To the Quebecois coming to Nassau Coliseum tomorrow

Dear Sirs and Madams:

I hope you read English because my French is quite limited. I support your efforts to return NHL hockey to Quebec. I don’t know any of the politics or economics behind it, but to me it’s b.s. that the Nordiques even left in the first place, because obviously Canada is for hockey (and vice versa), and because the Nordiques had a sweet logo that I have on a t-shirt somewhere. I don’t follow hockey much, but I’ll admit it’s a pretty sweet sport. And I know that the Islanders suck and don’t draw well, and that often when I turn on an N.H.L. game I see teams I’ve never heard of before. Has Columbus, Ohio really had a professional hockey team since 2000? Did I just miss that entirely?

Anyway, on behalf of Long Island, Nassau County and the Town of Hempstead, my longtime home, I welcome you to Uniondale. My advice to you is to spend as little of your time in the area in Uniondale, though inevitably you will spend hours on your way into and out of the Nassau Coliseum’s parking lot,  no matter how few people attend the game. I think more people park there than actually go inside. No one can really explain it.

You’ll probably want to eat while you’re in the area. If you have access to a car, drive west down Hempstead Turnpike and gawk at our amazing array of fast food fried-chicken purveyors. But resist the temptation to stop at the Popeye’s, the first KFC, the Kennedy Fried Chicken or the second KFC, and drive all the way down to the very end of the Chicken Strip. There you’ll find Wings N’ Things, the best option for a truly local experience. If you’ve got enough friends with you, I recommend their 80-piece bucket, which is actually on the menu.

And if you’re really looking to sample the best of local cuisine, take a left on Henry St. and proceed south. (I should note now that the drinking age in the United States is 21, so if you have anyone younger than that interested in purchasing alcohol, you might want to stop by Henry Street Liquors, a strange pocket of apparently independent territory where those restrictions are not enforced. You’ll see the big yellow sign.)

Henry Street becomes Baldwin Road and eventually Grand Avenue. On your left, you’ll see a shopping center with an Associated Supermarket. There’ll you’ll find Ferring Deli, one of the area’s very best, plus a good pizzeria and Jamaican bakery. Enjoy. If you pass another KFC, you’ve gone too far.

Enjoy your stay on Long Island, and feel free to take the Islanders with you.

Ted.

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