Hey, all! First off, I wanted to thank all of you who emailed me wishing me well! That was a big surprise, and some of you had some wonderful and thought provoking things to say. Now, I didn’t post what was going on to look for pity…but usually my posts have some sort of theme or thought behind them–something I had seen or heard that day, something going on in my life or someone else’s–that gives me a thread to go on. My eye issue was inspiration to do a post about health related events. As we are on the note of my last post, well, the eye issue seems to be the beginnings of a detached retina due to my blood pressure. So I basically need to get the BP down, and hopefully that will keep me from having to have surgery. So this post is all about relaxing and enjoying life…we are all just too busy sometimes and miss out on some great opportunities to kick back and smell the roses!

Music and Dance!

I’m going to start out with an event that is a bit down the pike, but mark your calendars as it looks great! Thank you, Laurie, for the heads up! Painters in Brookhaven will be hosting a benefit with WPKN on September 14 featuring great acts such as Cathy Kreger, Marci Geller, The Thunderbird Sisters, and MORE…$10 admission.

TONIGHT! The last open mic night at Acoustic Long Island…get there early! Deepwells Mansion, St. James, FREE!
Thank you, Christopher, for the next two entries! For those of you who can’t get enough Jay Scott…well, I’ll just cut and paste here:
THIS THURSDAY August 28 at 8:00 Jay Scott & Grand Case Scenario, The Sun Gets Down and Rorie Kelly & More of the Mess – three up and coming Long Island acts on the same bill featuring their unique styles of original music. It’s the first time each group is playing at Lefty’s, a great Long Island venue, so support them and get your Labor Day Weekend started early! $10.00 Lefty’s Candlelight Bar & Grill – 543 W. Hoffman Ave, Lindenhurst www. leftysbar.com 631-225-5526
Monday September 1 at 12 Noon with WMJC 94.3 FMJay Scott Acoustic with Jason Tebaldi on 5-String Acoustic Fretless Bass. WMJC 94.3 Radio is hosting another in their series of “On Location” events featuring Long Island’s best original music, plus games, food, and prizes for the whole family! IT’S ALL FREE! Massapequa Nissan – 4500 Sunrise Highway, Massapequa

Sunday, August 31, Lil Cliff and the Cliffhangers will be playing at Bayard Cutting Arboretum, $6 to park. While you are there, make a point of checking out the mansion…it’s beautiful!

Saturday, Garnder County Park, 6PM–Tornado Alley will be playing! Ken “The Rocket” Korb has been known to pop in from time to time…make a point of checking this show out!

Thursday, August 28, 7:30PM at the Jones Beach Bandshell, the NYPD Jazz Ensemble will be playing for FREE!

Friday through Monday is the Mozart Festival at Old Westbury Gardens! $10 per person.

Movie Alert!

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is playing under the stars at Eisenhower Park Thursday night, 6PM.

Cinema Arts presents a screening of the classic oldie Greed with organ accompanyment by Ben Model. $9 per person! While on their site, don’t forget to check out the Theatre of the Wild!

The call of the wild!

Did you know that the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation does tours of their facility if you give them a small donation and if they have a biologist working that day? All donations go to the preservation and feeding of marine animals in their care!

There are a couple of good hikes to check out this holiday weekend…Saturday, August 30, 9AM at Lakeland County Park, and Sunday, August 31, 4PM at Sunken Meadow Park. For more info, check out http://www.hikeli.org/ or call 631.567.9484.

These Peconic Estuary Cruises slightly exceed Cheap Date guidelines, but are definitely worth checking out at http://www.americanbeautycruises.com/!

Shooting stars?

No, there are two fireworks shows this weekend! The Mother Cabrini Festival in Brentwood on August 31, and at the Main Beach in East Hampton on Aug 30!

Foodie alert!

One of my favorite places, the Soundview in Southold, has lunch specials that put you just over the Cheap Date guidelines at about $17 per person. I’ll take the liberty of cutting and pasting here: You may have heard of the Soundview Inn in Southold. Right on the water. In fact when the tide is in, it is over the water. Well anyway, they have a lunch special for $17 that you can eat off the porch over the water. I know it’s $2 over but it is worth it. Includes soup or salad and desert ( one is a crepe around ice cream with rasberries on top and whip cream). Thanks, James, for reminding me of that! While you are there, go around to the back of the hotel…you’ll see the big rock that Miss Chris likes to sit on and read and get her zen on as the tide comes in!

Cool sites worth mentioning…

PixerBog is a site for people to post pics taken with their camera phone…you’ll find everything and anything on here…some adult content, so be warned! Thanks, Webbleeper! Very funny!

One of the guys from my whale watching trip has a photography website, and sent over some amazing photos from the trip…I’ll post the pics separately, but check out his photos…very impressive! This is his old site…there is a new one under construction. I can’t wait to see it!

Worth checking out…

I didn’t get out much this weekend, but I did get over to the Maritime Museum early Sunday to check out the Seafood Festival…take a look at some of the photos, and my badly shot video of this great band called Stout…they do chanteys, bluegrass, etc…they were really good and you can catch them on the folk music circuit!

All for now! Please let me know if you have anything that should be posted here at cheap.date.long.island@gmail.com

Chat soon!

Pretend you wake up one morning with pain in one eye. You’ve had issues with this one eye for years and know that it is due to long term medical issues you have been having since your teen years. The day goes on and instead of feeling better, it feels worse. You call the doctor, they check you out, and then you hear the words no one likes to hear, “I don’t want to panic you, but…”
Miss Chris is having one of those days. I have been severely hypertensive for half my life (go figure!). I’ve been on meds on and off for about twenty years (off for the past year to detox) and have had to deal with some of the other issues that hypertension leads to…enlarged heart, kidney problems, bloating from oedema, and, of course, vision problems. I woke up with that pain in my eye this morning. I’ve been slowly losing my sight in my left eye for years, but today was very bad. I called the doc, got right in. I was thinking I had an eyelash stuck way up in my eyelid, or maybe there was some dust or an allergy causing a reaction. The doctor looked and uttered those words no one likes to hear. It turns out that my hypertension, which I had been so good about controlling for the past two years, had spiked with a vengeance…170/110. The pain in my eye was due to pressure, causing floaters and damage to my cornea. I get the pleasure of meeting my surgeon tomorrow bright and early.
Why am I telling you all this? It’s because there are so many healthy things to do that count as a Cheap Date! This edition is all about getting out and doing things that are good for you…both body and mind! (Well, maybe not all of the entries will be healthy, but a large majority will be!) So grab your hikers, leave the makeup off for the day, and do something good for yourself! You’ll be happy you did!

The call of the wild…

Sweetbriar Nature Center has (for the next few weeks only) a vivarium (a butterfly and moth house) that looks really cool! $3 per person, and photographers are welcome (reservations required and additional fees apply).View and identify (with the help of “who’s who” cards) over 20 species of lepidoptera!

August 25 brings the Windward Eco Sailing Program out in Montauk. FREE. While on the site, check out other upcoming events!

The Animal Farm Petting Zoo has lots to see and do for kids of all ages. $13.50 per person.

Fire Island National Seashore at Watch Hill has lots to do! With deer, pelagic birds, and other wildlife all around, there’s always something to see! Please, don’t feed the animals!

That’s it, walk it off…

With all sorts of parks in Suffolk County, there is always someplace to take a hike for people of all fitness levels and abilities! Many have dog runs as well!

Not into walking? Rather do something on two wheels instead of two feet? Bicycle Long Island has loads of resources for the mountain/trail bike enthusiast.

Prefer a HOG to something you have to pedal? The Long Island Motorcycle Fair is coming up September 9 at Riverhead Raceway!

Pick your own…

Many farms offer the opportunity to pick your own fruits and veggies. Now, most of you know how much I love farmstands! This is even better! And soon, it will be Miss Chris’ favorite time of year…pumpkin picking!!!!

Garden of Eve and Golden Earthworm Farms are two of my must stop at sort of places! Coming soon at Garden of Eve is their annual Garlic Festival! Make a point of checking out their cooperative programs as well as something to consider for next year!

Wanna get wet?

Empire Kayaks has rentals, lessons, and tours for all levels and budgets! Check them out!

Quioxtic quaffs!

Now this one exceeds Cheap Date guidelines, but it looks AWESOME and I have to give this a try! During the day, the Atlantis Explorer Tour Boat shuttles people to and fro doing nature tours. Several evenings over the summer the tour boat goes grown-up and hosts wine and cheese tours for $25 per person!

Shinn Estate Vineyards hosts tours of their vineyard, which uses sustainable means of growning their crops and produces organic wines. $8.50 per person includes wine tasting!

While on the topic of spirits and such, I wanted to thank Paul Brown who provided me with the location of a beverage center that carries organic beers such as Samuel Smiths, Eel River, Peak, Orlio, and Wolavers. 724 Montauk Highway, Bayport. (631) 472-9808. I’m trying to talk him into writing a weekly review of seasonal beers that I will post here. Please, readers, if you see Paul around, tell him he needs to do this! Thanks! (Methinks he is on the fence about doing a column for Cheap Date…but really…who knows more about beer? Paul, I’ll even get you business cards so you look official!)

BRADSTOCK! ‘Nuff said! I know it doesn’t meet guidelines…

Mind over matter…

And now, something I don’t normally do! Thank you, Jeremy, for sending this hilarious link to me about a writing contest all about crafting the worst opening line for a novel EVER! This is a MUST READ!

Don’t forget that the Long Island Maritime Museum is having its Seafood Festival fundraiser this weekend, and the Battle on the Bay will be going on as well!

Does your organization have an event that you would like the world to know about? Do you have an idea for something that should be on this blog? Email me at cheap.date.long.island@gmail.com! Don’t forget to check back often as I am constantly adding updates!

I saw this quote and was reminded of a song by Billy Jonas…”What Kind of Cat are You?” I have a bit of cat scratch fever right now! Yesterday, a flurry of emails were flying around between one of the librarians I work with, a work study, and myself…a kitten was found in a box, the work study could not keep it, none of the shelters would take it…what to do? Unfortunately, this puts me at FOUR cats, which is toeing the line at being the crazy cat lady of Patchogue! So, I am reaching out to you all…does anyone want a six week old kitten? She looks like she’s part Maine Coon, black and grey with mackerel markings, and takes no crap from anyone! She may be little, but she was putting my (much larger) cats in their place. She has a bit of an upper respiratory infection right now that I am working on clearing up. She is a MUSH, by the way, and loves to lay in your lap or on your chest…she will also follow you EVERYWHERE! I have dubbed her Poe for now, but you can name her anything you want (but if you name her anything really lame like Fluffy, Cookie, or Princess–DON’T TELL ME!). Someone, please adopt her! I have found homes for every homeless cat that has come my way…don’t let me break my lucky streak!
How could you refuse this little toughie?

Quick and dirty…
A few updates for this week! Phil Minissale will be at Bobbique this Thursday, August 21. I’ve mentioned him before on this blog. Listen to a true finger pickin’ blues prodigy and enjoy a wide variety of beers on tap and in bottles while you do.

The Riverhead Railroad Festival is August 23rd and 24th at the Railroad Museum of Long Island on Griffing Avenue. Admission is $6 per person and features live music, train rides, operating models, and special guests The Long Island Antique Power Association.

Sayville Marina Park hosts a free viewing of Grease on Saturday, August 23. Bring a lawn chair!

On Sunday, I Fish NY presents Children’s Saltwater Clinics, $8.

Also on Sunday, Sounds of the Rat Pack at 3pm, Sterling Glen (100 Landing Road), Roslyn. FREE!

Gotta run, but I’m already gathering info for the next post! If your organization has an event they would like to promote, or if you know of something I am missing, email me at cheap.date.long.island@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you!

I’ve been thinking a lot about fish lately. Did you know fish feel pain and suffer stress just like mammals and birds? How about the fact that there are more species of fish than all the species of amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals combined? Fish are simple critters. Just give them some water and food, maybe a fish of the opposite gender, and they are as thrilled as their little fish brains can get. Kind of sounds like me!

There’s another reason I’ve been thinking about fish. This weekend is the Seafood Festival at the Long Island Maritime Museum! $5 to get in, live music by acts such as Jack’s Waterfall and Karma Sutra, a pirate show, and more seafood than you could shake a fishing pole at! Do yourself a favor and preprint your ticket, and utilize the shuttle buses.

Not big on fish but still want to be near the bay? The Battle on the Bay takes place this weekend at Shorefront Park. Muscle boat enthusiasts and race fans, this is the event for you! Adrianna, thanks for the pics! You rock! See below!

Maybe you are done watching the Miss Geico kicking local power boat butt and decide that you could go for some good ol’ fashioned BBQ…head on down to Bobbique to get your pulled pork on (I really could have gotten naughty there, but I will restrain myself!) and enjoy the blues stylings of the Kerry Kearny Band.

Have a furbaby of the canine variety? Maybe you or/he she is in need of a new love. DogUp has a dating website for canine furbabies and their owners. After all, isn’t your best friend worth considering?

It’s here, it’s here! The Cinema Arts Centre’s Pay to Get Out Horror Marathon! Miss Chris loves getting her scare on!

The world’s oldest boy band, The Defibrillators, is playing at Bayard Cutting Arborteum this weekend! $6 to park!

What is better than this? Wine and dancing under the stars! Romance on the cheap! Vineyard 48, $10 per person! Reservations suggested!

Chatting about romance and wine, Palmer Vineyards has TWO great Cheap Dates this weekend! Cooking demonstrations and Writers on the Vine!

Phoenix Fine Arts Gallery is hosting its opening reception this weekend for American Dreams. While in Bellport, make a point of stopping in at Sugar Loaf Cafe!

Now, I NEVER thought I would say this, but this weekend at the Polish Festival, I ran across a polka band made up of guys around my age, and all just too adorable for words! TKO, you guys were great! So much fun! Please check below for my horribly shot video clip, and while you are at it, scroll below to see pics from the Polish Festival, and a special thank you to everyone at the Polish Hall! Everyone was so nice, and you guys under the beer tent were HILARIOUS! A special hello to my new gentlemen friends who kept me company while I photographed the band, and especially to Marty AKA Snake (you must look at this guy’s pic and tell me how much he channels Hunter S. Thompson!). Gentleman, if you want more pics, email me at cheap.date.long.island@gmail.com so I know where to send them!

James, my former professor and now colleaugue and friend, asked me to write the story of Lucky, our whale watching mascot. I promise, in a few days it will be here! I just want to make sure I can spend the time and do right by the little guy!

All for this edition. Make a point of stopping back to visit every few days as I am always adding new content as I get it. Chat soon!

Several of you had emailed me that you would like to see more pics from the trip. Please scroll on down to the bottom of the blog to see pics.

I’ve also included a bit of video (pretty much my first attempt, and I didn’t realize that you just press the button once and let it go…not hold it down, so I have lots of really short videos!) that show the proximity of the whales to the ship. Not sure if this upload will work, but let’s hope it does!

If you can’t play the video, click here to download Flash Player!

Foodie alert!
Talking about the ocean makes me think about sushi. I am a sushi addict (some of you who have been out with me know I have my very special chopsticks for the “chopstick-impaired”…they’re hinged! Who’s got it better than me?!) and if you catch sushi places either earlier in the day, or try to get there when they are running specials, it doesn’t have to be expensive! Takara in Islandia is a hidden gem in the Islandia Center strip mall. Sandwiched between the Starbucks and the huge Chinese buffet place, this is a place you really should make a point of visiting! Kotobuki in Hauppauge is THE place to go for sushi locally. Be prepared for a long wait as this place packs in! The Tai Show chain is also very good and worth a visit. One thing I want to remind you of is that it’s very easy to spend a lot of money at a sushi place. Read the menu carefully and ASK QUESTIONS! If you have a favorite sushi place you think I should know about, let me know!

Shipyard Brewery has just delivered its Pumpkin Ale locally. It’s only available for a short time, so get over to your local beverage center to try this yummy treat!

The Sayville Chocolatier has goodies for all tastes and budgets! From Gummi Fish to truffles, this shop can sell sweets by the piece, or make up custom trays for any occasion!

All for now, chat soon!

Two new add-ons!

My friend Laurie has been asking me to post this and I have been remiss! Elwoodstock is this weekend! If you are into some great live music and preserving the environment, this is a must attend event. Please, no alcohol or pets!

Another friend, Kevin Manning, is an astrophysicist and former NASA consultatnt who will be lecturing this Saturday at 7:30PM at Watch Hill, Fire Island about Astronomy for Everyone. I will tell you, he is amazing! He explains things so everyone can understand them, and you HAVE to see the telescope he uses…the best part is, he built it himself! Kevin, you NEED to get yourself a website so I can get more of your lectures, photos, and info on here! If anyone would like more info, email me, and I will relay your questions to him! For Fire Island Ferry info, click here!

I’m back…I survived my encounter with Moby Dick and company and had one of the best times of my life! I made some new friends, did a lot of thinking, and realized how small we all are in comparison to so many other things. I also realized that many things that people think about, say they are going to do, and never get around to can be the really special things, the adventures we’ve always wanted, but often we are just too afraid or lazy to jump in head first and pray that the waters don’t close in over our heads. I came home from this trip smelly, exhausted, sunburned, and covered in whale snot (did you realize that when whales exhale, it’s a combination on CO2, water vapor, and mucus? I didn’t…but it makes for a really pretty rainbow when the light hits it the right way!), but I have a new perspective on taking chances and doing the things your friends may try to talk you out of or the things that may scare you half to death -TRY IT ANYWAY! Even if you have to go it alone, even if it may be somewhat out of your budget, or you have a fear that whatever you are attempting is going to be an abysmal failure, it is better to look back on something and have gained an experience, learned something, and possibly have some incredible memories (and photos and video, in my case) than to regret the opportunity that you have let pass you by. Think about it…I could have spent my 39th birthday doing dinner and a movie with my friends. Instead, I was out on the ocean watching a humpback whale frolic off the back of the boat – putting its belly up, waving its flippers, and just putting on a whole show all within less than twenty feet from where I stood. Coming home, I grabbed my sleeping bag and watched the Persieds while laying on the top deck of the ship with my new friends and acquaintances, making wishes on all the shooting stars. (If you would like more info on the whale watching trip, would like to see some of the photos and videos, or would like to know more about CRESLI events, email me and I will get the info over to you!)

I also lost 5 pounds. I packed most of my own food (fruit, hard boiled eggs, bottled water, cheese), but what I really think did it was trying to keep balance on the boat. You don’t realize what a great workout it is for your core and legs…you just know you are really tired at the end of the day…but I just looked in the mirror and WOW, is my belly flatter and my legs are showing some great muscle tone!

On that note, I’d like to say that it’s ok to go out on the Cheap Dates I list here by yourself. I fly solo quite often (and often by choice). One thing I have noticed is that people generally are very nice, especially if they see that you have a common interest, whether it be music, art, food or what have you…let yourself be surprised by the chance encounters you have. I know we’ve all seen the t-shirts, but I’d like to remind you…LIFE IS GOOD!

A few more things to look forward to…
This weekend brings the newest installment of the Bellport Songwriter Series featuring Johnny Lee Jordan and The Corduroy Sky. $5 admission, seating for about 50 in a beautiful old building by the Great South Bay, with light refreshments available.

Tonight at Acoustic Long Island will be John Schmitt. Open mic at 8PM, show at 9PM. FREE at Deepwells Mansion, St. James.

The Electrix will be playing an acoustic set at the LI Bluegrass Festival this weekend. See my previous post for location and times.

Contemporary line dancing lessons tonite at the Jones Beach Bandshell. FREE.

Alive After Five closes out its season this Friday nite with 5 bands, 5 stages, outdoor dining, beer (it’s Patchogue, home of two great microbreweries…you would expect less?), face painting, craft vendors and kids’ events. Don’t forget to come on down and say hi to me at the Theatre table!

The Islip Arts Council has a couple of great concerts this week. Dont miss the Joel Sikowitz Dixieland Band, 6PM at Gardner County Park on August 16, and The Wes Houston Band at Bayard Cutting Arboretum at 2PM at Bayard Cutting Arboretum. $6 to park.

Movies!
Old Field Farm is hosting an outdoor viewing of Sweet Liberty on August 14 at 7:30PM. Bring a beach chair or blanket! FREE.

Deepwells Mansion is also hosting a free movie night on August 14th, but I can’t seem to find out what the movie will be. No one is answering the phone there, and all the websites say “TBA”. Call ahead for info.

Sounds like a chick flick men would enjoy…Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Woody Allen’s latest, is getting great buzz. Naughty, witty, and starring two of the hottest hotties today – Scarlett Johannson and Penelope Cruz (something for both the blonde and brunette fans out there!) – this movie seems to have something for both genders to enjoy! Starts August 15th at the Cinema Arts Center. Admission is usually around $9.

Speaking of Cinema Arts…did anyone check out the link I sent out last post about Fido? If not, SHAME ON YOU!!! If you like zombie movies like Shawn of the Dead, a high camp factor while getting your scare on, and hilarious pop culture references, this is a MUST SEE! Written by the same people who brought you Pleasantville, it’s a surrealistic look at people living in fear of zombies. Go to the previous post to see the trailer.

All for now! If you know of an upcoming event you would like me to post, let me know! Email me at cheap.date.long.island@gmail.com. Chat soon!

Now, before you all start thinking that I am switching teams here, I’m not. I just loved the wit and the reasoning in that line! The other night, I was upset, ate ice cream, went running in the rain, drank beer, and wrote. I rant, I vent, I swear off men…you know, the typical chick suffering from romantic angst sort of thing. I just have a bad habit of developing unrequited crushes. Over and over and over again. Usually, I’m the runner up while they’re pining for someone else, the one they spend time with while they wait for their “ideal” woman to be theirs. This time, it’s someone who is not looking for a girlfriend, just someone to have on speed dial in case they need a date for something (why do I get the feeling that there is also some kind of “ideal” that I’m not living up to here as well?). Well, I spent yesterday proverbially licking my wounds by commiserating with my friends (who have suggested I try meeting someone online, speed dating, and moving somewhere else as there has to be something in the water around here because all the people who are single these days have a REASON for being single…except for ME…there’s nothing wrong with ME…it’s the rest of the world that is crazy…yeah, sure, right! At least I embrace my flakiness and don’t live in denial of my issues! I’m loud, opinionated, emotional, and given to vice. I’m also extremely annoying sometimes, have a tendency to repeat myself and could stand to lose a few pounds. Other than that, I’m PERFECT!!!). As I have never been one to let dust settle under my feet, I have proceeded to do more research on things for you all to do for the next week or so while I am out on the high seas–scribbling in my notebook, drinking vodka, doing a lot of self-analysis as to why I am relationship impaired, and looking for Moby Dick. So, ahoy there mateys, Miss Chris is back with a vengeance!

Friends of Miss Chris
Now, I know I had said that I would not be posting cover bands in my blog, but His Boy Elroy is pretty darn good, they’re playing locally tonite, and I’m friends with the drummer. If you are looking for a band that plays all the songs you know from the radio…things you can sing along to, and get out on the dance floor and shake your groove thang…then get your groove thang down to the Handlebar in Port Jeff. The Handlebar, as some of you may know, was featured on the TV show “Kitchen Nightmares” with Chef Ramsay and renovated. No cover.

For those of you in Patchogue last night for Alive After 5, you are probably aware that it was a night of drama and wonderment. The torrential downpours and thunderstorms threatened to wash away the equipment, and the headliner at the Theatre stage cut his hand and had to be rushed to the hospital to get eight stitches. Suddenly, the clouds parted and not just one, but two rainbows appeared in the sky. The show went on, the crowds came back, and Jay Scott reappeared with his bandaged hand to play a set with his band. Speaking of Jay Scott, he’s playing tonite, 7 pm at the Patchogue Bandshell, no cover. Come on down and spend a beautiful night by the Great South Bay.

Support Long Island’s original music scene! The Long Island Original Music Festival will be held at the Vail Leavitt Music Hall in Riverhead on Friday, August 15 to commemorate the 39th anniversary of Woodstock (random fact: I was born three days before the original Woodstock Festival). See the aforementioned Jay Scott, Jessie Haynes, The Corduroy Sky, Chris Van Cott, Chris P. Cauley, John Brzoza, Rorie Kelly, Jordan Hope and Lisa Rose. Tickets are $15 each and are available at the door or through the East End Arts Council.

And a little more night music…
I get a lot of emails asking when the LI Philharmonic will be doing some free shows. This would be the week! Friday night, 8PM at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow; Saturday night, 8PM at Heckscher Park, Huntington. (Hey, galpals, we going?)

The Stony Brook Village Green will be hosting Sound Symphony Goes Out West on August 10th 6PM, FREE. I haven’t seen them myself, but have heard that they are very good. Plus, you will be in a beautiful area with the harbor on one side and the Stony Brook shops on the other. Get there early and get on over to Godiva for a little chocolate covered strawberry action, or visit the Grist Mill to get your history on.

August 16 brings us to the LI Bluegrass Festival. You KNOW I’ll be there!

And while enjoying some music underneath the night skies, don’t forget to look up. The Perseid Meteor showers are this week (pretty easy for me to remember as it’s always on my birthday!).

Art Farts and Culture Vultures
The Huntington Arts Council is hosting part 2 of its Members Show starting on August 14.

Ending this week…the Pollock Krasner exhibit at Gallery North. Don’t miss this one!

Goat Alley Gallery has some great things going on this week. Just check out the website…too much to list!

Catch up on some classic cinema! The Cinema Arts Centre is showing The Human Condition this week.

I’m scared…hold me!
Summer Camp Cinema…you know I can’t go a week without posting something about it. August 16th brings you Diary of the Dead and Fido. Please, just go to the link, click on the skull next to the movie listing and watch the trailer for Fido! I have to go see this! It looks HILARIOUS!

I want some kielbasa!
Ok, I know some of you had your mind go right into the gutter with that (Sean, Steve, Erin, Eric, and the rest of my perv friends…you know who you are, and you know I love you for it!), but coming up is the Riverhead Polish Festival. Buy a mug, grab a Polish beer, walk around, do a polka, and grab a pierogi and sauerkraut, kielbasa and horseradish. Most of you know that Miss Chris can get pretty ethnic when it comes to the whole Polish thing. Weight Watchers be damned when I’m there!

Talking about Polish food, get on over to Taste of Poland deli in N. Patchogue. The double smoked kielbasa is AWESOME!!!!!

Gotta run! Have a great week! Email me with any events you might have coming up at cheap.date.long.island@gmail.com!

As if you could not tell from tonight’s quote, I am back to hating men. I try to keep emotion out of my blog, but when you hold out hope that someone you have been spending time with might just find you interesting enough to spend some real time with shoots you down in flames, well, you get upset, crank up some Sam Cooke, eat some ice cream, proceed to walk about four miles in a thunderstorm to burn off the calories you just ingested, and then blog like crazy! If I was up to it, I’d be out singing melancholy tunes at karaoke, but I’d rather sit here and pour my heart out and hope that my single friends who read my blog will understand if I just stay home with my cats and write about some events that might interest them. In this post, the $30 per couple guideline is kicked to the curb…it’s a free for all tonite! I just can’t wait until I go away whale watching this weekend! No cell phone, no laptop, just me. sweats, books, my guitar, camera, and a couple of Blue Point growlers, and my iPod. I HAVE GIVEN UP!!!!!! I have resigned myself to the fact that I will continue to be the crazy cat lady of Patchogue. I just don’t get it. I’m cute, have my own place, a nice car, pay my own way, have a set of brass ones most people would envy. I guess I should be blonde, skinny, and dumb as a bag of rocks, with nothing to offer. Oh, enough of me venting…let me crank the Sam Cooke up a bit louder, indulge in a bit of vice (my beer), and get to work here! The Tennessee Waltz is on…I feel a bit more motivated now!
Oh, Lord…Another Saturday Night just came on…thank you, Sam Cooke, to reminding me of my plight! It’s another Saturday night and I ain’t got nobody, but I got some money ’cause I just got paid, how I wish I had someone to talk to, I’m in an awful way…(Ok, it’s Thursday, but I’m feeling sorry for myself!)
It’s Friday Night!
And as mentioned, Alive After 5 is back in full force! Come on down to put your child out there and display their talents at the library stage, Reckoning is at the Blue Point stage (Patchogue Hippies unite!), and of course, as previously mentioed, Jay Scott and others will be at the theatre stage. Come on down to say hi to me at the theatre table!
Christian McBride is playing in Huntington! If you don’t recognize the name you should! He is a jazz legend and has played with such luminaries as Diana Krall, Herbie Hancock, and Wynton Marsalis. Check this show out if you are in the area!
A Whole Lotta Led laser lite show will be at the Vanderbilt Planetarium Friday night! Led Zepplin fans, get on over and enjoy!
Brideshead Revisited is playing at Cinema Arts. A great story of religious conflict and passion, this is a movie to see.
Poetry open mic night at bj spoke gallery. ‘Nuff said.
Saturday Night Fever!
LITMA is hosting a house sing at 3PM. Click on the link for more info.
The Vail Leavitt Music Hall is hosting a staging of Hamlet this weekend. For nore info, click on the link.
Hemingway has decided that it is not ok for Mommy to drown her sorrows in writing and wants to provide kitty love….so I am signing off for a few days. I’ll be back in a few to give y’all some new things to do next weekend!

We can learn a lot from children. They can find endless entertainment in watching an anthill. To them, ice cream is a food group. The colors that matter can be found in a crayon box. Fantasy rules large, and reality is the domain of grown ups. Nothing is better than the day someone gets a new refrigerator and that box hits the curb…a box that becomes a castle, a spaceship, a “secret hideout” where icky boys are not allowed.

Then we grow up. We have jobs, car payments, homes, and the bills that go along with all that. Ants call for Raid. Ice cream is forbidden unless you do another 40 minutes on the treadmill. (And that 40 minutes on the treadmill is so we look good as boys aren’t quite so “icky” any more!) The childlike freedom of going outside the lines and instinctively reaching for the brightest color in front of us has been replaced with blue painter’s tape and swatches of off-white. That refrigerator box is a source of concern for us as we need to be “green” and recycle it (what could be more green than making it into a source of entertainment for a whole neighborhood of children?). We lose our grip on the things that made childhood so special. This entry is all about Cheap Dates that have the potential of making us feel like kids again…

Scary Movies!
Cinema Arts Centre presents its “Theatre of the Wild” with an outdoor viewing (at Heckscher Park, Huntington) of the original Phantom of the Opera (yes, the Lon Chaney one!) with orchestral accompaniment this Thursday, August 7. FREE ADMISSION!!!!

Cinema Arts’ Summer Camp Series will also be showing Blade and Blade II on Saturday, August 9 at 11PM. $9 per person for two flicks? C’mon…it’s a bargain! If 11PM is too late for you (or you’re afraid it’s too close to bedtime and will have nightmares), Wednesday, August 6th at 7:30PM will be a showing of Maniac, with the opportunity to meet the director (William B. Lustig) after the show.

Of course, scary movies may not be your thing. Brookhaven Amphitheatre will be hosting Shrek the Third on August 6, admission is only $5 per carload!

Eisenhower Park in East Meadow will be hosting an outdoor viewing of Grease on August 7. Bring a lawn chair!

Wanna play Cowboys and Indians?
The Paumanauke Indian Powwow is being held at Tanner Park this weekend, August 9 and 10 and it’s only $8 to get in! See traditional Indian dances, eat Indian food, listen to music!

Want to learn some more about Indians? The Shinnecock Nation Cultural Center and Museum has interactive tours and hands on displays. $8 per person to get in.

It may not be a campfire serenade, but Matty T’s has a karaoke night that would please any cowboy. With $3 Jager shots and $3 Killians, it would be very easy to drink enough to make anyone sound good…don’t forget to designate a driver!

Animal Crackers
Most petting zoos charge a small fortune to get into. Miss Chris has made it her business to feed her love of animals big and small and stay within Cheap Date’s guidelines. The Holtsville Ecology Center has a small zoo worth checking out…plus they offer classes and information on all sorts of things we can do to be good to the environment and reduce our carbon footprint. Admission is FREE, but please make a small donation for a good cause!

Sometimes one of your friends might get into a bit of a funk. Nothing gets people laughing more quickly than the tickle of a sheep’s mouth on their palm. The Sayville Garden Center is a hidden gem located right at 229 North Main Street (Montauk Highway). With pheasant, sheep, ducks, and other fauna coexisting with the flora, this is a Cheap Date fave!

All American…
Burgers, that is! One of Miss Chris’ absolute favorite places in the world is All-American Burger. Located by Rt. 107 and Merrick Road, this is a 50’s style burger joint that defies explanation. Just go there!

For a good cause…
Briarcliffe College is hosting “The Light of Hope”, a Relay for Life Luminary Ceremony to help fight cancer on August 6th from 7-11PM. Join the American Cancer Society and your community in the fight against cancer. For more information, log on to www.bcl.edu/hope.

Twist and shout!
Alive After 5 is back this Friday night. Five stages, five bands, great food, and a big block party atmosphere make this one of the can’t miss events of the summer. The Live in the Lobby stage will feature performances by Jay Scott and the Grand Case Scenario, Johnny Cuomo, Iridesense and more performers bringing you some of the best original live music around, courtesy of Long Island’s hot indie label, Paradiddle Records. This week looks to be a great one for all you Deadheads out there as well…the Reckoning will be appearing by the Blue Point beer tent. Grab your tie dye, Birkenstocks, and hula hoops (Hula hoops? Ummmm, yeah, just trust me on this one…) and come on down.

Jay Scott and the Grand Case Scenario will also be playing Shorefront Park with guests The Corduroy Sky on Saturday, August 9. If you have never heard Jay Scott sing, you are truly missing out. Bring a blanket or chair, kick your shoes off, feel the breeze coming off the bay and the grass between your toes while listening to one of the most soulful voices around. FREE ADMISSION!

Toby Walker will be playing at Bayard Cutting Arboretum Sunday, August 10th. ‘Nuff said!

And even though this does not meet Cheap Date’s guidelines, I just wanted to put it out there that Ticket to Ride is playing at the Patchogue Theatre for a limited engagement. Tickets start at $30, but there are discount tickets available in Newsday for $10 off, so you would only be $10 over budget for two people in the cheap seats (and there are NO bad seats at the Patchogue Theatre!).

All for now! If you have an event you’d like posted or have something to add, comment on, what have you…email me at cheap.date.long.island@gmail.com!