On the longest day of the year -- June 21's Summer Solstice -- Newsday chronicled Long Islanders spending their time doing all kinds of things, including fishing on the East End, celebrating the birth of a baby and taking on the challenge of working in bail bonds. Take a look at how 50 Long Islanders spent their day, and if you have a Day in the Life of LI you think we should follow, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Baker Danna Abrams gets to work around 5 a.m. making muffins, scones and biscuits, rolling out dough for savory biscuits in the kitchen of Hometown Bake Shop in Centerport, June 21, 2017.
Paul Kokkosis, 59, of Commack, has been the manager of the California Diner in Patchogue for 20 years. His family has been in the restaurant business since the '60s. Kokkosis said he works an average of 75-80 hours each week but loves what he does because his customers have become like family over the last two decades. "I know almost all my customers by first name," he said. Kokkosis says while Long Island is a little bit expensive, he loves living here because it is so convenient.
Ted Bucci, owner and manager of Harbor Light Oyster Co., pulls up cages of oysters in Greenport to check on harvesting and sorting along with his son Billy, 19, on Wednesday, June 21, 2017.
Stephanie Greene, 26, of Valley Stream, commutes on the LIRR on Wednesday, June 21, 2017. Greene joined the ranks of her fellow Long Island Rail Road commuters just two weeks ago, when she began her new job as a software engineer for Google in Manhattan. So far, riding the LIRR has been a pleasant experience, said Greene, who is not dreading the so-called "Summer of Hell" caused by Amtrak's planned Penn Station track work.
"I'm kind of lucky. Software engineers tend to be pretty flexible," she said. Although she's considered moving to the city to be closer to her new job, Greene says she's leaning toward staying put in Valley Stream, which she likes both for its proximity to New York City and its suburban charm. "I looked all over Nassau when I was trying to decide where to live. And I liked that it was relatively safe for its price point. And it was one of the most diverse towns I had ever seen. It was like an even split of the major races, which is kind of nice," said Greene, who acknowledged Valley Stream's multicultural flavor is seen as a negative by some village residents. "They can get over it. They can go somewhere else."
Nashley Hernandez, 1, drinks a cup of passion fruit juice at Las Arepas de Mama in Hempstead on Wednesday, June 21, 2017.
Mateo Coronel, 39, has been working at the 7-Eleven on Old Country Road in Hicksville for the last decade. "After 10 years, you become part of the community," he said.. His patrons always say hi when they see him around Hicksville. And when he is working, special visits aren't uncommon. Coronel mentioned a customer recently whose wife asked where he was going. "I'm not going to 7-Eleven, I'm going to see Mateo," Coronel recited with a smile.
Owner Michael Ayoub cooks ribs at 8:22 a.m. for lunch at Soprano's Deli, Bagel & Caterers in Merrick on June 21, 2017.
Capt. Patrick GIllen casts off the bow lines as he prepares to sail his 82 foot fishing party boat, the Capt. Gillen, in search of fluke at 6:02 a.m. June 21, 2017. Gillen has been the skipper of the boat since 1991 and his family has operated out of this location in Captree since 1955.
Day laborers stand on the corner of Grand Boulevard in North Hempstead on the morning of Wednesday, June 21, 2017.
Samantha Corbitt, right, of Roosevelt, shows Ja'Mere Johnson, 8, of Roosevelt, how to perform a chair dip exercise while at Coes Neck Park, in Baldwin at 3pm on Wednesday, June 21, 2017.
Dr. Sharda Dave of Queens brought her family to attend Advait Sri Vidya, a meditation practice led by Guru Avdhoot Shivandand Ji at the Yes We Can Community Center in Westbury on Wednesday, June 21, 2017. The event happens once every two years.
Bob Demarzo, 79, of East Northport, John Ilardo, 72, of Old Bethpage and Fred Arena, 81, of Old Bethpage play a round at the Northport Golf Course at the VA on Wednesday, June 21, 2017. The Northport American Legion runs the course under contract with the VA hospital. Veterans like Demarzo and Arena get a discount at the nine-hole course and veterans in need play free through a special program. Arena said there is no winner in his threesome: "It's the golfer against the golf course.
Captain Don Kramer, center, leads a team of lifeguards at Jones Beach Field 6 on Wednesday, June 21, 2017.
Juris Magararu, the manager of Newbury Comics at Roosevelt Field mall, poses for a photo on Wednesday, June 21, 2017. "This was my favorite store as a kid and I love seeing people have the same experiences I had in this store," he said. One of his favorite items for sale in the store are the vinyl records."The original owners had a connection to the punk scene, and today we have a great relationship with the music industry. We can press records without ruining the integrity of the music."
Hason Brown, who lives in Elmont, stopped for a photo at Belmont Racetrack on Wednesday, June 21, 2017. Brown, who sells hats at a nearby barbershop, said he comes to the racetrack almost every day that it's open.
Full-time resident Marty Bailes enjoys the first day of summer in Ocean Beach, Fire Island, on June 21, 2017. Bailes bought his home in 1970 and has been there ever since.
Jon Virga, 18, poses for a photo on Fire Island on Wednesday, June 21, 2017. Virga, who just graduated from Chaminade High School in Mineola, is headed to Florida State University in the fall. But first, he will spend his summer as a lifeguard in Ocean Beach, his second summer lifeguarding here. "What's not to like? I'm on the beach every day," Virga said. "My grandmother's house is just a few steps away. I can't complain." Virga said he's had to aid a few people for "some small stuff" since he started lifeguarding, but "nothing major."
The family of Josephine Rotolo gather at Chapey & Sons Funeral Home in West Islip on Wednesday, June 21, 2017. Rotolo, of West Islip, died June 18, just days before her 108th birthday. Her daughter, Grace LaPenna, granddaughter, Maria Wilson, and great granddaughters, Kate and Annie, say their goodbyes.
Terrence Fishette, 28, of Smithtown, at 4th World Comics in Smithtown on Wednesday, June 21, 2017. Fischette, who is the co-manager of the store along with his father, Glenn Fischette, 68, said every Wednesday the shop gets about 3,800 new comic books.
Fischette said he sees an average of 220-250 customers on Wednesdays, which is the busiest day of the week. Fischette's family has run the store since 1988, when his father purchased the original shop in St. James.
Karen Balingcongan is the manager at The Melt Shop, a grilled-cheese restaurant in the food court at Roosevelt Field mall in Garden City. Among the regular Melt Shop customers are employees of nearby Winthrop University Hospital and Nassau County Courthouse. "I try to remember all of their names. I want them to feel welcome here," said Balingcongan.
Bonnie Lerhinan, a participant at AHRC Nassau's Massapequa hubsite for adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, travels twice weekly to volunteer with the animal rescue group Pets4Luv in the Source Mall in Westbury. She plays here with Hyde the cat, -- neglected, abandoned and handicapped -- taken in by David Bernacci, left, founder of the group. Lerhinan, 30, of Seaford, said working with animals "makes me feel happy and loved." Bernacci said the dogs and cats came in "scared and confused. The volunteers help the animals come out of their shell."
Celebrating his 10th birthday on Wednesday, June 21, 2017, Rushane Murray and his mom, Kemesha Murray, visit the coral reef exhibit at the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead.
Sherry Mederos of Copaigue fishes aboard the Starstream VIII on Wednesday, June 21, 2017. "Fishing is part of living on Long Island," said Mederos. "I grew up in Queens, and no one I knew fished. Now I'm out here with my family, my spouse and kids, and being on Long Island lets us do this."
Adam Swanson, 40, of Smithtown, at 4th World Comics in Smithtown on Wednesday, June 21, 2017. Swanson has been a comic book fan nearly all his life and has been shopping at the store since 1985. As a child he had a learning disability, and discovering comics helped him to get interested in reading. He said when he thinks of Long Island the word that comes to him is "Home."
Jeff, who only wanted to be identified by his first name, has sold coffee and sandwiches outside the commuter parking lot of the Ronkonkoma LIRR station for several years, after spending his career working on Wall Street. He said the best part of his job is seeing his regular customers, many of whom have become his friends. He even met his fiancee by selling her coffee while she was on the way to catch the train. "You find out someone's whole life story in 10 to 12 seconds," he said.
Sean Crowley, a physical education teacher at Sag Harbor Elementary School, is doused with water at 12:44 p.m. after passing through a line of students following his final field day as a teacher, in Sag Harbor, Wednesday, June 21, 2017. Crowley is retiring after 30 years in the district.
Guru Avdhoot Shivanand Ji led about 500 followers in a meditation to raise consciousness and promote healing at the Yes We Can Community Center in Westbury on Wednesday, June 21, 2017. He travels around the world providing guidance, visiting Long Island only once every other year. "Guru is not a designation, it's a torch bearer meant to eliminate darkness, to illuminate," he said. "And that's what I am, a torchbearer."
Newsday Cartoonist Matt Davies brainstorms ideas for an upcoming illustration on Wednesday, June 21, 2017. Today he's thinking about doing a cartoon off the recent LIRR signal trouble. "I throw around all types of word plays and see what sticks," he said. Today's possibilities: "Smoke signals" and "LIRR LIRR pants on fire."
Kim Macca of Oceanside and Mary Ann Ackelsberg of Merrick teach a class at School #6 in Oceanside on Wednesday, June 21, 2017. The pair have been teaching there for more than 20 years.
Trainer Caroline Walsh gets a kiss from Java the sea lion at the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead, Wednesday, June 21, 2017.
Former Amy Sgt. Michael Hutchinson fought in the 2003 Iraq War invasion as a Blackhawk helicopter crew chief. Now he digs graves for fellow veterans at Calverton National Cemetery, where 225,000 headstones mark the departed, and where there are some 42 more burials on an average day.
"It's a very special mission. This is the final resting place for the greatest group of people in the United States," said Hutchinson, 41, of Bayport. "Sometimes I get choked up doing this, especially when you see the families crying. I expect to be buried here when my time comes."
Melissa Skolkin of Long Beach surfs for the first time on Surf Day in Long Beach, on Wednesday, June 21, 2017.
The Ellis family left their home in Mastic Beach to enjoy Ocean Beach on Fire Island for the day of summer on Wednesday, June 21, 2017. Carissa Ellis, 29, a nurse, said she "just" got the day off so they could go have fun at a beach house her sister has rented. Her husband, Calvin Ellis, 33, a stay-at-home dad to their daughter, Ania Ellis, 10, said his favorite part of Fire Island is the restaurants. Ania, who just finished fourth grade, said she likes playing in the sand the best. Carissa, originally from North Babylon, and Calvin, originally from Bay Shore, said they've been lifelong fans of Fire Island.
Agnieszka Kulagowski, of Lindenhurst, with her newborn baby, Thomas, born at 8:12 a.m at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip, Wednesday, June 21, 2017.
Danny Torres of East Norwich tees off on the Black Course at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale on Wednesday morning, June 21, 2017.
Captain Mike Wasserman of the Capt. Lou Fleet aboard the Starstream VIII on Wednesday, June 21, 2017. Knowing where to fish involves understanding of the weather, communication with other vessels, use of radar and GPS, as well as frequent trips, according to Wasserman. "Being a captain is more than just getting people on and off the boat...there's an art to fishing," he said.
Tattoo artist Joe Friedman works on Elizabeth DeMaio's full-sleeve, ocean-themed tattoo at the Black Sails Studio in Sayville at 2:36 p.m. on Wednesday, June 21, 2017.
Richard Heller, right, of Elmont, enjoys an afternoon at the racetrack at Belmont Park, June 21, 2017.
Jason De Sousa, 18, of Mineola, shares his happiness with his mother, Lysette De Sousa, after passing his road test for a full license at the Garden City Park DMV test site Wednesday, June 21, 2017.
Chef Spiro Karachopan fillets whole salmon and striped bass in the kitchen of Spiro's Restaurant and Lounge in Rocky Point at 11:35 a.m. on Wednesday, June 21, 2017.
At 10:15 a.m., Carmen Bonilla, 20, from Roosevelt, gets her hair straightened by Clairabel Berrios at Julio's Unisex Salon, at 25 Franklin St. in Hempstead, before her brother-in-law's graduation on Wednesday, June 21, 2017.
Jeff Garrett handles locally caught blue claw crabs at his seafood market The Crab Shack in West Babylon on Wednesday, June 21, 2017.
Third-generation greenhouse farmer Alex Reckner waters plants being readied for lawn and garden centers at his family farm in Melville Wednesday morning, June 21, 2017.
Tony Darden of Amityville kicks off his summer with some early morning fishing at Tanner Park in Copiague on Wednesday, June 21, 2017.
John Connelly, of Long Beach, hits the Long Beach skatepark on his day off Wednesday, June 21, 2017.
Abe Korman, a farm hand at Surrey Lane Vineyard Orchard Farm in Southold, harvests strawberries Wednesday morning, June 21, 2017.
Danny Warrick and Madeleine Santoro celebrate the summer soltice at Robert Moses State Park in Babylon on Wednesday, June 21, 2017.
Popcorn vendor Matthew Scagluso, of Patchogue, makes the rounds at Bethpage Ballpark in Central Islip during the Long Island Ducks game, on Wednesday, June 21, 2017.
Jaclyn Rini, 24, and Mike Moran, 27, of Wantagh, enjoy the night at the Beach Hut at Cedar Beach in Babylon, June 21, 2017.
Cindy Caldarola of Patchogue celebrates a win while playing video roulette at Jake's 58 Hotel and Casino in Islandia, on Wednesday, June 21, 2017.