Five months, twelve weekends, thirty six days and unlimited men! Another Fire Island summer comes to a smashing close.
Last weekend as the housemates and I tossed out chipped martini glasses, Speedos missing drawstrings, designer sunglasses so scratched that the world was a blur and beach towels with mysterious stains we reflected and mused on the summer of 2009.
June was certainly off to a wet start as the swimming pool overflowed from the torrential rains and we bravely sat through “Chicago” for the umpteenth time, wrapped in blankets and drinking frozen margaritas. The upside of all that rain though was extended cabin fever that always ensured tea dance at the Blue Whale was packed and everyone was happy to talk with anyone other than a house mate. We heard Rhiana sing “Under my Umbrella” so many times at tea while queens proudly danced under their open umbrellas that is seemed likely this would be the new gay anthem of the summer.
The Invasion of the Pines and Pansy ushered in the hot, humid and finally dry weather that sent all of Fire Island racing for their board shorts and Speedos. And with the new weather came the sun deprived crowds. Every weekend the ferries were packed with day trippers lugging coolers and backpacks, last minute weekend guests with their designer dogs, matching luggage and bottle of Grey Goose, and homeowner couples bickering over dinner plans while wrestling large plants from Bayport nursery. Low, Middle and High Tea as well as AlternaTea with DJ Lina at Sip N Twirl were always packed and if your game was on you were able to jump up and down and wave your hands in the air to Beyonce’s “Halo”, Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”, and The Black Eyed Peas “I’ve Got a Feeling” by DJ’s Vito Fun, Xavier and Corey Craig at least three times! If you grew weary of Planters Punches and navigating the gridlock of low tea July also brought on the “event circuit” where you could sip donated vodka in random flavors (Absolut Pear?) and also jump up and down and wave your hands in the air to Beyonce’s “Halo”, Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”, and The Black Eyed Peas “I’ve Got a Feeling” for a good cause such as the Gay & Lesbian Center, SAGE, Stonewall Foundation, or Dancers Responding to AIDS.
Then it was August and when you are staring down the end of summer all holds are gone and the island goes into full acceleration. There are so many PreTea House party invitations that it requires a strategic navigational plan and an excel spreadsheet to make sure you don’t wear the same Diesel T-shirt twice. Extended weekends become so much the norm that Sunday night Tea Dances don’t look any different than Saturday -plus you are guaranteed to hear “Halo” “Don’t Stop Believing”, and “I’ve Got a Feeling” one more time. And, all of your Face book and Twitter friends begin not so subtly dropping hints by updating their status saying they have not been out of the city all summer. Coming right in the middle of the August heat is the hot, Ascension Party on the beach where this year DJ Tony Moran saved us from the hot hits of summer but left us with the undisputed gay anthem of the summer when Kelly Rowland brought down the crowd with “When Love Takes Over”!
So now as I sit in a Starbucks in Chelsea wearing a Fire Island hoodie I know there is a place only a few hours away where we can be proud, free and celebrate our gay heritage! And, in my case as I sit here next to my new boyfriend who I met in that Gay Summer Camp called the Pines I realize he is the highlight of summer 2009!
See you next summer!