Articles by

Grant Parpan

Grant Parpan is the executive editor for Times/Review Newsgroup.

04/29/15 3:00pm
Pete Victoria has been bowling at Riverhead's Polish Hall for the past decade. It is believed that on Monday night he bowled the first-ever perfect 300 game at the historic basement lanes. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

Pete Victoria has been bowling at Riverhead’s Polish Hall for the past decade. It is believed that on Monday night he bowled the first-ever perfect 300 game at the historic basement lanes. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

Written in multi-color marker on a dry erase board next to the basement bowling lanes at Polish Hall in Riverhead is the alley’s “300 Club.”

There’s just one entry: Pete Victoria 4/27/15.

Despite being heralded as Suffolk County’s first bowling alley and perhaps even one of the state’s oldest, it was believed that no one had ever rolled a perfect game at Polish Hall until Monday. The first person to accomplish the feat is Mr. Victoria, a 61-year-old plumber from Mattituck.  (more…)

04/04/15 8:00am
This photo taken after the Shoreham-Wading River football team's L.I. championship victory won in the sports feature photo category in the New York Press Association's Better Newspaper Contest. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk, file)

This photo taken after the Shoreham-Wading River football team’s L.I. championship victory won in the sports feature photo category in the New York Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk, file)

Nine years ago, I attended my first New York Press Association convention.

I had just joined Times Review Media Group as a reporter and had no idea what to expect. What I found was a lot of newspaper people scared of the big, bad Internet.

With putting newspapers out each week, we have no way of updating a website, folks said. This is impossible. We will all go out of business.  (more…)

04/02/15 2:00pm
Allied Optical Plan owner Jerry Steiner shows a customer a bottle of Manischewitz wine he received as a gift for passover. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

Allied Optical Plan owner Jerry Steiner shows a customer a bottle of Manischewitz wine he received as a gift for passover. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

It’s Tuesday morning in downtown Riverhead and the going-out-of-business sale is unofficially underway at Allied Optical Plan on West Main Street.

At 9:52 a.m., about an hour after store owner Jerry Steiner releases the lock on his front door, the first customer of the day walks in. Marilyn Downs Aldrich, a lifelong East Ender and Aquebogue native, is looking for a new pair of glasses.

“Everything’s half-price,” Mr. Steiner tells her.

One day earlier, the 60-year-old businessman went to contract with a buyer for his building at 20 West Main St. Developer Georgia Malone, who recently renovated the now-sparkling building at 30 West Main, next door to Mr. Steiner’s business, hopes to do something similar with the brick structure that has housed Allied Optical Plan since 1975.

It’s the end of the line for a business that, its owner admits, died years ago.  (more…)

04/02/15 1:59pm

The best part of dropping by Allied Optical Plan is seeing the novelties owner Jerry Steiner has on display — and discovering which ones he’s willing to part with.

In the past, we’ve left with antiquated political signs and bumper stickers, snacks featuring the images of hip-hop stars, do-rags and even a “Spiro Agnew for President” watch. There’s also some pretty cool Riverhead history on display at the store, which doubles as a museum and triples as a saloon.

In honor of the pending closure of Mr. Steiner’s store, we dusted off a few of our favorite Allied Optical Plan artifacts.

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The Big Check

Riverhead Resorts stopped payment on a check it presented to the Riverhead Town Board after a close-up was published on the News-Review website in 2012. Mr. Steiner later hung a giant version of a different Riverhead Resorts check in his shop, along with a copy of the infamous News-Review photo.

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Hotel Henry Perkins ashtray

Not everything Mr. Steiner collects is for a laugh. This ashtray from the iconic East Main Street building is actually a cool piece of Riverhead history.

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A 4.5-pound can of tuna

Novelty food and beverages are among Mr. Steiner’s favorite collector’s items. He keeps a steady supply of low-quality beverages on hand that he’ll gladly pour for any customer. He also loves food that can make you laugh.

This 4.5-pound can of tuna has sat on reporter Tim Gannon’s desk for several months.

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Goldsmith Maid & American Girl

Mr. Steiner said many people ask him about this painting, which hangs on the north wall of his store. They want to know where horses were ever raced in Riverhead.

“The track was actually around what’s now Pulaski Street School,” he said. “Everyone likes that one.”

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Esposito for Supervisor

Mike Esposito, who for many years operated Esposito’s restaurant on Flanders Road, and previously on West Main Street, ran for Riverhead Town supervisor in 1983 on the Democratic and Better Riverhead lines. Up until 1981, he’d been a Republican.

Mr. Esposito lost the race to then-incumbent Republican Joe Janoski by a count of 5,371 to 1,673, according to the Nov. 10, 1983, issue of the News-Review.

Mr. Steiner recently said the News-Review could have the campaign sign.

“I have a ton of them,” he said.

gparpan@timesreview.com

03/09/15 5:00am
Congressman Lee Zeldin speaks to reporters and concerned members of the public at a press conference on helicopter noise at Southold Town Hall Sunday. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Congressman Lee Zeldin speaks to reporters and concerned members of the public at a press conference on helicopter noise at Southold Town Hall Sunday. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Congressman Lee Zeldin asked the Federal Aviation Administration to do its part in reducing helicopter noise on the East End before the busy summer season in a letter he sent last week.  (more…)