Help Us Get Excited About Stony Brook, Long Island
April 25, 2015 6:45 AM   Subscribe

My partner and I are very likely going to be moving to Stony Brook, Long Island (or vicinity), because one of us has been accepted to a graduate program at Stony Brook University. We are very excited about the acceptance (it's a great program!) but our excitement has been somewhat dimmed by being waitlisted for programs in locations we might have preferred (in Vermont, or in New York City, where we currently live). While we wait to hear about the outcome of those waitlists, we want to be excited again about the place that has already said "yes!" What are your favorite things about living near Stony Brook and Port Jefferson, NY?

We are particularly hoping to hear about things (other than MeFi meetups, which are already part of our plan) that could help provide a sense of community for the partner who is not in the grad program. (The one who is doing the grad program is going to have very, very little free time.)
posted by anonymous to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My husband and I finished our grad program (same one - we met there!) at Stony Brook last year.

- If you run/jog, the Port Jefferson/Setauket Greenway is an awesome trail to do it on.
- Tiger Lily Cafe is also great, especially if one of you is vegetarian/vegan.
- While it's 30 minutes away, my friends are all obsessed with Gather Studio in Patchogue (pottery-making and such) - the owners are really nice.
- You should take advantage of all the area beaches
- Festivals/concerts in Heckscher park (in Huntington, 40 minutes away) are always fun.
- The Cinema Arts Center (also in Huntington) is great for indie movies
- Avalon Park in Setauket (close to SBU) is amazing if you like hiking (and duck-watching!)

As for a sense of community for your partner...that's tough, especially as we don't know what your partner is into., while not Long Island-specific, might be good for finding people with shared interests?

To be honest, while we both lived in Port Jeff for the first few years of our program, we ended up moving to Huntington. Cute town with more to do, and closer to NYC in case you wanted to travel in. It's a good idea to stick around PJ/Stony Brook at first, in order to integrate yourself into/socialize with your cohort, but you might want to look into that eventually. I found that the folks that lived in NYC from the get-go found it harder to get to know people in their program.

MeMail me if you have any questions - about SBU or the surrounding area!
posted by amyshmamy at 7:45 AM on April 25, 2015

I'm also in a grad program at SBU. I don't have much of value to add to the above, which is spot on, but you can memail me with questions if you like!
posted by pemberkins at 10:32 AM on April 25, 2015

posted by jbenben at 11:00 AM on April 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm also finishing up 5th year of a grad program at SBU, lived within 10 minutes of campus for three years. I'm in a similar position, was sorta bummed at the other schools I didn't get into, but ended up being very happy I went to SBU.

Honestly, the biggest sense of community that I got (besides my fairly tight-knit department at SBU) was from joining a gym and going to regular fitness classes. In terms of resources near SBU, there are lots of strip malls nearby (can be depressing, but I love an Ikea, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Cheesecake factory). The departments at SBU are good, and you know that people are going there for good academics, and not because it's a beautiful campus or a great community.

Having a car is huge – you really need one to get around Long Island. (I dealt with public transit for 18 months and then bought a car. Best choice.) East-end wine tasting, woohoo!

Feel free to memail me with any questions (I'm curious to know what department your SO is in).
posted by Zephyrial at 2:55 PM on April 25, 2015

The beaches are great. Easy access to the north fork (wine tasting and fruit picking) is awesome. Fire Island is easier to get to. There are a bunch of state parks (Sunken Meadow, Caleb Smith, etc.). The Greenway is cool. There do seem to be a lot of active meetup groups around here.
That being said....if only one of you is at SBU are you sure you want to move all the way out here? Particularly if your partner had a support system in the city... There are definitely phd students who live in Brooklyn and Queens. It may be worth considering Huntington as well (it's super cute and halfway between the city and SBU). Feel free to memail me.
posted by avocado_of_merriment at 7:33 PM on April 25, 2015

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