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My Life in Commack

Our newest columnist, Amanda Walsh, gives details on what's to come in her column and what life is like for a born and bred Commackian still living here in her twenties.

What’s a twentysomething-year-old to do in the middle-of-the-island town otherwise known as Commack?  That’s exactly why I'm here—so you don’t have to spend your own time trying to figure it out by your lonesome.

I was born and bred in Commack.  I grew up dancing at a local studio, running across soccer fields in an attempt to score a goal with the Commack Soccer League, painting funny-shaped figurines and dancing away at birthday parties at , and sledding and swinging ‘till I was completely exhausted at the park off of Wicks Road.

Eventually I grew up (a little), and went to .  I participated in practically every Cougars football game as a member of both the Cougarettes kickline danceline team and the Marching Band while juggling the ever-increasing course load of the International Baccalaureate program.  Like practically everyone else my age, I enjoyed the pleasures of a centrally located complete with assorted comfy chairs, the delicious , and an always-amusing late night activity—bowling at followed by a late night pasta salad run at .  It was during this time that I realized it was becoming more and more difficult to find entertaining things to do in this seemingly shrinking town. 

As a result, I spent four amazing years studying at the rainy Binghamton University (with about 20 or so of my high school classmates).  I was sure that an occupation would just fall in my lap upon my graduation after four years of hard work, boring seminars, and thirty page papers.  Otherwise, what was the point of all that college ejukation? 

Then, as you all know, the economy took a nosedive, and I ended up back here...in my parents’ house...in Commack.  Though I was lucky enough to find a job so as to not be completely and hopelessly broke, this is not at all what I had planned for my first year after college.

For the past few months I have been actively searching for new things to do in Commack to keep myself from going stir-crazy and dying of imminent boredom.  I found that it’s actually a lot tougher than I thought to find something new and amusing to do if you happen to be in the 20-30 age range… and even tougher to find any information on such a subject online.  But worry not young reader, that’s why I’m here—to save you from countless hours of online searches and useless drives across town in search of something—anything to do.

This column will serve not only as a guide of things to do and places to go in Commack, but a narrative of sorts of what it’s like to actually live in Commack, to grow up in the geographical center of Long Island, and to be a new college graduate in a time when jobs are as hard to come by as reasonably priced apartments. So please, read on and enjoy the ride with me.

Lisa Smith January 27, 2011 at 04:40 PM
I met my husband Bryan when I was 19. He grew-up and lived on the North side of Commack, graduated the then Commack North High School in '82. On our first date, he pretty much told me that he loved his childhood in Commack and that his ultimate plan was to live here forever....and that's what he did. We got married in 1988 and bought his parents house in our late twenties, when housing prices were still very reasonable. Now we are raising our 3 children in this wonderful town! Our oldest is graduating CHS this year! One of places we frequented often in our 20's was Tiffany's Wine & Cheese which was loctated in Commack Corners (Izumi there now). Wish someone would open a place similar to that where you can go, hang out with friends and family, play board games and have fondue & wine.
CommackMom January 28, 2011 at 04:13 AM
Lisa you bring back such fond memories of Tiffany's. Hubby and I would spend hours there over a bottle of Matus and a cheese platter or fondue. The arrangement of tables was like a maze, so intimate. No loud music to shout above. I too, would love for someone to open a similar spot.
Annie D. January 28, 2011 at 04:17 AM
Oh, my goodness...the wine and cheese place at commack corners...that was the perfect hangout! I had a boyfriend that played his guitar and sang there!!! Then of course there was "Rick" who would visit me after work from his job at "Grand Union" (or was it A&P) where Meat Farms is now. Today, Candlelight is the winner and maybe Arizona's, of course, Panera's is always a big hit - if only they stayed open later!!!
Margaret January 30, 2011 at 06:28 PM
I have lived in and loved Commack for 17 years, raising two children here. I agree it is really a wonderful place to live. My daughter is in kindergarten, my son in 6th grade. How I wish someone would bring Tiffanys back! I went there with cousins who lived here and we always had the nicest evenings. I hope a business owner will read this and open one!
Annie D. February 05, 2011 at 03:49 AM
We enjoy Nisen Japanese Restaurant - a must to visit with unique food, drinks, decor, music and dance on some nights! Emilio's has great food and a small bar in the back! There's always Commack Vets Bowling Lanes for Xtreme Bowling - with eats, drinks and a lot of laughs!
Anna Kulick February 05, 2011 at 08:19 PM
I grew up in Commack, lived next to Mayfair Shopping Center. I went to Commack High School North, graduated in 1965! I remember when Woolworth's and Grants were in Mayfair. Whelans Drug Store was there as well as a movie theatre and a chinese restaurant. Gimbels was there too! Pizza D'Amore had the best pizza. What a great shopping center it was!
Annie D. February 06, 2011 at 05:09 PM
Anna K. you reminded me of the "Five & Dime" store at Commack Corners!!! (Now, we call them, "Dollar" and "Five Dollar" stores.) The Commack U.S. Post Office used to be where Tiffany's was - tucked in the corner of Commack Corners! After Woolworth's in Mayfair, it became some type of Country Kitchen place, we used to go for breakfast.
deep throat February 16, 2011 at 11:05 PM
Sticking feathers up your butt doesn't make you a chicken. You're better off writing about your time at Binghamton and leave the Commack activities column to someone who never left the town after high school. Someone like me. It's all us commuters that went to Stony Brook or community college who know all the secrets of this town as opposed to you people who came back and think they know what's worth talking about. Like that article about the Commack Motor Inn, if you were a true Commackian then you would've had experience there instead of dedicating an entire prose to something you've never even done.
CommackMom February 17, 2011 at 04:42 AM
Okay Dave...I'm gonna sit back now with some popcorn and enjoy the show.
Amanda Walsh February 17, 2011 at 04:46 AM
Thanks again for reading and commenting on one of my articles! I would like to state again that my article on the Commack Motor Inn is not a news article by any stretch of the imagination and should not be taken seriously. And whether you love it or hate it, I will always be a Commackian; regardless of how many times I’ve stayed at the Commack Motor Inn.
Axios April 12, 2011 at 06:13 PM
Lisa Smith, given the facts you posted aboout your husband I can tell you I was in his graduating class. In fact, we knew each other all the way back to North Ridge Elementary. I grew up in the "Candy" section and the streets were always filled with kids to play with. We used to ride our bikes down "suicide hill" at JFK Jr. High, now gone, along with all the other places that made growing up there great. Whenever we're at the Target shopping center I tell my wife that the people responsible for tearing down all those wonderful buildings that stood there should all be shot. How many people could ride their bikes to a rock concert, or drive-in, or roller rink when they were growing up?
Annie D. April 13, 2011 at 01:16 AM
Those were certainly the good times! Not only could we ride bikes around but we walked everywhere without a worry like today! Things change but our memories are here to stay! I remember Commack Road when it was one lane each way - how scary is that? I wish someone could tell me what the Spare Rib Restaurant was called back then - I had my Communion dinner there and that was the hottest restaurant to go to then. Geez, what was it called before the Spare Rib and before that???? Anyone know?
Annie D. April 22, 2011 at 02:02 AM
Anyone recall the previous name or two before Spare Rib???
Annie D. April 25, 2011 at 06:30 PM
Someone must know the name of the restaurant before it became the Commack Spare Rib and even before that! Maybe going back to mid to late 1960's. Please post the answer here!
Larry schneckenburger April 25, 2011 at 09:57 PM
the name of the resturant was johnnys charcoal house. use to eat there with my parents,really good burgers.i have been living in commack my whole life and have seen alot of changes.we moved to commack in 1959.im also 34 year member of the commack fd and did a history book about the department.
Annie D. April 26, 2011 at 12:03 AM
Larry, Larry, Larry....thank you! Oh, boy has Commack changed! Did you work on that history book with a social teacher from Commack South, Mr. Bradley Harris? Johnnys Charcoal House rings a bell....was it that name until it became the Spare Rib? I thought there was another name at one point?
George Alexandrovich June 30, 2011 at 09:01 PM
Hey I have been in commack since 1967 and i cant seem to remember the name of the store that burned down? it was on the corner of townline and jericho across from the Marion Carll school? it is now the peppertree commons? anyone know?
Anthony Zumpano July 01, 2011 at 01:44 AM
If I'm not mistaken, and if we're talking about the same thing, you might be referring to an old diner that was on the northeast corner of Jericho and Commack/Townline, next to White Castle. I believe I was in first or second grade when it burned down, so that would be around 1978 or 1979 or 1980. I was too young to have ever been inside it, but from what I understand it was a very classic-looking place. Shortly after it burned down, they widened Jericho Turnpike. If you recall, it was not as easy to see the old Methodist church from Commack Road. They widened Jericho on the north side; before that, there was only ONE turning lane off of Jericho (westbound) to make a left to go south onto Commack Road, and I recall (from the back seat of my dad's car) that the wait to make that turn could be interminable.
Bill Pohley March 10, 2012 at 03:01 PM
I also loved the pizza at Pizza D'Amore in Commack. I assume it is no longer there but a web search revealed a Pizza D'Amore in Brooklyn. Does anyone know if it is the same place. I loved the cheese combination on their pizza, and have never found anything like it.
Mr. Commack November 29, 2012 at 08:51 PM
I am mr.commack. I'm looking for mrs.commack.
Mr. Commack November 29, 2012 at 08:53 PM
I'm mrs. Commack. I'm looking for Missy commack.
Mrs. Commack December 01, 2012 at 05:47 AM
I'm looking for a big boy
Missy commack December 01, 2012 at 01:07 PM
With a big toy.
The commack kid rides again!!! December 02, 2012 at 07:51 AM
Here I am Missy!!!
The Commack Cyber Police!!! December 12, 2012 at 09:40 AM
This is The Commack Cyber Police!!! Now cut that out you crazy commackians lovey doveys!!!
Dino cock December 28, 2012 at 11:12 AM
I'm going to ram you in the ---!!!
El Drunk December 31, 2012 at 12:31 PM
I'm drinking tonite because I'm el drunk,master drunkard of commack!!!
Amanda(chubby)Walsh!!! January 04, 2013 at 10:42 AM
I'm Amanda Walsh and I'm going to eat you!!!
Tony in Long Beach August 04, 2013 at 07:42 PM
I remember when we would have Sinday mass inside the Mayfair movies before they built Christ the King. Saturday nights at the drive in? Long Island Ducks during the week. Circus would come in town around....what was it...Easter ? There was the old stationary store, The bank was on the corner by the Mobil station before they built the new one. There were kids rides in between the two half of Mayfair Shopping center. There was an old black drunk guy named pork chops that used to hang out by commack road. I actually made my Holy Communion in the basement of the big store that sat alone on the other side of the shopping center.
Linda Sourlis Morgan December 24, 2013 at 07:19 AM
Tony in LB you remember pork chops? No one I talk to remembers him. The Woolworth was where the Petco/Petsmart whatever store is in the Macy's shopping center, not in Mayfair. The five and dime was Charles and Sons. There was Enrico e Pagliere restaurant in Mayfair, called something like that.

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