot where St. Non gave birth to St. David—who would become the patron saint of Wales. The story goes that a well sprung up at the place of this nativity, but today only the footprint of the church and an original Celtic cross decorate a field otherwise occupied by grazing cows.

I however, was on a less religious pilgrimage, heading down the path to Porthgain for a beer. I passed igneous tors that sat like black boils on the backs of green hills and cormorants fanning out their wings beside neon-rimmed tidal pools. I was in search of the Sloop Inn. While drinking a beer isn’t an uncommon way to end a grueling journey, it’s quite rare to find a pub along the path. But in Wales, where the entire coastline is home to both seaside communities and trail, I was able to plot out my
voyage so that it would conclude with
this luxury. At the Sloop, the beer was warm—in the way that the Welsh like their brews—and the interior designer was an eccentric. The inn looked
 as though a tsunami had deposited the contents of a nautical museum in its rafters. Hanging above me was everything from glass buoys to award- winning giant crabs glued to plaques.

After slugging down one of the best beers of my life—albeit made all the more wonderful by the preceding slog—I looked at the time and decided there was room for one more pint. I took the back roads to a village in the Gwaun Valley.

Driving Welsh roads, which had been designed for single cars to traverse narrow lanes enveloped by sets
of hedgerows, is both a cultural experience and a testa- ment to the people. Although motorists often face-off on these tight thoroughfares, no one beeps in frustration
or in warning. Instead, in a lovely exercise in civility, drivers—sometimes six at a time—reverse to where
the road widens to let one another pass. (And this in a nation where commutes are lengthened by sheep cross- ings and rams leaping suicidally from escarpments.)


I reached the Gwaun Valley, where the people still ollow the Julian calendar, celebrating holidays like Christmas and New Year’s 13 days after the rest of the world. In the village of Pontfaen, I entered a small farmhouse pub called the Drffyn Arms, though everyone knows it as Bessie’s.

If the people of the Gwaun seem to be a fortnight behind, Bessie’s feels like it’s in the wrong century. Bessie, the elderly landlady, famous in these parts for her wit, sat in the misplaced church pew between the entrance and the bar. She moved her walker so that I could enter and make my way to a spot at the bar window, which resembled a bus terminal’s ticket booth more than a counter for the distribution of beer. I was served the only beer on tap, a warm Bass ale. While Bessie appeared too tired to shock the crowds with her endearing stories, she did allow a farmer to stage a cabbage auction for her clientele.

The next morning I returned to the beautiful precipices along the coast. But this time the plan wasn’t to walk the rim. The idea was to jump off. Coasteering is a nascent sport and Wales is its country of birth. Coasteering combines rock climbing, cliff jumping and extreme swimming. For adventurists looking for a crash-course (maybe that’s t he wrong word) in marine biology, it’s a must. I had expected it to be a day of non-stop adrenaline. But I paused with my guide to admire the sea anemones, grab at sand crabs and watch the grazing limpets of the tidal pools. But we always went back to hurling ourselves from 20-foot crags and swimming into caves where the swells would magnify.

The tide started to change, altering the depths that we required to plunge with safety, so we climbed back toward the van. My guide stopped to stretch, twisting his neck and rotating his shoulders. I watched the sun glimmer off the sea and the bluffs flow with fern. How wonderful it was to stand atop the cliffs of Pembrokeshire, lofted among its beauty, with odd pubs in close proximity. But I had paid the price of a thirsty athlete and Wales had done a number on me: my legs were sore from the hike, my arms weak from incorrectly scaling rock walls, my brain addled from pints. Maybe I should have postponed that massage and lavish stay until the end of my visit.



noah lederman
Author: noah lederman

The Second Coming of Jacob

Last year’s NL Rookie of the Year talks 2015

Author: Tony Bellissimo | Published:

Jacob deGrom didn’t throw a Major League pitch until the middle of last May when he was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas to fill a bullpen role for the Mets. Two days after his arrival deGrom was thrust into the starting rotation when Dillon Gee landed on the disabled list. DeGrom embarked on an incredible journey by shutting down the Yankees at Citi Field to the tune of one run over seven innings—even retiring Derek Jeter four times. The former college shortstop with flowing brown locks, a mid- 90s fastball and a wicked slider also made an impact at the dish, whacking a single in his first-ever plate appearance to end a record drought by Mets pitchers (0-for-64) to start the season.

The hits eventually kept coming for the 26-year-old right-hander, after the seven outings he needed to record his first big league victory. By early July he found a rhythm and began a stretch of wins in five consecutive starts, including an 11-strikeout, no-walk performance over seven shutout innings against the Atlanta Braves.

It’s widely believed deGrom, drafted by the Mets in the ninth round in 2010 out of Stetson University in DeLand, FL, overtook Cincinnati Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton in the National League Rookie of the Year race Sept 15 when he tied the modern-day record for strikeouts to start a game by whiffing eight Florida Marlins. He was lights-out down the stretch and finished 9-6 with a 2.69 ERA and 144 strikeouts.

DeGrom’s storybook 2014 reached a pinnacle in November when in a span of 48 hours he got married and was named the fifth ROY in franchise history. Pulse caught up with deGrom a few days before Mets pitchers and catchers reported for spring training in Port St. Lucie, FL.

Long Island Pulse: You are not the first young Mets pitcher to perform better in the majors when called up. Is there anything specific you can attribute this to?
Jacob deGrom: I got a lot of confidence from the first Yankee start. Even though I didn’t win a lot in the beginning, I had some good results and early on I knew I could pitch in the majors. It is better I came up when no one really noticed me, I was able to slip under the radar for a while.

What was it like facing Derek Jeter in your debut?
It was a big thrill to face a future Hall of Famer. When I saw him in the batter’s box, it was kind of hard to believe I was pitching in a major league game.

You struggled a bit after a quick start before turning it on. Was there any specific moment where you felt everything just clicked?
Things did not go well in the beginning, but I never lost confidence. Terry [Collins] kept running me out there every fifth day and our catchers—Travis d’Arnaud and Anthony Recker kept telling me “don’t get down, things will change,” and they did.

Mets pitchers were in a hitting slump last season until you came through in your debut plate appearance. How did it feel to get your first MLB hit?
It was a great feeling. Don’t forget I’m a former shortstop and I take pride in swinging the bat.


Did you keep the ball from your first hit?
I did keep the ball and gave it to my father [Tony]. A ball from my first MLB victory [June 21 at Florida] is in my house in Florida.

Where’s the ROY award displayed?
The Mets asked me to donate my award to the Hall of Fame and I loaned it to them for a year. It’s an honor to have it there.

The Mets hadn’t had an ROY since Dwight Gooden in 1984. What was your reaction when you learned you won it?
I am really proud to be in that company with Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, Jon Matlack and Tom Seaver. It’s just a great thrill to have your name in the same company as those guys. It was a tremendous year for me and my family.

How did your time in Las Vegas help prepare you for the big leagues?
Frank Viola really helped me a lot on my location. It was great having a former Cy Young Award winner as my pitching coach.

Does the fact you’ve already had Tommy John surgery (in 2010) influence the way you approach your starts?
No it doesn’t. From my surgeries in the past, I am stronger now than I’ve ever been. I do not think about the surgery at all.

How’s Matt Harvey doing with his recovery from the surgery?
We talk a lot. I tell him where I was at certain stages. I try not to be too forward about it. When he asks me, I will tell him things. Some guys have setbacks when they start throwing again. I didn’t and Matt didn’t.

The numbers are pretty frightening: 75 percent of ROY winners (as of 2005) see a decline the following year. How will you avoid the sophomore slump?
For me, last year is in the past. I just want to worry about getting better. I still have a lot to improve on and that’s where I will concentrate this season. I need to work on my command and cut down on walks. I also have to learn how to go deeper in games.

What are your thoughts on the 2015 Mets?
I am excited about our team with Harvey coming back. David Wright will be healthy and a lot of our younger players like [Lucas] Duda and [Juan] Lagares and d’Arnaud will just keep getting better and better. I’m not worried about setting a figure for wins. We have a great sense of optimism in the clubhouse and I think we are ready to take that step to the next level.

Tony Bellissimo
Author: Tony Bellissimo

HERSTORY Writers Workshop

A place where storytellers and activists meet

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:
illustrations: cate andrews
illustrations: cate andrews

Herstory Writers Workshop began in the mid-1990s when novelist and essayist Erika Duncan offered a week of free workshops to women who had experienced personal and political trauma. Duncan’s idea was to give voice to those without conventional literary or educational backgrounds, to enable them to create literary works powerful enough to move an audience of strangers. Today Herstory reaches thousands of people from all walks of life, using the stories produced to change hearts, minds and policies. Women and girls—and more recently men and boys—from all over Long Island participate in around 15 weekly workshops held at schools, community organizations, shelters and jails. They contribute their stories to anthologies, read them before legislators, college students and the general public, or just share them with one another. The following memoir excerpts come from these workshops and are only lightly edited to preserve each writer’s rhythm and voice. To learn more about the project, visit

By Arooj Janjua
Arooj produced this story when she was a sophomore at Hempstead High School. The piece relates her experiences wearing a hijab [headscarf ] to school for the first time.

I just look like a Muslim to most, but to a few I am an unwanted creature, a terrorist. The thought of me being called a terrorist ran through my head over and over again as I tightened my scarf and took my first step into middle school in a hijab. I thought it was bad enough being how I was before. Even though throughout 6th grade I didn’t wear a scarf on my head, all I heard around me was “ugly terrorist,” “you need a bag on your head” and “immigrant.” I went mute after that. Barely spoke a word. That innocent little girl became what she believed herself to be.

It was an ordinary day. I woke up at 6:30, got dressed and looked at the mirror. I stared at the girl looking back at me. With her long black hair flowing everywhere from the front of her face all the way down her back. Her light brown eyes filled with confidence, such confidence that nothing could bring her down… not until that day.

That day was nerve wracking for me. I mean making a huge change is nerve wracking for most people. Everything was ok at first. I sat in the cafeteria waiting for the bell; hoping no one would say anything, but I was wrong. People came up to me making a wall of intimidation around me, mentally and physically. They asked so many questions that I didn’t know how to answer, mainly because I was afraid to speak. They laughed their hearts out. They touched my hijab and one person actually pulled my scarf off my head.

Everyone asked to see that innocent girl’s hair. She felt insulted. She wanted to practice her religious views without all that crap. She wanted to yell. She wanted them to stop. She started to think it was a mistake to wear a hijab. She wanted them to leave her alone, but nothing came out of her mouth. She just walked away. She walked away with nothing left, but tears in her eyes.

After that day I was very scared to do anything. Scared to speak, scared to do work on the board, scared to change myself, scared to tell someone. I usually sat with my teachers at lunch and in the morning as well. Whatever I could do to hide from everyone. I did whatever I could to get my mind off the thought of them hurting me again. I’d work, clean, draw and help others. It suddenly hit me, what will I do next year? I can’t keep hiding behind my teachers. Just that thought got me so mad.

Anyone who came my way never spoke to me again. I would beat up people at the portables. I would curse out anyone who said anything about me. I pushed people. I hurt them like they hurt me. I became a girl who reflected her feelings on others. I basically became the bully. When I realized that I was the bad guy this time, I stopped. I didn’t want to hurt anyone. I went back to that helpless girl hiding from the world. I felt like I went through different phases of who I wanted to be as a Muslim. People knew I was tough and rude so they didn’t bother me as much. One good thing came out of that. But they just left me alone. I never had a friend since.


I remember a girl who actually tried to talk to me and tried to be my friend. Her name escapes my mind but her face is clear to me. At lunch I was sitting outside on the bleachers drawing henna designs all over my paper. She came up to me.

“Hi.” I looked up and saw her face and thought it must be a prank or a dare to talk to the terrorist. I ignored her.

“What’s your name?” I looked up.

“Arooj,” I replied cautiously making sure that I didn’t get laughed at. People laughed at my name, thinking it’s so many things other than what it really is, Arooj.

“That’s a nice name. What does it mean?” I looked up and she was still smiling.

“It means highest of all or rise.”

“That sounds so cool! What wou…” she couldn’t finish her sentence. Out of nowhere two girls run up to us and I think, oh shit please do not say anything.

“Who do you like? Chris, Jonathan or Kevin?” I looked confused. I didn’t know any of them or like them. They asked again, “who do you like Chris, Jonathan, or Kevin?”

“Wait, did you say Chris?”

I looked to my right and looked at her. She was still smiling. The two girls ran off to find whoever Chris was to tell him that someone likes him.

“Wow! So stupid.” I looked down and continued to finish my flower.

“Wow! That’s so beautiful! You have to teach me that!” she commented. I looked up and as soon as I opened my mouth to say something… beep. The bell rang. I grabbed my things and ran off to class.


By Yolanda Gress
This story was translated from the Spanish, written in a bilingual workshop in Farmingville shortly after the violence there.

A Tuesday in January 2005—a very cold day. Snow had fallen the day before and the wind was blowing. It made your hands freeze and the cold penetrated through to your bones. My car didn’t have heat, but I had the responsibility of taking Armando, my son, to Kara, a high school student who helped him with the hard homework problems that he didn’t understand.

The road and everything around it was white; but just as we were crossing a bridge, the light turned red. It was then that my son and I turned around, and saw a man covering himself with cardboard. The cold was awful and I noticed in particular that this man’s hair was very messy. His face and hands were very red. I had to drive on, and in the moment when his hands were present in my mind, what came to me was the image of Jesus.

I drove to the next traffic light when my son and I turned toward each other. He said, “Poor man, no, Mom?” Yes, I answered, adding, “I don’t know why the government doesn’t help him, since he’s American!”

We arrived at the next light and I turned around as if expecting to see him, but what I saw were two blankets belonging to my two-year- old daughter Diana, the baby of the family. I said to myself, “Blankets!” I said it aloud to Armando. I saw an expression of happiness on his face, and I thought: “These are little Diana’s blankets. How can I give them away?”

These blankets meant a lot to me because Diana had had them ever since she was a baby. I asked myself, “What do I do? Do I give them to him or do I go on?” But poor thing, pobrecito, I thought again. He’s cold and I at least am inside the car. I had little time to decide, and I was confused. The light turned green and I had to go on. But the road divider was long, and there wasn’t a place to turn around. Armando and I were silent. I saw my son’s eyes fi ll with tears, and I had a lump in my throat. I thought, “Dear God, protect him! Forgive me, Lord! I don’t know what to do! Forgive me, Lord!”

We passed under a bridge and I turned around to look at my son. He looked very sad, and at the moment we were looking at each other, he said, “When you go back, look for him, Mom!” I immediately answered, “Yes, son. I’ll look for him. I don’t know if I’ll find him, but I’ll l look for him.”

We finally got past the long road divider. The silence continued for seven or eight blocks. I thought, “Where will I find him? What direction did he take?” Since he was on one side of the bridge, I didn’t know if he had walked off of it, or if he had gone to the other side.

I dropped Armando at Kara’s house for tutoring and began to drive home. To my surprise, as I crossed the bridge where we had seen the man, I saw someone walking in the snow. I felt the sky open up. I felt that God was smiling down on me. I caught up with him, and turned around to see if it was the same man. Yes, it’s him! I parked on the side of the road, a little ahead of him, then I lowered the window and yelled: “Hey, you need a ride?”

I felt that he was waiting for something like that, because as soon as he saw me and heard my shout, he didn’t even think about it; in fact, he even crossed the road without looking both ways. When he got to my window I took out the two blankets and said, “This is for you.” I offered to take him to his house. In English he said, “You’re going to take me to my house?”

I understand very little English, but in that moment it was as if we had spoken the same language. “Yes,” I answered, smiling at him.

“OK,” he said, and got into the car

After a moment of silence, he said, “In this city nobody gives rides.” He continued talking throughout the ride, but I couldn’t understand anything else. I remember that he spoke slowly and in a soft voice. I asked him, “Where is your house?” To my surprise he said, “Here’s fine,” pointing to a parking lot.

I stopped, he took his blankets, and as he got out of the car he thanked me. I never saw his face again. I remained parked, looking at the cars covered in snow, with nobody else around. I wondered, “Where does he live? What is he going to do?” And then I headed for home.


“If your words had the power to heal our communities and hearts, what would you want them to say?”

These are the words that inaugurated Herstory’s inter-generational Bridges to Justice workshop that started in New Cassel last February, bringing together college students, community leaders and elders to write side-by-side.

“Is there a particular scene that might give a human face to your journey so that readers would no longer judge you, but would extend a helping hand?”

This question is asked by facilitators from Herstory Writers Workshops at the Riverhead and Nassau County jails every time a new participant joins the three weekly writing circles that take place behind bars.

Whether Herstory’s facilitators are meeting with a lively group of children of the incarcerated from Central Islip High School, language learners from Patchogue/Medford High School, Uniondale High School students writing about racial justice, women living in domestic violence shelters, or community elders, they use their empathy training to help newcomers look inward, creating grassroots literature based on daring an imaginary reader to care.

Do you have a story that might make a difference? Join one of Herstory’s community-based writing circles and raise your voice in the struggle to change hearts, minds and policies.— Erika Duncan, founder, Herstory

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Black & White & Color All Over

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:

The spark in spring this year is the blending of vibrant patterns with the edginess of black. As the quiet of the snow thaws, fashion gets loud

Photographer: Antonio DeMarco
Shot at: Pulse Studios
Fashion Stylist: U.M.A.
Stylist’s Assistant: Belen Larrea
Hair & Makeup: Mako Iijima using NARS cosmetics
Assistant to Ms. Iijima: Khoko Yamamoto


Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 Coupe

Author: William K. Gock | Published:

Man wants coupe, woman wants sedan. They compromise and buy…a sedan. Of course this is a hugely stereotypical hypothetical, but it’s also a synopsis of the car buying process that is not without merit. Coupes are often sporty, macho amalgamations of “look at me” elements like carbon and Alcantara, while sedans are the useful, but plain ol’ vanilla offering in the treat bin. Coupes are tight, agile, quick and built to drive with a captivating copilot or set of clubs up front; sedans are big, boxy, practical conveyances with ample passenger seating and trunk space for some groceries. It can’t be both ways, usually, and compromise is never easy. Unless of course one is shopping with one of the most rebellious players
 in the automotive industry today: Mercedes-Benz. By way of the all-new S63 4MATIC AMG Coupe, the brand has once again chosen to toss traditional definitions by the wayside.


From all exterior angles, the S63 is everything a coupe should be: a streamlined design of beauty, with practicality seemingly an afterthought. But here’s where rules get broken—the car is absolutely enormous. A monster to position and park, it dwarfs any two-door offering from rivals BMW or Audi, commanding a physical presence more on the level of Rolls-Royce and Bentley. As the successor to the CL63—a visual stunner in its own right—this new S-option delivers an ample dose of what its predecessor lacked: room. Making the current 6 Series coupe seem pint-sized, the car boasts more overall headroom than the outgoing CL63, seating four adults in comfortable
 fashion. While 
most two-doors have
 your companions calling “shotgun!” this one may actually have them clamoring for chauffeured status. Good luck reaching the glove box without their help.

You can still call shotgun if you want, but it’s hardly necessary in the powerful and spacious S63.

All this available
 space packs in luxury and sportiness. Lavish features include Nappa leather, a touchpad user interface and spa-level accouterments like the hot stone massage seats and an aromatherapy cabin atomizer, with an optional integrated champagne chiller. Front-seat occupants have their seatbelts delivered to them on ignition by way of
an automated, telescoping arm. And with accents like the billet-trimmed pedals and other racing cues, this car is also worthy to wear AMG badging. The car’s front seats are aggressively high-bolstered leathers that one would expect to find in something much more compact. While a nearly reclined driving position is possible, those gleaming race pedals had me wanting to slide right up and grip the flat-bottomed sport steering wheel. All that’s missing is a five-point race harness.


Powered by a twin-turbo-charged aluminum block 
V8, a mash of the coupe’s throttle delivers acceleration to triple-digit speeds way too fast for one’s own good. A late-night sprint over the causeway proved this car was a tsunami of power that would have continued to roll if my better judgment had not eventually kicked in. Blipping the paddle-shift down to third for the exit to Ocean Parkway, the S63 continued to deliver the drive feel of something half its size. Pulling through turns and routes with agility uncharacteristic of a car its size, it was quite easy to forget I was actually piloting one of the bigger cars Mercedes currently builds—and quite hard to wrap my head around the fact it had a 0-60 time lower than a Porsche Carrera S. Nailing traditional coupe nimbleness and acceleration, I did find the “sport” drive mode a bit harsh. Drivers may want to stay in “comfort,” but rest assured that even with the suspension toned down, there is no shortage of aggressive demeanor here.

Chances are Mercedes had little concern for compromise when building the S63 AMG Coupe, but they’ve delivered a perfect example of it nonetheless. Have your cake and eat it too, and still move like hell with your comfortable companions in tow.

Engine: Twin-Turbo DOHC 32-Valve V8
0-60: 3.7 seconds
Max Speed: 187mph (limited)
Max Power:  577hp @ 5,500rpm
Max Torque: 664lb-ft @ 2,250rpm
Base Price: $161,825

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.

Town Matchmaker: Picking Your Perfect Place

We’ve crunched the numbers to find out where you might want to move

Author: Alex Costello | Published:

Wherever you are in life—single, coupled up, having kids or headed for retirement—you may be looking for a new town in which to hang your hat. We know the places you most likely live now based on where we distribute (Gold Coast, Huntington, Garden City, Babylon, Hamptons…) and the census. But if you’re curious, about where to live, work and play in places that aren’t the usual suspects, you might consider these up and coming alternatives.

You’re: Single
You might live in: Syosset
But you might want to live in: Rockville Centre

George Martin The Original. Image: Courtesy of George Marting Group

Here’s why: You’re looking for a vibrant, active town with plenty of nightlife, but affordable with a variety of restaurant choices and rental options in apartment complexes and homes. Quick access to New York City is also ideal for weekend fun and a must for those commuting there.

For single City-commuters, the Village of Rockville Centre is pretty close to NYC. From the Rockville Centre LIRR station, in the heart of the village, it’s about 40 minutes to Midtown.

RVC’s one of the few Long Island communities with plenty of apartments— Avalon is one of the newest rental options, just three blocks from the train. One-bedroom apartments start at $2,375 a month for 725 square feet. About a quarter of the village’s residents are between 20 and 39, meaning the streets are busy from Thursday through Sunday.

(L) Kookaburra Coffee is in RVC, (R) Croxley’s Ales, Image: Stephen Lang

Recently referred to as an “urbanized suburb” by The New York Times, RVC has one of the most vibrant downtowns in Nassau County, offering dozens of bars and restaurants. Zagat rated Press 195 as a Best Buy for Long Island for its reasonably priced, inventive paninis and pub fare—plus, they host beer tastings and live music. Kookaburra Coffee, just around the corner from the LIRR, is a quick stop for coffee or a cozy place to linger over a warm mug. For a date night, Dino’s Italian is a reliable local favorite and there’s always the 25-year-old mainstay, George Martin The Original steakhouse. Croxley’s Ales, awarded an 89 by BeerAdvocate, is frequented by young locals and college students sating their thirst for craft brews.

There are plenty of other amenities too: six parks (including Hempstead Lake State Park), a recently renovated five-screen movie theater and about a 15-minute drive to Jones Beach. For some culture, indulge artsy inklings with year-round adult classes, exhibits and Wine Down Fridays at The Art Studio.

You’re: Dual-income, no kids (DINK)
You might live in: Plainview or Rocky Point
But you want to live in: Patchogue or Bay Shore

Alive After Five: Matt Furman/New Village

Here’s why: Couples want to enjoy the freedom that comes with some disposable income sans a screaming child and need a town that isn’t the typical suburbia. This means upscale to casual nightlife, cultural events, active lifestyles and opportunities to connect with other couples and friends. Affordable housing is still a priority, though you may be shopping for that starter home.

Patchogue has plenty for a young couple to do and with an average home price of about $302,000, it is one of the more affordable communities on Long Island. New Village, the recent four and five-story complex that opened last year, is offering city-style living in the heart of the village. Well-appointed modern apartments, fitness center, club room and communal outdoor spaces like the pool, fire pits and grilling area are just the beginning. The LIRR station is a 10-minute walk to catch a train for a little over an hour ride into Manhattan.

Main Street’s annual Alive After Five festival is a huge street fair featuring music, food and art in a walkable downtown. The art scene is exploding here; venues like Artspace Patchogue or The Gallery at 40 South have contemporary works and the Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts schedules music and theater shows, like the Patchogue Folk Festival, year-round.

Every July, the Great South Bay Music Festival brings in dozens of artists from around the country to perform right on the water at Shorefront Park. After that, enjoy a couples’ night out at the almost-nightly blues shows at Bobbique, or head to That Meetball Place, scooping out an array of unique orbs plus live music on Thursdays and Fridays and brunch on Sunday. For movie night, the Plaza Cinema & Media Arts Center shows critically acclaimed new releases in its 65-seat theater. Follow that discerning palate to the village’s wine bar, cheese shop, candy maker or Queen City Cupcakes—the name is a reference to the village’s nickname during the 1800s when it was the Hamptons of its day.

Craft beer at Great South Bay Brewery

Another affordable town-by-the-sea is Bay Shore (the average home is about $333,000). Bay Shore has Benjamin’s Memorial Beach, for summer siestas Presents with friends, as well as the Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, which hosts music, comedy and theatre. Events throughout the year include the community St. Patrick’s Day Parade; the Annual Arts Festival by the Bay, a performing arts event which 30,000 people attended last year; the Summertime in the Park concert series at the Band Shell on Main Street; and for a workweek break, there’s the Brown-Bag Lunchtime Concert Series.

Since kids are not an issue, it’s nice to have several options for romantic outings. The Tula Kitchen hosts live music and has intimate, candlelit tables for two and plenty of small plate options. The Lake House is also an ideal date-night destination for upscale new American dining and waterfront views.

For a taste of something different, the beer is as fresh as can be at Great South Bay Brewery, which concocts dozens of artisanal craft beers and is the spot for early weekend meet-ups with friends or to grab a quick pint after work with colleagues during the week. Tullulah’s is an inventive small place for small plates in a speakeasy environment that doesn’t feel contrived.

You’re: Married, with young children
You might live in: Smithtown or Oyster Bay
But you want to live in: Jericho or Floral Park

Image: Matthew Clark

Here’s why: When kids enter the picture their education and safety become primary concerns. For those starting their families, getting home from the City or breaking free from the LIE in time for dinner is also a priority. Long Island is full of communities that offer these options, but there are some standouts. ranked Jericho’s school district second in the nation based on assessment scores, student culture and diversity, educational outcomes, health and safety and student reviews. Jericho High School has consistently been named one of the best schools in the country. U.S. News and World Report recently ranked it 13th in New York State and 71st in the country. All good news considering that a quarter of Jericho’s population is under 18 (which also means your kids will have plenty of friends to hang with).

The community has a high standard of living too: the average home price is just over $650,000 and the median household income is $138,602. For working parents it’s just a five-minute drive to the Hicksville train station, simplifying that commute.

Queens County Museum: Courtesy of QCFM

On that one night you hire a sitter and go out, try Nagashima, which is known around town for having great sushi and an inviting atmosphere. And if you manage to get some free time on the weekends, try the greens at Meadow Brook Country Club, which also hosts many different PGA events and tournaments.

If you value safety, then Floral Park might be the place for your family. It was voted the safest city in New York in 2011 by, which analyzes the security of communities all over the country. The village’s I-Safe program teaches children the correct and responsible way to use technology, and the Setting Adolescent Values through Education and Deterrence (SAVED) program helps kids avoid drugs and other destructive decisions.

Floral Park Memorial High School, which serves grades 7-12, was ranked one of the top 20 on Long Island and number 53 in the state by U.S. News. The village also has a recreation center with lots of activities for kids and is working on building a new pool. Nearly a quarter of the people living in Floral Park are under 18. And the average home value is just under $520,000, keeping it within range of affordable living.

The village is a short ride from fun, educational outings like New York Hall of Science and Queens County Farm Museum, both in Queens. Family-friendly events are always going on at Nassau Coliseum in neighboring Garden City. And when mom and dad get a night free, Crabtree’s Restaurant offers white-tablecloth dining and classic Mediterranean cuisine in a garden patio setting. With kids in tow, Vaccario’s Pizzeria fi ts the bill for casual, trattoria-style seating and brick-oven pizza the whole family can enjoy.

You are: Empty nesters
You might live in: Dix Hills
But you should live in: Southold

Southold has six vineyards right in town and others not far away. Image: Lynn Spinnato

Here’s why: That four-bed, two-bath house was great when you had three kids running around who needed to be centrally located. But now that it’s just the two of you, it’s pretty big and you’re paying taxes for all of it. A lot of couples decide to downsize and move to smaller houses or condos once the kids are gone.

There are lots of communities on Long Island for people who are nearing retirement. Southold doesn’t have the greatest school district on Long Island, but it does have quaint homes with room to stretch out (the average price is about $493,000 with taxes about $7,000 on a 3-bedroom home), a population mostly over 55 and plenty of places to go to keep things interesting. For the oenophiles, there are six vineyards in town that are fun destinations when guests or children visit and countless others in the vicinity. It works just as well when relaxing with a spouse or partner, feet up and glass in hand, taking in some live music. Breweries are also popping up on the peninsula, as well as inventive eating and shopping for art or other handiworks.

Southold Historical Society: Americasroof

As one of the oldest communities here (it was settled in the 1600s), Southold is a great place for history buffs. There’s the Southold Historic District, with dozens of preserved buildings erected in the 1650s during the town’s settlement. Become a part of the diverse history as a member of the Southold Historical Society or explore its past in depth by visiting the Southold Indian Museum or Nautical Museum at Horton Point Lighthouse. The Custer Institute and Observatory is the ideal place to celebrate the lack of pollution—light, noise or otherwise—when the stars come out.

All the money you’re saving on taxes can be used for the gardener(s) who will keep that property looking beautiful, helpful for spending long afternoons on the porch rather than pushing a lawnmower. Ferries to Connecticut and Block Island make for easy diversions to neighbors either as day trips or longer. It’s one of the few places from which to get to the Hamptons without having to brave the traffic. And, perhaps best of all, nature’s bounty surrounds both on land and in the water.

Alex Costello
Author: Alex Costello

More Than a Voice

Meet the jocks behind the microphones at two local independent stations

Author: Michael Block | Published:
images: rick wenner
images: rick wenner

What is it about the radio hosts we embrace for the long haul— those disembodied voices we start each day with while lying in bed or braving the LIE? The reason for considering a particular jock either a broadcast-bud or a waste of a preset button is probably as good an inkblot test as any. Yet, whatever the machinations of the human mind, the simple answer is that the hosts we stick with day in and day out enhance our lives. The experience is intimate, yet risk-free. And that is how the bond is forged. There are two, you’ve probably heard them on your own rides to work, who embody the spirit of eclectic, fresh, independent terrestrial radio. They introduce us to new bands, music by old favorites, tell us where the traffic jams are and which venues we need tickets to this weekend. Ladies and gentlemen…

The Morning Show with Anthony
The vibe: Carpooling with your pal
WEHM 92.9 and 96.9 FM
M-F, 6-10am


Anthony Cafaro makes the drudge of early morning zombie-time go down as smooth as one of the craft beers he is constantly peddling. The WEHM jock refers to himself as “your pal” and his audience seems to react in kind. Like a confidant who has earned your trust, Cafaro waxes a daily barrage of pop culture, keen observations, embarrassing personal tales and his nuanced take on all things music. “I’m going to talk to the audience how I would talk to my friends… I want them to be involved so I try and avoid the typical radio playbook,” he said.

The dude has an agile wit that transforms the usual jabber about such things as the Oscars or planning a wedding into absurdist tales peppered with hilarity and his own unrestrained, high-pitched cackle. “Lessons I took from Stern are: Don’t be afraid to try things and don’t be afraid to become intimate with your audience. There’s a lot you can learn from Howard without stealing any of his gimmicks,” said the DJ.

There is a not-so-under-the-radar intellectual bent to Cafaro’s banter too and the show often evolves into a hip communal forum dedicated to music. Through the buzz of social media and Cafaro’s role as wizened and often wacky facilitator, the real-time give and take with the audience puts some flesh on the bones of topics like Beatles covers that rival the originals or Nirvana’s place in the rock ‘n’ roll pantheon. “It all starts with my natural curiosity, things that just pop into my head… I always want to bounce it off of the audience to see what they think.” Throw in insightful and lively interviews with the likes of an Aimee Mann or Gregg Allman and The Morning Show with Anthony quickly becomes must-listen radio.

The Morning Show
The vibe: Smooth morning jolt
WFUV 90.7 FM
M-F, 6-10am

If enthusiasm were a vice then WFUV’s Corny O’Connell just might need an intervention. Not chirpy or unhinged, but with the clear-eyed fever for both music and his radio station, O’Connell sends velvet-laced adrenaline across the airways. “Some listeners think of me as that friend with the really big music collection who loves sharing what’s cool and new,” he said. While lauding the station’s custom of playing everything from Phoenix to Leonard Cohen, O’Connell said proudly, “We just don’t play variety, we are downright schizophrenic.”

Whether putting forth his “Question of the Day” (recent topics included songs that feature dogs to mark a highfalutin’ dog show and those mentioning “the first time” to celebrate—well you know) or tirelessly raising funds for the station, O’Connell maintains a playful seriousness. The non-practicing attorney uses well-placed descriptors to heighten the audience’s level of engagement. Dropping in “ominous” to describe Death Cab for Cutie’s “I Will Possess Your Heart” is one example of stealthily maximizing the moment.

“I do try to provide some context to the music I play, anything that will give some background or color or a way for the audience to relate to it,” said O’Connell. As with the well chosen word, the DJ who once dreamed of writing for Saturday Night Live is careful not to let his quick wit dominate the proceedings. “If I can get a laugh out of my listeners, that’s always fun, but I try not to force it. My sense of humor tends to be too dark for most people. At least that’s what my imaginary friend keeps telling me.” In O’Connell’s case, it is not only his judicious use of words, but a palpable excitement for his role and the music that speaks volumes.

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.

The Bronx: Who Knew?

New York’s most intimidating borough is more than baseball and a zoo

Author: Chris Connolly | Published:
hotos of Peter Capuano from Mike's Deli in the Bronx are $1, but discounts can be arranged for Yankee fans.
hotos of Peter Capuano from Mike's Deli in the Bronx are $1, but discounts can be arranged for Yankee fans.

“Pictures are one dollar!” said a powerfully New York-accented voice from behind a curtain of hanging salamis and dry mozzarellas. I lowered my camera to grin at the man hazing me, which allowed him to see my Yankees cap. “Oh! A Yankee fan? Ok, this one’s on the house.”

The man in my viewfinder was Peter Capuano who works at Mike’s Deli in the Arthur Avenue Market, the Bronx. I carefully took a few steps backwards to stand between barrels of salt cured capers and brining olives and shot a few more frames. The compact Capuano ducked away for an instant then reappeared holding a cluster of apricot-sized dry cheeses on strings.

“Let me show you a trick,” he said, producing a long slicing knife from behind the counter and impaling a cheese. “Remember going camping as a kid…?” Capuano turned to a stove and a burner flickered to life. He held the little cheese directly in the flame for half a minute, rotating the knife for even toasting, then quartered the treat and passed the charred, oozy hunks across the counter. “Italian marshmallows!” he announced. “Mangia!”

Like everyone who isn’t from the Bronx, my ideas about the borough were formed onscreen. Films shot in the Bronx almost exclusively use the area as Hollywood code for “tough neighborhood”—the way eye patches and white lap cats indicate crime bosses. Films like A Bronx Tale and Rumble in the Bronx focus on how incurably gritty the area is. In 1979’s The Warriors, when all the gangs in New York meet for a caucus, the only logical locale is the Bronx.

I hate to admit it, but even having been born in Manhattan my visits to the Bronx have been largely confined to the big three: Yankee Stadium, the zoo and the botanical gardens next door. In fact, until I made a conscious effort to explore the borough I pictured the Bronx as a kind of giant, 1980s D train covered in graffiti and patrolled by garishly attired breakdancing crews with switchblades.

What I found when I made a conscious effort to investigate, is that it’s a prideful community filled with interesting enclaves, attractions worth exploring and genuinely friendly and welcoming people.

Exploring the Bronx beyond Yankee Stadium and the zoo reveals treasures like the Bronx Museum of the Arts

I began my tour at Grand Concourse and 165th: The Bronx Museum of the Arts. Admission to this manageable museum is free and the collection comprises Bronx-based permanent exhibits, guest artists and a rich events calendar. (The museum doesn’t open until 11am, try lingering over brunch down the street at hipster hotspot Giovanni’s at 150th.) During my visit I viewed Sarah Sze’s ambitious “Triple Point (Planetarium)”—a veritable cosmos of found objects including screwdrivers, desk lamps, building toys and even a precariously suspended dandelion.

Leaving the museum I strolled south along the Bronx Walk of Fame—a collection of lamppost signs celebrating homegrown celebs like Ace Frehley of KISS, Grandmaster Flash & Furious Five, Colin Powell, Regis Philbin, DJ Red Alert and more. The walk took me past Babe Ruth Plaza where I paused to look downhill at Yankee Stadium before continuing to Sam’s Soul food on 150th.

This welcoming Southern kitchen is as much an attraction as an eatery and offers authentic soul food including oxtails, ribs, baked ham, fried fish and a variety of meats that have been “smothered.” (The hot ticket items sell out quickly, the hostess cautioned, and advised an early dinnertime.) I enjoyed a heap of braised turkey wings with greens and hot cornbread and also learned that Sam’s hosts karaoke events every Saturday in its lounge. I was not able to attend a karaoke night, but I’d be very surprised if the event didn’t qualify as “bangin’.”

I wrapped up my Concourse explorations after lunch and headed for the greener pastures of Pelham Park. Verdant expanses are certainly not among the first things one imagines when picturing the Bronx, but at three times the size of Central Park, Pelham has a lot of green going for it. A 13-mile saltwater shoreline hugs the Long Island Sound within the park’s confines and is enjoyed by beachgoers, fishermen and canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts. Summer stage events are frequent here and there are two golf courses within the park as well as miles of bridle trails and the historic Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum.

I was accompanied on my tour by a birder from Washington State and we enjoyed spotting osprey nests throughout the area. (My friend also taught me that our local great black backed seagulls are the world’s largest gulls—which may explain why they’ve taken so adeptly to mugging children for hot dogs and ice cream cones.) Pelham Park, we jointly learned, is home to one of New York’s largest flocks of wild turkeys; among the collective nouns we called up on an iPhone for these birds were the terms: rafter, raffle, gobble, gang and posse. (The latter two seemed especially apt for Bronx-based turkeys.)


Peter Capuano preparing “Italian marshmallows.”

Two days’ leisure time in the Bronx is easy to fill. In fact, 48 hours may not feel like enough. Just because one is attempting to uncover an area’s hidden secrets does not mean one should ignore the established landmarks. Yankee Stadium, the Bronx Zoo and the New York Botanical Garden are all treasures that merit at least a morning or an evening’s attention. So too do the shrimp boxes and crab shacks of City Island, the Soviet era lithography exhibit at the Hebrew Home, the Edgar Allen Poe Cottage and Gun Hill Brewing—the only Bronx brewery currently producing its beer on-site.

My last discovery on this trip to the Bronx however, was the infinitely explore-able string of restaurants and pork stores along Arthur Avenue. Widely referred to as New York’s “real Little Italy,” Arthur Avenue certainly has a charm and accessibility that Manhattan’s ever-shrinking stretch of streets has lost. Clam and oyster carts sit outside of fish shops and communal bottles of hot sauce and vinegar sit in pools of melting crushed ice. Butchers’ windows along the avenue offer animals and parts of animals you can’t find in more tourist-friendly locales: “Wild Boar, Venison, Pheasants, Rabbits, Foie Gras, Quails, Poussin,” one shop window advertised.

Up the street from this purveyor of throwback meats, past Madonia Bros. Bakery but not as far as the Albanian cafes near 186th, is the Arthur Avenue Market. Busy, colorful and more exotic than a New York market has any right to be, this cluster of emporia is a self-contained world. A three-man cigar rolling operation caters to the folded-newspaper-under-the-arm crowd up front, while a florist, a bar, a fishmonger, a grocer and several drygoods stalls spread out within.

Past the communal dining tables that anchor the center of the market I encountered Peter Capuano. After his engagingly salty quip about charging non-Yankee fans for photos, Capuano grinned readily and happily shared his inside tip about fire-roasting dry mozzarella. He didn’t know that I was a journalist on assignment in the Bronx. He didn’t know I was attempting to defuse my prejudices about the borough. All Capuano knew was that I was a big guy who’d probably enjoy a toasty, cheesy Italian marshmallow. He was right.

The Opera House Hotel

An early 1900s opera house that staged shows by all-time greats like Harry Houdini and the Marx Brothers, this elegant hotel offers a boutique experience in the heart of the South Bronx.

The Andrew Freedman Complex
This landmarked complex on Grand Concourse was originally the home of financier and New York Giants baseball team owner Andrew Freedman. Today the 1920s structure houses a senior center, a gallery for local artists and 10 rental rooms that are part of a hospitality industry teaching initiative.

Chris Connolly
Author: Chris Connolly

Long Island’s Top Legal Eagles 2015

The Best Attorneys in Nassau & Suffolk Counties

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published: Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Top Ten Legal Eagles

Our extensive database enables us to conduct a “peer review” of the region’s top attorneys. Professionals in the field were invited to nominate those whose expertise and practices were so outstanding in 10 specified areas, they could be considered the best. Some of their names are often in the headlines, advocating for a client or setting a precedent; some you may not have heard before.

*Due to a change in publication production schedules, this year we feature both the 2014 and 2015 classes of Top 10 Legal Eagles. Criteria for selection includes, but is not limited to, being based in Nassau and Suffolk counties and being in good standing with respective bar associations.

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Top Ten Legal Eagles

Our extensive database enables us to conduct a “peer review” of the region’s top attorneys. Professionals in the field were invited to nominate those whose expertise and practices were so outstanding in 10 specified areas, they could be considered the best. Some of their names are often in the headlines, advocating for a client or setting a precedent; some you may not have heard before.

*Due to a change in publication production schedules, this year we feature both the 2014 and 2015 classes of Top 10 Legal Eagles. Criteria for selection includes, but is not limited to, being based in Nassau and Suffolk counties and being in good standing with respective bar associations.

Read Full Article

Top Legal Eagle Profiles

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2015’s Top Rated Attorneys in Nassau & Suffolk Counties

It is often said that at some point, everyone will need a lawyer. The difference between the right attorney and the wrong one can be life altering. The law is nuanced, complex and ever changing, which is why it’s crucial to choose an attorney who is a specialist in the particular area being pursued. For seven years, Long Island Pulse has been featuring the region’s top attorneys as a quick reference to find the right counsel easily.

These seasoned professionals set the standards for their fields and in particular, their areas of practice. They strive for excellence in all their endeavors, they give back to their communities and they remain active in the development of the law outside the courtroom by participating, and in some cases leading, organizations that uphold the strictest ethics and legal principles.

Their offices span Nassau and Suffolk counties, just as their areas of expertise cover the full spectrum of legal endeavor. Their bios are rich and they are all in good standing with their bar associations.

Legal directory by areas of practice:

Legal Listings Banking & Financial Services through Corporate & Healthcare

Legal Listings Criminal & Litigation through Education & Labor

Legal Listings Elder Law & Estate Planning through Labor & Employment

Legal Listings Litigation & Appellate through Personal Injury & Wrongful Death

Legal Listings Property Tax through Workers Compensation


RSVP to Our Annual Awards Dinner!

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Legal Eagles Profile 2015

Author: Emily McCarthy | Published: Friday, February 27, 2015

Mark S. Mulholland represents businesses, Fortune 50® corporations, municipalities, government agencies, and individual entrepreneurs in all manner of disputes and in all forums including intellectual property, condemnation, antitrust, securities matters, licensing, unfair competition, copyright, trademark, contract disputes, constitutional challenges, RICO and beyond.  Mr. Mulholland lectures and writes orator in the Eastern District of New York’s Federal Court Mediation Program.

For more than 46 years, Ruskin Moscou Faltischek P.C., has built a reputation as one of the region’s leading providers of innovative legal services. Its attorneys are practical, experienced advocates who measure their success by their clients’ success. Cornerstone groups in all major practice areas of the law are represented at the firm,including corporate & securities, financial services, commercial litigation, intellectual property, health care, real estate, employment, cyber-security and data privacy, energy, and trusts & estates. Clients include large and mid-sized corporations, privately held businesses, institutions and individuals.

UNIONDALE | 516-663-6600

Emily McCarthy
Author: Emily McCarthy

Legal Eagles Profile 2015

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:

Jaspan Schlesinger LLP is a premier full-service law firm with offices in Garden City and Suffern, New York. Founded in 1946, the Firm’s 60 attorneys provide quality legal services in virtually every area of practice.

The Firm’s Practice Areas include: complex commercial litigation, banking and financial services, education and library matters, real estate, corporate and commercial transactions, tax certiorari and condemnation matters, land use and zoning, labor, estates and trusts, taxation, municipal matters, and creditors’ rights.  

Jaspan Schlesinger LLP serves clients that operate locally, nationally and globally. Our clients range from start-up companies to multinational public companies as well as individuals, school districts, municipalities and not-for-profit organizations. Our clients rely on us to serve as their most trusted advisor and to provide the best possible solutions to their legal and business issues.

300 Garden City Plaza
, Garden City, New York | (516) 746-8000

With over 60 years of service, we continue to meet our clients’ needs for timely, sophisticated and cost-effective legal advice. Our attorneys are committed to client service and to building lasting relationships with clients. We offer a depth of experience that sets us apart from other firms and pride ourselves on our responsiveness to our clients’ needs and the level of personal attention and commitment we provide.

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Legal Eagles Profile 2015

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:

Charles S. Gucciardo holds himself to the highest standards in his field and encourages clients to examine his reputation and credentials. A rarity in personal injury and malpractice law, he is ready, willing and able to try every case wherein the settlement offer is not commensurate with the client’s injuries. “I enjoy every minute in the courtroom and will continue to move forward until I achieve my goal,” he says.

Gucciardo advises plaintiffs to interview potential attorneys about their track records. He is confident in his own resume, obtaining multi-million dollar results for his clients year after year. He has established a reputation for over 30 years as a tenacious advocate, which, of course, is a benefit to his clients. “The insurance companies know which lawyers will take verdicts,” he has observed. “They consider a person’s choice of lawyer when negotiating.”

The Gucciardo Law Firm approaches every case as if it will eventually go to trial. This ensures that every case is prepared properly from the start. A New York Super Lawyer five years in a row, and considered to be in the top 5 percent of attorneys in New York, Gucciardo works with an experienced team. “Integrity and complete dedication to our clients are the cornerstones of our practice. We are focused on the best interests of our clients,” he says. “We treat our clients as if they were family.”

170 Old Country Road, Suite 609, Mineola | 516-280-7100
26 Broadway, 21st Floor, New York City | 212-742-0500

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Legal Eagles Profile 2015

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:

Since 1985, Anthony A. Capetola has led a team of seasoned trial attorneys in a boutique Long Island law firm, concentrating in the areas of family law, corporate law, civil litigation and criminal defense. Having received numerous recognitions and honors for his skill and acumen as a family law practitioner, Capetola is one of the finest practitioners in both Nassau and Suffolk counties. 

“We are known to never shy away from a fight. While our clients look to us for guidance and advice, they take comfort in knowing that no one is better than we are in a courtroom,” says Capetola. “In fact, we are often called upon to take over a case once the litigation has taken a turn for the worse, often accomplishing the seemingly impossible.”
In addition to his legal work, Anthony Capetola has a long track record as a successful entrepreneur, boxing promoter, real estate mogul and restaurateur. Capetola has owned in excess of 50 businesses during his career. When he’s not in court, Capetola can often be found at The Carltun on the Park, a high-end restaurant and catering facility he founded in 1995.

“Owning and working in various businesses has aided me in representing my divorce clients; I understand the complexities of business valuations; I have the ability to negotiate financial settlements with a level of understanding that most of my peers lack, giving my clients an edge,” Capetola says.

Two Hillside Avenue, Building C |  Williston Park

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Legal Eagles Profile 2015

A Real Estate Law Firm

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:

Adam Miller is a veteran of the prestigious NYC law firm, Proskauer Rose LLP, where he worked alongside some of the best legal real estate minds in Manhattan, tackling some of the most complex real estate matters in the city. It was there that he forged a tireless work ethic and made a commitment to the highest professional standards.

This approach would become the foundation for The Adam Miller Group, a new kind of real estate firm that he launched in the Hamptons in 2007. Adam envisioned a boutique real estate firm that would act as a “legal bridge” between Manhattan and the Hamptons where many of the same clients have personal and business real estate transactions.

He has established a firm that provides the same concierge service that clients would find in Manhattan, in a modern, relaxed atmosphere. Adam attributes much of his success to the firm’s select staff who understand that expert support is crucial to a successful and smooth real estate transaction.

With over TWO BILLION DOLLARS in transactions, the firm has become a go-to resource for individuals, brokers, and businesses that seek superior real estate counsel on the East End.

“All we do is real estate. We are here to provide insight and guidance through our knowledge of the law. That’s the fun part of my business… successfully connecting trusted people and helping them succeed.” — Adam Miller, Esq.

2462 Main Street, Suite 7, Bridgehampton |  631.537.1155

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

The Best Week March 2015

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

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published: Thursday, February 26, 2015

Winter is going strong and we are eagerly anticipating the spring thaw, but there’s still plenty to do to keep spirits warm. No matter what, there is a way to have the best week.

NHL defenseman and 
LI native Rob Scuderi remembers skating Cantiague Park and catching the Islanders play. Rein at the Garden City Hotel is a great place to watch a game, especially since Chef Michael Mandato is Who’s Cooking.

Irish Eyes are smiling and being served up over ice
 at Wantagh Inn. That’s
 the specialty drink of Celt Mixologist Michael McNiff . Balance out the night with a little Americana or folk music, our Listening Bar is your guide to what’s on.

Concrete to Data is the newest show on graffiti and it’s at C.W. Post’s Hillwood Museum. Consider the connections between street art and activism at Prime in Huntington where they’re offering a prix fixe menu and half off select wine for one week this month.

The posh Riverhead hotel Indigo East End is known for drawing great musical acts. This month’s headliner is 
Paul Simon’s bassist Bakithi Kumalo, appearing for Winterfest Live on the Vine. Indulge in Irish spirit with a
 pint o’ Long Ireland Beer Company’s version of the black stuff while in the neighborhood.

Hamptons Spring Restaurant Week, is another good reason to take the drive out east. The first reason? No traffic. We recommend Fresh Hamptons as a final destination (shabby-chic on 139 and in Bridgehampton). Stop en route at the Parrish Art Museum to take in the permanent collection.

Keeping it fresh, the art the New Museum’s latest exhibit is less than 10 years old—it’s still got that new art smell (savor its objectification on 36). Just up the road, more than 12 new shows are opening for Broadway’s spring season.

Go to your happy place…to read. Need inspiration? The lions guarding the New York Public Library will show you the way (find them West of LI). Around back at the Bryant Park Grill, repose with another classic: the Rusty Nail.


Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

8 Questions with AG Schneiderman

Author: Jerry Kremer | Published:
Images: Matt Furman
Images: Matt Furman

We asked long-time assemblyman and political pundit Jerry Kremer to interview New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Their conversation encompassed everything from Long Island’s progress in the fight against prescription and street opiates to labor and gun laws and tensions between police and civilians.

Jerry Kremer: What is your evaluation of measures like I-STOP that are geared at controlling Long Island’s prescription drug problem?

Eric Schneiderman:
I-STOP has been a tremendous success. When I took office, I proposed legislation that created the nation’s first real-time tracking system for the most additive prescription drugs, which has helped prevent drug addicts from doctor shopping. Since I-STOP took effect the Department of Health has reported that incidents of doctor shopping are down 75 percent in New York.

JK: Have you observed any developments in Long Island’s street opiate problem? Is there any state solution?

Over the last four years we have aggressively tackled heroin and opiate problems plaguing our state. We’ve pursued the traditional law enforcement approach, arresting more than 400 members of 20 of the largest drug and guns gangs in the state. Because drugs flow across state borders, no single state can tackle this challenge alone. I launched an unprecedented interstate heroin task force to improve coordination among law enforcement agencies throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.

We also recognize that you can’t prosecute your way out of a drug epidemic. We have to end the cycle of abuse and addiction. I-STOP is helping prevent people from getting hooked on prescription narcotics—which are often a gateway to heroin abuse. We provided money to equip police officers with an antidote for heroin and opioid overdoses that can reverse an overdose almost instantaneously. [The medication naloxone blocks the effects of opiates and can prevent overdose deaths.] Bringing people back from the brink of death can help steer them into treatment.

JK: What are you doing to alleviate tensions surrounding police violence? Do you favor grand jury proceedings being made public in cases of police abuse?

Over the last few months, we have seen an emerging consensus on the need for essential reforms in our criminal justice system and grand jury process to restore public trust and confidence. As he has done so many times throughout his tenure, Chief Justice [Jonathan] Lippman recently outlined a thoughtful set of proposals that will further our state’s debate. I welcome his remarks, and look forward to working with the chief justice, the governor and legislature to pass meaningful reform during this legislative session.

JK: What has your office done about the problem of illegal guns?

Keeping illegal firearms out of the hands of criminals and people who are mentally ill is one of my top priorities. That is why I took action to close the gun show loophole in New York State. After my office conducted an investigation and found that people were able to buy guns without the legally required background checks, we took action. We negotiated with every gun show operator in the state and got them to agree to an unprecedented model protocol that will ensure every gun sold at a show is preceded by a background check.

We’re also working to crack down on the flow of illegal guns into New York. In November, we seized more than 70 illegal guns that were being shipped from Florida to New York on a Chinatown bus. Gun sales over the Internet are also a form of this problem. We’ve worked with Facebook to put policies in place to help curb illegal gun sales through social media.

JK: There is a lot of discussion going on about reforming the criminal justice system. What areas need the most reform?

The focus has to be on finding policies that actually work. When I was a state senator, I led the successful campaign to repeal the draconian Rockefeller drug laws that led to mass over incarceration. Those policies failed because drug addicts do better in treatment than they do in prison. We replaced those policies with a more effective approach to criminal justice. Five years later, statistics all show that crime rates are falling, our prison population is declining and recidivism rates have dropped.

We need to channel energy into reforms that work so we can keep
our communities safe, protect law enforcement officers and restore public confidence in the system.

JK: Your office recently sued a Papa John’s franchise for underpaying its workers and you pledged to “vigorously enforce” New York labor law. Do you think these enforcements will have any impact on the industry?
No one who works full-time should live in poverty. Workers deserve to be paid every penny they legally earn. This is good for businesses too. Leveling the playing field ensures honest, law-abiding businesses aren’t at a competitive disadvantage against those that cheat their workers. By bringing both civil and criminal cases against businesses that illegally underpay their workers, we are sending a strong message that our labor laws apply to every employer and every industry.

JK: Your office
has played a major role in policing the financial services industry. Are those investigations ongoing?

Absolutely. I
 was appointed by President Obama
in 2012 to co-chair an unprecedented state and federal task force to investigate the banks that contributed to the crash of the economy in 2008. So far we’ve levied some of the largest penalties in history. We’ve forced those banks to pay more than $60 billion in cash and consumer relief. And more cases are coming.

JK: Are settlements
the only penalty when wrongdoers are caught?
We follow the evidence wherever it leads. We don’t shy away from criminal charges when they’re supported by the evidence. While no one has gone to prison yet, it is important to note that none of the penalties we’ve negotiated with the big banks have granted immunity from criminal prosecution. I am firmly committed to the notion that no one is above the law. Wherever and whenever we can, we will push for accountability.

Jerry Kremer
Author: Jerry Kremer

Spring Geometry

Energetic patterns and unpredictable shapes are the warming trend for day wear

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:


Photographer: Heidi Niemala
Stylist: Izzy Ruiz for The Cannon Media Group
Hair & Makeup: Deborah Altizio using MAC Cosmetics for Agent Oliver Inc.


Roosevelt Field &
Shops at Walt Whitman

Patchogue Village,

Jerrie Shop,
Woodbury & Rockville Centre,

Great Shapes,
Woodbury, Merrick,
Roslyn Heights,

Lord & Taylor,
Westfield South Shore &
Shops at Walt Whitman

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Investing Through The Ages

It’s as important to plan for the short term as it is for the long term

Author: Joseph Finora | Published:
Illustrations: Matthew Houston
Illustrations: Matthew Houston

Retirement planning has never been easy and in recent decades it’s become even more complicated. Most Americans have less capital to invest, Social Security funding is questionable and we probably don’t have to mention the stock market. Uncertainty is an understatement, even for those who are earning mid-and high-level salaries. One of the big changes to occur in the last 20 to 30 years is that pensions are no longer a given component of compensation packages—most professionals are navigating 401(k) or similar retirement plans themselves. Add in the need to pay a mortgage, insurances, maintaining a modest emergency fund and money for children’s educations, and managing long term goals can become an expendable luxury. We’re also living longer. Although this is a blessing, the simple fact is that becoming an octogenarian can wreak havoc on personal finances.

We turned to a few experts for advice and found that while retirement planning is more important than ever, preparing for common life changes that tend to occur before age 65 makes all the difference. A single person with no dependents can typically invest fairly aggressively with growth as the primary goal. But a married person with a house and young family is generally forced to take a moderately conservative approach that incorporates mortgage payments and retirement planning as well as life and disability insurance. Divorcées and the newly widowed have their unique challenges. And those near retirement will have to consider later-in-life needs like long term care, causing a more cautious attitude towards risk—investing’s four-letter word.

The 30s: Getting Started


“It’s wrong to think one needs a lot of money in order to invest,” said financial adviser Mark J. Snyder, charted financial consultant (ChFC) and owner of the eponymous Medford-based firm. Another tip from Snyder: Don’t invest in a company based on the logo. Instead take a long look at the facts and numbers. “Keep emotion out of your investing. Once you determine your risk tolerance, create a sensible plan and stick to it. Hoping to put something aside at the end of each month rarely works,” he said. “There are too many demands. Having funds automatically deducted and invested is a great way to start.” These plans start for as little as $50 per month. Snyder also advocates hiring an independent financial adviser, who can help keep things in focus and provide objectivity when things get tough. It’s why those in the know rely so heavily on theirs: according to research firm Spectrem Group, 77 percent of ultra-high-net-worth investors (those with $5 million to $25 million in investable assets) are satisfied with their advisers.

Cleaning the slate is also a crucial focus early in life to ensure debt doesn’t snowball out of control over time. “One of the first things someone in their 30s often needs to do is be sure they’re out of serious debt,” said Anthony Thompson, a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) at Bernstein Global Wealth Management in New York. To the pros, “serious debt” is anytime 30 percent or more of an income is dedicated to expenses beyond regular living costs like housing. “They then need to think about their needs and start saving. If your job offers a 401(k) or a Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) plan try to maximize the tax-deferred savings. If your employer offers a match that’s even better. Funds should be invested in an equity-based account, over the long term such accounts will generally produce positive returns. A younger person has a longer time horizon and can frequently take more risks and withstand market volatility.”

Those who start a family at this stage often struggle with saving for themselves at the expense of putting something away to fund a child’s education, but the message from the investment managers is clear: Take care of yourself first, there are no loans for retirement but the kids will have options like scholarships, loans and jobs of their own to pay for school.

45+: The Prime Getting Late Early


Financially speaking, middle age can be challenging. This period can be a “wake-up call” signaling a new phase of life and often marks the first time people begin taking their financial futures seriously. It can be startling to realize earning years are finite or that you may soon become responsible for parents, an impending divorce or college tuition.

“With people living longer and having more active retirement lifestyles, many don’t realize that they need to build their asset base throughout their income producing years in order to fund their retirement years,” said Philip W. Malakoff , senior vice president of wealth management. At First Long Island Investors in Jericho. “This should start early in their careers and continue until retirement. Unfortunately there really is no formula that can be used as a guideline due to differences in lifestyles, fixed expenses, employment income, investment income, healthcare costs, support for children and assistance for parents.”

Divorcées are often stunned to find the breakup can cause a huge life change when assets are split apart—what was more than enough for a couple to share can be barely adequate for two people separately. In cases where they were working together in a family business or the wife gave up her career to stay home, the doubling of household expenses can negatively influence not just income, but also savings.

It’s also not uncommon for one member of a couple to live well beyond age 80. What does an aging Baby Boomer do when sandwiched between the responsibilities of caring for an elderly parent and raising a family? “It can be a positive experience,” said Donald E. Lippencott, Master of Science in financial services, of Lippencott Financial Group in East Setauket. “Grandparents can help raise children but at some point may need assistance themselves. It’s best to start airing plans out and then seek the help of a financial adviser and an estate attorney.” Lippencott echoed that there is no one-size fits all plan since individuals often face different hurdles. “For those who started families later in life they may have ample savings and investments. Their biggest concern is often putting money aside for their children’s education. For those who had a family early in life, they often need to plan for their own retirement and reduce debt.” To address college expenses, Lippencott recommended 529 college savings plans, which offer tax-deferred savings on money earmarked for education.

After 55: Knocking on Retirement’s Door


At this point, things are supposed to start easing up. The children have been through school, the mortgage is paid-off and estate plans and long-term care essentials are in place. While a comfortable retirement may seem all but a matter of time, don’t pop any corks yet. A retiree who’s living proof that 60 is the new 40 still has to plan for life after exiting the fast lane. Some may actually need more money than when they were working to embrace free time with an active lifestyle. Those who held off starting a family in order to establish their careers first may still have responsibilities to their children. “Many who started families in their mid-40s are not necessarily retiring in their mid-60s. Their needs will differ from the 45-year-old with grown children,” said Thompson. “You’ve got to plan for the unexpected and start thinking about elder care.”

While there is still a need for investment growth, most pre-retirees will have a more defensive asset allocation with a greater emphasis on bonds and bond-based mutual funds over stocks, which can be erratic. The mix aims to reduce volatility while providing regular income as dividends. Other hot-button pre-retirement issues that factor into finances include having adequate health coverage, arranging a will, health-care proxy and estate planning. Downsizing a home is becoming a popular step for empty nesters, but those who used the majority of their equity to fund other expenses may find their after-closing pay-out to be smaller than expected, possibly even too small to buy their next home outright and thus the mortgage cycle continues.

This is also the time to think about care that may be needed later in life. Lippencott described a premium, legacy life insurance plan targeted at seniors who might have missed planning for longterm care in their 60s. A legacy life insurance plan uses a sizable chunk of lazy money—funds that are languishing in the bank earning 1 percent— and buys coverage in the event long term care is required. This can avoid passing the financial burden to the family, and there is also a death benefit. “Say you put $100,000 into this product, are healthy enough to qualify for $200,000 in coverage, but years later end up in an institution because of a stroke. You’re going to get $200,000 worth of long term care. Or, if you die having spent $80,000 of that benefit, your family gets the other $120,000 tax free.”

Investing and planning for the future can be daunting, bordering on morbid for some, which might explain the procrastination. But consider the risks of not planning the way Snyder put it: “How you handle your money today may affect how you live tomorrow.”

Sound Strategies
Philip W. Malakoff, SVP of wealth management at First Long Island Investors specializes in helping high net worth individuals manage money. He shares a few gems from his 25 years of experience with tricky financial situations.

What is a common financial mistake the widowed make?
It’s a very emotional time and the biggest challenge is not understanding the finances or the budget and making rash decisions. Some think they have this large sum of money and they can go out and spend whatever they want—spending two-thirds of annual expenses on gifts to family is not realistic. If this were Melinda Gates that would probably be fine, but most other people have somewhat limited resources even if they are wealthy. We would start with a review of expenses, income and investments to ensure the individual can continue to live the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed.

What is the most important thing when it comes to legacy planning?
If you know you want to leave something to family or friends you should start planning early—but not so early it impacts your lifestyle or retirement plans. There are tax efficient ways to give, like setting up trusts and annual gifting, which is capped at $14,000 (single) or $28,000 (married) to each child and grandchild.

What is the most common misstep people face when coming into an inheritance?
Clients often have a hard time saying “no” to family or friends who ask for money. We would advise clients to put money towards paying down any debt. If you have some future expenses that you planned before the inheritance, put money away for that. I’m not saying don’t buy anything—if you inherit $5 million and you want to buy a $30,000 luxury item there’s probably nothing wrong with that. But in general it is best to put the money someplace safe where the principle won’t be touched while you let things sink in, for at least six months.

Knowing that retirement is on the horizon, are there any guidelines a couple in their 50s should check themselves against?
There are four things you can do with money: you can spend it on your lifestyle, you can choose to leave a legacy to children or other family, you can be philanthropic or you can be entrepreneurial. Someone who is nearing retirement is probably not thinking entrepreneurially, so it’s really the other three. It comes down to having proper risk tolerance to maintain those goals. What if the market were to go down significantly? For example, if you have a portfolio that is down 33 percent, that means $100 goes down to $67. To get back up to $100 you need to make 50 percent—it’s a big way back up. You need to start de-risking your portfolio. It’s also a time to define what spending will be on an annual basis once you retire. Our experience says you need between 20 and 25 times your current annual spending to safely fund a multi-decade retirement.

Joseph Finora
Author: Joseph Finora

Insurance: One Size Does Not Fit All

Insurance policies are becoming more complex, but a few tricks of the trade could go a long way

Author: Julie Mansmann | Published:

“It doesn’t matter who your insurance agent is…until it does!” Lang Insurance’s slogan may seem ominous, but to Kevin Lang, who founded his Seaford-based agency more than
30 years ago, it reflects the fact that he perceives himself as part of his clients’ insurance equation. Lang caters to more than 7,500 individuals and companies in all 50 states, but he takes pride in meeting with each policyholder. Lang’s high net-worth clients need that kind of personal attention, he said, because their difficult-to-insure assets—waterfront properties, artwork, planes, trains and automobiles—must be addressed through multi-policy choreography. We asked Lang to explain the essentials of custom insurance.

Long Island Pulse: You claim you never use standard formulas to evaluate any asset, why is that important?

Kevin Lang:
Many times, clients really do not know or understand the value of their assets—whether it is the cost to rebuild their home, or the value of their art or jewelry, or how much excess liability (umbrella coverage) they need. These are just a few examples of what we jointly determine, in addition to using risk managers and appraisers in some cases.

Pulse: One of your specialties is waterfront home insurance. How can these policies get tricky?

Waterfront properties “get tricky” when the home is located in a high-hazard flood zone. The most common high-hazard flood zones are areas with a 26 percent chance of flooding over the course of a 30-year mortgage. Some carriers strictly underwrite these homes while others are less concerned with flood losses due to the limited coverage in their policy contracts. Each home and homeowner has different needs and wants. It’s important that these policies be customized to provide coverage that addresses all of our clients’ needs.

Pulse: What are some common challenges agents encounter when formulating a policy for a waterfront home on Long Island?

Determining how close the home is to the water, the elevation of the home, the opening protection (such as impact glass) and what flood and excess flood coverages are needed.

Pulse: How have major weather events like Irene and Sandy affected the way agents think about policies for other luxury assets?
Prior to past catastrophes, many carriers focused on savings with very little emphasis on claims, contract quality, coverage versatility and so on. The central question was “How much do I have to pay?” not, “Who will protect me the best?” This caused many people to strip away essential coverage to bring down the bottom line. Then they were faced with irate customers when it was time to put in a claim. Things weren’t covered that would have been had the policies been crafted correctly.

Pulse: What factors are considered when creating a customized insurance policy for a boat or plane?

Watercraft and aircraft coverages are similar in some ways
and very different at the same time. The coverages are determined by the actual boat or plane, the engines and where they navigate,
in addition to who is operating the boat or plane. There are also other exposures in waterskiing, chartering, tenders and personal property. All of these factors play a role in what kinds of insurance a company is willing to offer and how they construct their terms.

Pulse: Let’s talk about multi-policy choreography. Do you recommend this for difficult holdings such as the ones we’ve discussed?
he better carriers all sell “package policies.” This includes home, auto, collections ( jewelry, art, etc.), excess liability (umbrella) and watercraft. The policies create multi-policy discounts while making it very convenient, as all of the policies are on one statement bill.

Pulse: What is the most important
thing Long Islanders should know when considering insurance?

It’s important for all clients, regardless of their location, to approach their insurance with the mind-set of “What coverages are most important? Who will take care of me the best in the event of a claim?” The last thought should be about price.

Julie Mansmann
Author: Julie Mansmann

Top Ten Legal Eagles: 2014

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published: Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Our extensive database of the region’s attorneys enables us to conduct a “peer review” method of distinguishing a select group. Attorneys were invited to nominate those whose expertise and practices were so outstanding in specified areas, they could be considered the best. Some of their names are often in the headlines, advocating for a client or setting a precedent; some you may not have heard before. They are identified by this special “2014 Top Ten” logo—a designation spotlighting their honors.

Anthony A. Capetola
Civil & Criminal Law

You’ve probably seen the movie Goodfellas that depicts the crimes of Henry Hill and Jimmy Burke. Early in his career, Anthony
Capetola counted these among his clients, and his caseload has evolved from there.

One such case was a group of art dealers accused of distributing a fake Salvador Dali. Capetola’s defense of the accused led him to a villa in France where he met an old friend of Dali’s. It turned out this man rightly owned the lithograph of the work, and the right to reproduce the image. Which also meant the dealers here in the US were not distributing fakes. Capetola was able to secure non-prosecution agreements for each of the defendants and dismissal of charges.

Today, the law offices of Anthony A. Capetola have a decidedly more low-key caseload. Still, Capetola defends clients from criminal and white-collar crime charges— primarily keeping them out of court. Most of his cases are settled before trial, for “no true bill” and they are dismissed.

Neil Katz, Managing Partner
Katz, Bernstein & Katz, LLP
Corporate, Contracts & Business Law

Most of us will probably be lucky enough to get by without ever having to sit across the table from the IRS. But Neil Katz’s clients rest assured knowing their counsel has faced off with the tax departments and appeals tribunals of the IRS, NY State and City of New York.

Katz’s knowledge in this area is so vast, the House of Representatives called on him as an expert witness. He specifically testified on the impact of taxes on small business owners and their families before the committee on small business.

He also serves as lead attorney at his firm for all tax matters, corporate and tax planning and business sales and
acquisitions. At Hofstra University, Katz shares his expertise as adjunct professor. He also developed a continuing education program, Katz Tax Seminars, registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.

Steven Eisman, Executive Partner
Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Formato, Ferrara & Wolf, LLP
Divorce, Child, Family and Matrimonial Law

Steven Eisman was in the process of handling a divorce action for his client when she and her son relocated to California. The divorce proceedings were still ongoing after almost two years and the custody issues continued.

Eisman and his team sought the Suffolk Supreme Court’s abdication of jurisdiction over the custody and parenting issues, given that the child and mother were in California. The husband argued against it.

Eisman got the court to decline exercising jurisdiction. Although the husband’s counsel was successful in securing a stay of decision during the appeal, last fall Eisman argued before a four-judge panel at the appellate division. The appellate court lifted the stay and decided for Suffolk County Supreme Court’s decision to decline its exercise of jurisdiction.

Debra Wabnik, Partner
Stagg, Terenzi, Confusione & Wabnik
Labor, Employment, Executive Compensation & Employee Benefits

Google is full of stories about sexting, some funny, some sad.
For Debra Wabnik’s client, sexting became a legal matter. The client terminated an employee for sexting another employee on the job. The terminated employee made a claim against the former employer and Wabnik’s expertise in employment and wage issues brought the matter to a successful resolution.

Wabnik’s caseload spans federal and state employment discrimination statutes, labor, employment, executive compensation and employee benefits. She also represents teachers at disciplinary hearings and provides diversity training.

Wabnik represents clients in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut and in administrative forums such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, NYS Division of Human Rights and the NYS Education Department. Her practice areas include general litigation, employment discrimination, education law, uniform commercial code and banking and credit card litigation.

Jeffery G. Stark, Head of Litigation
Forchelli, Curto, Deegan, Schwartz, Mineo & Terrana LLP

Litigation is the area of practice most of us think of when we think of the law—the courtroom’s intensity is often depicted in movies. But the guts of litigation happens in the library. Jeffrey Stark must be pretty good at this part, because he’s winning cases at the highest levels.

Stark has successfully litigated against the Town of North Hempstead, securing Sumitomo Bank an award of $31 million. He also defeated a suit by former Vice President Spiro Agnew. One recent case saw Stark battling for his clients’ finances after the client’s attorney died. It seems the departed “accidentally” misappropriated his client’s funds to his own wife—an accident Stark set straight.

Stark has handled cases at trial and on appeal for both corporations and individuals. On the opposite side of the bench, Stark has served as a justice of the New York Supreme Court, Nassau County, and was nominated by President Clinton to be a judge of the United States Court of International Trade.

Wendy Sheinberg, CELA, Partner
Davidow, Davidow, Siegel & Stern
Trust & Estates

Wendy Sheinberg is widely recognized by her peers and professional organizations as one of the state’s leading elder law attorneys. Her primary areas of practice are guardianship, elder law, trust and estate planning and administration.

In 2008 Sheinberg was selected as a fellow of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the highest honor bestowed by the academy which is awarded to fewer than 70 attorneys nationwide. That same year, she was elected to the academy’s board of directors. Sheinberg has presented at numerous seminars, lectures and has published articles on her area of practice and been quoted in many publications like Newsday and The New York Times.

Although not a requirement, Sheinberg has taken the additional steps necessary to become a certified elder law attorney. This certification is awarded after passing a six-hour exam and satisfying strict criteria by the national elder law foundation.

Vincent Ancona
Real Estate

This area of practice is one of the most sought-after areas of the law. Vincent Ancona has included this among his firm’s specialties for 15 years in both New York and New Jersey, personally enjoying it because everyone is happy at the end of the deal. “Smile in, smile out,” he said.

But, among the estates in the Hamptons and buildings in the City, he does occasionally wind up in court. One unstable client leased his building in Manhattan for 100 years, considerably undervaluing the property. The family retained Ancona to disengage the lease on the grounds that the lessee perpetrated a fraud on someone who was mentally ill.

In his spare time, Ancona works with Catholic Charities, Community Mayors for Handicapped Children, Dad’s Away, a group for kids whose fathers are in the military or incarcerated, and North Shore Animal League.

Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, P.C.
Most Unbeatable

What makes a firm unbeatable? It takes a legacy of its lawyers reaching down to the most granular levels to win cases. Like Erica Garay, a member in the litigation practice group at Meyer, Suozzi et al., who represented 15 employees against Keyspan. The employees were terminated by the utility after its sale to National Grid. But Garay was able to prove her clients were entitled to a severance plan, winning the case for her clients.

Garay’s associate, Kevin Schlosser, had a similar victory. Trump Securities was suing Setton International Foods, his client, for over $1.2 million. Schlosser first defeated Trump’s motion for summary judgment, then won at trial, establishing that Trump was improperly trying to obtain an unjustified windfall.

The firm of Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, which has been in practice over 50 years, is composed of 65 attorneys across offices in Albany, Garden City, Manhattan and DC. The areas of practice may be diverse, but their standard is consistent: to provide integrity, insight, intellect and excellence in the practice of law… to do what it takes to be the most unbeatable.

Return to the main 2015 Legal Eagles page

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Top Ten Legal Eagles: 2015

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:

Our extensive database of the region’s attorneys enables us to conduct a “peer review” method of distinguishing a select group. Attorneys were invited to nominate those whose expertise and practices were so outstanding in 10 specified areas, they could be considered the best. Some of their names are often in the headlines, advocating for a client or setting a precedent; some you may not have heard before. They are identified by our special “2015 Top Ten” logo—a designation spotlighting their honors.

Thomas R. Slome, Member
Meyer, Suozzi, English, & Klein, P.C.

As chair of the firm’s bankruptcy practice and co-chair of the firm’s corporate finance practice, Slome represents a wide variety of creditors in all aspects of bankruptcy. Over the last decade, he has represented parties involved in some of the most notable cases including American Airlines, Blockbuster, Borders, Enron and Lehman Brothers, to name a few.

Slome is a board member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island, holds the officer position of treasurer and is chair of its board nominating committee. At the New York City Bar Association, he is chair of the committee on bankruptcy and corporate reorganization.

Slome credits his success to his early days as a newly minted graduate. After applying to hundreds of firms and being rejected, he began knocking on courtroom doors in hopes of securing a clerkship with a federal judge. At Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York, he found himself at the door of Hon. Robert John Hall. As a test, the judge assigned him to write a draft opinion on a case. It wasn’t easy but Slome fi led his draft—early. Judge Hall agreed with Slome’s draft on one of his most difficult cases and gave him the job.

Marc Gann, Founding Partner
Collins, McDonald & Gann, P.C.

This former Nassau County Assistant District Attorney is particularly adept at trial—he has appeared in the courts of New York City, Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Gann has handled major felonies and federal indictments—some of which included economic crimes, fraud and conspiracy. At the state court level, he has extensive experience defending major crimes, including murder. Alongside his associates at Collins, McDonald & Gann, he has provided defense of clients charged with narcotics and white-collar crime. In the 25 years since he formed the firm, Gann has also lectured to bar associations and the National Institute of Trial Advocacy. He serves as adjunct faculty at both Hofstra Law and Touro Law and is often counted on as a media source on issues of criminal law.

Steven L. Levitt, Principal
Levitt LLP

Both individuals and Fortune 200 companies have benefited from Steven L. Levitt’s representation for more than 25 years. Levitt’s approach to “practicing outside the box” hinges on getting to the elements of a case clients don’t think to ask, reporting a yield in clients’ successes in excess of $1.25 billion in just the last 5 years.

When a menswear manufacturer got into a license dispute with one of the largest retailers in the country, Levitt was chosen to work alongside a top firm to represent the client in a two-week long commercial arbitration in Manhattan. Levitt’s responsibility was handling cross-examination of key witnesses, all experts and other critical aspects like the damages. This past January, the case concluded with a $42.6 million award in favor of the client.

Jerome A. Wisselman, Founder
Wisselman, Harounian & Associates
Divorce, Child, Family & Matrimonial Law

When Jerome Wisselman founded his firm in 1976, he was already established in matrimonial and family law. But he recognized the importance of a full service firm having adequate resources—and professionals with relevant experience—and the firm has grown in size and scope to include real estate and other areas of litigation.

Today, Wisselman’s firm is among the largest matrimonial firms. One of the unique assets he brings to his clients is his accounting and tax law background, allowing him to navigate complex financial issues.

Wisselman gives back to the legal community as a member of the Board of Editors of New York Family Law Monthly. He also conducts legal workshops for mental health professionals to assist them in guiding patients through matrimonial litigation.

Paul S. Linzer, Partner
Certilman Balin Adler & Hyman LLP
Labor, Employment, Executive Compensation & Employee Benefits

Paul S. Linzer served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office for approximately eight years before he joined the firm of Certilman Balin in 2000. Today, he is a partner in the labor relations and criminal law practice groups leveraging his trial experience, as both a prosecutor and a defense attorney, to represent clients in all aspects of public sector labor law litigation.

That client roster includes the New York City firefighters’ union; many county, town and village-level police unions; and the supervisors’ union from the New York City Department of Corrections. He concentrates on these clients’ grievance arbitrations, improper labor practice proceedings, policy negotiations, collective bargaining of contracts, interest arbitrations and drafting of potential legislation. But he also handles cases from another perspective: internal affairs, disciplinary proceedings and other internal or external administrative investigations. Linzer is admitted to practice in the states of New York and Florida, as well as the District of Columbia. He is also admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, as well as the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Judicial Circuit.

Steven R. Schlesinger, Managing Partner
Jaspan Schlesinger LLP

Steven R. Schlesinger heads the fi rm’s litigation and appellate practice groups. His areas of practice include general civil litigation, commercial and real estate matters and bankruptcy. He has been counsel to clients in many federal and state court trials.

For certain government agencies, he has acted as special counsel. In the commercial world, he has served as a director of three publicly held corporations. Among his more unique cases are those in which he has litigated on behalf of elected offi cials, including the governor of the state of New York. Schlesinger has been appointed by the Appellate Division, Second Department as a member of the Character and Fitness Committee and served as the chairman of the Professional Ethics Committee of the Nassau County Bar Association. He’s also a member of the litigation committee of the American Bar Association and of the New York State and Nassau County Bar Associations.

Stuart Manzione
Furey, Furey, Leverage, Manzione, Williams & Darlington
Medical Malpractice

Stuart Manzione focuses on medical malpractice and professional negligence, defending physicians, dentists, hospitals and nursing homes. Some cases also take him into other areas of the law, including negligence matters involving serious and/or catastrophic injury and death.

In a recent case before the Nassau County Supreme Court, Manzione successfully defended a surgeon against a patient who claimed Manzione’s client failed to provide swift and proper medical attention. Manzione’s concise representation of his client led to the jury ruling in his favor.

After earning his juris doctor degree from St. John’s University School of Law in 1987, Manzione joined Furey & Furey, P.C. and has been a partner since 1995. He is a member of the Trial LawyersAssociation of Nassau and Suffolk Counties and he has lectured to physicians about risk reduction strategies pertaining to patient care.

In 1998 Manzione joined with other parents to found the Young Autism Program Charitable Foundation. During the five years he served as the group’s president, he provided funding for the Young Autism Program at Developmental Disabilities Institute.

Lawrence P. Krasin, Senior Partner
Edelman, Krasin & Jaye
Personal Injury

Plaintiffs’ personal injury and medical malpractice litigation are just a few of the areas Lawrence Krasin focuses on when representing clients. His experience in property management, rentals and maintenance rounds out his repertoire. Krasin has served his community as a board member of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America and Walk the Walk, an organization dedicated to fighting elder abuse.

Among his proudest moments is a case many other firms rejected. Krasin successfully represented a 26-year-old electrician against B&G Electrical Contractors. The client was injured while assisting B&G Building Services with work at a Home Depot store and Krasin brought suit against Home Depot and B&G Building Services under labor law and industrial codes. The case was complicated by Home Depot bringing third party actions against both B&G companies for contractual indemnification. After six years of treatments and surgeries, the Workers Compensation Board found Krasin’s client to be permanently disabled. Finally, in the seventh year of the case, Krasin was able to secure a settlement for his client valued at more than $10 million.

Kathleen Deegan Dickson, Partner
Forchelli, Curto, Deegan, Schwartz, Mineo & Terrana, LLP
Real Estate

The mark of a good attorney is eff ectiveness outside the courtroom, as well as when a hearing begins. Kathleen Deegan Dickson claims success representing clients in real restate, particularly land use and zoning law, because of her positive coordination of the various parties on the development landscape.

Her most gratifying success was representing SCO Family of Services. The nonprofit wanted to open a residential school for autistic children at the vacant convent of St. Brigid’s parish in the Village of Westbury. Residents began vehemently campaigning against the school. Deegan Dickson worked hard to recruit supporters to attend the public zoning board hearing. When she arrived the night of the hearing, she saw what she thought were huge crowds there to counter the proposal. But, the throngs were actually out in support of Westbrook Prep. Her work connecting with supporters drowned out the overwhelming opposition and the zoning board approved the application.

Jennifer B. Cona
Genser Dubow Genser & Cona
Trusts & Estates

Jennifer Cona’s practice focuses on representing clients in matters of Medicaid planning, asset preservation, estate planning and litigation, probate and administration of estates, special needs planning, veterans benefi ts and guardianships. Her experience in the area of elder law and trusts and estates also makes her well positioned to head the Health Care Facility Representation practice group.

In fact her “death before determination” case changed the way some Medicaid determinations are rendered. Cona’s 94-year-old client was legally blind, deaf and suffered from diabetes and other medical conditions. He applied for Medicaid when he could no longer fund a home health aide himself, but the review process took so long the man died before benefits were approved. Cona showed his care plan and daily services were a de facto nursing assessment in accordance with state regulations. The tribunal ruled in Cona’s favor, accepting the evidence to establish the amount of care that should have been authorized. The subsequent Medicaid payout absolved the client’s estate from the liability of tens of thousands of dollars.

Cona serves on the Board of Trustees of the Long Island Alzheimer’s Foundation and has been featured in many internationally recognized newspapers and publications. She is a frequent author and lecturer and has appeared as a guest on WNBC-TV, WABC-TV, CNN and News12 LI, to name a few.

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Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Don’t Miss The Boat

For first-timers buyers, choosing the right boat is a matter of knowing how it will be used

Author: Casey Dooley | Published:

It’s been said many times: Long Islanders put up with some of the highest taxes and worst traffic on the planet so that three to four months of the year, we can glory in our beaches and surrounding waters. When it comes to those waters, boating is one of the most common activities, and it turns out this is an ideal time to buy the vessel of your dreams.

In order to make room for next year’s stock, marinas have priced remaining inventory to sell fast come winter. There are many models in both the sail and motor categories, but powerboats are the most popular because they’re the easiest for seafaring newbies to jump into. Taking to the water legally only requires passing an eight-hour boating course and licensing exam. And these ships are literally turnkey. Start the engine and travel a straight line to any destination in a predictable time, it just takes some gas in the tank.


Most newly minted skippers gravitate to the day cruiser style of powerboats. “A lot of the people in our area are day boaters, they go out on the boat with six to eight people and they go over to the beach,” said Matthew Barbara, regional president of Marine Max who oversees six locations on Long Island. “They do the Sound or take rides out east, so they want a boat to fit people.”

In general, entry-level sized crafts (19 to 22-feet long), are suited to a full day out on the water; tanks holding about 45 gallons of fuel are big enough for making waves for up to 5 hours. Most day-trippers usually run the motor for an hour or two, getting to and from a destination, then cut it while relaxing at anchor. A simple rule of thumb when shopping: Dividing the boat’s total horsepower by 10 gives you an approximate gallons-per-hour. That can help decide engine size between casual boaters and those with their eyes set on regular trips to Block Island.

Bowriders are the most versatile day boat style because they feature an open area in front of the console, allowing for many seating options to accommodate up to 12 guests when cruising. They’re comfortable in the mid-20mph range and reach top speeds of about-40mph. Hang a tow rope off the back and easily turn a day of cruising into a thrill ride for kids pulled on an inner tube or a wakeboarding challenge for friends and teens. “The biggest trend [in powerboats] is families getting back into boating,” said Jeff Strong, owner of Strong’s Marine with five locations across Long Island. “People are realizing that boating is truly one of the only things you can do with the family and get away from everything for a while, get out for a few hours and really disconnect from all the technology around. That’s a big deal.”


Fishing is possible on bowriders, but the layout and upholstery aren’t the best suited for safe casting and fish scales. If fishing will be a big part of the itineraries, center console boats are a better option. The helm in the center of the boat makes them easy to recognize at a glance. They’re ideal because anglers can walk from bow to stern without having to navigate around the console. But don’t let the name fool you, terms like “fishing boat” can be limiting now that characteristics are often crossing from one category into another. “When you say ‘fishing boat’, it’s a good generic term, but a lot of the boats have become like sport utility vehicles, because while some people are definitely into fishing, some people like that simplistic SUV feel they might have, but don’t necessarily fish,” said Strong.

Traditionally, these rigs were a bit sparse, but they are now becoming more family-friendly and are being designed with comfortable seating. Before, the open space that allows for easy casting and hauling of fish robbed square footage away from seating. And what real estate there was, wasn’t too plush or comfy—not much in the way of carpeting or upholstery because of all the fish and bait being slung. It was strictly smooth, easy-toclean surfaces that could be hosed down, which is still a key selling point.

But modern center consoles are also equipped with foldout, cushion-topped seating that pops out of the rear and side walls and has padded backrests. Seats fold away when it’s time to fish, but when it’s time for a sunny cruise they’re there to enjoy in comfort. To accommodate having kids aboard, some rigs have enough gusto for tube pulling. But it’s more likely these boats will have a marlin at the end of a line than a wakeboarder.

For those with sights set a bit farther out to sea—like up to Cape Cod or even down the coast to Florida—as chief Brody said, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.” The best option is a cabin cruiser in the 26-to-28-foot range. These offer the same entertainment versatility as the day boats, with the added luxury of larger gas tanks, a cabin with one or more sleeping areas (berths), a full toilet/shower (head) and a kitchen (galley). They also commonly sport amenities like air conditioning, heating, hot water and electrical power from a generator. Some seating space and real estate on deck may be sacrificed for these interior conveniences, but they are still capable watersport vessels and can host a few rods as well.

What’s the cost for this seafaring freedom? Entry-level bowriders and center consoles usually start around $30,000, while cabin cruisers begin at about $90,000. Fortunately, in terms of financing, boat buying can be surprisingly easy on the wallet. “The typical frame of reference is car buying, where you might get a loan for maybe four years. But on boats, which hold their value much better, typical terms can go from 10-15 to as much as 20 years on a more expensive boat. That can lower monthly payments considerably. So you would only need 10-20 percent as a down payment,” said Strong. And when you upgrade to that bigger cruiser for weeklong coasts down to Florida, as long as it has a kitchen and sleep area, you can get a mortgage on it. “Any boat that has a galley and sleeping capacity you can deduct the interest as a second home,” Barbara said.

On the Island, dock fees average about $100-140 a linear foot for the eight-month boating season, April to November. Winter storage costs about $40-45 a square foot and $13 per foot for wrapping. But if there’s enough space in the yard or driveway, boats can be trailered, a good option for new buyers getting their sea legs with a smaller first boat. On the bright side, insurance is cheap compared to cars. For a $100,000 boat, insurance will only be about $650. Boats are not very prone to accidents, see minimal wear and tear on engines due to low hours of usage, are built to withstand abuse and they last about 15 years, which equates to better value retention. In fact, their relatively low defl ation argues for buying a boat as an investment, because the resale values are so high relative to cost.

What’s He Driving?
Boats likely to be seen along LI’s coast

Boston Whaler Outrage one would think that this brand’s Montauk model would be most sighted in these waters, but the “unsinkable” Boston Whaler outrage is
the popular center console choice.

Cobalt BR or 10 Series Bowriders are this brand’s specialty. Expect to see the sleek R3 or spacious 220 making wakes from Port Jeff to Greenport.

Pursuit C series If reels are in hand on the Sound, chances are feet are planted on the 260 or 280 model of this center console series.

Regal Express this elegant cabin cruiser is sure to catch an eye, especially the popular 28 version with best-in-class 6-foot headroom.

Sea Ray Sundancer 12 different versions of this cabin cruiser/sport yacht make it hard to miss this popular ship from LI’s shores.

Casey Dooley
Author: Casey Dooley

Workspaces: Headquarters

A look at where we work and what our workspaces say about us

Author: Chris Connolly | Published:
Images: Matt Furman
Images: Matt Furman

You can tell a lot about a person by his or her workspace. A messy desk isn’ t a guarantor of a messy mind, but it’s not a great start. A rigorously sorted pegboard isn’t an infallible sign that a carpenter knows the business, but it beats a bucket of chipped chisels. Our personalities are inscribed on our tools just like our fingerprints, whether the tool is a sharpening wheel, an oyster knife or a keyboard. The things we keep around us at work also tell our stories. In some ways the contents of our desk drawers are more revealing than the art on our living room walls or the books on our coffee tables. There is time at home to edit the statement the good china makes about us, but at work, where utilitarian concerns take precedence, our objects hold forth with unedited candor.

We visited a writer, a knife sharpener and an oyster farmer to find out what their workspaces could tell us. The journey was revealing and instructive.

The Writer
Alyson Richman, bestselling author of The Mask Carver’s Son, The Rhythm of Memory, The Last Van Gogh and The Lost Wife, writes in Huntington Bay.


Long Island Pulse: Is that a partner desk for two people to share from opposite sides?
Alyson Richman: It is. It came from New Orleans and I bought it from a female lawyer in New York City. I was attracted to it because of the storage. The things on my side are my tools of the trade: Pads, pens, zipdrives. On the other side are things I don’t need every day like contracts and royalty statements. I’ve written four novels on that desk.

Pulse: Cool. What’s in that bowl? Is that sea ceramic?
AR: Yes. It’s like sea glass, but they’re pieces of pottery. I collected those one summer when I rented a house on the Amalfi Coast. I wrote my second book there and there was a ceramic factory near the beach where the pieces would wash ashore. I can pick up any one of those pieces when I’m stressed and it relaxes me.

Pulse: What about the wooden box next to the bowl?
AR: That’s an antique writing box. Inside is an inkwell. I have several of them and they belonged to my late mother-in-law who collected them. She was an editor of textbooks and she wanted to be a writer.


Pulse: How about the blanket? Is that an heirloom?
AR: Purely practical. I’m always moving around. I started scraping all the paint off that wall behind me, so I put the blanket on the chair to protect the wall.

Pulse: What about the pocket watch? Do you have a set amount of time that you have to write?
AR: I write for about four hours a day, but that pocket watch doesn’t actually work. It’s over 100 years old and I broke it when I was 12. I cracked the glass and my mother was very upset with me. I keep it to remind me that things that are broken still have some use. There’s probably a section in every one of my books that talks about the beauty of clockwork. I like to pick the watch up and touch the dial, which is sort of forbidden.

The Knife Sharpener
Richard DeVito operates Sunrise Sharpening, a mobile operation based out of West Babylon.


Long Island Pulse: This might be a touchy subject, but you’re a guy sitting alone in a van with a bunch of knives. Do you ever freak people out?
Richard DeVito: Never. No. I think with all the lettering on the van it’s pretty clear what I’m doing.

Pulse: How did you get into the blade business?
RD: When I was 12 or 13 my grandfather had a store in Manhattan, so I got into it that way. Now I’m 43 and I’ve been doing this 30 years.

Pulse: The operation is simpler than you’d imagine. It seems like you’d need more machines and tools.
RD: I have other pieces of machinery back in my shop that I can bring around if someone needs them. Equipment for lawn mower blades and things like that, but yes, it’s pretty simple. I have an electric motor that connects to the van’s battery and I run the machines off that.


Pulse: Are those spinning wheels kind of hypnotic?
RD: In a way. I enjoy doing it, 100 percent. I find putting a really good edge on a blade very satisfying. When I get a pair of scissors or a knife I test it on a variety of materials and they’re usually very dull. A piece of paper will just bend in half. Then, when I get done, it’s like a hot knife through butter.

Pulse: Are you so good at this point that you don’t cut yourself?
RD: Oh no. There’s a first aid kit in there. I get cut every week. It’s not usually anything crazy, but I get nicked all the time.

The Oyster Farmers
Family members Mike, Doug and Kerry Winter, along with partner Rick German, started Long Island Blue Point Oyster as a way to spend more time on the water. Now they’ve got a bustling business on their hands.


Long Island Pulse: This is obviously a very hands-on operation. How many people make up your crew?
Mike Winter: There are four partners. All of us grew up on the water and we all have a passion for the Great South Bay. The restaurants love our oysters. If we had a million oysters today, we’d sell a million oysters tomorrow.

Pulse: How many oysters do you have?
MW: We sell about 20 or 30 boxes a week and each box contains 125 oysters. We can’t produce more than that right now. We actually all have full-time jobs. I’m a marina manager and we also have an accountant, a stockbroker and a project manager.

Pulse: Are you out there in the winter as well as the summer?

MW: It’s year-round. In the winter we just shovel the docks and do the same thing. Depending on the tide we’re sometimes working in chest-deep water. When it’s cold it can be pretty punishing.

oyster farmer

Pulse: How does oyster farming work?
MW: We get the seed oysters from the Islip Shellfish Hatchery and then we put them out on the farm. You manicure the oysters by flipping them over to break up the shell. It’s like when you cut your hair and the hair grows back thicker, we want our oysters to have a thick shell and a nice, deep cup. That’s what makes our oysters so sought after: They’re nice and plump with a deep shell cup.

Pulse: Do the oysters grow on the bay bottom?
MW: No. We use an off-bottom floating system of aquaculture. Our oysters are always in the tidal flow, which allows them to grow faster. They eat more and grow larger because they don’t have to filter out the dirt and mud. A wild oyster will tend to be more brittle and flat, but we individually pick ours over and groom each one.

Chris Connolly
Author: Chris Connolly

Legal Eagles Profile 2015

Louis D. Stober, Jr. is a champion of the everyman who also represents Long Island’s largest unions

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:

Louis D. Stober, Jr. is a champion of the everyman who also represents Long Island’s largest unions. No stranger to beating the biggest players, he specializes in labor law, including discrimination suits and personal injury.

The tenacious, 30+ year litigator is an expert at getting creative to reach collective agreements, and has won millions for employees in class action suits including a victory in a rare reverse discrimination case. This winner of multiple Super Lawyer awards has also been a long time AV rated preeminent attorney by Martindale-Hubbell.

350 Old Country Road, Suite 205 |  Garden City
  |  516-742-6546

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Legal Eagles Profile 2015

Our attorneys are ready to help whenever you need us

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:

Few firms can match the depth of experience offered by Silberstein, Awad & Miklos. Firmly rooted in the communities of New York City and Long Island, its partners, associates and staff are dedicated personal injury advocates with a commitment to defending public safety and providing vigorous, ethical representation of our clients.

Our attorneys are ready to help whenever you need us. Visit our website, for details about our firm and our 30-plus years of excellence and experience in medical malpractice and personal injury matters.

600 Old Country Road, Garden City | 516-832-7777
150 Motor Parkway, Hauppauge | 631-390-0001
140 Broadway, New York City 212-233-6600

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Legal Eagles Profile 2015

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:

For the past several years, Schroder & Strom, LLP has been distinguished as the number one tax certiorari law firm on Long Island, with ten attorneys devoted exclusively to property valuation proceedings. 

Schroder & Strom, LLP has also been listed as one of the top 100 New York State women-owned firms, ranking 13th statewide. We represent New York’s commercial property owners from the eastern tip of Long Island to the Canadian border. Our significant residential practice handles all levels of condominium, co-op and homeowner association tax appeals, as well as single-family homes. The results we achieve speak for themselves.

114 Old Country Road, Suite 218 Mineola | 516-742-7430 | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Legal Eagles Profile 2015

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:

Legal Eagles Profile 2015

Murphy, Bartol & O’Brien, LLP is a full-service civil and commercial law firm consisting of Ernest T. Bartol & Kevin J. O’Brien as partners that provides a wide range of legal services to its clients on Long Island and in the New York City metropolitan area. 

We understand that a small need today may translate to a larger one tomorrow, and you want the counsel of a team who cares about you, as well as your case.  The combination of our diverse backgrounds, experience, education and successful practice of law in all State and Federal Courts is ready to help when you need it.

Areas of Practice:  Business Litigation, Corporate, Employment Law, Real Estate, Taxation, Estates, Will and Trusts and Land Use and Zoning

22 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 103 |  Mineola | 516-294-5100

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Legal Eagles Profile 2015

A Law Partnership concentrating in the practice of tax 
assessment review and condemnation law for over 50 Years

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:

Koeppel Martone & Leistman, LLP is the largest New York State law firm devoted exclusively to the field of real property valuation review and condemnation. Our firm consists of nine attorneys and a large staff of paralegals with extensive experience in tax certiorari and condemnation law. Our attorneys are admitted to practice law in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, and Georgia.

155 First Street PO Box 863   Mineola   |  516-747-6300

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Legal Eagles Profile 2015

With a background in residential real estate, he represents buyers, sellers and lenders in all aspects of the home buying proces

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:

Legal Eagles Profile 2015

Buying a home is an American Dream. Most likely it will be the largest financial transaction of a person’s life. It may even be one’s first encounter with an attorney. Often, this dream can become a nightmare, but it doesn’t have to.

Whether he/she is a first-time homebuyer or a savvy real-estate investor, Jonathan Bellezza, Esq., an associate with Diamond Law Group, will protect and enforce a client’s rights while providing a seamless transaction and great experience. With a background in residential real estate, he represents buyers, sellers and lenders in all aspects of the home buying process.

Bellezza is an avid supporter of, LIBOR and the Women’s Council of Realtors.

516-663-5151 | Massapequa Park |

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Legal Eagles Profile 2015

Natasha Meyers provides every client with the highest standard of legal care and individual attention.

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:

Natasha Meyers is a seasoned litigator concentrating in divorce and family law. She has handled many contested divorce cases, including representing individuals, entrepreneurs and high net worth professionals involved in complex property distribution matters, as well as contested child custody proceedings. Her firm successfully handles pre-nuptial agreements, paternity issues, post judgment litigation and all visitation and child support disputes.

Natasha Meyers provides every client with the highest standard of legal care and individual attention. If a case cannot be settled out of court in a negotiated settlement, she is known for her aggressive and effective representation in the courtroom.

55 Elm Street Huntington | 631-784-7722

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Legal Eagles Profile 2015

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:

At Tabat, Cohen, Blum & Yovino, PC, the firm’s five partners and two associate attorneys have more than 150 years of combined experience practicing exclusively matrimonial and family law on Long Island and Manhattan. With its focus on the needs of each individual client, the firm is capable of handling complex equitable distribution, support, and custody matters, as well as appeals and mediation cases.

Many of the firm’s clients are from referrals made by other attorneys who know of the firm’s reputation for excellence, as well as from former clients who benefited from its powerful representation. Partners and the firm have consistently earned AV Preeminent ratings from Martindale-Hubbell and inclusion in Super Lawyers, as well as the continuing respect of attorneys and the judiciary.

Suffolk County Office: 150 Motor Parkway, Suite 425 Hauppauge | 631-587-5100
Nassau County Office: 1205 Franklin Avenue, Suite 270 Garden City | 516-294-9292

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Legal Eagles Profile 2015

Our clients come to us with complex business and legal challenges

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:

Our clients come to us with complex business and legal challenges – whether they involve NASA satellite antennas in Alaska, sandwich wraps in Georgia, 747 cargo planes in California, menswear in New York City, or ice cream here on Long Island.

We pride ourselves in answering not only the questions our clients ask of us, but also in answering the questions they didn’t think to ask; of analyzing not only what we are given to analyze, but what we are not given as well. We practice outside the box.

Four of the firm’s attorneys, pictured above, were also selected as 2014 Super Lawyers: Steven L. Levitt and Karen L. Weiss (seated); Irene Tenedios and Trevor M. Gomberg (standing).

129 Front Street | Mineola
t: 516.248.9700 | f: 516.741.9224 |

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Spectacular Saint Petersburg

Home to fabled art collections, architecture, food and culture

Author: Irvina Lew | Published:

In Saint Petersburg, from the moment the white nights arrive in late spring, crowds gather along the canals fronting 18th century pastel palaces to watch ships passing through open bridges. This goes on until 5am. The enchanting 80-day period from late May through July sees twilight linger long past midnight and allows the throngs at the Neva River to marvel at the reflections of pink, peach and lavender clouds. It’s a wonderful time to visit the city.

On one riverbank, the golden spires of the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul appear in duplicate, as if to underscore the importance of the site where Peter the Great, three Alexanders, Czar Nicholas, Czarina Alexandra and their children are all buried. On the opposite bank, the gold-plated dome of the 19th century St. Isaac’s Cathedral—the largest Russian Orthodox basilica in the city and the most ornate—looms behind the equestrian statue of Peter the Great, the Bronze Horseman. Catherine the Great’s memorial to her predecessor is an imposing sculpture that dominates the riverside park in Senate Square and attracts locals, tourists and entrepreneurs hawking cruise barge tickets.

St. Isaac’s cathedral contains gorgeous malachite and lapis lazuli columns. Image: Ximeg

St. Petersburg is one of those world destinations where architecture, art and history trump politics and forever lure visitors, including my friend and me, for its bewitching blend of classic culture and modern innovation. At the Four Seasons Lion Palace the concierge gave us walking directions to nearby sites: The State Hermitage Museum, the canal cruise, the hydrofoil to Peterhof Palace (Peter the Great’s waterfront summer palace with extravagant fountains and gorgeous gardens) and the hop-on/hop-off tour bus. The bell captain instructed a series of taxi drivers, who appeared on successive days, where to take us and when to pick us up, and even helped us broker a full-day trip to Catherine Palace— Catherine I’s dazzling, pastel blue and gold, Rococo summer home in Pushkin.

Like many visitors to St. Petersburg, we longed to take in the vast collection of 19th and 20th century European paintings at the Hermitage—one of the world’s greatest art museums. Canvases by Cézanne, Derain, Gauguin, Monet, Picasso, Vlaminck—and my favorite, Matisse—are housed in the Baroquestyle, green and white Winter Palace, the former residence of the tsars.

The warm opulence of the Four Seasons

Between 1895 and 1914, two prominent Russian collectors, Ivan Morozov and Sergei Shchukin, amassed huge collections for their private museums. Shchukin, a pre-Soviet businessman, individually collected 258 paintings for his palatial Moscow home. His holdings included Monets, Renoirs, Cézannes, Van Goghs, Gauguins and an astounding 50 Picassos. After the Revolution in 1918, comrades Morozov and Shchukin “donated” their collections to the people. The paintings were put on display until 1948 when the works were declared counter-revolutionary and locked away for decades.

Many artists and art appreciators risked their lives and their freedom to preserve the masterpieces until it was safe to once again put them on display. Today, the Hermitage—still full of opulent rooms and a stunning marble staircase—is a fi tting shrine to the dedication of those preservationists. And although the black-clad guards—many of them elderly women—don’t speak much English, they are clearly earnest in their desire to safeguard their cultural icons from visitors’ fingerprints.

Speaking of cultural bastions, few things compare to ballet on the historic Mariinsky stage. We purchased tickets (online) for Les Sylphides, entered the pale green neoclassic theater and took our red velvet seats adjacent to the Tsar’s Box. Around us the men were dressed in elegant black tie garb and gowned women balanced atop towering five-inch heels. Staring at the architecture during intermission rivaled the extravagance of the performance itself.

the famous Jordan Staircase at the Winter Palac
The famous Jordan Staircase at the Winter Palace Image: The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg

I was also eager to visit the Fabergé Museum within the Shuvalov Palace, where the grand staircase, parquet fl oors and silk-lined walls have been immaculately restored. Entrepreneur Viktor Vekselberg repatriated about 1,500 objets de luxe by the goldsmith Peter Carl Fabergé at enormous expense. He paid almost $100 million in 2004 to acquire nine imperial eggs—given by the Tsar to his wife and mother—and six nonimperial eggs from the Forbes collection. My favorite of these precious ova, The Orange Tree Egg, hides a tiny bejeweled nightingale within leaves of nephrite beset by amethyst, ruby and diamond fruit.

The Four Seasons Lion Palace—which opened in 2013 within the meticulously restored 19th century House of Lions on St. Isaac’s Square— is decorated with the pastel shades mandated by Catherine the Great. During our three-night stay at the neo-classical yellow and white hotel, we enjoyed facials at the new Luceo Spa—treatments that concluded with a swig of topnotch Tsarskaya Vodka, just in case we’d forgotten we were in Russia.

Fabergé‘s Orange Tree Egg, Image Jagermesh

We spent our last two nights at the historic Hotel Astoria, which was updated with a multi-million-dollar infusion and the installation of an extravagant Tsar Suite decorated in an eclectic mix of contemporary furnishings and authentic Russian antiques. The 100-year-old, 5-star hotel, which has hosted a who’s who of international dignitaries over the years, survived the Bolshevik revolution, World Wars I and II, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and is still thriving. From our suite, we could practically see through the front doors of St. Isaac’s Cathedral and glimpse the eight massive malachite columns within.

Dinner is served late in St. Petersburg— especially during the white nights—so that people can appreciate the pale pastel sky well past midnight. Olivier salad—a traditional potato salad with diced carrot and peas—appeared on most menus. At the panoramic rooftop Bellevue Brasserie, it was served with sweet Kamchatka crab from the far eastern reaches of Russia. At a Tsar Tasting at the Lion Palace Tea Lounge, we indulged in generous portions of beluga, osetra and salmon caviar served with blinis, chopped eggs, capers and chives. There were chicken Kiev and beef stroganoff in all the Russian cafes, a 15-course Asian feast at the Buddha Bar and a salt-crust Cornish game hen at ll Lago dei Cigni—a glass-walled restaurant atop a swan-filled lake.

St. Issac’s Cathedral, Image Alex Florstein

Though we worried about anti- American hostility, the people we met were exceptionally nice: near Peterhof, a woman ran in the rain down a gangplank to return my forgotten umbrella and everyone was delighted and curious when we revealed we were from the mystical land of New York!

St. Petersburg has always enjoyed a reputation for being architecturally appealing and culturally rich and those descriptions are well deserved. But what I found during my time there was that it’s also a much more sophisticated and cheerful place than I had ever imagined.

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.

Legal Eagles Profile 2015

Certilman Balin Adler & Hyman, LLP

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:

Certilman Balin Adler & Hyman, LLP is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Founded on the concept that the success of a law firm is tied to the success of its clients, the attorneys apply the firm’s collective knowledge and wisdom to their clients’ issues in order to ensure the best possible outcome.

With a national client base handling matters across the country and around the world, the firm’s major focus has been on Long Island businesses and their legal needs. The law firm has 80 attorneys practicing in its offices which are located in East Meadow, Hauppauge, and Saddle Brook, New Jersey.

Certilman Balin’s 14 practice areas include: real estate, real property tax certiorari and condemnation, cooperative and condominium, land use/environmental law, corporate/securities, litigation, commercial lending, labor relations/employment law, bankruptcy and debtor/creditor rights, trusts and estates, elder law, telecommunications law, and criminal law.

Over the past 50 years, the firm has maintained its philosophy of giving back which has resulted in being recognized with a multitude of honors and awards for service to the community.

90 Merrick Avenue | East Meadow, NY | 516-296-7000
100 Motor Parkway Hauppauge, NY | 631-979-3000
80 Park West, Plaza II Suite 200 Saddle Brook, NJ | 201-778-3424

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Porsche 911 Carrera GTS

Stick or semi-auto PDK transmission— the new GTS is a willing wingsman

Author: William K. Gock | Published:
Tunnel of Love. Images courtesy of porsche cars north america
Tunnel of Love. Images courtesy of porsche cars north america

American culture often equates priciest with best. In contrast, Porsche, the German marquee best known for its iconic 911, seems to favor a “best for you” mentality with the new Carrera GTS Porsche. The brand has recognized that its almighty GT3—a track-tuned, no-nonsense specimen of dominance—doesn’t always mesh with daily life. Drivers seeking top performance for less-sanctioned tarmac may agree that it doesn’t get better than the slightly more attainable GTS.

My opportunity to pilot the GTS whisked me off to the west coast, with the promise of a romp through Angeles Crest Highway and surrounding vicinity. These are some of the best driving roads the Golden State has to offer. I met my companion in sunny Pasadena—a bright yellow, rear-wheel-drive GTS Cabriolet—and immediately felt in good company.

Presented by Stuttgart execs as a bridge between standard S-level and the aforementioned GT3, it is not the ultimate Carrera, but perhaps the best-suited for everyday street performance and style. The aesthetic differences of the GTS are subtle in nature, but their cumulative effects make it a much more aggressive-looking 911. An active damper suspension drops the ride height by about an inch and a half, while smoked bi-xenon headlamps and standard 20-inch matte black wheels add a sinister dash to its already well-established sexiness.

Sliding into the car’s highbacked Alcantara-lined race style seat, my first thought was, “These can’t be a US option.” Forgive the cynicism, but many a car aficionado knows the Europeans typically get the really good stuff they don’t send here. To my delight, I was wrong. To my even greater delight, the snug, well-bolstered bucket spooned my average build perfectly.

Glancing around the cabin gave me the impression GTS means business. While everyone else in the industry is trending digital, gauges here remain analog. Interior trimmings are for the most part soft touch, but noticeably inspired by the grease and grit of the racetrack. And the pop-out coffee cup holders above the glove box? They’re clearly an afterthought. Porsche prefers you get your buzz in other ways.

Firing up the flat-six, I immediately stopped looking around for what the car didn’t have. Listening to the smooth but stout, gurgle behind my back, my eyes were only on the road ahead. From a cold start, the GTS is calm and well behaved; its steering is firm, but not unmanageable for an around-the-town jaunt.

At the canyons however, the wild side came out with zero provocation. Rocketing upwards into the San Gabriel Mountains, I hit the first major bend, a switchback, at around 60mph with guarded certitude. Unfazed, the car pulled through with the connectedness of a rollercoaster, catapulting me hard to the next ascending stretch. Confidence now assured, I pressed harder, only to find it a downright challenge to send the GTS’s backside into a drift, a testament to its track-proven engineering. The car obliged to every new move I threw its way, playfully daring me to expand my comfort zone. As I tested my own limits, it remained a dedicated wingman.

If paddle-shifting isn’t your cup of tea, the PDK (dual-clutch) gearbox in sport mode may be the most bullish performer on the market. Programmed for holding its shifts to just short of redline, there were a couple of moments I almost went for the paddle out of fear for the engine’s well-being.

This is also the perfect place to note the one option the GTS offers that the crème-de-la-crème GT3 does not: a stick shift. Jumping into a manual equipped coupe after an outdoor, vineyard lunch break (followed by the obligatory afternoon catnap), it was clear I’d never outperform the lightning-fast shifts of the semi-automated PDK transmission. But the coupled feel is the one driving element technology will never quite replicate, no matter how hard it tries. Yeah, the GT3 may be the faster, more results-oriented flagship of the current 911 bloodline, but I’m good right here.

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.

Legal Eagles Profile 2015

Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Formato, Ferrara & Wolf, LLP

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:

Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Formato, Ferrara & Wolf, LLP is one of the largest full-service law firms based on Long Island.

The firm’s expertise encompasses a comprehensive scope of practice areas that include civil litigation, corporate and securities law, elder law, employment law, estate litigation, family law and matrimonial law, franchise law, government audits and investigations, government relations, municipality and election law, guardianship law, health law, land use and zoning, trusts and estates and criminal and white collar defense.

Abrams Fensterman is recognized as one of the region’s most trusted teams of 60 plus savvy and skillful attorneys serving clients at five offices throughout New York including Lake Success, New York City, Brooklyn and Rochester.

At the core of the firm’s professional excellence and client relationships are its legal expertise and unwavering commitment to the role of counselors and advisors, supporting its clients through personal, commercial and social obstacles. While widely recognized as leaders in their fields, the attorneys of Abrams Fensterman have amassed numerous awards and accolades including New York Metro Super Lawyers and Rising Stars, AV Preeminent rating by Martindale-Hubbell and Best Lawyers in America.

Abrams Fensterman’s attorneys are often called upon by news, business and lifestyle programs to demonstrate their legal insight and thought leadership with commentary having appeared in The New York Times, Newsday, USA Today, Long Island Business News and The Huffington Post.

1111 Marcus Avenue, Suite 107, Lake Success | Tel: 516-328-2300

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Legal Listings: Banking & Financial Services through Corporate & Healthcare

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published: Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Antonia Donohue
Jaspan Schlesinger, LLP
Garden City
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Banking & Financial Services
Antonia M. Donohue is the partner-in-charge of Jaspan Schlesinger LLP’s Banking and Financial Services Practice Group. She has extensive experience representing financial institutions in workout, foreclosure, collection, bankruptcy, litigation and loan transactions, as well as extensive real estate litigation experience.

Jothy Narendran
Jaspan Schlesinger, LLP
Garden City
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Banking & Financial Services
Jothy Narendran, a partner at Jaspan Schlesinger LLP, represents institutional lenders in financing commercial properties in a wide variety of transactions including acquisition loans, construction loans, note purchases and sales, equipment financing, leasehold financing and multi-lender participation/syndicated financing.

JoStuart P. Gelberg
Stuart P. Gelberg
Garden City
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Stuart P. Gelberg has 34 years of bankruptcy experience, served as a bankruptcy trustee EDNY and SDNY, and has represented thousands of individuals and businesses. He has been Martindale-Hubbell AV rated for more than 26 years and has been selected as a Super Lawyer.

Robert H. Solomon
Robert H. 
Solomon, P.C.
Long Beach
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Rob Solomon has been practicing law since 1982. A graduate of Duke Law and the Wharton School, Rob concentrates in consumer and business bankruptcy matters. He has helped thousands of clients and recently appeared on WPIX 11 Morning News to discuss the student loan crisis.

James Leonard
Jaspan Schlesinger, LLP
Garden City
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Business Law
James Leonard is a partner at Jaspan Schlesinger, where he advises clients on sophisticated business transactions. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Leonard was controller of a national restaurant chain, and was a Republican nominee for State Senate in Kings County. He received his accounting degree from Baruch College.

Lewis A. Bartell
Law Office of Lewis A. Bartell
Garden City
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Business Law & Litigation
Lewis has spent nearly 30 years representing businesses and individuals in all their legal needs. He successfully protects his clients’ interests by quickly identifying problems, then developing and implementing practical resolutions. Lewis’ personal investment in his clients’ needs ensures that they are free to focus on their business or profession.

Steven Schlesinger
Jaspan Schlesinger, LLP
Garden City
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Commercial Litigation
Steven Schlesinger is the managing partner of Jaspan Schlesinger. He has been counsel in numerous federal and state court trials concentrating in the commercial division of the NYS Supreme Court, and has argued over 500 appeals, including many in the NYS Court of Appeals.

Robert A. Carruba
Berkman, Henoch, Peterson, Peddy & Fenchel, P.C.
Garden City
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Commercial & General Litigation
Robert A. Carruba has expertise in representing owners of commercial real property in all aspects of the landlord/tenant relationship including complex lease litigation and summary proceedings. Mr. Carruba’s clients include several retail malls on Long Island and in New York City.

Joseph E. Macy
Berkman, Henoch, Peterson, Peddy & Fenchel, P.C.
Garden City
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Commercial & Municipal Litigation
Recently named as a New York Super Lawyer, Joseph E. Macy heads the firm’s litigation department. Mr. Macy regularly represents private sector and municipal clients in the federal and state courts. His vigorous advocacy has resulted in positive outcomes for his clients in many high-profile cases.

Saul R. Fenchel
Berkman, Henoch, Peterson, Peddy & Fenchel, P.C.
Garden City
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Commercial & Eminent Domain
Saul Fenchel has over 40 years of experience in handling condemnation/eminent domain and land use matters. He has represented numerous properties and successfully litigated matters involving shopping centers, office buildings and all types of commercial and residential properties in the NYS Supreme Courts and NYS Court of Claims.

Jeffrey Bard
Lawrence, Worden, Rainis & Bard, P.C.
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Construction Litigation
Jeffrey Bard is a Martindale-Hubbell AV rated trial attorney who practices construction litigation, professional malpractice, high exposure claims, medical malpractice and toxic tort/lead paint litigation. Mr. Bard earned his bachelor of arts degree from The University of Massachusetts and his law degree from St. John’s University School of Law.

David Paseltiner
Jaspan Schlesinger, LLP
Garden City
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Corporate & Business Law
David Paseltiner has over 25 years of experience in a broad range of sophisticated commercial matters including complex financial transactions, mergers and acquisitions, employment and compensation agreements, agreements among shareholders, partners and LLC members, and in other corporate and commercial transactions.

Andrew D. Presberg
Law Offices of Andrew Presberg, P.C.
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Corporate & Business Law
Andrew D. Presberg has guided business owners through all aspects of their corporate legal needs. From starting a new company, acquiring or selling a business, drafting and negotiating contracts or litigating business disputes, Presberg is always ready to counsel his clients.

Greg Stoller
Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Formato, Ferrara & Wolf, LLP
Lake Success
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Corporate & Healthcare
Greg Stoller is a partner at Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Formato, Ferrara & Wolf, LLP within the firm’s corporate and healthcare practice. Mr. Stoller represents public and private companies, including not-for-profit organizations, in mergers, acquisitions, and other strategic transactions, as well as with respect to their daily corporate governance matters.

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Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Long Island’s Top Legal Profiles

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Legal Listings: Property Tax through Workers Compensation

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:

William D. Siegel
Berkman, Henoch, Peterson, Peddy & Fenchel, P.C.
Garden City
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Real Property & Tax Certiorari
William D. Siegel, a highly experienced tax certiorari attorney, has been named in Who’s Who of Long Island attorneys. He has represented clients in many major precedent setting property tax cases and recovered over $1 billion in tax refunds and savings.

Stephen Epstein
Jaspan Schlesinger, LLP
Garden City
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Real Estate
Stephen Epstein is a highly experienced transactional lawyer involved in the acquisition, development, financing and disposition of hotels, office buildings, multi-family residential buildings, shopping centers and vacant land. Representing both owners and tenants, he also handles ground leases, shopping center and other store and office leases.

Andrew D. Presberg
Law Offices of Andrew Presberg, P.C.
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Real Estate
Andrew D. Presberg is involved in sophisticated commercial transactions representing sellers, purchasers, landlords and lenders. His practice concentrates on the purchase, sale, leasing and financing of commercial property with an emphasis on industrial development agency, SBA, loan transactions, construction, commercial banking and real estate litigation.

Miriam R. Milgrom
Berkman, Henoch, Peterson, Peddy & Fenchel, P.C.
Garden City
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Real Estate & Commercial Lending
Miriam R. Milgrom, a partner of BHPP&F, has expertise in all aspects of commercial real estate and lending. Her areas of practice have expanded to meet the changing needs of existing clients. Ms. Milgrom’s commitment to achieving her clients’ goals has significantly contributed to their success.

Steven J. Peddy
Berkman, Henoch, Peterson, Peddy & Fenchel, P.C.
Garden City
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Real Estate & Commercial Lending
Managing partner, chair of the real estate department and co-chair of the commercial lending department, Mr. Peddy’s extensive experience in structuring and closing sophisticated real estate transactions and his representation of numerous lending institutions servicing Long Island and the metropolitan area are highly valued by his clients and colleagues.

Bart Kaplan
Kaplan, Kaplan & DiTrapani, LLP
Glen Cove
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Real Estate & Personal Injury
With over 35 years of experience, our firm has represented both excited first time homebuyers and sophisticated commercial real estate investors. We have always used the same formula: Comprehensive legal services combined with the highest level of personal attention.

Cathleen Allen
Jaspan Schlesinger, LLP
Garden City
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Real Estate Finance
Cathleen Allen represents financial institutions in all types of commercial lending transactions and regulatory matters. She also has extensive experience representing clients in all aspects of real estate law, including sales, acquisitions and leases and has experience in transactions involving IDAs, the SBA, interest rate swaps and 1031 exchanges.

Andrea Rubin-de-Cervens
Law Office of Andrea Rubin-de-Cervens
East Islip
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Real Estate Law, Trusts & Estates
For 30 years attorney Andrea Rubin-de-Cervens has been addressing clients’ evolving legal needs. Ms. Rubin-de-Cervens, past president of the Islip Rotary Club and current board member of Mondays at Racine, strives to provide courteous, prompt, cost-effective services in a comfortable, confidential enviornment.

Andrew Mahony
Jaspan Schlesinger, LLP
Garden City
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Real Estate Law, Trusts & Estates
Andrew M. Mahony is a partner at Jaspan Schlesinger LLP, where his practice areas are condemnation, commercial tax certiorari and municipal finance litigation representing private and public clients. His municipal clients include the Towns of Hempstead and Wallkill, the Villages of Patchogue and Great Neck, and several special districts.

Michael T. Schroder, Esq.
Schroder & Strom, LLP
Tax Certiorari & Eminent Domain
Michael, a founding partner of Schroder & Strom, LLP, provides advice to commercial and residential clients in the area of real estate taxes. He represents the largest condominiums on Long Island and handles appeals statewide.

Karen Strom, Esq.
Schroder & Strom, LLP
Tax Certiorari & Eminent Domain
Karen has practiced tax certiorari law for over 25 years, focusing on industrial and commercial properties. She has authored the New York chapter of the ABA’s The Property Tax Deskbook for the past 15 years, and has been honored as one of the Top 50 Women on Long Island.

Neil D. Katz
Katz, Bernstein & Katz, LLP
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Tax Law & Estate Planning
Neil Katz’s practice focuses on tax issues including income, corporate, and estate/gift taxation. His experience also includes planning and drafting complex estate plans and business agreements, and representing clients in acquisitions and sales of business interests. Neil is also an adjunct professor of taxation at Hofstra University.

Richard Kestenbaum
Kestenbaum & Mark
Great Neck
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Tax Litigation, Civil & Criminal
Richard Kestenbaum represents corporations, individuals and estates concerning sensitive domestic and foreign tax issues that result in civil and criminal controversies with state and local tax authorities and the Internal Revenue Service. This includes related litigation in state and federal courts.

Michael Ryan
Jaspan Schlesinger, LLP
Garden City
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Trusts & Estates
Michael Ryan has many years of experience in his field. Prior to going into private practice, he was the chief clerk referee of the Nassau County Surrogate’s Court. He lectures frequently and is also a professor of law teaching courses in Surrogate’s Court litigation and estate and gift taxation.

Jennifer Santaniello
Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Formato, Ferrara & Wolf, LLP
Lake Success
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Trusts & Estates
Jennifer Santaniello, a partner at Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Formato, Ferrara & Wolf, LLP’s practice consists of private wealth preservation and transfer and trust and estate administration. She was designated a Rising Star - 40 Under 40 by the Queens Courier and New York Metro Rising Star by Super Lawyers.

Rudolf J. Karvay
Berkman, Henoch, Peterson, Peddy & Fenchel, P.C.
Garden City
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Trusts & Estates - Litigation
Rudolf J. Karvay, an experienced estate litigator, handles high profile estate and trust matters including contested accountings, contested probate and spousal right of election disputes. A partner at BHPP&F, he serves as president of the board of a non-profit clinic in Forest Hills.

Gary H. Friendenberg
Berkman, Henoch, Peterson, Peddy & Fenchel, P.C.
Garden City
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Trusts & Estates - Taxation
Chairman of the trusts, estates and taxation department, Mr. Friedenberg has been recognized as a leading authority in the area. He is an AV-rated attorney since 1984, a CPA, frequent lecturer and has attained recognition as an accredited estate planner.

Daniel S. Kramer
Daniel S. Kramer, PLLC
Garden City
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Workers Compensation & Personal Injury
Daniel Kramer has protected the rights of thousands of injured workers by obtaining the best possible monetary value on every claim. His experience includes all types of employment related accidents and occupational diseases. The results are obtained with dedication, honesty and integrity.

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Legal Listings: Litigation & Appellate through Personal Injury & Wrongful Death

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:

Stanley Camhi
Jaspan Schlesinger, LLP
Garden City
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Litigation & Appellate
Stan Camhi has tried dozens of cases in both federal and state court, many involving employment and discrimination matters. He has also successfully argued numerous appeals in the Second Circuit and the state appellate courts including the New York Court of Appeals.

Jill Altarac
The Altarac Law Firm, PLLC
Garden City
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Matrimonial & Family Law
ill Altarac, Esq., partner in The Altarac Law Firm PLLC, has concentrated in the field of matrimonial and family law for over 19 years. Ms. Altarac is a dedicated, strong advocate for her clients. She makes certain that the rights of children with special needs are protected throughout matrimonial proceedings.

Anthony Falanga
Jaspan Schlesinger, LLP
Garden City
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Matrimonial & Family Law
Anthony Falanga served in the matrimonial division of the Nassau County Supreme Court for over a decade, and was appointed supervising judge of the Nassau County District Court in 2004. Since retirement, he has been involved in complex divorce and family-related issues as chair of the firm’s matrimonial department.

Bruce H. 
Guttman, Esq.
The Guttman Law Group, LLP
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Matrimonial & Family Law
Bruce H. Guttman has specialized in matrimonial and family law since 1990. He is one of the most well-known and respected attorneys in his field, serving Nassau, Suffolk and all five boroughs. Bruce and the Guttman Law Group LLP guide clients successfully through the process for a positive outcome.

Robert C. Mangi
Mangi & Graham, LLP
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Matrimonial & Family Law
Robert Mangi is a past chair of the matrimonial committee and of the family court committee. A master at the New York Family Law American Inn of Court, he often writes articles on family law and lectures for state and local bar associations.

Russell Marnell
Law Offices of Russell I. Marnell, P.C.
East Meadow
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Matrimonial & Family Law
Concentrating in divorce and family law, Russell I. Marnell, with over 30 years of experience, has litigated over 750 cases involving complex custody, equitable distribution, child support and maintenance issues. Preeminent rated by Martindale-Hubbell, he is also a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and selected to Super Lawyers.

Gayle Rosenblum
Rubin & Rosenblum, PLLC
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Matrimonial & Family Law
Ms. Rosenblum has successfully negotiated, mediated and litigated complex family and matrimonial issues paying careful attention to detail and her clients’ needs. She handles divorce, legal separation, orders of protection, name change, adoption, enforcement and modification matters.

Lori A. Marano
Gabriele & Marano
Garden City
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Medical Malpractice & Appellate
Lori A. Marano has successfully defended health care providers in medical malpractice actions for 27 years. She is both a trial lawyer and an appellate lawyer. She co-authored New York Medical Malpractice, a three-volume treatise. Client service and innovative legal strategies are the hallmarks of the firm’s practice.

Gregory P. Peterson
Berkman, Henoch, Peterson, Peddy & Fenchel, P.C.
Garden City
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Municipal & Real Estate Development
Gregory P. Peterson has utilized his extensive municipal experience to guide the firm’s clients through all aspects of their dealings with governmental bodies. His expertise and advice is highly valued by Long Island’s major real estate developers in accomplishing their goals.

Lisa Cairo
Jaspan Schlesinger, LLP
Garden City
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Municipal Law
Lisa Cairo regularly appears before municipal boards and IDAs throughout Long Island. She also represents private and municipal clients in New York state and federal courts, and has experience in land use, zoning and real estate matters. Ms. Cairo is counsel to the board of appeals for two local villages.

Thomas A. O’Rourke
Bodner & O’Rourke, L.L.P
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Patent, Trademark & Copyright Law
For over 30 years, Mr. O’Rourke has represented clients in patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secret misappropriation. Mr. O’Rourke also has extensive experience in the licensing of intellectual property. Mr. O’Rourke works with a wide array of national and international clients protecting their technology.

Michael S. Levine
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Construction & Motorcycle Accidents
Michael S. Levine is a veteran litigator with nearly three decades of experience. President of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, Mike Levine works to protect the rights of trial lawyers and their clients. He also moonlights as the renowned Motorcycle Mike ESQ.

Michael G. Glass
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Medical Malpractice & Nursing Home Abuse
Michael Glass is an attorney who constantly improves his craft, even after 30 years of practice. With numerous multi-million dollar cases under his belt, Glass’ studious nature, precise trial preparation and pragmatic thinking continue to break new ground within the world of personal injury law.

Charles S. Gucciardo
The Gucciardo Law Firm, PLLC
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Personal Injury & Medical Malpractice
Master the courtroom and serve your clients. Justice will follow. Our record-setting trial results in the personal injury and medical malpractice arena are a product of our integrity and complete dedication to our clients. These are the cornerstones of our practice.

Randy S. Nissan
Berkman, Henoch, Peterson, Peddy & Fenchel, P.C.
Garden City
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Personal Injury & Tort Defense
Randy Nissan’s expertise is in personal injury litigation representing plaintiffs, defendants and municipalities. Well-respected in the legal community, his advice is regularly sought out. Recently, he successfully defended a municipality up to the Court of Appeals in a widely publicized case.

Steven J. Seiden
Seiden & Kaufman
Carle Place
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death
Steven J. Seiden has recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for injured victims of accidents and surviving family members in wrongful death actions. Mr. Seiden holds an AV Preeminent rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest peer review rating for legal ability and ethical standards.

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Legal Listings: Criminal & Litigation through Education & Labor

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published:

Matin Emouna
Emouna & Mikhail
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Criminal & Litigation
For over 20 years as a lawyer, Matin Emouna has repeatedly demonstrated his prowess in the courtroom and his passion for his clients. His zealous representation has led him to be retained on many high-profile civil and criminal cases.

Edward P. Jenks
Law Offices of Edward P. Jenks
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Criminal Defense
Edward Jenks has tried complex criminal drug cases, high-profile homicides and federal white-collar litigation. He graduated from NYU (Cum Laude) and Fordham 
Law School and recently received a preeminent rating of AV 5 out of 5 from Martindale-Hubbell.

Elizabeth Kase
Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Formato, Ferrara & Wolf, LLP
Lake Success
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Criminal Defense
Elizabeth Kase is a partner at Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Formato, Ferrara & Wolf, LLP. A leading criminal defense attorney on Long Island, she was named Pro Bono Attorney of the Month by the Nassau County Bar Association and among the Top 50 Influential Women by Long Island Business News.

Lloyd J. Nadel
Lloyd Nadel, PLLC
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Criminal Defense
Lloyd Nadel is one of Long Island’s most experienced and successful criminal attorneys. He has represented individuals charged with crimes from murder to driving while intoxicated. He has tried more than 100 cases and obtained many acquittals, saving clients from criminal records and jail sentences.

Leslie H. Tayne
Tayne Law Group, P.C.
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Debt Resolution Alternatives
Leslie Tayne, Esq., is a highly respected and award-winning debt resolution attorney. She is the advisor and founder of Tayne Law Group, P.C., which is one of the few in New York State concentrating solely in debt resolution and alternatives to filing bankruptcy for consumers, small-business owners and professionals.

Christopher Chimeri
The Chimeri Law Firm, P.C.
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Divorce & Family Law
Christopher Chimeri personally handles every aspect of each client’s case with aggressive but practical representation. Peer-selected as a 2014 Super Lawyers Rising Star, Mr. Chimeri is regarded as a premier appellate attorney in divorce cases and related matters in family law.

Philip Kusnetz
Philip A. Kusnetz, P.C.
Garden City
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Divorce & Family Law
Philip A. Kusnetz is an assertive litigator and respected trial lawyer. From simple to complex matters, Philip is known for his dedication and zeal. He has successfully resolved many noteworthy cases. Philip was named a 2015 Top 100 Lawyer and is rated superb.

Ian Mednick
The Law Offices of Ian S. Mednick, P.C.
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Divorce & Family Law
With over a decade of experience in divorce and family law, Mr. Mednick has represented thousands of clients. He was named one of 2014’s Rising Stars by Super Lawyers, was recently mentioned by The New York Times and has received a BV Distinguished Rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

A.J. Temsamani
The Law Firm of A.J. Temsamani, P.C.
Garden City
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Divorce & Family Law
An experienced and well-respected divorce attorney, A.J. has been selected as a New York Super Lawyer in the area of family law and was named one of the top 10 family law attorneys in New York State by the National Academy of Family Law Attorneys.

Florence M. Fass
Fass & Greenberg, LLP
Garden City
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Divorce & Matrimonial Law
Widely recognized as one of Long Island’s best divorce lawyers, Florence Fass achieves success by employing her skills as a trial lawyer and certified mediator. She is a Super Lawyer, a Top Ten Divorce Leader and is one of the Top 50 Women on LI.

Elena Greenberg
Fass & Greenberg, LLP
Garden City
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Divorce & Matrimonial Law
In addition to her recognition as a Top Ten Leader of Women in the Law, Elena Greenberg is an experienced litigator and mediator. Elena serves on the executive committee of NY Family Law American Inns of Court, and is a Super Lawyer.

Joseph C. Lobosco
Fass & Greenberg, LLP
Garden City
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Divorce & Matrimonial Law
Joseph Lobosco has worked with Fass & Greenberg for five years. His real estate and e-discovery background are an added value to his matrimonial clients. He is dedicated to handling each client’s matter efficiently and with the highest degree of professionalism.  

Lawrence Tenenbaum
Jaspan Schlesinger, LLP
Garden City
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Education & Labor
Lawrence Tenenbaum has been representing school districts and public libraries for over 20 years and is a past president and director of the New York State Association of School Attorneys. He writes and speaks frequently on labor and education law issues. 

Return to the Main Legal Eagles 2015 page

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

Legal Listings: Elder Law & Estate Planning through Labor & Employment

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published: Sunday, February 22, 2015

Robert Kurre
Kurre Schneps, LLP
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Elder Law & Estate Planning
Robert Kurre, one of approximately 400 attorneys in the United States who have met the requirements of certification as an elder law attorney, is listed in The Best Lawyers in America. He holds the highest rating in legal ability and ethics from Martindale-Hubbell—the preeminent attorney rating organization.

Robin Burner Daleo
Nancy Burner & Associates, P.C.
East Setauket
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Elder Law & Trusts and Estates
Elder law, trusts and Medicaid asset planning are Robin Burner Daleo main focus. She is an accredited VA attorney, a member of the Suffolk County Woman’s Bar, a member of the National Association of Woman Lawyers and member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. She graduated magna cum laude from Touro Law School.

Nancy Burner
Nancy Burner & Associates, P.C.
East Setauket
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Elder Law & Trusts and Estates
Nancy Burner is current chair of the SCBA elder law committee, carries a 10+ AVVO rating, and has been appointed to her 5th term as one of seven trustees on the Lawyers Fund for Client Protection.  Her boutique law firm concentrates in elder law, trusts & estates and special needs planning.

Jennifer Cona
Genser Dubow Genser & Cona, LLP
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Elder Law & Trusts and Estates
Jennifer Cona’s firm is rated the number one elder law firm on Long Island. A New York Times Super Lawyer, Cona has received the Leadership in Law award, been named one of the Top 50 Women and 40 Under 40 and has been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, WABC-TV, WNBC-TV and CNN.

Ronald Fatoullah
Ronald Fatoullah & Associates
Great Neck
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Elder Law & Trusts and Estates
For more than 30 years, Ronald Fatoullah has been advising New Yorkers about the legal and financial challenges of aging and estate planning. Selected as one of New York’s Best Lawyers for nine consecutive years, Fatoullah is highly regarded for his expertise in elder law, trusts, estates and special needs. 

Larry H. Ingber, Esq.
Goldfinger & Lassar, LLP
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Estate Planning & Administration
For over 30 years Larry has provided counsel in a wide range of estate planning and trust and estate administration services, with offices in Melville and NYC. He also represents clients in surrogate’s court matters, prepares estate and gift tax returns, and has the highest AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

Lawrence A. Siegel
Davidow, Davidow, Siegel & Stern, LLP
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Estate Planning & Business Law
Mr. Siegel focuses on business law and tax and estate planning. He has a master’s in taxation from NYU enabling him to blend his tax expertise and business practice. He handles personal tax and estate planning for high net-worth individuals and serves as general counsel for many businesses.

Debra L. Rubin
Rubin & Rosenblum, PLLC
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Family & Matrimonial Law
Debra L. Rubin has been practicing family and matrimonial law for 25 years. She has successfully litigated countless divorce and family law matters, but prides herself in being settlement minded and negotiating favorable resolutions for her clients whenever possible. She also handles mediations and collaborative law matters.

Alexander Potruch
Alexander Potruch, LLC
Garden City
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Family Law & Appellate Matters
Acknowledged as one of New York’s finest divorce attorneys, Alexander Potruch has participated in countless trials and appellate matters. He is a Super Lawyer, a highest-rated attorney with Martindale-Hubbell and a recognized leader in the field.

Mark E. Goidell
Law Office of Mark E. Goidell
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Federal & State Court Litigation
With over 30 years of success, Mark litigates a wide variety of commercial, employment and criminal cases in federal and state courts. He is top rated by Martindale-Hubbell. Mark is a tenacious and skillful litigator who is devoted to his clients and their causes.

Jacob S. Feldman
Frazer & Feldman, LLP
Garden City
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General & Labor Counsel
Jacob S. Feldman is a founding partner of Frazer & Feldman, LLP. His practice concentrates on special education matters on behalf of public school districts. His approach is to brainstorm with clients combining knowledge of the law with common sense to create practical solutions.

Florence Frazer
Frazer & Feldman, LLP
Garden City
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General & Labor Counsel
Florence T. Frazer is a founding partner of Frazer & Feldman, LLP. With over 25 years’ experience in labor law she has negotiated hundreds of collective bargaining agreements. Her philosophy of mutual respect between management and labor enables her to achieve her clients’ goals.

Glenn J. Franklin
Franklin, Gringer & Cohen, P.C.
Garden City
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Labor & Employment
Mr. Franklin has had extensive experience in collective bargaining, having successfully negotiated hundreds of contracts on behalf of management. The secrets to his success as a negotiator are his perseverance, his communication skills and the credibility that he has established with his counterparts across the negotiating table.

Martin Gringer
Franklin, Gringer & Cohen, P.C.
Garden City
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Labor & Employment
Mr. Gringer has been advising, representing and litigating on behalf of employers in the areas of employment discrimination, sexual harassment, collective bargaining, arbitrations, employee benefits, wage and hour law, OSHA, and restrictive covenants.

Long Island Pulse
Author: Long Island Pulse

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.

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
The Raconteur: Mike Francesa is at the peak of the sports radio pyramid
The Man on the Inside: Reporter Adam Schefter is the gatekeeper of the news this NFL-obsessed nation craves

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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Thanksgiving Dishes From the Farmers Market: Celebrate the holiday and the LI’s bounty of local food with these side dishes

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, college advisor, journalist and filmmaker. He guest lectures at Adelphi University and lives in Long Beach with his wife and children. See his work at

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

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