A family-owned business, J & J Premium Eye Care has forgone the sterile, impersonal feel of big-chain optometry offices in favor of a cozy boutique with hardwood floors. At the back of the office, the doctor measures visual acuity; screens eyes for glaucoma and other signs of trouble; and clocks your winking speed. Prescriptions in hand, clients can peruse the sales floor's abundant glass cases and racks, which sport name-brand frames by Gucci, Prada, and Versace.
Not even Hurricane Sandy could stop Rachel?s Waterside Grill from treating its guests to feasts of fresh seafood. One year after the devastating storm, the completely refurbished cafe dishes up sandwiches, salads, and hearty brunches and breakfasts made with locally acquired ingredients, earning praise from regulars and awards from regional chambers of commerce.
The waterfront eatery?voted Best Seafood on Long Island in the Long Island Press's Best of LI in 2011, 2012, and 2013?hooks up its customers with delicious, fresh-from-the-sea catches, like a dating service for mermen. Cooks simmer these seafoods in housemade sauces and speckle them atop veggie-laden plates. An indoor seating area treats guests to a painted seascape, while the expansive, heated seaside deck regales al fresco diners with the real thing.
When kids visit Dave's Barbershop for a trim, they get to sit behind the wheel of sleek red racecar that doubles as a barber's chair. And although most adults won't fit into the stylish sports car, they still leave feeling suave thanks to the haircuts, color, and waxing services that are the shop's specialties. Beyond cropping locks and camouflaging greys, the staff smoothes scratchy chins with classic shaves, which include a luxurious hot-towel treatment that softens stubble and glued-on Santa beards before they are deftly sheared away.
Just a few steps from the inn, Freeport's Nautical Mile invites leisurely, sea-scented walks along a mile of waterfront bordered by bars, restaurants, and shops. New York City is also just a train ride away on the Long Island Rail Road, which deposits riders at Manhattan's Pennsylvania Station, minutes from Times Square and Broadway. On Long Island's northern shore, Sands Point Preserve's nature trails wind past christmas ferns, bluebirds, and reclusive rabbits operating the secret stills to produce the island's famous iced tea.
Amid its 25,000 square feet of climate-controlled indoor turf, Long Island Sports Complex treats up to 15 birthday celebrants to one hour of motion-based merriment, followed by a half-hour of pizza, cake, drinks, and party goods. The facility takes care of all the food, decorations and invitations, so parents can spend more time knitting the perfect birthday gift or reanimating it during an electrical storm. Sports-party revelers get to release excess energy with their choice of soccer, baseball, softball, football, or lacrosse without the outdoor inconveniences of grass stains or slingshotted acorns from territorial squirrels. Two to four sport-savvy supervisors will be on hand to make sure that everyone has a safe time.
The PADI- and first aid-certified instructors at QC Scuba school students in the slippery ways of underwater breathing apparati with hands-on courses held seven days a week. PADI designs its Discover Scuba course to expose students to breathing underwater, which is the most elemental of scuba techniques next to looking good in a wetsuit. After a brief introduction at QC headquarters, pool dives are held outdoors in Bellmore, Huntington, or Bayshore or indoors at Queensborough Community College or the Freeport Rec Center.