July 6, 2010Welcome to my blog...'The Daily Suse'.
The title combines my name (Susan) and my profession for the past 2o years: working as a designer for two daily newspapers, The Staten Island Advance and The Wall Street Journal.
This is something completely new for me, and full-disclosure, I totally cheated by using a template to get started. But the look will improve as I master this new media and I hope I can entice you through design and content to become a regular reader and pass on anything you find interesting to your family and friends.
I'm going to combine travel, shopping, reading, cooking, decorating and entertaining ideas ...all things i love.....and I'll try to keep them concise and well-illustrated. Please comment and correct anything that might need correcting. I value your input.
And so I'll begin with a visit to a small store in a small town out east on Long Island, New York's south shore near where I grew up. Thanks for being my first readers in what I hope will be a successful endeavor.
OK, the name doesn't exactly have the cache of 'Beverly Hills 90210' but this little town on the east end of Long Island, sometimes referred to as the 'Gateway to the Hamptons' has a charm all its own. Eastport was also known as the 'Duck Capital of the World' back in the early 1900s when there were approximately 29 duck farms in this tiny community producing about 6.5 million ducks yearly. Pollution regulations in the 1960s put most of the farms out of business and today the duck business is mostly a memory.
Eastport is located in the town of Brookhaven and is sandwiched between East Moriches and Remsenburg-Speonk. The main part of town is located along Montauk Highway and just a small portion touches on Moriches Bay in an area called Seatuck Cove.
This charming hamlet was introduced to me by my sister and brother-in-law who have a summer home in nearby Westhampton and from the outset I was smitten with its 'Long-Island-back-in-the-50s' kind of atmosphere with a small but select group of stores that you can actually afford to buy something in. Ladies, leave your Chanel bags and Gucci sandals back at the summer rental, faded Nantucket Reds and flip-flops are the Eastport fashion de jour.
I'll return to this town several times this summer but today I'm going to talk about a store that's become a family favorite.
K.C. Kollections at the Eastport General Store (511 M0ntauk Highway) is owned by Linda Stucchio. The store, set back a bit from the road is an ecclectic mix of antiques, gift items, lamps and lamp parts, Crystal chandeliers, linens, vintage jewelry and lawn and garden statuary....but wait, there's even more! The store is in two parts with a garden area in between. If you can make it through the main store without overloading, save some arm space for the backyard barn-like structure with some interesting antiques, stone lawn ornaments, unusual door knockers, fabric swatches that can be made into one-of-a-kind decorator pillows (a future post), art, frames...phew...it's exhausting. But the best part is the prices are about half what similar items would cost in Eastport's glitzy sister towns a few miles up the highway as you head in the Hamptons-proper. Oh, and there's always street parking in this sleepy little shangri-la.
The shop wraps each item in a lovely bag with colorful tissue paper peeking out and the owner and sales person were helpful and friendly. I purchased some costume earrings there last summer that always received lots of compliments (seriously, I think they cost $3.) My sister bought a delicate three-strand white and gold necklace yesterday for $1!
If you're heading out east for the weekend or just want to make a day trip, K.C. Kollectibles should be a must-stop. There's a great little luncheonette, called, ahem, 'Luncheonette' a few doors away. We were there on cold, snowy February weekend earlier this year and couldn't get a seat for Sunday breakfast and that might be all the recommendation you'll ever need. The trip takes about 2 hours from New York City.
(Note: Reference for historical information came from: http://www.longislandexchange.com/towns/eastport.html
HOW TO GET THERE:
Take the Belt Parkway to Southern State Parkway to the end and head east onto Sunrise Highway (Route 27). Get off at exit 61 and follow the signs to Eastport turning right onto Eastport Manor Road. Make a left onto Montauk Highway. You'll be in the heart of this tiny town.
TOMORROW: Preparing easy side dishes that complement your summer barbecue and a visit to a 'magic land'.