Arts & Entertainment

Photo courtesy of the Engeman Theater

‘CAUSE EVERYTHING IS RENT Broadway stars Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal took time out from signing autographs to pose with staff members from the John W. Engeman Theater in Northport, from left, Phyllis Molloy, Alex Spitzli, Michael DeCristofaro, Richard T. Dolce, Jessie Eppelheimer, Jennifer Tully, Kate Keating and Alexandra Heidrich, after the duo’s sold-out show, ‘Anthony and Adam LIVE,’ on Oct. 17.

Elizabeth Anziano smiles with one of her art students. Photo from Hauppauge school district
Elizabeth Anziano smiles with one of her art students. Photo from Hauppauge school district
Elizabeth Anziano smiles with one of her art students. Photo from Hauppauge school district

By Nicole Geddes

Bretton Woods and Pines Elementary School teacher Elizabeth Anziano was named the 2016 New York State Art Educator of the Year.

The Hauppauge teacher said she has experienced a lot in her 30-year journey as an art educator, and it helped fuel her passionate love of art, which she passes down to future generations.

“The best part about teaching is working with the students,” Anziano said in a phone interview. Anziano said one of her goals as a teacher is to reveal every student’s inner Da Vinci, and her passion for art and teaching is evident through her students. 

“Ms. A. is the nicest teacher,” Wesley, one of her students, said. “I wish we could have art class every day. We always learn the neatest things in art, and Ms. A. makes it fun.”

Colton, another student of hers, agreed.

“Ms. Anziano is the greatest art teacher; I never want her class to end,” he said. “I like art class with Ms. A. more than I like recess, because we do really cool things in art.”

Michael, a fourth-grade student, also shares the opinion that art is more enjoyable than other parts of the school day that are traditionally more popular

“I never thought that art could be as fun as gym,” he said. “Ms. A. is a really good artist and she teaches us how to be really good artists too. She shows us techniques to get better.”

Anziano said she enjoys telling her students stories of famous artists, like Pablo Picasso.

“I make sure to tell them that it was just the tip [of the ear],” she said while speaking about Picasso’s famous ear story. She also said she tells students about tests Picasso had to take when he was a student. He finished in one week what took some three months,” she said.“Everyone loves to hear stories.” Hauppauge Superintendent of schools Dennis O’Hara spoke highly of Anziano’s accomplishments at the district.

“After having had the opportunity and pleasure to visit Ms. Anziano’s classroom, and watch her interact with students, I am not surprised to learn of her special recognition,” O’Hara said in a statement. “She is most deserving, and we are most fortunate to have Ms. Anziano teaching our students.”

The teacher said her mother helped inspire her love of art.

“When I was young, I brought home a fourth-grade project,” she said. “I had to draw a deer. My mother drew the most perfect deer and I knew right then that that was what I wanted to do.”

Anziano received a Bachelors of Arts at Ohio State University,and started out working with the J. Paul Getty Trust, a cultural and philanthropic institution in a joint venture with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, located in Los Angeles.

Along the way, she met Leilani Duke and was introduced to discipline-based art education, which is a style of teaching comprised of arts production, arts history and culture, criticism and aesthetics. Eventually, Anziano joined the registrar staff of the New-York Historical Society museum where she had the chance to work with newly discovered American Art collections like John James Audubon.

Anziano said. “One of my favorite artists is Georgia O’Keefe, whose landscape paintings displays colors of purple to magenta.”

Anziano said Mary Lou Cohalan, director of Islip Art Museum, suggested that she teach art, as she had never thought of it herself. Subsequently, an after-school arts program was started at the museum which Anziano taught while earning a Master of Arts in teaching at Dowling College.

“Art doesn’t just imitate life — it is life!” Anziano said.

'Desolate' by Alex Cartwright, Grade 11. Image courtesy of HAC
‘Pearl’ by Alex Cartwright (grade 11). Image from HAC
‘Pearl’ by Alex Cartwright (grade 11). Image from HAC

Just in time for Halloween, the Huntington Arts Council presents a perennial favorite, Nightmare on Main Street, a student art exhibit that opens today at the Main Street Gallery and runs through Nov. 5. Now in its fifth year, students in grades 6 to 12 were asked to submit original artwork reflecting their interpretation of Halloween, “be it dark, light-hearted or just plain scary!”

“Once again the students did not disappoint. It’s exciting to see the response from such a wide age range of students with over 80 submissions. The talent of these artists is evident across the board and shown in a variety of media choices from photography to sculpture,” stated Marc Courtade, executive director of the Huntington Arts Council.

‘Medusa’ by Melissa Roy (grade 12). Image courtesy of HAC

The exhibit was juried by Caitlyn Shea, a visual artist who “loves all things scary, sinewy and dark — and has a special love for Francis Bacon paintings.” Specializing in large, fierce paintings, Shea exhibits her work in galleries across the United States. When she is not painting, Shea works as a co-producer for East End Arts JumpstART program. “It was truly a pleasure reviewing all of the artwork submitted to Nightmare on Main Street. I was incredibly impressed by the level of achievement present in each of the submissions; it actually seemed as if I was looking at college undergraduate portfolios,” commented Shea. “I expected the submissions to be creepy, but they surpassed my expectations by also being so confrontative and exploring unexpected themes like alienation and isolation. It was difficult selecting which works to include because every single entry was powerful in its own unique way!” she said.

Forty-two students were selected as finalists including Jonelle Afurong, Sarah Astegher, Shiloh Benincasa, Rachel Berkowitz, Nathalie Berrios, Summer Blitz, Julia Bretschneider, Rebekah Buon, Elena Canas, Alex Cartwright, Ben Conner, Daniela Crimi, Eliana Davidoff, Lars Drace, Christian D’Sa, Julia Dzieciaszek, Sania Farooq, Katie Giambrone, Casey Goldstein, Michael Green, Vincent Guerrero, Ilyssa Halbreich, Michaela Hammer, Katrina Hanley, Lauren Landolfi, Cameron Matassa, Kallie McCarthy, Noelle Pluschau, Bailey Rand, Natasha Rivera, Renee Rooney, Melissa Roy, Jack Ruthkowski, Olivia Sasso, Amanda Stark, Amanda Tobin, Alex Tonetti, Alexandra Valme, Erica Vazquez, Teva Yaari, Steven Yeh and Sarah Young.

To kick off the exhibit, a costume party reception will be held on Oct. 29 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the gallery. Prizes will be awarded for Best in Show in senior and junior divisions as well as for best costume. Refreshments will be served. This is a free event and all are welcome to attend.

The Main Street Gallery, 213 Main St., Huntington is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 4 p.m.. For more information, call 631-271-8423 or visit www.huntingtonarts.org.

Guest speakers at LIM’s symposium, from left, Lawrence Samuel, Stephen Patnode, Christopher Verga, Caroline Rob Zaleski and John Broven. Photo courtesy of John Broven

By Heidi Sutton

In conjunction with its popular exhibition, Long Island in the Sixties, The Long Island Museum in Stony Brook hosted a symposium last Saturday that focused on how the 1960s affected Long Island in terms of suburban and economic trends such as the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair, the local civil rights movement, regional architecture and music.

Guest speakers included Stephen Patnode, Ph.D., of Farmingdale State College’s Department of Science, Technology and Sociology; Christopher Verga, professor of history at Suffolk County Community College and author of “Civil Rights on Long Island”; Caroline Rob Zaleski, preservationist and architectural historian and author of “Long Island Modernism, 1930-1980”; Lawrence R. Samuel, Ph.D., independent scholar and American cultural historian and author of “The End of the Innocence: The 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair”; and John Broven, music historian and custodian of the family-owned Golden Crest Records and author of the award-winning “Rhythm and Blues in New Orleans” and “Record Makers and Breakers.”

According to Joshua Ruff, director of Collections and Interpretation at the museum, the day-long event attracted over 60 attendees and “the audience was very enthusiastic and really enjoyed the day” adding that there was “great audience participation; a few people who attended were actually former band members of prominent 1960s bands on Long Island, and they became involved in John Broven’s talk. All in all, it was a super day and we are just so very thankful for the important support from the New York Council on the Humanities which made it all possible.”

From left, Robert Catell, chairman of the board, Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center; Vyacheslov Solovyov; Sergey Gelman, a Stony Brook engineering student; and Yacov Shamash, vice president for economic development at Stony Brook University. Photo from Stony Brook University

By Daniel Dunaief

It’s lighter, cheaper and just as strong. In the age of manufacturing the latest and greatest high-technology parts, that is a compelling combination. Indeed, the Department of Energy recently awarded the Brookhaven Technology Group, a business incubator tenant of the Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center at Stony Brook University, $1.15 million to develop a high-temperature superconductor cable with a new architecture. The grant supports the research of Vyacheslav Solovyov, an adjunct professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at SBU and the principal investigator at Brookhaven Technology Group.

“Very few projects are funded, so we’re very excited that ours was chosen,” said Paul Farrell, the president at BTG. The potential applications for Solovyov’s Exocable, as the new architecture is called, span a wide range of uses, including in high field magnets for a new breed of accelerator. The work entails creating a high-temperature superconducting cable that is an integral ingredient in creating the superconducting machinery. The BTG process produces a high-temperature superconducting cable after removing the substrate, which is a single-crystal-like material. Solovyov transfers the superconducting layer to a supporting tape that can be engineered for strength and not for crystallinity.

This work reduces the weight of the tape by as much as 70 percent per unit length for the same current capacity. The potential for this new cable is that it can contribute to the growing field of research at Stony Brook and Brookhaven National Laboratory on superconductivity, said Jim Smith, assistant vice president of economic development at Stony Brook. “Maybe this is the next industry that replaces the Grummans and the aerospaces that have left,” he said. Semiconductors are of particular interest to manufacturers because they transmit energy with no resistance. Right now, about 6.5 percent of energy transmitted around the United States is lost in distribution wires, Smith said. Maintaining the energy that’s lost in the wires would have “tremendous benefits.”

To be sure, while the research at BTG could contribute to lower cost and improved efficiency in high-temperature superconductivity, there are hurdles to making this process and the applications of it work. For starters, the company needs to produce kilometers of ExoCable. “The challenge is to demonstrate that the properties will be as uniform as they were before the substrate removal,” explained Solovyov, who has been working in superconductivity since 1986.

Recently, Smith said he, Farrell and Solovyov met to discuss the wiring for their facility. “A lot of power and wiring will be installed in the next four to five weeks,” Smith said. Scientists who worked with Solovyov expressed admiration for his work and optimism about his results. Solovyov’s “new activity will definitely advance the long-promised practical application of superconductivity electrical power transmission, as well as in the development of high-field magnets for both industrial and scientific application,” David Welch, a former collaborator and retired senior materials scientist at Brookhaven National Laboratory, wrote in an email. Welch explained that Solovyov focused on methods for making composites of superconducting material with normally conducting metals in the form of wires, tapes and cables necessary for their practical application. “Such a combination of talents is unusual,” Welch continued. Early on, it was clear “that [Solovyov] was going to become an important member of the scientific staff at BNL.”

Solovyov started working on this process with BTG about a year and a half ago. When he first started collaborating with BTG, the company was working on a superconducting project funded by the army. When that work ended, Solovyov and BTG worked together to submit new proposals to the DOE. According to Solovyov, Stony Brook has been “very helpful in terms of providing facilities and lab space.” Stony Brook’s goal, Smith said, is to help companies like BTG succeed and measures that success in the number of new jobs created in the energy field.

Solovyov, who grew up in the Ukraine, said he has had several breakthroughs in his career. He helped develop a patented technology that can speed up the processing of superconducting materials by a factor of 10. “That has been used in production and I’m very proud of it,” Solovyov said. The professor lives in Rocky Point with his wife Olena Rybak and their two children, Natasha, 19, who attends Suffolk County Community College, and Dennis, 14, who is in high school. Solovyov said he enjoys Long Island, where he can fish for striped bass and bluefish. He pan fries what he catches.

As for his work, Solovyov has four patents and applications for three more. He and Farrell said the company is looking for opportunities for expansion. He is exploring ways to work with large-scale generators and wind turbines. Farrell explained that BTG has ambitions to become a larger company. BTG would “like to become a major contributor in this field,” Farrell said. That could include adding staff and developing more products that can be sold and used worldwide. “If our product is successful, in the sense that it improves the capability of superconductors to be used commercially, we’ll be adding people.” This work will need more funding, which the company plans to get either from the Department of Energy, from private investors or both.

“If you can improve the usefulness of superconductors and reduce the cost of the wire, there’ll be wider use than there is right now,” Farrell said.

Panisse with Harissa Mayonnaise. Photo courtesy of Chef Guy Reuge

Guy Reuge, executive chef of Mirabelle Restaurant and the Mirabelle Tavern at the Three Village Inn in Stony Brook recently released his first book, “A Chef’s Odyssey: An Autobiographical Cookbook,” to rave reviews. “‘A Chef’s Odyssey’ is a charming and very personal memoir and cookbook by French chef Guy Reuge,” said Jacques Pepin. “From the simple, straightforward recipes of his youth to the sophisticated recipes he made at La Tulipe in New York City and later at Mirabelle, he vividly brings back memories of a time when French cooking rules the New York restaurant scene.”

Try this recipe for Panisse with Harissa Mayonnaise from “A Chef’s Odyssey.” In his cookbook, Chef Reuge writes, “Panisse are a treat from southeastern France. They are made with a chickpea flour batter that is deep-fried. I serve panisse as a snack and they are one our most requested menu items.”

Panisse with Harissa Mayonnaise

a-chefs-odysseyYIELD: Makes 50 panisse

INGREDIENTS:

4 cups whole milk

2 cups heavy cream

1⁄4 cup sliced shallots

1 sprig of thyme

salt and pepper

3 cups chickpea flour, sifted

olive oil for greasing the pan

vegetable oil for deep frying

2 cups mayonnaise, chilled

1 tablespoon harissa paste or sriracha sauce

DIRECTONS: In a large saucepan combine the milk, cream, shallots, and thyme, season the mixture with salt and pepper, and bring the liquid to a boil over moderately high heat. Reduce the heat to moderate and simmer the mixture for 5 minutes. Pass the mixture through a sieve into another saucepan and return the liquid to a boil over moderately high heat. Whisk in the chickpea flour, whisk the mixture until it thickens, and continue to whisk it for 4 minutes more. Transfer the batter to a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process it for 2 minutes or until it is smooth. Spread a 9- by 13½-inch sheet tray with the olive oil and spoon the batter into the pan, spreading it out. Level and smooth the top of the batter with an offset spatula. Chill the batter for 2 hours.

When the batter is solid unmold it by turning the tray onto a cutting board. Cut the panisse into 2½-inch lengths that look like thick french fries. In a deep-fryer heat the vegetable oil to 375 F and fry the panisse in small batches until they are golden. Transfer the panisse to paper towels as they are cooked and sprinkle them with salt. In a bowl combine the mayonnaise with the harissa. Serve the panisse with the mayonnaise on the side.

NOTE: The uncooked panisse can be stored refrigerated in a container with a tight lid for up to 3 days.

This gardener cut back on lawn mowing by planting trees and shrubs. Notice that the lawn itself does not grow up against the trees. This way the trees are not damaged while mowing the lawn. Photo by Ellen Barcel

By Ellen Barcel

Many aspects of gardening that we on Long Island take for granted are actually imports. We take honeybees for granted, but in actuality they were imported from Europe. The honey that we routinely enjoy and the pollination benefits they provide for gardeners and farmers are a result of this import. The earthworms that gardeners love to see, creating fertile aerated soil, are also imports, again courtesy of the early Colonists.

Our lush green lawns are another thing we take for granted. Yet before Colonial times, the native peoples had no use for lawns. Natural grasslands, like the prairies of the Great Plains and many other parts of the U.S., supported the buffalo and other grazing animals. Where native peoples farmed, they removed the vegetation and planted, in particular, corn, beans and squash, referred to as the Three Sisters.

So, where did our lawns come from? It’s a long story, but in a nut shell, European grasses were imported into North America, but initially only the rich could afford their maintenance, both here and in Europe. Grasses were trimmed by humans with scythes or by animals grazing on the property.

Interestingly, goats are currently being used in New York State to help eliminate invasive plants in the same way that grazing animals kept grasses trimmed before the lawn mower. They are currently being used on the Underhill Preserve near Jericho Turnpike and Route 106 to clear the land of invasive plants. A particular benefit is that they eat the roots, so that these invasive plants are wiped out. Plans are to remove the goats in mid-October. Hopefully native plants will fill in.

During World War I, a flock of sheep was kept on the White House lawn. It saved manpower and the wool was sold to raise money for the Red Cross. But, no, I’m not suggesting that we as homeowners should keep animals grazing on our lawns. For one thing, in most cases zoning laws prevent it. For another, caring for these animals is work.

In 1830, the mechanical lawn mower was invented, and beginning in the 1870s lawns began to appear, but it wasn’t until the 1930s that front lawns proliferated. They are a product of suburbia. Look at cities and you’ll see very few, if any, in the way of front lawns, even in areas where single- or double-family houses are located. Where suburbs developed in areas of frequent drought, even to this day, there are fewer lawns.

Remember that unless you live in a community with strict landscaping regulations, you don’t even need to have a front lawn. You could plant a variety of ornamentals and ground covers together with statuary. Using native plants, in particular, means less concern with watering and, of course, less mowing. A gardening acquaintance of mine had two acres of manicured lawns. He complained bitterly of the amount of time he spent mowing each weekend. He could have planted more trees and shrubs, removing much of the lawn, just keeping enough in the front of the house for appearance and enough in the back for relaxation.

Next week, we’ll take a look at fall lawn maintenance for those who enjoy their lawns.

Ellen Barcel is a freelance writer and master gardener. To reach Cornell Cooperative Extension and its Master Gardener program, call 631-727-7850.

Full-fat and low-fat cheeses are no better for you than refined grains. Stock photo

By David Dunaief, M.D.

We are constantly redefining or at least tweaking our diets. We were told that fats were the culprit for cardiovascular disease (CVD). That the root cause was saturated fats, specifically. However, a recent study showed the sugar industry had a strong influence on the medical and scientific communities in the 1960s and 1970s, influencing this perception (1).

Why is this all important? Well, for one thing, about one out every two “healthy” 30-year-olds in the United States will most likely develop CVD in their lifetime (2). This is a sobering statistic. For another, CVD is still the reigning notorious champion when it comes to the top spot for deaths in this country. Except, this disease is preventable, for the most part.

What can prevent CVD? You guessed it, lifestyle modifications, including changes in our diet, exercise and smoking cessation. There is no better demonstration of this than what I refer to as the “new” China Study, which was done through the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. I call it “new,” because T. Colin Campbell published a book in 2013 with the same name pertaining to the benefits of the Chinese diet in certain provinces. However, the wealthier China has become in the last few decades by opening its borders, the more it has adopted a Western hemisphere-type lifestyle, and the worse its health has become overall. In a recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, results show that over 20 years the rate of CVD has increased dramatically in China, and it is likely to continue worsening over time (3). High blood pressure, elevated “bad” cholesterol LDL levels, blood glucose (sugars), sedentary lifestyle and obesity were the most significant contributors to this rise. In 1979 about 8 percent of the population had high blood pressure, but by 2010, more than one-third of the population did.

Does this sound familiar? It should, since this is due to adopting a Western-type diet. The researchers highlighted increased consumption of red meat and soda, an increasingly sedentary lifestyle and, unlike us, half the population still smokes. But you can see just how powerful the effects of lifestyle are on the world’s largest population. There were 26,000 people and nine provinces involved.

Cardiologist embraces fat

We are going to focus on one area, diet. What is the most productive diet for preventing cardiovascular disease? In a recent New York Times article, entitled “An Unconventional Cardiologist Promotes a High-Fat Diet,” published on Aug. 23, 2016, the British cardiologist suggests that we should embrace fats, including saturated fats (4). He has bulletproof coffee for breakfast, with one tablespoon of butter and one tablespoon of coconut oil added to his coffee. He also promotes full-fat cheese as opposed to low-fat cheese. These are foods that contain 100 percent saturated fats. He believes dairy can protect against heart disease. Before you get yourself in a lather, either in agreement or in disgust, let’s look at the evidence.

The Cheesy Study

Alert! Before you read any further, know that this study was sponsored by the dairy industry in Denmark. Having said this, this study would presumably agree with the unconventional cardiologist. The results showed that full-fat cheese was equivalent to low-fat cheese and to carbohydrates when it came to blood chemistries for cardiovascular disease, as well as to waist circumference (5). These markers included cholesterol, LDL “bad” cholesterol levels, fasting glucose levels and insulin. There were three groups in this study: those who consumed three ounces of full-fat cheese, low-fat cheese or refined bread and jam. The authors suggested that full-fat cheese may be part of a healthy diet. This means we can eat full-fat cheese, right? NOT SO FAST.

The study was faulty. The control arm was refined carbohydrates. And since both cheeses had similar results to the refined carbohydrates, the more appropriate conclusion is that full-fat and low-fat cheeses are no better for you than refined grains.

What about dairy fat?

In a meta-analysis (involving three studies — the Professional Follow-Up Study and the Nurses’ Health Studies 1 and 2), the results refute the claim that dairy fat is beneficial for preventing CVD (6). The results show that substituting a small portion of energy intake from dairy fat with polyunsaturated fats results in a 24 percent reduction in CVD risk. And doing the same with vegetable fats in replacement of dairy fat resulted in a 10 percent reduction in risk. Dairy fat was slightly better when compared to other animal fat.

This meta-analysis involved observational studies with a duration of at least 20 years and involving more than 200,000 men and women. There needs to be a large randomized controlled trial. But, I would not rush to eat cheese, whether it was the full-fat or low-fat variety. Nor would I drink bulletproof coffee anytime soon.

Saturated fat: not so good

In a recent meta-analysis (involving three studies run by the Harvard School of Public Health), replacing just 5 percent of saturated fats with both mono- and polyunsaturated fats resulted in a substantial reduction in the risk of mortality, 27 and 13 percent, respectively (7). This is a blow to the theory that saturated fats are not harmful to your health. Also, the highest quintile of poly- and monounsaturated fat intake, compared to lowest, showed reductions in mortality that were significant, 19 and 11 percent, respectively. Again, this is an observational conglomeration of studies, using the same studies as with the dairy results above. This analysis suggests that the unconventional cardiologist’s approach is not the one you want to take.

The good news diet!

Here is the good news diet. In a recent randomized controlled trial (RCT), the gold standard of studies, results showed that high levels of polyphenols reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (8). Polyphenols are from foods such as vegetables, fruits, berries especially and, yes, chocolate. The researchers divided the study population into two groups, high and low polyphenol intake. The biomarkers used for this study were endothelial (inner lining of the blood vessel) dependent and independent vasodilators. The more dilated the blood vessel, the lower the hypertension and the lower the CVD risk. These patients had hypertension, a risk factor for CVD. Those who consumed high levels of polyphenols had higher levels of nutrients such as carotenoids and vitamin C in their blood.

Is fish useful?

In a study, results show that eating a modest amount of fish decreases the risk of death from CVD by more than one-third (9). What is a modest amount? Consume fish once or twice a week. You want to focus on fish that are rich in omega 3s — docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). These are fatty fish with plenty of unsaturated fats, such as salmon. Thus, more of a Mediterranean-style diet, involving fruits and vegetables, as well as mono- and polyunsaturated fats in the forms of olive oil, nuts, avocado and fish may reduce the risk of CVD, while a more traditional American diet, with lots of pure saturated fats and refined carbohydrates may have the opposite effect. The reason we can’t say for sure that pure saturated fat should be avoided is that there has not been a large randomized controlled trial. However, many studies continually point in this direction.

References: (1) JAMA Intern Med. online Sept. 12, 2016. (2) Lancet. 2014;383(9932):1899-1911. (3) J Am Coll Cardiol. 2016;68(8):818-833. (4) NYTimes.com. (5) Am J Clin Nutr. 2016;104(4):973-981. (6) Am J Clin Nutr. Online Aug. 24, 2016. (7) JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(8):1134-1145. (8) Heart. 2016;102(17):1371-1379. (9) JAMA. 2007;297(6):590.

Dr. Dunaief is a speaker, author and local lifestyle medicine physician focusing on the integration of medicine, nutrition, fitness and stress management. For further information, visit www.medicalcompassmd.com or consult your personal physician.

The Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce hosted their annual Taste at Port Jefferson event Saturday Oct. 22 at the Village Center, where visitors sampled local foods, wines and desserts from more than 35 North Shore based vendors.

 

It may look very pretty all wrapped in a red holiday bow, but for all the believers out there, the Country House is said to be haunted. File photo

By Ernestine Franco

It’s the time of the year when children and adults alike will be out en masse on the lookout for ghosts, ghouls, and goblins. During the month of October, which culminates on Halloween, the North Shore of Long Island has many places to satisfy die-hard thrill seekers. However, if you want to experience “real” haunted places on the North Shore, check out the list below:

Kings Park Psychiatric Center, located on West Fourth Street in Kings Park has been closed for many years and is not open to the public. For many years, Long Islanders have broken into this historic location to see the eerie, condemned facilities. At its height, the psychiatric center was home to over 9,000 patients. They were subjected to overcrowding and deplorable conditions as well as dramatic procedures, such as lobotomies and electroshock therapy. From inside and outside the many buildings, people have reported yells and screams of deceased patients, and some say they can see ghosts in the windows. Although you cannot go into the buildings, you can drive through the grounds for a quick peek. The grounds are monitored by the police.

Country House Restaurant is located at 1175 Country House Road in Stony Brook. This building has a prerevolutionary story behind it. It is believed to be haunted by Annette Williamson, the daughter of a former owner. She had allowed British soldiers to stay in the home and was believed to be a spy. She was hung from the second-story rafters and her spirit haunts the kitchen and stairways. Visitors say they can hear her cries and light bulbs flicker. The restaurant also has a “Ghost Bar” where you can view pictures of Annette Williamson. Genre artist William Sidney Mount was said to have attended séances there when it was known as the Thomas Hadaway House.

Lake Ronkonkoma, Lake Shore Road, Lake Ronkonkoma: One of the most frequent tales you hear about Lake Ronkonkoma is one involving a Native American princess who died at the lake in the mid-1600s. The story goes that the Native American princess fell in love with an Englishman named Hugh Birdsall. He lived across the lake, but her father would not permit her to pursue a romance with the Englishman. Legends say that the heartbroken princess killed herself because she could not be with her true love.

Folklore then goes on to say that every year since, in a desperate search for a soulmate in death, the princess takes a young male’s life. Lake Ronkonkoma is rumored to have no bottom, just an endless abyss of darkness. The lake itself is the largest lake on Long Island and it would be impossible for a human being to reach the bottom without assistance since it is 100 feet (30 m) at its southeastern side. Something that feeds into this tale is how the water level of Lake Ronkonkoma seems to rise and fall with no relation to rainfall, something that adds to the mystery. Michael R. Ebert, author of “The Curse of Lake Ronkonkoma,” delved into these allegations and found that, “One study showed that over 7 years in the early 1900s, the rainfall on Long Island was below the usual average by about 52 inches, yet the lake rose 7 feet.”

Another eerie oddity about Lake Ronkonkoma is about the bodies of people who have drowned in the lake. Bodies have been found washed up in Connecticut and out in the Long Island Sound, fueling claims that Lake Ronkonkoma has many hidden caverns, passageways and tunnels leading to different locations. Other bodies have never been found.

Centereach High School, located at 14 43rd Street, has limited access for the public. Some believe that the bleachers of Centereach High School are haunted by James Halversen, a New York City firefighter who used to run at the track every day. At 8:00 p.m. on Jan. 5, 1997, Halversen and his dog were shot. Some people can feel his presence or even a man running on the fifth lane of the track. Some say they also have seen a glowing object in the northeast corner of the track.

Katie’s of Smithtown is located at 145 West Main Street. Katie’s is a popular bar in Smithtown and home to a ghost named Charlie, who is said to have been a bartender and bootlegger during the 1920s. After committing suicide, he is said to frequently visit the bar. Many patrons have felt or seen him. Some have seen people in 19th century dress in the bar, and the figure of a woman has been seen walking up and down the bar and down the basement stairs. Women have reported toilet seats jumping open and making banging sounds when no one else is in the bathroom, and footsteps have also been heard coming from the basement when it is unoccupied. Glasses have also been known to fly off the bar and tables.

And last, but not least, the Port Jefferson Ferries are believed by many that a ghost haunts the ferries as they travel the Sound. Many riders have seen the ghost of a former captain who wears a weathered uniform.

Good Haunting!

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