June 11, 2013

Pining for the Pines

Aerial shot of Fire Island, New York. Image credit: eMixPix.com.

We are excited to announce that we've booked a getaway to the community of Fire Island Pines on Fire Island, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this month as the summer mecca for queer folk. Fire Island Pines ("the Pines") is about 50 miles north of New York City on a barrier island off Long Island.

In an interview about the Pines in the New York Times, Andrew Kirtzman, a longtime Pines resident and real estate developer, said “My line to people is that the Pines is to gay people what Israel is to Jews,” He continued by explaining, “It’s the spiritual homeland. There’s just a sense of history in the air, almost tangible but not quite. You just feel like you’re part of some kind of grand creation meant solely for gays.”

Not only is it the Pines' 60th anniversary but this special occasion is being marked by the re-opening of the stunning Pavilion, the community's longstanding social hub, which was destroyed by a fire in 2011. The new, two-story showplace will be a stark improvement from the previous building, both aesthetically and functionally. The Pavilion Nightclub and High Tea Deck terrace will occupy the second floor, presenting party-goers with dazzling views of the harbor, while the gym, retail spaces, and the new Welcome Bar, will be on the first floor. The Pavilion marks the nexus of the harbour (which you can see in the top left of the accompanying photo) and is the welcome point for everyone as they disembark from the ferry.

The Pines is car-free. The entire community is connected by a series of boardwalks, and it's common to see folks pulling along red wagons full of groceries and other supplies. Just down the beach, or through the paths of the Sunken Forest (aka "The Judy Garland Memorial Forest"), is the other uber-LGBT community of Cherry Grove.

We'll be staying at The Madison, which looks to be a mighty fine place to relax and turn off our brains for a few days. Can't wait!!

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