What this blog is about.....

Stories about Long Island....including --Long Island Dining, Businesses on Long Island & things worth doing on Long Island

About Me

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Hi, I am Deborah and "I LOVE NYC". I was lucky enough to move back for 2 years 2010-2012 and lived like a tourist in NYC for those two years in the Hudson Yards area at 505W37. Right now I reside on Long Island but stay at different hotels in NYC a few times a year. I hope to move back soon.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Meet our Neighbor - RADD CrossFit NSLI in Glen Cove

The CrossFit philosophy is simple and sweet: You are never alone.

 “The journey of fitness is a long and difficult one,” says Diana Jimenez, Operations Director of RADD CrossFit NSLI in Glen Cove. “But CrossFit is different in that you are never alone, and when you embark on our journey, the level of support from the CrossFit community is monumental.  Dreading a workout quickly becomes a thing of the past and looking forward to pushing the limits with good company becomes your motivation.”

The way it works: “CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program that is constantly varied, uses functional movements, and operates at a high intensity,” says Jimenez, adding, “there is no routine, we like to prepare your body for the unknowable by keeping your body guessing.”

CrossFit has a leg up on the fitness biz. “One of our members has a saying, and that is ‘legs all day,’” says Jimenez. “We incorporate leg movements into our routine with the purpose of increasing overall fitness, and let’s just say that this member does more movements to strengthen legs now than he was used to. In the beginning it was a challenge, but as his overall fitness improved, it became a necessity.”
Since it was founded in 2000 by Greg Glassman, CrossFit has grown by leaps and bounds. By 2005 there were 13 gyms affiliated with CrossFit.  Today, there are over 4,400 CrossFit affiliates worldwide, primarily located in the United States, and the number of affiliates continues to grow.  “We are passionate and firmly believe that this is a new age in fitness,” says Jimenez. 

“CrossFit has been life changing for me,” says Roberto Gutierrez, certified trainer and coach at the Glen Cove facility, along with his brother Daniel Gutierrez.  “I was an ex-athlete and had gained a significant amount of weight and I had let myself go in a terrible way physically as well as emotionally,” says Roberto.My brother introduced me to CrossFit, and after my first workout, I felt like I was back in the gym with my football buddies. Slaps of high fives and positive sayings made me fall in love with CrossFit.  From then on I began to challenge myself in every way and I started making the impossible, possible.”

Roberto’s brother and certified trainer and coach, Daniel Guterriez, also grew up playing sports and went on to become an elementary school teacher and coach. “Having a direct impact on a person’s life through guiding and teaching has always been my passion,” says Daniel, “and while working as a CrossFit coach began as a quest for something fun to do in addition to my teaching career, it is now my lifelong goal to inspire others to strive for a better quality of life through fitness, community, and support on the North Shore of Long Island.”


The coaches gauge a member’s fitness level and improvement with benchmark workouts. “Most of our benchmark workouts are named after girls and one of our most popular is ‘Fran.’ Fran is an intense workout that requires you to complete 21, 15 and 9 repetitions of thrusters and pull-ups. Your score is your time and if you improve on your time, we believe you have improved your level of fitness.”
RADD CrossFit had been vetting the perfect Long Island location for a year before the fitness and training company “fell in love” with the community of Glen Cove. “What attracted us most was the friendliness of the people and quaint appeal,” says Jimenez. “Our hope for the future is to move to the area.” She adds, “Other businesses here have been very helpful in our start up process by allowing us to post information and spread the word about RADD CrossFit.  Attending Chamber of Commerce meetings has also been a great way for other businesses to share what works for them and what could potentially work for us in our facility. We plan to promote their efforts and collaborate to plan and host various events that support each other’s endeavors.”

 CrossFit will hit a new benchmark in 2013, with 100,000 people registered to compete in “The CrossFit Games,” says Jimenez. The Games began in the summer of 2007 in order to find the fittest man and woman in the world.  There are three stages to the games that include the Open Sectionals, Regionals, and The Games.  “The greatest part is that anyone can compete in the Open Sectionals,” says Jimenez, adding, “the top 48 people from each region are invited to compete in regionals.  From there the top three individuals from each region are invited to compete in The Games. “Competing in the Open Sectionals is a good way to see how you rank in terms of fitness against the world.”  
RADD CrossFit also hosts nutritional seminars and events throughout the year that are offered to members. “The classes are free and help to inform our members of current nutritional habits that are recommended by the CrossFit community.”

Everyone can participate in CrossFit’s general-fitness program, “from high school students to adults of all ages,” says Jimenez. “Every movement is modifiable so anyone can benefit.” And young kids are getting into the action, too.  “We recently introduced our RADD Kids program for children ages seven-to-fourteen years-old, which meet once a week on Saturdays,” says Jimenez. 
The biggest challenge for CrossFit? “Leaving at night would be the biggest challenge for us,” says Jimenez. “We love what we do and finding time to end the day is a challenge. We want to continue to improve the quality of our service for everyone in the Glen Cove community and we continuously seek out ideas and innovative methods to do so.”

RADD CrossFit NSLI, 65 Sea Cliff Avenue, Glen Cove, NY 11542, 516-855-7348 or www.raddcrossfitnsli.com

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

"Meet Our Neighbor" Justin’s Toys - Glen Cove, NY

I am excited to feature April's “Meet our Neighbor” series. Each month, I spotlight one of our fabulous North Shore business neighbors. This month, we kid around with Justin’s Toys. 


Justin’s Toys in Glen Cove is a perfect example of do what you love, love what you do. “There is nothing more gratifying than a child coming in for the first time, wide-eyed and in awe, ready to play with everything,” says owner Robert Lee, who opened the store last summer. “And let’s be serious, we’re all kids at heart, so what’s cooler than playing with toys all day?”

Mayor Suozzi with Rob Owner of Justin's Toys

Although not yet a parent, Lee imagined his store to be stocked with toys that he’d want his own kids to play with someday. “I understand how important play time is, and wanted to impact the community in a positive way by offering games and toys that are both fun and educational.”

The biggest sellers? “Classic toys have come back and, surprisingly, Melissa and Doug is our most popular brand,” says Lee.

The Glen Cove resident is no stranger to the business world, or to the local Glen Cove business community. “I was born into an entrepreneur household,” says Lee. “My family owns Glenco Liquors, located in the Glen Cove Stop & Shop Center. When KB Toys went out of business five years ago, my father suggested I open a toy store.” At the time, Lee was a Stony Brook University graduate and working as an actuary in corporate America. “I jumped when the timing was right and I am so happy I made that decision.”

One of the perks of owning a toy store is attending the annual Toy Fair in NYC, which takes place in February. “It is the most outrageous event anyone could ever have the opportunity to experience,” says Lee. 

On the flip side, there are challenges to the business. “We do not purchase many of our toys at the same price as department stores,” Lee explains. “We carry many of these items as a convenience, but it is impossible to offer them at the same price as franchises.” Of course, that’s especially hard for children to understand. “There was a kid who chose one of the biggest Lego sets we have and asked us if he could change the price because his mom said that it wasn't in the budget. We asked how much we should change it to and the boy replied ‘one dollar.’ Out of the mouths of babes.”

Justin’s Toys may be a local Glen Cove toy store, but it has a far reach. “We have a popular online website which we launched this past holiday season,” explains Lee. “Most of our website sales are specialty items that are either hard to find or discontinued and, believe it or not, Australia is one of our biggest purchasers for 1Direction Dolls!  In the future, we hope that sales online will be as frequent as sales in our storefront. And, there may be a time where we evolve into becoming toy distributors.”

In the meantime, the Glen Cove store will evolve into hosting kid’s parties. “We had a tie-dye party and it was such a success,” says Lee.  “We will certainly have more crafty events in the near future and we will be kicking off our first birthday party soon. We are going all out with glitter tattoos, arts and crafts, pizza, dancing and Pin the Tail on Eeyore.”

The best kept secret about Justin’s Toys? “We have free gift wrapping for birthdays.”

It’s always great to shop locally, says Lee. “Local helps local. When we renovated the front of our store we bought a runner from Glen Floors in Glen Cove, and that weekend a handful of new customers came in saying they’d heard about us through that store.” Lee is also appreciative of the savvy business help he’s received. “It’s so great working with Deborah Orgel-Gordon, the owner of Gem Craft Boutique in Glen Head. She’s a wealth of knowledge and her vast experience with multiple businesses is unmatched.”

Justin’s Toys is located at 114 Forest Avenue, Glen Cove; 516-801-3931, www.justinstoys.com.