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Choosing beach bliss over Black Friday bargains

Fourteen-month-old Liam Geraghty took his first steps on

Fourteen-month-old Liam Geraghty took his first steps on the sand on Black Friday. Here his father, Jason, 32, looks as the boy inspects his first sea shell. (November 25, 2011) Credit: T.C. McCarthy

Liam Geraghty took his first steps toward the ocean under a comfortable Black Friday sun.

On a day when thousands of Long Island residents hit local malls to splurge on holiday bargains, the 14-month-old boy was with his father, Jason, and his grandparents, Byran and Karen Peregrim, all of upstate Greenwich, at Robert Moses Park’s Field 5 in Babylon, enjoying unseasonably warm weather.

Black Friday at the beach is a tradition in the family. Karen Peregrim, 52, is originally from West Babylon and spends every Thanksgiving in Lindenhurst with her sister. On Black Friday, if weather permits, they visit the ocean.

As Liam picked up his first seashell, inspecting it in his tiny hands, a kite with a fairy on it flew overhead. At the end of the string was Artur Nieradko, 35, of Bay Shore. His daughter Isabella had discovered the toy in a store, and Nieradko said the beautiful weather was the perfect opportunity for him to teach her how to fly it.

Herb Farina, 65, of West Islip, brought his grandchildren to the beach to see deer and enjoy the playground at Field 5. Somewhere along the way, they found themselves on the sand, where they spent a couple of hours. For Farina, it was much better than being in a mall.

“If you had your choice between being in a mall shopping and here most people would say ‘here,’ ” he said. “If you’re not here, you’re missing it.”

Eight members of the Miller family, of Bay Shore, were also at the beach, posing for their annual ocean-backdrop Christmas picture -- a Black Friday tradition for them. The children, bundled in hats, coats and gloves, laughed as they dug holes, ran up the dunes and wrote “Miller” on the beach, just above where crashing waves ended on the sand.

“We thought we’d take advantage of this beautiful day,” said Nicole Miller, 37, of Bay Shore. “It’s a little windy but with the sun shining, it’s gorgeous.”

Said her mother Caron Miller, 72, “It’s better than shopping.”

Photo:  Liam Geraghty takes his first steps on the sand on Black Friday. Here with his father, Jason, 32, he inspects his first seashell.

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