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?

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Paul DiSclafani is a columnist for Massapequa Observer. He has called Massapequa home for 50 years.

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