Ah, yes, good old Hauppauge. We are that town in the dead center of Long Island that barely anyone knows how to pronounce unless they're from the town itself or live in a nearby area. Hauppauge is home to people of all kinds. We always have new families joining the community but honestly, the majority of the town is filled with people who never leave (high school alumni) and elders who have raised their kids here. Around the town, there are some just some landmarks and places that only the people of Hauppauge will ever understand the importance or even the annoyance of.
1. Hauppauge High School.
We only have one high school here, and no matter what grade you are in, everyone seems to know everyone. We are a small school with a lot of spirit. Homecoming and Kicks for Cancer are two of our huge athletic events that occur every year, and the whole town comes out to support our football and soccer teams. If you don’t go to at least one of these events, are you really even from Hauppauge?
2. Palace or Paradise?
We have two diners in Hauppauge, where it is not unlikely you may find some teenagers hanging out there until 3 in the morning, sipping on some milkshakes, or downing some fries. The diners are a very popular place to be after any school concerts or theater productions run by the school districts.
3. Smith Haven, only!
Smith Haven mall is pretty much the only mall anyone from Hauppauge goes to. Sure, we have Bay Shore mall and Walt Whitman mall not too far from us, but Smith Haven mall is right around the corner. It has all the shops that any mall really should have, and a pretty good food court too. You can almost never go there without seeing someone you know from home.
4. That 20-minute drive.
One real perk of living in Hauppauge is the 20-minute or less drive to almost any beach on Long Island (excluding the Hamptons). We have Robert Moses beach on the South Shore and Sunken Meadow beach on the North Shore. Whether you are in the mood for a busy beach day or a quiet day at the Long Island Sound, it is not hard to find the right spot. Since we are in the middle of the island, getting to the beach is something to really look forward to.
5. Restaurant Row.
You know that strip of fast food places right across the street from the middle school and high school? Well, it has officially been nicknamed “Restaurant Row.” After that 2:15 dismissal at the high school, you’ll be able to find tons of students hiking across the soccer fields with determination to get their fill of Wendy’s, McDonald’s, or Panera Bread. There is also Starbucks, Burger King, and our own Branchinelli’s Pizza… which is a whole other level of amazing pizza.
6. The Rinx.
So, Friday nights in middle school always ended up with the majority of us ice skating with our best friends. The Rinx also happens to be one of the best rinks on the island with many teams having practices there… yet Hauppauge does not even have an ice-hockey team…. Weird.
7. We are that town.
Honestly, Hauppauge is really just that town that cars pass through while trying to get to bigger towns. Veterans Highway drives right through the middle of us and you usually just end up in Smithtown or Commack. Those two towns are more well-known for being bigger and having higher populations.
8. The Industrial Park.
You know that huge maze of roads aligned with dull looking buildings that seems to stretch as far as the eyes can see? Yeah, the roads that are infested with geese everywhere… The industrial park is apparently one of the largest in the nation, and its almost impossible not to get lost in, unless, yes, you’re from that side of Hauppauge.
9. High School Teachers.
Everyone just loves this town so much, that they really never seem to leave. You really know you grew up in Hauppauge when half of the teachers in the school district went to the schools when they were kids! They know the halls better than we do!
10. Hot Bagels.
Yes, this is the name of the 24/7 bagel store you have been to at least once at 3 in the morning. Hot Bagels is home to the best bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches around. It is almost impossible to go there and not wait in a huge line. That’s all right though, because chances are you’re standing next to someone you know or have seen around town.
11. The Hill.
Sledding at the high school is a winter tradition for all of us. Whether you are with babysitting young children or you’re with your best friends, you have most likely been to the huge hill near the soccer fields at the school. You actually get quite the rush when sleigh riding down some steep slopes and hitting some moguls!