Rockville Centre: In Remembrance Of…

"Home Sweet Home!"

“Home Sweet Home!”

In June of 1987, my family and I moved from a tiny apartment in NYC to a Georgian-style home in a town called Rockville Centre (RVC).  On January 14, 2015, at around 4:30 pm, I tearfully left my home in a slight hurry as a made my exodus from suburbia towards the concrete jungles of New York City.  The melancholy of R.E.M.’s “Don’t Go Back to Rockville” echoed in my ear drums as it was quietly emitted from my iPod en route to Penn Station.  One minute, I am shoveling snow and celebrating Christmas by a roaring fire underneath towering oaks and maples, and the next minute, I am awakened by the unpleasant cacophony of fire truck sirens and howling gusts.  To say that I am homesick for the trees and birds of suburbia would be an understatement.  Although to be fair, I am trying to make the best of it.  But I am getting ahead of myself.  Let us take a look back at what used to be… My Hometown.

Rockville Centre: "My Hometown!"

Rockville Centre: “My Hometown!”

Rockville Centre, or RVC for short, is a middle to upper-class suburb; a town, or rather village of just under 25,000 people.  A predominantly Irish-Catholic area, followed by a mix of Jewish and African American residents as well.  Incorporated in 1893, it sits about 25 miles  (40 km) east of New York City.  It is located near several popular Long Island attractions like Nassau Coliseum, Roosevelt Field Shopping Mall, Jones Beach, Westbury Music Fair, and Eisenhower Park.

A cornucopia of autumnal wonders in RVC

A cornucopia of autumnal wonders in RVC

"Brrrr!  Jack Frost hath visited RVC."

“Brrrr! Jack Frost hath visited RVC.”

What I like about it is that it is, first off, a beautiful town.  When one pictures the suburbs, one always thinks of green grass, brick homes, white picket fences, tall trees, a wide variety of flora, and some over-priced SUV idling in the driveway.  Or if you wanna be cute, just think of the scene in Little Shop of Horrors where Audrey sings “Somewhere That’s Green.”  OK, to be honest, RVC is a far-cry from the campy 1950’s tableau.  It is, however, home to some of the nicest homes this side of suburbia; almost every piece of architecture from Georgian, to Tudor, to colonial, to manor, to apartment are featured.  The houses are accompanied by rows and rows of towering trees.  In May, however, many of them blossomed this unattractive weed-like pollen that emitted this brownish pollen that caused everything on the ground to show off a puke green hue.  But it was a sign that spring had arrived in RVC.  And speaking of spring, I would always look forward to waking up to a bevy of Easter eggs and still picking up the residue of whatever snow was leftover from winter.  And of course, Christmastime was always a call for celebrations!  Good times!

O'Christmas Tree!

O’Christmas Tree!

 

A sign that Xmas is in RVC: these hanging ornaments from lamposts.

A sign that Xmas is in RVC: these hanging ornaments from lamposts.

Spring hath sprung in RVC!

Spring hath sprung in RVC!

Easter in RVC: Bunny visited my home!

Easter in RVC: Bunny visited my home!

But it wasn’t all good times: our house managed to miraculously survive the onslaught of Hurricane Sandy in 2012.  Except for a few days without electricity, we managed to survive!

My neighborhood hath survived the wrath of Hurricane Sandy!

My neighborhood hath survived the wrath of Hurricane Sandy!

RVC also enjoys a proud reputation as being the unofficial restaurant capital of Long Island. You can’t take one step in this town without being surrounded by gastronomic ordeals and places to imbibe on every street corner.  From traditional Irish pubs (we do have a lot of them!), to popular diners with a menu of abundance, sushi parlors, ice cream parlors, brick-over pizzerias, Chinese take-out, and some of the best bakeries you will ever find!  One place in particular is Front Street Bakery, located across the street from the Rockville Centre train station.  This tiny boulangerie has been churning out the most scrumptious desserts, most notably their pink dot cookies, which are butter cookies that are topped with a large dollop of pink frosting.  What’s more, they also make some of the best cakes around; every year, I would always get one for my birthday.  Also, be sure to check out CJ’s Coffee Shop; one of the best breakfast’s around, and all for less than $9 a plate!

Front Street Dot Cookies: the signature dessert of RVC!

Front Street Dot Cookies: the signature dessert of RVC!

When I flew back to New York from Sydney last September, I was happy to be home after being away for nearly three weeks.  But not five minutes outside LaGuardia Airport, my parents break the bad news to me that they have officially sold the house in RVC.  Suddenly, the last 27 years of my life flashed before my eyes in a split second.  All the memories I had of Christmas morning, Easter egg hunts, Thanksgiving dinners, Saturday morning cartoons, doing my homework at the kitchen table, and riding my old banana-seat bike seemed to just fly by.  It was a bittersweet moment for me as I was prepared to bid adieu to the place I had called home for 27 1/2 years.

Farewell, Adieu, Adios, Sayonara, Aloha, Happy Trails, Bon Voyage, and So Long, RVC.  Gone, but not forgotten…

"Can you ever really go home, again?"

“Can you ever really go home, again?”

About admin

I am a graduate of Stony Brook University, and I have a degree in History. I am an avid traveler, with an extensive knowledge of geography, a passion for photography, and a knowledge of animals too. I enjoy pop music of the 1980's, fine dining, movies, baseball, basketball, and rugby.
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