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'Change comes slow' in LI community, agent says

"The beauty of Elwood is it doesn’t really change,” says Maria Rielly, an agent with Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty of Huntington who has lived 52 years in the hamlet. “Though there used to be more farms, change comes slow. Even with the changes, it still has a hometown feel." Elwood earned the title “The heart of Huntington” because “it’s more or less in the middle of town,” says Robert Hughes, Huntington town historian. “What’s nice about it is that although there are...

For some Long Islanders, the party's out back in the shed

Party central at Evan and Kristen Castellan’s Selden home is a former working shed that’s the size of a one-car garage. Seven years ago, Evan, 34, an HVAC service technician, and Kristen, 35, a paralegal, bought the home she grew up in from her parents. The couple fixed up the shed three years later. “It was a work shed,” says Evan. “We pretty much redid it to include a working bar and hangout area.” And now, each summer, the Castellans host a blowout they call "Shedfest." Whether it's...

LI backyard playhouses get creative

The cedar playhouse in Susan Lopez’s Glen Cove backyard has gotten pretty fancy — ever since, that is, the 35-year-old stay-at-home mother painted the door red, added rainbows to the floor, ladder and ceiling, and covered everything with glitter. The playhouse, which she purchased from Walmart, will eventually be airbrushed with her children’s names — Skyla, 5, Savannah, 2, Lucas, 1 — as well as some of their favorite things, including Mickey and Minnie Mouse, cars, unicorns and, of course...

Amazing kids' playrooms and bedrooms on Long Island

Any child would love a special space of their own to play, explore, imagine or simply be themselves. Here are four amazing spaces where kids’ (and parents’) fantasies are turned into reality... Just to the right of their Valley Stream home’s entry is the Harrison family’s playroom — with its treehouse, rainbow and tree murals, pegboards for artwork (dubbed “Harrison Fine Art Gallery"), bean bag chairs, cushions, crafts table, TV and shelves...

Living near Long Island's trains, planes and automobiles

Many think of their homes as a refuge from an otherwise harried existence, a sanctuary of peace and quiet. For some Long Islanders who live near train tracks, major roadways and airports, that is simply not the case. "If I had to do it again, I wouldn’t buy [the house], with the noise," says Regina Ruscillo, 73, an auto glass business owner who has lived in a Franklin Square home with her husband next to the Southern State Parkway since 1970. The couple purchased the house in wintertime...

Renting on Long Island? Avoid these 8 red flags

Choosing the right rental can be a challenge. For all the happy renters, experts say, there are others who have endured hassles, hardships and headaches. Here are eight red flags to watch for before signing an agreement. Before you're actually living in an apartment, you can gauge how attentive a landlord is likely to be. If he or she is hard to reach right from the start, that could be a sign of what you'll encounter if you run into problems after you've moved in. If you're working with a real...

How Long Island homes end up on TV, in movies

For the past six years, Jackie Sanchez has opened her Roosevelt split-level to photographers and video crews to shoot fashion spreads for, among others, Vogue Australia, Allure, Elle UK, Nike and Playboy. Besides the money and fame (of sorts), Sanchez, 53, a model and makeup artist, says she enjoys seeing her home, which is full of Haitian art and antiques, in print and video. “I just feel like I’m hosting a party,” she says, adding that meeting Mary J. Blige during production for a music...
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