Nassau and Suffolk counties have distinct identities, and the people who live in each area have special knowledge that ties them to their counties. For instance, if you're from Nassau, you know the actual places in all the Billy Joel songs and Roosevelt Field is a second home. These examples were culled from our social media followers and staff. Send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org....
Nassau and Suffolk counties have distinct identities, and the people who live in each area have special knowledge that ties them to their counties. For instance, if you're from Nassau, you know the actual places in all the Billy Joel songs and Roosevelt Field is a second home. These examples were culled from our social media followers and staff. Send your suggestions to email@example.com.
Your friends in Suffolk think Nassau is basically an extension of Manhattan -- and you prove them wrong by pointing them to some of your favorite green spots, like Eisenhower State Park or Bethpage State Park, as seen here on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016.
You spend more time in nearby Manhattan than out on the East End.
You know NCPD officers personally
If you know at least three Nassau County police officers personally, it's likely you're from Nassau County (especially if you're related to all three).
You know your history, therefore your bragging rights: The Gold Coast inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald to write "The Great Gatsby" in 1925. So Leonardo DiCaprio may summer in Suffolk, but Jay Gatsby? He's a Nassau native.
You have a soft spot for Idina Menzel, who voiced ice queen Elsa in the hit Disney film "Frozen" and starred in Broadway productions including "Wicked" and "Aida." Not only is she from Syosset, but Menzel also played a Nassau native in the Broadway musical and film version of "Rent." She portrayed Maureen Johnson, and Mark (played by Anthony Rapp on stage and screen) even sings a lovely Long Island lyric about her: "You can take the girl out of Hicksville, but you can't take the Hicksville out of the girl." Too true.
You've proudly belted out the Billy Joel lyrics, "Are you gonna cruise The Miracle Mile?" Of course, The Miracle Mile references our luxurious shopping district in Manhasset. In 2012, Joel told Newsday that he finished writing "It's Still Rock 'n' Roll to Me" while driving and said, "The Miracle Mile was mentioned because I think we were going past the Miracle Mile when I wrote that. I think that's how it came out. I don't think it was in my head before that. I was just kind of pulling things out of the trip." True Nassau dwellers may also have a sneaking suspicion where this photo was taken: Nassau Coliseum, 1982.
Although it was seldom mentioned, you know that Ray and Debra Barone's suburban two-story home was located in Lynbrook. Yes, "Everybody Loves Raymond" was set in the heart of Nassau County. Bonus points if you can remember Ray's job: sports writer at Newsday.
You've seen this twinkling winter wonderland and its right-to-the-point neighbor. The Engels, a family in Levittown, goes all out with Christmas decorations. Their lavish display draws in an audience every year on Christmas light tours. Their neighbors, the Paganelli family, decided to respond in a simple yet clever way: They spelled out the words "Ditto" in lights across their front lawn with an arrow pointing to the Engel's decorations.
You've created a craft and toured the exhibits of the Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn Harbor. If you were raised in Nassau, you've likely attended a field trip here. As one of the largest museums in the country, the historical site is packed with art and culture, even boasting a pristine garden outside. The museum has provided educational opportunities to Long Islanders of all ages for decades.
If you're a resident of Valley Stream, Floral Park or Elmont, you've had a bit of a Long Island/Queens identity crisis. But we know the truth: You live in Nassau, don't deny it!
You know Lynbrook High School is the place to be for homecoming season. The spirited teachers try to outdo themselves every year. Here, Lynbrook High School art teacher Thomas Sena was victorious in the competition to see who could slurp more gummy worms out of bowls piled high with whipped cream during the homecoming pep rally on Sept. 23, 2016.
You partied at Paddy McGee's. Through the 1980s, '90s and early 2000s, the dockside Paddy McGee's was a popular stop for seafood -- but made the most noise (some would say literally) on Sundays during the summer, when the spot held afternoon parties known for DJ beats and massive crowds. The venue was damaged during superstorm Sandy, and never reopened.
You remember when Roosevelt Field Mall had one floor. Although the lavish shopping center now has more than 270 stores, people growing up in Nassau County might remember it only opened its second floor in 1993, and some may remember it didn't have a roof until 1968, when it was enclosed.
You know about Safety Town, seen here in 1998. Operated by the Nassau County Police Department, it's a miniature town in Eisenhower Park created to teach children about traffic safety. Michael Muesch, 8, left, of West Babylon, gets driving tips from crossing guard Cecilia Casimano as Nick Tecce, 9, of Glen Cove, waits behind him in the green car. (1998)
You've seen live stand-up at Govenor's. Tucked away in a parking lot off Hempstead Turnpike in Levittown, Governor's Comedy Club has hosted some of the biggest names in comedy for more than two decades. Many people who have lived and grown up in Nassau County came here, maybe on prom night or just with friends -- and maybe you saw recent some up-and-coming talent perform -- or perhaps you caught stars like Eddie Murphy, Jim Breuer and Jerry Seinfeld (all Nassau County natives) early in their careers. In this photo from Jan. 10, 2016, Beverly Munter of Plainview, performs at Governor's Comedy Club.
You grew up listening to WLIR. Tuning to WLIR / 92.7 FM (also, for a time, WDRE), "The station that dares to be different," gave Nassau County kids a musical education in New Wave, punk, post-punk and synth-pop. It was the place to hear The Smiths, Duran Duran and Depeche Mode and great jocks like Larry the Duck, Malibu Sue and Donna Donna. For several years the station held a weekly live dance party at the now-defunct Malibu night club in Lido Beach, a big event for people who grew up in Nassau in the 1970s, '80s and '90s. In this photo from April 5, 1999 is Jed Morey, then 24 and president of WLIR Radio.
You've spent an embarrassing amount of time gazing at the sky-high cakes and decadent desserts of Sweet Karma in Plainview. Bonus points if you've indulged in a s'mores tart.
If you're from Massapequa, you've had to clarify while meeting someone new who isn't familiar with Long Island: "No, not Massachusetts." Pictured here is comedian Bob Nelson, a proud Massapequa native.
You know that nestled in New Hyde Park stands a store so old-school that you can't help but go back again and again. Bobb Howard's General Store has it all: classic keepsakes, soda fountains, and candy you can't find anywhere else. The shop guarantees a satisfied sweet tooth and a smile.
You've indulged in a scoop of nostalgia at Krisch's Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlour in Massapequa. This 1950s-style eatery is a sweet staple with sky-high sundaes and its cozy charm has remained intact for six decades.
You've partied on the Nautical Mile. Located along a canal in Freeport, there's nothing in Suffolk County like this: a stretch of road almost entirely populated by restaurants, bars and nightclubs that draws Nassau County residents of all ages for seafood dinners, live music, dancing and socializing. Charter boats also dock along the 'Mile, so anyone looking for some fun on the water can take a partyboat from here, then return and keep the good times going (until 11 p.m., when the local noise ordinance tends to bring most bashes to a close).
You've visited this working farm. Or perhaps, you just passed by it while driving through Malverne, wondering how it survived the suburban sprawl that otherwise dominates the South Shore of Nassau County. It's the Crossroads Farm at Grossmann's-land farmed by the Grossmann family for more than 100 years, it was purchased by Nassau County back in 2006 and preserved. Today it's a public farm supported by volunteers, hosts a CSA program and features a weekly farmers market.
You're seeing lizards on the loose. Not native to Long Island, a shipment of Italian wall lizards in the early 1970s slated for a West Hempstead pet store were somehow freed, and the reptiles took root. The animals became permanent residents -- and so successful at adapting that lizards (believed to be descendants of the original colony, from the Mineola/ Garden City West Hempstead area) have since been spotted as far west as Queens and east into Suffolk County.
You've explored the interactive exhibits at the Long Island Children's Museum. Visitors to the Garden City spot, part of Museum Row, can experience hands-on learning by playing with bubbles, making music and building their own creations at various exhibits.
You've enjoyed listening to a philharmonic orchestra perform, laughed during a comedy show or sat in awe of a modern dance troupe at the Tilles Center for Performing Arts in Brookville. The LIU Post concert hall hosts more than 70 performances by world-renowned artists each season.
You've taken a class field trip to watch tadpoles turn into frogs at the Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery & Aquarium. Originally a trout hatchery, the not-for-profit education center now aims to teach visitors of all ages about New York's freshwater ecosystems.
You've stopped to smell the roses on the expansive 200-acre grounds of Old Westbury Gardens. Listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, the property features a Charles II-style mansion and thousands of flowers that bloom between early spring and late fall. The gardens also serve as a backdrop for a variety of concerts and festivals.
You've taken a step back in time to experience the grandeur of the Gold Coast Era by visiting the Sands Point Preserve Conservancy, which is on the original Guggenheim Estate in Sands Point. Of course, you already know these historic mansions and sweeping grounds were among the inspirations behind Scott F. Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby."
You've eaten All American. The All American Drive-In, on Merrick Road in Massapequa, has been in business since 1963 and serves burgers, fries, hot dogs and a few other grill items, as well as shakes and sodas. Aside from a few picnic tables, there's no seating, and at times the parking lot gets maxed out by the cars coming in and out to grab some grub. Expect big crowds -- and not just for the tastes, but the prices. A hamburger costs $1.40, a cheeseburger $1.60 and large fries $1.75.
You've tasted the sweet apple cider and apple pies made fresh at the Jericho Cider Mill. Inside the two-story white barn, more than 40,000 gallons of cider are pressed each season, and the mill's history dates back to the early 1800s, according to its website.
If you've seen pumpkins artfully turned into dinosaurs at the annual Rise of the Jack-o'-lanterns at Old Westbury Gardens. The annual display features more than 5,000 carved pumpkins put together into playful scenes inspired by pop culture and the imagination.
You tested your athletic skills on the trampoline dodgeball courts at Bounce! NY Trampoline Sports center. There is 50,000 square feet of indoor sports space, all on interconnected trampoline courts and foam pits. Both families and college kids rave about the glow-in-the-dark sessions on Friday and Saturday evenings.
You went on a field trip that included a show in the dome theater at The Cradle of Aviation Museum, or its theater planetarium, or probably both. The aerospace museum in East Garden City has eight exhibits with more than 75 air and spacecraft. It is located on Charles Lindbergh Boulevard, the namesake of the man who ventured on the first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927 -- taking off from Roosevelt Field.
You've paused at Roosevelt Field mall to wonder if you parked your car in the same spot Charles Lindbergh parked his plane. Between juggling our purchases and digging for our car keys, we're reminded that we're buying birthday presents on a historic site.
You're only temporarily heartbroken when Billy Joel's Madison Square Garden shows sell out in minutes. That's because you know you can grab a beer at Mulcahy's, swing your arm around a stranger's shoulder, and belt along with Big Shot. The tribute band, led by singer Mike DelGuidice, performs across Long Island in a variety of venues, so fans can get a taste of the Piano Man anytime of the year.
You've been to Sagamore Hill, the home of Teddy Roosevelt. The former president lived in the Oyster Bay house, built in 1884, until his death in 1919.
You've been to Belmont Park, even if it wasn't for the Belmont Stakes. The Elmont track opened in 1905, hosting countless races and concerts. Its signature event, though, is the final leg of horse racing's Triple Crown. Here, jockey Victor Espinoza rides American Pharoah to victory in the 2015 Belmont Stakes on June 6, 2015.
You attended New York Jets training camp at Hofstra University. Gang Green may not call the Hempstead campus their summer home anymore -- they moved to a new training camp and in-season facilities in New Jersey in 2008 -- but they still return once a year for their "Family Night" event. Here, Joe Namath is asked for autographs as he heads for his room at the Hofstra dorms during Jets training camp on July 26, 1972.
You've enjoyed a peanut butter milkshake at Shake Shack. The burger joint, which got its start in New York City, has two Long Island locations: New Hyde Park and Westbury. Above, the Shake Shack on Union Turnpike in New Hyde Park on Sept. 15, 2015.
You spend half the night at a Suffolk LIRR station after falling asleep on your late-night ride home from Penn Station. It's worse if you do so in the winter, like this gloomy scene from the Ronkonkoma station in February 2016.
You saw a New York Dragons game at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Aside from the Islanders, the Arena Football League team was the most recent professional team to call the Uniondale venue home, playing there from 2001 to 2008. Here, former Dragons quarterback Aaron Garcia throws a pass during an AFL game at the Coliseum.
You've caught the Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach State Park at least once. Best recognized by performances starring military jets, the program takes place annually during Memorial Day weekend and also includes civilian aerial entertainment.
You know that ZA has vegan pizza ready at 3 a.m. Open daily until 4 a.m., ZA (with locations in Seaford and Rockville Centre) offers a menu of late-night bites such as pretzel garlic knots, chicken fingers and hot wings -- but it's mainly a pizzeria, and while there are a number of pizzas from which to choose, ZA goes off the beaten pie path with a list of vegan and gluten-free items--including vegan pizza (even a vegan pizza bagel).
You've played video games in Bayville. The secluded hamlet takes some practice to find without GPS (unless you live there, of course), but during the 1980s and 1990s teens and twentysomethings from across Nassau County would venture out trying to find the beachside area at the northern end of Bayville Avenue where the Arcadia video game parlor was located. You can still play electronic games in Bayville today, but now at "Professor Burton Bay's Arcade of Amusements" at Bayville Adventure Park.
You call it "Merrick Road." You call it that because that it what Route 27A is called in Nassau County, from Valley Stream thru Massapequa to Route 110. In Suffolk County it's mostly called Montauk Highway, or occasionally Main Street -- but in Nassau it's a one-name-only road that runs from one South Shore community to the next. (And no local ever calls it 27A.)
You think seeing a deer is a big deal. The animals are rarely spotted in Nassau County, but in Suffolk, especially on the East End and on Fire Island, deer can be seen day and night in parks, near beaches and even on front lawns (and in the woods, of course). For Nassau County residents, seeing one (or a group, including fawns, like this group at South Shore Nature Center in Islip) can elicit excitement and a flurry of cellphone picture-taking.
You've driven to see this house. Located in a North Massapequa neighborhood, this home stands out among the mainstream houses nearby with its pointed minarets, candles in the windows, an iron fence and its red-painted driveway. Unofficially known as the "Devil House," "The Satan House," 'The Witch House," and "The Hell House," its occupants have never publicly explained whether the unique design has any meaning. But generations of Nassau County residents have driven to see it, especially on Halloween. But don’t think you’ll be trick-or-treating here on Oct. 31, as a police car is always stationed there throughout the night.
One of the most important parts of the Belmont Stakes happens before the big race at Belmont Park. The annual Jockey Day at the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island in New Hyde Park gives sick kids and their siblings a chance to meet famous jockeys and ride ponies at a more leisurely pace than you might see at the mile-and-a-half Elmont track during the third jewel in the Triple Crown.
You thought you were just leaving the house to get bread and milk, but ended up at Dublin Pub instead. The King Kullen location on Jericho Turnpike in New Hyde Park was tantalizingly close to the pub. The King Kullen closed in 2011, and Dublin Pub -- which operated since 1936 under different names -- met the same fate in 2013 after being condemned by the state liquor authority.
Regardless of your heritage, you've celebrated Irish Day in Long Beach in October. Everyone is Irish not once, but twice a year in Long Beach, with a typical crowd of about 20,000 spectators at the 24-year-old tradition.