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Editorial: Hidden Gems Right In The Backyard

This week, I had the pleasure of speaking to Justin Abrams about his quest to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. While it was an interesting story on many levels, one thing I realized when preparing to interview him was that I had never heard of his home gym, Island Rock, despite the fact that it’s located right nearby in Plainview. For many years, a huge gym devoted to rock climbing had been located in my neighborhood, and I had no idea it was there; it just never came up.

To me, rock climbing always seemed exotic and dangerous—something fashion models and professional stunt doubles did to keep fit in Hollywood. Maybe if I knew I could try it out any time I wanted after a 10-minute drive, my assumptions might have been more in line with reality.

That got me thinking about how many interesting things there could be in this community that I have no awareness of, just because they’re located a tiny bit off the beaten path or don’t advertise much. Restaurants with cuisines I’ve never tasted, facilities like Island Rock that specialize in particular sports I’ve never tried, stores that offer wares beyond shoes, hardware and electronics: They could all be out there. There might even be a specimen of one of those endangered species, a bookstore or a record store (although I don’t hold out much hope for the latter.)

Do you know of a hidden gem in the community, something you were surprised to find out existed so close to home? If you think more people should know about it, let me know at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , however, there is one caveat: you don’t need to tell me about Center Coffee Shop on South Oyster Bay Road, where a burger is $6 and the wait staff has a combined 10,000 years of experience. That’s not a hidden gem, that’s just a gem.

—K.G.

News

The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) has frustrated commuters for years with it’s ridiculous fares, limited trains and constant problems, especially during the rush hour ride home.

Though the MTA is making an effort to add more trains to the schedule, that doesn’t ease the parking situation, which is operated not by the LIRR, but by individual municipalities in each town.

After surviving the “Cold Blooded” episode last week, the eight remaining contestants on Ink Master faced off in a “Flash Challenge” testing their ability to use finesse. The tougher the situation, the more finesse an artist needs to create a masterpiece, and this week was no exception.

Artists were given five hours to tattoo amputees. The residual limb left behind after an amputation can be badly traumatized, unusually shaped and scarred. The artists were challenged to create a phenomenal tattoo on the residual limb to make these amputees love the part of their body they are missing. Although all of the contestants created beautiful designs, Bethpage’s Erik Siuda’s incorporation of the scar tissue and pre-existing tattoo into his design showed the most finesse.


Calendar

Concert Performance

Friday, November 21

Craft Barn Open House

Saturday, November 22

8th Annual POB Interfaith Thanksgiving Service

Tuesday, November 25



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com