Mahogany tans on Fire Island

Yesterday was blazing hot, so I decided to get out of town for a change. I love cycling, so I was recommended to visit Fire Island, a place lined with beach houses where no cars are allowed and you can hire a bike at the docks.

Fire Island is just off Long Island and an hour and a half’s train ride away from Penn Station. You then have to take a bus and a ferry out to the island, although you can also take a water taxi or even fly on a private jet if you’ve got the cash to spare!
There are many communities to visit on the island, but I visited the family-oriented Ocean Beach (the ferry leaves from Bay Shore) on the western part of the island. I highly recommend it if you need to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. There was a sign for different parts of the island that pretty much summed it up (Ferry port: 15 minutes; Kismet: 25 minutes; New York: a million miles away).

It’s a real beach-house community, which means there are quite a lots of do’s and don’ts (no drinking or smoking is allowed on the beaches, for example). However, the beaches are just great, as is the food – I ate at Zagat-rated Maguire’s, where the special is based on the catch of the day.

Cycling around the island on a scary-assed bike with no bell, I encountered more deep mahogany tans than you could shake a stick at, as well as the kind of New Yorkers who pronounce person as ‘poison’. But it’s generally not a chavvy vibe. The wooden beach houses go on sale for anything between $500,000 – $1 million. ‘Nuff said.


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