Sunday, May 11, 2008

A May weekend on Fire Island

I write this blog from the Fire Island News office in Ocean Beach on this cool and increasingly cloudy Sunday afternoon. A cool ocean breeze continues to blow off the 50 degree Atlantic as I await the ferry to bring me back to the mainland. But this cool Sunday afternoon marks the end of my first weekend on Fire Island this season.

Things here in Ocean Beach look more or less the same, but Cherry Grove was abuzz last night with the opening night at the Ice Palace. Long-time resident Sal Piro will manage the ageing complex this season, and it was a rare packed house last night with Porsche, Bella, Rose Levine and an uber-cute new bartender named Evan.

I spent the previous hours in the Pines with my publisher before heading to the Pines Conservation Society fundraiser in Whyte Hall. It makes the unofficial start of the Pines social calendar, and it was truly wonderful to reconnect with long-time contacts and friends, and to make new ones. Architect Scott Bromley even brought me up to the DJ booth that overlooked the scene below.

I am the first person to proclaim one should not take Fire Island too seriously -- after all, it is largely a seasonal enclave south of Long Island where people largely come out to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. But the beach has a charm and identity all its own. The people certainly create the uniqueness that has defined Fire Island over the decades. And I remain blessed to be back out here once again.

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