Ronkonkoma and adjacent Lake Ronkonkoma share the same zip code, which may be why some of the locals interchange the two names. “There are a lot of bars in the area, and it’s near a lot of stuff,” says Jamie Calise, 21, who tends bar at JW’s Pub (729 Hawkins Ave.). The “stuff” includes several parks, Lake Grove’s Smith Haven Mall and the popular MacArthur Airport.
Anthony D’Amato, 23, moved from Brookhaven to Ronkonkoma after he got married last year. He was looking for a “nice place” nearer to his family and his job at Anna’s Pizzeria (719 Hawkins Ave). “My wife and I like to go out to eat around here,” he says. John Harvard’s brewery and restaurant in Lake Grove is one of their favorites.
Steve Ward, 29, who works with D’Amato, says he and his wife like to take their kids to Raynor Beach County Park, off Ronkonkoma Avenue, for picnics.
» Bring your best moves to one of the many dance centers in this zip code. Ballet Long Island (1863 Pond Rd., 631-737-1964) offers classes for children and adults.
» Take the express to Wrong Island Railroad, a toy train store and museum with an interactive operating layout. But do so quickly, because the shop is only open for a few more weeks this season (679 Hawkins Ave. 631-467-1222).
» Check with the Suffolk County Department of Health at www.suffolkcountyny.gov/health before taking a dip in Lake Ronkonkoma; swimming was prohibited briefly last summer due to high bacteria levels in the lake. Still, there are picnic areas, playgrounds and other recreational sites on the lake, which is Long Island’s largest freshwater lake.
» One Tree Hill actress
Moira Kelly was raised in Ronkonkoma and attended Connetquot Senior High School.
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