updated 11/15/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 11/15/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST
And she's getting it. In addition to Alfie, Long, 34, has regular gigs as a cop on NBC's Third Watch and a single mother to her son Massai, 3, a whiz at soccer and scrubbing sinks too. Says his mom: "I'm anal about having a clean house." Not to mention a solid home. Herself raised by a single mom, artist Talita, amid the gang violence of South Central L.A. (the subject of her first major film, 1991's Boyz N the Hood), Long was taught by her family that "you don't have to become your environment" After turns in movies such as Boiler Room and Big Momma's House, her environment in Manhattan suits her fine. Massai is close to his father, Long's former fiancé Massai Dorsey, 33, a businessman. "He's a great dad," says Long, who's now unattached. And "the security I have with my Third Watch family is priceless." If only so many scenes weren't shot outside in the patrol car. Says Long with a laugh: "The New York winter kills me."