Saturday, December 31, 2005

Pulling A Dagwood

BY MICHAEL WATT Ask Mr. Long Island

Last night I played poker with the boys.

That’s right, poker with the boys just like Dagwood and Herb from the comic strip Blondie. Just me and a bunch of guys from the ‘hood sitting around the table, shooting the breeze and dealing the cards. This morning I am paying the price – four hours of sleep, sodium overload from the pretzels and potato chips and, ahem, the vast fortune I plan to pass on to my two sons reduced by eight dollars and 25 cents.

But boy was it fun.

Now playing poker with the boys may not seem like a big deal to you, but it is to me. Poker is one of those social activities whose nuances – like attending the opera or picking up strange women in bars - always eluded me. Perhaps it’s because poker is not just one game but rather a thousand different games with rules that sometimes seem as if they are made up on the spot.

For all I know they are made up on the spot but it does not matter because that makes it all the more interesting. We played “straight poker,” “hi-lo,” “baseball with threes and nines wild” and “two jacks or better to open and trips to win.” It just so happens that our host for the evening had the last name of Tripp so I played the first two rounds of this game thinking it was a game he concocted, a theory that gained validity when he won those rounds. Turns out “trips to win” means you have to have three of a kind (triples) or better to win. As in life, there is so much about poker I need to learn.

When I was in high school some friends used to put together a game from time to time and I dutifully attended whenever I could. I rarely played, however, opting instead to crack wise from the sidelines while consuming many, many cold adult beverages. I tried to keep up with the action but the aforementioned game variations and rules on the fly made my head spin.

Last night was a different story, I am happy to report. While I still managed to crack wise – as did many of my poker-playing brethren – I also hung in there as a player. Granted, it was a friendly game and much to my benefit my cohorts were kind enough to explain my hand to me and how it compared to the others. It usually did not fare too well, but the one time I won a huge pot despite my not realizing how good a hand I had resulted in a huge howl of “how did he do that?” It also kept me in the game for another hour or two.

The coolest thing was seeing somebody – not me, unfortunately – draw a royal flush. I was told that’s quite rare, that it happens about as often as we see the Jets play a meaningful football game in December. I thought it only happened in the movies – the royal flush, not the meaningful Jets game. But there it was, in black and white. Well, red and white, really – it was all diamonds.

Speaking of Hollywood, as we played in a smoke-free zone with relatively few adult beverages being consumed I kept wondering how so many men over the years played the game while puffing on cigars, drinking whiskey and eating corned-beef on rye sandwiches like you see in the movies. I developed a keener understanding of why Felix Unger’s exhortations to use coasters and napkins caused so much chagrin for Oscar, Speed and Murray the Cop. As it was I was getting dizzy toward the end of the game but not because of the drink – from which I abstained – but simply from sitting for nearly six straight hours.

As I suspect is the case in that vast majority of card games of any kind – except for the games played for real in Vegas and Atlantic City, of course – it was not so much the playing of the cards that mattered but simply the interaction amongst the players. No kids, no wives, no social pecking order. Just a bunch of guys looking to enjoy some harmless fun. One of the wives called on the cell phone around one in the morning, a move which will result in her receiving untold good-natured grief from the rest of us because if you had to pick one guy from our group who is least likely to be doing something he should not have been doing – rendering such a phone call completely unnecessary - it was the guy whose wife called. This guy could not be any more regular or reliable if Robert Young played him in a TV sitcom.

The game ended around two in the morning and we all walked quietly back to our homes. I successfully maneuvered myself into bed without waking my wife, Sharon, not because I was afraid I'd be in trouble if she knew how late it was but simply because I did not want to wake her. Even without my wife waiting for me with a frying pan in her hand, however, coming home late from playing cards was a Dagwood moment from which I derived great satisfaction and amusement. Hey - when you win maybe three pots all night you find your entertainment where you can.

Thank you for reading this column. Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2005

Making Your Resolutions Successful

The new year is upon us. What do you resolve to do?

Do you cringe when you think of making new year’s resolutions? Each year many of us plan big changes for ourselves. We finish up the year in a flurry of holiday excitement and stress, then begin to plan to start our new year off on the right foot! No more of the same old! So, we diligently set resolutions. We resolve to eat better, exercise, stop smoking, spend more time with our families or even get a new job. Whatever it may be, we have the best of intentions and we are determined to accomplish it this time. Why then, do nearly all of our resolutions fail?

If it is so impossible as it seems, should we simply give up making resolutions? Just label them as a lost cause and forget it? Absolutely not! If you are aspiring to make positive changes in your life, I am here to tell you that it is completely possible! You may be wondering how, since the mortality rate of resolutions is so high. Well, let’s find out, shall we?

First of all, everyone seems to get hung up on the thought that you have to implement changes on January first, or maybe the second. Why is that? Because it’s the start of the new year? Sure, it’s a nice neat starting point, but so is any other day of the year. Let’s look at it this way. The new year starts, you start with enthusiasm toward your resolved big changes, and you fail to meet expectations. Now you are at the end of January, the middle of February, where ever, and that’s it. The start of the year is gone, you’ve had your chance and failed. What’s wrong with starting again? Is there an unwritten rule that I am not aware of that says all big changes must be implemented at the start of a new year or not at all? You can choose to make changes at any time of the year. The first of the year is good, but so is any other day of the year. The best time to implement any big change is when you are in a good frame of mind to do it. Notice that I said “good” and not perfect. There will never be a time when it is “perfect”. You can wait for your finances to become extraordinary, for the planets to align, or for an amazing diet pill to come out to make losing weight a sure fire thing, but chances are, it’s not going to happen. So let’s aim for “good”. If you aim for that, then you will be giving yourself a strong start, no matter what day of the year it is.

Secondly, and most importantly, and this is truly the key to success…Process, process, process! This is where the power lies! It lies in the mindfulness of each step along the way to your ultimate goal. When you focus on where you are at this moment, on that process and the process alone, you are handing yourself the keys to success! Many people spend so much time all wrapped up and tangled in their goal, that they forget about the process.

Let’s say for example that your “goal” is reaching the top of a high mountain. What is the best way to reach that mountain top? How can you be standing up there and gasping at the amazing views and scenery from that vista? Let’s first imagine that you are focused strongly on your goal. You are committed to reaching that mountain top, and you don’t take your eyes off the goal for a second, you are just so focused on it. Now, because you are so determined and so focused on the ultimate goal of reaching that wonderfully high bit of earth, what do you think will happen along the way? You can see the goal so clearly and you have every intention of getting there, but you, my friend, are going to stumble and struggle, you may even fall. How can this be? You are committed, determined and totally focused on reaching that goal. How can getting there be such a problem?

The problem lies in the focus. Not a lack of focus, but on what you have focused on. When aiming for a goal, many people forget to focus on the process. Being committed to a goal and focused on the outcome is all fine and noble. However, if you truly want to reach that mountain top, your focus needs to shift. You need to let go of the goal for the moment (believe me, that mountain top isn’t going anywhere! Neither is any other goal you set your sights on), just let it be for now. Take a deep breath, and turn your focus to the process. Turn your awareness to the steps. Bring your focus back to you and where you are on the way to that goal. What do you need to be doing to reach that goal, right at this moment? That’s where you need to put your focus and energy, simple as that. Too easy., huh? Simplicity is an amazing gift.

Now, let’s revisit the mountain top again. Take a good look at it. See where you have to go. Look at the ground you have to cover to get there. Become aware of it, but don’t get attached to it. Make sure it is clear. Ok, now let it go. Turn your thoughts to what you need to do to get there. Look at where you are and watch exactly what you are doing to move forward up that mountain. Where do you have to put your feet, your hands? Choose the position carefully, and start moving up the mountain. Now just keep your focus there, where ever on that climb you happen to be. At the bottom of the mountain, just starting off? Midway up? It’s all good. Don’t look up, and don’t look down! Just focus right where you are. Every little step you take is just as important as the goal, maybe even more important because without all those little steps, you won’t reach that goal, so pay them a lot of attention. Give them your energy and your faith. The more focused and committed to each step you are-the sooner you will reach that goal.

Now, you’ve been mindful in each little step of your climb up the mountain, you’ve stayed focused on where you were in each moment and not worried about the final outcome. Guess what? You are now at the top of the mountain!

It is truly amazing what a simple shift in focus will do. Take this new knowledge and apply it to your resolutions, or any other changes you want to make. What will you do differently this time? How will you celebrate reaching your goal?

Some people like to think that resolutions always fail. I’ll bet that you can prove them wrong this year!

Some points to remember:

1. You can make a resolution or a change at any time during the year. Just after the holidays, most people are tired, and probably not at their peak. Don’t have unjust expectations of yourself, we can’t perform at our best all the time, so don’t rush into changes you aren’t ready to make, just because it’s the beginning of a new year, wait until you are in a good frame of mind. Remember, you don’t fail if you fall down, you only fail if you don’t get back up. Falling down and getting back up is part of the process leading to success.
2. Focus on the process. Many people put too much emphasis on the goal and neglect to put that energy into the process. The goal cannot exist without the process. The more focus you have on each step along the way, the better the chances of reaching your goal.
3. Focus on the process. Yes, again. It bears repeating. By staying focused on the steps you ultimately put yourself in control and remove feelings of overwhelm. When you focus only on where you are and what you are doing at that moment, you stay mindful, you empower yourself and you give yourself the power to achieve any goal.

Monday, December 26, 2005

No Need to Get Rid of the Old First - Trust Me!

I want to share this information with everyone because it seems to be a recurring subject of discussion with my clients and people I speak with, in general, about organizing.

A lot of people feel that in order to get started on current organizing tasks, they need to organize the past stuff first. And this is not only untrue, but also will prevent you from starting your organizing projects.

Here are some examples to help clarify what I mean:

Situation #1
o You want to set up a new filing system but your filing cabinets are filled with old paperwork. You want to go through these papers to decide what to keep and what to throw away but you know this is going to be a huge undertaking. You feel that you cannot start the new filing system until you weed through all of the old stuff first.

Not true! You can start a new filing system at any time without going through the old stuff first. Actually, this is the best time of year to do this since we are almost at the beginning of a new year.

Take everything in your filing cabinet and put it into file boxes. Put it aside and mark it as a project that you would like to do. Then commit to taking some time at regular intervals to go through the file boxes and make decisions about this old paperwork. But this is the key: keep to this commitment. Even if you just take 15 minutes per day, you will work your way through these boxes. But if you just put them away and don’t get to them, they will just add to or begin your clutter.

With these old files out of the filing cabinet, you are now free and clear to start with the new system. When you set up your new filing system, my advice is to keep it as simple as possible. File things alphabetically and label the file under what you will think of when you look for a particular item. For example, if you want to find your auto policy, what would you think of? Auto? Insurance – Auto? The Insurance Company Name? It may be that your first choice may change somewhere down the road but that is o.k. If you find you are looking for a particular item under another name, then just change the name on the file. It’s that simple! It will be a bit of a work in progress but one thing you will know for sure is that any paper you are looking for will be in that filing cabinet.

Situation #2
o Every (or almost) every room in your home needs to be organized. You don’t know where to begin. You don’t see the point in organizing one room when the others are in such disarray so you do nothing at all. Or when you start organizing one room, you can’t even stand to look at the others and it depresses you. Or when you bring something that belongs in another room, there is no where to put it so why do this??

Relax. . . .Breathe. . . The simple answer is change your thinking and you can change your life! The first thing to realize in this situation is that this is a work in progress. It is not humanly possible to get all areas of your home organized at one time so the first thing is to change that train of thought.

Start with the room that is causing you the most stress. Decide how you will use this room (what activities take place there) and only keep items in the room that pertain to these activities. Then, get boxes or bags for:
1. Things to give away
2. Things to throw away
3. Things that belong in another room

When you start to organize the room, do not leave the room to put things where they belong. This will only get you off track. That is why there is a box designated for these items.

Once you work your way around the room and fill these boxes with the appropriate items, you can then remove them from the room you are working in. And here is another important reminder: do not let the condition of any other room deter you from what you are doing. If you have items that belong in the kitchen, but the kitchen needs to be organized, put those things in there anyway. I know it will not feel right but trust me, you must do this. Just keep focusing on the room you are working on and remind yourself that you will get to the other rooms.

Then go back to the room you are working on and you will be left with what is to be kept in this room. Now you can find a home for what is to be kept in the room and you will be able to determine if you need any storage containers or furniture to house these items.

Keeping focused is very important because it is very easy to get distracted by other things that need to be done. Just take it one step at a time and you will achieve your goal.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Christmas Poem - To All A Good Night





















- This was written by a Marine, please pass it on to show your support of our American Heros!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Ski Lessons on Long Island

Francis writes, "I am looking for a place in suffolk county to learn to ski. Is there a sports shop that offers that?"

Try contacting these ski shops and ask if they offer lessons,
or know where you might find ski lessons on Long Island...

Arline's Surf, Skate & Snow
Main Road
Aquebogue NY 11931

Heli Sport
308 New York Ave.
Huntington Village, NY

Passtime Ski & Sports
1209 Northern Blvd.
Manhasset, NY 11030

Princeton Ski Shops
250 South Service Rd
Roslyn, NY 11577

Ski Stop
197 South Service Rd.
Plainview, NY

Also, if you are looking for places to ski, ice skating and other winter activities on Long Island, New York check this page... Winter Activities on Long Island.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Is Someone You Know Holding You Back?

It is unfortunate, but sometimes in life when we try to improve ourselves, there is someone who may try to hold us back. It can be a friend, family member, child or worst of all, our spouse or partner. Our "other half" is supposed to be our biggest supporter but in some situations this is not the case.

I have seen this most commonly when one partner in a relationship would like to lose weight. While the other person would like their partner to look better, be healthier and feel better about themselves, there still may be that small part of them that is worried. Worried about what will happen if their partner loses weight and how the rest of the world will react to them. Well, not to get too psychological but the problem is coming from within the spouse and their own insecurity. But if you are the person who is trying to improve yourself, you cannot let this hold you back.

The same is true for organizing. Your partner may complain about the disorder that is occurring in the household but when it comes time that you are ready to make the change, you may find they don't want that either. Because for them, the change does not only mean the house will be in order. It means that you have made a huge change in your life and if you can do that, what other great things can you accomplish? And will they get left behind because of your newfound empowerment? Again, not your problem. Well, partly your problem because they are your significant other and their feelings do matter and play a part in your relationship. However, if you are ready to make a change in your life--any change--and your partner does not support you 100%, it may be time to look into counseling to help both of you through this.

I have seen many situations where one or both partners are the hindrance. Couples who blame each other for the disorder, one partner who says they cannot organize because the other will not allow them to, one partner saying the other will never be able to do it or maintain it. What I tell people is very simple: The past is the past. It doesn't matter how you got to this point, what matters from here on in is the present and future. What matters is getting organized and learning how to keep it that way so you can maintain in the future. That's it. If people are going to spend all of their time placing blame or making excuses, then I tell it to them straight. I am here to help them improve, not to point fingers and I will not allow the blame game if you work with me.

So if there is someone in your life that is holding you back from becoming more organized but at the same time blaming you for the disorder, then it may be time to call in a couple of professionals. An organizer to help you organize your home and a therapist to help you work through those issues. Improving yourself in any way is always a wonderful thing and should be bring happiness, not stress, to your relationships.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Sometimes it's just a matter of asking the right questions...

We are always looking for the answers, but have we been asking the right questions?

Today I ask you this...

What would you attempt to do, if you knew you could not fail?

Share your answers with us here!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Restaurants Serving Christmas Dinner - Long Island, NY

Maureen writes, "I need to find a restaurant that is open for Christmas Dinner. Can you recommend a few restaurants in my area serving dinner on Christmas Day in the Long Island, New York area?"

Well, that's a tough question as it is a National Holiday. Most people prefer to spend Christmas day with their families, but we found quite a few serving up supper for the holidays...

Please contact the restaurants on this list to confirm they are serving Christmas dinner, menu options, pricing and some may require reservations.

Here's a few in restaurants in Suffolk County:

Sandella's Cafe (631) 666-1074
1 W Main St - Bay Shore, NY 11706
... brunch, christmas dinner, christmas meal, christmas supper, ...

Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar (631) 224-1912
2550 Sunrise Hwy - East Islip, NY 11730
... bar and grill, christmas dinner, christmas meal, christmas s ...

Bayberry Cafe (631) 224-4967
526 Main St - Islip, NY 11751
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

Beachtree Cafe Inc (631) 277-4800
166 W Main St - East Islip, NY 11730

All Star Cafe (631) 277-6481
236 E Main St - East Islip, NY 11730
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

Dynasty Cafe (631) 665-9747
1895 Union Blvd - Bay Shore, NY 11706
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

Milk & Sugar Cafe (631) 969-3655
49 W Main St - Bay Shore, NY 11706
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar (631) 981-5090
3870 Veterans Memoril Hwy - Bohemia, NY 11716
... bar and grill, christmas dinner, christmas meal, christmas s ...

Cutting Edge Cafe (631) 277-6031
Montauk Hwy - Great River, NY 11739
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

C & L Terrace Cafe (631) 224-7390
38 Lowell Ave - Islip Terrace, NY 11752
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

The Ground Round (631) 499-0728
690 Commack Rd - Commack, NY 11725
... brunch, christmas dinner, christmas meal, christmas supper, ...

Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar (631) 858-2500
105 Veterans Memoril Hwy - Commack, NY 11725
... bar and grill, christmas dinner, christmas meal, christmas s ...

Garden Cafe (631) 232-9820
2150 Joshuas Path - Hauppauge, NY 11788
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

Cafe Europa (631) 587-7000
504 Union Blvd - West Islip, NY 11795
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

Cafe La Strada (631) 234-5550
352 Wheeler Rd - Hauppauge, NY 11788
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

Cafe 1393 (631) 724-5218
1393 Veterans Hwy - Hauppauge, NY 11788
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

Beachtree Cafe (631) 242-8782
1258 Deer Park Ave - North Babylon, NY 11703

Courtyard Cafe (631) 467-4848
3505 Veterans Memoril Hwy - Ronkonkoma, NY 11779
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

California Cactus Cafe (631) 585-5640
3320 Veterans Memoril Hwy - Bohemia, NY 11716
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

Parkwood Cafe (631) 587-2844
399 Montauk Hwy - West Islip, NY 11795
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

Pisces Cafe (631) 321-1231
14a Railroad Ave - Babylon, NY 11702
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

Seabreeze Cafe (631) 669-9790
470 Fire Island Ave - Babylon, NY 11702
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

Lucy's (631) 669-1640
135 Deer Park Ave - Babylon, NY 11702
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

Sandella's Cafe (631) 447-7867
30 E Main St - Patchogue, NY 11772
... brunch, christmas dinner, christmas meal, christmas supper, ...

Babylon Express Cafe (631) 587-7433
20 Railroad Ave - Babylon, NY 11702
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

Tricia's Cafe (631) 422-7879
26 E Main St - Babylon, NY 11702
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

Babylon Bean-Coffee Extreme (631) 587-7729
17 Fire Island Ave - Babylon, NY 11702
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

L I Cafe (631) 669-9527
770 Sunrise Hwy - West Babylon, NY 11704
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

Cafe Joelle On Main Street (631) 589-4600
25 Main St - Sayville, NY 11782
Cafe Joelle - One of the Great Restaurants of Long Island Located in ...

Bo Wah Kitchen (631) 666-9797
623 E Main St - Bay Shore, NY 11706
... restaurant, childrens restaurants, childrens restuarant, christmas dinner, ...

J T's Corner Cafe (631) 265-5267
204 Smithtown Blvd Ste 7 - Nesconset, NY 11767
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

Sundried Tomato Cafe (631) 366-6310
127 Smithtown Blvd Ste 3 - Nesconset, NY 11767
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

Deities Cafe (631) 543-5513
1141 Jericho Tpke Ste 1 - Commack, NY 11725
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

My Kitchen (631) 969-1975
1701 Sunrise Hwy - Bay Shore, NY 11706
... restaurant, childrens restaurants, childrens restuarant, christmas dinner, ...

Rave's Cafe (631) 724-5550
59 W Main St - Smithtown, NY 11787
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

Here's a few restaurants in Nassau County:

Yankee Peddler (516) 378-9735
1776 Meadowbrook Rd - Merrick, NY 11566
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

Treehouse Sports Cafe (516) 378-9634
1833 Sunrise Hwy - Merrick, NY 11566
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

Courtney's Cafe (516) 379-7140
1810 Merrick Rd - Merrick, NY 11566
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

Cafe Symposio Inc (516) 785-6097
2700 Sunrise Hwy - Bellmore, NY 11710
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

Ground Round (516) 796-7900
2716 Hempstead Tpke - Levittown, NY 11756
... brunch, christmas dinner, christmas meal, christmas supper, ...

Matteo's Cafe (516) 409-1475
412 Bedford Ave - Bellmore, NY 11710
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

Smithville Cafe (516) 409-4510
1759 Bellmore Ave - North Bellmore, NY 11710
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

International Delight Cafe (516) 409-5772
322 Bedford Ave - Bellmore, NY 11710
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

Jillian's (516) 542-8501
1504 Old Country Rd - Westbury, NY 11590
... and family fun centers, bullwinkles, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

Nathan's Famous (516) 771-0778
2222 Merrick Rd - Merrick, NY 11566
... dogs, chili dog, chili dogs, christmas dinner, christmas meal, c ...

Caffe Baldo (516) 785-4780
2849 Jerusalem Ave - Wantagh, NY 11793
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

Cafe By The Sea (516) 771-4544
195 Woodcleft Ave # A - Freeport, NY 11520
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

Nautilus Cafe (516) 379-2566
46 Woodcleft Ave - Freeport, NY 11520
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

Shan's Cozy Cafe (516) 546-6300
360 Atlantic Ave - Freeport, NY 11520
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

Ming's Cafe (516) 783-0032
339 Newbridge Rd - East Meadow, NY 11554
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

Mailbu Cafe (516) 481-6718
1055 Front St - Uniondale, NY 11553
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

Cherrywood Cafe (516) 785-6536
1148 Wantagh Ave - Wantagh, NY 11793
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

Cafe Creole (516) 564-5318
1083 Front St - Uniondale, NY 11553
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

Ocho Rios Cafe (516) 377-7366
1299 Grand Ave - North Baldwin, NY 11510
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

Galleria Coffee Shop (516) 542-4631
90 Merrick Ave - East Meadow, NY 11554
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

Cafe Grappa Inc (516) 357-9700
2087 Hempstead Tpke - East Meadow, NY 11554
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

Margarita's Cafe (516) 745-0033
1868 Front St - East Meadow, NY 11554
... wine lists, cafes, cafes restaurant, christmas dinner, christmas me ...

Got Game (516) 596-4263
471 Merrick Rd - Lynbrook, NY 11563
... brunch, christmas dinner, christmas meal, christmas supper, ...

Break bread with the ones you love and enjoy your Holiday dinner on Long Island!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Helping Little Shelter

I just wanted to second the post below about helping out Little Shelter, I knew they needed help but I didn't realize how badly! I have just recently donated to them a gift certificate for a month of free coaching that they will be either raffling or auctioning (I'm not sure which yet) but if you are reading this, now is a great time to donate to them and ask about the prize, you'll be helping out the beautiful animals and also getting some free coaching, so contact them and find out how to donate to their fund raiser or bid or buy raffle tickets, whatever it takes! Let's do what we can to help them out!

Coach Arielle

Thursday, December 01, 2005


Marge Stein Communication, LLC for Little Shelter -11-30-2005

The unthinkable has happened. Little Shelter’s food pantry has completely run out of food. Dogs whose impoverished owners are part of the Training Wheels Program and countless area feral cats in the Alley Cat Program rely on the Huntington animal shelter’s stock of provisions for their very lives. At this time of the year – when many people and their pets tend to have so much to eat – these poor dogs and cats face starvation. Little Shelter desperately needs your help to feed the hungry.

Little Shelter director Maryann Chernovsky implores New Yorkers. “Frigid weather is upon us; many of these dogs and all of the cats must bravely face the cold. Don’t let them be hungry as well. Please do whatever you can to help them have the comfort of a full tummy. Do not hesitate; act now. The situation is desperate. ” Dog and cat food donations may be brought to Little Shelter at 33 Warner Road in Huntington between 1PM and 7PM on weekdays and from Noon until 5PM on Saturdays and Sundays. Monetary donations are also welcome and may be sent directly to Food Pantry at Little Shelter.

On behalf of all the innocent animals who need help, Little Shelter thanks you from the bottom of their hearts. For more information, please call 631-368-8770 Extensions 205, 206, or 230. For more information about this release, please call or email: Marge Stein or Marilyn Di Toro Marge Stein Communication, LLC 516-627-6042 516-883-6775 or
For more information, please contact:
Marge Stein
Phone Number : 516-627-6042

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

I Love Long Island Store - FREE SHIPPING

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Official 'I Love LI' Merchandise is now available at the
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Our exclusive merchandise is emblazoned with the 'I Love LI' logo and includes t-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, mugs, mousepads, baby-t's, pet items and more! Great gift ideas for friends and family for the holiday.

Free Shipping now through Dec. 6th - see store for details. Shop now for the holidays... I Love Long Island Store

Custom and bulk pricing available. We can co-brand our items for corporate gifts, trade show promotions and employee incentive programs, call us at 631-543-1000 x2 for more information.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Can Michael Watt 'enjoy' the holidays?

BY MICHAEL WATT Ask Mr. Long Island

As the nation prepares to break bread with family and friends, the burning question of the day is, without a doubt: Is it possible for me – Michael Watt - to “enjoy” the holidays?

It all depends on what your definition of enjoy is, to borrow a phrase from former President Clinton (as opposed to the future President Clinton – Hillary, by name. Might as well get used to the thought, even though her election in 2008 will mean the last four presidents have been, in order, father, husband, son, wife. Weird.)

Anyway, “enjoying” the holidays really depends on what turns you on. Me? There’s nothing I enjoy, in public anyway, more than reading the Sunday newspapers with the Yankee game on the radio and an unlimited supply of seltzer water at the ready. I could be sitting in a downtown bus station and still be happy as long as I had my newspaper, baseball and seltzer. (God, I used to be a lot more fun to hang around with. What happened to me?)

Last time I looked, however, none of the major holidays are celebrated in such a fashion. Can you imagine if they were? Whole families sitting around the den, with piles of newspaper sections on the floor. Seltzer for all! The day would put Frank Costanza’s “Festivus” to shame. It would also kill the national economy, although it might save our crumbling newspaper empires.

Far be it for me to inspire a movement that destroys our economy, so I have resigned myself to the fact that there will never be a national day of newspaper reading. And the chances of getting 270 million Americans to sit down to listen to the Yankees on the radio are fairly remote, unless of course they somehow qualify to play in the Super Bowl. Which brings us back to the burning question of the day: Can Michael Watt enjoy the holidays?

Let’s look at the facts, shall we? I don’t like to cook. I hate to shop. I don’t drink and I try to watch what I eat, so the 24/7 cookie consumption carousel that could exist based on the sheer volume of holiday cookies I will see and be offered between now and January Second will not be a factor, either. Looking pretty bleak here, isn’t it?

All is not lost, however. I do like to go to parties – not that I get invited to a whole lot of them, at least not work-related ones (maybe that’s because I don’t drink or eat cookies). I do a Killer Karaoke version of “Twist and Shout” (just ask John Kominicki – he’s one of the few people who has seen it twice). I am not afraid to stand under Mistletoe, either, although at six-foot-four more often than not my head will obliterate the Mistletoe and nobody will know it’s there.

I can also make small talk with the best of them. Not to name drop but a few years ago I found myself at a Holiday function standing between Steve Forbes (President and Chief Executive Officer of Forbes magazine) and Bob Buchmann (of WBAB and Q104.3 fame). I introduced them to each other (see last week’s column on good networking techniques) and then, from out of nowhere, I remembered that as a teenager Bob started his own pirate radio station from his parents’ basement, or something like that. I mentioned this to Steve and as it turns out Steve is a radio freak as well as the Chairman of Radio Free Europe and Radio America and Radio Forbes and all sorts of radio-related stuff. Well, I have to tell you those two hit it off and for all I know have been best friends ever since. Do I ever get invited to any of their soirees? Hell no. How’s that for gratitude?

Where was I? Oh yeah, so I had fun and I was a lot of fun at that party. Decorating is a big part of the holidays, and I am afraid I come up a little short in that department, too. A couple of years ago I acceded to my wife Sharon’s pleas to put up those hanging icicles on the front of our house. Nothing too elaborate, I agree, but I did so grudgingly. As I stood on the ladder, pushing in the pins to hold the icicles in place, however, the ladder gave out and I did my best Clark Griswold imitation, landing flat on my back in the dirt behind the hedges in front of my house. As I lay there, wondering if this was the moment when I realized I am paralyzed for life and - if so - just how guilty I could make my wife feel, I heard peals of laughter from my beloved.

Conclusion: I may not be able to decorate, but Lord knows I can amuse. My celebratory shortcomings notwithstanding – and all kidding aside - I can and do enjoy the holidays because they involve family and friends and as we know from the last scene in “It’s A Wonderful Life,” that’s all that really matters. I should point out, however, that Christmas is on a Sunday this year, so we may want to consider incorporating my idea for a national newspaper read into the activities, just to see if it catches on.

Thank you for reading this column. Happy Thanksgiving. [2005-11-23]

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Do you have the time, money, and contacts to properly market your home? Would you get the best price for your home? Do you have the time to wait for the phone to ring then allowing strangers who may not be able to afford your home come in and waste your time?
Here’s how a Realtor can help you sell your home from pricing it correctly, to marketing, negotiating, renegotiating and closing while netting you the most money in your pocket.

Knows the current real estate market and helps you price your home realistically.
Is familiar with mortgage loans and can assist you when deciding which loan is best for you.
Can point out and make suggestions on preparing your home to sell.
Will show your home to qualified buyers
Can familiarize you with the closing costs and procedures by explaining them and attend the closing with you

No unescorted, unqualified buyers will enter your home.
Your home will be marketed to the fullest.
You are no longer sitting by the phone waiting for it to ring.
The sale will result in a higher net profit.

This is just a brief summary of what a real estate professional can do for you.

The bottom line:
Your Realtor works for you and with you throughout the home selling process. If your home does not sell the Realtor does not get paid. So trust that he/she will be working hard to sell your home.

Think about it.

If you have any questions or need advice feel free to contact me.

Sue Mignone-Mogel
Re/Max Shores

Monday, November 21, 2005

Will Work For Food

BY MICHAEL WATT Ask Mr. Long Island

I hit the Trifecta the other day.

No – not that kind of Trifecta. I couldn’t pick a winning horse if the race was limited to two horses and Star Jones was the jockey for one of them. The Trifecta I hit was the work-related meal Trifecta – breakfast, lunch and dinner all tied around some kind of business networking event – and all paid for by someone other than me. Those are almost always the best meals.

With as much networking as I do as part of my day job I am surprised it has taken me this long to accomplish such a feat – not that doing so has been some lifelong dream. There have been days, for instance, where I have had breakfast and lunch on somebody else’s dime, or lunch and dinner. There was even the time when I had lunch and dinner in the same catering hall for two different events on the same day. But never did I get all three in one day.

Until this past Wednesday. I attended a breakfast event at the New Huntington Towne House, lunch as the guest of some corporate and governmental honchos in Bethpage and then a business association dinner at the New York Institute of Technology’s Culinary Institute in Central Islip. Not bad work if you can get it, right? Right. Seeking free meals and networking is an odd way to go about one’s business. For the uninitiated, basically “networking” involves voluntarily walking into a room full of strangers and endeavoring to make sure as many of those people are no longer strangers – at least to you – by the time the event is over.

It’s not quite that simple, of course. For one thing, it helps to know at least one person in that room so you can strike up a conversation with that person. That way you’re not standing there by yourself, pretending to be fascinated by the pattern of the wallpaper. “But wait a minute, Mike,” you’re probably saying. “Didn’t you just say the whole point of networking is to meet people you do not know already?” I did. But just like the adage about how it takes money to make money, it takes acquaintances to make acquaintances. It is a lot easier to meet people, for instance, if you are talking to someone and then a third party comes up to the person you are talking to and says hello. Ideally the other person will introduce you to the third person and voila! A newfound friend.

Well, that’s how it is supposed to work, anyway. Sometimes you find yourself having a conversation with someone and all the while you are trying to remember that person’s name. Take the other night, for example. I was having a conversation with a fellow I had met recently – at a networking event, naturally – but whose name I could not remember. As we were chatting a young lady walked up to me and called out, “Hey, Mr. Watt!” Panic City. I knew I knew the young lady but for the life of me I did not know from where. Given her relative youth and her use of “Mr. Watt” I had an inkling that she might be a former student, but I was not certain. I asked her clue-seeking questions like “how’re you doing?” and “what are you up to these days,” but her responses – “fine” and “not much” offered no helpful insight.

Then the real nightmare started because there was a pause in the conversation and I realized it was incumbent upon me to introduce the young lady to the fellow I was having the conversation with. It can be a little tricky, of course, introducing two people to each other without knowing either person’s name. Well, my predicament was short lived, and you might say it was Mother Nature to the rescue. In addition to being young, you see, the lady who approached me was also attractive. So the guy I was talking to originally was, shall we say, quite emphatic in making sure she knew his name. Interestingly enough the woman did not reciprocate with her name and it took me many hours of mental Rolodex flipping to finally figure out who she was. (She was indeed a former student from three or four semesters ago).

When all else fails, on the other hand, you can always rely on one of my favorite ways out of this scenario: the old, “You two know each other, right?” Of course they don’t but usually one will step up and say, “No, we don’t. I’m so-and so.” There are other perils to networking besides not remembering the names of the people you are conversing with. Many of these events revolve around food, for instance, and sometimes the food is even edible. You hate to do it but ya gotta eat. While there aren’t too many certainties in life, you can be damn sure the minute you put something gooey or chewy in your mouth, somebody you need to speak to will walk by. Your full mouth will prevent you from saying anything, however, lest you run the risk of having the first impression you make forever be associated with projectile food bits being shot out of your mouth as you speak.

Such is the life in the world of networking. The chow’s often free, but the price you pay can be horrific.

Thank you for reading this column. [2005-11-17]

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Tooth Decay Among Children

The Centers for Disease Control and American Association of Pediatrics recognize that tooth decay is the most common contagious illness for children. Poor oral health for children harms their growth, learning and self esteem. Poor oral health is linked to common health problems such as diabetes, premature birth, heart disease, pneumonia etc. More school and work hours are lost for dental visits than any health care visit.

Now, individuals and families have an interactive, personal and secure health record on the internet. My SmileGuide has many tools such as a "Dental Visit Check List" that shows what should checked when you see your dentist and a "Snack Contract" to help parents control their child's harmfull snacking and childhood obesity.

Oral health is about knoweldge, parenting, lifestyles and reducing health care costs. Your smile will predict your wellness and quality of life.

You go as your smile goes


- Article contributed by Dr Fred Ferguson, CEO - AboutSmiles

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Buyer's Agent vs. Seller's Agent

Buyer Agents are very popular in all states except for New York. You will be seeing a lot more buyer agents in New York in the near future. Here is some information to help you understand the difference between a buyer’s agent and a seller’s agent.


Before you buy your home decide which type of real estate agent will best suit your real estate needs. You can work with agents who work for the seller (Seller’s agent) or agents who work for the buyer. (Buyer’s agent}

Most of the time listing and selling agents work for the seller. This means they negotiate in the best interest of the seller. Buyer agents work for the buyer. A buyer’s agent can negotiate in favor of the buyer.

Here are some examples of the differences in a seller’s agent and a buyer’s agent.

Both agents can arrange to show properties to the buyer.They both can explain forms and applications. Both can assist you with financing information. Both can follow through from first showing, to making an offer, to meeting you and the engineer, then to contract, to closing.

A Buyer’s Agent can give you a market analysis of what other properties in the area sold for. Keep your financial position confidential. Keep you best interest first and advise you on your purchase and provide you with all available facts that could influence your decision about making an offer on the home.

Negotiate the best price and terms for you. They can point out reasons not to buy the home. ( for example a crack in the foundation, bad roof, plumbing etc.)

You are more likely to see more homes with a Buyer Broker. A buyer broker can show homes that are for sale, for example, office exclusives, for sale by owners, foreclosures and of course multiple listings.

When you hire a buyer’s agent an agreement is signed by the buyer and the agent. The contract will state how long the agreement is for and how the agent will be compensated for his/her services. This agreement is a binding contract. Be sure you understand every aspect of it before you sign it.

If you have any questions related to this topic, feel free to contact me. Sue Mignone-Mogel Remax or aim messenger: realestateofli

Monday, November 14, 2005

Long Island Geography

The geography of Long Island can be quite confusing, even to Mr. Long Island and other current residents, let alone to those who live in other parts of the country and have never been to the area. Thus, the following ...

For a good town-by-town map showing all the villages and hamlets in each of LI's 13 towns, read on:

Each year, LIPA, as successor to LILCO, publishes a report (the report is published by LIPA, but is written by KeySpan, previously known as LILCO) updating the census population numbers (by using people-per-electric meter ratios) for all the 293 communities on Long Island.
There are 2 cities and 13 towns (as well as 2 Indian reservations) in the bi-counties and the 13 towns (3 in Nassau and 10 in Suffolk) are further sub-divided into 95 villages (incorporated municipalities) and 196 hamlets (unincorporated areas), yielding 293 communities (2 + 95 + 196 = 293).

Nassau County / Suffolk County Totals:

The heart of this 40-page report are maps of each of the 13 towns (3 in Nassau, 10 in Suffolk), showing the true borders of all villages and hamlets (not the postal zone borders) in each town. The facing pages list which communities are villages or hamlets and their populations. (You'll find villages and hamlets that you never knew existed because they are in some other community-named postal zone.)

To help you understand these different geographic terms, a NYS Geographic Glossary with the NYS definitions of county, city, town, village, hamlet and postal zone is at the end of the article
The Geography Maven considers this the best resource available in understanding the geography and governmental organization of Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
You can download a copy of the 2004 edition of the LI Population Survey by going to:

If you will be so kind, please let the Geography Maven know what you think of this report by leaving comments here after you have downloaded and reviewed it.

NYS Geographic Glossary:
....Cities, Towns, Villages, Hamlets and Postal Zones in New York State
New York State is divided into counties.

A county is a municipal corporation, a subdivision of the state, created to perform state functions; a "regional" government. All counties are divided into cities, towns and Indian reservations.

A city is a unique governmental entity with its own special charter. Cities are not sub-divided, except into neighborhoods, which are informal geographic areas.

A town is a municipal corporation and encompasses all territory within the state except that within cities or Indian reservations. Towns can be sub-divided into villages and hamlets.

A village is a general purpose municipal corporation formed voluntarily by the residents of an area in one or more towns to provide themselves with municipal services. The pattern of village organization is similar to those of a city. A village is divided into neighborhoods, which are informal geographic areas.

A hamlet is an unincorporated area in one or more towns that is governed at-large by the town(s) it is in. A hamlet is divided into neighborhoods, which are informal geographic areas.

Postal Zone "City" and "Town"
A postal zone "City" and "Town" is an administrative district established by the U.S. Postal Service to deliver the mail. Postal zone "City" and "Town" may not (but are encouraged to) conform to municipal or community borders. Thus, postal zone location does not always determine city, village or hamlet location.

Please be aware: In many areas of New York State, the problem of non-conforming postal zones leads to a situation where the majority of places have a different community name in their mailing address than the community where that place is actually located.

- Article contributed by Geography Maven

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Where to get the flu shot on Long Island

Tess writes..."Hey, on your Web site, can you indicate the number we can call if we want to get a flu shot. I haven't gotten one yet cause I have been waiting for my doctor to get it, but he has not gotten it yet, and I am started to get a little nervous that I might miss getting one. Can you provide a list of medical centers or doctors on Long Island that are providing the flu vaccine?

Here are some resources to help you find information on getting the flu shot for the upcoming flu season in the Long Island, NY area:

The Food and Drug Administration provides quite a bit of information and resources on the Flu Virus, Links and Resources.

The NYS Department of Health offers tips, advice, information as well as links to resources and information on the influenza virus.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide flu related resources on the influenza virus and other strains of the flu virus.

You can do a local search, click on one of the link below and enter your zip code to find flu vaccination providers in your area...

Flu Shots Nassau County
Flu Shots Suffolk County

Last year there was a shortage of the flu vaccine on Long Island. Several clinics, hospitals, medical centers and doctors were given rationed amounts of the vaccinations. They were also specifically instructed that the supply were to be allocated to the 'high risk' groups first, including children and the elderly.

If your doctor does not have enough of a supply, you might want to get a referral from your health care network, managed care provider or insurance company for a list of providers offering the flu shot.

Additional resources:
Medicare offers a searchable database of health care, managed care and insurance providers by town, county, zip or state.
NYS Department of Health offers an endless resource of health related information, services for the elderly, family programs as well as managed care options and health providers.

Last tidbit of information...the typical 'flu shot' also know as the influenza vaccine does not protect against the Avian Flu. For more information about the
avian flu, try the search Web sites mentioned above but modify your query to include 'avian flu'.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

List of Long Island Blogs - help build the list...

Diane writes..."I am a LI Blogger and am trying to put together a list for my blog of LI Bloggers. Can's seem to find a list in one place. This all started when Patricia Kitchen from Newsday wrote an article on workplace blogs and completely missed three popular blogs written by folks from LI. Can you help?"

So, question is can we help Diane find other Long Island Blogs? Please leave your comments and if you know of a blog specific to the Long Island, NY area, please let us know.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

I Love Long Island - free t-shirt offer

Please leave your name, email, town and comments and tell us why you love Long Island. If we re-print your story in our weekly eNews, you win a FREE t-shirt!

Subscribe to the FREE eNews, to find out what's happening on Long Island, New York

I want to buy an I Love LI t-shirt

Mr. Long Island: New stuff, different day

BY MICHAEL WATT Ask Mr. Long Island

You have to love getting new stuff. There’s just something about de-boxing a new purchase and reveling in how much better it is than that old piece of crap you’ve been tolerating for the past few months because you were born good looking instead of rich. Not that buying new stuff happens all that often in my life, at least not as often as in other households. Then again, it happens for me more often than it does for some others. I suppose that’s the essence of being middle class.

Anyway, these past couple of weeks have seen a lot of new things finding their way into the Watt household in Babylon. Some items, such as the new washing machine in the basement, were purchased out of necessity – thanks to the biblical rains Long Island experienced in the middle of October and the subsequent flooding of the aforementioned basement. The rains also lead us to purchase a “Wet Vac” and sump pump. Functional products with a purpose, but let’s face it. Buying a Wet Vac and sump pump is about as exciting as watching C-Span.

The new washing machine, on the other hand, is pretty neat. It has buttons, beeps and bells so it is actually fun to operate. Its predecessor was a Bess Truman model and by my estimation was only one or two model lines removed from the washboard and ringer combo often seen in the “The Three Stooges” and “Little Rascals” movie shorts. Its cousin the dryer was not affected by the flood and therefore it will not be replaced anytime soon. Or so we hope. It’s not often you come across appliances that were installed by Mr. Maytag himself, so we’re hoping this dryer might have “Antique Roadshow” value once it is done drying clothes.

The tenant in the legal studio apartment in our house moved out and my wife, Sharon, and I decided it was time to take the room back. That has caused us to buy a lot of new things, too, which is a little daunting because our expenses are going up while our revenue – the rent the tenant was paying – is going away. Too bad we’re not the federal government because increasing expenses while decreasing revenues seems to work for the folks down in D.C.

Most of these purchases were of the mundane variety – a screen door here and a toilet there – but we also got to pick out a couch. I should say Sharon picked out a couch. As I may have mentioned before, the rule of thumb in our house is I forfeit my right to comment on anything purchased for the home in exchange for Sharon not dragging me on any shopping excursions. We also bought an armoire / entertainment center. I’m not sure what you call it but I am proud to report that Sharon and I put it together – and just as proud of the fact that it only took the handyman we hired to fix up the apartment two hours to “adjust” it so that its doors actually close.

I also purchased a laptop because the one I had is close to three years old, which in computer years makes it just slightly older than Henry Morgan (the guy who played Colonel Potter in “M*A*S*H. “) Oddly enough, I did not realize that my laptop was as old as it was until I received a cell phone as a birthday present. I went to synch the cell phone with the laptop (oooh – that sounds so technical) and, in a moment right out of a Ziggy cartoon the laptop told me I was crazy if I thought it was going to keep up with that the young, whippersnapper phone.

Now that I think about it, the cell phone is pretty cool, too. I can use it as a camera and a video recorder, as well, just as long as I don’t mind video playback that reminds me of the sound that emanated from my older brother’s single-speaker record player when he played Led Zeppelin I on it back in 1968. For all I know the cell phone can also figure out Pi to one hundred digits and order pizza at the same time. I doubt I will ever get around to figuring out all the features. Right now I consider it a success when the phone rings and I get it out of its holster without hanging up on the caller.

But there is nothing like buying a computer to truly test your mettle as a consumer. I ordered it over the phone and the woman who took my order talked me into buying so many “add-ons” that I had no idea what to expect when the boxes showed up a few days later. I do know I have set some kind of personal record for trips to the local Best Buy for the “not included” stuff the saleswoman somehow neglected to mention. Does anyone even know what a DSL filter is?

I think our little spending spree is over for now, just in time for the holidays. I would not be surprised, however, if Alan Greenspan thanked my wife and me for single-handedly keeping the economy buzzing these past few weeks during his next address before Congress. It’s the least he could do. Unless, of course, his doing so means Sharon and I have to go out to buy him a thank you gift.

Thank you for reading this column. [2005-11-04]

Friday, November 04, 2005

Interest rates vs selling price – It’s a balancing act

With interest rates at 6%, and the specter of gradual increases in the federal prime lending rate, many prospective home buyers question the affordability of buying a home at this time.
Historically, interest rate adjustments are made in small increments (say @ ¼ of 1%) and trend in one direction over a long period of time. The last time interest rates were at 6% was in May 2004. So it took 18 months of trending down and then back up to return to the 6%.
A buyer finds a house for the right price but the new higher interest rate will mean a greater monthly mortgage payment and walks away without bidding. A seller, being informed by his agent, is made aware of a probable sale agreement and the concerns at hand. One option is for the seller to adjust down on the asking price thus offsetting the higher interest rate. The end result is that the buyer gets the desired home at the same monthly payment and the seller has sacrificed a very small percentage of the asking price.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Long Island Advertising - Get more exposure for your LI Business is a local guide and information Web site for the Long Island, New York area. The site has been established since 1996 and gets thousands of unique visitors per day. We have earned the reputation as a viable community resource.

Based on feedback from our site visitors and many, many fan mails, we stuck a claim to our marketing niche many years ago and taglined our site "Long Island's Most Popular Web Site"

We constantly strive to improve our Web site, to make it your Internet community.

There are a variety a ways to promote your business on our Web site to the Long Island, NY Community. Some of our services are free, we also offer low cost solutions for all types of businesses and a more comprehensive packages for even more exposure on

We offer a do-it-yourself Press Release area where you can post a newsworthy item about your business for FREE.

Simply sign up as a New Member. Membership is FREE.

Then go to the Long Island Press Releases area and follow the link to 'Add A Free Press Release'.

Once you are a Member you can also do more to promote your business...
- Add upcoming events to the Long Island Event Calendar
- Submit your Web site for inclusion in the Long Island Search Engine
- Advertise your business in the Long Island Business Directory
- Place an ad in the Long Island Classifieds

For more information on a comprehensive ad package, check out our Long Island Advertising options,
including banner ads, featured site keywords, sponsor spots in our eNewsletter and more. You can call 631-543-1000 x268 or fill out our online info request form and one of our account managers will be more than happy to design a campaign that is right for your company, fits within your budget and gets results!

Should you buy a home now?

Home prices have been moving up and down like stock prices. But, unlike stock prices, the equity in your home is not liquid. If the real estate market is in despair when you need to sell, you may have difficulty selling. To protect yourself against unpredictable changes in the real estate market, don't buy unless you plan to keep the property for five to ten years.

If you have any real estate related questions feel free to contact me via email: or aim messenger: realestateofli

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Mr. Long Island Humor Column: Sin City? More like Sad City

BY MICHAEL WATT Ask Mr. Long Island

Las Vegas has jumped the shark.

I am sorry to be the one to break the bad news to you all, but it is true. Las Vegas is no longer the coolest place on the face of the Earth. If anything, it’s a glorified theme park with card games instead of roller coasters. It’s sad, really, especially considering the current state of New Orleans. There is a tremendous void in the realm of hip and happening across the United States, which is why my experience earlier this week in Sin City was all the more depressing.

I left for Vegas last Saturday morning for a business conference. I’d be lying if I said I was not looking forward to my little sojourn, even if it was business related. It was raining hard when I left JFK yet 80 degrees and sunny five hours later when I landed at McCarran Airport. My excitement was stoked further when I saw my first bank of one-armed bandits, right there waiting to greet me like a money-grubbing relative as I went from the gate to the baggage claim. Before I even picked up my luggage I went over to stake my claim to the millions I was sure to win gambling.

At this point I realized that the slot machines no longer took quarters. I had to start with a dollar bill, which disappeared faster than Harriet Miers is about to. Plus you don’t even have to pull the lever anymore. Just push a button and watch those silly things spin around. That’s about as much fun as using an ATM machine and just as enriching. This Vegas thing was not going well.

This trip marked my third journey to Vegas. I first went as a reporter fresh out of college, assigned to cover the industrial fabric industry’s annual convention in 1982. My most prevalent recollection of the trip – besides being painfully hungover, having spent the night before visiting my sister and her friends up at Fairfield University – was seeing beautiful, statuesque even, waitresses walking around carrying trays of free beer. I thought my head was going to explode. Vegas was on the last legs of the Rat Pack era back then, but the city was still cool because Frankie, Deano and Sammy were still alive.

Nearly 18 years later I was lucky enough to go on a three-day, all-expenses paid trip to Vegas with my wife, Sharon. Although the city by this time had swung full force into family mode, it was still a lot of fun and almost as cool. Of course, anything’s cool when somebody else is paying for it. The only thing harder to get than tickets to see Wayne Newton was tickets to see Siegfried & Roy.

Fast forward to this past weekend. The biggest headliner was Barry Manilow, of all people. Manilow is to Las Vegas cool what Jm. J. Bullock brings to the acting profession. Somewhere the Rat Pack is spinning in their respective graves, except of course for Joey Bishop, who is still alive. He only wishes he was dead. And then there is the class of people going to Vegas these days. From what I could see, the crowds walking the streets and clamoring through the casinos were no different than what you might see at your typical American mall on any given Saturday afternoon, the only difference being they were drinking daiquiris instead of Orange Julius. No more statuesque waitresses serving scotch and water. Rather, all I saw were nice ladies who in a prior era would be found working the local IHOP. While there is nothing wrong with that, per se, it just wasn’t the Vegas I knew and loved. It was all kind of sad, like realizing the Prom Queen from your senior year in high school was now the lunch room lady in the school cafeteria.

That is not to say my trip did not have its amusing moments. One night I stayed out way past my bedtime and as a result I found myself walking the streets of Sin City around 2:30 in the am (I did not know the monorail / mass transit system shut down at 2 am and I am way to cheap to spring for a cab). As I was walking – still a good mile away from my hotel – I realized I had to go to the bathroom. Bad. And not number one, if you know what I mean. How ironic. Before I left for Vegas everybody and their brother reminded me with a wink and a giggle that “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” but I am sure nobody had having an accident in your pants in mind when they said it.

So there I was, trying to stay cool, calm, collected and clean while striding as fast as I could. I finally got to the lobby of my hotel and tried to get through there as furtively as possible when these two prostitutes caught my eye. At least I think they were prostitutes. If they weren’t then I made a hell of a first impression. They called out, “Hey sexy, looking for a good time?” I did not reply, of course, but I did laugh and kept moving. Just my luck, I figured. My whole life I’ve been looking for a good time and when the opportunity presents itself I’m waiting for the elevator, squeezing my cheeks like Richard Simmons on a blind date.

I made it to my room and the fact that I did was the highlight of my trip, which ought to tell you something. I am sure Vegas will continue to draw the crowds and rake in the big bucks. Not me and not my money, however. Not unless the Rat Pack comes back from the dead.

Thank you for reading this column. [2005-10-28]

Monday, October 24, 2005

What's your favorite subject?

We are looking for Long Islanders interested in joining our blog to participate in blogging on a variety of topics, i.e. parenting, seniors, schools, sports, dating, pets, food, shopping, etc. Do you have a special interest or hobby you would like to share with Long Island? Tell us about you and your area of interest. Please leave your name, town and email.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Mr. Long Island's humor column: Living The Sump Pump Life

BY MICHAEL WATT Ask Mr. Long Island

For 46 years I lived my life happily and purposely oblivious to what a sump pump is and how it works. Then came the rain. Eight-straight days of rain – nine if you live on the East End – and as a result the vast majority of Long Island homeowners either fired up their sump pumps or, like me, got a quick tutorial in how they work.

I tried like hell, quite frankly, to avoid having to do this. I saw the acquisition of a sump pump and the subsequent learning how to use same as the sole slice of maturation and adulthood I had managed to avoid. Let’s put it this way – when you were 23 and having fun did you know or care about sump pumps? Me neither. But now? Now when the other fellas on the block discuss the sump pumps in their homes I pretend to know what they are talking about. I may have even exaggerated my experiences with a sump pump on occasion, out of fear that the guys would think less of me if they knew of my sump pump innocence – that I couldn’t tell a sump pump from a water heater, much less ever used one. In fact, up until last week all I ever knew about sump pumps is that to need one is a bad thing.

That’s why I was particularly relieved when my wife, Sharon, called me on Friday afternoon to tell me there was water in the basement. “It’s not too bad,” she said, “but get a Wet Vac on your way home from work.” The breath I held when she mentioned the water in the basement turned into an exhale of relief when she mentioned the Wet Vac. Wet Vacs I can handle, and they make a lot of noise so there is an element of manliness involved when you use it. But I was petrified that she was going to suggest I get a sump pump because, as I mentioned, I had no idea what was involved in using such a thing.

My relief was short lived, unfortunately, once I got to Home Depot. First, the parking lot was flooded and it was still raining pretty heavily – not a good sign. Another bad sign – this one right in the entrance - said the store was out of sump pumps. Since so many other people had purchased sump pumps I knew this was no ordinary rain storm and my gut was telling me that this just might be the weekend when my life as I knew it – sump pump free – was over. Ironically, the store was out of Wet Vacs, too, so the chase was on. Sharon would call different hardware stores and Home Depots from the house and asked if they had a Wet Vac. Then she would call me on the cell and send me there like we were playing Pac-Man and she was the joy stick and I was the little chompy guy. (How did people deal with crises before cell phones?). After a few unsuccessful forays we found a hardware store in Deer Park that had one Wet Vac left, and while I was there the phone must have rung a dozen times, each time a desperate soul was on the other end, looking for a sump pump. Not a Wet Vac. I could feel the walls closing in.

When I got home with my Wet Vac the water was now up to about two inches and I knew then that my new toy was going to be as useless as a Lieutenant Governor. Since it was still raining Friday night I convinced Sharon to wait until Saturday morning to start the dehydration process, using the logic that there was no sense in getting rid of the water if it was still coming in but secretly hoping that something miraculous would happen overnight and the water would be gone by daybreak.

So much for wishful thinking. By Saturday morning the water was halfway up my shins, and very cold I might add. I kept telling myself it could have been worse, it could have been Katrina and Anderson Cooper could be at my door, looking to help. That worked the first few hundred times. Then we started to hear the horror stories from the neighbors. Six inches. A foot. Two feet. Four feet. Yikes! I’ll bet you all those folks know what a sump pump is.

Once I realized that the water in the basement was not going to disappear by magic I began to scratch my head as to what to do next, given that there was not a sump pump to be had in the Northern Hemisphere. Fortunately for me, as he has done on so many occasions my father in law, Jack, came to the rescue with a pump. Now, my father in law is a man’s man so not only does he know what a sump pump is, he knows how they actually work. He also knew not to expect me to know. We get along just fine in that regard.

So Jack came by on Sunday afternoon just to make sure that the water was done rising (“no point in pumping out the ocean” he said on more than occasion) and we got the thing going. Just plug it in here and stick the hose out there and voila! The water started gushing out. And gushing out. And gushing out. I have never see so much water inside a house like that. At any given moment I half-expected to come across The Incredible Mr. Limpet. The basement is still a mess, the washing machine conked out and the house is totally discombobulated, but all in all we fared rather well. And last night we bought a pump. Not a sump pump, mind you – you have to crawl before you can walk – but a pump nonetheless. Today I am a man.

Thank you for reading this column. [2005-10-21]

Monday, October 17, 2005

Do you feel safe in your Long Island neighborhood?

We live in a affluent community and pay extremely high taxes to do so. You hear countless stories of home invasions, buglary and crime. Do you feel relatively safe in your own neighborhood? Please provide your town if commenting to this post.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Water Blogged on Long Island

The unrelenting rain has caused flooding across Long Island. How are you holding up? Leave your comments and tell us where you are located and how you are weathering the storm.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Mr. Long Island's humor column: Procrastination 101

BY MICHAEL WATT Ask Mr. Long Island

Is it possible for a plastic comb and a sheet of wax paper to change the course of one’s life?

It’s hard to fathom and somewhat humbling to admit this but as far as my life is concerned I believe the answer is yes. When I was in the third grade at St. Willy’s in Seaford each member of Sr. Cornelius’s class had to build a musical instrument as a project. I hated those class projects because I knew they would not go over too big at home. Let’s put it this way: if I was in third grade that meant my brother Dan was in fifth, Ed was in seventh, Ray was in first and my sister Joanie was in kindergarten. Jim and Peg were in high school. Joseph was a toddler and Mary Ann was maybe a year old and in diapers. (It would be a couple of years before Katie, Jon, Jeanne and Ann would make the scene). Get the picture? The last thing my mother wanted or needed to get involved with was school projects. So getting it done was up to me.

For whatever reason I put it off. And off. And off…until I found myself with the “it’s Monday morning and my project’s due” sweats. I did not know what to do but I did know enough not to tell my mother – doing so would have meant a fate far worse than anything this side of those old “Why kill yourself because you missed the last issue of Mad Magazine” subscription ads.” I shared my dilemma with brother, Jim. Being older and wiser and a high school sophomore he knew exactly what to do. “Not to worry,” he said, and with that he reached into a kitchen cabinet and pulled out a sheet of wax paper. Next, he took the plastic comb from his back pocket (what ever happened to carrying around a comb in your back pocket, anyway?), folded the wax paper over the comb, pressed it to his lips and hummed. Voila! My very own kazoo -- instant musical instrument.

Greatly relieved and rather excited I ran off to the school bus and entertained the masses for the mile-and-a-half ride to school. “Wow,” I thought. I am really on to something here. Sure enough, my homemade kazoo was the hit of the class, bigger even than John Hammer’s cigar-box-and-rubber-band guitar (what an amateur!) and Chris Eaton’s matchbox replica of Ben Franklin’s armonica, built to scale and complete with miniaturized spinning glasses and a brass crank (how crass). I played louder than everyone else, no doubt, and got an ‘A’ for my efforts, or lack thereof.

If the world were right and fair and just the teacher would have seen through my ruse and I would have gotten an ‘F’ for the project and learned my lesson accordingly. But no. I had tasted the sweet nectar of dodging a bullet and I was hooked. I was doomed to a lifetime of writing book reports based on the book jacket on the morning they were due while riding the bus to school and to improvising essays comparing and contrasting the ancient religions of Mesopotamia. Shovel please! (yes, I know – 30 years later and I am still stealing lines from Robert Klein). But she didn’t. Sr. Cornelius was just this side of insane and a few beads short of a Rosary, with all due respect, so I picked up a very bad habit at a very young age.

Now, there is no guarantee that if the teacher had seen through my indolence I would have spent the next 30 years of my life putting re-enforcements on my loose leaf (last Klein line, I promise). But you have to wonder sometimes. At least I do. How would my life have changed if I had not pulled off the Kazoo Caper? Who knows.

It does amaze me how one seemingly unpleasant task becomes so much more attractive when compared to another. My roommate in college said he could always tell when I had a paper due or a test coming up because that was the only time he ever saw me clean my room. Ah, college. It was so much easier to procrastinate in college as even the worst case of procrastination could be cured with a pot of coffee and an all-nighter. I think some schools nowadays expect it of you and build it into the program by prohibiting the professors from assigning anything to be due the last week of class. The next thing you know procrastination will be part of the curriculum. Now THERE’s a course I could teach: “Class, today we will discuss the merits of Starbucks versus Red Bull for that all night rush. And don’t forget your term paper: Fifteen pages on the theme, “Why take your time and do it now when you can rush through it 24 hours before it is due.” Now those topics are kazoo music to my ears.

Thank you for reading this column. [2005-10-13]

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Senior Resources - Feedback please

We would like to build resources for seniors on Long Island. Please comment with any information you have on reputable care failities, activites and groups for seniors that you may know of and where they are located. Also, category ideas for this section that you might find useful and interesting.

Parenting Topic - Playgroups for Kids

Are there any parents out their interested in starting a playgroup in your area? Have you done any research as far as Web sites that are already established for setting up playgroups? Do you know of any sites that have established playgroups for the Long Island, NY area. If so, please provide details, or provide comments if you are interested in joining a Long Island playgroup, i.e. age of your children, location, etc.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Blog, blog, blog, blog, blog...what the heck is a blog anyway?

A blog is an online diary; a personal chronological log of thoughts published on a Web page; also called Weblog, Web log according to

Well, we have decided to throw some ideas out and let you comment on them. Let's see what interests Long Islanders and what do they want to talk about? So, blog, blog, blog, blog, blog, blog, blog away.

First topic of discussion is the topic...tell us what you want to chat about?

P.S. We are also looking for people who want to help maintain this blog, keep the topics of discussion lively and interesting. Please fill this form and tell us why you want to be a Long Island Blogster and what topics you want to blog on about.


Best Pizza on Long Island Contest & Festival

The Best Pizza on Long Island Contest & Festival is an annual event put together by to promote local pizzerias and at the same time raise funds for a good cause.

A portion of the proceeds goes to Long Island Cares and Island Harvest, non-profit organizations dedicated to feeding the hungry on Long Island.

The 3rd Annual Best Pizza on Long Island Festival and Bake-Off was held on Saturday, October 1, 2005 at Adventureland Family Fun Park.

Pizzeria finalists were the top contenders as voted by Long Islanders in the Best Pizza on Long Island Contest. Visitors to the site were able to vote for their favorite pizza by entering their votes on the Web site. The top five pizzerias were invited down for the final taste test and judging at the Long Island Pizza Festval / Bake-Off.


Best Pizza Award 2005 Best 'REGULAR' Pizza
Gigante's Pizza of Oceanside

Best Pizza Award 2005 Best 'SICILIAN' Pizza
Prince Umberto's of Franklin Square

Best Pizza Award 2005 Best 'MARINARA' Pizza
Gigante's Pizza of Oceanside

Best Pizza Award 2005 Best 'GRANDMA' Pizza
Spassos Pizzeria of Wantagh*

Best Pizza Award 2005 Best 'SPECIALTY' Pizza
Prince Umberto's of Frankin Square**

World Champion Pizza Acrobats *Spassos Pizza of Wantagh won for Best Grandma Pizza. In addition, Spassos was deemed 'Best Overall' in the Long Island Pizza Contest. Spassos was honored by Joe Carlucci, World Champion Pizza Acrobat to represent the World Pizza Champions in the World Pizza Championships to be held in Salsomaggiore, Italy in April, 2006. Spassos receives an all-expense paid trip to Italy representing the United States and sponsored by the World Pizza champions, Inc. For more information go to:

World Champion Pizza Acrobats**Prince Umberto's Pizza of Franklin Square won in two categories, Best Sicilian and Best Specialty Pizza. As a special honor Prince Umberto's will go on to compete in the American Pizza Championships. The winner from the American Pizza Championships competition goes on to compete representing the US in the America's Plate, an International Competition held at Pizza Marketing Quarterly (PMQ) New York Pizza Show on November 1-2, 2005. For more information about the New York Pizza Show, go to

It was an awesome fun-filled day with pizza related activites for everyone. Event goers were able to sample slices of pizza prepared by the participating pizzerias. Activities for the kids included mini-pie making which, was sponsored by Paradiso Pizza of Mount Sinai. Pizza Pup was on hand to help the kid's roll out their dough and prepare their pizza. Once the mini-pies were baked, the kid were able to enjoy their creations.

Joe Carlucci, of the World Champion Pizza Acrobats was among the panel of celebrity judges. In between taste testing, he WOWed the crowd with an amazing demonstration of pizza dough tossing.

During the Pizza Eating Contest, the crowd cheered on the contestants as they gobbled up pizza. "Skinny Mike" Hoffman, the long shot, surprised the crowd by being the first to finish an entire pizza. Mike took home the coveted Golden Pizza Slicer Award, a gift certificate, t-shirt and $100. Runners up also received prizes.

Bonanza Italian Ices was on hand with a delicious assortment of gourmet italian ices to compliment the variety of pizzas offered at the festival.

Albert's II Pizza of West Babylon volunteered their time and donated supplies to make pizza for the hungry crowds.

Marsal & Sons provided the Pizza Ovens for the day. Cremosa Foods helped to get the word out about the contest to the pizzerias. They also provided supplies and refrigeration. Adventureland hosted the event and their dedicated staff made sure everything ran smoothly.

Sponsors include Party Pizzazz, event planning services; World Champion Pizza Acrobats; Adventureland Family Fun Park; Cremosa Foods; Marsal & Sons, Inc. Pizza Ovens and WBAB Radio Station.

This is an officially sanction event by Pizza Marketing Quarterly Magazine (PMQ) as a preliminary competition to the American Pizza Championships.

Supporters, donations, volunteers and friends are gratefully acknowledged for helping to make this event possible.

Special thanks to Bonanza Italian Ices, Target Marketing & Design, The Printing Experience of Seaford, Bill Moseley of BBA Photography, Pizza Pup, Marriott Vacation Club, Hofstra Film Crew, our panel of Celebrity Judges and all of our wonderful volunteers.

Contributing pizzerias included:

- Albert’s II Pizza of West Babylon
- Gigante's Pizza of Oceanside
- Nina's Pizza of Northport
- Paradiso Pizza of Mount Sinai
- Pietro's Pizza of East Meadow
- Prince Umberto's Pizza of Franklin Square
- Spassos Pizza of Wantagh

These pizzerias not only make awesome pizza, but they are proud supporters of the Long Islander community. So, next time you are hungry for pizza tell them sent you!

Next year's contest will begin Spring 2006. Check for updates and more information about the Best Pizza on Long Island Contest 2006.

Festival Photos
View 2004 Festival Video

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Who makes the best pizza on Long Island?


The 3rd Annual Best Pizza on Long Island Festival and Bake-Off was held on Saturday, October 1, 2005 at Adventureland Family Fun Park.

Pizzeria finalists were the top contenders as voted by Long Islanders in the Best Pizza on Long Island Contest. Visitors to the site were able to vote for their favorite pizza by entering their votes on the Web site at The top five pizzerias in each category were invited down for the final taste test and judging at the Long Island Pizza Festival & Bake-Off.


  • Best Regular Pizza
    Gigante's Pizza of Oceanside

  • Best Sicilian Pizza
    Prince Umberto's of Franklin Square

  • Best Marinara Pizza
    Gigante's Pizza of Oceanside

  • Best Grandma Pizza
    Spassos Pizzeria of Wantagh*

  • Best Specialty Pizza
    Prince Umberto's of Frankin Square**

Each pizzeria generously donated their time, supplies and expertise to make this a fun-filled day for all who attended. Participating pizzerias received Official "Best Of Long Island" Awards and gift certificates for food supplies from Cremosa Foods.

Spassos Pizza of Wantagh won for Best Grandma Pizza. In addition, Spassos was deemed 'Best Overall' in the Long Island Pizza Contest. Spassos was honored by Joe Carlucci, World Champion Pizza Acrobat to represent the World Pizza Champions in the World Pizza Championships to be held in Salsomaggiore, Italy in April, 2006. Spassos receives an all-expense paid trip to Italy representing the United States and sponsored by the World Pizza champions, Inc. For more information go to:

**Prince Umberto's Pizza of Franklin Square won in two categories, Best Sicilian and Best Specialty Pizza. As a special honor Prince Umberto's will go on to compete in the American Pizza Championships. The winner from the American Pizza Championships competition goes on to compete representing the US in the America's Plate, an International Competition held at Pizza Marketing Quarterly (PMQ) New York Pizza Show on November 1-2, 2005. For more information about the New York Pizza Show, go to http://www.newyorkpizzashow

The Best Pizza on Long Island Contest & Festival is an annual event put together by to promote local pizzerias and at the same time raise funds for a good cause. A portion of the proceeds go to Long Island Cares and Island Harvest, non-profit organizations dedicated to feeding the hungry on Long Island.

Next year's contest will begin Spring 2006. Check the Web site at for updates and more information about the Best Pizza on Long Island Contest 2006.