BNL HET & NT: fun on the Island

Amusement on site is limited. There is an excellent 100' pool; during the week, its open at lunch and after work from 5-9; on the weekends, from 1-4. Cost is $2. There is a also a gym with a basketball court, tennis courts, and a weight room. There is a bar in the Brookhaven Center, which is congenial and inexpensive.

Such charms soon wear thin. To preserve your sanity, we strongly suggest you get out and about. Long Island (the Island) has outdoorsy stuff, while anything that can be done indoors can be done in New York City (the City).

For a really excellent guide to life at the Lab, see here.

Getting there

On the Island: get a car. I suggest Enterprise Car Rental; there is a kiosk located in the Research Support Center, building 400. You can call Patrick at x4888 to create a reservation (till 5pm, closed between . There is also an office in Rocky Point (about ten minutes north of the laboratory), 821-7000 (till 6:00pm); after regular business hours, they have a toll free number which is open around the clock, 1-800-325-8007. Enterprise WILL come and pick you up, and drop you off, IF you give them twenty four hours notice. If you have automobile insurance in the United States, you should probably decline their optional insurance coverage, and be covered under your own policy. If you are from abroad, however, you have to take their insurance, which adds an extra $8/day. Be sure to ask for the Brookhaven Lab corporate rate; for the smallest car, it is about $30/day, weekend rate $20/day, weekly rate $200/week. There are other cheap car rentals, such as Premier, 474-8500, and Rent-a-Wreck, but I do not recommend them; Premier charges by the calendar day, not a 24 hour basis, while at Rent-a-Wreck you really get a wreck, people have had problems with their cars breaking down. It also helps to have a detailed map of Suffolk County; the Hagstrom's map is good, and necessary if you're going to Eastern Suffolk County.

What's happening?

Buy Newsday. On Thursday they have a guide to music at bars and clubs; on Friday, a Weekend section that has a guide to concerts, films, etc.

On Sunday, in the Long Island Section of the New York Times there is also a guide to local events.

For events at Stonybrook, see: USB campus calendars. The Staller Center, in particular, often has excellent concerts, etc.

If you are short on time and cannot make it into Manhattan to see a broadway show, there are performing art centers, theatres and event halls on the island for your enjoyment:

Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts, Main Street, Patchogue, 207-1313, http://www.patchoguetheatre.com/.

Gateway Playhouse, 215 S. Country Rd. Bellport, 286-1133, http://www.gatewayplayhouse.com/.

Theater Three, Main Street, Port Jefferson, 928-9100, http://www.theatrethree.com/.

Nassau Coliseum, Levittown, (located westward) offers sports events (home of the NY Islanders Hockey Team) and concerts: http://www.nassaucoliseum.com/.

The Paramount, Huntington (located westward) Huntington, Long Island's newest destination for concerts and shows: http://www.theparamount.net/.

Island Beaches

The beaches are sandier and have bigger waves on the South Shore. The North Shore beaches tend to be rocky with little waves since it looks out on Long Island Sound. Going eastward, the Island breaks into two halves, the North Fork and the South Fork. The South Fork is where the really rich live.

The nearest beach is at Smith Point. Take the William Floyd Parkway all the way south until it ends. This is a good beach, but crowded on the weekends.

A great day trip if you have two cars is to walk from Smith Point to either Watch Hill or Davis Park and then take the ferry to Patchogue. About a 6-8 mile walk.

Fire Island is spectacular; see this home page for information about ferries, restaurants, events, etc. Ocean Beach is nice, Matthew's is a famous restaurant there.

A beautiful, relatively isolated beach is at Sunken Forest. To get to it, take a ferry from Sayville, which is about twenty minutes from Brookhaven on the South Shore. Ferry information is available from the home page above, or by calling the Sunken Forest Ferry Company at 589-8980, The ferry trip from Sayville to the Sunken Forest takes about twenty minutes. The beach is beautiful, and there is a snack stand on the Island. There is also a wonderful walk, about a mile in length, through the ``Sunken Forest''. The walkway is elevated, with a canopy of trees above. Hanging from the trees are strange plants with tendrils reaching down. Very pretty. This is nice because it has both the beach and the walk.

LI has many good sites to launch a windsurfer.

Nice beaches farther away include:

Westward, Robert Moses and Jones Beach are located in the hamlet of Wantagh, on Jones Beach Island, a barrier island linked to Long Island. World-class swimming destination, large, wonderful beaches. Again, you can drive to it, extremely crowded on the weekends. The Nikon at Jones Beach Theater holds wonderful concerts of top musicians in many genres each summer: http://tickets.jonesbeach.com/nikon_at_jones_beach_theater.aspx.

Eastward, all the way at the end of the North Fork of the Island is Orient Beach State Park. Visitors can swim in the bay, fish, picnic, play ball, go hiking or biking, or walk a nature trail. Also Available: Environmental Tours; bike rentals and kayak rentals (April-October, weather permitting). http://www.nysparks.com/parks/106/details.aspx.

You can also take the Orient Point Ferry to Connecticut to visit the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Casino's. Online reservations will save you some time as low-cost packages are available: www.longislandferry.com.

All the way at the end of the South fork is Montauk Point State Park. There is a lighthouse at Montauk. Both are gorgeous, about an hours drive from the Lab. The view from the lighthouse at Montauk is worth the drive alone. Seal Walks are a large draw at the end of the South Fork in Montauk. View harbor seals in their natural environment. Each group will be accompanied by a naturalist who will discuss seal behavior and biology along with the ecology of Montauk. A $5.00 donation per person supports the New York State Marine Mammal & Sea Turtle Stranding Program. For more information or to make a reservation please call (631) 369-9840 ext.10. Tour the famous Montauk Lighthouse and visit the oldest cattle ranch in the country, Deep Hollow Ranch (built in the 1600's). Living history tours and horseback riding are available, 668-2744.

Smaller beaches include:

Cupsogue: Go to Westhampton and then west on dune road to the end. A nice walk to moriches inlet. Offers scuba diving near 296 acres of barrier reef, lifeguards, first-aid center, concession stands and some of the best saltwater bass fishing. Parking is free, admission is $5 per adult.

There is a park with barbecues at the end of Belleview Ave. in Center Moriches. This is a good windsurfing spot on a southwest wind. No good for other swimming. Parking is free.

Just before entrance of E. Moriches coast guard station is a NYS public access site with a good exposure for east winds. Water very shallow: good for kids but not for other swimming. Parking is free.

Island nature stuff

Birding: On the South Fork, off Rte 38 in Noyack, is Morton National Wildlife Refuge. This is near Sag Harbor. There is a short walk, about one mile in length. Bring some bird seed, and tame sparrows will flock to your shoulders, hands, etc., and eat out of your hands. Also, you can walk to a beach, and see osprey nests on poles.

Hiking: The best place is to go to Shelter Island from Sag Harbor. You need to take a five minute ferry to get to Shelter Island. The ferry ride is about $5 one way, $5.25 round trip. After getting off the ferry at the south end of Shelter Island, you're on Route 114. About one mile north, on the right (east) side of the road, you'll see a SMALL sign for Mashomack preserve. The sign is small, so be on the look out. Anyway, this is a very nice area which is run by the Nature Conservancy. There are hikes of 1, 3, 6, and 12 miles in length, along paths which are mowed (so ticks are NOT a worry). The hikes are fine for children of any age. Great birding, no beach. Also, when you enter, the Nature Conservancy has a store with wonderful T-shirts, jewelry, etc., all at very reasonable prices. This is a trip worth making! Hours are 9-5.

Mountain biking: There is a 12 mile mountain bike path in Rocky Point. There are two parking lots: off 25A, on the south side, by Albo Realty, east of Route 21. Also, on Rocky Point Road, just north of Whiskey Road. For trail conditions, call 271-6527.

Kayayking and canoeing: At Southold, Eagle's Nest, 765-3502. In Riverhead, along the Peconic, there are kayaks and canoes available at the U-Haul, 727-3060.

The book "Short walks on Long Island" has lots of other hiking suggestions.

Island towns

On the tony South Fork: Sag Harbor is the coolest place. Lots of little cute art galleries, interesting stores, a good bookstore (Book Hampton).

Amagansett is nice, small. It has the Stephen Talkhouse, which is a great place for rock and blues. This is a small place, but has killer acts. Rumor has it Billy Joel sometimes stops by late at night, but he never did when I was there.

East Hampton is the toniest town of all. The Barefoot Contessa is the most expensive deli I have ever seen anywhere. Go there and nibble. There are also a few nice places to have tea. I would go there in the middle of the afternoon, have tea, and then eat somewhere else, like Sag Harbor or Southampton.

East Quogue: Neptunes Beach Club, 70 Dune Road, 653-8737. One of the largest and best clubs around, right on the beach, if that's your scene, enjoy. Southampton is nice, more little art galleries, fancier than those in Sag Harbor, a good coffeehouse, some outlet stores.

Westhampton is close, but small, not that much. There is a nice store with ethnic art on the second floor near an ice cream store, Artisans International.

Hampton Bays is on the South Fork, but too proleteriat to be real South Fork.

On the North Fork there are lots of vinyards, driving along either Route 48 (which is faster) or Route 25 (which is slower, but more scenic, through a lot of little towns). Island wine is pricey, nowhere near as good as California, but you can go to the winery's, try some for free, and get plowed. The management of Brookhaven National Laboratory strongly recommends that you have a designated driver when doing this.

Island restaurants

For all of the places around, its amazing how hard it is to get good, inexpensive food. Much easier in the cty, * denotes that its located by the Lab. A good guide to restaurants on the East End of the Island is Granny Poo's, available from Book Hampton and other book stores. There are Book Hampton stores in Southampton and Sag Harbor.

Blue Point: Blue, 7 Montauk Hwy., 363-6666, Great "New American" emphasis on fresh foods of the season prepared with a unique and creative twist. $10-$25.

*Brookhaven, Painters' Art Food Bar, 416 South Country Rd., 286-6264. Brookhaven Hamlet. Fun, interesting, lively place to grab a drink or a bite to eat. Enjoy artwork from local painters. $10-25.

Bridgehampton: H.S.F., Montauk Hwy, Rte 27, on the south side, 537-0550. Real easy to miss, as the sign is pitch black. ery good chinese. Nice interior. Entrees about $10.

East Marion: Hellenic Restaurant, Sound Ave, Rte 48, on the north side, 477-0138. Very good greek, informal atmosphere, great with kids. Have outside patio to eat in summer. Try their fresh lemonade, spanakopita, baklava, etc. Cheap.

*East Moriches: Atlantic by the Sea, 215 Atlantic Ave, 878-0700. At the very end of Atlantic Avenue right by the water.

*Eastport: Triangle Pub, 381 Old Montauk Hwy., 325-1849. Not fancy, but great food, relaxed atmosphere.

East Quogue: Michael's, 728-0500. I like their Cajun pizza (I know it sounds wierd, but try it). We normally only go for the pizza, as the pastas are about $15. But in the summer, during week they have been having a buffet for $12, which is great deal.

East Setauket: Tai Show North, 316 Main Street, 751-2848. Great hibachi chefs, delicious sushi.

Farmingville: Ole Restaurant, 630 Horseblock Rd. (Exit 63 on the LIE), 698-4944. Great Portugese cuisine, resonable prices.

Greenport: Aldo's, a deli with a few tables for eating. His food is great.

Greenport: Claudio's, 111 Main St., 477-0627. Great seafood. Dine on the waterfront at their second location, the Clam Bar, located in the marina across the street. Outside seating and live music.

Mattituck: Ammarati's. On Love Lane off Sound Ave, Rte. 48. Mainly a deli, but great brunch on Sunday for only $7. You eat outside, though, so check the weather.

Miller Place: Benten, 971 Rt. 25A, 209-2414. Great classic Japanese cuisine. $10+

Miller Place: Sabai Thai Fusion, 825 Route 25A, 821-1780. Great food, extremely reasonable. Entrees $10+

Montauk: Gosman's, 500 W. Lake Dr. Montauk, 668-5330. Great seafood.

Patchogue: Chachama Grill, 655 Montauk Hwy., 758-7640. Zagat rated excellet, great food with resonable prices. Try the Chilean sea bass with coconut rice or rack of lamb with mushroom risotto. Delicious!

Port Jefferson: Costa de Espana, on East Main. A bit hard to find, you have to get to it from the parking lot. Good authentic Spanish food.

Port Jefferson: Hana, 21 Oakland Ave, 473-4262. A very nice Japanese restaurant near the train station. $10+

Port Jefferson: Lombardi's on the Sound, 44 Fairway Dr., 473-1440. Great Italian and seafood dishes. Outdoor seating has beautiful views. Entrees $15-30.

Port Jefferson: Pasta Pasta, 234 East Main, 331-5335. Best Italian around. Very pleasant, we often take speakers here. Entrees $10-15.

Port Jefferson: Ruvo, 105 Wynn Ln., 476-3800. Pricey but great Italian food, close to the Bridgeport Ferry. $31-50

Port Jefferson: Salsa Salsa, Main St. Countertop Mexican food. Good food; around $10/person.

Port Jefferson Station: 474-0663, Rt. 347, just west of 112. Thai Gourmet. Good, inexpensive Thai food. A hole in the wall, but very pleasant.

Riverhead: Applebee's, south side of Rt. 58.

Riverhead: TGI Friday's, south side of Rt. 58.

Riverhead: Primo Pizza, 727-8763.

*Rocky Point: Kirin, on Rte 25A, the north side of the street, just east of Rocky Point Rd. Good, inexpensive chinese. An old standby for speakers.

*Rocky Point: J&R's Steakhouse, Rt. 25A, 744-2101. Reasonable and relaxed atmosphere. Great burgers and steaks. $8+

*Rocky Point: Sea Basin, on Rte 25A. Fishy.

Sag Harbor: 21 Water Restaurant, 21 West Water St. 725-7500, located at Enjoy outdoor or indoor lounge dining. Live music with views of the waterfront. $20+

Sag Harbor: Provisions, 7 Main St., 725-2666. In town, near the pier. Aging hippy cuisine, but good. The portions are a bit small, so in all about $15/person. The only affordable place in Sag Harbor.

Sag Harbor: There's a great Mexican place right by the wharf. Forget the name. Killer margaritas, light tex-mex.

Sag Harbor: Sen, 23 Main St., 725-1774. Great Japanese food, good specials.

Saint James: Szechuan Garden, Rte 25A. Best Chinese in the area.

Saint James: Mirabelle's, 404 Route 25a, 584-5999. The best French restaurant in Suffolk County. I don't know, its way too expensive for me.

Selden: Caffe Amici, 353 Middle Country Rd., Selden Great Italian cuisine. Pasta about $10+.

Southhampton: La Parmigiana, 48 Hampton Rd., 283-8030. Great Italian, and cheap. Try their daily specials on the board, or Fusili Sicilian (drowned in black olives and capers), fatten on their tirami su for desert. Very informal, great with kids, the only affordable place to eat in Southampton.

Southampton: Publick House, good microbrewery, pub food.

Stony Brook: Cafe 25A, Across from train station on Rt. 25A. Despite the dopey name, its quite nice. Pleasant, inexpensive, fairly standard American fare, around $8/person.

Stony Brook: Curry Club, Rt. 25A and the corner of Nichols Rd, 751-4845. Best Indian food around, pleasant, around $10/person.

Stony Brook: Eastern Pavilion, corner of Nichols Rd and 25A, 751-1888. Good Chinese, Very good sushi bar, pleasant, they like children here, Entrees around $10.

Stony Brook: Green Cactus Grill, 1099 Rte 25A, near SB Train Station)751-7500. A dive, sit at counters, great Mexican, cheap.

Stony Brook: Kumo Japanese Steakhouse, 2548 Nesconset Hwy., 689-8585, Great fushion sushi and steakhouse.

Stony Brook: Pentimento, Rte 25A, 689-7755. Outdoor dining, pleasant atmosphere, Italian/American Nouvelle, Entrees $15-20.

Stony Brook Village: Three Village Inn, Rte 25A, 751-0555. A local institution with ambiance. Take your parents when they visit. Expensive. Entrees $20-25.

*Wading River: La Plage: 744-9200. Across from the beach on Creek Road; go to the center of Wading River, then take the road going north till it veers left. Very good nouveau cuisine, but a little overpriced. Plan on around $35 for dinner and wine/person. Relaxed atmosphere in a small beach house. Call for reservations if more than six. But you can drink yourself into a stupor, and then go across the street to pass out on the beach.

*Wading River: Phils, Wading River Rd. 929-0508, Dirk's favorite place, he likes the help...

*Wading River: Michael Anthony's, 2925 N Wading River Rd., 929-8800. Amazing food and service, consistent excellence. Entrees $15-30.

Westhampton Beach: Belle's, 288-3927. Best damn cafe in an airport ever. Real creole food, funk in the Hamptons, amazing.

Westhampton: Baby Moon Cafe, 288-6350. Excellent, relatively inexpensive Italian.

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A restaurant list from the ATLAS group is given here.

Coffee shops for when you just have to have an expresso...

Port Jefferson: Main St. Starbucks Cafe. Just like all the other Starbucks.

Setauket: Cheese and Stuff, 25A and Main St., Coffee, cheeses, best baguettes around.

Stony Brook: Strawberry Fields, Rt. 25A (next to 7-11), Coffee, light meals, live music at Sunday brunch.

Stony Brook: Professor Java's, Rt 25A across from train station. Very pleasant, good cappucino, internet connections.