Started to write at 1:52 p.m. while sitting by the pool at Hotel Ciel in the Fire Island Pines.
The New York Times article about sober share houses here on Fire Island – and in the Hamptons and Montauk – certainly provided some good fodder about for thought on the beach this weekend. Getting drunk and high are an essential part of the Fire Island experience for a significant minority of people who trek to the beach for the day, the weekend, the season or a lifetime. And several observations proved particularly noteworthy over the last two days.
- A drunk woman fell onto the floor at a Cherry Grove bar last night.
- Boisterous revelers who pack downtown Ocean Beach bars on almost any Saturday during the season were in moderate force last night.
- A handful of inebriated fools thought it was funny to yell “nice skirt” at me last night because I wore a full-length sarong.
- An out-of-control woman cussed at her presumptive boyfriend or partner on the Grove’s dock last night because he dared to tell her it was time for them to go back to Ocean Beach.
For the record, I had three Cuba libres (rum with diet coke) and a Fire Island beer over the course of several hours yesterday afternoon and evening. I was completely sober, however, by the time I finally went to bed in Ocean Beach around 2:30 a.m. Excessive drinking, drugging—and especially the antics often associated with it—are certainly not cute; or even particularly interesting to watch. It is indeed possible to enjoy the beach without falling on the floor at the bar, screaming in residential areas at 2 a.m., mocking people who walk by and/or cussing because someone dared to stand up to this behavior (And I am certainly not a holier-than-thou party pooper for anyone who doesn't know me personally.) Kudos to those on Fire Island who continue to prove one can enjoy the beach without excessive alcohol and drugs dictating their experience.
Approaching Ocean Beach on Saturday, June 12.
Guarding Maison 24 in the Fire Island Pines this afternoon.
Pool deck at Hotel Ciel in the Fire Island Pines this afternoon.
Looking towards the mainland from the roof of Hotel Ciel in the Fire Island Pines earlier this afternoon.