06/08/14 10:09am
Laurel, 2168 Main Road (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Laurel, 2168 Main Road (Credit: Vera Chinese)

The postman’s unofficial creed — “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night” — applies just as much to postal patrons in the North Fork’s small hamlets as it does to postal employees themselves.

The facilities are veritable meetinghouses where residents travel not only to pick up and send mail, but to converse with neighbors and gossip about town goings-on — no matter the weather outside. “Post offices are a hub of these little communities,” said local historian Richard Wines.

View them on northforker.com

05/11/14 8:00am
Five-year-old Claire McKenzie with her mother, Erica, at home in Laurel last month. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Five-year-old Claire McKenzie with her mother, Erica, at home in Laurel last month. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

When asked to pose for a photo, many small children tense up and present a self-conscious, often goofy version of themselves. They tilt their heads, smile crookedly and hunch their shoulders. They might even stick out their tongues.

Smile nicely, their parents plead.  (more…)

05/04/14 9:05am
Talmage Farm Agway nursery manager Sherry Brezinski with some of the vegetable and herb seedlings in the store. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Talmage Farm Agway nursery manager Sherry Brezinski with some of the vegetable and herb seedlings in the store. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

The North Fork is renowned for its sprawling farms and beautiful wineries. But how about its old-fashioned backyard gardens?

With a little effort and some helpful advice, anyone can grow their own vegetables — yes, anyone.

Read all seven steps on northforker.com

05/03/14 10:18am
CJ's American Grill owners, from left: Joanne Richards, Chris Richards and Sal Malguarnera, with Bobby Bugdin, restaurant principal, and manager Sandra Bilotti. Barbaraellen Koch photo.

CJ’s American Grill owners, from left: Joanne Richards, Chris Richards and Sal Malguarnera, with Bobby Bugdin, restaurant principal, and manager Sandra Bilotti. Barbaraellen Koch photo.

CJ’s American Grill, a new farm-to-table restaurant located in Mattituck Plaza, will celebrate a soft opening at noon Wednesday, co-owner Chris Richards said.

A Grand Opening will follow soon after at an undetermined date. (more…)

04/24/14 10:03am
Words in next month's spelling bee at Jamesport Meeting House will range from middle-school difficulty through adult level. Above are winning words from the National Spelling Bee. (Credit: Danielle Doll)

Words in next month’s spelling bee at Jamesport Meeting House will range from middle-school difficulty through adult level. Above are winning words from the National Spelling Bee. (Credit: Danielle Doll)

Blame it on the alcohol.

Phil Cardinale, an attorney and former Riverhead Town supervisor, was eating spaghetti and drinking merlot at Grana in Jamesport two weeks ago when his friends and fellow diners, Steve and Ellen Berger, told him they were hosting a first-ever community spelling bee May 23 to benefit the upkeep and restoration of the historic Jamesport Meeting House.  (more…)

04/14/14 8:00am
Jeanne Scott (far right) with her daughters and grandchildren (from left) Julie Murphy with daughter Sophie Murphy, 9 months, of Penn., Katie Scott Ryan of Riverhead, Rebecca Riccio of South Jamesprt, (Jeanne Scott) holding Dylan Ryan 15 months outside the business founded 37 years ago. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch photos)

Jeanne Scott, right, holding her grandchild, Dylan Ryan, outside Landscape Adventure in Jamesport. Pictured with her daughters, from left, Julie Murphy holding her daughter, Sophie, Katie Scott Ryan and Rebecca Riccio. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Jeanne Scott, owner of Landscape Adventure in Northville, remembers a time when the supermarket didn’t carry flowers and big-box stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot — with all their plants and garden products — didn’t exist.

(more…)

04/05/14 4:00am
In this undated postcard, campers play on the lawn of the Saint Thomas Home in East Marion, which provided a summer respite for hundreds of New York City children from 1893 to 1925. (Credit: Oysterponds Historical Society)

In this undated postcard, campers play on the lawn of the Saint Thomas Home in East Marion, which provided a summer respite for hundreds of New York City children from 1893 to 1925. (Credit: Oysterponds Historical Society)

East 60th Street, New York City.

It’s a fashionable address now, but at the turn of the last century the neighborhood was home to hundreds of Irish and German immigrants, many of whom lived in crowded, unclean tenements and were parishioners at nearby Saint Thomas Episcopal Church.

In the late 19th century, Saint Thomas provided a number of social services to families living in the tenements. Among these was the introduction of a summer camp for children at a 75-acre property on Long Island Sound in East Marion, 100 miles away.

The property was purchased for $4,485.40 using part of a donation received from a New York City philanthropist. The camp was established so the church could offer city boys and girls an opportunity to get away to the North Fork for two- to four-week stays, during which they could benefit from fresh sea air and exercise.

The children had, as a church bulletin from the period stated, “perfect freedom to wander where they would.”

And until 1925 — the year the camp dissolved amid mounting repair costs — that’s just what children did at the Saint Thomas Summer Home: They wandered. They played.

Read more on northforker.com.