16 Stops To Make On Long Island This Summer

16 Stops To Make On Long Island This Summer

Long Island's summer bucket list.
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Long Island is full of fun and exciting places to explore. If you like to try new things and are up for an adventure, take a look at these 16 stops to make on Long Island during summer 2016. Here are just a few of the many amazing hot-spots the Island has to offer, and if you have been to any of them, you can agree they are a must see. I hope you’re hungry because I had to throw in a few fan favorite eateries as well.

1. Flo’s Luncheonette

Since 1926, Flo’s Luncheonette has been serving burgers and shakes to countless beach goers. This cute snack shack makes spending the day at Corey Beach super sweet. Flo’s have numerous flavors of ice cream that can be scooped into a cup or cone and even blended into a signature shake. Although I had to mention dessert first, Flo’s does have a large menu that everyone will surly find a favorite on. Sadly they are only open during the summer season, so make your way down to this adorable and delicious luncheonette the next time you have a sunny day off from work.

302 Middle Rd, Blue Point, NY 11715

2. Avalon State Park & Preserve

This park is the place to let your adventurous side shine through. There are acres of land to explore with countless walking and biking trails. Don’t worry, you can pick up a map in the office if your sense of direction is just as bad as mine. Enjoy all the blooming flowers and landscapes of some of the most well preserved land on Long Island. Dogs are welcome so you can bring your best friend or your other best friend.

Harbor Rd, Stony Brook, NY 11790

3. Little Vincent’s Pizzeria

With three amazing locations and open hours as late as 2 a.m., there is never a bad time to crave pizza. Little Vincent’s is a Long Island favorite, dishing out Neapolitan pies and their specialty cold-cheese slices. Each pie is made fresh for you upon order and is overwhelmingly delicious. The crust is always crispy and the cheese is, well, the cheesiest. When you are out late with your friends and diner just isn’t cutting it anymore, head over to Little Vincent’s. You will not be disappointed.

329 New York Ave, Huntington, NY 11743

1399 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10021

324 Smithtown Blvd, Lake Ronkonkoma, NY 11779

4. Pirates Cove

If you want to have a little escape this is the hide away for you. This is one of Long Island’s best kept secrets and is a little hard to find but once you find it you’ll never want to leave. This is the place you want to be to watch the sunrise and sunset everyday this summer. Bring your friends and stargaze all night at this hidden treasure overlooking Port Jeff Harbor.

617 N Bicycle Path #11, Port Jefferson Station, NY 11776

5. Toast Coffee House

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day but it can also be your favorite meal of the day if you have it at Toast. This cute little coffee shop blows away any Starbucks in your neighborhood. Toast is a unique hang out that serves up some of the most mouthwatering breakfast. Have you ever thought of putting cookie dough and pancakes together? Because they have and let me tell you, it is heavenly. Don’t worry they have healthy options too! They also specialize in organic omelets!

242 E Main St, Port Jefferson, NY 11777

6. Long Island Game Farm

Founded in 1970 the Long Island Game Farm is home to a verity of wild life animals. People travel to the farm to get a firsthand look at some of the worlds most loved creatures. Giraffes, lemurs, camels, ostriches and zebras are just some of the animals you will have opportunity to see at the game farm. There are shows daily and a café for you and the family to get a bite to eat and maybe after you can hand feed a giraffe.

489 Chapman Blvd, Manorville, NY 11949

7. Magic Fountain

This barn-shaped ice cream shop will surely catch your eye as you drive by but once you taste their original flavors it will capture your heart too. The Magic Fountain was once a Dairy Queen, but in 1977 it became home to some of the most delectable treats you will ever eat. With over 35 different flavors of homemade ice cream choosing which to get will seem impossible. For those that don’t like to choose, much like me. I recommend “Lots of stuff”, a mixture of vanilla ice cream, cookie dough pieces, brownie bites, m&m’s and hot fudge swirls. You will not leave hungry because the quantity of their ice cream is just as great as the quality of their ice cream.

9825 Main Rd, Mattituck, NY 11952

8.United Skates Of America Roller Rink

If you’re like me and constantly feel as if you were born in the wrong era check out this hot-spot. The United Skates of America is an indoor roller rink for all ages. You can rent roller blades or roller skates and glide the night away listening to today’s hit and even some oldies. If you don’t know how to roller skate don’t sweat it, no one really does. There are themed parties open to the public and all you can eat pizza!

9. Dinner by the Sea

Life is much more exciting when you live it in color and diner by the sea offers you every color of the rainbow in their famous milkshakes and even in their pancakes. Each milk shake is a world of colors and sweet in every sip. They would not be complete without whipped cream and a prize. Yes, every milkshake has a prize and yes, you can be excited about it even if you are an “adult”.

260 E Park Ave, Long Beach, NY 11561

10. Jones Beach Theater

If you have never seen a concert at Jones Beach, you have to open a new tab and purchase tickets now! This theater has 15,000 seats and host some of the most memorable concerts. Artists such as Jimmy Buffet, Rascal Flatts, Florida Georgia Line and Wiz Khalifa will all be performing this summer. Radio stations like 106.1 BLI and Billboard Hot 100 also bring your favorite performers to Jones Beach in concert series. You will have a blast. Grab your friends and a light jacket, it can get windy.

1000 Ocean Pkwy, Wantagh, NY 11793

11. Crazy Beans

If you love coffee and mason jars, this is the place for you. Crazy beans is the perfect place to grab breakfast or lunch. How about brunch? The atmosphere gives you a 50’s diner feel with black and white tile floor and bright red walls. They offer a wide range of just about everything but the most impressive verity they offer is that of lattes. There are about 30 different flavors, now that’s alotta latte. If you order one don’t forget to Instagram a picture of your mason jar topped with whipped cream to the sky.

465 NY-25A, Miller Place, NY 11764

97 Main St, Stony Brook, NY 11790

12. Planting Fields Arboretum

409 acres of pure beauty is waiting to be explored at Planting Fields Arboretum. There are historic buildings, landscapes, rolling lawns, formal gardens, hiking trails and specimen plantings. The two main green houses at the Arboretum also house some stunning flowers. The land is so magnificent that you will find yourself walking through fields of flowers for hours. Many couples get married on the premises because it is the perfect location for photo-opps.

1395 Planting Fields Rd, Oyster Bay, NY 11771

13. Sag Harbor Observatory

Take stargazing to a whole new level at this state of the art observatory. This is great for all ages and even educational. You can learn about the tides of the ocean and the patterns of the water while having fun. If you live in a high populated area, the observatory is perfect for finally seeing all the stars the sky is housing.

1115 Main Bayview Rd, Southold, NY 11971

14. Oheka Castle

You may have seen this magnificent castle in Taylor Swift’s music video, Blank Space. Yes, it is on Long Island. Oheka Castle was built in 1919 and resembles what you would imagine after reading F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby. You can feel like Daisy and Gatsby by wining and dining in the castle and even staying the night if you wish. Not only is the inside mesmerizing but the grounds surrounding it will also make your heart melt. If you could have a fairy tale wedding this would be the place.

135 W Gate Dr, Huntington, NY 11743

15. Cupsogue - Hampton beach

Although you can hit a beach if you drive far enough in any direction on Long Island, this beach is one to visit. Cupsogue is beautiful and has an exclusive feel, you may eve see a Kardashian soaking up the some sun. It's noted for its cleanliness and friendly atmosphere. There are family bathrooms and a beach hut giving you options if you found sand in your sandwich. A live band performs almost every evening and the bar offers both alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks. Their annual sand castle contest is not something you want to miss.

906 Dune Rd, Westhampton Beach, NY 11978

16. Montauk Lighthouse

If you have time drive all the way to “The End”. Montauk is home to some of the most popular tourist sites. The light house constructed in 1796 is by far the most beautiful. For only a few dollars you can tour the light house and appreciate its breathtaking view. This historical land mark is a symbol of Long Island and who knows maybe you will run into Billy Joel.

2000 NY-27, Montauk, NY 11954

Cover Image Credit: blogspot

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Your Wait time At Theme Parks Is Not Unfair, You're Just Impatient

Your perceived wait time is always going to be longer than your actual wait time if you can't take a minute to focus on something other than yourself.

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Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios "unboxed" on June 30, 2018. My friend and I decided to brave the crowds on opening day. We got to the park around 7 AM only to find out that the park opened around 6 AM. Upon some more scrolling through multiple Disney Annual Passholder Facebook groups, we discovered that people were waiting outside the park as early as 1 AM.

We knew we'd be waiting in line for the bulk of the Toy Story Land unboxing day. There were four main lines in the new land: the line to enter the land; the line for Slinky Dog Dash, the new roller coaster; the line for Alien Spinning Saucers, the easier of the new rides in the land; Toy Story Mania, the (now old news) arcade-type ride; and the new quick-service restaurant, Woody's Lunchbox (complete with grilled cheese and "grown-up drinks").

Because we were so early, we did not have to wait in line to get into the land. We decided to ride Alien Spinning Saucers first. The posted wait time was 150 minutes, but my friend timed the line and we only waited for 50 minutes. Next, we tried to find the line for Slinky Dog Dash. After receiving conflicting answers, the runaround, and even an, "I don't know, good luck," from multiple Cast Members, we exited the land to find the beginning of the Slinky line. We were then told that there was only one line to enter the park that eventually broke off into the Slinky line. We were not about to wait to get back into the area we just left, so we got a Fastpass for Toy Story Mania that we didn't plan on using in order to be let into the land sooner. We still had to wait for our time, so we decided to get the exclusive Little Green Man alien popcorn bin—this took an entire hour. We then used our Fastpass to enter the land, found the Slinky line, and proceeded to wait for two and a half hours only for the ride to shut down due to rain. But we've come this far and rain was not about to stop us. We waited an hour, still in line and under a covered area, for the rain to stop. Then, we waited another hour and a half to get on the ride from there once it reopened (mainly because they prioritized people who missed their Fastpass time due to the rain). After that, we used the mobile order feature on the My Disney Experience app to skip part of the line at Woody's Lunchbox.

Did you know that there is actually a psychological science to waiting? In the hospitality industry, this science is the difference between "perceived wait" and "actual wait." A perceived wait is how long you feel like you are waiting, while the actual wait is, of course, the real and factual time you wait. There are eight things that affect the perceived wait time: unoccupied time feels longer than occupied time, pre-process waits feel longer than in-process waits, anxiety makes waits feel longer, uncertain waits are longer than certain waits, unexplained waits are longer than explained waits, unfair waits are longer than equitable waits, people will wait longer for more valuable service and solo waiting feels longer than group waiting.

Our perceived wait time for Alien Spinning Saucers was short because we expected it to be longer. Our wait for the popcorn seemed longer because it was unoccupied and unexplained. Our wait for the rain to stop so the ride could reopen seemed shorter because it was explained. Our wait between the ride reopening and getting on the coaster seemed longer because it felt unfair for Disney to let so many Fastpass holders through while more people waited through the rain. Our entire wait for Slinky Dog Dash seemed longer because we were not told the wait time in the beginning. Our wait for our food after placing a mobile order seemed shorter because it was an in-process wait. We also didn't mind wait long wait times for any of these experiences because they were new and we placed more value on them than other rides or restaurants at Disney. The people who arrived at 1 AM just added five hours to their perceived wait

Some non-theme park examples of this science of waiting in the hospitality industry would be waiting at a restaurant, movie theater, hotel, performance or even grocery store. When I went to see "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," the power went out in the theater right as we arrived. Not only did we have to wait for it to come back and for them to reset the projectors, I had to wait in a bit of anxiety because the power outage spooked me. It was only a 30-minute wait but felt so much longer. At the quick-service restaurant where I work, we track the time from when the guest places their order to the time they receive their food. Guests in the drive-thru will complain about 10 or more minute waits, when our screens tell us they have only been waiting four or five minutes. Their actual wait was the four or five minutes that we track because this is when they first request our service, but their perceived wait begins the moment they pull into the parking lot and join the line because this is when they begin interacting with our business. While in line, they are experiencing pre-process wait times; after placing the order, they experience in-process wait times.

Establishments in the hospitality industry do what they can to cut down on guests' wait times. For example, theme parks offer services like Disney's Fastpass or Universal's Express pass in order to cut down the time waiting in lines so guests have more time to buy food and merchandise. Stores like Target or Wal-Mart offer self-checkout to give guests that in-process wait time. Movie theaters allow you to check in and get tickets on a mobile app and some quick-service restaurants let you place mobile or online orders. So why do people still get so bent out of shape about being forced to wait?

On Toy Story Land unboxing day, I witnessed a woman make a small scene about being forced to wait to exit the new land. Cast Members were regulating the flow of traffic in and out of the land due to the large crowd and the line that was in place to enter the land. Those exiting the land needed to wait while those entering moved forward from the line. Looking from the outside of the situation as I was, this all makes sense. However, the woman I saw may have felt that her wait was unfair or unexplained. She switched between her hands on her hips and her arms crossed, communicated with her body language that she was not happy. Her face was in a nasty scowl at those entering the land and the Cast Members in the area. She kept shaking her head at those in her group and when allowed to proceed out of the land, I could tell she was making snide comments about the wait.

At work, we sometimes run a double drive-thru in which team members with iPads will take orders outside and a sequencer will direct cars so that they stay in the correct order moving toward the window. In my experience as the sequencer, I will inform the drivers which car to follow, they will acknowledge me and then still proceed to dart in front of other cars just so they make it to the window maybe a whole minute sooner. Not only is this rude, but it puts this car and the cars around them at risk of receiving the wrong food because they are now out of order. We catch these instances more often than not, but it still adds stress and makes the other guests upset. Perhaps these guests feel like their wait is also unfair or unexplained, but if they look at the situation from the outside or from the restaurant's perspective, they would understand why they need to follow the blue Toyota.

The truth of the matter is that your perceived wait time is always going to be longer than your actual wait time if you can't take a minute to focus on something other than yourself. We all want instant gratification, I get it. But in reality, we have to wait for some things. It takes time to prepare a meal. It takes time to experience a ride at a theme park that everyone else wants to go on. It takes time to ring up groceries. It takes patience to live in this world.

So next time you find yourself waiting, take a minute to remember the difference between perceived and actual wait times. Think about the eight aspects of waiting that affect your perceived wait. Do what you can to realize why you are waiting or keep yourself occupied in this wait. Don't be impatient. That's no way to live your life.

Cover Image Credit:

Aranxa Esteve

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A Response to the proposed 3 californias, from a californian

The proposed "3 Californias" Bill is a joke, and not a very funny one.

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The proposed "3 Californias" Bill is a joke, and not a very funny one.

On November 6, 2018, the people of California will be voting. However, on this election day there will be something very new on the ballot: a proposal to split up California into 3 different states. The California we all know and love would be separated into 3 different states. Under this Bill the 3 states would be California, Northern California, and Southern California. Although many Californians can exaggerate and joke about the differences between the Northern and Southern parts of the state, most people would not want this official division.

This isn't the first time a variation of this Bill has been proposed. In 2013, venture capitalist, Tim Draper proposed a Bill that would separate California into 6 different states. However, this Bill did not receive enough support and never made it to the Ballot in 2016. A good majority of Californians saw this Bill as a joke. Why on earth would you want to separate 1 state into 6 pieces?

A few years later Tim Draper decided to revamp his failed Bill, this time with only splitting California into 3 pieces. With this revision, the Bill gained enough support to be on the ballot in 2018, which is how we ended up in this predicament.

Image result for 3 californias

So, why? Why exactly should we split our beloved state into 3 pieces? Tim Draper believes that California, as it is right now, is too large and therefore ungovernable. With so many counties and social landscapes, it is too difficult to address the needs of the state given its vast size and population.

I'll give Tim Draper this point. California is massive. Being the third biggest state by land and the state with the largest population, California has a lot to deal with. However, Draper has a hidden agenda, just like most politicians.

Draper's hidden agenda involves lessening California's political power. California has 55 electoral votes, the most of any other state due to its large population size. As a presidential candidate, winning California is a big deal. In the 21st century, California has been a key state for the Democratic Party. When taking a closer look at how Draper proposes splitting California, you see why this Bill is a problem.

Image result for 3 californias

Based on the map, the proposed 3 new states would be generally more even when it comes to past political party voting. Election races would become more competitive and close based on the how the borders of the states are drawn. By doing this, Draper is making it easier for the Republican Party. Additionally, this proposed plan is taking away California's political power. No longer would the state have 55 electoral votes. Rather, the 3 California's would become just like the rest of the states, not as a big of a win.

California is beloved because it has everything. From beaches to mountains, from large metropolitan areas to small rural towns, California has it all. Why would we divide the state when being whole is what makes it great?

The "3 Californias" Bill isn't just bad for the Democratic Party, but for all Californians.

Whether you're a Democrat or a Republican, we're all Californians. Let's keep it that way.

Cover Image Credit:

Caitlin O'Leary

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