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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

Thousands of residents in South Farmingdale, Bethpage and Massapequa could face a rising water bill unless a group responsible for environmental pollution clean up its act.

On Sept. 2, Sen. Charles Schumer and the South Farmingdale Water District called on the U.S. Navy and the Department of Justice to prevent significant water bill increases for residents by chipping in for the construction a water treatment facility to filter and purify the ground water impacted by the Bethpage plume.

A local resident is taking the reins of the Nassau BOCES Board.

Plainview’s Eric B. Schultz was elected president of the Nassau BOCES Board during its organization meeting on July 10. He is the sixth person to serve as board president in the agency’s 47-year history. Rounding out the Board’s leadership team are Vice President Susan Bergtraum of East Williston UFSD, District Clerk Deborah Coates of East Meadow UFSD and Vice District Clerk Michael Weinick of Merrick UFSD.


Calendar

Wold War I Anniversary

Monday, Sept. 15

Game Changers

Thursday, Sept. 11

Running Club

Tuesday, Sept. 16



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