Tag: Suffolk County

Roadside Giant: Nipper the Dog at Plessers in Babylon

Roadside Giant: Nipper the Dog at Plessers in Babylon

Most people know Nipper as the mascot for RCA, usually shown listening to his master’s voice on the phonograph. But any Long Islander who has passed through the Village of Babylon will also tell you that a 6ft Nipper is also well known for standing outside of Plesser’s Appliance store. Isn’t he sweet?

Nipper the Dog Plesser's Babylon Village New York

There is also a giant Nipper on top of the Arnoff Moving Company building in Albany, NY. If you’re passing through the area you have to stop and see him!
Then and Now: East-Setauket Post Office and Rubber Factory Homes

Then and Now: East-Setauket Post Office and Rubber Factory Homes

This former East Setauket post office building was built in the 1880s. It used to stand on Main St. next to Setauket’s downtown rubber factory. The post office building moved to it’s current location on Shore Rd. in the 1920’s.

Former East Setauket Post Office - June 2010 East Setauket Post Office - Historical Photo
East Setauket Post Office - Historical Photo

The Setauket rubber factories provided work for many at the turn of the 20th century. Known locally as the Rubber Factory Houses, these 1 1/2 story structures housed factory workers. The 3 attached units are still intact on Old Town Rd. and are slated to be moved and for preservation.

Setauket Rubber Factory Houses Setauket downtown Rubber Factory Historical Photo

It’s funny that I’ve ridden by the rubber factory houses and the little post office building hundreds of times never noticing them or knowing their history. It wasn’t until I began looking for information on the Setauket area that their presence was made known to me. The history of the area is like an onion. You peel back one layer only to discover something else. It’s fun to give my inner nerd a workout.

Suburban Exploring – Local Long Island:
As I continue to learn, Long Island has some lovely and interesting places that are rich in history, some of which are hiding in plain sight. What better way to explore these historical gems than by motorcycle? This post is part of a series of motorcycle rides that focus on local Long Island history.
Sights from the Road: The Tiny Setauket Post Office

Sights from the Road: The Tiny Setauket Post Office

The town of Setauket (seh-taw-ket) sits on the north shore of Long Island. First settled in the 1650’s, Setauket has a large number of historical buildings interspersed with its more modern residences.

Often as you ride through some of the town’s small shady lanes, you get the distinct feeling that you are somewhere else. This town doesn’t fit the popular Long Island stereotype; strip malls, tons of traffic and women who sound like Fran Drescher on The Nanny.

Setauket Post Office

One of my favorite buildings that I pass when traveling along the North Shore through towns like Saint James, Nissequogue, Stony Brook and on to Port Jefferson is the delightfully tiny Setauket Post Office. Built in 1941, this quaint little Greek revival building was designed by Richard Haviland Smythe. It features 4 columns whose capitals are topped with cornstalks in the spirit of those found in our nation’s Capitol building, designed by Benjamin Latrobe.

Setauket Post Office Plaque Setauket Post Office Eagle Setauket Post Office
Cornstalk capital column Setauket Post Office Setauket Post Office Letter Slot Setauket Post Office Side view

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History on Wheels: Smithtown Railroad Station House

History on Wheels: Smithtown Railroad Station House

You can really learn a lot about a place by playing Tag-O-Rama on ADVRider. The local knowledge and diverse interests of the players can really make for some interesting tag locations.

What is Tag-O-Rama?

Tag-O-Rama is a photo-tag game played in the regional forums on ADVRider.com. The first rider rides to a location and takes a photo of a place or thing along with their motorcycle. They then post the picture in the Tag thread with a clue about the location. Players then head out to try to reproduce the photo as closely as possible. The first person to post the correctly duplicated photo tag then has to find a new tag location to post and so on.

It’s really quite fun and as it turns out a great way to learn about the history of an area.

Tag-O-Rama Revisited – The Smithtown Railroad Station House

I have found that on occasion, the game has turned up some interesting places to go back and visit when not playing. One such spot here on Long Island is a private home from around 1900 that was once the Smithtown Railroad Station.

Smithtown Railroad Station House

I found it interesting that the home is not currently located near any railroad tracks. I sent a message to the Long Island Railroad Museum to ask if the building had been moved or if the tracks were routed differently over time. I received  a very quick and helpful email response from a gentleman there who said that the home was indeed the former Smithtown Station and that it had been moved in the 1960’s to it’s present address when the new station was built.

There are some great historical photos of the station in it’s former life located on MaggieBlanck.com.

Smithtown New York Railroad Station - Early 1900sPhoto Credit: Robert W. Andersen at lirrhistory.com

Who says riding a motorcycle isn’t educational?

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Local Long Island:
As I continue to learn, Long Island has some lovely and interesting places that are rich in history, some of which are hiding in plain sight. What better way to explore these historical gems than by motorcycle? This post is part of a series of motorcycle rides that focus on local Long Island history.
Motorcycle Photo: Triumph Speed Triple – I’m Lost

Motorcycle Photo: Triumph Speed Triple – I’m Lost

“All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadows shall spring; renewed shall be the blade that was broken, the crownless again shall be king.”  -J.R.R Tolkien

Triumph Speed Triple with I'm Lost Graffiti

Now that the winter is muscling in on my territory, I am left to dream about getting lost in the mountains of places like West Virginia and Tennessee. Sometimes you stumble across really terrific roads when you are just out exploring, with little to no plan.

  • Have you ever gotten really lost on a motorcycle?
Sights from the Road: Fuzzy and the Giant Cauliflower

Sights from the Road: Fuzzy and the Giant Cauliflower

It’s that time of year when riding a motorcycle is a little less easy going. Though it was sunny today, the temperature never made it above 40 degrees. All in all, not too bad for December in New York. But, this is when I start looking for places to ride to. When the cold sets in just about any riding will do.

This afternoon when I announced to my family that I would be heading out for a quick ride to take a picture of a giant cauliflower, I got an “Ok, Ma, cool. See you later,” and an “Ok, have fun.” Nothing phases them, I guess. I’m going to have to start making things up just to see if they’re really paying attention.

Giant Cauliflower

giant cauliflower on long island
Motorcycles and Sombreros Don’t Mix

Motorcycles and Sombreros Don’t Mix

On the day that I decided to drop my bike at the gas station I was heading out to take a picture of a giant sombrero that was previously an ADV tag-o-rama tag. To add insult to injury (hey, I did break a nail) the sombrero was a little bit of a letdown. I must confess I had pretty high hopes for it. Sadly, it was a little worse for wear.

It was like… ray-ee-ain on your wedding day. A free ride when you’ve already paid. Some good advice that you just didn’t take or maybe even like riding 50 miles out of your way to see a giant Mexican hat that sits on top of an out of business restaurant called the Mexican Hut that has nautical accoutrements like nets and buoys that seem decidedly un-Mexican Hut-like hanging on it only to throw your motorcycle down in front of 2 Russian gentlemen at a gas pump.

Yeah.

Triumph Speed Triple and a giant Sombrero

Long Island: Off the Beaten Path – Autumn at Peconic Lake

Long Island: Off the Beaten Path – Autumn at Peconic Lake

Long Island is home to over 3 million people squeezed into it ‘s 2 eastern most counties;  Nassau and Suffolk. Though it is the largest and well longest island in the United States, space here is the ultimate commodity. When out riding around here I try to seek out those quiet or empty spaces that remind me of what it was like to live on the western side of the Hudson River.

On Monday I played hookey from work and took a ride around eastern Suffolk County for a few hours. My travels took me past Forge Pond which is now called Peconic Lake. It is the widest point of the Island’s kayak friendly Peconic River. With no one else around, it was a great place to stop and enjoy the sunny autumn weather. The last remaining leaves will soon be gone signaling the approaching winter. You’d better get out there and enjoy it!

Peconic Lake from Dam Rd - Long Island New York
Peconic Lake

Peconic Lake from Dam Rd - Long Island New York
Peconic Lake from Dam Rd - Click to Enlarge
Sights from the Road: Casa Basso in Westhampton, New York

Sights from the Road: Casa Basso in Westhampton, New York

Casa Basso - Westhampton New York
Casa Basso - Italian Resaurant - Westhampton, New York

“d’Artagnan, come sir. Today, we swashbuckle at the Casa Basso. My man servant Mousqueton telleth me the eggplant rollatini is to dieth for!”

Casa Basso - Westhampton New York Casa Basso - Westhampton New York
Casa Basso - Westhampton New York Casa Basso - Westhampton New York

Casa Basso
59 Montauk Highway
Westhampton, NY 11977
http://www.casabasso.net

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