Native Garden and Ecolandscaping Resources

Bee on Aster by Katheryn Laible

A few years ago now, I started reaching out to friends and collecting resources that we are pleased to share with you!

Continue reading

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, 2024: To Reflect and Serve

Photo of MLK Monument in Washington DC

The third Monday in January is reserved to honor the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. whose 95th birthday would be this year. It is the only federal holiday formally recognized as a national day of service, “a day on, not a day off.” In the spirit of listening and thinking first, people are warmly encouraged to study the works of King, and to devote time to serious reflection on how we will endeavor toward a healthier, more just world for all. Here are a few resources.

Continue reading

Autumn Landscaping Resources

Child in leaves

Autumn Landscaping. Plant Something and Chill

It’s taken a full year to feel like our Firefly Gallery is mostly resettled. Tending to that treasure has left both Synchronicity and my gardens sorely neglected.  
 
Fortunately, things are falling into place and there’s still time to tend to these passions! I am grateful to those who encourage me to get back to writing already, and am delighted to report that autumn is a GREAT time for gardening!
Autumn Dogwood
"Autumn Dogwood" photo by Katheryn Laible

On Leaving the Leaves

To explain why this is so beneficial, let’s start with another post from deeply knowledegable local expert Anthony Marinello of Dropseed Natives, “Leave the Leaves!”

This is rapidly becoming a very mainstream concept.

Here’s a piece from Homeserve.com, “Rake It or Leave It? Here’s Why You May Just Wanna Leave Your Leaves Where They Fall,”  one from the USDA, and even one in Good Housekeeping.

Here’s an article from James Doubek for NPR on the subject.

Environmental groups have been saying this for years. Here’s the National Wildlife Federation on why.

And one from The Xerces Society: “Leave the leaves.”

BTW the Xerces Society is interesting. It’s really focused on saving invertebrates. Their work is deeply fundamental and yet applied at our level in the food chain, so it’s also really helpful! Their Facebook page is a wealth of basic, excellent advice.

…There are tips on winter cleanup, saving seeds, a beautiful sight of Monarch Butterflies migrating….

I learned about them from Long Island Native Plant Group on Facebook, a great community of incredibly knowledgeable and helpful folks who think about our local ecoscapes all year long

…but I digress…

…I was talking about leaving the leaves…

Photo of oak leaf on pavement
"Oak Leaf" photo by Katheryn Laible

Well, Most of Them Anyway

The movement to leave the leaves is really important, but should be taken with a little common sense.

It also remains important to keep the driveway clear, as well as stone patios and pathways, assuming you wish to preserve them. The same goes for grass (though a thin layer of leaves may be mowed quite healthfully), which also likes to be aerated from time to time.

On my property, I’m dealing with invasive Norway Maples that I’m working to eradicate and replace with native trees as quickly as I can afford to do so. With them, I have found raking the leaves is fairly important as they seem particularly smother-y and slow to break down. As I am working to reduce their spread, I also want to be able to get their whirlybirds up in the spring!

As such, my approach isn’t so different from what these folks at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have to say, or The Spruce, here.

So, I do continue to rake a bit….mindfully….

Autumn afterblooms
"Autumn Afterblooms" photo by Katheryn Laible

Consider Losing the Lawn

Of course, while lawn health is among the biggest reasons to still rake, folks such as those from Re-Wild Long Island (an incredible collaboration of Long Island experts) suggest you consider doing away with your lawn instead.

This powerful opinion piece in the New York Times suggests you’d best “Kill your lawn before it kills you.”

On the West Coast, this has become a serious affair. Alternatives such as Xeriscaping, which focuses on minimizing water use, have become very popular. There, many factors including severe ongoing drought are coming together to prove that fighting the ecosystem for the sake of grass isn’t worth the trouble.

Related practices are gaining popularity across the country as communities come to realize that tending their own yard is a great way to nurture a healthier environment.

I’m not quite ready to ditch my lawn myself. However, I am committed to neither watering nor fertilizing nor spraying it with chemicals, and to doing all I can to maximize the ecological value of my property.

Here’s a nice piece from Brooklyn Greenways on why native plants are so important.

I am deeply inspired by projects like these “Rewilding Long Island” examples featured on the Rewild Long Island website.

See these 12 Inspiring ideas for a lawn-free landscape from porch.com, and some more on Houzz.

Check them all out and then go, tread lightly into winter, and dream of the upcoming spring.

 

(BTW: You can find resources for that here … it’s never too early to start planning!)

photo looking up at trees in twilight
"Looking Up: After the Fall" photo by Katheryn Laible

Rise and Shine

photo of bird rising over Cold Spring Harbor 2022

Photo entitled “Cold Spring Harbor: Rising 2022” by Katheryn Laible

I remember the wisest, sweetest, most incredible woman I know saying,

“People pray for power. It is better that they will Love,

for Love is the greatest power of All.”

 

I pray: May I remember her teachings well. May I understand them at least enough.

May we together channel more than ourselves;

Manifest Love and Light.

 

Pray for Love. Pray for Truth. Truth and Love in equal measure

For as many before and after have somehow said, “Truth without Love is brutal, and Love without Truth is false.”

This has long made sense to me.  I am still learning that it takes a third leg: Faith.

 

To make a sturdy table, we need Faith.

Faith, Faith, Faith

…to cast away fear, have faith…

 

“Nothing boils in lukewarm water,” she says.

Remember to command, to commune, to comfort; to will harmony in thy multifaceted being

…Truth, Love, Faith…

 

Faith in the Greater.

Faith in each other.

Faith that as we will it already is.

Faith that this Flame I feel deep within is far from mine alone.

Faith that you feel this, too.

 

Humble before God, equal before man, recognizing the God within and the human as well, each manifesting in its own way.

May we will and channel Strength and Dexterity, Grace and Mercy. Healing Light.

Open to the Greater Good without and within, in places that we do not know.

 

She reminds me:

“There is no saint without a past and no sinner without a future,”

“He loves you not for what you are but for what you are becoming.”

 

“Ho’oponopono. Ho’oponopono. Ho’oponopono,”

I hear other voices say.

She speaks to me of Lady Quan Yin.

They remind me to start on a path to Forgiveness,

to Uplift, to Enlightenment with myself;

to be grateful for every blessing and each accomplishment no matter how small, 

 

For the smallest is the greatest.

For so little do we know, For we all know a little.

May we appreciate all that is Good, Humble and Grateful to be so blessed. 

 

She advises Joyful Anticipation.

Discerning and Healing. Flexible and Strong. Reconciling.

Forgiving. Transcending. Overcoming.

 

Calling all who Will to Transmute the lesser,  To Receive, Accelerate and Amplify the Greater.

Manifest Love. Be the Light. Keep the Faith.

Honor the Divine within and without.

 

This indigenous wise-woman who communes with All reminds me of St. Francis’ Prayer. “Let me be an Instrument of Thy Peace.”

Faithfully. Humbly. Gratefully. Evermore.

 

This I Pray. Namaste. Amem.

This piece was updated 6/9/23

Come Learn: Huntington-Northport Oyster Reef Project

Flyer for a three-part educational series at Town Hall on "How to Improve & Protect our Marine Ecosystem." Join them Tuesday, June 6th at 6pm for the next one!

As part of a larger program, the Huntington Rotary has been coordinating a 3-part forum at Town Hall, “How to Improve and Protect Our Marine Ecosystem” featuring Aquaculture Experts at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County.

Continue reading

Synchronicity Open Doors Reception Featuring Dr. Jeff Reynolds

Flyer for Open Doors Reception

Join us for our next “Open Doors Reception”

This will be an evening of networking, light refreshments and music, focused on celebrating health and humans services professionals. We will also offer a taste of the healing power of art. It will be held at The Firefly Artists Gallery in the beautiful historic village of Northport, home of the Engeman Theater, excellent restaurants, lovely shops and a gorgeous park and harbor.

The shops mostly close around 6pm but a few of us, like our neighbors at Artisan House, like to stay open.

 

What: Synchronicity Open Doors Reception
Honoring: Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds of The Family & Children’s Association
When: Tuesday, April 18th at 6pm
Where: The Firefly Artists, 90 Main St., Northport
Please RSVP: to katelaible@gmail.com Space is limited!
 

A Little Bit About Jeff


“I’ve got more than 30 years worth of public service experience and currently serve as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Family and Children’s Association, based in Garden City, NY. Since it began as an orphanage 139 years ago, Family and Children’s Association (FCA) has been committed to caring for Long Island’s vulnerable children, youth and families while helping them prepare for successful futures. We offer community-based programs for struggling families, at-risk adolescents, vulnerable seniors, and adults challenged by substance abuse. Today, FCA is one of Long Island’s largest health and human organizations with an annual budget of $25 million, 360 staff, 200 volunteers and 40+ programs. FCA has consistently been named one of Long Island’s top places to work.”

His full bio on the Family and Children’s Association reads thus:

“An experienced, dynamic and committed public health professional, Dr. Jeffrey L. Reynolds is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Family and Children’s Association (FCA), based in Garden City, NY. Since it began as an orphanage in 1884, Family and Children’s Association (FCA) has been committed to caring for Long Island’s vulnerable children, youth, seniors and families while helping them prepare for successful futures. The organization offers community-based programs for struggling families, at-risk adolescents, vulnerable seniors, and adults with substance use disorders. Today, FCA is one of Long Island’s largest health and human services organizations with an annual budget of $24 million, 360 staff, 200 volunteers and 40+ programs. Since arriving at FCA, Dr. Reynolds has helped secure more than $18 million in new funding and launched several innovative services, including three new recovery centers. He also re-branded and modernized the agency’s identity and during COVID, spearheaded a move to a new 30,000 square foot headquarters.

From 2009-2014, Dr. Reynolds served as Executive Director of the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (LICADD), an organization that provides substance abuse screenings, brief interventions and referrals to addiction treatment, as well as professionally-facilitated family interventions and anger management services to adults and adolescents. Under Dr. Reynolds’ leadership, LICADD pioneered evidence-based K-12 substance abuse prevention programs in several Long Island schools, initiated a new mentoring program for children of incarcerated parents and expanded LICADD’s Employee Assistance Program. During his tenure, LICADD’s revenues tripled, and the number of families served per month increased nine-fold.

Prior to joining LICADD, Dr. Reynolds worked for the Long Island Association for AIDS Care for 19 years, where he started out doing case management and finished his tenure as Vice President for Public Affairs, responsible for government relations, resource development, strategic marketing, and communications. In 1997, he co-founded BiasHELP of Long Island, an organization dedicated to assisting victims of hate crimes and their families. As BiasHELP’s Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Reynolds secured federal, state and local grants and launched a wide array of crime victim assistance services and school-based violence prevention
programs.

Dr. Reynolds currently serves on New York’s Heroin and Opioid Task Force, the Executive Committee of the Nassau County Heroin Prevention Task Force, Suffolk County’s Heroin/Opiate Epidemic Advisory Panel, the board of the New York State Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, Nassau’s Family Violence Task Force, Suffolk County’s Welfare-to-Work Commission and he co-chairs the Huntington Town Opioid Task Force. He serves as a board member and treasurer of Lightning Warriors, a youth
triathlon team, and serves on the board of the Long Island Association (LIA).

Dr. Reynolds is Vice Chair and remains the longest serving member of the NYS AIDS Advisory Council, first appointed by the NYS Senate Majority Leader in 1994 and reappointed five times since then. Dr. Reynolds has also served on the NYS Governor’s Recreational Marijuana Task Force, been chair of Nassau County’s Youth Board, co-chaired Nassau County Comptroller’s Non-Profit Steering Committee and served on the transition teams for County Executives Laura Curran (D) and Bruce Blakeman (R).

Dr. Reynolds has served as a consultant and grant reviewer for the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services  Administration (SAMHSA) and is a frequent presenter and keynote speaker at statewide and national health and human service conferences. He has authored more than 250 news and op-ed articles that have appeared in a wide variety of publications and is consistently used as an expert source for substance use, addiction, HIV/AIDS and human/civil rights information by local and national radio, television, online and print outlets. Dr. Reynolds has received numerous awards for his community service and leadership and was named one of the “most influential Long Islanders” each year 2010-2022 by the Long Island Press. Dr. Reynolds has received leadership awards and honors from the Simple Hope Foundation, Caron Treatment Centers, Strong Youth, Inc., the Long Island Recovery Association, Mainstream House, LICADD, Long Island Business News (Long Island Business Hall of Fame, 2021) and Herald Newspapers (Top Business Leaders in Nassau County, 2021). Dr. Reynolds is also a graduate of Energeia, a regional stewardship program spearheaded by Molloy College. In 2022, he received a Long Island Excellence in Healthcare Award from Herald Newspapers and a “Hero of Hope” award from CN Guidance and Counseling Services. 

Dr. Reynolds holds a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Dowling College (1988), a Masters in Public Administration (MPA) with a specialization in health administration from Long Island University (1997) and a doctorate from Stony Brook University’s School of Social Welfare (2007). Dr. Reynolds’ doctoral dissertation was on “Using the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change to Explore Substance Use Patterns and HIV Risk Behaviors in a Suburban Sample.” He has been a Certified Employee Assistance Professional since 2011.

A lifelong Long Islander and cancer survivor, Dr. Reynolds is an avid marathon runner having completed 15 marathons and is also an Ironman triathlete, a passion he’s used to raise much-needed funds for FCA, LICADD, United Way of Long Island and other local/national charities.”

———

Basically, we’re lucky to have this guy.

Firefly Lights: April 2023

Photo of the exterior of The Firefly Artists

Thank you for making us the 2023 Best Art Gallery on Long Island and for all you do to support local art and artists. 

Welcome to the latest edition of Firefly Lights, all about our beautiful downtown gallery of local art and artists. In this edition, please find:

– Kindred Spirits: An exhibition and reception celebrating teachers and students
– An Artist Talk with Renee Reichert, Illustrator of “The Cat Came Back”
– Classes on illustration with Renee Reichert and jewelry making with Rachel Kalina
– A networking event celebrating folks in Human Services honoring Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds
– Call to Artists: BLUE

Flyer for Kindred Spirits Art Exhibition

Art Reception: Kindred Spirits

Kindred Spirits are people who share common interests, values or even world views. There is a common bond that joins them together. In this case, our exhibition focuses on the bond of art.
 
We are honored to once again offer “Kindred Spirits,” an annual special exhibition of artwork by Long Island Art Educators and their present or former students. It’s beautiful.
 
Exhibition Dates: 4/3-4/28
Reception: Saturday, 4/22 3-5pm
 
Our love for students and teachers is always on view. Did you know we regularly showcase “Students of the Month,” nominated by teachers island-wide? Come see!!!
Image of the cover of "The Cat Came Back" provided by Renee Reichert

Arstist Talk: Making "The Cat Came Back"

Join us for this free event. Award-winning artist and illustrator Renee Reichert will discuss the making of “The Cat Came Back”
 
What: The Making of The Cat Came Back with Renee Reichert
When: 4/25/23, 6pm
Cost: FREE – No registration required
 
THEN, in May, Renee will offer a two-part class exploring the fine art of illustration, which ranges considerably as there are so many ways to put pictures to words. Participants will then create their own works of art:
 
What: Introduction to Illustration
When: May 6 and 13 from 9:30-11am
Cost: $100, materials provided by student
To Register: Contact Renee at reneereichert@icloud.com
The Wood and Watch logo
Photo of Rachel Kalina doing a jewelry making demonstration

Jewelry Making Classes!

Firefly Rachel Morgan Kalina has been creating The Wood & Watch jewelry since 2007. She’s taught at The Art League of Long Island, Firefly, Socrates Sculpture Park, and elsewhere. With offerings ranging from simple, one-afternoon experiences to in-depth training, Rachel prides herself on providing encouragement and individualized attention.

Check these out and then email her to set a date!

Metal Stamping
Customize a pendant with words by hammering steel letters onto metal. One-and-a-half hours/one session $75

Beginner Metalsmithing
Create a pendant or earrings in copper or brass with a jeweler’s saw. (There are no torches in this class) Four hours/two sessions $215

Basic Soldering: Stacking Rings or Stud Earrings
Use a torch to make minimalist sterling silver stacking rings or stud earrings. Three hours/one session $170

Advanced Soldering and Stone Setting
Take your silversmithing to the next level by building a ring or pendant from scratch. Discover how to set a gemstone in a bezel. (“Beginner Metalsmithing” class with Rachel or previous experience required.) Ten hours/multiple sessionsv$400

All Classes include supplies and tool usage. Students must be at least age 18 (no exceptions).

Contact: thewoodandwatch@gmail.com | @thewoodandwatch

Flyer for Open Doors Reception

Open Doors Reception: Jeff Reynolds

Join us for a Synchronicity mixer, an evening of networking, light refreshments and good fun. Here we will celebrate community and the healing power of art while connecting with folks in Health and Human Services.

What: Open Doors Reception
When: Tuesday, April 18 at 6pm
Honoring: Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, Family and Children’s Association
RSVP is Required: katelaible@gmail.com

You can read an article Firefly Katheryn Laible wrote with Jeff here.
BLUE logo

Call to Artists: BLUE

If you see a tree as BLUE, then make it BLUE. -Paul Gauguin.

This juried exhibition celebrates the color blue, whether used as seen in nature, or following Gauguin’s inspiration.

Artists are invited to submit artwork that primarily features shades of blue (50% or more of the image). Maximum outside frame size is 24 inches. All original media are acceptable, such as drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, mixed media, sculpture, collage, fabric work, glasswork, jewelry and digital media.

Submission Deadline: 4/22/23
Exhibition Dates: 5/1/23-5/31/23
Reception: Saturday, 5/6 3-5pm
For Details and Application: Visit our website
 
Be sure to submit a .jpeg image of the work you are submitting with the completed application. Works must be delivered and picked up in person.
Acceptance notice will be EMAILED on 4/24.
 Contact: events@thefireflyartists.com
Photo of the exterior of The Firefly Artists

About the Firefly Artists

Come to our beautiful new location, The Old Hardware Store at 90 Main Street, in Northport!
 
***NEW HOURS***
Mon-Wed 11am-6pm  
Thurs-Sat 11am-9pm  
Sun 11am-5pm
 
The Firefly was established in 2011 to create a gallery setting for local artists. The goal was to create a space where artists could meet, collaborate, and sell their beautiful creations.
 
Over more than a decade, We have had the great privilege to display a stunning variety of work by well over 400 artists through our Main Street locations and pop-up galleries. We boast extraordinary talent, while maintaining a very down to earth and supportive atmosphere that is unique to Long Island.
 
In 2020 we expanded our offerings to create the Darcy Arts Center, featuring special exhibitions and classes in addition to the rich selection of works by our resident artists. While we are adjusting to our new space, we are thrilled to be able to continue these expanded offerings, right in the center of everything! 
 
Every time you purchase something from The Firefly Artists you support at least one local artist. Come, experience our beautiful gallery, and bring home that perfect thing to brighten your world or someone else’s!

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and check our website for all the latest updates!

Thank you for your support!

 

 

Shop Local! Lighting the Northport Leg Lamp…

Main St, Northport

Shop Downtown! Shop Northport! Photo by Katheryn Laible

Scroll down for a list of amazing Northport Shops, links to their sites and a little bit about what makes them so cool. You can also check out our readers’ choices of favorite shops across Long Island. We always welcome your submissions to add to that!

For my own part, right now I want to shout from the rooftops about the wonderful merchants of Main Street, Northport who so generously contributed to our Leg Lamp Lighting Raffle. I was inside each and every one of these shops and they are all delightful.

The Northport Leg Lamp Lighting

We held the 2022 Northport Leg Lamp Lighting at 90 Main Street, which is our new home as The Firefly Artists. This is also the site where, when it was the Northport Hardware Company for many years before us, this amazing community event spontaneously germinated. Over nearly two decades, it has organically grown to become one of Long Island’s most beloved holiday events.

Here, we Fireflies now have the great privilege of displaying our stunning variety of work by local artists. We boast extraordinary talent, while maintaining a down to earth and supportive atmosphere that is unique on Long Island. We seek to be an outlet for these local artists, offering a place to create, grow and connect with community.

It was a great honor for us to now also get host this incredibly creative, community oriented extravaganza, right where it all started.

A Major Award, indeed!

We were joined by The Community Playhouse of Northport, members of which helped raise the talented techs of North Stream, who provided professional audio visual services at a steeply reduced price, making them a MAJOR SPONSOR. This vastly increased our capacity to share with you Playhouse members’ talented and entertaining performances, as well as those of the incredibly beautiful Northport High School Tigerettes (called once again by Mayor Donna Koch, who also provided the leg lamp and arranged for our wonderful village administrative, highway and police support), and students of the Posey School of Dance (starting at 17:30 in the linked video) who performed selections from their upcoming Nutcracker Suite, right in the middle of Main Street!

We also have to thank young Theo and Charlie Gilmore, who “flipped the artist’s switch,” to dim the lights and set the stage for the main event, and Drigo Morin who was willing to don a bunny suit to complete our festive scene.

Photo by Chris Yee. From left, Drigo Morin, Dr. Joseph Centamore, Gail Centamore, Justin Murphy, Michelle Centamore, Jude Centamore and Goldie Centamore,

It Takes a Village: Thank You Major Sponsors!

Northport is basically a 1/4 mile strip that starts with amazing restaurants and a world-class theater, and ends with a park featuring landmark gazebos, including one at the end of a beautiful walk over the water, and more amazing restaurants. In between reside a whole host of lovely spots, many of whom are featured below.
 
We didn’t really run this event, so much as serve as a vessel for an all-community endeavor. While we gave it our best to rise to the occasion, it was support from all corners of Northport that made it happen.
 
In addition to the aforementioned, the 2022 Northport Leg Lamp Lighting was made possible by an anonymous donor from the Northport Chamber of Commerce who likes to quietly help make good things happen. We also had the “Luck of the Irish” to meet Fritz Garrecht from the Daniela Conte Foundation, who helped tremendously. We’ll talk more about that soon. We were then reminded that Annemarie Little, from Little John Remodeling is wonderful. We remain deeply and eternally indebted to the Lau family, who came home to market and kick off this event in grand style.
 
We really did try to do this all as frugally as possible. We were also, however, committed to “doing it right.” It was on Sunday, 11/20 that we realized we HAD to have the professional A/V. As generous as NorthStream is, they still have to pay their employees. Facing a dearly tight budget ourselves, we decided to invite neighbors to help us do that.
 
Like so many small business, our neighbor shops do SO MUCH for our communities ALL THE TIME. They donate to local events, local charities and individual causes. They sponsor sports teams and often roll up their sleeves to offer their time and energy as well. They give local artists a chance and give of themselves every day to labors of love that are often each themselves beautiful galleries of unique and wonderful gifts, sustenance and experience…
 
I hardly had time to even pass by all the folks I wanted to ask. The care and generosity of those I did encounter, by and large, was incredible. I also managed to do a fantastic bit of holiday shopping in delightful atmospheres, finding quality presents for not nearly as much as you might think.
 

Above all, once again, I was struck deeply at how WONDERFUL our community is.

Please pop in and buy from these folks. Then, as you go along on your adventures, make a note to look at the sponsor listings of other local events and such as you see them. Make time to visit those places and thank those folks for making our communities special by supporting their establishments.

These people who give of their time and energy to do good in the community tend to bring that same energy to their work. Even if they weren’t giving so much to everything else, supporting them would be worthwhile.

Photo of Leg Lamp Raffle Donations in the window of The Firefly Artists
Grateful thanks to all our local merchants who helped make the 2022 Northport Leg Lamp Lighting Possible! .

2o22 Leg Lamp Lighting Merchant Sponsors -- THANK YOU!!!

Tim’s Shipwreck Diner: (46 Main Street) First of all, his trolly car of a breakfast joint embedded in Main Street is iconic and delicious. Second of all, every time we turn around he’s doing something wonderful for his neighbors. Truthfully, it was Tim saying “Please,” and offering to bring Hot Chocolate for everyone that really got this whole event rolling.

 

The John W. Engeman Theater (250 Main Street) is a premier year-round professional theater that casts its actors directly from the Broadway talent pool. The venue features stadium-style seating, state-of-the-art lighting and sound, and a “Lobby Bar and Lounge.” Since 2007, they have produced 80 Main Stage Productions of some of Broadway’s finest musicals and plays, and have proudly opened their doors for numerous special events and fundraisers for various organizations.

 

Skippers: (34 Main Street) Family owned and operated since 1978, Skippers has long been a staple of the Nothport Community. Recently remodeled, they offer waterfront dining featuring inspiring Northport Harbor views. It’s a memorable dining experience of coastal Long Island dishes with chef-driven cuisine and a modern design.

Jackie Shawn Salon: (110 Main Street) Come, de-stress and beautify. The feel of the place is a step out of time. The skill with hair and makeup is here and now. The people are lovely.

Jones Drug Store (100 Main Street) has served Northport for over a century! In addition all your pharmaceutical needs they have a lovely gift shop that, among other thing, includes gorgeous Northport-themed shirts and hats. There are authentic model boats and nautical gifts, flags, hand painted bird houses, and much more.

Northport Historical Society (215 Main Street) is housed in an old Carnegie Library. They offer incredible programming and are where you can find and purchase amazing old photos.

Coquus Book Store (145 Main Street #3) is the perfect place to shop for your favorite chef!

Changing Tides Consignment: (Formerly Helgas, 139 Main Street) Happy Retirement Helga! Welcome Denise! Read about the carefully planned changes at Northport’s treasured thrift shop here.

Harbor View Jewelers: (260 Main Street) A 4th generation jeweler with an excellent reputation for honesty, integrity, and the finest customer service in the industry. They love to work one-on-one to meet your individual style and develop your ideas into the perfect, treasured piece of jewelry.

Harbor House Restaurant: (78 Main Street) Northport’s newest restaurant in a cozy historical venue. It’s a modern seafood restaurant with warm atmosphere and outdoor dining in season. The friendly, attentive staff offers chef inspired seasonal fare, always fresh, and a variety of seafood, homemade ravioli, burgers and many specials to choose from.

Main Street Café: (47 Main Street) Come taste Long Island’s best burger, as chosen by readers of Newsday! Its owner for 16 years, Darin Parker, is so community oriented she was selected by the Times Beacon Record News Media as a Person of the Year. In addition to providing the Leg Lamp for the years Carl’s Candy hosted the event, Darin served as the first vice president of the Northport Chamber of Commerce as well as a fundraising organizer, and she hosts trips to Broadway shows for Northport Village residents. She is also a major supporter of events and foundations including St. Baldrick’s, Relay for Life, Adopt a Family and Strides for Cancer.

Salted on the Harbor: (70 Main Street) Proprietor & Sommelier Lindsay Ostrander has been in the restaurant industry since she was 14 years old. Wanting  “Northport to be a stamp on the map for restaurants too,” she and her family designed Salted to round out what they felt was missing in Northport Village. Their Chef Anthony has a resume with some of the best locations around, such as Park Place, Nisen Sushi, Matteo’s, just to name a few.  With a little help from their friend Doug Brickell, of the famed Cork & Kerry, their beverage savant, they bring to you carefully crafted cocktails & spirits, as well as craft beer and amazing wines chosen by the Owner/Sommelier, who for the past decade has also happened to own:

The Wine Cellar on Main: (70 Main Street) Sommelier chosen wines by the glass & bottle, local craft beer, tapas & dine in menus from sister location SALTED. on the Harbor and Maroni Cuisine (currently on Wednesdays and Thursdays). The bar is also a fine art gallery. There is Live Music Thursday- Sunday- Follow them on instagram and facebook for their weekly line up!

Artisan House: (80 Main Street) This treasure trove of unique gifts is celebrating 50 years in Northport, and one year with their new owners, Ron and Randi. They have baby items, jewelry, glassware, candles, souvenirs, nautical gifts, windchimes and more. They’re also one of the few places on Main Street that routinely stay open late!

Indigo room: (146 Main Street) Proprietor Kim is a deeply spiritual artist and a curator….the place is just…so…cool….Come, find a bit of poetry, a zen garden, perhaps a bit of indigo ink….Sage and holi sticks, beautiful, clever things she’s found, created and been  inspired by…the place is a treasure for the body mind and soul…

Nest on Main (135 Main Street) is a home decor marketplace that features many talented local artisans and creative entrepreneurs, including interior design experts who are delighted to help you feather your nest. Learn about them on their website, take one of their wonderful workshops, or just come on in and delight in their many and varied offerings.

The Window Shop Jewelers (104 Main Street) is dedicated to fulfilling customers’ dreams and to providing objects of consummate beauty and lasting value. Shop here for fine jewelry or timepieces, famous collections, exciting new designers and lines waiting to be discovered. Proprietor Jean McNeill and staff personally guide visitors through a breadth of selections…karat gold and sterling…diamonds, precious and semiprecious stones, pearls, vintage and contemporary pieces and more…jewelry for virtually every occasion…and every price point.

Bohemiac Boutique: (54 Woodbine Ave) She started as an Instagram sensation, now she’s got a beautiful brick and mortar location selling her clothing and accessories right on Woodbine. It’s so Northport, in a low key chic kind of way with a little bit of an edge…perfect for mother-daughter and best friend shopping. Plus, her Christmas Tree is amazing.

Gunthers: (81 Main Street) Northport’s iconic watering hole, famed for being one of the places Jack Kerouac never wrote a word. Check out the website for their music lineup.

Hengstenberg’s Florist (39 Main Street) has been serving the Gold Coast North Shore for over 30 years, with a commitment to bringing their customers exceptional floral arrangements, award-winning designs and unsurpassed service.

Hydrangea Home (67 Main Street) is an artful lifestyle shoppe with a casual, laid-back aesthetic that features fragrance, bath and body, florals, art and photography, jewelry and home decor. It all began in 1995 out of the converted garage of Dawn Mohrmann, whose husband and 4 kids first supported the endeavor by helping out at home. Now, the grown children each contribute to its handmade products in the shoppe while Fred handles all of the assembling, building, etc. In addition to so many pieces literally made “in-house” there are many others they just couldn’t resist sourced from other small businesses, local and around the world.

The Jewelry Collection (75 Main Street) offers a unique and beautiful collection of gifts ranging from candy to jewelry to home decor. There are items for babies and men, too! The stock is always changing and equipped to help you find something for everyone at any occasion.

Sweet Arts: (105 Main Street) With an old fashioned candy store up front and a party space in the back, this crafty establishment is one of Northport’s newest family-oriented treasures. They offer birthday parties, creative space, a lovely candy shop and even a you and me group intended to support caretakers as much as their kids. Check their website for event dates.

Maroni Cuisine: (18 Woodbine Avenue) First of all, the meatballs are legendary…but it’s more than that. Their about page will tell you “Love Wins”…that “Maroni cuisine is so unique it is difficult to describe but a pleasure to experience”…that eat in or take out, they aim to make you feel at home, that “We offer no formal menu. We break the rules.” It is absolutely delicious…

Einstein’s Attic: (79 Main Street) A longtime Northport treasure of a toy shop, Einstein’s Attic is “a specialty store where imagination can take you anywhere.” Proprietor Lori Badanes is always on the hunt to expand and offer her tremendous selection of amazing toys for children of all ages – including LOTS of very cool educational toys. She is also always willing to do something new and creative with the community.

Elements of Home (91 Main Street) offers an eclectic mix of out of the ordinary gift ideas, along with new ideas in home decor. Their ever-changing merchandise will meet your needs and desires for each season, as well as those special occasions to be celebrated throughout the year.

Heartichoke: (145 Main Street) Often described as “absolutely magical” and an “earthy delight,” here you can find gifts, crystals, incense, candles, home, garden, jewelry, and accessories.

Penny & Cooper: (154 Main Street) Inspired by the power of scent to create a mood, evoke a memory or relax us, mother-daughter team Donna and Katie established this bath, body home store in 2017. They handcraft their products in small batches with love & care, using only high-quality and natural ingredients. They move with the season, celebrate our village and create a wonderful atmosphere.

Martoni Italian Eatery (245 Main Street) offers warm grilled panini sandwiches, signature salads, italian gelato, espresso, and cappuccino, as well as imported goods direct from Italy, such as olive oils, balsamic oils, pasta, olives, mushrooms, and much mo.

How blessed are we to have these folks! Go! Keep them in business for decades to come. It’s totally worth it!

Northport Leg Lamp 2022
The Window of the FIrefly Artists December 2022

Full Credits

Our deep, deep thanks to The Reichert Family and Former Mayor George Doll for being long central to our community, and for starting this tradition we are so honored to continue.

It’s a little about The Christmas Story, but really, it’s all about Community. Thank you for being a part of it.

PERFORMANCES BY
Rich Lau
Amelia Lau

NORTHPORT TIGERETTES
Madeleine Atherton, 12th
Hazel Carlson, 9th
Katie Conroy, 11th
Scarlett DePaul, 10th
Sarah Edebohls, 12th
Emma Fierro, 11th
Margaret FitzMaurice, 10th
Chloe Gucciardo, 9th
Jillian Heuer, 9th
Jaelynn Irizarry, 11th
Samantha Kim, 11th
Mackenzie Kirincic, 11th
Anastasia Knudsen, 11th
Ella Lombardo, 12th
Gabby Mancusi, 10th
Anna Mandel, 10th
Ava Marion, 10th
Ella Mason, 9th
Zoe Meadows, 12th
Sophia Merlino, 12th
Scarlett Moran, 11th
Beatrix Moran, 9th
Lucy Mulholland, 9th
Skylar Neuf, 11th
Jessica Ochoa , 11th
Charlotte Petronella, 11th
Madison Rasizzi, 11th
Allison Reale, 12th
Ava Scheibe, 9th
Scarlett Stack 9th
Lily Trudwig, 9th
Celeste Tuccillo, 12th
Talia Velazquez, 12th
Chloe Wagner, 9th

POSEY SCHOOL OF DANCE
Delaney Mulholland – Clara Solo
Samantha Driscoll- Sugarplum Fairy
Olivia Puglisi – Dew Drop Fairy

YOUNG LIGHTS
Theo and Charlie Gilmore (With Kate Sydney)

THE COMMUNITY PLAYHOUSE OF NORTHPORT

The Centamore Family, Michelle, Joe, Goldie, Jude, and Gail
Narrated by Justin Murphyly Graci

PRODUCTION MANAGER

Aly Graci

STAGE MANAGER IN PINK BUNNY SUIT
Drigo Morin

 

THE TECH
NorthStream, Nick Graci
Theo Lau
Steve Caputo

THE SET
Community Playhouse of Northport
Rob Nock and James Darcy (the Crate)
Mayor Donna Koch, Village of Northport (The Leg and more, All the Admin)
Steve Caputo & Aly Graci (The Movie)
Beth Atkinson
Drigo Morin
Highway Dept.
Northport Village Police

DESIGN AND PRODUCTION
Jennifer Lau

REFRESHMENTS
Tim Hess, Shipwreck Diner (Key Instigator. hot chocololate, more)

VOLUNTEERS
Annmarie Little, Little John Construction
Max & Lizzy Laible
Steve Caputo, Christine Maichin, Assorted Other Wonderful Firefly Artists

LIVE MUSIC BY
The Drama Kings

Autumn Landscaping Resources

Child in leaves

Autumn Landscaping. Sorry I'm Late!

This year, what with all the all at our gallery, every other plan I had went out the window.

Both Synchronicity and my gardens were sorely neglected.  

I am thus late with this article and still struggling to accomplish basic fall cleanup.

Fortunately, while I still have important work to do, I am comforted by a whole host of experts who now recommend taking it easy on the leaf removal.

Autumn Dogwood
"Autumn Dogwood" photo by Katheryn Laible

On Leaving the Leaves

This is rapidly becoming a very mainstream concept.

Here’s a piece from Homeserve.com, “Rake It or Leave It? Here’s Why You May Just Wanna Leave Your Leaves Where They Fall,”  one from the USDA, and even one in Good Housekeeping.

Here’s an article from James Doubek for NPR on the subject.

Environmental groups have been saying this for years. Here’s the National Wildlife Federation on why.

And one from The Xerces Society: “Leave the leaves.”

BTW, I just discovered the Xerces Society, which is focused on saving invertebrates. Their work is deeply fundamental and yet applied at our level in the food chain, so it’s really helpful! Their Facebook page is a wealth of basic, excellent advice.

…There are tips on winter cleanup, saving seeds, a beautiful sight of Monarch Butterflies migrating….

I learned about them from Long Island Native Plant Group on Facebook, a great community of incredibly knowledgeable and helpful folks who think about our local ecoscapes all year long

…but I digress…

…I was talking about leaving the leaves…

Photo of oak leaf on pavement
"Oak Leaf" photo by Katheryn Laible

Well, Most of Them Anyway

The movement to leave the leaves is really important, but should be taken with a little common sense.

It also remains important to keep the driveway clear, as well as stone patios and pathways, assuming you wish to preserve them. The same goes for grass (though a thin layer of leaves may be mowed quite healthfully), which also likes to be aerated from time to time.

On my property, I’m dealing with invasive Norway Maples that I’m working to eradicate and replace with native trees as quickly as I can afford to do so. With them, I have found raking the leaves is fairly important as they seem particularly smother-y and slow to break down. As I am working to reduce their spread, I also want to be able to get their whirlybirds up in the spring!

As such, my approach isn’t so different from what Soil Seed and Garden.com says here, or The Spruce, here.

So, I do continue to rake a bit….mindfully….

Autumn afterblooms
"Autumn Afterblooms" photo by Katheryn Laible

Consider Losing the Lawn

Of course, while lawn health is among the biggest reasons to still rake, folks such as those from Re-Wild Long Island (an incredible collaboration of Long Island experts) suggest you consider doing away with your lawn instead.

This powerful opinion piece in the New York Times suggests you’d best “Kill your lawn before it kills you.”

On the West Coast, this has become a serious affair. Alternatives such as Xeriscaping, which focuses on minimizing water use, have become very popular. There, many factors including severe ongoing drought are coming together to prove that fighting the ecosystem for the sake of grass isn’t worth the trouble.

Related practices are gaining popularity across the country as communities come to realize that tending their own yard is a great way to nurture a healthier environment.

I’m not quite ready to ditch my lawn myself. However, I am committed to neither watering nor fertilizing nor spraying it with chemicals, and to doing all I can to maximize the ecological value of my property.

Here’s a nice piece from Brooklyn Greenways on why native plants are so important.

I am deeply inspired by projects like these “Rewilding Long Island” examples featured on the Rewild Long Island website.

See these 12 Inspiring ideas for a lawn-free landscape from porch.com, and some more on Houzz.

Check them all out and then go, tread lightly into winter, and dream of the upcoming spring.

 

(BTW: You can find resources for that here … it’s never too early to start planning!)

photo looking up at trees in twilight
"Looking Up: After the Fall" photo by Katheryn Laible