Steffie is now a junior in high school. I won’t embarrass her, but to say every parent thinks of their child as… well, as their child. So, it’s tough to come to the realization that she will soon be applying for and entering college and then, leaving home.
I don’t want to face the reality that any of us have gotten older. Who does?
Saturday was to be our first in a long series of college visits. We weren’t going far, C. W. Post College of Long Island University (my friend Peter says it’s really “LG” and pronounced “Long Guyland”).
C. W. Post is located on the former estate of Marjorie Merriweather Post. It was cereal money that built this incredible estate. People must eat an incredible amount of cereal, because this place, as a private residence, reaches the kind of grandeur few of us would even imagine.
It is located on the North Shore of Long Island, in an area still referred to as the Gold Coast. Though Long Island, especially Nassau County, is densely populated and a poster child for suburban sprawl, the area around the Post campus retains its genteel nature and airiness.
L.I.U. purchased the land in 1947. The campus originally hosted 219 students. I can’t imagine what the land is worth today. Over 300 acres of prime real estate boggles the mind.
We were 20 minutes early for our 12:00 noon tour. Over that twenty minutes, a few other families filtered in and sat in a waiting room in a majestic Tudor style building, originally part of the estate.
A tour guide, a junior dance major from Rhode Island walked us through the campus. Though nice, most of the buildings needed some fresh paint of their trim.
As we walked to lecture halls, classrooms, the library and even a ‘sample’ dorm room, it struck me that this was a totally foreign experience for Steffie. Over the next few months she will get a perspective by seeing other schools as well. This was a good start.
Back at the admissions office we met briefly with an admissions officer and then, were on our way. The day was young, so we headed to one of Long Island’s most historic spots.
At 7:52 A.M., May 20, 1927, Charles Lindberg left on his solo flight across the Atlantic. The Spirit of St. Louis, loaded with gasoline, lumbered down the runway before finally becoming airborne. He barely had enough altitude to clear the telephone lines at the end of the runway at Roosevelt Field.
You would think Roosevelt Field, though no longer used for aviation, would be a memorial or historic shrine to the bravery, accomplishment and good luck of Charles Lindberg. No, this is Long Island – it’s a mall.
With four anchor stores and nearly 250 specialty shops, Roosevelt Field is the largest mall I’ve ever been to. This was a Saturday in the off season, but the mall was packed.
The exit off the Meadowbrook Parkway puts you right in the mall’s parking area. We walked through a ‘big box’ sporting goods store, and into the mall’s upper level. We were overlooking a carousel and an immense food court.
The food court was centered around a ring of small restaurant counters, under a huge Zeppelin, . Unfortunately for me, mall food isn’t conducive to the low carb way of life. There wasn’t a great deal of choice, but I found a steak salad at the Great Steak and Potato Company. The steak was sliced thin, like you’d find in a cheesesteak sandwich. Any thinner and the pieces would have been see through.
As large as this mall was, and as happy as Steffie and Helaine were at the store selection, I was disappointed. There were few ‘guy’ shops. There was one bookstore – a small Barnes and Noble (though still signed B. Dalton on the outside). Try as I might to find a book or magazine to sit and read, there was nothing.
After another trip through the food court (different restaurant, still a salad), we headed to the car and back to Connecticut.