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Friday, July 10, 2015

It's all about Riverhead


Take me to the Hamptons and I prefer the more rustic north fork. I was in Riverhead, New York last weekend. It's on the north shore of Long Island, just north west of the Hamptons, which are on the  south shore. At that end of Long Island, it forks out to the north and to the south, Riverhead is at the head of the north fork at the head of the Peconic River and it's on the Long Island Sound, the water that separates Long Island from Connecticut. The north fork is more folksy, there are more farms and vineyards, while the south fork is the Hamptons, where they sort of turned charm into glitz. Riverhead is what Coconut Grove should be, but it's not. It's very similar in that it is artsy, on the waterfront, has a playhouse and even the fire hydrants are painted.

Tweeds Restaurant, shown above, is in the John J. Sullivan Hotel, which opened on this location on East Main Street in 1896.



Photo courtesy LI wine council
We go to Riverhead each year to see fireworks during the fourth of July weekend. I was quite taken by it this last trip as in previous years, it was a bit run down. I was told it was due to the recession, but it seems to be coming back quite nicely, what's nice about Riverhead is the history. Most of the buildings that house modern businesses like sports bars and restaurants are buildings from the 1800s. They have managed to incorporate the old with the new and it works. Some sections look like the back lot in a Jimmy Stewart movie, sort of like Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Or even Cabot Cove, Maine, from Murder She Wrote.




Riverhead sort of has an old Coconut Grove feel, but I mostly feel Lake Worth when I'm there. It seem quite remove, but since 1727, it's been the county seat of Suffolk County (there are two counties in long island, Suffolk and Nassau, which is closer to the NYC end). So you would go to court in Riverhead if you got a traffic ticket, for instance, that is where the courts are. And of course, you can attend great events at the Suffolk Theater on Main Street.


The News-Review, their daily newspaper, was founded in 1868. It's basically a New England town on Long Island. Preserved, yet with modern businesses and conveniences, they co-exist.

Of course the grass is always greener, because my cousins who live up that way are always going on about Coconut Grove. They love it here, they love Grove Isle and they talk non-stop about Greenstreet breakfasts. So go figure. 

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