New York City area Gays & Lesbians have no shortage of weekend getaways where they can find other like minded homos. You can pack the Range Rover and head north to the Hudson River Valley where you can enjoy the breathtaking scenes that inspired the Hudson Valley artists while you sip Chardonnay on the porch of a 1776 Farmhouse; you can hop aboard the Long Island Railroad and head to Fire Island’s Cherry Grove or The Pines where you can drink Planters Punches at Tea Dance and stroll the beautiful beaches holding hands with the guy you met at last night’s Porsche show at The Ice Palace; you can split the cost of a Mini Cooper ZipCar with your friends and head south to Asbury Park where you can stroll the revitalized Boardwalk made famous by the Sopranos while you ogle hot Jersey hunks sprawled along the Fifth Avenue beach before topping it all off with Frozen Margaritas at the Empress Hotel, or you can take the Hampton’s Jitney to the Eastern end of Long Island where you will find the glamour and star studded Hamptons.
So it was that I found myself with a much coveted invitation for a weekend in East Hampton. Of course a weekend invitation also comes with a complete weekend agenda which in this case meant no fewer than three house parties, a benefit fund raiser and an invitation to stop by for drinks. This does create great wardrobe challenges- “Are big Polo pony shirts still in style?”; transportation logistics- “What do you mean the bar car is full?” and hostess gifts -“They are sea shell shaped soaps hand made in a small village in northern Brazil”.
Our party benefit invitation was for “Dancing on the Beach” a benefit for the LGBT Center in New York City. This year’s event was held at a private home on Two Mile Hollow Beach in East Hampton and featured DJ Susan Morabito. My hosts and other houseguests dressed in tight Scoop T-shirts, shorts, and sneakers – a welcome relief from the usual crisp Linen, Madras and Ralph Lauren Polos that normally define the Hampton’s- snaked through the “Meat rack” type path through the dunes and to the party, where we quickly planted ourselves at the bar for “complimentary” Vodka Tonics. After some thawing out it was time to mingle. Feeling ever so slightly out of my element – which is usually board shorts, flip flops and “well” drinks I put on my charming smile and proceeded to make small talk – and after a discussion of gardening, the commute to the Hamptons and home decorating- I ended up chatting with a prominent Hamptons realtor, a cute, young theater producer and a charming 40 something man of dubious means but killer smile.
And, as the sun went down and Susan played the great Fire Island Classic “If you could read my mind” by Viola Wills while I danced close with the 20 something young producer I thought about how our Gay Heritage and shared experiences really do bind us all together no matter what gay destination we may find ourselves!