The Salt Shack at Cedar Beach the “Adult sandbox of life”

Neil Miller nysportsextra copyright 2019

Theres nothing quite like Cedar Beach in the summer, when the weather,the music, and the adult beverages are good.Thru out the years, the location has drawn not only the better bands on the Island, but large crowds of all ages of people having a good time.

This Saturday nite was not eception, with Decadia on the stage, playing cover hits of the 80s

Neil Miller nysportsextra copyright 2019

The Salt Shack has 2 bars on the main level, one bar on the upstairs deck,and the food service area with lots of sitting room inside and out, as well as a sandy lounge area and a brick patio

Everyone enjoyed the first nice summer Saturday nite at Cedar Beach

All images in gallery Neil Miller nysportsextra copyright 2019

The Hughes-Kakko Rivalry is the NHL version of Barkley-Darnold

Robbins Nest

By Lenn Robbins

Credit NHL

We’d like to thank the hockey Gods, and the Rangers and Devils, for giving us the NHL version of what the NFL has in the Jets and Giants: Two young talents that will have reporters and fan bases debating for the next 10 years as to who made the right pick in their respective drafts.

Recall the 2018 NFL Draft. The Giants, with the No.2 pick, chose Penn State running back Saquon Barkley. They went with the best available player philosophy. And after Barkley’s rookie season, in which he exploded as one of the league’s best backs, it’s hard to argue that pick.

Of course, some Giants fans did just that.

They wanted the heir to Eli Manning. And USC’s Sam Darnold was available. Not even the Jets could screw up this pick. They took the quarterback, the most important position the game.

            Darnold took his lumps, as almost all rookies do. But he never got unhinged, always seemed unflappable, and the Jets seemingly have a franchise QB. Wake the echoes, Joe Namath.

The debate was born. Should the Giants have taken the prospect that plays the most important position or should they have taken the best available player that was ready to help win games immediately?

            Many Giants fans believe they made the right call. Barkley had 1,307 yards rushing, 721 yards receiving, scored 16 touchdowns and won NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

The Giants stunned their fan base (and the rest of the league) by taking Duke QB Daniel Jones with the No.6 pick in the recent NFL Draft. If Jones doesn’t emerge as a franchise QB and Darnold does, that’s about as big a Big Blue Blunder as you can have.

Of course, if Darnold doesn’t pan out, it’s GanGrene.

Which brings us to Friday night’s NHL Draft. The Devils, with the first pick, chose center Jack Hughes. His entire family has been involved in hockey to the point where it seemed Hughes was born to be an NHL superstar.

They could have gone with Finish winger Kaapo Kakko, who is considered more NHL ready. But how do you pass on a potential first line pivot for the next decade?

That left Kakko to the Rangers, which is the furthest thing from a consolation. Kakko is 6-2, 190 pounds and became the first player ever to lead his country to the 2019 World Championship, the 2019 World Junior Championship and the 2018 World U18 Championship

Let the debate rage.

“Some people say the Rangers and [GM] Jeff Gorton are in the best spot,” Devils GM Ray Shero told reporters in Vancouver, where the NHL Draft was held. “I mean, I’m picking No. 1, so I’m in the best spot, I think.”

Kakko didn’t agree.

“Of course, it was dream to be No. 1,’’ he told The Post.

When pressed if he wanted to prove the Devils wrong, Kakko said, ‘Sure.”

Hughes had this take.

“I’m pretty confident, but obviously Kaapo Kakko had a great year,” he said.

He did. Kakko could emerge as one of the most talented forwards. A European that plays a physical game. Hughes could become one of the great two-way centers. An American that continues to prove that the USA deserves to be in the hockey conversation with Canada and Russia.

You can hear the ubiquitous “USA! USA!” chant.

If this happens, the NHL and New York-area hockey win. If Barkley and Darnold pan out, the NFL and New York-area football win.

“I was thinking about that this morning.” Rangers team president John Davidson told The Post. “And how good is that? Rivalries across the river. It’s going to be talked about for a long, long, long time. I think that’s just the greatest. It’s fantastic. I think that’s what hockey needs.”

A Brooklyn Success Story: Blissett Williams Teams with Pureology to Open Fourth [salon]718 Location at 1 Brooklyn Bridge Hotel

A Brooklyn Success Story: Blissett Williams Teams with Pureology to Open Fourth [salon]718 Location at 1 Brooklyn Bridge Hotel

By Lenn Robbins

  This is a story about determination. This a story about community. This is a story about success.

 In other words, this a Brooklyn story.

 Ten years ago Michaela Blissett Williams was cutting and styling hair from the basement of her Brooklyn home. That was the first unofficial [salon]718. On Thursday she opened her fourth salon, this one in the trendy 1 Brooklyn Bridge Hotel in Dumbo.

 She also is the official hair stylist for the Brooklyn Nets cheerleaders and dancers. And in this location, Williams has partnered with Pureology, a leading brand of sulfate-free, 100% vegan hair products.

  “When I started working out of my home I set a goal,’’ said Blissett Williams. “When I was making enough to afford a baby sitter, I’d open my own salon. My children came first. I’d put a little aside from every cut until I had enough to hire a baby sitter.

 “But I never imagined it would grow into what it has become. I’m thankful for every day. And I never forget where I came from.’’

  Blissett Williams, who has sons Jonathan, 20, Samuel, 15, and David, 14, was born in Jamaica. Her family moved to Long Island when she was barely 10 days old. When she grew up she began working at Maximus, one of the premier salons on the Island and soon was promoted to manager. She learned the ins and outs of the business and the seed was planted:

  One day, she’d open her own salon.

 Now, [salon]718 is the premiere hair salon in Brooklyn, with salons on DeKalb, Myrtle, and Vanderbilt Avenues. The newest is Blissett Williams’ joint venture with Pureology.

  “We’re very excited to be associated with Michaela’s salons and this location, 1 Brooklyn Bridge, has the same philosophy as Pureology,’’ said Allison Galanowsky, sales manager at SalonCentric, distributor of Pureology. “It’s a green hotel and Pureology was founded on being an environmentally responsible company.”

  [salon]718 provides a first-class experience. Clients can don robes and sip bottles of water during their styling.

  “Every time I call, they get right back to me,’’ said Brooklynette Jill, who per organization rules is not allowed to provide her last name. “The experience is glamorous and my hair is perfect every time. I’m a blond and it’s hard to get the color right. They do.

 “And I like their environment policy. I’ve given up plastic straws for a metal one. And I carry a shopping bag with me so I don’t use plastic bags.’’

  Blissett Williams has always been ahead of the curve on social and community issues. All of her full-time employees receive health care benefits and can open a retirement fund. She encourages young entrepreneurs by offering the chance to buy into a salon.

 “When I first started out as an African American woman, it was hard to get leases,’’ she said. “Landlords thought it was going to be a braiding salon. It took time for the word to get out that we’re a full service, first class salon that caters to all ethnicities and hair types. After all, Brooklyn has always prided itself on being a melting pot.

 “Now I feel a responsibility to give back to the community by offering business opportunities. I never thought I’d have a chance to be a role model and I’m humbled to be in that position.’’

Can Barrett-Williamson Become the Next Great NBA Rivalry?

photo credit ,Twitter

Robbins Nest

By Lenn Robbins

Not since former Maryland star Len Bias have I seen a college basketball touched by the athletic hand of God as was the case this season.

Duke’s Zion Williamson was heavier than almost every NBA player, yet he could leap to the top of the backboard. He has biceps a professional body builder would envy. He handled his season in the spotlight with more grace than should be expected from an 18-year-old.

That’s right, Zion is just 18. Notice, he already is identifiable but just his first name – like Serena, or Tiger, or LeBron.

It was with great hope that Williamson goes on to enjoy a healthy and successful NBA career. Three-three years from now I hope he’s being compared to James, Jordan and Magic. Everything points to him possibly achieving such heights. Godspeed.

So why, on the day that Williamson was the No.1 pick in the NBA Draft by the New Orleans Pelicans, do we mention him and Bias in the same space? Because no one, repeat, no one knows for certain the future of any player or for that fact, any person.

With that in mind, Knicks fans should be thrilled, not disheartened by the fact that their team selected Duke’s RJ Barrett with the third pick. He was nattily dressed in a pink suit over a black shirt and tie. He pumped both of his fists twice when Adam Silver announced his selection.

“I’ve given this game all I got for a long time and I’m just ready for this and I want to embrace the city and embrace the team and everything,’’ Barrett told ESPN’s Maria Taylor. “So I’m ready to go.’’

The Knicks, of course, had the worst record in the NBA and therefore had a terrific chance of gaining the No.1 pick and selecting Zion. It didn’t happen.

Those Knicks fans need to stop bemoaning what might have been and start celebrating what is:

Barrett has all the signs of developing into a perennial NBA All-Star. His father player at St. John’s. His mother is a Brooklyn native who ran track for the Johnnies. His godfather is Steve Nash.

He has played in The Garden and is as prepared to play in the Big Apple as any player coming out of college after one season.

“RJ will flourish here in New York,’’ Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said on his SiriusXM show this week. “He wants to be here. He is so mature. He just turned 19 last Friday, but he’s been a part of the Canadian basketball program since [he was] a little guy, always played up.”

In a perfect world, wouldn’t it be spectacular if Zion and RJ developed a Magic-Bird like rivalry?

The socio-economics of the time made for the perfect landscape for those two Hall of Famers. They seemed as polar opposite as two Americans could be, yet they developed into the closest of friends and possibly saved the NBA.

Zion has a Xenon smile. Barrett is more reserved by comparison. Zion blew out a Nike sneaker causing a temporary plunge of the company’s stock price. Does anyone know what sneaker Barrett wears?

This potential rivalry has foundation Magic and Bird didn’t have. They already are best of friends. They’ve been teammates at Duke. They know each other’s families and friends. What if McDonald’s shot a commercial at Duke (assuming this isn’t a violation of some tedious NCAA rule) featuring Barrett and Williamson?

Or what if they do an Instagram video of them playing one-on-one in Cameron Indoor Stadium? Bird and Magic didn’t have the burden and opportunity of social media.

Wouldn’t it be great for the NBA if its biggest market – New York – and one of its smallest markets – New Orleans – met in the NBA Finals several times in a few years? Zion vs RJ. RJ vs Zion.

I can see it. A pre-Finals video of them dining at Commander’s Palace in the Big Easy and Peter Luger’s in the Big Apple?

This scenario is not a pipedream. The Knicks are building with young talent in Barrett, Kevin Knox and Michael Robinson. The Pelicans are building with young talent in Williamson, Jrue Holiday and a rededicated Jahil Okafor.

Pelicans fans can choose to wallow in the bitter pool dug by Anthony Davis who shaded the Crescent City by demanding a trade. Or they can bask in the glow of a future with Zion, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram and three first-round draft picks.

Knicks fans can opt to stew in the humid summer of disappointment. Or they can revel in the cool ocean breeze of the two additional first-round picks they received in the Kristaps Porzingis trade.

None of us know the future. But the Knicks and Pelicans have good reason to be cautiously ecstatic.

NOTES: The Brooklyn Nets selected Mfiondu Kabengele with the 27th pick. According to reports, the Nets traded the pick to the Clippers. In return, the Nets got the 56th pick in the 2019 draft and a first round pick in 2020.

Respect by Neil Miller nysportsextra

#40 Lehner makes a save during a game on 3/3/2019 Neil Miller nysportsextra copyright 2019
Robin Lehner responses to the crowd at Nassau Coliseum March 3 2019 Neil Miller nysportsextra copyright 2019

Respect, a hard quality for the Islanders to find over the past many seasons.But oh! What a difference a year makes! My son Dan, an Islanders fan who bleeds blue and orange, remarked to me after the 2018-2019 season,”Well Dad, i guess nothing ever changes” My response to him was,” Give it a year.Management has to shuffle the deck.”

And what a difference it was.Owner Scott Ledecky hired Lou Lamoriello ,who then hired Barry Trotz.And with that, a whole new era of culture returned to the Islanders.

Coach Barry Trotz on 3/3,2019 Neil Miller nysportsextra copyright 2019

From the top down everyone had a new sense of direction and accountability.The Isles found ways to win and brought new hope to the fan base.Most remarkable was the change in goaltending this year. The combined efforts of Lehner and Thomas Greiss resulted in the Jennings trophy, and Lehner won the Masterton. And the NHL recognized the wonderful year that Coach Trotz had awarding him the Jack Adams.With the draft happening this Friday, the fans will be watching to see what happens next, and are anticipating next season with continued growth

Judge Rises and Homers for Railriders

#99 Aaron Judge celebrates in the dugout after hitting a solo homer in the 5th inning Neil Miller nysportsextra copyright 2019

Robbins Nest

#99 Aaron Judge hits a solo homer in the 5th innning Neil Miller nysportsextra copyright 2019

By Lenn Robbins
“You get this whole team healthy, we’re going to crush the record that we set last year. When we make contact, it goes. We’re a team that’s primed and ready to do that.” – Aaron Judge, May 3, 2019
He has become, not just the face of the Yankees but one of the faces of Major League Baseball. His size, his smile, his ability to crush a ball that leaves fans and teammates with jaws dropped has made Aaron Judge the next great Yankees slugger – a home grown player that has been as comfortable in pinstripes as a Fortune 500 CEO is in a pinstripe suit.
When Judge backed up Brent Gardner’s claim that the Yankees would crush the single-season record of 267 homers cracked last season, the baseball world took note. But the one caveat – “You get this whole healthy” – has stood between the Yankees and a record.
Perhaps until now.
Judge (strained oblique) hasn’t played since April 20.. He has just five home runs on the season. Judge homered to the opposite field in Tuesday night’s Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre game. He could rejoin the big club before the weekend.

“He feels good,” manager Aaron Boone recently told MLB.com. “I think he’d prefer being back already.

“But I think the nature of the injury and just how we’ve had to bring him back, I think it’s important that he gets a couple more games down in there where he’s in the field, bouncing back, running the bases, those kinds of things. So he’s doing really well, he feels good, he feels like he’s ready. I’m excited to see him here in a few days.”

Giancarlo Stanton (biceps, shoulder, calf) returned to the lineup last night against the Rays. It was just his fourth game of the season.

Consider this: In 2017, when Stanton was with the Marlins, he, Judge and Gary Sanchez combined for a whopping 144 home runs. Sanchez, who fought injuries, slumped last season. The trio combined for 73 long balls with Stanton blasting 38 and Judge, who also battled injuries, hitting 27.

Sanchez (20 homers) already has surpassed his 2018 total of 18. Which brings us back to Judge’s May statement: “You get this whole team healthy, we’re going to crush that record.”

all images in gallery Neil Miller nysportextra copyright 2019

Stanton is back. Judge seemingly is on the way. Let the record chase begin.