Sunday, August 14, 2011

Fire Island 2011: Cherry Grove Welcomes FIBO

Started writing at 8:24 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 14, while cooking dinner in Ocean Beach.

The torrential rains that inundated the area throughout the day have finally relented—at least temporarily, but I remain sore after slipping and nearly falling into the bay as I walked to catch a water taxi from Ocean Beach to Fire Island Pines earlier in the day. That said, the weekend largely went well until the downpours commenced and I nearly spurred an amphibious rescue.

Thousands of LGBT people of color (and their admirers) packed the beach in Cherry Grove for the ninth annual Fire Island Black Out. FIBO organizers presented the Cherry Grove Fire Department with an $800 check at the Belvedere Guest House on Saturday, Aug. 13, while the Ice Palace hosted the Bump and Dip Dance and Pool Party later that night. Revelry aside, one of my favorite moments of the summer is spending an hour on the beach among FIBO participants and their elaborate tents and soaking up the positive energy, camaraderie and abundant eye candy. This year certainly did not disappoint!

With umbrella and wounded pride in hand, I trudged over to the Pines earlier today to interview Lt. Dan Choi at a fundraiser for possible New York City Council candidate Yetta Kurland. I also sat in on a conversation between Gawker's Brian Moylan and Steven Petrow, author of "Steven Petrow's Complete Gay and Lesbian Manners," at the Blue Whale before heading back to Ocean Beach.

On a somber note, long-time Grove resident Michael Guerette died on Friday, Aug. 12, while hiking in Maine. News of the former Garden Grove owner’s tragic death spread quickly throughout the tight-knit hamlet and put a damper on the weekend long before the rain arrived. I extend my deepest condolences to those in the Grove and elsewhere who knew and loved Michael. He will surely be missed.

This sign on Surf Road in Ocean Beach reminded Fire Islanders that the impact of the ongoing Verizon strike continues to be felt on the beach.

Saturday, Aug. 13, proved the perfect beach day for thousands who flocked to the Grove for the ninth annual Fire Island Black Out.

Some eye candy on the beach in the Grove during FIBO.

From the Belvedere shortly after sunset on Saturday, Aug. 13.

The torrential downpours on Sunday, Aug. 14, spurred a mass exodus from Ocean Beach and other Fire Island communities.

1 comment:

CAMERA obsessed MICHAEL said...

thanks for posting about Michael ~ he was truly a really great guy!