#whereisyourtown: Fire Island

Each August our family stuffed our duffels, undusted the sand toys, and packed up the car for Fair Harbor. As we pulled up to the hectic dock in Bay Shore each August, the trip was officially commenced with a lobster roll from Nicky’s Clam Bar at 10am for a quick snack on the ferry. Taking multiple trips to and from the dock back to the ferry with our duffels, dog and other miscellaneous belongings, we would make our way up to the top of the boat. Some of my favorite childhood memories were sitting on those plastic blue benches, lobster roll in hand, eagerly looking out front trying to spot the lighthouse as the first sign of Fire Island.

Without trying to romanticize our summers, our weeks spent on the isolated island really were bliss. There were no cars, no dangers, and hardly any technology to distract us from just living and doing – except for the old television with seven channels and a VCR player in the living room that we found ourselves trying to work on a rainy day. Each morning, we naturally woke up at 6am and biked to Bob’s (Pioneer Grocery Store) for frozen minnows and coffee cake; the minnows to hook our bamboo fishing rods with and the coffee cake for us. Patiently we’d wait for a tug and then pull up our soon to be breakfast. During the day we walked to the beach, biked to Unfriendly’s for ice cream, rinsed off in the outdoor showers after getting salty and sandy that day, and then helped our parents barbeque for dinner. Our biggest worry was making sure that we locked our bikes together on the deck at the end of the night.

Each time we return on the ferry, no matter how much time has passed, Fire Island always stays the same. The old weathered wood houses, rustic bikes and the smell of barbecue filling the air at 5pm. To us, Fire Island encompasses community and tradition. It’s simple times and clean living. Don’t plan, just go and be and explore the island for yourself. 


Sea's the day!

Written by: Caroline Danehy