Sunday, June 26, 2011

Bayside Clam Bar and Grill, East Islip, LI, NY

This is the newly renovated Bayside Clam Bar and Grill, formerly known as the Bayview Clam Shack.  We discovered the Bayview Clam Shack two years ago. but the eatery was open only from Memorial Day to Columbus Day.  They had great lobster salads and rolls that Susan loved. Rob's favorite was always the Mussels Bianca.

After Memorial Day, Rob and Susan eagerly awaited the reopening of this great place. Well, it turns out that the Clam Shack had been renovated and is now under new management.  The Bayview Clam Shack had opened under a brand new name, the Bayside Clam Bar and Grill and had just opened two short weeks ago.  
 The new owners, James and Dave treated us warmly and showed us around as if we were old friends.  They were eager to show off the refinements they made to the place like the new outdoor deck and the lovely new bathrooms. The outdoor deck now had wood planking and is all one level instead of two.  The inside of the restaurant has been completely done over and can sit 30 people, rain or shine. They are awaiting a new menu, which, they have assured us, will arrive in two weeks.  

The new deck and gazebo
But in the meantime, the food was great and the new clam bar and grill has kept the same prices.  Kate was our server for the evening and we had no problems; everything came on time.   Rob had some delicious conch fritters and Susan had great turkey reuben that couldn't be beat.

Everything just blended together, the weather was beautiful and a cool breeze blew from in from the Great South Bay.  It was so clear that you could see Fire Island across the water.  To compliment our meal, we heard a great band called Stoneage.

Stoneage playing under the gazebo on the new deck
  We weren't disappointed and are looking forward to many more summer nights (and hopefully fall and winter as well) to eat at the brand new Bayside Clam Bar and Grill in East Islip located inside the Marina.  Can't wait to see the new menu. If you're in the neighborhood stop by. You'll be glad you did.

I can tell you that there is a new Facebook page for the Bayside Clam Bar and Grill.

update:  7/4/11

The new menu has come in and the locals are in for a real treat.  We tried the desserts tonight.  Susan had a New York style cheesecake and Rob had a peach pie with chocolate ice cream.  All homemade by family and friends. 

Some of the offerings on the new menu include Pan Sauteed Hawaiian Sunfish, Grilled Honey Mustard Breast of Chicken, 3 Dog Knight (3 hot dogs covered in sauerkraut, chili cheese and one topped with onions), 14 ounce shell steak, one pound Atlantic lobster, Sweet and Sour Shrimp Stir Fry,  Cocoanut Crusted Shrimp, Traditional Fish and Chips and an 8 ounce Angus beef burger that is to die for.  There are also salads and some great starters with little necks and oysters on the half shell, bacon wrapped shrimp, jalapeno chedder poppers, steamed clams and delicious conch fritters.

Rob and Susan also shared the twin lobster rolls and substituted wild rice for fries.  All brought to you by Chef Lou, Dave's brother in law.  Our server was Dave's daughter, Mara. 

The Bayside Clam Bar and Grill is also open at 7 for breakfast.  Go and enjoy.    

Kinda dark but you can see the new tables that have been set up
 This is James, one of the new owners

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Orient Point Lighthouse or Coffee Pot, Orient Point, LI, NY

In back of me is the Orient Point Lighthouse or Coffee Pot. It was nicknamed by some of the local sailors as the "coffee pot" because of its resemblance to one.  After the invention of the automobile in the early twentieth century, it became better known as one of the "spark plug" lighthouse.

Before construction began on the lighthouse in October, 1898, the churning, white capped waves and dangerous riptides between Orient Point and Plum Island needed to be monitored.  

The Lighthouse Service began by placing day markers on the outer end of  Oyster Pond Reef in the mid 1800's, but were destroyed by winter storms and dangerous ice floes. Plans originally called for a light beacon and fog signal, but plans were meant to be broken.  After a long debate, it was decided that the coffee pot would be built right on the reef out at the far end where the sailors would be able to spot it.

Storm after storm delayed its completion until the spring of 1899 and began guiding ships in November of that same year.  The light, however, was too dim and a new lens was installed in May, 1900. 

 The first lighthouse keeper was Ole Nicolas Alfred Anderson, a Norwegian immigrant.  His wife however, was forced to live in Orient Point since it was too dangerous to live on the open water.  He was transferred to Bridgeport in September of 1901. Anderson would later serve twenty five years as lighthouse keeper to the twin lights at Navesink, NJ.

Keepers came and went as the years went by and many a tale has been passed down including one local legend of a lighthouse keeper who, in the 1920's, went mad, could no longer take the isolation and jumped to his death.

The lighthouse is now automated, but in 1970 it was deemed by the Coast Guard to be too expensive to keep up and plans were made for it to be torn down.  A group of local citizens gathered together and saved it from demolition.  Since then a more modern lens was added in 1988 and in 2000, the Coast Guard began major work on the Coffee Pot. 

According the the website, the Coffee Pot tilts about five degrees. Some rust and cracks were found on one side of the foundation a few years after completion.  Plates were added to fix the problem and it is believed that the added weight caused the lighthouse to tilt.  Another story blames the strong currents on that side of the foundation.

While the Orient Point Lighthouse cannot be reached by land and is not open to the public, it can be viewed from the beach on Orient Point. The New London Ferry also passes by the Coffee Pot and at least four more lighthouses including Plum Island, Little Gull Island, New London Ledge and New London Harbor.

Here are some links to the lighthouse:

Lighthouse where I got most of my information from.  It is an interesting website and relates a few stories that I was telling you about.  You can read them in full.

Wikipedia article

Long Island Lighthouses link:

Orient Point Beach and access road leading out to the Coffee Pot


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Grover's Mill, NJ

This is Van Nest Park in Grover's Mill, NJ, the landing site of the Martians.  It was the night before Halloween, October 30th 1938 when twelve million people tuned in to Orson Welles and his Mercury Theatre players adaption of H.G. Well's "War of the Worlds" for radio and created what is known as the "Night that Panicked America."

Susan and Rob bought the album years ago and heard the entire radio broadcast and Rob was just curious to see the town, so they first drove there in 2006.  They made the repeat trip this Memorial Day weekend at my request. 

The radio show, done as a news program, had all the markings of realism, especially if you tuned into the show about 10 minutes late when you would have missed the announcement about the Mercury Theatre and its theme music. People who tuned in after that heard only Ramon Raquello conducting his orchestra with an announcement that there were several explosions on Mars and that these were gases and headed toward Earth.  It wasn't long before another interruption, this time an interview with Professor Pearson from Princeton (played by Orson Welles) and shortly after that the Martians landing in Grover's Mill, not too far from Princeton.  It wasn't until the end of the broadcast that Mr. Welles provided a disclaimer saying that it was just a holiday radio show, but by then it was too late. 

Water Tower
The site was actually picked by producer Howard Koch by sticking a pencil in a map and coming up with Grover's Mill.  He plotted the advance of the Martians to New York City with radio announcements to back up their story.  People started flooding the local police stations with calls for any news that they could find.  Back in Grover's Mill, residents grabbed their guns and opened fire on a water tower thinking that it was one of the Martians. 

The monument was placed here in 1988 and every once in a while a celebration of the broadcast is held.  One year included a Martian ball.  

But there is a little bit of history to the town.  There actually was mill, operated by Daniel Wolsey in 1757,  It passed through several owners until it was bought in 1868 by John H. Grover.  It would stay in the Grover family until 1929 when Charles L, Dey buys the mill and the surrounding 40 acres of land and 5 houses.  Along with his brother, William T. Denison, Dey founds the Grover's Mill Company.  It is run by the Denisons until 1963.  In 1974 Jay and Robert Schwartz buy the mill from the Denisons.  It is renovated  to hold their graphic arts company.  In 1975, Art Gallery opens.

In 1976, Grover's Mill Pond is donated by the Denison family and in 1994 the mill became the home of Elizabeth and Mark Schulman.  After that, I have no research, but the pic in 2006 looked as if the mill was operating again.

Grover's Mill Company, 2006
Grover's Mill Pond, 2006
The town was quiet on the Sunday we drove in, just some fishing in the pond and a few people hanging out picnicking, but that was it.   So if you live close by, you can check out this small town where the Martians landed and caused havoc in 1938. 
I have lots of links this time including the actual 1938 Mercury Theatre radio show:

From the Mercury Theatre website.  This is the actual radio show that panicked America that night before Halloween on October 30, 1938.  If you go back to the original site, you can listen to any one of the shows that came before or after this one.

Roadside America article:

Everything you always wanted to know about any version of War of the Worlds.  If you click on the bar that say Radio, you will see some pics of Orson Welles and learn more about the broadcast.   On the right side there is a pic of the mill and the word Miscellaneous.  If you click here, you'll learn more of the history of the town.  There is a timeline as well.  A very interesting and informative site.

the script of the radio broadcast

Grover's Mill Pond, 2011

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The John P, Humes Japanese Stroll Garden, Mill Neck, LI, NY

Here we are at the entrance of the John P. Humes Japanese Stroll Garden, a wonderful hidden gem on the North Shore that should not be missed.  Susan and Rob returned here since leaving Nassau County almost 4 years ago now.  They brought me with them so that I could get some idea of how lovely and quiet these gardens really are.  I was so impressed that I'm writing about it now.

Inside the Tea House
In 1960, Ambassador and Mrs. John P. Humes created this garden after returning from a trip to Japan.  He purchased a Tea House later that year and hired a Japanese American couple, Douglas and Joan DeFaya to transform two acres of woodland into a beautiful Japanese stroll garden.

At the suggestion of a landscape designer to preserve the garden,  Mr. Humes hired director Stephen Morrell in 1981 to rehabilitate the garden with the intention of opening it to the public..  Extensive additions were made, which expanded the gardens original two acres into four.  Finally, in 1986, the garden did open to the public, but something was missing.    Even with the extensive additions made by Mr. Morrell, it was discovered that more resources were needed if the garden was to succeed and in 1993, the Garden Conservancy assumed management.

A grant by the Japan World Exposition Commemorative Fund was awarded to the garden in 1997 and was successfully matched by the Garden Conservancy together with the Humes Foundation and Friends of the Humes Japanese Stroll Garden to restore the pond and waterfall.  The project was completed the following year.

The stroll garden should be used as a quiet place to reflect and meditate, losing all cares and worries from the outside world, creating an inner peace within..  Here you are one with the garden.

One of the fountains in the garden

A tea ceremony is held inside the Tea House on certain days of the month.  The tea ceremony is an important part of the Japanese lifestyle and a spiritual exchange between host, guest and the environment.  It is also a ceremony of friendship.  On Susan's first visit to the gardens, she was invited inside to take part.  

Outside the Tea House
So if you are around the area, please do not miss this fabulous Japanese stroll gardens in a beautiful section of Long Island. 

Here are some links:

Wikipedia article:

Article in the NY Gardening Examiner:

another article:

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Amish Farm and House, Lancaster, PA

Nestled inside a strip mall, this is the Amish Farm and House in Lancaster, PA.   Since they were close, Susan and Rob decided to shoot me in front of this great place where you can learn a little about the Pennsylvania Dutch or Amish.
 The property was given to colonial Governor John Evans by William Penn, the original owner and founder of Pennsylvania  1715.

In 1792, the Lancaster-Philadelphia Turnpike was built and brought with it many changes to the area which was largely undeveloped wilderness.  Now known as Lincoln Highway or

Route 30, it was the first paved road in the United States.

As businesses boomed and traffic increased along this 62 mile highway, it also brought in an influx of people who found it fashionable to live along the Lancaster-Philadelphia Turnpike.  

Current house

The limestone barn was finished in 1803,  In 1895,
original descendents of the Evans family,  Isaac and Mary began construction of the current limestone house from stones found in the quarry located on the property.

  The property changed hands from Quakers to Mennonites and Amish,  this house has remained a farm though 150 years and seven generations of families. 

The Amish Farm and House became the first tourist attraction in Lancaster County on July 1, 1955,  It was the brainchild of Adolph Neuber, a local restauranteur and founder of tourism after witnessing increased tourist traffic to the area. This was largely due to new play on Broadway titled "Plain and Fancy."    

Neuber purchased the 25 acre farm mainly to educate the public on how the Old Order Amish lived and worked.  According to their website,   it was opened "to provide a quality educational experience reflecting the historical and modern customs of Lancaster County's Amish and that is authentic, accurate, cooperative and respectful of its Amish neighbors.

We are proud to say that we are the first tourist attraction in Lancaster County and the first tourist Amish attraction in the United States."
Since this house is located off of Route 30, there is a rare mile marker on the property. 

Here are the links:

The Amish Farm and House official website

Amish and Plain people site:

History of the Amish people
Wikipedia article:

Mile Marker