Now, I suppose you might be wondering why I made mention of Christmas here when it’s still October.  Apparently, the retail gods and television programmers must be living in a time warp that pitches them forward about a month and a half.  Pier 1 and Ikea are decked out in their festive best, and ABC Family is already advertising their “25 Days of Christmas” programming.  I, however, am still trying to squeeze in a few more days of wearing flip flops and sipping boat drinks…revelling in the fact that this week brings us to Halloween and my deck is done up with mini-pumpkins and cornstalks…and in denial that I’m hearing forecasts of possible snow flurries in the next day or so!  However, just because the cold weather is sneaking in does not mean that going out and having a good time is done for the year…just read on!

Life couldn’t be sweeter! 

Well, I have to tell you, Miss Chris has been one happy camper as of late…I’m feeling a whole lot better (drugs are a wonderful thing!), I’m a bit of a smitten kitten (it IS the men around here…I had to look outside the local area to meet my match…it’s not ME…I’m not difficult or dramatic…oh, not at all!  Just kidding!), and for fear of jinxing myself, all is good on many fronts!  But nothing is better than the sweet taste of chocolate, wine, and just plain old GOOD FOOD!  And on that note, besides Long Island Restaurant Week (from last post), Port Jefferson is hosting “A Taste of Port Jefferson” next week!  A bit over Cheap Date guidelines at $20 per person, there will be wine tasting, food sampling, and fun to be had all around!

The Stony Brook Village Center has LOTS going on this week!  From the Halloween Festival, to yoga, to a lecture about Long Island’s ghosts, this is your destination for fun without breaking the bank!  Make a point of visiting Godiva Chocolate…their dipping theatre is particularly bewitching this week with their Strawberry Ghosts dipping event!

Eeeeek! A black cat just crossed my path!

As the adopted mom of four furbabies, vet care is a topic that is near and dear to my heart (that and cat breath mints and pet stain remover for when they get spiteful when Mommy’s a stay-out-late!).  PAWS provides low cost spaying/neutering and additional vet care and they do wonderful things to help animals of all kinds.   If low cost vet care is not a priority to you, but you appreciate what they do, make a donation!

Petco offers low cost vaccinations and pet insurance.  Check your local store for dates and times!

Is that a mask you’re wearing, or are you just happy to see me?

Well, this entry takes us into NYC, but it looks so good I can’t resist!  Ben, I’m copying and pasting…Thanks for the heads up!  Weds, Oct 29 at 7:00pm – Lon Chaney in “The Phantom of the Opera” at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle – pipe organ. Columbus Ave & 60th St., NYC – suggested donation $3 – http://www.stpaultheapostle.org

Summer Camp Cinema at Cinema Arts hosts its annual Halloween Party with a showing of Blacula and Daughters of Darkness!

Is that James Woods?

No, they’re real woods to go hiking in (sorry, could not resist the Family Guy reference!), a lighthouse, and beautiful water views – and Paula from FINS has given me so much info that I’m spreading it out over a few weeks so it doesn’t get missed (and again, I’m going to copy and paste…) To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the lighting of the Fire Island Light, a grand celebration will be held on Saturday, November 1, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Fire Island Lighthouse. Exhibits, tours, special programs and demonstrations, music, kids’ crafts and of course, birthday cake will be the highlight of the day.  A free shuttle will be provided from Robert Moses State Park Field # 5 (small fee charged for parking).

The focus of Fire Island Lighthouse programs on Sunday, November 2, is on the future stewards of the lighthouse. A variety of Junior Ranger activities will be offered at the Fire Island Lighthouse. Kids will have a chance to earn new patches and badges as they participate in fun and games. For more information about this program, contact the Interpretation staff at 631-687-4765.

For more information about Fire Island National Seashore, visit the park’s web site at www.nps.gov/fiis.

The Three Village Historical Society is hosting walking tours…$5 per person!

Get your history on!

The Museum of American Airpower is a fun place for the kid in all of us…who hasn’t dreamed at least once of taking to the wild blue yonder in a vintage aircraft to relive the romance of the early aviation age?

After midnight…

The Smithtown Arts Council presents Midnight Oils, a collection of fine art paintings with a Halloween feel.

A little night music…

I’ve asked a friend of mine with a great ear for music to start contributing to this blog.  Coming soon, I am hoping that you will be seeing posts from Christopher (he of the Live in the Lobby Series and the Bellport Songwriter Series) letting us know even more about the independent music scene on LI!  (I’m still waiting for Paul Brown to pony up and write about microbrews…)

An open letter to Phil Butler

As I walked into work today, I was asked if I knew a Phil Butler.  I said, “Kind of.  We’ve met a few times with some of the events in Patchogue Village.”  Well, not all of us have had the distinction for being in the news for standing up for our views, and Mr. Butler was not only in the New York Times a while back, but is back in the news today with his decision that Grucci Fireworks would not participate in the local Boat Parade as it is no longer called the “Christmas Boat Parade”, but the “Holiday Boat Parade”.   I’d like to offer my views on the topic, if I may. 

I was raised Catholic.  I went to Catholic schools, and in college, I minored in theology.  I still consider myself a spiritual person, though I have wandered a bit from the Church these days.  I believe that Christmas is a holiday that has lost its meaning…but not through people wishing each other “Happy Holidays”.  I believe that the meaning of Christmas has gotten lost under mall Santas, TV programming, and crass commercialism that inspires the thought that we must all keep up with the Joneses.  If the studies proposed by many historians are correct, Jesus was actually born closer to the springtime, but his birth was hidden due to the persecutions of the day…so instead, Christians chose to celebrate the time of his birth in keeping with Pagan solstice celebrations (which also happened to coincide with other celebrations from many other cultures, and if we are going to get really into it, well the holly and mistletoe and evergreeens we use to decorate are actually a Pagan tradition, and Santa Claus was actually a Catholic saint from Asia Minor around 400 AD.).  What I am trying to say is that there are many different religions celebrating at that time of year.  We have Ramadan, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, and so many others (and there are quite a few).  Patchogue, of all areas, is a mixed salad of diverse faiths and cultures.  As we move into the holiday time of year, we should be embracing all faiths, not pushing one over another–and we should be opening our eyes and embracing the wonderful differences!  We can learn so much from each other.  Why take away a beautiful display that people of all backgrounds can enjoy WITH THEIR FAMILIES?  Just because you have a creche, he has a dreidle, and someone else lights lamps…are we all so different?  We celebrate our faiths in different ways, but it’s this time of year when we should all celebrate together.  When I decorate for the holidays in school, I have window clings for every group of students.  I have no problem if someone wishes me a “happy holiday” (or merry Christmas, or a blessed Yule, or a happy Hannukah).  When we push one faith over another, it excludes many people, including those that may be close friends or family.

Is it right to homogenize Christmas into a “one size fits all” holiday?  No, I would say not.  Christmas is a Christian holiday.  But instead of looking at a “holiday” scenario as something that is trying to take away one of the most cherished stories of that faith, wouldn’t it be nicer to think that to wish someone a “Happy Holiday” is instead an effort to make sure that you’ve acknowledged that they are celebrating a special event as well?  I’m far from a bleeding heart liberal…I believe that blue laws should be reinstated and that a family dinner is a tradition that seems to be sadly lost on our youth.  But to take away a wonderful event we can share together no matter what our upbringing and beliefs, doesn’t that go against what Christmas (and Hannukah, and Dinali, and so many others) is all about?

Al for now…I’ve decided to post often, but email weekly.  Keep checking back so you don’t miss a thing!  Have an event that should be here?  Email me at cheapdateli@gmail.com!

FINALLY…it’s starting to feel like Autumn!  I actually have a night at home with the furbabies to write, with a glass of (cheap) wine and a (fake) fire going in my (electric) fireplace.  This to me is the best time of year…a time to walk in the woods, have a hot caramel apple cider, and put on the flannel footie pajamas to crawl into a bed stacked high with fluffy blankets.  The smell of a (real) wood fire can be detected most nights, soup is a MUST, and hot, homestyle meals are something to look forward to on weekends!  And that thought brings me to…

Food of the Gods

Woohoo!  It’s here!  The third annual Long Island Restaurant Week is back with more great restaurants than ever!  Make sure you check each restaurant’s website for details, and MAKE RESERVATIONS!  Open Table is an online service that lets you make reservations with a few keystokes and mouse clicks…I swear by it!

For those of you not into dressing for dinner, well, I have a place for you!  I know I try to stay away from chains, but Buffalo Wild Wings has a myriad of sauces from mild to wild…plan it right and you can eat well for under $30!  My pick?  The buffalo ranch wrap…yummy!

It’s a great time of year for something that will stick to your bones…just real comfort food, if you know what I mean.  My honey has been hankering for sauerbraten since we got back from Oktoberfest a few weeks ago.  Karl Ehmer’s has it–to go–for about $22!

Looking for a wine hearty enough to stand up to steak, stew, and beef barley soup?  I found a great one and at $9.99 a bottle, it won’t break the bank (however, Hemingway, my bind cat who is a bit of a lush knocked over my wine glass and broke that!)…Protocolo (Italian, 2006) has a spicy nose, good legs, and I taste hints of black currant, licorice, and something leafy…not really sure.  Medium finish.  (Hey, the doctor told me I am supposed to drink one glass of red wine a day for my heart.  I’m just following the doctor’s orders!)  I found it at Houdek’s in Bayport…sign up for the mailing list for updates and coupons, as well as their picks…you can’t go wrong!

Prefer a nice microbrew?  The Brick House Brewery has a wonderful Pumpkin Spice that they serve in a glass with the rim dipped in lemon juice, cinnamon, and sugar.  Miss Chris looks forward to grabbing one of these with her salad really soon!

Black and blues

Well, yes, that would be me after tripping twice in the past week over my steam cleaner cord (hey, I like to keep a clean house!), but what I want to tell you about is my friend Jay’s (not that Jay) band, Smoking Gun!  Yes, they do covers, but the singer, what a voice!  They will be at the Brick (mentioned above) on Wednesday, the 29th.  Click on their link (it should be on the side of the blog) and check them out!  (Hey, Jay, you’re more tech savvy than me…no podcast?  What’s up with that?)

The University Cafe at Stony Brook will be hosting an Open Mic on October 29th!  Check them out…a very cool venue…

The Long Island Traditional Music Association will be hosting an open jam house concert, all are invited…bring a refreshment!

Did I mention in an earlier post that the Bellport Songwriter Series is featuring Hank Stone next up?  $5 gets you in the door!

I have an art on for you…

OK, naughty double entendre aside, there’s some great shows going on. Trying to impress the new flame?  How about an art gallery and then a great conversation over some coffee or tea?  (I’ll list coffee houses and tea rooms in a few minutes.)  The Huntington Arts Council has “InnerSpace” and “Truth”, Tulla Booth is featuring a favorites show, and fotofoto gallery is featuring the works of Seth Kalmowitz (this looks really good!).

Tea for two…

I love to meet up with friends for coffee.  Especially if you can sit outside and wrap your hands around a good cup of joe or tea and get a nice warm feeling while your face is feeling the nip in the air, the wind is tossing your hair a bit, and you can people watch (it’s so much fun to watch people!  You never know what you will see, and strange things happen when I’m around!).  Yes, Starbucks is nice, but I prefer places with a much more personal touch…places like Cool Beanz, Robinson’s Tea Room, Tiger Lily Cafe, Milk and Sugar, Pisces Cafe, and Urban Coffee in Huntington.  Many of these places have fireplaces and live music, check out the website before you go!

All for now…don’t forget to check the archives for other recent posts, and if VodPod is up and running, check out some of the performers I mention here!

Have an event that should be here?  Let me know at cheapdateli@gmail.com !

I hope that everyone realizes that I write this blog just for fun… I don’t take it too seriously.  I started it because I was constantly being asked what was going on over the weekend, could I recommend anything, where are the good places to go to eat, etc…  Finally, I had decided (along with some friends egging me on) that as I seem to be a vast warehouse of information of where to go and what to do (as well as being a frustrated writer with a complicated life that I just love to put out there for everyone to read about),  blogging was a great way for me to get that information out there.  It’s free, it’s the Wild West of writing, and I have a great time doing it. However, this thing just keeps growing and growing, more and more people are reading it, and I’m getting a ton of emails every week to put on here.  If I don’t list your event, I apologize; sometimes this can be a bit much to keep up with–BUT DON’T STOP SENDING THEM!!!!  I’ll keep doing my best to get all of your events out there.  And just wait til I figure out how to get this new platform to do all the things I want it to do–woohoo!

Do a little dance…

This weekend…the Bellport Songwriter Series is featuring Hank Stone…talk about a great show!  $5 at the door.

Acoustic Strings n’ Things at Mills Pond House every Wednesday but the first…FREE!

This sounds great and it’s FREE!  I’m again taking the liberty of cutting and pasting, this time from the Port Washington Library’s website:  26 SUNDAY–FOURTH ANNUAL CELEBRATION OF LONG ISLAND TALENT: Join John Platt, host WFUV’s Sunday Morning Breakfast, for an afternoon of homegrown talent featuring Caroline Doctorow, Johnny Cuomo, Lois Morton, Joe Iadanza and the Homegrown String Band — Georgianne and Rick Jackofsky and their daughters, Erica and Annalee. 2 p.m.

Bryan Lee will be at Bobbique in Patchogue on the 26th…order your tickets online and they’re only $15…they’ll be $20 at the door!

WoodSongs, the acclaimed folk music series, will be featuring Jakob Dylan and Minton Sparks, with Steve Robinson.  Order your tickets online…$12 gets you in the door!

Cathy Kreger and What It Iz at Elijah Churchill’s this weekend…Don’t miss great music AND great food all in one place!

Josh Charles with Ramshackle, Last Licks Cafe, $15 general admission.

While I’m on the topic…did you know Long Island has a guitar museum?  Admission is FREE!

The days of wine and roses…

A couple of cheap wine picks…my galpal Sandy always has this great wine on hand.  We had a cheap wine tasting party a few weeks ago and this was the clear winner…La Francesca  2005 Pinot Noir  Provincia Di Pavia Italy. (Orange color label and twist off cap).   She said she gets it for around $4 somewhere on the North Shore.

One of my favorite places to go on a Saturday is Mora’s Wine and Spirit Shop in Setauket.  Cute place, free wine tasting and noshie things, and wonderful picks make this a go-to spot for any wine lover!

All for now…this is two posts for the price of one (check the archives!).  Keep checking back for new add ons and updates, and don’t forget the new email cheapdateli@gmail.com!

I’ve given up fighting with Blogger for now…

Visit the new blog on WordPress…

https://cheapdateli.wordpress.com

I may be back…it depends on how goes the learning curve on WordPress!

  Miss Chris has decided to up the ante a bit…I’ve switched over to WordPress so I have the capabilities I’ve been looking for, plus there’s going to be more friendly URL’s and a much less cumbersome email address — cheapdateli@gmail.com! It’s going to take me a few weeks to learn the ins and outs of this new provider, get this thing up to where I want it, but I’ll still be working on getting the newest, hottest, coolest, and best unsung things to check out to you all on a weekly basis!  Just be patient as I get my bearings while working on the new site!

There’s just too many great things coming up this week for me to list them all, but I will get as many of them listed as possible for you so you can get out and get your Cheap Date on!

Culture vultures, rejoice!

The Charles P. Wang Center at Stonybrook University is presenting Hunger on October 23.  I’m going to take the liberty of cutting and pasting here: New York-based Japanese contemporary choreographers and dancers Eiko and Koma reunite with their protégés Charian and Peace, two Cambodian visual artists-turned-performers, to explore the visceral subject of hunger. Hunger revisits Eiko and Koma’s groundbreaking and controversial Grain, which explored this self-same theme more than 20 years ago. Now expanded to a quartet that incorporates Javanese Gamelan music and live painting, Hunger addresses not only our survival but also our essential desires: At any age, we are all hungry for knowledge, innocence, beauty, and intimacy.  $15 gets you in the door.  Reservations strongly suggested.

Also at the Wang Center will be a showing of The Shoe Fairy (doesn’t this sound right up my alley?).  Again, I am going to cut and paste: Winner, Best Art Direction, Taiwan Golden Horse Awards 2005
This quirky and surreal modern day fairy tale and satire unabashedly borrows from the tales of Hans Christian Anderson, CS Lewis, and even Antoine de Saint-Exupéry to tell the story of Dodo, a girl born without the ability to walk. Dodo lived a life listening to fairy tales and wondering, like her favorite character, the Little Mermaid, if she’ll have to sacrifice something dear to her in order to have a pair of walking feet. Following an operation, Dodo is capable of walking, running, and dancing like a fairy tale come true and develops a severe obsession with shoes which is unmatched until she begins dating Smiley Dentist. They marry and live happily ever after, but that is not quite the end of the story.

While in the area, check out Gallery North’s exhibit SB5–featuring the work of five emerging artists from the local area.  You can also check out the works of Jim Malloy and Sung Sook Setton at Christopher Gallery

The bj spoke gallery in Huntington has two exhibits that will be closing after next weekend…The Circus Comes to Town and The Embrace of the Imago: Fantasized Reality.

The Brookhaven Arts and Humanities Council is featuring their Open Juried Show at the Bald Hill Gallery until November 3.

Windmills and Lighthouses opens this weekend at Phoenix Fine Arts Gallery.

Single and hungry?

I’ve recently been researching Meetup, which is a social networking website of sorts. I already belong to the NYC Folk Music Meetup and the Long Island Dining Out Meetup (having their monthly get together this coming weekend at the Snapper Inn).  It’s great because it gives people with similar interests within a particular area the ability to get off the Internet and get together.  (Though the guy who was in the faerie costume on the home page when I just logged on truly frightened me…that image has been burned into my memories and I am sure will be giving me nightmares!)  As with any Internet social networking site, be Cyber Safe…don’t give out your personal information, and be mindful of what you tell your new friends!

Hispanic Heritage Month continues…

…and I have two events to get out there for you!  Briarcliffe College in Patchogue along with Suffolk County’s Office of Minority Affairs is hosting an Hispanic Heritage Event on the 24th, with featured speaker George Santiago (President of Briarcliffe College) and a buffet provided by Gallo Tropical (a Cheap Date fave!)

Also, Sol Y Sombra, a flamenco dance show, will be held at the Brentwood Public Library on the 26th…FREE!

Halloween happenings…

As mentioned on last post, the Long Island Maritime Museum will be hosting their annual Halloween Boat Burning on the 25th.  This is just really different and fun for the whole family.  $5 gets you in.

Deepwells Farm Historic Society is hosting events all weekend including a Halloween Decorating Party and Spooky House Tours…call (631) 862-2020  for more info.

I’m going to cut and paste a few things I found out there that meet Cheap Date LI’s guidelines for haunted houses (info courtesy of Explore LI):

Joe Allocco’s Franklin Square Horror: This haunted outdoor event takes place in Joe Allocco’s front yard, and this year Allocco will change what 2,000 people saw last year with a new mausoleum and a different cast of actors. The classics will stay, such as Allocco chasing everyone around with a real chain saw (but without the chain attached) and with Jason and Freddy Krueger making an entrance. “It gets bigger and bigger every year. It’s a real tradition here,” Allocco says. Donation for charity accepted. Open 7-11 p.m. Oct. 31. 1148 Norbay St., Franklin Square, 516-352-4250.

Valley Stream Haunted Firehouse: Come watch a frightening autopsy and have a photo taken of your own execution. Gary Shaw, a firefighter, suggests not bringing anyone under 8 or 9 years old, “And even they’ll be a little scared.” With an entire firehouse floor dedicated to the event, Shaw believes it’s the place to be. “If they enjoy a Halloween experience that they’ll come back year after year for, I think they’ll enjoy it,” he says. $10, $5 for children. Open 7-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 6-10 p.m. Sundays through Nov. 1 (extra hours Oct. 29-Nov. 1). 100 Brooklyn Ave., Valley Stream, 516-353-9637.

Festival of Frights: Features spooky stories, a scarecrow festival, haunted barn, pumpkin carving and a cemetery tour at Mulford Farm. Oct. 24-Oct. 30. Admission is free. James Lane at Montauk Highway, East Hampton, 631-324-6850.

The Haunted Inn: Built in 1773, the Haunted Inn has 200 years of history. The Inn burned down in 1921, killing two people who are said to roam the halls. Open Friday-Sunday through Oct. 19 and open daily Oct. 21 through Nov. 1. Fridays 7 p.m.-midnight, Saturdays 6 p.m.-1 a.m., Sundays 5 p.m.-10 p.m. The week of Halloween open 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Tickets are $15. 239 E. Montauk Highway, Hampton Bays, 631-728-4121; hauntedinnli.com.

North Babylon FD: Firehouse of Terror with sessions geared toward younger and older kids. Open Friday-Sunday through Halloween. Night session (ages 14 and up) is 7 p.m.- midnight Fridays and Saturdays, 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Sundays. Open 7 p.m.-midnight on Halloween. Admission is $12. Wallace Court (off Deer Park Ave. 1 mile north of Southern State Parkway), North Babylon.

North Lindenhurst Fire Department: Haunted firehouse tour: Open Friday-Sunday through Halloween. Saturday and Sunday day show from 1 p.m.- 4 p.m. ($6). Evening show is recommended for ages 12 and up. Admission is $9. 1630 Straight Path, North Lindenhurst.

Queens County Farm: Recommended for children ages 4-12. Hayrides, Halloween treats, mulled cider, pumpkins and apples available. Open Oct. 24, 26 and 31, 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Admission to the haunted house is $4; hayrides are $2. 73-50 Little Neck Pkwy., Floral Park, 718-347-3276; queensfarm.org.

All for now, you kooky cats…keep checking back for updates and to see what new things I add!  Have an event?  Email me at cheapdateli@gmail.com!

I have been on the phone all night listening to people with computer problems and trying to help them. I’ve been trying to get to the bottom of error messages, explaining how to use wysiwygs and set up folders, and trying to help friends get their Internet back to where it was. Granted, I am working towards a Master’s in Library Science (which is a type of IT degree these days) but this was my one night off! I LOVE computers and how easy they have made many things, but I truly wish that we could go back to the way things were…no cell phones (how did we ever survive?), no email, and Blue Laws. I love Blue Laws! For those of you who are to young to remember, stores used to be closed on Sundays. The only things that were open were the supermarket (for a few hours), the druggist (same), the bakery (again, same), and families used to go to Church and have Sunday Dinner with the family (hence why I was thinking of my babcia…that’s grandmother in Polish for all you non-Polish folk! I miss her cucumber salad and her beets with beef bits and especially the cherry soda and cookies from D’Amicos in Brooklyn!). There was a much simpler time not so long ago, where the things that gave us so much joy were not quite as complicated as they are now. For a girl who loves her toys, I truly miss having nights where I could just crack open a book, make some tea, and unplug the RJ11 from the phone and have a quiet night! This edition is about things that could take place now and could have taken place then…some things have not changed! There are still some great places to hear live music, places to walk while holding someone’s hand, and great old movies to see again!

Oh, and the quote above? My babcia didn’t speak much English, though she tried. She spoke this strange pidgin language that was a combination of Polish and English that I called Ponglish. She has been gone for about eleven years now, but the one thing that can take me back oh so quickly is hearing my friends scream that at me (they thought it hilarious). That and hearing, “Ranoush? Ranoush? Kryzukna no he-ya…where Kryzukna? Where Kryzia?” In case you haven’t figured it out…Kryzukna and Kryzia are Little Christine and Chrissie in Polish…yup, that would be my name! Kind of sounds like I should be rooming with Nanook of the North!

Got a case of the blues…
Since I started the new drug therapy, I’ve been wired, a bit irritable, and very melancholy. (I did lose five pounds this week though…woohoo!) It’s a perfect week for me to go see a blues band. I’ll be able to relate! And I’m in luck…a great new blues band that is starting to get booked for more and more gigs is playing. I don’t usually post cover bands, but my buddy Jay F. is the drummer, and they really are good! Make a point of checking out Smokin’ Gun at the Handlebar in Port Jeff on the 18th! (Hey, Jay, what do I have to do to get a shout out for this blog on your site? Be nice!)

Speaking of Jay and Port Jeff, Jay Scott will be playing at Lulu’s Village Pub on Thursday!

Thursday, Phil Minissale will be playing at Bobbique and Friday at Cool Beanz! If you have not seen him, make a point of going…he is the future of blues! And with no cover on Thurs and a kick-butt beer list…how could you not? I may just pop down after I get off at the library!

Saw this great band at the last Lobby show…Last Charge of the Light Horse. To me, it sounds like what would happen if Phish and Cake had a baby…I have been playing the CD in my car since the show! It’s kind of jam band meets punk/alternative, and the singer definitely sounds like the singer from Cake. Just got an email from them…and I know it’s way early, but mark your calendars as they will be playing the Vail-Leavitt Music Hall on November 20.

It’s all Greek to me!
This weekend is the St. Paraskevi Greek Festival in Greenlawn! I love Greek food (though no one wants to be near me after I chow down on a gyro with extra onions and yogurt sauce!) and what better way to partake in the epicurean delights, the music, and maybe a little ouzo (I hope I spelled that right!)…Hey, Soren and Rich…I hope you’re reading this! Hopa! (And Mitch, since I do know that you read this regularly, tell your partners in crime!)

Lon Chaney, anyone?
Got an email from Ben Model…he’s the gentleman who plays at the Cinema Arts with the silent films, he also plays at the MoMA and is one of the very cool people mentioned on this blog a lot. He’s a very talented organist who plays accompaniment for those silent films I mention on here (If you haven’t gone to see one of these shows, you should! Back in the day, movies didn’t have soundtracks or even a voice track…they were silent and musicians would play in time with what was happening in the movie…). Well…Ben will be playing at Cinema Arts on the 28th with a showing of the flick “West of Zanzibar” with Lon Chaney! It’s (and Ben, I’m going to quote you) a creepfest not available on DVD! As I am a girl who loves old horror flicks, I may just have to end class early to see this!

Also at CAC, the Theatre of the Wild is presenting “Know Your Enemy” –a retrospective of American war propaganda. Sound lame? I don’t think so! Click on the link and you’ll see what I mean!

All for now! I’ll try and update again on Saturday before I go to Bruce’s fundraiser! Hope to see you all there!

You know the deal…have a gig? Email me at cheap.date.long.island@gmail.com! And please note…I am probably hooking the URL to a WordPress page in the near future, so I can get the best of a blog and a website at one time! Keep an eye out for the upcoming new, HOT site!

Ah, the autumn…the leaves are falling, the kids are in school, the temperature can’t make up its mind as to what it wants to do. For the next few days, it’s going to be incredibly beautiful outside…much too pretty to spend your days cooped up indoors! Pretty soon, our Indian Summer will be replaced with bitter temps and our leaf peeping with hot toddies by the fireplace. I love all the seasons, but to me there is nothing better than the time of year when it’s just too nice not to take a walk during the day and feel the wind and sun on my face; at night I cozy up with a shawl and some tea in front of the fire to dissipate the slight chill that now is about. Days like these are the ones I wait all year for!

Of course, I had a reason for the quote I listed above…have you ever pondered about something that just does not have an answer? Something that most people would find ludicrous or just plain silly? Like why the commercials for Kentucky Fried Chicken sometimes play “Sweet Home Alabama” in the background? Why if men are from Mars and women are from Venus, wouldn’t we all be aliens? Why are golf clothes so hideous? Why people like me have not had their laptops taken away by their friends yet? I question everything these days…

These boots were made for walking…
There are lots of great places to get out and see the leaves changing color! I’m a leaf peeper myself, and I have missed some of the brilliance of the maples, but my daily walks in the woods are proving to be a visual treat. Check out the following parks for a hike or picnic:

Lakeland County Park with its boardwalks is handicap accessible and wheelchair friendly as is El’s Trail.

West Hills features the Walt Whitman Trail and Jayne’s Hill, the highest point on Long Island.

The William Floyd Estate is still open, and FREE house tours are available from 10-4. There are some in depth programs as well, including Three Centuries of Floyd Furniture and Old Mastic House: Simple Architectural Tour. Call 631-399-2030 for more info! (Note to my design students…this would count as extra credit on your project!)

Make me laugh!
Home movies can be a great way of capturing some of life’s sweetest (and some bittersweet) moments. Cimema Arts is presenting Home Movie Day! Click on the link to find out more, or if you have a movie you might like to present!

I’m kind of bummed as I found out about a cool event these guys had going on a wee bit too late! This one I’m going to post kind of early so you can make plans…The Silent Clowns film series is the longest one of its kind in NYC…coming up is a Halloween special featuring John Barrymore in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on the 26th.

Walk to the beat of your own drummer…
The Staller Center presents the Contemporary Chamber Players–Percussion Plus on Wednesday, October 15. No ticket information is given for the others in this series, so I’m willing to bet it’s FREE!

Now, this one exceeds Cheap Date guidelines, but I’m putting it out there as it’s worth a mention…advance tickets for Marshall Crenshaw at University Cafe are $25 each…he’ll be there on the 19th.

On Saturday the 18th, Lara Herscovitch and David Bailey at the Hard Luck Cafe, $10 per person.

Caroline Doctorow will be playing at the Amvets Hall #18 on Carlton Avenue in East Islip on the 18th. Not sure of the price, but she’s worth seeing!

Also on the 18th, a Miss Chris fave…Miller’s Crossing will be playing at Palmer Vineyards.

The Nancy Atlas Project will be at Stephen Talkhouse on Friday the 17th, $15 general admission.

The 18th also brings us Mary Lamont at Millhouse Inn.

Wow…these guys are still playing! The Moroccos will be at Brookhaven National Lab on the 18th! Order your tickets online and they are only $15 each (will be $20 at the door!).

On Saturday the 18 (Again! There’s just too much good music this weekend!) Shenole Latimer will be playing with Gail Storm at Sparky’s Texas BBQ.

We’re coming to get you…
Halloween happenings are going on all over! Here’s some family friendly events:

From the 30th-November 1st, the Long Island Ducks will be hosting a Haunted House at Citibank Park…$5 get you in the door. If you go on Halloween night, there will be QuackerJack’s Halloween Extravaganza ($10 per person) with costume contests, trick or treating, and Grucci fireworks!

BBGG Farms in St. James on 25A (North of Deepwells) has a great little pumpkin patch, crafts and plants for sale, a corn maze, and MORE! Free to get in, but everything is priced separately, so read the signs.

Also coming soon…the Long Island Maritime Museum’s Annual Halloween Boat Burning! I never miss this!

The Girl Scouts present the Horrible Haunted Trail of Terror in Bayport for the next two weekends, $10 per child, adults FREE!

One more…the Cradle of Aviation is hosting Haunted Hangars…daytime is for the kiddies, but the nighttime is for the groovie ghoulies like me! (Hey, anyone else remember that cartoon? That was one of my all time favorites as a kid! And for those of you who know me now, you’re probably all thinking, “Why does that NOT surprise me?)

Pumpkins and cornstalks and mums, oh my…
I started new medication for my thyroid a few days ago (THAT was what was causing all the other problems…my thyroid shut down! Who would have thought? Now I have to take synthetic hormones to get my pituitary to slow down…mood swings are supposed to be one of the side effects. Wonderful…This is what the new man in my life gets to deal with, me swinging wildly from teddy bear to Godzilla. Get yer boxing gloves ready, honey!) and I was WIRED today! I rearranged all the furniture, scrubbed everything down, and did up my deck for the season…I was all hopped up! I got all of my plants and cornstalks at Daisy Garden in Bayport…I LOVE THIS PLACE! Mums for $2.50 each, cornstalks for $7, how can you go wrong? (However, trying to get the cornstalks home was a bit more problematic as they were over 8′ high and I drive a Yaris hatchback…a lot of people got a good laugh seeing my little tiny speck of a car driving home at fifteen miles an hour with the hatch open, the hazards on, and about four feet of cornstalks sticking out the back…)

For Bruce…
As I had mentioed in last post, there will be a benefit for Bruce Parker this weekend at the Off-Key Tikki in Patchogue, $10 gets you in. I’m asking you all to do me a favor and try to attend (including all of you that don’t know me personally, don’t know Bruce, etc…). I know the guy. He’s incredible. One of the nicest guys I know. Make a point of going. Email me if you have questions.

Ok, you kooky cats, all for now. You know the routine…if you have an event that should be here, let me know at cheap.date.long.island@gmail.com.

Boy, howdy! This is turning out to be some week for me. I’ve been dealing with some personal drama (no, not going to talk about it here, but to my good friends…thank you for being there for me! It helps to be able to talk sometimes!) and I’ve been really stressed out. This blog has actually been one of the bright points this week. Quite a few people have told me how much they like it, and I’ve been INUNDATED with emails of things to post on here. As I am a frustrated writer (I’ve been working on a compendium of short stories I’ve written for a few years now that I’d love to get published, but there’s something kind of cool about having that unfinished book that you want to finish, PLUS I do get pieces published here and there with my freelance gigs, so I do get some gratification!), seeing all the emails lets me know that people really do read this thing and that THEY LIKE IT–It’s a good feeling!

Quirky, but cool!
I’m going to list for you some sites that are just really neat for all sorts of reasons…

One of my library amigos told me about this really cool site called Pandora–it’s an intuitive online radio station that lets you load songs up and then starts recommending songs based on your picks.

Looking to track the latest tropical storm? Click here!

How about video tutorials on everything from C# to erotic massage? Yobler has the answer!

I’m not even going to try to explain The Museum of the Obvious!

For a good cause…
Most of you have no idea who Bruce Parker is. That’s okay, I’ll fill you in. Bruce is one of the nicest guys to ever walk the planet. If you have been to one of the Patchogue Riverfront Committee events (such as the SeaFair), Bruce has touched your life as well. He is always the first person to jump in and help someone, and now it’s time to help him by attending a fundraiser in his honor on October 18 at the Off Key Tikki. For more info, take a look at the postcard/flyer below:

Rock and roll hoochie koo…
This little hoochie mama (and I mean that in a nice way) has been hearing about some great acts coming our way…
Raina Rose at Once and For All in Patchogue on Thursday, October 9.

Johnny Cuomo at Grounds and Sounds Cafe on Friday, October 10.

Homegrown String Band at Heckscher Park this weekend…love them!

Iain Campbell Smith Saturday night at the Eclectic Cafe.

Bob Malenky at a house concert on October 10, reservations required. Call 212-662-6575.

Ghost stories!
Here’s a spot for the whole family…White Post Farms does child friendly hayrides, $8 per person, FREE during the week!

This one is great, from what I hear! Camp Pa Qua Tuck does a spooky walk that gets a five bat rating!

This sounds cool…a brand new Halloween adventure! The Twilight Pumpkin Spectacular features over 3,000 lit up jack o’ lanterns…I must see this!
Apple dumplings…
October 11 and 12 brings us Mill Neck Manor’s Fall Harvest Festival! With a country store, baked goods, and a pumpkin patch, plus lots of things for kids…this is a must attend!
The Jericho Cider Mill is one of my favorite places this time of year!
Naughty cartoons!
The Cinema Arts Center brings you some rather adult content this week in what would normally be thought of as a children’s format…The Dark Side of Dr. Seuss and another one that I will not put the title of here as this is strictly a PG format will be featured!
Life on an island…
is wonderful, to be sure! Thank you, Paula from FINS, who forwarded so much to me…as this one is relevent right now, I’ll take the liberty of cutting and pasting right now:
Special Fire Island Lighthouse programs in October include the Columbus Day Hike, at 11 a.m. on Monday, October 13, and Ghost Stories and Legends of Fire Island, to be held at 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 25. Both of these programs are free.
I’ll add more of Paula’s info as the time comes!
Now, I promised I’d do a Best and Worst Dive Bar edition…I could name a few, to be sure! But I’m reaching out to all of you–tell me about the best and worst dive bars you have found. Feel free to elaborate!
All for now…I’ll be back in a few days with lots more! Got something that should be here? Let me know at cheap.date.long.island@gmail.com! (By the way…the spacing issues are something with Blogger! I keep going in and fixing the HTML, but mysterious tags keep magically appearing! UGH!!!!