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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

Members and guests of North Shore Synagogue’s Brotherhood BBQ and Erev Shabbat Service enjoyed a wonderful summer’s evening in early July with a classic BBQ and services led by Brotherhood, with help from Rabbi Jaimee Shalhevet and Cantor Rich Pilatsky.   

“This is a wonderful way to connect with other members of Brotherhood, which focuses on building camaraderie among our members, and instilling a strong sense of community away from the hectic pressures of our day-to-day lives,” said  Brotherhood co-president Jeffrey Levine.

Kids love amusement parks, and they especially love one aspect of these fanciful places above all others — the twists, turns and death-defying loops of the mighty roller coaster. Given the chance, it’s likely that almost any child would love the chance to actually build one of their own.

Susan Sears of Port Jefferson runs an ongoing series of science classes aimed at stimulating the growing minds of children. Recently, she was holding one of them at the Plainview-Old Bethpage Public Library on Roller Coaster design, which she described as “a physics lesson disguised as fun.”


Calendar

Joel Zelnik And Move

Saturday, Aug. 23

Beyond Bereavement

Monday, Aug. 25

Reminiscing With Veterans

Tuesday, Aug. 26



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