71 Monell Avenue
Islip, NY 11751

T: 631-581-5933

F: 631.277.8429

71 Monell Avenue
Islip, NY 11751
T: 631-581-5933
F: 631-581-8429

71 Monell Avenue
Islip, NY 11751

T: 631-581-5933 

F: 631-581-8429


All posts by Matt Wuthenow

Jump into Summer With These Upcoming Events & Activities in June!

Farmers’ Market

A farmers’ market offers so much more than fresh fruits and vegetables! There are delicious delicacies, crafty merchandise, and fun knowledgeable vendors. You can purchase artisan cheeses, homemade pastas, cold-brewed coffee, infused oils, unusual chocolates, craft beer, and much more. The market is an enjoyable place to walk around and explore the latest food trends.  We are lucky enough to have two wonderful farmers’ markets, each with unique vendors, within minutes of us.

  • The Islip Farmers’ Market, located in the Islip Town Hall parking lot, runs every Saturday from June 2nd to November 17th from 7:00am until noon. Find a list of vendors at the Islip Farmers Market here
  • The Bay Shore Farmers’ Market, Bounty by the Bay, is held under the Bay Shore Community Band Shell, located on Main Street in Bay Shore. This market runs every Friday from June 1st to August 31st from 3:00pm to 7:00pm. Find more information on their Facebook page.

Islip Public Library: Outdoor Terrace

Check out some books at the Islip Public Library and enjoy them on our beautiful outdoor terrace. Nothing beats reading a book while outside in the warm sunshine with the smells and sounds of summer. Our terrace is a perfect place to unwind and disconnect from your busy schedule.  So, please, come in and relax on one of our rocking chairs with a fantastic book. To take your relaxation to a new level, sign-up the library's Music and Meditation on the Terrace on June 19 at 7:00pm – registration is open and it’s free!  Sign-up for the program here.

Explore a Museum for Free

There are many amazing museums to explore and the summer provides the perfect weather to do it. Many libraries now offer free museum passes, which allow you and guests in for free. Some of the passes even provide discounts at the souvenir shop and more. So, whether you want to explore the galaxy at the Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium in Centerport or take a trip to Manhattan to see the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, your local library should be your first call. The Islip Public Library currently offers museum passes for: The Fire Island Lighthouse, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, the Long Island Children’s Museum, the Long Island Maritime Museum in Sayville, Old Bethpage Village and Restoration, Sagtikos Manor, The South Fork Natural History Museum, the Frick Collection, and the Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium. Find out more information and reserve your passes here.

Keep Islip Clean

Do you want to help Keep Islip Clean and volunteer some of your time? Keep Islip Clean is always looking for volunteers to help beautify the town we live in. You can help as an individual or you can enlist a group of friends to join you. Keep Islip Clean also maintains the community organic vegetable garden and greenhouse at Brookwood Hall. Community members can still join the waitlist to have their own plot at the Organic Vegetable Garden but in the meantime you can help maintain the area surrounding the garden and more. To learn more, visit http://www.keepislipclean.org or attend their next meeting on June 21st at 7:00 pm at Brookwood Hall. 

Local Fairs/ Festivals

The summer is a great time to attend a fair. Enjoy some live entertainment, delicious treats, and some fun vendors. Here are two local fairs coming up this June:

  • The Annual Summer Main Street Festival in Islip: June 3rd from 11:00am to 6:00pm. To learn more, visit islipchamberofcommerce.org
  • The Arts Festival by the Bay in Bay Shore (Main St. and the Band Shell): June 10 from 11am to 6pm. To learn more, visit bayshorecommerce.org

Stay tuned for my upcoming article, Great Summer Fun in July & August, just click the link below to follow my blog.

Islip Public Library Movie Awards 2017 | Cast Your Vote!

Did The Academy Get It Right This Year? Cast Your Vote!

Do you think Moonlight was the best film of the year? Do you think Emma Stone should have won Best Actress for her performance in La La Land?

Every year, we host our own Movie Awards to determine if the Academy got it right. We use eight of the most popular Oscar categories and display all the movies from those eight categories. There are so many fantastic movies that you may not have never seen such as Hell or High Water or Fire at Sea, so come in and take a look! Once you’ve had a chance to watch all of the movies you’ve missed, come in and fill out our ballot located next to the display or visit isliplibrary.org to fill it out online. For Islip Library cardholders, completed ballots can be dropped off at the Reference desk in exchange for a special treat. Hurry, cast your vote soon - voting ends on June 30, 2017. So what will you be watching this weekend?

And the nominees are…


Arrival, Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, La La Land, Lion, Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight


Casey Affleck - Manchester by the Sea, Andrew Garfield - Hacksaw Ridge, Ryan Gosling - La La Land, Viggo Mortensen - Captain Fantastic, Denzel Washington - Fences


Isabelle Huppert, Elle, Ruth Negga, Loving, Natalie Portman, Jackie, Emma Stone, La La Land, Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins


Mahershala Ali - Moonlight, Jeff Bridges - Hell or High Water, Lucas Hedges - Manchester by the Sea, Dev Patel - Lion, Michael Shannon - Nocturnal Animals


Viola Davis - Fences, Naomie Harris - Moonlight, Nicole Kidman - Lion, Octavia Spencer - Hidden Figures, Michelle Williams - Manchester by the Sea


Arrival, Hacksaw Ridge, La La Land, Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight


Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana, My Life as a Zucchini, The Red Turtle, Zootopia


Fire at Sea, I Am Not Your Negro, Life, Animated, O.J.: Made in America

Long Island Restaurant Week 2017

Long Island Restaurant Week 2017: Let’s Eat Out!

Long Island Restaurant Week is upon us and I couldn’t be more excited! It’s a great opportunity to try some of the best restaurants for a fraction of the cost. Each restaurant will have a three-course prix fixe for $28.95. You’re able to choose an appetizer, entrée, and dessert without worrying about the prices. There are three Long Island Restaurant weeks each year but spring is my favorite - the chef’s creations echo the freshness of the season. Restaurant week runs from Sunday, April 23 to Sunday, April 30 this year with select restaurants offering the prix fixe menu only until 7 p.m. on Saturday. So where should you go?

Want something new & trendy?

Salt & Barrel in Bay Shore is a chic and modern Oyster Bar with a knowledgeable staff to help you choose the perfect oysters. Check their website for Happy Hour specials where oysters and drinks are discounted.

H2O in East Islip, is brand new to the area but has a second location in Smithtown. The space is complete with a vibrant atmosphere and delicious seafood/sushi creations. Either restaurant would be a great option as their menus are typically a bit pricey.

In the mood for something different?

Try Cafe Havana in Smithtown for some amazing Cuban fare with a relaxing Caribbean vibe, they also have fantastic mojitos.

Chachama Grill in Patchogue has a diverse menu that has been dubbed New American Cuisine and it is always sublime. The restaurant is tucked away in a shopping center and is truly a hidden gem.

Looking to dine sea side?

There is nothing better than a meal with a view of the water. Fatfish Wine Bar & Bistro (Bay Shore), Snapper Inn (Oakdale) & the View (Oakdale) are located on the Great South Bay. They pair amazing meals with an amazing view.

Still need a few more options?

Here are some more local restaurants that are participating in Restaurant Week:

Aji 53; Aria Melanie on the Lake; Verace; Irish Coffee Pub; Monsoon; Strip Steak

Check out the full list of restaurants participating in Long Island Restaurant Week by clicking the link below. Many of the restaurants have their prix fixe menus posted on their website as well. Since the menus are limited, browsing the menus is the best way to discover the perfect restaurant for you. And don’t forget to make a reservation, the restaurants will fill up fast. Bon appetit!


The Podcast Explosion

The Podcast Explosion

As a librarian I often ask people what they are reading and what they are listening to. Lately, more and more people have been telling me about their favorite podcasts. Podcasts have exploded in the past few years, with good reason, they offer an amazing amount of entertainment, education, and enjoyment. Podcasts are a great supplement to your favorite books and movies. They offer something for everyone. Here are some fantastic podcasts that you might be interested in.

For the horror fan try Lore:

Aaron Mahnke, describes chilling historical tales that will leave you terrified. Mahnke is absolutely captivating, bringing the stories to life with amazing detail and a life-like description. In addition to the gruesome stories, the podcast is filled with hair-raising background music that adds an extra layer of fright to each story. The podcast currently has over 40 episodes and is produced bi-weekly, a great podcast to subscribe to if you love horror tales.

If you're a history buff check out Revisionist History:

Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers, has created a podcast that revisits past events with a unique and fresh outlook. Gladwell has an amazing talent for making history exciting. The ten-episode podcast is filled with interviews, fascinating audio clips, and engaging storytelling. Ken Burns wrote, it was the “best podcast I’ve ever heard.”

For the do-it-yourself stock investor, Motley Fool Money is worth a listen:

The podcast is a weekly recap of the stock market and the economy. The show, produced every Friday, has an abundance of information and insight as well as a group of entertaining hosts. There is always an interview with an author or industry expert that provides valuable knowledge. It is a great source for those who want to know more about the stock market.

Want to write like a pro? Check out Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing:

In short, ten to fifteen minute episodes, grammar girl quickly clears up common grammar misconceptions. It is a great way to vastly improve your writing abilities while only dedicating fifteen minutes per week.

Wonder why? Explore the 'riddles of everyday life' with Freakonomics Radio:

Stephen Dubner, co-author of the best-selling Freakonomics books, delves into interesting topics with an extremely unique spin. Topics range widely but the podcast is always entertaining and forces you to think differently. If you love the Freakonomics books then you will love this podcast.

There are so many more great podcasts to discover! There is a podcast for everything, from your favorite sports team to your favorite hobby. You can download and subscribe to your favorite podcasts via your smartphone, iPod, tablet, or computer. If you want a more specific podcast recommendation come into the Islip Public Library and ask for me, Matt Wuthenow. If you've already discovered a great podcast, add a comment below and tell us about it!

Google Flights: Discover the Best Time & Price for Your Next Vacation

Google Flights is a fantastic tool that allows you to see a multitude of destinations, dates, prices and airlines all at the same time. This tool will allow you to quickly compare and discover the best time and price for your next vacation.

For the adventurous person who is fairly flexible on their destination, try the Explore Map feature, found in the menu bar. Here you can type in a region, such as the Caribbean or choose a more specific destination such as St. Lucia.

Google Flights will navigate you to a map of the region with prices for all of the major airports in the vicinity.

St. Lucia might be more expensive than you thought but would you consider Antigua if it was significantly cheaper to fly there? It is also a useful tool for those travelling to an area with multiple airports within driving distance, such as Southeast Florida.

A menu above the map will give you the option to limit the search based on the amount of stops, total price, particular airlines, departure times, duration time, and interests.

The options for interests allows you to discover great destinations based on your likes such as beaches, food, culture, shopping, and more. I chose Adventure Travel because I enjoy swimming with sharks and jumping off cliffs…OK, I chose beaches because I really just want to read about people who do those crazy things while sitting on a beach drinking anything out of a coconut.

If you want to fly to a specific airport choose the Flights feature from the menu. After entering in your desired information, Google Flights will produce a list of flight options you can choose from. On their menu, you can limit the amount of stops, price range, airlines, travel times and more. If you are flexible on your dates of travel you can also discover a great bargain with Google Flights, click on one of the dates you entered for departing or arriving and Google will provide a calendar with the cheapest flight prices for your selected options. If you are flexible on the amount of days you are travelling, choose the Flexible Date button to display a chart of the prices broken down by various degrees of travel days.

For a more general search, the Price Graph feature will give you a broader view of how prices change. The Price Graph feature is beneficial for planners who want to discover the cheapest times of year to fly to a particular destination.

The cost of the flight can often make or break a vacation budget, especially when travelling with a family. Google Flights is a great tool to discover cheaper flights for your next destination so that you can splurge on other parts of your vacation. To discover more about the destination itself I would recommend that you come into the library so that we can find you some great travel books and movies that will help you fine tune your next vacation – this way you won’t be stuck hanging off a cliff someplace instead of relaxing on a beach with the most delicious drink imaginable.

2016 Academy Awards Debate

Movies & More: The Academy Award Category Debate

Should the Academy Awards keep the best male and female acting awards separate or combine them into one best acting category?

As the host, Chris Rock skewered the Academy Awards for the lack of black nominees but it was one particular comment that opened my eyes to this very question. Chris Rock implied that the Academy Awards could create an award for the best black actors because they already have separate awards for the best male and female actors.

He went on to say that there is no justification to separate the awards by sex, explaining that acting is not a sporting event and that men and women have the same acting abilities, therefore there could be an award for black actors all the same.

I do not believe that Chris Rock really wants to create a separate award for black actors, he had another strong monologue about having more opportunities for black actors, which I think was his main point. But he has a valid argument about the irrationality of having separate awards for men and women.

So my question is, should we have separate awards for men and women?

In a discussion with my colleagues opinions varied but most of them believed the awards should be kept separate. Many of them said that the tradition of the Academy Awards should triumph the proposed changes but this excuse is always used to keep the status quo, when there are worthy changes they should be made. The next reason given was that women wouldn’t win as much, I should mention that my colleagues in this discussion were all female and I do not share this notion.

Also, it’s important to mention that this is the exact reason why Chris Rock said the Oscars should create more categories, to ensure diversity amongst the winners.

Should we create more awards to ensure that we have a diverse group of winners? Or should we make sure that prejudices do not change the outcome? Perhaps, we should ensure a diverse group of judges.

Another point that was mentioned to keep the status quo was that the Oscars need the excitement of a broader array of awards. I actually believe the Oscars would be more exciting by narrowing it down to just one actor or actress. The buzz around such an award will only grow with more competition.

Just think, who had the best performance, Leonardo DiCaprio in the Revenant or Brie Larson in Room? Even better, who would win from the 2013 Academy Awards, Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln or Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook? By narrowing down the award to one person you create more excitement.

If I still have not convinced you that there is no justification to having separate awards, I would ask you this, do you believe there should be separate awards for the best male and female directors, or is that just silly?

Jackson's Commack Review

The Daily Pickle: Dine In Or Eat Out – Comfort Food from Jackson’s In Commack

What do you do when you’re stuck in the house during a blizzard? You cook! But you don’t just cook any meal. You make warm dishes that warm your heart, body and soul.

I’m talking about comfort food. This type of weather gets you a free pass on your diet, right? Do you know anyone that stocks up on kale right before a storm? Warm and delicious comfort food is the essential pick me up meal when things get frigid.

Here is my pick for one of the best restaurants on Long Island that makes unforgettable comfort food and a few of our best comfort food cookbooks.

Jacksons, located on Jericho Turnpike in Commack is a delicious gastropub with superb food and a vast beer selection. They have a bar area with its own seating for small groups and a separate dining area that has comfy booths and tables to accommodate larger groups.

There are chalkboards throughout the restaurant that proudly display their extensive beer selection along with stats for each beer such as the type and alcohol content. Jacksons always has a 3-course price fix for $26.95 that includes almost everything on their menu, it’s a smart way to sample the menu and save a few bucks.

My personal comfort food favorites from Jacksons are the Hawaiian BBQ Spare Ribs (served with roasted sweet potatoes, coleslaw and a pineapple relish), Pearl's Southern Fried Chicken (served with cheese fries 'n gravy, coleslaw, buttermilk biscuit), and Nashville Hot Chicken (a spicy-fried half chicken, served with hot sauce, fries, coleslaw and pickle chips).

For a warm and savory appetizer I’d suggest the Pan Crisped Dumplings, French Onion Soup or the Fried Pickles. A few other notable items on the menu are the Korean Steak Tacos (served with pickled veg, cilantro, sriracha), and Pecan Crusted Chicken (served with brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes and bourbon gravy), and Bourbon Street Jambalaya (chicken, shrimp and andouille sausages served with plantains, peppers, onions and creole rice). If you want to pair your meal with a beer their wait staff is extremely knowledgeable and helpful.

Want to tackle comfort food in your own kitchen? Try some of these cookbooks from three of my favorite tv chefs:

  • Jamie Oliver's Comfort Food by Jamie Oliver
  • Carla's Comfort Foods: Favorite Dishes from Around the World by Carla Hall (co-star on The Chew)
  • Emeril's Potluck: Comfort Food with a Kicked-Up Attitude by Emeril Lagasse

​All of these books and more can be found in our collection.

What are your favorite comfort food dishes? What restaurants do you think hit the comfort food mark? Let us know in the comments below.

Movies & More: Star Wars, Star Trek, Avatar & Beyond

Hey, have you heard there’s a new Star Wars movie? Have you seen it three times, bought the lunch box, and changed your middle name to BB-8? If the answer is yes, then you must also know that Star Wars Episode VIII isn’t coming out until May 2017. Here are a few other galactic movies that will help you pass the time.

If you are a Star Wars fan, you may have certain feelings about Star Trek. But did you know that J.J. Abrams, who directed Star Wars: The Force Awakens, also did a phenomenal job of directing the new Star Trek series. The latest Star Trek series has an edgier tone and non-stop action.

If you’re hesitant about becoming a Trekkie, you should check out Guardians of the Galaxy. It has a superb cast including Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Benicio del Toro, and Hollywood’s new ‘It Man’ – Chris Pratt. The film is a bit humorous and has a 91% positive rating on the Rotten Tomatoes website. If you’re a music buff, grab the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack, which features some great hits from the 70s and 80s.

Still looking for more? Avatar is one of the most visually stunning movies of our time and has recently announced that it will be a tetralogy (four movies.) Academy Award winning director James Cameron, best known for Titanic, will also direct the next three movies. Avatar is thrilling, touching, and enlightening. The next Avatar will be released sometime in 2017, so be sure to watch this one soon.

If movies just aren’t enough, grab the Star Wars Battlefront video game, which is available for PS4 and Xbox One. Star Wars Battlefront lets you immerse yourself in the original trilogy by playing some of your favorite characters and exploring classic planets from the movie. You can even pilot the beloved Millennium Falcon!

For those of you who haven’t yet seen the new Star Wars, and we know you’re hiding out there…you probably need to revisit the entire Star Wars franchise or at a bare minimum watch episodes IV, V and VI before seeing The Force Awakens. This mini marathon would also be a hit with any new Star Wars fans in your home. The Islip Library has added about twenty boxed sets to our collection of Star Wars I, II, III and Star Wars IV, V and VI so you can watch them over and over again. Come on in and talk to our professional Star Wars guru librarians so we can share with you the proper order to watch them in!

Movies & More

​by Matt

Binge watching television shows has never been more popular then it is today. HBO, ShowTime, Starz, Netflix, Amazon, and more have been pouring money into great television shows, pushing the boundaries of what we expect. Some of the shows created today come with mind blowing production costs, top tier actors, and amazing writers. All this results in must see TV with every episode leaving you wanting more. Here is a list of must see shows for all types of viewers. If you’re a fan of comedy try Veep starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the Vice President of the United States. It has been nominated four years in a row for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series, winning the latest one, and Louis-Dreyfus has won an astonishing four consecutive Primetime Emmy Awards. Romance fans will love the Outlander series based on the Diana Gabaldon’s historical time travel books. It’s become a quick favorite amongst many of the staff here. Any fan of gangster movies will love Boardwalk Empire starring Steve Buscemi as Enoch “Nucky” Thompson. The show is loosely based on historical crime figures during the Prohibition era; such as, Arnold Rothstein, Charlie Luciano, Al Capone and more. The series won 20 Primetime Emmy Awards, including two for Outstanding Drama Series. For a steamy psychological thriller try the Affair, told by two different characters that leave you questioning where the truth lies. The series won the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama. Game of Thrones is a fantasy series based on George R.R. Martin’s, Sea of fire and Ice. The show reaches beyond fantasy fans with a lot offer; intense action, a great storyline, amazing actors, stunning scenery, and mind blowing events. The series won an outstanding 26 Emmy Awards. There are so many more great series available at the library: Homeland, Olive Kitteridge, House of Cards, Mad Men, Mr. Selfridge, Ray Donovan, Downton Abbey, True Detective, Call the Midwife, Vikings, the White Queen and many more. A fair warning, many of these shows have strong violence and nudity. Come in and talk to the librarians so that we can find one for you will love!

The Daily Pickle

Who doesn’t love a juicy burger, smothered in cheese and dripping with delicious toppings! I have two tasty burger spots for you to try as well as a bunch of books that will show you how to make a dynamite burger.

Local Burger, conveniently located on Main Street in Bay Shore is a new burger joint in town. It provides a fun and relaxed atmosphere with a creative menu. They have several seating options, indoor, outdoor and even super casual picnic tables outback. But that’s not all. Local Burger is truly local, they proudly support a handful of local businesses by featuring a vast selection of Long Island craft beers, wines from the North Fork, cocktails made from local liquors, beef from local butchers and they even use Islip’s very own Coyle’s Ice Cream to make their delicious shakes! Their ingredients might be local but their burgers are out of this world.

My favorite burgers are the Hangover (bacon, American cheese, a fried egg and organic ketchup), the PB & B (peanut butter, bacon and cheddar), and the Atomic (cheddar, bacon, jalapenos, onions, horseradish pickle chips and sriracha mayo). You can also build your own burger with a variety of delicious toppings and unique sauces. Other notable menu items are the Sea Salt and Truffle Fries, Salt-N-Vinegar Fries, Saranac Root Beer Float and any of their hot dog creations made with nitrate free, grass fed beef. This is a great place for a casual trip with the family or to have a bite and a pint with friends.

Joe’s Sirloin Burger Grill is worth the quick trip to Bohemia. Joe’s is a fast casual eatery that specializes in burgers, fries and sandwiches. In addition to their indoor seating they also have a great wood deck with picnic tables for those who like to dine al fresco. They have hearty portions for a fair price.

At Joe’s, they use a 100% ground sirloin to make their six ounce patties and boast, “no blend, no fillers, and no preservatives.” It is simply pure ground sirloin and quite delicious. You can switch out the sirloin burger for a chicken spinach feta burger, turkey burger or even a veggie burger. You can also build your own burger or choose one of their creations. My favorites include the Horseradish Aioli Burger (mozzarella, horseradish aioli sauce, onion, lettuce and tomato), the Wasabi Swiss Burger (swiss cheese, wasabi sauce, onion, lettuce and tomato), and the Chipotle Bacon Burger (bacon, chipotle mayo, pickle, onion, lettuce and tomato). Other must try menu items include their meaty chicken wings, sweet potato fries, jalapeno poppers and the salads – says my wife. You can also grab a bottled beer to go with your burger or a bucket of beer to share with friends.

Still deciding whether to dine in? Try spicing up your burger at home. Whether it is adding avocados to give it a rich creamy taste or homemade coleslaw to add a crunch- the options are limitless. Browse through these great books to get ideas on crafting your next burger: Bobby Flay’s: Burgers, Fries & Shakes, The Good Stuff Cookbook: Burgers, Fries, Shakes, Wedges, And More and The Burger Bar: Build Your Own Ultimate Burgers. After a little research, I created my own masterpiece…a grass fed beef patty topped with avocado, tomato, smoked gouda, crispy bacon, homemade slaw, all on a toasted English muffin with chipotle mayo. So what are you waiting for? Don’t get caught having the same boring burger night after night. Check out these local burger joints or stop in and pick up a book to start creating your very own burger creations. Also, tell me about your favorite burger joints and what unique toppings you enjoy.

The Chipotle Bacon Burger and sweet potato fries at Joe’s Sirloin Burger Grill.

The Slaw Burger with American cheese and sweet potato fries at Joe’s Sirloin Burger Grill.

The Buffalo Chicken Wings at Joe’s Sirloin Burger Grill.

Translate »