Arts & Entertainment

A vintage European car from a previous event at the Stony Brook Community Church. Photo from Malcolm Bowman

Stony Brook Community Church, 216 Christian Ave., Stony Brook will host the 12th annual Vintage European Sports Car and Motorcycle Show on the lawn in front of the church on Saturday, Aug. 13 from noon to 4 p.m. This popular, free event, for all ages, will display a wide variety of interesting cars and motorbikes from all over Europe. There will be a People’s Choice vote for the best cars and bikes along with live music by the Barking Men and food and refreshments for sale. All proceeds go to the outreach of the church and the scholarship fund of the annual children’s Performing Arts Camp. Rain date is Aug. 14. For more information, call Malcolm at 631-751-1381.

Those visiting the exhibit can hop on this Harley and inside its sidecar for an interactive 'ride.' Photo by Kevin Redding

By Kevin Redding

For as long as they’ve been around, motorcycles and their riders have encapsulated the American spirit. Beyond the fact that anybody straddling a chrome-plated hog immediately becomes unanimous with “cool,” the motorcycle has always represented independence, escape, toughness, rebellion and freedom. Unlike drivers encased in their cars, bikers glide down the open road with a ferocious and liberating intimacy with themselves and all that surrounds them, surveying the world in a constant state of high-speed danger and adrenaline all at once. The ultimate thrill seekers, the motorcycling community is certainly a breed apart from the rest. And they’ve helped shape American culture as a result.

Whether it was Steve McQueen jumping over barbed wire fence on his iconic Triumph TR6 Trophy in “The Great Escape” or Peter Fonda cruising on his “Captain America” Harley Davidson in “Easy Rider,” the allure of hopping on a chopper and putting the pedal to the metal has sustained generations.

The times may have changed and the bikes might look different, but motorcycle culture is still alive and well and is currently being celebrated in Stony Brook Village.

The rare 1911 Harley Davidson is one of the oldest bikes on display at the Motorcycles and the Open Road exhibit. Photo by Kevin Redding
The rare 1911 Harley Davidson is one of the oldest bikes on display at the Motorcycles and the Open Road exhibit. Photo by Kevin Redding

Devoted bikers and nonbikers alike can go explore Motorcycles and the Open Road, a summer exhibit that will run through Sept. 5 at the Ward Melville Heritage Organization’s Educational & Cultural Center. Building on the success of its two previous motorcycle exhibits, the center offers over 50 bikes on display and will contain a completely different batch than the ones seen last year, with the exception of a crowd-pleasing 1911 Harley Davidson.

Visitors will be treated to a wide variety of motorcycles throughout history — ranging from 1904 to 1997 — as well as iconic artwork by David Uhl, bronze sculptures by Jeff Decker and vintage memorabilia like helmets and signs.

The earliest bikes on display are a 1904 Rambler courtesy of Jim Giorgio, which looks like a regular bicycle with a motor attached, and a 1907 Indian, which once belonged to Henry Wing Sr., one of the founders of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America. This particular bike is known for its “camelback” look.

“[The motorcycles] are very artistic, and there’s a lot of historical importance between different decades and different manufacturers,” said Stephanie Ruales, special events coordinator for the center. “Older generations obviously love seeing them because it reminds them of something they maybe grew up with. And the younger kids … can’t really deny that the bikes are just cool to look at. I think when you start in the early 1900s and see what they were and what they evolved into, older and younger generations can appreciate them,” she added.

As visitors continue through the gallery, they will notice the aesthetic evolution of the motorcycles. Heading into the ’30s and ’40s, manufacturers bulked up the bikes, spruced up the designs and started engineering the motorcycles for what the public may have wanted at that specific time. Motorcycle brands were, and still are, constantly changing year to year due to ever-evolving styles, so it’s fascinating to see the gradual change over the course of the 20th century.

Among the most noteworthy bikes on display are a 1931 Indian Four, which is a rare Depression-era motorcycle that scored a 97 out of 100 at its judging at the Antique Motorcycle Club of America, making it quite the elite ride; a 1934 Harley Davidson, which was featured at Harley’s factory in Milwaukee in 2003 for its 100th anniversary; and a 1950 BMW R51/2, which came in the aftermath of Germany’s ban on producing motorcycles of any sort post-World War II. Even though the ban was ultimately lifted, all of their designs, blueprints and schematic drawings were gone and they had to start from scratch, left to use surviving prewar parts to build a new bike.

Aside from Suzukis and Ducatis, fans of newer designs will enjoy the 1982 Honda CX500 Turbo, which looks like something straight out of a sci-fi film. “[All of the motorcycles] come from Long Island. They all come from different Long Island collectors and private owners. We also have a dealership that was very gracious to loan us some of their bikes as well. And people are very enthusiastic about putting their motorcycles on display for everyone to appreciate,” said Ruales.

One of the more unique displays is the “Precious Metal,” a custom motorcycle made by Copper Mike from Lindenhurst and chosen by Lady Gaga to be onstage at her “Born This Way” album release at Union Square in 2011.

Visitors can also take part in a virtual ride of sorts, when they sit down on an old Harley and inside its sidecar and cruise past the rolling hills of Ireland, which is projected on the screen in front of them.

Not being a motorcycle enthusiast is no reason to skip this exhibit. “We get people that come in and say they don’t know anything about the motorcycles … and they come through and find something they can appreciate,” said Ruales.

The Ward Melville Heritage Organization will present Motorcycles and the Open Road now through Sept. 5 at its Educational & Cultural Center, 97P Main Street, Stony Brook. The exhibit, partially sponsored by Astoria Bank, is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, and $3 for children under 12. For a full schedule of exhibit events, call 631-689-5888, or visit www.wmho.org.

Above, members of Friday Night Face Off after the show on Aug. 5. Photo by Michael Tessler

By Michael Tessler

Admittedly my definition of fun has always been a bit out-of-sync with my fellow millennials. What do I mean by that? Well, my perfect evening entails a glass of scotch whiskey, a small group of friends and an invigorating game of Risk (yes that board game from Seinfeld). We wouldn’t just play with normal rules either, we’d add elements of intrigue, diplomacy and politics. It’s quite literally the nerdiest way someone could spend an evening BUT there are plenty of valuable life lessons to be learned from the game: camaraderie, collaboration, but most importantly … never fight a land war in Asia! (Napoleon and Hitler probably wish they had gotten that memo). So yes, I’m not your average 23-year old, not by a long shot.

In the name of faux investigative journalism, I decided to venture outside of my comfort zone and into the sprawling mini-metropolis that is Port Jefferson Village after dark. Together with my partner-in-crime and honorary investigator, Sarah, we began our journey. Being an avid “Pokémon trainer” Sarah insisted we visit Port Jeff’s biggest Pokémon location, Harborfront Park.

For those who don’t know, Pokémon GO is a mobile game that connects the real world with the digital one, allowing people to “catch” animated Pokémon by visiting real places across the country and globe. It’s a whole lot of fun and rewards players for exercising by giving you special access to rare Pokémon. With that being said: Madam Mayor, I strongly urge you to establish a Pokémon Preserve near Harborfront Park so that we can protect the rare indigenous Pokémon that call Port Jefferson home!

Honestly though, it was pretty wonderful seeing all those families and young people outside. After some 15 years of hibernation, the children of the ’90s have finally reemerged in search of pikachus and pizza!

Afterward we made our way over to Theatre Three. This wonderful local theatre offers not just mainstage musicals and concert series but is also home to an excellent troupe of improv artists. Each week they put on a tremendous live show known as Friday Night Face Off (FNFO). These professionally trained comedians break up into two teams and battle each other in various improv games. Styled similarly to the “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” I can guarantee it’ll leave you in stitches! Having seen their shows well over a dozen times, I can tell you that each performance is unique and filled with new hysterical material. Although the show isn’t child friendly (16 years old and up please), it is the perfect way for adults to end or begin an evening! There’s even a bar right in theater so you can enjoy a drink during the performance.

After a great show we visited several of Port Jefferson’s late night hot spots. Schafer’s was a real treat. Complete with a DJ, dance floor and all of the latest party equipment, it felt less like your conventional bar and more like an upscale club in Manhattan. Following some dancing, catching up with old friends and an impromptu freestyle rap battle (I owe my skills to “Hamilton the Musical”), it turned out to be a pretty wonderful evening. Port Jefferson, while a quaint village by day, truly transforms into a popping late-night paradise when the sun goes down. There’s no age limit to the fun as there’s a venue for everyone!

Now I’ve already made my plans for next weekend! Anybody wanna join me for a rousing game of BATTLESHIP? No? That’s alright. I strongly advise taking a visit to beautiful Port Jefferson during one of these beautiful summer nights!

Michael Tessler is the Special Projects Manager for TBR News Media, a former political consultant and Disney cast member and mostly unsuccessful Pokémon trainer.

Above, members of the Rythmos Hellenic Dance Group perform for festivalgoers in a previous year. File photo

By Heidi Sutton

Lovers of all things Greek will gather at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption, 430 Sheep Pasture Road, Port Jefferson, next week when the church holds its 55th annual Greek Festival from Aug. 18 to 28.

Running for two consecutive weekends this year, the event will feature carnival rides, face painting, games, music by Asteri Entertainment, traditional Hellenic dance performances by the Rythmos Hellenic Dance Group and culinary delights. Authentic mouth-watering foods such as gyros, moussaka, tiropita, souvlaki and spanakopita will be served up, along with sweet desserts such as melomacrona, galaktoboureko, kourabiedes, koulourakia, baklava and loukoumades, a fried dough pastry favorite. Guided tours of the church will be available throughout the day, and vendors will be offering Greek art, jewelry, souvenirs, icons and much more.

One of the main attractions at the festival is the over-the-top sweepstakes that the church holds. This year 315 prizes will be awarded. Prizes range from cars —a 2017 Mercedes Benz GLC 300 4Matic is first prize — to an Apple watch, cash prizes, 15-inch Tablet Laptop, a Bose Home Theater System, Xbox One, Mets tickets, Yankees tickets, a digital camera, gift cards and much more. Tickets for the sweepstakes are $100 each, limited to 4,999 tickets — meaning that one out of 16 will win a prize. The drawing will be held on Aug. 28 at 7 p.m.

The festival will take place on Aug. 18 from 5 to 10 p.m., Aug. 19 from 5 to 11 p.m., Aug. 20 from 1 to 11 p.m., Aug. 21 from 1 to 10 p.m., Aug. 26 from 5 to 11 p.m., Aug. 27 from 1 to 11 p.m. and Aug. 28 from 1 to 10 p.m. Fireworks will be held on Aug. 19, 20, 26 and 27 at 9:30 p.m. Free shuttle buses will pick up festival attendees from Ward Melville High School, Earl L. Vandermeulen High School, Port Jefferson Ferry and the Long Island Rail Road station to transport them to festival grounds, making parking at this popular event a breeze.

Admission to the festival is $2 per person, children under 12 free. For more information, call the church office at 631-473-0894 or visit www.portjeffgreekfest.com.

Consider monitoring blood pressure on both arms. Stock photo

This week, I’d like to discuss some of the nuances of hypertension, or high blood pressure, a contributing risk factor for heart disease. Hypertension affects approximately 33 percent of Americans, according to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and only 52 percent of these have it controlled (1). What could we possibly learn about blood pressure that we have not heard already? New information is always coming out about this common disease. Studies are teaching us about diagnostic techniques and timing, as well as consequences of hypertension and its treatment. Let’s look at the evidence.

Technique

When you go to the doctor’s office, they usually take your blood pressure first. But do they take readings in both arms and, if so, have you wondered why? I take blood pressure readings in both arms, and when one of my longtime patients asked me why, I joked that I need to practice. In truth, it’s because there may be significant benefit from taking readings in both arms.

An analysis of the Framingham Heart Study and Offspring Study showed that when the blood pressure was taken in both arms, when there was a difference of more than 10 mm Hg in the systolic (top number) blood pressure, then there may be an increased risk for the development of cardiovascular disease — stroke and heart disease (2).

This is a simple technique that may give an indication of who is at greater cardiovascular disease risk. In fact, when this interarm blood pressure comparison showed a 10 mm Hg difference, it allowed the researchers to identify an almost 40 percent increased risk of having a cardiac event, such as a stroke or a heart attack, with minimal extra effort expended.

So, the next time you go to the doctor’s office, you might want to ask if they would take your blood pressure in both arms to give you and your doctor a potential preliminary indication of increased cardiovascular disease risk.

Timing

When do we get our blood pressure taken? For most of us it is usually at the doctor’s office in the middle of the day. This may not be the most effective reading. Nighttime blood pressure readings may be the most accurate, according to one study (3). This was a meta-analysis (a group of nine observational studies) involving over 13,000 patients. Neither the clinical nor daytime readings correlated significantly with cardiovascular events when multiple confounding variables were taken into account, while every 10 mm Hg increase at night had a more significant predictive value.

Twenty-four ambulatory blood pressures readings were taken with these patients, which means these were standardized readings. Does this mean that nighttime readings are more important? Not necessarily, but it is an interesting finding. With my patients, if blood pressure is high in my office, I suggest that patients take their blood pressure at home, both in the morning and at night, and send me readings on a weekly basis. However, at least one of the readings should be taken before antihypertensive medications are taken, since these will alter the readings.

Salt impact

There has always been a debate about whether salt really plays a role in high blood pressure and heart disease. The latest installment in this argument is a compelling British study called the Health Survey from England. It implicates sodium as one potential factor exacerbating the risk for high blood pressure and, ultimately, cardiovascular disease (4). The results show that when salt intake was reduced by an average of 15 percent, there was a significant blood pressure reduction and that this reduction may be at least partially responsible for a 40 percent reduction in stroke mortality and a 42 percent reduction in heart disease mortality.

The graphs of sodium reduction mimicked the line graphs for the reductions in deaths from stroke and heart disease. One potential study weakness was that physical activity was not taken into account. However, a strength of this study was that it measured salt intake through 24-hour urine tests. Most of our dietary salt comes from processed foods that we least suspect, such as breads, pastas and cheeses.

Age-related macular degeneration

When we think of blood pressure-lowering medications, we don’t usually consider age-related macular degeneration as a potential side effect. However, in the Beaver Dam Eye Study, those patients who were taking blood pressure medications were at a significant 72 percent increased overall risk of developing early-stage AMD (5). It did not matter which class of blood pressure-lowering drug the patient was using, all had similar effects: calcium channel blockers, beta blockers, diuretics, and angiotensin receptor blockers.

However, the researchers indicated that they could not determine whether the blood pressure or the blood pressure medication was the potential contributing factor. In addition, another study actually suggests the opposite — that blood pressure medications may reduce the risk of AMD (6). However, this was a retrospective (backward-looking) study, and it has yet to be published.

This is a controversial topic. If you are on blood pressure medications and are more than 65 years old, I would recommend that you get yearly eye exams by your ophthalmologist.

Fall risk

As we age, falling risk seems to increase. One study shows that blood pressure medications significantly increase fall risk in the elderly (7). Overall, 9 percent of these patients on blood pressure medications were seriously injured when they fell. Those who were considered moderate users of these medications had a 40 percent increased risk of fall. But, interestingly, those who were consider high-intensity users had a slightly less robust risk of fall (28 percent) than the moderate users. The researchers used the Medicare database with 5,000 participants as their data source. The average age of the participants in the study was 80.

Does this mean that we should discontinue blood pressure medications in this population? Not necessarily. This should be assessed at an individual level between the patient and the doctor. Also, one weakness of this study was that there was no dose-response curve. In other words, as the dosage increased with high blood pressure medications, one would expect a greater fall risk. However, the opposite was true.

In conclusion, we have some simple, easy-to-implement, takeaways. First, consider monitoring blood pressure in both arms, since a difference can mean an increased risk of cardiovascular events. Reduce your salt intake; it appears that many people may be sensitive to salt, as shown by the British study. If you do take blood pressure medications and are at least 65 years old, take steps to reduce your risk of falling and have annual ophthalmic exams to check for AMD.

References: (1) CDC.gov/blood pressure. (2) Am J Med. 2014 Mar;127(3):209-215. (3) J Am Soc Hypertens 2014;8:e59. (4) BMJ Open 2014;4:e004549. (5) Ophthalmology online April 30, 2014. (6) ARVO 2013 Annual Meeting: presentation. (7) JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(4):588-595.

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.

Dima Kozakov. Photo courtesy of Stony Brook University

A high five becomes a natural celebration after a home run because the hitter and the celebratory teammate are standing on their feet and are looking directly at each other. What if gravity didn’t keep our feet on the ground and our heads in the air? We might slap a hand into a foot or a foot into an elbow, sharing a nonverbal exchange with a different meaning.

Proteins inside our bodies don’t have the same gravitational and physical limits. They can and do come together in a soup of cytoplasm, blood, plasma and other mediums. Some of the time, those exchanges, like the high fives, communicate a message in the ordinary course of life. In other circumstances, however, those protein-protein interactions can lead to diseases like cancer.

Researchers around the world have studied these interactions using a variety of tools, trying to combat signals that contribute to damaging and life-threatening conditions.

Dima Kozakov, assistant professor in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics and faculty member of the Laufer Center for Physical and Quantitative Biology at Stony Brook University, has spent several years creating a general way to model the mechanical details of how two proteins interact. This tool could become useful for researchers who are studying problematic interactions.

Leading an international team of scientists, Kozakov, who is also a faculty member at the Institute for Advanced Computational Science at SBU, created a new algorithm to model protein interactions. This algorithm accelerated how to model particular protein-protein interactions to identify harmful couplings. Kozakov and his colleagues recently published their findings in the prestigious journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Applications of this technology include helping to design therapeutic proteins and speeding up vaccine design. If, for example, the interaction of a pair of proteins contributes to disease, scientists may want to design some other protein that is safe for the patient that will interact with one of the proteins. This additional coupling can avoid the more harmful protein connection.

Scientists also sometimes know that two proteins interact, but they don’t know how. Proteins often have large surfaces with many potential connections. Researchers might need to know “how two bodies come together,” Kozakov said. Proteins are flexible three-dimensional objects that consist of molecules. In modeling the interactions, Kozakov can find the three-dimensional way these proteins come together.

Computational modeling is less expensive than running experiments. At this point, the computer system needs as its starting point the three-dimensional structure of the proteins. That, Kozakov said, is much easier than determining the structure of a protein complex.

The next step is to work on methods where scientists don’t need the structure but only the chemical formula, which they can find through the amino acid sequence. Kozakov and his collaborators will use the information on the structure of similar proteins to build the models. “We’re developing a methodology that will work with the models,” Kozakov said. He described his approach as “physics based,” in which he solves a statistical mechanistic problem by using an energy function that can account for different environments.

“In principal, we can modify our energy function to account for different environments,” like changes in pH, temperature or other variables that might affect how two proteins come together. Given the way Kozakov and his colleagues designed the model, it can account for all possible configurations of two almost rigid proteins coming together.

Kozakov is also in discussions with Brookhaven National Laboratory to explore the results of small-angle X-ray scattering. The benefit of this approach is that he doesn’t need proteins in a crystalline structure, which is a requirement of crystallography. While small-angle X-ray scattering provides less information than crystallography, Kozakov said he and his colleagues can develop it in combination with other techniques where it would be equivalent.

Kozakov has been developing models since 2007 or 2008 to understand these interactions. The project in his recent paper took three years to finish. The program takes 10 to 15 minutes to run on a personal computer. Before, this kind of effort required a supercomputer.

Kozakov believes there could be other applications of this technology, where scientists could model candidate protein drugs in real time to see how the drug interacts with the protein of interest. The first version of the program came out about a year and a half ago and it took the intervening time to perfect it, he said.

Born in Eastern Europe in a region that used to be part of the Soviet Union but is now on the western border of the Ukraine, Kozakov lives in Stony Brook with his wife Olga Kozakova. The couple has a six-year old son, Platon. Kozakov’s grandparents were scientists: his grandfather, Mikhail, was a university professor and his grandmother, Nina, worked at the university. He grew up surrounded by books on physics. He “had fun, digging into antiquities books” and thought the science presented an “inspiring environment.”

As for his work, Kozakov has a big picture view of his efforts. “I want to make something useful to the community and to the world,” he said. “I want to do what I can to help.”

The 2016 Downtown Rocky Point Summer Concert Series, hosted in conjunction with VFW Post 6249, is underway. Following Swingtime Big Band on Tuesday, Southbound, a Long Island country and classic rock band, performed at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in downtown Rocky Point, at 614 Route 25A, Rocky Point.

The concerts begin at 7 p.m. and will help to support local businesses. Admission is free and attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets.

“The Summer Concert Series provides a wonderful way for families and residents to enjoy local musical performances,” said Legislator Sarah Anker (D-Mount Siani). “I encourage residents to join me at the concerts and to take advantage of the wonderful shops in downtown Rocky Point.”

On Tuesday, Aug. 16, Mike DelGuidice & Big Shot, a Billy Joel tribute band, will perform at St. Anthony’s. On Tuesday, Aug. 23, Strawberry Fields, the ultimate Beatles tribute band will perform.

In case of a cancellation, a rain date is scheduled for Aug. 30. For more information, contact 631-854-1600.

Amanda Geraci (Maid Marian) and Steven Uihlein (Robin Hood) star in 'The Misadventures of Robin Hood.' Photo by Peter Lanscombe, Theatre Three Productions, Inc.

Hear ye, hear ye! Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men have taken up residence at Theatre Three in Port Jefferson through Aug. 13 as the theater presents the world premiere of “The Misadventures of Robin Hood.”

With original script and music by Jeffrey Sanzel, Steve McCoy and Douglas Quattrock adapted from the well-known English folklore “Robin Hood,” the new musical comedy follows the timeless tale closely but turns out to be more like Mel Brooks’ 1993 film “Robin Hood: Men in Tights.” With equal parts adventure and silliness, the show is a perfect way to enjoy a lazy summer afternoon.

Sanzel skillfully directs eight adult actors who are clearly in their element. The actors are joined on stage by a supporting cast of 35 young members of the theater’s summer acting classes who help the story along with narration and song. It’s the 12th century and King Richard the Lionheart has gone to fight in the Crusades, leaving his brother Prince John in charge who orders the Sheriff of Nottingham to collect taxes from the poor villagers. When Robin of Locksley protests, he is banished from the kingdom and retreats to Sherwood Forest. There he assembles his group of Merry Men and, with the help of Maid Marion, becomes Robin Hood, robbing the rich to give to the poor.

The cast of Theatre Three's 'The Misadventures of Robin Hood'
The cast of Theatre Three’s ‘The Misadventures of Robin Hood.’ Photo by Peter Lanscombe, Theatre Three Productions, Inc.

The lines are very cheeky: “Why does everyone have to repeat everything I say?” “It’s more dramatic that way!” and the fast-paced show is action packed with sword fights and archery contests. There’s even a bit of magic thrown in as the sheriff acquires a belt that when put on changes his appearance. Oh and the sheriff gets booed — a lot.

Steven Uihlein is hilarious as the absent minded bumbling swashbuckler Robin Hood who just can’t seem to get anyone’s name right including his bride to be, and Amanda Geraci is wonderful as the very patient Maid Marian, or as the program says, “patient beyond words.”

After an absence of more than five years, Jason Furnari returns to the Theatre Three stage to tackle the villainous role of The Sheriff of Nottingham and steals the show. Furnari, best known for his role as the original Barnaby in “Barnaby Saves Christmas” and as Peter in “The Adventures of Peter Rabbit,” is simply wonderful and delivers a stellar performance.

Newcomer Mark Jackett, standing well over six feet, is perfectly cast as Little John, and veteran Andrew Gasparani is an excellent Friar Tuck. Ginger Dalton, as Mrs. Buttertom, Melanie Acampora as Bettris Much and Emily Gates as Anne Much round out the cast and do a fine job.

Accompanied on piano by McCoy, the songs are fun and catchy with special mention of Geraci’s beautiful rendition of “Robin My Love” and Furnari’s “What Makes a Man a Man.” Costumes by Teresa Matteson are on point from Robin Hood’s traditional Lincoln green outfit to Friar Tuck’s robe to Maid Marian’s beautiful gown.

Meet the cast in the lobby after the show for photo ops.

Theatre Three, located at 412 Main Street in Port Jefferson, will present “The Misadventures of Robin Hood” Aug. 12 at 11 a.m. and Aug. 13 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Children’s theater continues at Theatre Three with “Pumpkin Patch Magic” from Oct. 1 to 29, “Barnaby Saves Christmas” from Nov. 25 to Dec. 30 and “The 3 Little Pigs” from Jan. 21 to Feb. 4. All tickets are $10. For more information, call 631-928-9100 or visit www.theatrethree.com.

One of 25 street gardens in the Three Villages that have been recognized. Photo courtesy of the Three Village Garden Club

To show appreciation for the wonderful efforts of the gardeners of the community, the Three Village Garden Club instituted a Street Garden Recognition Program 11 years ago. Residents of the Three Villages were invited to participate in this program, had to fulfill the requirements of using only living plant material and the garden had to be well-maintained and be pleasing to the eye.

Participants included Laura Nektaredes, Barbara DeBree, The Jazz Loft, John and Nancy DeBellas, Virginia Bushart, Anthony Isola, Julie Parmagiani, Glynn Mercep & Purcell, LLP, Innovative Nutrition, Karin Ryon, Janet MacDowell, Palma Sette, Aida Von Oiste, Kim Squartrito, Rita Scher, Mike Specht, Bob Bronzino, Jackie Kramer, Eileen DeHayes, Michele Matton, Mary and Bill Wilcox, Jeanette Reynolds, Jean Jackson, Gladys Belmonte and Ralph VonThaden.

Members of the garden club viewed the participant’s gardens, and those who qualified were invited to a Brunch Reception held on July 16, at the Emma Clark Library. At the reception, each participant received a plaque, which was designed by a member of the Three Village Garden Club, JoAnn Canino. Photos of the gardens were on display at the reception and will also be posted in the library during the month of September.

If you would like to participate in the street garden recognition program next year or recommend a garden in the Three Villages that you admire, applications will be available at the Emma S. Clark Library in the late spring of 2017. For more infor- mation on the Three Village Garden Club, visit www.threevillagegardenclub.org. The public is encouraged to visit the street gardens at the following locations:

22 Deer Lane, E. Setauket

24 Deer Lane, E. Setauket

11 Lodge Lane, E. Setauket

7 Stalker Lane, E. Setauket

42 Fireside Lane, E. Setauket

52 Fireside Lane, E. Setauket

2 Cedar Ave., E. Setauket

6 Van Brunt Manor Road, Poquott 6 Sharon Ave., Poquott

206 Route 25A, E. Setauket

5 Carlton Ave., E. Setauket

36 Lake Ave., Setauket

57 No. Country Road, Setauket

6 Wendover Road, Setauket

343 Main St., Setauket

15 Huckleberry Lane, Setauket

8 Huckleberry Lane, Setauket

15 Lewis St., Setauket

7 Mill Pond Road, Stony Brook

40 Main St., Stony Brook

275 Christian Ave., Stony Brook

139 Christian Ave., Stony Brook

16 Bailey Hollow Road, Stony Brook

8 North Road, Stony Brook

81 University Hgts. Drive, Stony Brook

Green beans mature in about two months. Photo by Ellen Barcel

Now that it’s August, you’ve been enjoying your garden’s produce. Some varieties of tomatoes have already ripened. The fresh corn has been delicious. You’ve had beans and salads fresh from the garden. But, it’s time to start thinking about your second harvest of quick growing and cool weather veggies.

The average first frost on Long Island is the end of October (central North Shore and North Fork) to early November (North Shore of western Suffolk and Nassau counties). These, of course, are averages. I remember a December when I still had geraniums blooming while I was putting out my Christmas wreath. And, there have been early Octobers with frost, times when I’ve rushed to get my houseplants, which were summering outside, back into the house.

Radishes mature in under a month. Photo by Ellen Barcel
Radishes mature in under a month. Photo by Ellen Barcel

First, look at the packages of seeds and see how long it is from planting to maturity. For something like green beans, depending on variety it can be anywhere from 50 to 60 days. So, knowing that the end of October is just about the last of the growing season, count backward. You need to plant the last of your green beans, again depending on variety, by the beginning of September. That will give you the two full months you need for plant maturity. Start now, and plant another row each week, finishing up the beginning of September. Lettuce is another quick growing crop. Leaf lettuce is a cool weather crop and matures in 40 to 50 days. So, the last sowing of lettuce needs to be mid-September. Head lettuce takes longer — 70 to 90 days, so chances are it won’t have time to mature.

Some varieties of cucumbers will mature in 60 days, while others take longer.

Summer squash will mature in about 60 days and radishes under a month. You can plant your radishes up to the end of September and still have a harvest before frost.

Green onions (scallions) will be ready to be picked in 50 to 60 days. Again, plant up until the beginning of September. Okra will mature in 50 to 60 days. Corn will mature, depending on variety, in 65 days and beets in 55 to 70 days. Kohlrabi will mature in 50 to 60 days.

Green tomatoes, if large enough in autumn come frost, may ripen in the house. Photo by Ellen Barcel
Green tomatoes, if large enough in autumn come frost, may ripen in the house. Photo by Ellen Barcel

Tomatoes are interesting in that the plants you put down in spring will continue to set fruit into fall, as long as the weather doesn’t get too cold. This means that you may have a lot of green tomatoes at the first frost. If they are large and with a tinge of orange, try to ripen them indoors. Some people swear by the brown paper bag method. Or, consider either making fried green tomatoes or pickled tomatoes. This latter treatment is more reliable. I’ve had some tomatoes I’ve tried to ripen just go to mush, especially if they were very small.

Remember that the above, and any dates listed on seed packages, are for optimal conditions. A sudden cold spell can delay plant maturity. Second crops can be less reliable than planting in spring, but, all you’ve invested is the cost of a few packages of seed. If it’s very dry, remember to water well. Use fertilizer, especially for very heavy feeders like tomatoes. Good luck and enjoy your second harvest!

Ellen Barcel is a freelance writer and master gardener. Send your gardening questions to leisure@tbrnewspapers.com. To reach Cornell Cooperative Extension and its Master Gardener program, call 631-727-7850.