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Montauk Point Lighthouse

Montauk Point Lighthouse

Built somewhere around 1796, the Montauk Lighthouse is located near east Long Island, on Block Island Sound. The lighthouse is the 4th oldest (and still active) in the US. The complete structure stands at a massive 110-feet and resides inside the famous Montauk Point State Park. The beacon from the lighthouse is programmed to flash every five seconds. Amazingly, its beacon can easily be seen as far as 19 nautical miles. Fortunately, for those who wish to see and feel the lighthouse in all its glory, the structure is accessible and you can go for a trip to the history sandstone lighthouse through different modes of transportation.

 

A Brief Historical Account of the Montauk Lighthouse

During the Second World War, the United States army took over the lighthouse to mount a coastal defense unit. There were three civilian maintenance keepers of the lighthouse, all of whom went home in 1943. Right beside the Montauk Lighthouse, the US army opened Camp Hero, which was back in 1942.

 

Just a year after the Second World War ended, the USCG (United States Coastal Guard) took over the lighthouse as primary keepers. They ran the lighthouse up until 1987, which was when it was fully automated. In May of the same year, the Montauk Historical Society inaugurated the lighthouse museum, and opened it for the public.

 

When Should You Visit the Lighthouse?

You can take an exciting tour of the lighthouse from mid May to the second week of October; this is when tours are available daily. After October, you can visit the lighthouse on weekends beginning from the mid of March to late April as well as in November.

 

You can take a tour of the iconic Montauk Point Lighthouse through the keeper’s cottage which was built somewhere around the 1860s. You can even climb to the top of the lighthouse, but you are going to have to climb the spiral, 137-step staircase.

 

Modes of Transportation

Driving to the Lighthouse

You can drive to the lighthouse from Hamlet, Montauk (the lighthouse is 6.5 miles east of Hamlet). The easiest way to get there is through the New York State Route 27. You will be able to see the lighthouse at the loop of the highway. If you’re coming from New Jersey, you can take interstate 495 (the Long Island Expressway), come out from Exit 70 on Manorville Road and then just drive south.

 

Taking the Train or Bus

During peak season, which basically starts from July and ends in September, you can take the shuttle to Montauk Lighthouse, courtesy of the Suffolk County Transit. It’s a two-way trip and the ticket prices are reasonable. If you are a student or a senior, you can get some discounts. For kids below the age of five, the ride is basically free. The shuttle bus service runs from Monday all through Saturday, and there are eight trips per day scheduled.

 

Take a Boat Ride to the Lighthouse

If you want to see the lighthouse from the water, various boat charter companies schedule rides to Montauk Island during the summer. You can even charter a boat just before sunset and turn it into a romantic trip. Sit back and enjoy the view of the lighthouse while the sun sets. There are plenty of charter companies you can opt for such as the Montauk Yacht Club, Viking Fleet Charters, Runway Charters, etc. Although some companies will provide you with light snacks and beverages, it’s still better to pack your own food and drinks.

 

 

So there you go, everything you need to know about the Montauk Point Lighthouse and getting to the structure. Have you visited it recently, or at all?

How Do You Choose the Ideal Neighborhood?

How Do You Choose the Ideal Neighborhood?

One of the key aspects of buying a house anywhere is the location. The neighborhood is just as important as selecting the apartment or house itself. The area you choose to move in has to have low crime rates, it has to be affordable, and it should be easy for you to imagine making friends with the people living around you. Moreover, and this depends on whether you have kids, the location should have good preschools, high schools, playgrounds, etc.

If you’re planning to buy a home or apartment, it is important to understand that you don’t just have to consider the property itself, but also the neighborhood. So let’s see how you can go about choosing the ideal neighborhood as you look for a new home.

Make a List of Important Questions and Do Some Analysis on Your Own

It is vital to first think about all the qualities you seek in a good neighborhood. In your mind what constitutes as a good neighborhood? Understand that it isn’t just you that is going to be living in your new house. You have to consider the needs and well-being of your family as well. So ask questions such as:

  • Would you prefer a busy area or some place that is nice and quiet?
  • Would you prefer walking or do you need certain amenities?
  • Do you want to live in a greener area, with trees, parks and a good flora and fauna?
  • Should your house be close to restaurants, malls and hospitals?
  • Do you have to move in to a newer development or are you fine with an older neighborhood?
  • Do you prefer privacy or a well-knit community?

As you think everything through, these are some important questions to dwell on. Moreover, it would also help if you consult your spouse and children as well (if they are older). For example, if you have school going kids, would prefer to have separate cares or would you prefer public transportation? After you develop a realistic picture of the type of neighborhood you wish to settle in, mentioned below are some other important factors to consider.

Keep Your Month-to-Month Budget in Mind

One of the key factors to consider in selecting a good neighborhood is your monthly budget. Depending on what your monthly expenses are, some neighborhoods may either be too expensive or affordable. The first thing you need to consider is property tax. The amount of taxes in this category primarily depends on the location itself. For example, a posh or gated community may have a comparably higher property tax rate than a more common locale. Don’t forget that property tax rates increase with time, further adding to your monthly expenses.

See if the Local Lifestyle is in Line with Yours

Nothing is more important than moving into a neighborhood that is in line with your current lifestyle and will continue to augment your future lifestyle. You have to figure out what type of a community would be more comfortable in. For example, would it suit you to move into a modern and lively single-family neighborhood or a family-friendly and private area?

The best way to determine that is to first take a long drive along the neighborhoods you have shortlisted, try to get a sense of how the people are. In addition to getting a feel for the community, there are also some immediate factors to consider such as whether or not the area has a good school district, how the local transportation is, the commute times, etc. You could even easily do an online search or just discuss this with your real estate agent.

It isn’t that hard to buy a house or apartment, but what can be difficult is selecting the right neighborhood. Keep these points in mind before jumping the gun and buying a house. In many ways a neighborhood is an extension of your immediate home and it deserves proper consideration.

Top 5 Values of a Real Estate Agent

Top 5 Values of a Real Estate Agent

In the world of real estate, there are a couple of people whom are key players. Ranging from appraisals, home inspectors, property managers, mortgage loan officers, contractors, bankers and even government agencies; there are usually many people playing important roles in the real estate industry including the prospective buyers and sellers. But it is important to note that the real powerhouse of a standard real estate transaction are those people in charge of the coordination process: real estate agents and real estate brokers!

On different occasions and for different reasons, a real estate agent works at different points: salesperson, buyers’s advocate, analyst, consultant, negotiator or even as a marketer. Below are the top 5 values and qualities that a great real estate agent should possess:

  • Enhanced Knowledge Bank

Successful real estate agents are usually up-to-date in the realm of real estate agency. They’re very active in the local market as this is the reason they are always able to render effective services to their clients. Their educational and professional development is continuous giving them the opportunity to expand their businesses and remain atop the real estate industry. If you emulate and develop a flair for knowledge acquisition, then, on the long run, you would definitely achieve a very positive value which would boost your presence and upgrade your relevance in the world of real estate.

  • Building a Network of Connections

In the world of real estate agency, building a vast array and network of connections is highly important. Great real estate agaents usually possess relevant communications and networking skills within the market they work. Obviously, the aforesaid list of connection usually include several other real estate agents and brokers, potential buyers and sellers, appraisers, home inspectors, and mortgage loan officers and other role players in the industry.

  • A Problem Solving Mindset

One key thing that work and contributes to the values of a great real estate agent is having a problem solving mindset. Real estate agents are usually positive thinkers who provide creative solutions to problems via optimism and critical thinking. For instance, they are well-learned on how to appropriately come up with creative solutions and showcase a house in order to make it more marketable while they also generate and build impressive MLS listings that would attract the appropriate buyer.

  • Hustling Spirit and Tenacity

The real estate industry is really a no joke. To become a top reckoned and great real estate agent, it requires that you possess a tough hustling spirit, mental grit and tenacity. This is because you will be required to put in a great work ethic and purse every lead to aggressively market the properties of your clients. It’s not all about the time you expend, rather about how right and smart you’ve successfully worked to be a great agent in the industry.

  • Paying Close Attention to Detail

If you want to be a great and successful real estate agent, it’s quite important that you have good listening ears and pay attention to details. This is very important to your career in real estate industry. A good agent is very attentive to the essential needs of his or her clients’and must be well-organized, follow leads and maintain a very strong communication with clients. With these, more deals are assured to be closed and more relevance, ascertained.

Conclusively, it is quite imperative to know that the above listed values are those of a great real estate agent, and if they are inclucated and put into good use, you’re rest assured to become a top relevant and very successful agent in the real estate industry.

Haunted Houses on Long Island

Haunted Houses on Long Island

Long Island is often associated with plenty of scary folk tales, unusual myths and ancient folklore. Moreover, the city has a rich heritage and history as it was first populated by Native American Indians. It was in the 1600s that European immigrants started inhabiting the land.

As a result, the city has plenty of ancient sites and Native American burial grounds along with landmarks important to the Revolutionary War. Moreover, Long Island also has a slew of glamorous mansions and huge estates for added measure.

You already know how this sounds like – a good way to see some haunted mansions! If you are interested in having the fright of your life, mentioned below are some of the most haunted houses in Long Island.

The Amityville House 

When it comes to haunted houses, there is no way we couldn’t mention this popular haunted house in the city. Located in Amityville, many people know about story of the family that was straight up murdered in this house! It all started in 1974, when Ronal DeFeo slaughtered his family in the house.  A lot of people believed that the vile spirits haunting the house drove Ronald completely mad, and led him to murdering his entire family.

In 1975, the house was bought by George and Kathy Lutz. Just a year after the murders occurred, the couple spawned a series of ghastly tales about bizarre, paranormal activities that they “claimed” to experience. Their stories led to several movie productions soon after. However, their stores were later revealed to be nothing but a hoax. But there are still many people who believe ghosts haunt the Amityville house.

Winfield Hall

This former manor has seen plenty of death. However, as per local legends, there are some pretty colorful tales about the owner of the mansion, Frank Winfield Woolworth. But there are also some stories about bizarre occult activity as well. You see, just two years after Winfield had the former mansion built, which was in 1917, he passed away. Sadly, just a couple of years after Frank Winfield’s death, his daughter Edna, committed suicide.

Fast forward to the sixties and seventies, the Winfield mansion served as a home to Air Career School, where students were reported saying that Edna’s room was always kept locked and no one dared to go inside. Moreover, the students also stated that they could hear sounds of moving furniture coming from the room. But there was nobody in the room!

Morgan Hall

Located in Glen Cove, Morgan Hall was built by the famous millionaire J.P. Morgan back in 1910. However, today, Morgan Hall is said to be one of the most haunted and creepiest places in Long Island! People claim that the mansion is haunted by the ghost of the financial tycoon’s daughter, Alice who passed away in the house due to the yellow fever.

Before being transformed into a Catholic school back in the sixties, the former mansion also served as a Russian Embassy. After the school was built, people have claimed seeing the ghost of Alice roaming around the attic as well as the school’s numerous halls and corridors. According to eyewitness accounts, Alice is always dressed in a black gown. Dare to meet her?

Fire Island Lighthouse

Located on Fire Island, the Fire Island Lighthouse stands at 74-feet and was built in 1826. However, thirty-two years later, the original lighthouse was torn down and replaced by the current one. And this lighthouse is rumored to be one of the most haunted places in Long Island.

According to folklore, the lighthouse is haunted by the ghost of a curator, who committed suicide. He died inside the lighthouse. The curator committed suicide, grief stricken by the death of his daughter, who passed away during the construction of the lighthouse. People have been reported as saying they could hear the sound of eerie laughter coming out from the lighthouse. Many others have reported seeing a vague, shadowy figure of a man carrying rope.

So there you go, a list of some of the most haunted places in Long Island, perfect for a Halloween trip with your friends. Or basically any other night as well!

Simple & Delicious Pumpkin Cake Recipe

Simple & Delicious Pumpkin Cake Recipe

An amazing indoors way to celebrate the beautiful fall weather is to stop going for apple picking and just making a delicious, mouthwatering pumpkin pie. It’s just so much better than hayrides and roasting some s’mores. Moreover, you could not have a tastier treat for after dinner, enjoying some Sunday night football than this out-of-the-world recipe. And it’s simple, without any special ingredients, hassle-free, and it’s just perfect! This recipe is great for true pumpkin pie fans who want the very essence of the pumpkin flavor, the spice and a bit of tanginess without anything else getting in the way!

But Why is This Pumpkin Pie Recipe Great?

There are a couple of reasons why this pumpkin pie cake recipe will become an instant favorite and fall staple at your household. First of all, the pie will be packed with a concoction of wonderful flavors along with two big cups of pumpkin puree. In addition, you are going add all the best fall ingredients in your kitchen, such as cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and ginger.

The cake will turn out super moist, like sticking to your fork! To make it even more delicious you are going to add a mouth watering, smooth and silky cream cheese frosting. Lastly, because the cake is single layer, you can easily pack it take to parties, game nights, tailgates etc.

The Pumpkin Cake Recipe

The recipe is quite straightforward and you can’t go wrong with it. If you have ever baked a spice cake before, the preparation is similar to that in terms of texture and taste. Plus you are not going to need more than two bowls! However, even if you haven’t baked in a while, this recipe is still easy than a ton of others!

Let’s go over the ingredients and then the method.

As mentioned, the ingredients are simple and easy, it’s a homemade cake after all.

 

Here is what you are going to need:

 

  • Flour – (Go with all-purpose flour) because the cake already as a thick and wet batter.

 

  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda – Common household ingredients that help the batter rise

 

  • Cinnamon and Spice for the Pumpkin Pie – These are necessary ingredients to make the cake. You can prepare the spice at home by adding half a teaspoon of ground cloves, ground ginger, ground allspice and ground nutmeg. Don’t forget to add half a teaspoon of cinnamon.

 

  • Vanilla and Salt for Added Flavor – You can add salt as per taste and buy the vanilla extract from any local grocery store.

 

  • Cooking Oil – Layer the base of the baking pan with an even spread of cooking oil to make the base of the cake smooth and moist.

 

  • Eggs – Add 2-3 eggs for the structure of the cake.

 

  • Pumpkin – Along with 2 cups of fresh pumpkin puree, you will need to add 1 regular can of pumpkin. Use the entire content of the can to avoid waste.

 

  • Sugar – You can mix some brown and white sugar for taste

Instructions: 

  1. Take two bowls
  2. Mix dry ingredients in one bowl
  3. Mix the wet ingredients in the other
  4. Mix both the dry and wet ingredients together
  5. Take a 9 x 13 baking or cake pan and pour the mix in, spreading evenly
  6. Bake it
  7. Let it cool down for five minutes and then make the cream cheese frosting
  8. Put the cake in your fridge for 30 minutes
  9. And voila, it’s ready for eating

 

There you go – everything you need to have and know about how to bake a wonderfully delightful pumpkin pie cake.

October Fun on Long Island

October Fun on Long Island

Visiting Long Island during October will make for a scintillating experience. The weather is a mildly cold, perfect for having some fun outdoors! There are just so many things you can do apart from enjoying the beautiful fall colors.

Although the temperature will remain in the mid-range, if you do plan for outdoorsy activities on Long Island, it’s important to wear a couple of layers and bring a pair of hiking boots or shoes, especially if you want to experience the botanical garden in all its glory. Mentioned below are some interesting and exciting activities you can do.

Beautiful Long Island Landscape Hike

If you want to go out for a long, yet exhilarating and mentally stimulating hike, then Long Island is just the place. There are a variety of amazing trails that you could go on, for example, the Garvies Point Preserve. The preserve will nicely lead you down towards a pristine beach where you can take a breather and enjoy a mini picnic.

Moreover, Garvies also has spectacular refuges for wildlife in Long Island, like the Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge. You can hike down to this national wildlife refuge, go to the shoreline and experience a huge gathering of different waterfowl.

Apple Hunting and Picking

As soon as fall hits Long Island, the place becomes an apple haven. There are a variety of orchards open to the public. You can go there with your family to pick hordes of fresh apples right at their peak. You can hunt for as many apples as you want and either eat them raw or make some fresh juice. There is no shortage of delicious recipes that have apples as the main ingredient.

Similarly, there are different farms of different fruits such as pumpkins, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries corn, tomatoes, strawberries, peaches, etc. However, each harvest will depend on the time of the year, apple picking is great for October.

Look for Your Own Pumpkin

There are also plenty of pumpkin farms you can visit on Long Island, and some of the farms also feature corn mazes as well as pre and post Halloween events. While you can buy already-picked pumpkins for Halloween, there are also farms where you can go out for some pumpkin picking. You might end up picking the biggest pumpkin on the farm!

One of the most popular pumpkin picking farms on Long Island is Brightwater’s, located near Bay Shore. If you want to pick organic pumpkins, then you can go to Organics Today, which is a 3-acre farm. If you want to experience the thrill of navigating through a corn maze, you can head straight to Fairview Farm located in Bridgehampton.

A Weekend Escape in Long Island

Another great way to enjoy a fall weekend in Long Island is visiting the popular Glen Cove Mansion. The mansion was built back in 1910 and is an award-winning structure. You could also go to the iconic Oheka Castle, located in Huntington.

You could also plan a weekend getaway for some wine tasting at the popular Long Island Wine Country or visit the Hamptons (you would really enjoy it since all the summer crowd is already gone). The Long Island Wine Country features serene bike trails and cozy villages.

Have Some Fun with Your Pooch

If you have brought your canine companion along for a visit to Long Island, you would be relieved to know that there are several places designated for dogs, you can play with your pooch all day long or take him for some exploration. Plus, there are also off-leash parks and places where your dog can run wild.

 

 

So, there you have it – some of the best places to visit and fun things to do while you are in Long Island this fall. Some amazing October fun on Long Island for locals and tourists alike.

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