May 10, 2006
People started wondering about the state of Riverhead long before the big box stores began to open. The positive things that began to happen are Atlantis Marine World, the colleges moving to downtown, the development of the riverside canal district, and the renaissance of the arts scene.
I'm feeling good about Riverhead because there's a spirit of cooperation there with all the merchants in town and the attractions such as the East End Arts Council and the Vail-Leavitt Music Hall. And I think people are pleasantly surprised when they come to Riverhead for legal, financial or medical business, in that the support for them is there. And I'm just talking about downtown Riverhead not to mention the big box stores shoppers' paradise on Route 58. It's not surprising that you'll see people from the Hamptons, the North Shore, and as far as Bellport shop on Route 58.
The EEAC is a very special place . . . not only does it unify the arts for the local area, but it's a center for all professional arts. Which is very important now because many of the Hamptons' galleries are now closed — but not Riverhead's. You must congratulate the administrative staff for creating, developing, and acquiring funding for this center —what would be an important resource for all age groups, not just youngsters.
A significant part of the revitalization of Riverhead is the ongoing educational experience of Suffolk County Community College. Its campus is noted for the applied arts, graphic design, photo imaging and interior design, besides having the usual complement of college level academic courses. Because of these specialties, the college draws students from both forks of Long Island, to as far back as the Nassau County line. In the faculty area, the faculty is award winning in its own professional areas as well as in its teaching excellence. Experts in their fields, they provide the perspective of a professional insight in their area of specialization.
All of Riverhead is a valuable resource to me because it's concentrated in its variety, in their offerings which is convenient and delightful, as opposed to being spread out as the Hamptons or the North Fork.
In 2007, my college will add a division of its Culinary Arts Program and the second floor will become a much needed English as Second Language program. The Riverhead Culinary Arts site will have a special feature for citizens, that being a retail food shop. We have already added two new buildings to our college campus for students to use, an 18-room classroom building, and a separate fine arts studio building.
Downtown Riverhead is the ideal place to be now and certainly in the very near future.
If you live or work in the Riverhead area and want to give us a piece of your mind about something, let The Independent Traveler Watchman know by contacting Rick at 324-2500 or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll pass it along to R.B. Stuart