I’m back, but WordPress is still twitchy, so we’ll see how far I get before I give up!  Scroll down to the previous post for the musical gigs for the week, and just look below for other Cheap Date ideas for this week!

By the way…no local job offers as of yet, but a few prospects in NYC…

I love a parade…

The Patchogue St. Pat’s Day Parade was postponed due to rain and will be held this Sunday, 4/5 at 2PM.  This is one of the big ones, and Brick House Brewery and Blue Point usually set up outside tents so you can enjoy a brew while watching the festivities.  Single ladies…there will be lots of men in kilts…and the weather report is saying slightly windy conditions, so be advised–those with a delicate sensibility may wish to avert their eyes!

Poets and pontificators

Unleash your inner writer!  There are poetry jams and writing workshops all over this Isle of Long!  You just have to know where to find them.  Many cater to special interests as well–women’s groups, Spanish speaking, youth…it’s all out there just waiting for YOU!  Click here to view the most recent calendar!

Hop to it!

I’ve gotten some complaints that I feature too much blues, folk, and acoustic jams on here and need to branch out a bit…so here goes!  LI is not exactly the bastion of the hip hop world, BUT since Brooklyn and Queens are part of LI (though they might not like to admit it!) I’ve found a link that lists hip hop gigs by day and place…if anyone happens to check any of these out, let me know if they are worth posting on a weekly basis!

My Latino friends, I haven’t forgotten about you! Some of my best memories involve salsa lessons after work at the Winner’s Circle.  Get your cha-cha on at one of the places I found on this site devoted to Latin dance halls on LI!  (Most of these places have a mixed crowd, 30’s and 40’s…all that matters is getting out there and dancing–and trust me, the dance floor usually packs in!  It doesn’t matter how good you are-or aren’t!)

Country lovers, you probably know about this place…but for a great night out, I’ve had more fun than I could possibly tell you at Matty T’s!  Expect to be grabbed by a local cowboy or cowgirl for the two-step!  Everyone dances!

Even rockers and metalheads have a venue to call their own!  Back in the day, there was a quaint nightclub called Sundance in Bayshore.  It was a cute little place that featured folk music…NOT!!!  Back in the day, Sundance was a place where people wore leather and spandex, spiked belts, and it was hard to tell who had bigger hair–the men or women!  Acts that played the old Sundance were as varied as Twisted Sister, Blue Oyster Cult, Keel, Manowar, Motorhead, and Cinderella (all of which I saw there).  Similar to the old L’Amour (still alive and kicking in Staten Island, believe it or not!), the NEW Sundance seems to be keeping it real by presenting live metal acts as well as cover bands (hey, they have to pay the bills somehow!), and could it be?!–attracting some of the very same clientele they had back in the 80’s!  (I’ve also heard that some of the clientele LOOKS exactly the same as they did in the 80’s, except older…)

Art farts

A few gallery shows that have come to my attention as of late–Tulla Booth’s “Love and Politics” photography exhibit…the Nassau County Museum of Art is featuring Babar’s Museum of Art, featuring the beloved children’s characters…and the Islip Art Museum presents Idea Lab–Women’s Studio Workspace–featuring female artists’ works on paper.

Take a hike!

The Long Island Greenbelt Association just updated their site to include the April calendar…hikes vary from easy to moderate.  Now’s the time to start getting out in the sunshine and start burning off those pounds most of us gained over the winter!

CRESLI’s seal walk hikes will be ending soon…don’t miss out!

Fire Island National Seashore will be hosting its Signs of Spring walking tour on April 11.  Reservations are required and this event fills up fast! However, there is still room for their Tea in the Lighthouse Keeper’s Quarters scheduled for April 4!

All for now, you kooky cats!  Have a gig or an event that should be featured here?  Let me know at cheapdateli@gmail.com!  Chat soon!


Ah, the prospect of being (relatively) jobless!  Considering I also teach at two schools, it’s unlikely I’ll ever be completely unemployed, but it’s going to be a tough time for me to pay my bills…at least I have until May 1st to try and find something!  Add to that, I’m the queen of knowing where to go on the cheap, so I really don’t think it will be as bad for me as for some people!  Just to let you all know, I’m going to keep posting my employment status, as the way to find a new job in this economy is by networking and letting people know what is going on…so if anyone has any leads (for legitimate work…preferably writing, marketing, cultural arts, or a library gig) I’m welcoming any and all emails!  And now…what you all read this for…

Gigs and open mics

Starting this week off right, the Sunday Street Acoustic Series brings you Brooks Williams and Beaucoup Blue. A bit over budget but worth it, tickets are $20 in advance; $25 at the door.   Free Grass Union will be at Fadeley’s…come on down after the parade!  (Patchogue always runs their St. Pat’s Parade about two weeks after the holiday.)

On Tuesday, the usual open mic gig at Napper Tandy’s

Wednesday is shaping up to be a great night!  Acoustic Long Island will be hosting Brooke Campbell and Caleb Hawley….FREE.  Buddy Merriam and Back Roads will be at the Checkmate Inn, and WoodSongs at the Movies will be hosting a live performance by Denise Romas…tix are FREE if you are a FMSHNY member or if you use your Optimum Rewards card.

Thursday brings us two great open mics…Joe Vicino’s at Toomey’s Tavern, and there will be one at E.B. Elliot’s as well.

Cathy Kreger will be at Hudson’s Mill Restaurant on Thursday as well.

On Friday, the Island Songwriters Showcase open mic at Border’s Café, Syosset. 8PM. There’s also the open mic by Liza Coppola at the Custer Institute in Southold.

PeaceSmiths Topical, A-Typical, Folk Music, Poetry and Whatever Coffeehouse features Phil Minissale this Friday, $7 suggested donation.

Don’t miss this one! Saints & Sinners Show: Blues at the Crossroads–featuring Toby Walker and Pat Wictor at The Garden Stage!

Saturday brings us to Grand Folk Railroad at The Cup Cafe, Wantagh. $1 cover.

Lucy Kaplansky returns to help the Folk Music Society of Huntington mark its 40th anniversary! The 8:30PM concert is preceded by an open mic at 7:30PM.  A bit over budget but worth it at $23 in advance; $25 at the door; $18 for FMSH members.

Rhythm Kings Acoustic Duo will be at The Bench

And next Sunday, Ian Tamblyn will be at the University Cafe!

Wine me, dine me…

Young’s Fine Wines will be hosting their Spring Fling on April 4th!  Best of all, this event is FREE!

Corey Creek Vineyards hosts a jelly and jam tasting every weekend…

And Duck Walk…part of the behemoth Pindar family of wineries, has barrel tastings for the month of April…I’m just going to take the liberty of cutting and pasting here: Celebrate the magnificent 2007 Vintage year…while the wine is still in barrel! Enjoy a 2007 red barrel tasting and production facility tour and bar tasting, Sundays at 2pm, at Duck Walk South. Groups welcome, please reserve. Information and reservations at (631) 726=7555 x4 or Pam@DuckWalk.com. Barrel Tasting, Tour & Tasting Sundays in April, 2pm Duck Walk South, Montauk Highway, Water Mill.

WordPress is acting rather twitchy and driving me nuts, so I’m signing off for now…I’ll be back later this week with updates!  The warm weather is coming, so let’s take it outside…I’ll be providing hiking info, gallery walks, and more…check back in a few days.  Chat soon, you kooky cats…have an event that should be here?  Email me at cheapdateli@gmail.com!  I look forward to hearing from you!

Boy, it’s been a heck of a week!  I found out I may be losing my day job (the one that actually pays my rent and such).  The pickings are rather slim out here on LI, and the only nibbles I am getting are in NYC…I really DON’T want to move back to the city!  (Not that there’s anything wrong with NYC, I grew up there, but I’ve become a real beach bum over the past few years!)  So before I get to the gigs and such, I’m just putting it out there that if you are looking for someone who is active in the arts, e-media, and/or writing, I may just be your gal!

Open mics and other gigs…

I apologize for the late posts this week…my life has been in an upheaval!  So, without further adeiu–

There are quite a few open mics…many are regular weekly deals, while others only pop up here and there.  Tuesday night at Napper Tandy’s starts the week off right…followed on Wednesdays at Cool Beanz…Thursday is jamming with THREE open mics–Joe Vicino’s open mic at Toomey’s Tavern; open mic night at E.B. Elliot’s on the Nautical Mile, Freeport, call John to reserve a spot, 516-524-9270; and a traditional Irish session at Maguire’s Public House, Woodside, Queens (you never know when you might see me at this one…considering I may be moving back to the area soon!).

This week is an amazing week gig-wise!  There are some wonderful acts I’m listing here that I am lucky enough to have seen, many more than once.  Do yourself a favor and check any of these out!

Wednesday kicks it all off when the amazingly talented Phil Minissale, a Piedmont-style blues guitarist plays Bobbique, no cover. 

On Friday, the Homegrown String Band plays The Grey Horse Tavern, a Miss Chris fave; Stuart Markus, the hardest working man around as far as I can tell, plays solo acoustic at The Clubhouse; and Jay Scott, friend of Miss Chris, plays Brickhouse Brewery, $5 cover.

This Saturday, Caroline Doctorow will be at Stephen Talkhouse, $10 door; a bit above budget, but still worth seeing is Gathering Time at Five Towns College at $20 a head; also above budget but an amazing performer worth ponying up the $25 to see–the amazing Christine Lavin will be at the Last Licks Cafe; Cathy Kreger of Lucky 13 will be at Elijah Churchill’s;  and the Kerry Kearney Band will be at the Boulton Center (and a bit over budget at $20 tix).

Don’t wine about being alone…

A bit above budget (but maybe you’ll meet someone to Cheap Date with!), a Single Mingle wine and beer tasting event! Sample and learn about a blind wine tasting game to mix and mingle with the crowd. “Date Match Cards” will be distributed and your “matches” will be provided to you the next day. Dancing with live entertainment upstairs at the City Cafe. Wine or beer samples, appetizers, icebreaker games and raffle prizes all included all for the price of $25 (in advance), $30 CASH at the door…FREE GIFT for the first 10 ladies to arrive!

This one is probably the best deals I’ve seen, and of course, it’s at Martha Clara Vineyards!  This Saturday, don’t miss their wine and chocolate pairing for just $5 per person!  Make your reservations now as these events sell out quickly!!!

Of course, Mora’s and Jazz n Grapes are doing their weekly FREE tastings…

Dinner and a movie…

The Cinema Arts Centre’s Theatre of the Wild presents Scott Walker-30 Century Man–a movie about the enigmatic former pop star who just released a shocking new album (The Drift) after a decade long silence.  Commentaries by fans such as David Bowie, Brian Eno, and Radiohead provide insight into his influence on today’s music scene.

The Staller Center still has a few tickets available for this weekend’s showing of Milk…get them before they sell out!

And talking about dinner…it’s not upscale, it’s not fancy, it’s certainly not Teller’s, but I found a great deal at J and R Steakhouse last week on my way back from the vineyards!  Make sure you check out the specials…for $11.99, you get a soup or salad, an entree, and a dessert!  I got the salad (nice size), the marinated Romanian skirt steak with garlic mashed potatoes and steamed veggies, and a bowl of rice pudding (also nice size).  Who knew? 

While we’re on the topic of food…did you know that many LI towns are having their own “Restaurant Week” this week or next?  The Hamptons start theirs this coming weekend, and though it’s $24.95 per person, when else are you going to dine at some of these great restaurants for this little coin?  I’ve heard that Smithtown and several others will be running their own…when I get more info, you’ll see it here!

All for now, you kooky cats!  I’m sure I’ll have some add-on’s later this week!

We’re GROWING!!!  We’ve surpassed my personal goal of 2,500 individual page views!  Stay tuned for photo albums, coupons, and sponsorship opportunities…we’re going to be moving to a full fledged website in the next few months (I.E.-get more traffic by having your logo and link on CDLI!)!!  Let’s keep this thing growing…tell your friends about this site!

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

I’ve got a few last minute add-ons for you all!

Bookworms, rejoice!

Martha Clara Vineyard is hosting a LI Book Fair this weekend…admission is FREE, just pay for your wine.  Meet local authors, buy their books, and have them signed!

While on the topic of wine, I just wanted to let you know there’s a new Meetup group for LI wine lovers ages 40 and up!  They’re having a gathering at Ciao Baby soon, so click here if you are interested in attending!

Think Spring!

CRESLI still has some openings for their seal walk this weekend…

This Saturday, there will be a Spring Equinox Scavenger Hunt: A Family Program, 10:00AM at Gardiner County Park in West Bay Shore. It’s the END of winter! Join Seatuck’s Peter Walsh for a challenging scavenger hunt that will have every member of the family looking for signs of spring and various natural (and un-natural) items. This is a great opportunity to get outside, observe the seasonal changes, and celebrate the Vernal Equinox! Presented by the Seatuck Environmental Association. Program is FREE but registration is required. Please call (631) 356-3681 to register or for more information.

Hot gigs!

I’ll just post my picks all quick and dirty…

Friday:  Movement will be at Once and For All (about time you got a website!!!), KGB will be at The Velvet Lounge, and The Equinox Explanations (no website, Facebook, or MySpace?) will be at Brookhaven Labs.

Saturday:  Buddy Merriam & Back Roads Bluegrass & BBQ at Fatty Belt Buckles, Nina Et cetera at The Brickhouse Brewery, and Ahmad Ali at Jamesport Vineyard.

Got a gig or an event that should be here?  Email me at cheapdateli@gmail.com.  All for now!  Chat soon, you kooky cats!

The best of upcoming gigs, gallery exhibits, etc, will be right after this open letter from ME–

Okay, folks, I’m hopping up on my soapbox here to give you some info about the state of the economy and its impact on the arts:

A few weeks ago, I was up in Albany lobbying with the LI arts councils to try and keep our funding from being cut.  We weren’t asking for extra monies, we weren’t looking for special treatment.  All we asked was that our funding be cut proportionately with other special interest groups across the board.  Instead, on the way back, we recieved a call saying that NYS cut arts funding by $7 million.

This week, the County Executive’s office put out a press release stating that some of the monies would be restored at County level.  I noticed a glaring omission…the Brookhaven Arts and Humanities Council (of which I am a board member) was NOT on that list.  (I do their blog as well…check it out by clicking here.)  Now, I did NOT get this little bit of gossip from the BAHC, but thru the vast network of people I know, and apparently some people in politics have a beef with some people who USED to be on the board.  These people are long gone, but the grudge continues.  Without any funding, the BAHC will be unable to subsidize some of the other, smaller arts councils that are responsible for bringing you lots of the events I post here…like FREE movie nights at the parks, FREE concerts, and other low cost, family friendly happenings.

I am looking to organize a fundraiser to help keep the BAHC afloat.  I am asking the musicians and artists who find their names splashed across these posts to consider donating a gig or their skills (and I know it’s a tough economy and we would all like to get paid, but sometimes we have to bite the bullet, and one gig won’t make or break anyone!) as I am contemplating trying to get an open air concert/art show going.  I will be looking for all venues of music…from bluegrass to jam bands.  Email me at cheapdateli@gmail.com to find out where to send a demo.  Artists…I’m looking for you to share your craft–maybe you could teach a workshop; if your medium is too labor intensive, then maybe you would consider donating a percentage of your sales.  I want to create an event where people can bring a picnic basket, their kids, a date, whatever, and make a day of it.  I want to see the local hippies in their tie dye and hula hoops grooving to the jam bands.  I want it to be a day where artists from all over LI (and those who appreciate the arts) will celebrate our creative spirit.  Those of you who know me and are active in the arts world…rest assured, you will be hearing from me!

Let me have your thoughts, people!!!!

Wine me, dine me…

…get yer mind out of the gutter!  This is a strictly PG show I run here!

Mora’s Wines will be hosting a tasting of Osprey’s Dominion wines on Saturday, March 21, and will have live music as well.  As always, this event is FREE!  Also on Saturday, Jazz n Grapes will be hosting the Danny Wolf Trio and doing tastings…FREE!

There will be one last trolley tour of the wineries next weekend as well…I know, it’s over budget, but if you break it down, it’s 4 wineries and you don’t have to drive!  How cool is that?

I’m getting on my soapbox for one last statement.  Why are so many LI wineries pricing themselves out of the typical consumer’s price range?  I realize that it’s gotten much more expensive to produce wines, and that the wines have gotten significantly better.  However, it used to be that I was able to head on out with $20 in my pocket, go to a tasting, buy a bottle or two, and make a day of it.  Now I have to search for wine events that won’t cost a bundle.  The last time I went to a winery without checking for an event it ran my friend and I $30 for two tastings (granted, he got the ice wine which is always expensive…).  Add to that I can often find the wines local vintners are selling at a lower price at my neighborhood wine merchant.  I love my wine, and I love the wineries…please don’t price yourselves out of reach of us common folk!

Point and shoot

I just popped in to the  50 Years On The Front Lines:  Phillip Jones Griffiths Photographs exhibit at Briarcliffe College on my way out of the library today.  Karen Ferb and the rest of the Patchogue Arts Council did an amazing job on this show!  Kudos to you all!  These pictures vary from surreal to extremely graphic and disturbing.  This show is not for those with a sensitive stomach.  The one that particulaly struck me was one of an injured woman, face wrapped in bandages, with a charred arm bearing a tag of “VC FEMALE”.  War is hell, and this exhibit brings that point front and center.

Gallery 4222 has a new show called “The Playroom” and features works by Kevin A. Garcia, Owens, Roberto Perinuzzi, Stelios, Pedro A. Sousa, and Damon Tommolino.  I love the photo on the website…I will definitely have to check this out!

EXPO 28: International Juried Com Petition Winners Show at bj spoke gallery will be ending soon.  Don’t miss it!

Support up and coming artists!  Art-trium is hosting the High Arts Showcase V and features the best local young talent around.

Poetry jamz

Poetry is an art form that is hip and happening.  Spoken word, slam poets, and all forms of prose and verse are still an underground movement here on LI.  Like many open mics, it’s the artists who keep this going, and they are the ones who attend most of these events.  Do your part to keep this growing by either attending a jam or channeling your inner Shakespeare by attending a writing workshop!  Poetz is my source for finding out where these events will be held!

Speaking of open mics…

I had the pleasure of meeting Joe Vicino last night.  Unfortunately, I was on my way out the door as I had to work today, and I was a bit loopy as I had two brews on an empty stomach.  He was playing at Bobbique and the band was tight!  Even sitting in the back room, I was able to tell that this group of musicians was “well seasoned”.   Joe runs open mics at Toomey’s Tavern…pop on down for some smoking blues!

(Note:  Great music, two dinners, and four brews ran $40…and one of those brews was $16-and worth it!  That was the bill at Bobbique last night.)

Cool Beanz has an open mic this Tuesday, $1 cover.  Also on Tuesday, Napper Tandy’s will be hosting one as well!

This Thursday, Acoustic Strings and Things will be at Mills Pond House…Original Voices at the Vail at the Vail-Leavitt Music Hall…and EB Elliots has an open mic as well.

This one is more of a workshop than an open mic…but everyone plays! Jazz in the Living Room is back! $5 to play, FREE to listen.

Guitar hero

Stuart Markus, probably the hardest working man on the LI music scene, will be playing Irish tunes at Union Station for St. Paddy’s Day.

Randall Williams will be at Our Times Coffeehouse this Friday…$15 door.

This Saturday will be rockin’!  FMSHNY’s Hard Luck Café series presents its second annual Island Songwriters Showcase concert featuring Frank Gambino, Jim Baron, Vincent Crici, Tim Dillon, David Bailey and Lois Morton. $10; $7 for members…Grand Folk Railroad will be at Perk Place Cafe…and Rhythm Kings Acoustic Duo (another band that seems to be everywhere) will perform at Grey Horse Tavern.

I know this is one long post, but I had a lot to get out there…Got a gig or an event that should be here?  Let me know at cheapdateli@gmail.com.

Long live the LI arts scene!!!  Chat soon, you kooky cats!

It is an absolutely beautiful day outside, and I am just counting down the hours and minutes until I head on over to the luau at Martha Clara…life is GOOD!  If I can get some good pics, you may just see them here next week!

Rock me gently…

Musicwise, it’s shaping up to be a rather light week, which is good!  That way you can hit most of the events that are listed here instead of picking and choosing which ones look best!

If you read the last post, you know that I goofed on the date for the upcoming Live in the Lobby Show…which is THIS Thursday at 7:30…just hand me your money while you’re walking in the door! 

Also this Thursday, Canvas Open Mic Night, an evening of music and poetry hosted by Joe Iadanza, with performance by Phil Minissale, the Piedmont-style LI blues guitarist and singer-songwriter, performer sign-up at 7PM. $5 door.

Strings n’ Things Open Mic Night, Mills Pond House. Sign-up begins at 7:15PM.  FREE.

On Friday, Lucky 13 (Marci Geller, Cathy Kreger and Susan DeVita) plays the Grounds and Sounds Café at 8PM. $15 gets you in.

On Saturday, Johnny Cuomo and Julia Joseph share a bill at The Eclectic Café, preceded by an open mic at 7:30PM. $10 admission.

The days of wine and roses…

Now, this one is clearly over budget, but it includes a driver and tastings at four wineries, so if you break it down…it’s really just about $8 a winery per person!  On Sunday, March 8 and on the 15th, there will be a trolley tour of vineyards, and your tastings are included.

Mora’s is hosting a benefit next weekend for Save-A-Pet!  FREE wine tasting, buy the raffle tickets!  Prizes include a stay at Danford’s (a $450 value!).

Martha Clara always seems to have the coolest things going on!  Next weekend is the perfect girls’ day out with Wild Women on Wine 2! Just check out the website!

I know, short post, but I do have work to do…and I gotta get my act together for this luau tonite!  I’ll be back in a few days with lots more Cheap Dates!  Got a comment, or an event that should be here?  Let me know at cheapdateli@gmail.com.  Chat soon, you kooky cats!

I made a big fat oops again!  Live in the Lobby is NEXT Thursday, not this Thursday!  Come on down and see me sometime!

A couple of quick adds as well (don’t forget to check the two previous posts for great things to do this weekend!)–Marci Geller and Lucky 13 will be playing NEXT weekend at Grounds and Sounds Coffee House!  Sorry, Marci, for not getting this on here earlier…my brain has been mush lately!  Get you tickets online NOW!

Jazz n’ Grapes has partnered with Ameriprise to bring to you a series of FREE business workshops which include a wine tasting at the reception…registration is required, so click here to find out more!

CRESLI still has some seal walks going on!  Make your reservations now before it’s too late!  If you don’t think this is worth the time, just look at the photos!

All for now!  I’ll be back Saturday with more of the latest and greatest!  Chat soon!

I am snowbound today, and busy IM-ing my friends on Facebook, waiting for some call backs from neighbors to see if they want to strap on their skis…grab the dogs…and have “dogsled races” (don’t ask, it started as a drunken lark back in 2001), and just remembered–hey, it’s Monday!  I have additional gigs to add to last Saturday’s post!


This Thursday, the Patchogue Theatre gets its Irish on with a very special Live in the Lobby with Bangers and Mash and opener Johnny Cuomo!  $10 door, and say hello to me as I take your money!

On Wednesday, Acoustic Long Island features performances by Stephanie Nilles and Amy Crawford and The Electric, Deepwells Mansion. FREE.

Stuart Markus,  member of Gathering Time, plays solo acoustic at Fiore this Wednesday as well.  Hey, Stuart, if you ever read this…since you’re a tall ship historian, we should chat sometime…I’m a shipwreck buff!

Talking about tall ships, I’m waiting for Stout to play locally again!

Also on Wednesday, Buddy Merriam and Back Roads will be bringing you the best of LI bluegrass at the Checkmate Inn.  On Friday, Free Grass Union will be at the Grey Horse Tavern.

Thursday is open mic nite at two great venues–Toomey’s Tavern in Amityville, and Strings and Things at Mills Pond House!

An open mic picking up steam is the Island Songwriters Showcase at Border’s, Syosset. 8PM this Friday.  Those wishing to perform must sign-up with Vinny Crici at 7:30PM.

PeaceSmiths Topical, A-Typical, Folk Music, Poetry and Whatever Coffeehouse features Rorie Kelly plus an open mic, Friday 8PM.  $7 door.

All for now…check back soon for more updates!