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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 Plainview-Old Bethpage Chamber of Commerce presents its third annual Craft and Gift Fair on Sunday, Oct. 5 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Plainview-Old Bethpage Public Library parking lot. Appealing to all ages, admission to the event is free and the first 500 attendees will receive a free t-shirt.

With the theme of “Family Fun Day,” this year the Chamber craft fair will feature Plainview’s country music sensation, Lisa Matassa. She will take the stage at 1 p.m., performing songs from her most recent album “Somebody’s Baby.” With southern sensibilities and a voice to match, Plainview resident Lisa Matassa brings the charm of living under a Nashville skyline to Long Island. Defining “Long Island Country” as “the greatest storytelling of a country song and the edginess of New York rock and roll,” Matassa has seen the island’s interest in her chosen genre expand greatly in just a few short years.

If you’re like most people, your medicine cabinet might be a jumbled assortment of boxes, bottles and tubes.  

That innocent bit of disorganization in your medicine cabinet might actually pose a risk if you’re not careful, according to Leonard Langino, a pharmacist with North Shore Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Medical Group, who recently held a lecture on the subject at the Plainview-Old Bethpage Public Library.


Calendar

Locker Decor

Sunday, Oct. 5

A,B,C,D’s Of Medicine

Tuesday, Oct. 7

Movie: The Book Thief

Wednesday, Oct. 8



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