Shop Local! Beckman’s Florist

Photo of Beckman's Florist by Katheryn Laible

Photo of Beckman’s Florist by Katheryn Laible

Sometimes, you learn, there have been treasures under your nose all along. This one’s perfect for Valentine’s Day! 

We recently discovered the family-owned Beckman’s Florist, which has proudly served Long Island from it’s Larkfield Rd, East Northport location for almost 75 years. It was a lovely experience. 

The service was impeccable, the corsage incredible. It was also a delight to see all the gorgeous arrangements being prepared to grace other special occasions, offer love and care, and make any old day a bit brighter.

They have lovely gifts, too! This butterfly garden ornament is one of my favorite things. <3

Shop Local! Northport…

Main St, Northport

Shop Downtown! Shop Northport! An old photo by Katheryn Laible  Much has changed. Much is still the same…

Downtown Northport is basically a 1/4 mile of historic village that starts with lovely restaurants and a world-class theater, and ends with a waterfront park featuring landmark gazebos, and a beautiful playground. In between reside a whole host of lovely spots.
 
Here’s a starter guide, including links to websites and a little bit of what makes these places cool. 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 delighful galleries of unique gifts, sustenance and experience…
 
These particular shops helped us out when we took on the Northport Leg Lamp lighting at the last possible second, and realized even later that we needed fund professional lighting. I hardly had time to even pass by all the folks I wanted to ask. The care and generosity of those I did encounter was incredible. I also managed a fantastic bit of holiday shopping in delightful atmospheres, finding quality presents for not nearly as much as you might think.

A Sampling of Northport Treasures

Shipwreck Diner: (46 Main Street) First of all, this trolly car of a breakfast joint embedded in Main Street is iconic and delicious. Second of all, every time we turn around they’re doing something wonderful for their neighbors.

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 (MOVING to 90C Washington Dr. in Centerport this May!) This 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!

Shop Local - Island Wide

Please pop in and buy from these folks. Then, as you go along, make notice the sponsor listings of other events and such that you see. Make time to visit those places. Thank them for making our communities special by supporting their work, too. It feels good!
 
You might also like to check out this: Our readers’ choices of favorite shops across Long Island. We always welcome updates!

This Valentine’s: Show Your Love with Firefly Art!

"Les Fleurs" painting by Firefly Claudia Bedell

“Les Fleurs” painting by Firefly Claudia Bedell

Our Fireflies have traded in their elving gear for Cupid bows! For the last month, they’ve been bringing in lovely things — cards, a wide array of  jewelry, paintings and photos, pretty pottery, lovely felted wool things…so much more. The glasswork is divine. Come find that unique and perfect gift for yourself or someone you care for.

We’re also a great place to stop in with a love, savor the art, perhaps chat with an artist or two and find that perfect thing together… Come see! 

Our address is 162 Main Street, Northport. We’re open:

Tues – Thurs, 11am-6pm

Fri – Sat 11am-8pm

Sunday 11-5.

We’re usually closed on Mondays but will be open Valentine’s Day until at least 6pm!

About The Firefly

The Firefly Artists was established in 2011 to create a gallery setting for local artists. It is a space where artists can meet, collaborate, and sell their beautiful creations. Over the past decade, we have been privileged to display a stunning variety of work by hundreds of local and regional artists, both in our Main Street locations and in pop-up galleries throughout the community.

We boast some extraordinary talent, while maintaining a very down to earth and supportive atmosphere that is unique to Long Island. Every time you shop at The Firefly, you help make sure we can continue to serve local artists and people like you who appreciate them. Now, you’ve made us the Best Art Gallery on Long Island. Thank you!!!

A Local Independent Bookstore Closes, Three New Ones Open!

Photo of former local independent bookstore Book Revue storefront.

“At the End of a Chapter, Turning the Page: Thank you for 44 Years” by Katheryn Laible

As I look at the list of favorite shops that you dear readers have suggested, there is one entry I still can’t quite bring myself to remove: The once deep and starstruck haven that was Book Revue. My heart still aches at how quickly it emptied. It hurt even more to be right out front as someone began to pull the “Thank You for 44 Years of Business” sign from the window.

There is good news, tho! While Huntington’s incredible, beloved, local independent bookstore is now but a memory, former staff member Mallory Braun is determined to write “The Next Chapter.”

With passionate fanfare, she and so many lovers of this amazing, some would say sacred, place have rallied to make it happen. Even Kurt Vonnegut and Henry Miller – knowingly or not! – have been involved!

 

The Next Chapter

I have never met Mallory but hear VERY good things. That she managed to raise the $250,000 needed to follow in the Klein Brothers’ footsteps is a Christmas present from and for the whole Town. Passing the $200,000 mark on Richard Klein’s birthday was another poetic gift. They had wonderful raffle prizes and a kickin’ band at the very cool Industry Makers the night I got to contribute my little bit. While I deeply appreciated the loud, live music, I sure wish I could have heard what the band’s name was!!!

Proverbial sugar plums dance through my head as I dream of Mallory boldly carrying that glorious banner forward. It’s hard to wait, tho! It doesn’t feel quite like Christmas without Book Revue and I’m eager to see how this manifests. Fortunately, my grieving impatience eases a bit as I smile to see another haven for bibliophiles, this one a used bookstore, pop up in East Northport!

 

 
The Dog-Eared Bard’s Book Shop

The Dog-Eared Bard’s Book Shop  was created by folks who have been running literary events throughout the Island for over a decade. Among activities, they publish a “Bard’s Annual” poetry collection for which they’ve fittingly hosted events at the Walt Whitman Birthplace. I look forward to sharing the next time they seek submissions. They are now hosting “First Friday Poetry Readings.” On January 7th they will feature Robert Savino. I believe they also offer literary alternatives to the Superbowl.

If your own shelves are running over, please know they gladly welcome donations of used books!

This is NOT Book Revue. It does seem to be something wonderful in its own right, tho, and also elicits faded memories of the earliest stacks of that legendary store… It would have sufficed for now….

But then..Lo! What did my wondering eyes behold, but a third new independent bookstore!!!

 

 
Theodore’s Bookshop

The kids and I recently popped into the barely-a-month-old “Theodore’s Bookshop on Audrey Avenue in Oyster Bay. Founded by former US Congressman and Huntington Town Councilman Steve Israel, the shop pays deep homage to the former President and local resident Theodore Roosevelt, as well as to Steve’s love for history and current affairs. Here, he can bring all sides together with pop culture, classic literature, children’s books and other standard bookshop fare. There’s also a healthy dose of folks we’ve dearly missed since Book Revue closed. It seems to work!

Said Steve, “I served 16 years in Congress and it was a place where people would draw battle lines. I got tired of that. I wanted to create a place that would be of value to the community. We have books that are conservative. We have books that are progressive. We have books in the middle. I just wanted to create a platform for respectful discourse and the pursuit of curiosity, and a place that is just serving the community in which I live.”

You can see the rest of my mini-interview with Steve Israel and a few images from his shop below.

 

There Will Only Ever Be One, But Still…

It’s still not Book Revue, but it’s a unique and lovely assortment Steve and his new “family of book lovers” are crafting that does pay deep homage to that bit of history, too. I look forward to seeing how the Dog-Eared Bard grows in it’s own way. I still can’t wait for Mallory to get rolling, and know that I’m still coming to terms with the fact that her endeavor — no matter how wonderful —  will never be Book Revue, either. 

Still, the idea has been planted that maybe…just maybe…some great spirits never really die, but live on in all so inspired.

At least that seems to be the case for three new unique and personal local independent bookstores on Long Island.

More or less just in time for the holidays.

I am grateful. Thanks!

Support Local Business & Community Groups

Main St, Northport

Photo of Northport Village by Katheryn Laible

This is a really tough time to be a small business or a not-for-profit organization. While everyone is rightly encouraged to stay home and keep their hands off the world, bills are still coming due and people are wondering what’s going to happen to their income.

When you see one of your most go-getting survivors of a friend seeking donations for her employer, you have to stop and think — What are we going to do for our people here?

Vision Long Island is one of our region’s strongest advocates for Main Street. They have just released their first Main Street News offering a great guide to what people can do in terms of personal initiative, resources and advocacy.

Another strong advocate for local business that has been posting good stuff on their facebook page is the Long Island Business Council.

In general, some ideas that have seemed good to us include:

  1. Buy Gift Certificates. Consider simply sending a donation to your favorite local business
  2. Realize small businesses are often better for social distancing because they tend to be less crowded. They may even have that hard to find supply!
  3. Restaurants are closing, but can still do takeout/delivery. Even for alcohol!
  4. Realize many of these places care about their own health, your health and the community more than most ever realized. Know that many local shops are going out of their way to safely keep on keeping on — Book Revue in Huntington, for example is offering curbside service and even delivery. We’ve heard report of local hair stylists all but wrapping their stylists in bubble wrap. Look up their website/social media. Even if they aren’t advertising it, call them to inquire!
  5. Special events are hugely important for organizations. Had an event cancelled? Send a donation! You can check our newsletter archives to find 100s of great local organizations
  6. Strongly consider supporting policy proposals that directly support individuals and small businesses. While they are going out of their way to come up with creative means of keeping going, there is only so much they can do,
  7. Just be kind — Especially to the cashiers, service providers and others working through this. Just. Be. Kind.
 
 

YOUR Picks: Favorite Local Shops

"Thank you for shopping local" photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

It’s that time of year again! Please shop local and keep the magic that is our beautiful downtowns alive!

Also, please help me update this list of favorite local shops! There are so many wonderful places run by great people out there. They only exist because people like you spend money there.

The list barely scratches the surface, please help add to it!

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Shop Down Town — It’s Worth It!

Main St, Northport

Shopping on Main Street, Northport the other day was a terrific experience. This downtown has been a favorite of mine for many years. It has waterfront, history, a beautiful park, and lots of shops and restaurants. At the top of the road is The Engeman Theater, which imports Broadway talent to Long Island. I used to go to the 99 cent movies there. Raise your hand if you did, too.

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