Josh Bernstein says he thinks of Great Neck as a twin community -- part suburb, part city. "It's like a hybrid of Long Island and Manhattan," Bernstein says. That -- combined with a less than 30-minute express train commute to the real Manhattan -- is why he says he purchased a co-op there 10 years ago.
The bonus was that he could walk to the movie theater, to get an ice cream cone, to have dinner alfresco at the Great Neck Diner.
Bernstein's wife, Lisa, who joined him in the home when they married, seconds her husband's sentiment. "You get a combination you don't get in other places," she says of Great Neck. "You have that commuter lifestyle, but you also get the suburban lifestyle with tons of parks and green space in town."
Newsday's Walk to Town series looks at five Long Island communities where residents can use their feet to get them to restaurants, supermarkets, retail stores and more. In this second installment, we focus on Great Neck.
The Bernsteins are selling their co-op because they say they are ready to buy a house. Here is a look at their place, and two houses on the market near the downtown.
Walking from 8 Dunster Rd.
SELLER. Dorothy Post
WHO LIVES IN THE HOUSE. Dorothy Post and her two children, Emma Weinstein, 22, and Sam Weinstein, 18. Post is director of human resources for a Garden City law firm. Emma just graduated from the University of Rochester -- "cum laude," Mom says proudly -- and is moving to Manhattan. Sam just finished his first year at the University of Maryland, where he's studying criminology, and is home for the summer.
HOW LONG THEY'VE LIVED THERE. 19 years
ASKING PRICE. $1.29 million
HOUSE SIZE. Four-bedroom, three bathroom with a half-bath Tudor
WHY POST IS SELLING. "I'm selling because it's time to downsize," Post says. "I really don't need all the space. It's time to pass it along to a younger family with younger children who can put a swing set in the backyard like we had and really use the house the way it's meant to be used."
HOUSE CHARM. The sunken living room has a wood-burning fireplace with a fieldstone surround. "We really love the smell and feel of a real fire," Post says. The modern kitchen has granite countertops and a built-in breakfast nook. A second staircase leads from the kitchen to a guest-room area with a private bath. The basement is finished. "The kids had a lot of parties in this basement," Post says. "A lot of fun."
WHERE EMMA LOVED TO WALK. "In middle school, we'd walk to Starbucks. That was the cool thing to do back then," she says. She and her friends would shop for clothes at Camp & Campus or Infinity.
SAM'S DESTINATIONS. Gino's Pizza and a movie. His friends would get dropped off at his house and they'd walk from there. "It was always pretty convenient being the closest one of my friends to town," he says.
WHAT MOM LOVES ABOUT BEING CLOSE TO TOWN. "When I worked in Manhattan, I walked to and from the train station. It's less than 10 minutes," she says. "It was amazingly convenient. At the train station, you can pick up a newspaper, pick up coffee."
STEP BY STEP
To take violin lessons: 710 steps to New York Music and Arts
To have some fajitas: 764 steps to Senor Nacho Mexican Cuisine
To grab a latte: 859 steps to Caffébene
Walk from 44 Beverly Rd.
SELLER. Ronald Roth
WHO LIVES IN THE HOUSE. Roth, an attorney, his wife, Demetra KouKoulas, 45, a stay-at-home mother, their daughter, Alexandra, 7, Roths' two sons from a previous marriage, Justin, 17, and Nolan, 21, and two Yorkies, Becket and Ringo
HOW LONG THEY'VE OWNED THE HOUSE. 13 years
ASKING PRICE. $1.99 million
HOUSE SIZE. Five bedrooms, three full baths, two half-baths
WHY THEY ARE SELLING. "My youngest boy is going to college," Roth says. Roth's mother recently moved to assisted living, so they are relocating to her smaller property.
HOUSE CHARM. The white stucco house has blue shutters. It's a center-hall Colonial with a soaring foyer and staircase that wraps around it. The entryway also has two built-in seats. The office has a wood-burning fireplace; Alexandra's room has butterfly wallpaper.
RON'S WALKS "I walk to the train. That's most important," Roth says.
DEMETRA'S MEMORABLE WALKS. "We walked to Ralph's Ices with your cousins last summer when they were in town," Demetra reminds Alexandra. "We ate dinner at Bareburger." They can also walk to muddworks pottery, to the movie theater and to Allenwood Park, where Alexandra plays soccer.
STEP BY STEP
To have brick oven pizza: 1,530 steps to La Rotonda
To paint pottery: 1,556 steps to muddworks
To take a yoga class: 1,617 steps to Long Island Yoga School
Walk from 20 Hill Park Ave., Unit 1F
SELLERS. Josh and Lisa Bernstein
WHO LIVES IN THE HOME. Josh Bernstein, 45, a Major League Baseball TV producer, and Lisa Bernstein, 38, a hospital director of psychiatric social work
HOW LONG THEY'VE LIVED THERE. Josh bought the apartment 10 years ago, when he was still single
ASKING PRICE. $288,000
UNIT SIZE. Two bedrooms, two bathrooms
WHY THEY'RE SELLING. They say they plan to buy a house
UNIT CHARM. The unit has an open living room-dining room setup and hardwood floors throughout. It's on the first floor, so a yard is visible from their dining room windows. The master bathroom is en suite.
JOSH'S WALKS. Josh walks to the train station for work and for pleasure. "Sixteen minutes to the Mets game," he says -- the line goes directly to Citi Field.
LISA'S WALKS. Restaurants top the list of Lisa's walkable destinations. She ticks off some favorites: The Great Neck Diner, Gino's of Great Neck Pizzeria, 16 Handles. "There are tons of shops," she adds. Grocery stores, banks and more are nearby as well. "You don't need a car here," Lisa says.
STEP BY STEP
To take train to Manhattan: 786 steps to Great Neck Long Island Rail Road Station
To do some banking: 849 steps to Bank of America
To get frozen yogurt: 1,035 steps to 16 Handles