After the storm, Long Islanders come out to shovel and play

A surfer enjoys the frigid surf after dredging A surfer enjoys the frigid surf after dredging through a snowy beach to catch some waves in Long Beach. (Jan. 3, 2014) Photo Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams, Jr.

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Long Island residents dug themselves out and took it slow after a snowstorm that brought more than a foot of the white stuff to parts of the Island Friday morning. But that didn't stop them from going on about their lives.

 

A time for shoveling

Brian Weeks, 38, a maintenance worker for the Long Island Rail Road, started shoveling Thursday night. Weeks and a crew of nearly half a dozen spent six to seven hours clearing snow at the Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn.

The snow was light, he said, but workers had a windy night of blistering cold ahead of them as they pushed through the storm.

"As far as the freezing conditions, this was something," said Weeks, who had stopped for a bagel Friday afternoon at the 110 Bagel Market & Bistro in Melville. "I haven't seen that in a long time."

He was headed to his apartment in Melville. This time to begin his shoveling.

 

Making tracks

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The storm gave Long Beach couple Glenn and Ellen Davis a chance to get out their cross-country skis and glide down the city's boardwalk Friday morning.

Fresh from shoveling out their house, the 50-something couple carried their skis to the Neptune Boulevard entrance and started making tracks in the fresh powder.

On the beach below, salty foam mixed with snow and sand as wave sets rose and pounded the shore.

"It's exercise and getting out and getting fresh air," Glenn Davis said.

"It's easy and we don't have to get in the car," said Ellen Davis.

 

Out-of-office kind of day

In Huntington, a careening postal truck went exuberantly sideways while turning right from Main Street to head south on New York Avenue, almost collecting an Infiniti in the process.

Rob Walford, 46, of Lloyd Harbor, was one of the Farmingdale Costco's rare customers Friday morning. He said he noted the delays on the LIRR, gave himself the day off from his job at a hedge fund, and took his daughter Caroline, 13, to run some errands.

"It's a holiday week so work is slow anyway," he said.

They were disappointed, though, that Caroline's dentist wasn't in the office to take her braces off after three years, so her re-introduction to sticky treats would be delayed.

 

Just enjoying the snow

The Westbury mosque buzzed with activity as congregants at the Islamic Center of Long Island feasted on rice and chicken.

Feeding patrons who went there despite the weather for Friday's's Juma'h prayer, Tahir Mian, 45, of Hicksville said, "we're just enjoying the snow."

The food generates revenue for the mosque and Mian estimated between 600 and 700 members had stopped by.

"People want to come out," Mian said. "It's faith; the snow does not stop that."

 

One last storm?

This may have been Frank O'Rourke's last snowstorm selling shovels and rock salt.

O'Rourke, 68, said he is selling the building on West Beech Street that houses F.M. O'Rourke Hardware and plans to close the business, started by his grandfather in 1917 and considered to be Long Beach's oldest family-owned and operated business. He said his son has decided to pursue a career with the New York City Police Department.

The store was damaged by superstorm Sandy, O'Rourke said, and just may have been through one too many weather events.

He opened the store at 6:30 a.m. Friday but had only a couple of customers by 11 a.m. He was out of ice melt but had plenty of shovels to sell.

O'Rourke, an Island Park resident, was hopeful that business would pick up later in the day. "I think people are still in bed under the covers," he laughed.

Asked about the store's impending shutdown, O'Rourke said he knew his customers appreciated the supplies and knowledge he and his staff have provided. But, he said, "it's time for me to retire."

 

Show must go on

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Anthony Siu's love for the movies explains why he walked a mile in Friday's's snow and frigid weather to his job at Grand Avenue Cinemas in Baldwin.

Siu, who works the front-end concession booth and said he wants to be a director one day, was greeted by a slow day.

Not a single ticket had been sold by early afternoon, after three hours on the job.

"Someone called to make sure the 4 p.m. showing of 'The Hobbit' was on. Then he called again," said Siu, 21. "That's it. One guy, two calls."

The day's staff consisted of three front-end employees and a projection worker, who spent the day eating popcorn, cleaning, and chumming around.

As far as Siu was concerned, there could be worse ways to spend a winter day.

"We provide a service of distraction," he said. "It's magic."

With Darran Simon, Bridget Murphy, Andrew Smith, Scott Eidler, James T. Madore and Patrick Whittle

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