Massapequa And ‘The Park’

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coldisclafaniYeah, yeah, I know. There’s a “Massapequa” and a “Massapequa Park.” But it’s not a rivalry, you know. It’s not the Mets and the Yankees or the Islanders and the Rangers.

It’s all one thing to most people, even most residents. “We live in “Massapequa.” The only time we add the “Park” to our region is for LIRR parking and taxes.

Most residents, from both zip codes, identify themselves as from Massapequa, throwing technicalities out the window. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s just that most people know about Massapequa in general, not necessarily that there is an incorporated village inside of it called Massapequa Park.

When you are on vacation and the subject of residence comes up, isn’t your first answer always New York? Then, if they ask for specifics, you offer, “Actually, I’m from Long Island.” If further clarification is necessary, you will then skip the county completely and go straight to your town. After all, Massapequa has become a rather famous town in the media, thanks mostly to some of our famous, or should I say infamous residents.

Most people know about Alec Baldwin or Jerry Seinfeld, some may even know Brian Setzer from The Stray Cats or Elliott Easton from The Cars. But everyone knows about the Gambino Family or Jessica Hahn. What about Joey Buttafuco and Amy Fisher?

They know they came from Massapequa, not necessarily if the specific designation was Massapequa Park. In the overall scheme of things, it just doesn’t matter.

Me? I’m a Massapequa guy living on the other side of town, a geographic oddity that returns Massapequa to the East of Massapequa Park, just before the mall. Kind of makes Massapequa Park a sort of donut hole inside of Massapequa. My backyard bumps up against the dividing line between Massapequa Park and the re-drawing of Massapequa. I’m 11758, my friends.

Sure they have their own street rules over in the Park, even their own level of government. They have different sanitation collections and they even have a different water district.

But we share the same school districts, the same police precinct, the same retail stores and, for the most part, the same name. Our populations are roughly the same, only they cram a few more people in per square mile. On the whole, we usually all vote Republican.

No, there’s no real rivalry between Massapequa and Massapequa Park. Except we can’t park in their Long Island Rail Road lot and they can’t park in ours. Anyone know why they can use our Town of Oyster Bay Beach (TOBAY) and not have to pay the non-resident fee? How come we can’t reserve a picnic table at Brady Park, huh?

Why, oh why, can’t we just all get along?

10 COMMENTS

  1. Great article Paul!!! Being that you live in the house I grew up in, I felt like we were conversing telepathically!!! I do remember the “donut” and that our backyard fence was the “line”!!! The rabbit hutch we had, the forts we would build in the wooded yard behind your parent’s house, Sparky, the never-locked gate between our homes, Dot Olsen and her friends cheerleading in the middle of Park Lane, the tomatoes that lined our carport, the great parties, my Aunt Millie making me clothes, riding sleds in the sumps !!! Such Massapequa Memories!!!

  2. Dear Mr. DiScalfani, I read and re-read your column multiple times (Actually, just twice) and I would like to be the first to say “Congratulations” on a job well done. You hit a nerve, with many, in your analogy of Mets vs. Yankees and Islanders vs. Rangers. Great job there. Also , your humorous take on the line made famous by “Seinfeld” was both genius and refreshing. Point well taken and received. For a while I, too, became a case of my mailbox was Massapequa, but my backyard was the “Park”. I say to you now, it doesn’t matter to me, as long as I’m home. No matter where you are in your “life’s journey”, no matter how far you may go, home is home. And, home to me will always and forever be Massapequa. Park or not. Kudos, sir, for a wonderful read. I look forward to hearing from you again.

  3. Great commentary. As a former “Pequan” (my family still lives there) I can completely relate and had always wished, that we could all share one common zip code. In the end, we are all part of the same family tree. My heart will always belong there and I will always have pride when I talk about it. Happy New Year.

  4. It does not sound like you went to school in Massapequa I am from the Park. Proud to be a Park Boy. Park Boys have been here since Berber was first built and there is a tremendous rivalry between Nassau Shoores and the Park Boys.

    • Thomas- thanks for taking the time to read the column! I went to Berner High and graduated in 1975! I remember the Park Lane boys…

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