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Getting to know Smithtown

James Leonelli, 27, grew up studying mixed martial arts, so it is no coincidence that he now owns Tiger Schulmann’s Mixed Martial Arts school at the Village Commons Shopping Center on Main Street.

James Leonelli, 27, grew up studying mixed martial arts, so it is no coincidence that he now owns Tiger Schulmann’s Mixed Martial Arts school at the Village Commons Shopping Center on Main Street. He likes Smithtown because “it has a hometown feel to it,” Leonelli says. “It looks like everybody’s Main Street with lots of stores and places to eat.”

The bustle also brings a steady stream of potential students to the school. “The vast majority of people who walk in here are first-time martial arts [students] — from adults looking to get in shape to kids looking for self-confidence.”

Smithtown is “very populated, and a hub for all the towns surrounding it — Hauppauge, St. James and Nesconset,” says Ryan DeMarco, 36, a Smithtown resident who owns Elements therapeutic massage, also in the Village Commons. “Everybody comes to this area to shop and go to restaurants.” This, however, can be a problem at rush hour, as traffic tends to get backed up and it can take almost 20 minutes to move between lights on Main St., DeMarco adds.

Help injured animals

Volunteer and support wildlife preservation at the Sweetbriar Nature Center (62 Eckernkamp Dr.). The center rehabilitates injured animals for release into the wild and provides a permanent home for those who are too badly injured or incapacitated for release. “We are always looking for volunteers,” says co-executive director, Marie Smith. www.sweetbriarnc.org

Other highlights

» See a classic: Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap” March 2-April 10
The Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. Main St., www.smithtownpac.org

» Hike and cross-country ski around the many trails at the 543-acre Caleb Smith State Park Preserve (561 W. Jericho Tpk.). Visit the Smith family home built in 1751, now the preserve’s nature museum. (www.nysparks.state.ny.us.)

» Visit historic homes of some of Smithtown’s former dignitaries. The Smithtown Historical Society, 239 Middle Country Rd., 631-265-6768.

 
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