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January 22, 2012

First Snow of the Year

Filed under: Winter by Bill @ 7:55 am

Winter on Long Island is off to a slow start. We’ve had inconsistent temperatures and too many warm days for me to even begin to take Old Man Winter seriously. With temperatures above freezing and rain in the forecast what he threw at us yesterday will be gone by tomorrow night, and everything will look like you know what again.

Meteorologists say La Niña and the Atlantic and Arctic Oscillations are responsible for the weather we’re experience this winter. In a nutshell…

Colder Pacific Ocean temperatures caused by La Niña result in less moisture in the air. The Atlantic Oscillations and Arctic Oscillations are in a phase that allows that dry air to flow easily over the country to the east. Less moisture in the air means less snow. With less snow on the ground to reflect solar radiation winter temperatures rise.

I had to work yesterday so I couldn’t enjoy the snow while it was falling, but I did manage to snap a few pictures on the way in. The roads were so slippery that I couldn’t go past 30mph without feeling the car slip–and that’s with snow tires.

An overpass on Southern State Parkway

The roads were VERY slippery.


A barn and trees covered with snow

Everything looks so good covered in snow.


A curve in the road

Driving conditions were really bad at the end of this ramp.


Snow plows with traffic behind them

Snow plows to the rescue!


October 31, 2011

Halloween Boat Burning

Filed under: Events,Food & Drink,Museums,Sand, Sea & Sky by Bill @ 7:45 am

Just a quick post with some pictures from the annual Halloween boat burning at the Long Island Maritime Museum.

band playing music

Live music all night long.

a burning boat, crowd watching

The burning boat is spectacular and keeps everyone warm.

burning boat

This was a 40' sport fisherman.


Huge clouds of smoke filled the air.

Food truck, gazebo

Good food from the truck, and trinkets for sale under the gazebo.

small rowboat

A handsome rowing skiff is the raffle prize.

the band

Kathleen Prokesch, director of special events, announces the lucky raffle winner.

September 19, 2011

Everyone Loves the Beach

Filed under: Sand, Sea & Sky by Bill @ 6:35 am

I took a book down to the Sayville Beach yesterday afternoon to relax a little before starting the grind on Monday morning. I don’t know what it was about yesterday, but it seemed like everyone had the same idea. Maybe we’re all trying to enjoy the last licks of summer before fall starts on Friday.

a beach

Lots of folks on the beach enjoying the late afternoon sun. Behind them is a sailboat and the Robert Moses Bridge.

sailboat and bridge

A look through the zoom lens reveals the Robert Moses Bridge like a giant eye watching over the little boat as it blows around the Great South Bay.

September 11, 2011

September 11th, a Decade Past

Filed under: Events,Historic Long Island,New York City by Bill @ 11:52 am

I haven’t thought much about the disaster that struck New York City 10 years ago. Not that I’ve forgotten, I never will, but there is enough pain and discomfort associated with those memories to make one want to avoid them. I can’t even watch the footage that they’ve been playing way too often on television this past week.

Everyone who lives on Long Island either lost someone or knows someone who lost someone on that day. September 11th is as much a Long Island tragedy as it is a New York City tragedy and a national tragedy.

Just a short note then to acknowledge and remember the victims and their families, the police, firemen, and all other rescuers and volunteers on the scene that day and the days and weeks after. You will not be forgotten and you have the gratitude of everyone in this great country.

The American Flag

September 1, 2011

Hurricane Irene: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Filed under: Sand, Sea & Sky by Bill @ 7:43 am

What’s good about hurricane Irene? I can’t think of anything good, at least anything good enough to make up for the bad and the ugly side of hurricanes. But there is at least some good and I’ll get to that later, but first the ugly and the bad.

The Ugly… People were killed by this storm. It doesn’t get any uglier than that. When I was a kid I’d look forward to hurricanes, blizzards, hailstorms, all sorts of bad weather. It was exciting and I had no real understanding of the consequences. As an adult I still enjoy a good storm, but now I understand what the word storm really means.

The Bad… The economic damage caused by hurricane Irene is enormous. A lot of people are still without power this morning and have thrown away everything in their refrigerators and freezers. Aside from the cost of physical damage there is an almost immeasurable amount of business lost due to damage, loss of inventory, no electrical power, or lost productivity.

According to an article in Newsday it looks as though the majority of Long Island tourism businesses in wine country, Fire Island, and Montauk Point will be in good shape for Labor Day weekend, but will not recover the losses incurred last weekend. Greenport was one of the first areas to have power restored, so I expect that businesses there will be in very good shape.

The Good… Well aside from neighbor helping neighbor which we see plenty of during disasters like Irene, I discovered one benefit of not having electricity. This is something that very few people would appreciate, but to a geek like me it was pretty cool.

No electricity means no lights and no light pollution. The sky was dark. Dark enough to see the Milky Way.

Unless you live on the east end where the sky is a lot darker than is it here in western Suffolk, this is a rare sight. Maybe it’s hard to appreciate a dark sky when everything in your refrigerator is going bad, but there is an old saying about making lemonade–and it really is a good way to deal with bad things. I wish more folks would look up. Even when we do have electricity and the sky is lit bright by the torches of civilization there is still plenty to see.

Here’s a picture of the Big Dipper hanging low in the north western sky that I took in the dark on Sunday night:

Keep looking up…

June 20, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

Filed under: Historic Long Island by Bill @ 6:17 am

This Memorial Day we decided to visit Sagamore Hill, the home of Teddy Roosevelt. The short road trip took us through the picturesque town of Oyster Bay where we found a couple of nice places to eat and a beach with scenic views.

The highlight of the day however, was folding the huge American flag at Teddy Roosevelt’s home. We were there for the last tour of the day and our timing couldn’t have been better: it was time to take the flag down and we were offered the chance to help.

What a great experience it was holding that flag. At Roosevelt’s house. on Memorial Day.

The beautiful Oyster Bay Harbor

The oyster sloop Christeen is a National Historic Landmark

We stopped at Bonanza's for hot dogs. They've been here for over 100 years.

Sagamore Hill. Roosevelt built this house when he was only 25.

Bacon cheeseburger at Canterbury's


Sagamore Hill is now on their summer schedule–open 7 days a week. If want to tour the house now is the time to do it because the house will be closed for 2 years for renovations.

January 16, 2011

Dusk on a Frozen Bay

Filed under: Winter by Bill @ 9:09 am

I’ve been reading Sippewissett (or Life on a Salt Marsh) by Tim Traver. (Don’t expect a review; the book is about Maine not Long Island.) And it’s hard for me to read about inlets, ponds, fish, shore birds, boats… without wanting to be on the water. Fortunately, living only about 2 miles from the south shore,  it’s easy for me to get to the water whenever I want without disrupting my entire day. Which is good because I ALWAYS want to be near water. So, yesterday afternoon I packed up a cup of coffee, the book, and my camera to do some reading by the bay.

The Great South Bay can be a lonely, cold, unforgiving place during the winter. On nice days you might see some duck hunters, or a few folks in their kayaks, but yesterday was not one of those days. It was cold and cloudy, and we’ve had some pretty cold weather here, so much of the bay is frozen. It was the perfect setting for coffee and a book. Sitting by the bay, when it is cold and dark is one of my favorite things to do. In many ways it is better than a beautiful, sunny day. Some of you might understand…

I read into the fading light until I couldn’t take the eye strain anymore and then got out of the car to take some pictures . The minute I stepped outside I was swarmed by seagulls. They thought I had food and hovered above me just out of reach. I thought they might drop bombs on me, but I was lucky.

Here are some of the pictures I took:

There were well over 100 birds in the air over me.

Jetty at the mouth of Browns River. Fire Island in the background.

The commercial boat Amazing Grace returns from a long day of scalloping.

And those pesky seagulls are still at it.

January 14, 2011

Please Clear Your Fire Hydrants

Filed under: Winter by Bill @ 6:17 am

If there’s a fire hydrant near your house covered with snow, you should dig it out for easy access in the event of a fire. Most people don’t bother, but it really doesn’t take long and the house you save could be your own.

January 13, 2011

Who ordered this?

Filed under: Winter by Bill @ 6:17 am

As much as I love a good storm, I’m getting tired of all this snow. The last thing I needed was a blizzard the day after Christmas. Another storm, before the streets are even fully clear from the first one, is not my idea of a good time. It is very pretty though…

The view out my back door.

The driveway. Ugh.

September 26, 2010

Long Island Breweries: From Brooklyn to Patchogue

Filed under: Food & Drink by Bill @ 7:57 pm

Fellow writer and beer lover Michael Yohe has been visiting the Long Island breweries with stops at the BrickHouse Brewery, the Bluepoint Brewery, the Brooklyn Brewery and Black Forest Brew Haus.

8 beer sampler at Southampton Publick House.

All of these breweries produce excellent beer and some serve food as well. I’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite. From west to east here’s the lineup:

Brooklyn BreweryRead Mike’s review of the Brooklyn Brewery here, and get some behind the scenes info with his interview with Brooklyn Brewery’s marketing manager Ben Hudson.

Black Forest Brew Haus – Excellent beer and German/American cusine. Read Mike’s review of the Black Forest Brew Haus here.

John Harvards Brewhouse – Ha! I beat Mike to the punch on this one. Here’s my review of John Harvard’s Brewhouse.

Blue Point Brewery – I love this place. Click here for Mike’s Blue Point Brewery review.

The BrickHouse Brewery – One of my favorites for great beer, food, and music. Read my review here, and Mike’s review of the BrickHouse Brewery here.

We’re not done yet. The are 2 more Long Island breweries we have to visit: Southampton Publick House and the Greenport Harbor Brewing Company. Stay tuned…

For a look at all the breweries on Long Island check out Long Island Beer, Breweries and Brewpubs.

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