April 24, 2011
What do you miss about Long Island now that you live elsewhere?
Since you no longer live on Long Island, what do you miss, if anything? Where do you live now and how long has it been since you lived on the Island?
Jack Jacobsen, class of 1962
I miss the community feeling we had growing up in Levittown. I walked everywhere and never had a fear of being in harm's way; plus the convenience of Jones Beach and NYC. I now live in Millersville, Maryland which is between several major cities, Baltimore, Annapolis and Washington DC. We have been living in Millersville for the past 40-plus years. It still doesn't feel like my "home" although I have been here since 1966.
Of most importance, is the food. Every time I eat a pizza, bagel, or go to a deli (mainly in a food chain) I miss the food. In defense of Maryland I do love steamed crabs which is a must when you live near the Chesapeake Bay.
Louise Nicolosi Hayn, class of 1960
Since leaving the Island, I miss my old high school friends who have remained. I miss seeing "the changing face of Levittown". It was a great place to grow up. I do not miss the cold, icy, snowy winters. I never really liked snow even as a child.
I left Levittown in 1962 when I married but I didn't leave the Island until 1966. I lived in New Jersey for several years before moving to the Hudson Valley in New York where I lived until my move to Florida in 2008. I love everything about Florida - the sun, the warmth, the clean air, and the lack of snow. It was the best move ever and I've made nine moves total. This is where I will spend the rest of my life - Paradise!
Karen Biro Hewson, class of 1960
I haven't lived on Long Island now for about 32 years - there are things I miss about L.I -1) being close to my old friends, most of whom still live on L.I. or nearby, i.e. upstate NY. 2) being close to NYC, the restaurants, shows, stores and activities, and 3) believe it or not the weather - I still miss the four seasons, although in the last two years Florida has delivered some reasonable winter weather. Reasonable being I can wear jeans and a pullover without passing out.
What I really miss though is not something I can get back by moving back - it's a time and a feeling, it's youth and innocence. In my mind I travel back every once in a while, re-visit places, events, people, but I know that's the only way I can go back to what I loved - in my mind - I think I would probably be very disappointed with L.I. now, a lot has changed and I really don't want to mess with my memories, so I'll just keep my memories of L.I. and make new memories here or wherever the next place is that I hang my hat.
Kathy Stahlman Zinn, class of 1963
Left Long Island in '63 to attend college and have never truly lived there since, although I did get married on L. I. What I miss, besides some family, is the ocean. I have never lived closer than three hours to the ocean ever since. How I took for granted all those trips to Jones Beach.
I also miss the access to The City. I lived 14 years in the Washington, D.C. suburbs, and I do love D.C. very much, but it is not NYC. We lived in central, rural Virginia for 28 years, (Culpeper, north of Charlottesville), and moved to Pittsboro, NC, near Chapel Hill, 1-1/2 years ago. Lots of Yankees down here. P.S. I do not miss L. I. traffic.
Howard Whidden, class of 1962
Immediately after being released from active duty service, Nancy Raynor ('66) and I married in 1970 and moved to New Jersey where I had my first teaching job in Paterson. After the second of our three children was born we bought our first/current house in Vernon Twp., up in the beautiful mountains of northern NJ (home of the old Playboy Club, Action Park and now Mountain Creek ski areas).
During the first couple years of child rearing Nancy had very severe 'cabin fever' or 'suburban withdrawal,' missing the closeness of everything nearby. We still travel 30-45 minutes to reach a movie theatre or shopping mall, and even the supermarket is 5-10 miles away. We have many friends but barely know our neighbors. We're surrounded by wooded areas, full of bears, turkeys, coyotes and especially deer. My eldest son has a school record for hitting the most deer in one year (five).
So, what do we miss about Levittown? How about the many pools (we always resented that they closed on Labor Day), the close proximity to the beach (called 'the shore' here in NJ), the real sense of community on each block where you did know everyone and everyone knew you and your kids. We miss the easy day trip out to the Hamptons or Orient's wine country, and the major arteries that will get you anywhere quickly (as long as it's not rush hour).
And then there's the huge variety of restaurants, shopping malls, and theatres to choose from, as well as specialty stores for just about anything you can think of, all reasonably close by. And if not, then there's always 'the city,' also reasonably close, great for Broadway plays, museums, stadiums, etc.
We still return to visit Nancy's sister, Pat Raynor ('62), who still lives in the same house she and her parents moved into in 1949, but since their mom passed away last year our visits are becoming less frequent. Fortunately, our oldest son and his partner bought a beautiful home in Huntington so we still get over to the Island fairly often. We miss Levittown, but not the Island's huge number of cars and trucks which make it seem like rush hour all the time. And we surely don't miss the property taxes and the sky high price tags of most homes.
Frank Barning, class of 1960
We left Long Island in 1982 and now live in Las Vegas. I miss diners, Jones Beach, the north shore around Glen Cove and Bayville, New Yawk accents and seeing old friends. It hurts when I miss the funeral of someone on Long Island I cared about.
Roberta Landry Bremmer, class of 1961
Living in Vermont, I miss the ocean and I miss N.Y. pizza. I live in Guilford, a small town, with mostly dirt roads (thankfully we're getting near the end of mud season) in southern Vermont. After graduating from DAHS in 1961 I went to Mt Sinai Hospital School of Nursing in NYC.
After graduating from nursing school, I worked in the city for a few years and then moved to a tiny village called Birdham in Sussex, England. While there I worked at St. Richard's Hospital in Chichester. From there I headed to Vermont in 1968 and have been here ever since. So, since I left Long Island in 1961, in September (September 5th to be exact) it'll be 50 years since I lived there.
Len Sandok, class of 1963
I left Long Island immediately after graduating from high school when I went to college out of state. That was September, 1963. I came home for vacations and the summers. After high school, we lived in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan and finally settled here in Minnesota in 1979.
As happy as we are here, there is much we miss about New York in general and Levittown in particular. Certainly we miss many of our old friends. During the early years we missed good bagels. All the bagels here looked and tasted like white bread. Now we have all the chain store bagels and if my memory is still good, they come very close to New York standards.
However, we miss real Jewish deli. I saw a pastrami sandwich on a local menu when we first got here and decided to try it. The waitress asked what kind of bread I wanted that on. “White or rye?” she asked. The rye bread had a soft crust and no seeds. Yuk! I should have ordered milk with it. We also miss a good bakery. There is nothing like Levittown’s Peter Pan Bakery here.
The last thing we miss is the Broadway shows. The local theater just does not compare, and I miss the American Museum of Natural History. I used to love the planetarium.
I don’t miss the crowds, crime and pollution. Now we consider New York to be a good place to visit, but we would not like to live there.
Wally Linder, class of 1961
Leaving Long Island was not hard for me. The company I worked for promoted me and sent me to its home office in the Chicago area. This move led to a successful 30-year career, with a major corporation. It was the summer of 1974, and I had been in the Navy, and graduated Hofstra.
I had started a family and bought a Levitt house, in Medford, LI, NY, and thought I'd be there for the rest of my life. I had literally set down roots. My wife and I planted grass, trees, and a vegetable garden.
Leaving Long Island was hard for my wife, Annemarie. She had lived there all her life. She went along with the move because of the opportunity for my career advancement. After 43 years of marriage the resentment is finally subsiding, a little.
We moved to Illinois, and bought a Levitt house in Buffalo Grove, Illinois. Do you see a pattern here with the Levitt houses? Every house I had ever lived in was a Levitt house, not counting the Brooklyn rentals. All that was happenstance, and was not planned.
As it turned out, the midwest was a great place to work and raise a family. We are currently retired and NOT living in a Levitt house in Myrtle Beach, SC.