Sunday, July 10, 2011

Fire Island 2011: Disaster Averted!

Started writing at 3:11 p.m. on Sunday, July 10, at the pool at the Grove Hotel in Cherry Grove.

It’s a beautiful Sunday afternoon here on the beach with a deep blue sky, low humidity and DJ Chuck spinning Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” before Ariel Sinclair’s first number.

This post-July 4 weekend included Congressman Tim Bishop talking about marriage equality in New York, the Defense of Marriage Act and other LGBT-specific measures on Capitol Hill and local beach management. Lambda Legal’s annual Fire Island Pines fundraiser took place on Saturday, July 9, while Logan Hardcore thankfully did not nearly drown anyone at the Grove Hotel this weekend. And a group of Islip lifeguards who were trying to raise money to attend an upcoming lifeguard tournament on Saturday night quickly learned that Cherry's patrons are far more generous to those who take off their shirts.

On a far more serious note, Grove firefighters thwarted a potential catastrophe on Friday, July 8, when they quickly extinguished a fire at Xanadu at Lewis and Gerard Walks. The blaze only damaged the second floor of the complex’s guesthouse, but it could have been far worse. Those sitting here at the pool show watching Sinclair prance around the pool in a gold-sequined dress may not realize that one spark or one carelessly tossed cigarette butt can quickly become a raging inferno.

Mother Nature—there was no wind and it was raining when the fire broke out around 6 p.m. on Friday—certainly spared the Grove from a potential disaster. One Xanadu resident summed it up best while praising firefighters’ quick response and local residents who helped with the cleanup.

“The heart of the community showed that night,” she said.


Impromptu modern art at a Pines home on Saturday, July 9.

At the pool show at the Ice Palace on Saturday, July 9.

Another beautiful sunset from the Grove's dock on Saturday, July 9.

Ariel Sinclair at the Ice Palace's pool show on Sunday, July 10.

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