Bil Browning

Fire Island Goes Up in Flames

Filed By Bil Browning | November 15, 2011 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: CF LaFountaine, Fire Island, Pavillion, Sip N' Twirl, the Pines Bistro

Sad news from Fire Island this morning... A fast-moving fire destroyed several businesses last night in the Fire Island Pines area. fire.jpgThankfully, no injuries were reported.

Initial reports indicate the blaze broke out around 9 p.m. It quickly engulfed the Pavilion, the town's premier nightclub, C.F. LaFountaine's properties, the Sip N' Twirl bar and dance space, the Pines Bistro and a bayfront home. Walter Boss of the Fire Island Pines Fire Department confirmed the damage at 11:20 p.m.
Fire Island Pines is a lush beach community surrounded by outgrowths of native and imported fauna, including the eponymous pines. While making the community perhaps the most beautiful on all of Fire Island, it also contributes to a sense of dread about the consequences of fire, which has consumed many homes over the years.

Now, the homeowners, businesspeople and many visitors will once again be reminded that the name "Fire Island" contains within it terror and destruction.

I've never been to Fire Island. Jerame's old boss spent quite a bit of time there this year and invited us to visit, but my dental problems prevented us from going. How many of you have been there? Got any stories you're willing to share?

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Fire Island seems very MTF friendly, as the FAQ for fire island includes this: "How should I dress?
The Fire Island dress code is coastal casual. This island is all about abandoning a high-maintenance lifestyle, so opt for beach attire. Urbanities flee to its silky sands, shedding their suits and ties for bikinis and flip-flops."

So guys, shed that suit and put on your bikini! I do not know what to say about attire for the ladies, the FAQ doesn't cover it.

Kathy Padilla | November 15, 2011 12:02 PM

Fire Island is not all the Pines etc. I grew up across the bay, and further, across the rail road tracks. I've been to the Island of Fire Island and other barrier beach locales many times, but never to the Pines etc. The Causeway let's you drive to part - but the other areas are really ferry access only. With my older brothers in their jeeps in the 4 wheeling area camping overnight when I was a kid, fishing with friends, out on the sound on a clam boat with my brothers friends who worked digging clams for a living with the huge tongs (hard work, that) camped in a tent at Watch Hill with my honey when I was is college - ah - sweet time.

Took my Mom out on the ferry for lunch last year to Ocean Beach near there for the first time (mine & hers) when she could still travel a bit. She's lived there since WWII and never been over to that area - the more public beaches, yes.

I try to go there at least once every summer, and a guy I know has a one-week share in one of the beach houses and always throws an awesome pool party.

There's something really romantic about it all -- getting friends together and catching the ferry in the morning; grabbing a bottle of white wine and drinking it out of plastic cups on the beach; wading in the water for a while; wandering over to the nude beach to look at naked guys (though the rule concerning the inverse relationship between public nudity and attractiveness still applies); then heading back to the mainland in the early evening and eating dinner in Queens or on Long Island.

It has its drawbacks, though: If you bring food to the beach for a picnic, be prepared to fend off the local deer, which have no fear of people thanks to visitors and residents hand-feeding them over the years; the grassy areas are infested with ticks; and there are no public showers, so you always feel kind of gross when you get back home from all the sand and salt.