Long Island was filled with celebrity sightings, viral videos and even a feathery fight at Bethpage Ballpark in 2017. These stories range from heartwarming to sidesplitting, but all have something in common: While reading, you'll be shaking your head and saying to yourself, "That's so Long Island."
LIer saves classic Corvette post-Sandy
This year marked the fifth anniversary of superstorm Sandy hitting Long Island. Oceanside resident Ron Euliano told us the story of his car being submerged in 4 feet of water during the storm. But this was not just any car -- this was a 1967 Corvette that Euliano purchased and painted himself more than 40 years ago. He had vowed that he'd never sell it, and in true Long Island fashion, he kept his word. After his home was repaired, Euliano got to work on the car, and now it's drivable again. The aftermath of Sandy is still all around us, but it didn't break the spirit of Long Island.--Story by Laura Blasey
LI business takes a stand
Long Islanders speak their minds and work hard to defend those they care about. In May, the Port Jefferson bar and restaurant Tara Inn took a stand by refusing a Clare Rose delivery to support the company's workers who were on strike. The moment was captured on video by Jason Gilmore, one of the striking workers, who watched as two employees rejected the alcohol delivery from a replacement Clare Rose driver. The video gained more than 96,000 views. The Clare Rose strike lasted nearly three months, and ended with 130 union delivery drivers and warehouse workers starting negotiations for a new contract with the East Yaphank beer distributor.--Story by Laura Blasey
Billy comes home
Nothing was more Long Island than Billy Joel opening the revamped Nassau Coliseum. Following the arena's highly anticipated renovation, Joel took the stage on April 5, 2017, to welcome concertgoers the right way. The evening was celebratory yet nostalgic for Joel's fans, who danced the night away at the sold-out performance.--Story by Paul LaRocco
Wait, left or right?
This year, several Long Islanders were misled by temporary traffic signs in Plainview. While a mistake on the permanent highway sign was being fixed over the summer, two temporary electronic signs were put in place, but they both contained errors as well. The first one, meant to alert drivers to the Route 135 on-ramps on westbound Old Country Road, was mistakenly labeled Syosset as southbound and Seaford as northbound. After it was taken down, the replacement sign informed drivers to keep right to take the southbound Route 135/Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway, when really drivers should turn left to go in that direction. The errors were ultimately corrected, but talk about Long Island road rage.--Story by Laura Blasey
Bird brawl at Bethpage Ballpark
A crow and a bird fly into a Ducks game and... well, you know the rest. In case you missed this feathery fight, we'll recap: In May, at the top of the second inning of a Long Island Ducks baseball game at Bethpage Ballpark, a crow suddenly swooped onto the field. It promptly attacked a smaller bird and interrupted the game. Ducks trainer Dorothy Pitchford took to the field, sporting white gloves, and scooped up the small, frazzled bird. A spokesman said the bird was fine and ultimately released back into nature.--Story by Rachel Uda
Emmy wins for the neighbors
In September, two Long Islanders won Emmy Awards for their zany portrayals of politicians. Sea Cliff's own Kate McKinnon took home the Emmy for her take on Hillary Clinton, while Massapequa native Alec Baldwin nabbed his award for hamming it up as President Donald Trump. The pair performed together regularly on "Saturday Night Live" before and after the election, with McKinnon also taking on the role of Kellyanne Conway following Trump's win. Win or lose, these Long Islanders have been making us proud all year long.
Next stop: Milleridge Inn
During a particularly rough week of Long Island Rail Road delays in May, Jericho's Milleridge Inn hosted an "LIRR Sucks Party," bringing together boisterous Long Islanders following their long railroad travels and troubles. If you presented your LIRR ticket to the bartender, you would receive a complimentary house cocktail or mixed drink. The promotion ran for two days, after nearly 80 trains were canceled during rush hour earlier that week. Safe to say that those who were able to get to the Milleridge Inn left with smiles on their faces.--Story by Rachel Uda and Laura Blasey
A tribute (kind of) to Sun Vet Mall
Long Islanders love to talk about the staples of their communities. So when a Twitter account popped up for the Sun Vet Mall in June, it quickly garnered attention from locals fond of the charming, often-empty shopping plaza in Holbrook. The parody account posts somber yet silly tweets, such as this post from Black Friday: "I invited all of you to our Black Friday Door Busters but no one is here. I'm alone, crying over my Tupperware of lukewarm leftovers. You guys are never getting discounts again." Sorry, Sun Vet Mall! We appreciate you more than you know.--Story by Rachel Uda
A Sandler Summer
This summer, Adam Sandler resided in Sands Point while filming his new Netflix comedy "The Week Of." He was spotted in various places throughout Nassau County during his time there, from Orange Theory Fitness in Carle Place to Temple Beth Sholom in Roslyn Heights. Long Islanders aren't ones to be shy, and Sandler was kind enough to pose for plenty of photos during our Summer of Sandler. He is pictured here with Eddy Marinelli at DiMaggio's Trattoria in Port Washington. Check out all of Sandler's whereabouts here.
'We'll take the train 'cause the expressway's slow...'
One of the proudest moments of the year came from "Kevin Can Wait" star Chris Roach, who paid a loving tribute to the community whose name rings in our ears during many LIRR trips: Ronkonkoma. Roach's parody song "Ronkokomo" is based on The Beach Boys hit "Kokomo," and its music video was mainly filmed on a crowded LIRR train. Some of the tongue-in-cheek lyrics include "Penn Station, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take you / Mineola then Hicksville, come on baby, sit still." With this hilarious tune, Roach -- a Lake Ronkonkoma native, of course -- gave us something to smile about during our mundane commutes.--Story by Frank Lovece
Lonely on the LIRR
Any Long Islander would gladly take advantage of an empty car on the Long Island Rail Road. Imagine all the smelly food you could eat, all the leg room you could take, all the loud phone calls you could make! But Holbrook resident Scott Green saw a different opportunity. After texting his family about his luck while riding to Penn Station, his wife suggested that he record himself lip synching to "All By Myself" by Eric Carmen. The hilarious video brought in more than 1,500 views on his Facebook page. Green said that by the time he was headed home from Penn Station later that day, the train's conductor said his video had been shared in a Facebook group for LIRR employees. So, he's certainly not all by himself anymore, at least on social media!--Story by Laura Blasey
If you like 'The Tonight Show' and getting caught in the rain
Philadelphia native Dawn Elyse Warden got a classic Long Island surprise during a walk in the rain in Sagaponack, where she had been visiting a friend. Following a stroll on the beach, it began to pour, and Warden still had about a mile to walk before she'd arrive at her friend's home. Suddenly, a truck pulled up next to her and the window rolled down. The driver? Jimmy Fallon. Warden said he offered to drive her the last few blocks to her friend's home, and was as kind as could be. "The Tonight Show" host has a home in the area, which Warden knew, but she was stunned nevertheless. She accepted the ride, and they chatted all the way home. --Story by Laura Blasey
An icy reception
It wouldn't be a year on Long Island without some local controversies. One example involved Roger's Frigate, an ice cream shop in Port Jefferson, which ruffled some feathers in the village following President Trump's inauguration. The shop hung a sign outside that read: "In Trump We Trust." The store's general manager said its purpose was to celebrate the inauguration, but the sign caused negative feedback from locals on Facebook. Additionally, Port Jefferson Village Clerk Bob Juliano noted that it was considered "temporary signage," which was a violation of the village code. It was ultimately taken down.
You talk to your mother like that?
This year, Malverne resident Nicki Diaz, 20, showed her love for Long Island moms...kind of. Diaz used a Snapchat filter to alter her voice and face, and took on our quintessential accent in a series of videos, which have since gained hundreds of thousands of views. In one, she pretends to be in a back-and-forth with her child, who wants to use her car to hang out with friends during a snowstorm. "I don't care if Angelica's mother is letting Angelica go," Diaz snaps, in character. "You're not Angelica's mother's daughter; you're my daughter, and you're not going!" We've all been there.--Story by Rachel Uda
Long Islanders give back
No matter the age, Long Islanders love to give back to their communities. In 2016, Lydia Pacheco of Copiague decided that she was going to use her birthday money to feed the homeless. She and her father, Jose, headed to a KFC in their community where they purchased several $5 meals. This is now a weekly ritual for the father-daughter duo -- they often travel to Wyandanch to distribute the meals, which consist of fried chicken, a biscuit, a side of mashed potatoes, a cookie and a drink.--Story by Rachel Uda
Celebrity sightings in Sagaponack
Summertime always brings stars out to the East End. In the span of two months, two big celebrities visited Wolffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack: Justin Bieber and Alec Baldwin. Bieber visited in May, and according to CNN reporter Chloe Melas, he hugged fans and was "super sweet." Baldwin headed to the winery in July to renew his wedding vows with his wife, Hilaria. Check out our stories for more details on the starry sightings here and here.
LI in the fast lane
Speed up? For some Long Island drivers, you won't need to tell them twice! In July, someone tampered with a road sign in Yaphank, alerting drivers to "Speed Up" near the intersection of Yaphank Avenue and Main Street. The issue was resolved swiftly according to a New York State Department of Transportation spokesperson. Long Islanders have important places to go, people to see, etc. Some of us may have been too focused to even notice the snarky suggestion!
In pursuit of peanut butter
All this raccoon wanted was some peanut butter -- we can relate. In August, this sneaky creature was spotted in Farmingdale with a peanut butter jar stuck on its head. Wildlife rehabilitators Bobby and Cathy Horvath helped free the raccoon with some cooking oil and a prayer, but not before they shot a video of the predicament. Luckily, the raccoon seemed fine once freed, and scurried back into nature -- or to a 7-Eleven to sample some more condiments.
A Long Islander in shining armor
Times of woe can bring Long Islanders together in special ways. Take Kirk Ingebretsen: After getting off his train at the Bay Shore stop, he realized that he had left his iPhone on his seat. Luckily for him, BuzzFeed video producer Christian Nilsson, who hails from East Moriches, took matters into his own hands. He and Stephanie Hains found the phone hours later, and used Siri to call Ingebretsen's wife. The Long Islanders coordinated a quick drop-off as Nilsson and Hains pulled into the Bay Shore station. The dramatic quest was filmed and has since been viewed nearly 700,000 times on BuzzFeed. Ingebretsen and his wife, Crissy Carpluk, are pictured here moments after getting the phone back. --Story by Rachel Uda
I want to love you, LI DAD
Centereach resident John Lawless, 50, became a thriller on social media when his dance moves were recorded at a Janet Jackson concert in November. Before the show began at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, a DJ played some Michael Jackson tunes to pump up the crowd. Lawless, a former DJ himself, took the opportunity to bust a move. A video of his performance to Jackson's 1992 single, "Remember the Time," took off on Instagram and Twitter, where it has been shared more than 40,000 times and gained more than 80,000 likes. Keep on dancing, Dad!--Story by Rachel Uda