Summer Almanac 2013 – Get Moving


By Michael Isenbek

Horses have long been man’s best four-legged friend and our Island boasts many options in equestrian sports—for spectators and participants alike. There is the relaxing, person and horse harmoniously following a trail; intense and riveting for both watching and playing, like polo; or the challenge of an intricate ballet of movements, like dressage. Fun for all ages awaits.

Country Farms Camp and Equestrian Center, Medford
Kids and adults can get into horses at this extensive complex dedicated to lessons and camps in addition to elite polo instruction and competition.

North Shore Equestrian Center, Greenvale
Set on the campus of CW Post, student instruction is emphasized here, and they boast the largest indoor riding arena in the area.

Old Westbury Equestrian Center
A locale dripping with equine history and sophistication dating back to 1916 that offers a top-shelf riding/training experience.

Pal-O-Mine Equestrian, Islandia
This therapeutic riding center connects children and adults with a broad spectrum of disabilities to each other, the horses and the community. Open to all.

Sweet Hills Riding Center, West Hills County Park, Melville
Dedicated to teaching better horsemanship to all ages and skill levels. Plenty of space to ride either in the arena or on the extensive trails.

Start Your Engines
By Michael Isenbek

There’s nothing like the roar of an engine to get your attention. And race culture is within arm’s reach whether high-brow, like Montreal’s F1 Grand Prix, or in the slightly lower drawer. The horses under these hoods battle for supremacy at blink-and-you’ll-miss-it speeds all for your pleasure.

Karts Indoor Raceway, Ronkonkoma
It’s an eight-way competition at this indoor track, with the electric cars sliding on turns throughout the slick, tricky course. No emissions means it’s earth-friendly harrowing fun for any who dare.

Lime Rock Park, Lakeville, CT
For the historic connoisseur of auto racing this (still active) track is painstakingly preserved, so it looks as it did when it opened in 1957. The expanse is (and was) sped across by some of the most legendary drivers in the sport.

Raceway Park, Englishtown, NJ
It’s a bit of a trek from LI, but drag racing enthusiasts who haven’t been there should start planning now. The acceleration is intense and LOUD, the flames fly and the smell of burnt rubber lingers in the air.

Riverhead Raceway
One of the first stock car tracks in the country and the only official NASCAR track in the region. Sure there’s standard racing, but go to the monthly demolition derby and see sparks (and auto parts) fly. Look for the giant Native American.


Bonus: Classic car lovers unite!

Antiques and Classic Car Show
July 14, Sagtikos Manor, Bay Shore
Over 100 vehicles will be on display with lots of super-vintage rides. Leather jackets optional.

U.S. Vintage Grand Prix
September 6-8,
Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen
Back in the salad days of high performance cars, before racing became corporate, the bucolic roads of Watkins Glen comprised the track. Classic vintage cars will compete on this 6.6 mile course and the whole town will become a museum for racecars and racers of yore.

Take Flight!
By Michael Isenbek

imageThere are countless ways on LI to leave terra firma behind and float, soar or drop through the air. With the winds calming and the skies clearing, embrace our aviation history and take to the wide open blue above.

Flying Lessons
It might be a little harder than driving a car—more controls and gauges and an added dimension, for starters—but totally worth it. Thrill seekers, engine nerds, process lovers and those struck with wanderlust can get their license to fly in 60-80 hours over the 16 weeks of summer. Editor’s picks for top two schools:

Nassau Flyers
Republic Airport, Farmingdale

The important fact first: They have the best safety record around, plus a tarmac full of the newest planes. NF doesn’t stop at the small Cessna, they also teach multi-engine and commercial flying for future airline transport pilots.

Mid-Island Air Service,
MacArthur and Brookhaven Airports

Founded in 1946 by flight instructor Louis Mancuso, the family name is to flight what Andretti is to racing. Their innovative training program allows for online ground training, leading to faster qualifications.

Dive Through the Sky
Skydive Long Island, Calverton
Skydivers in the know head east to indulge their terminal-velocity obsession. From the first tandem jump to advanced madness, it will happen from 13,500 feet with a view of the NYC skyline and our sandbar on clear days.

Glad You’re A-Glide
Sky Sailors Glider School, Gabreski Airport
Gliding takes the engine out of the equation and you will learn how to be adrift like a (stable) leaf on the air currents. The Westhampton Beach-based operation also conducts balloon rides in NJ and CT, an hour-long experience 500-1,000 feet up adrift on the wind. The traditional champagne toast follows.

michael isenbek

Michael Isenbek, Associate Editor, dabbles in both fiction and nonfiction writing, coordinates the Pulse event listings and writes the text for "Zoom," among other editorial tasks. He has a Master's Degree in Liberal Studies and a Bachelor's Degree in Cultural Studies with a concentration in Journalism from SUNY Empire State College.