Saltaire

Saltaire Summery

By Hugh O’Brian

The view from the safety of the market deck as the Saltaire Fire Company’s annual parade (featuring the Bay Shore FD band) confidently sets forth. (Photo by Catherine O’Brien)

Here we are, bearing down on midsummer already. That’s how it always is, isn’t it? Barely get started and before you know it it’s time to leave. Well, not quite yet. Lots to come, so let’s make some notes….
First on the parade is the SCA’s House and Garden Tour, this Saturday, July 22. The tour starts approximately promptly at 10 a.m. at Our Lady Star of the Sea on Lighthouse yet even now, at the eleventh hour, advance tickets can still be had for the insider’s price of $25. Same-day purchases are available
at the kick-off time but then it’ll run you the traditional penalty price of $30. Tickets may be bought, either in person or via the old-fashioned way, on line, from Grace Corradino at 207 Anchor Walk (grace@fireislandliving.com); Pat Hennessey at 104 Marine (hennesseypatricia@hotmail.com); or Carol Cappelletti at 100 Navy (ccappelletti7@gmail.com) through Friday evening. You’d think Saltaire would have been pretty much toured-out after all these years but no, there’s always something new to do and see and stories to be told. Highly recommended, with luncheon at the SYC afterward.
And it’s no longer too early to remind all and sundry that on Saturdry – pardon me, Saturday – Aug. 5 the renamed Saltaire (formerly Music & Art, formerly Art & Music) Festival will fest away across the village. No hard details yet but there’ll be the usual array of art, crafts, exhibits, music and watermelon plus the culminating picnic and climaxing post-prandial fireworks display. Prior to this long-established festivity comes an equally beloved but now relocated event, the Sandcastle Contest, this year held on Saturday, July 29 (start and judging times to be announced). A much better date than Labor Day weekend, which always seems so rushed and left little time to appreciate the architectural achievements so laboriously constructed from the dredged-up sands of our renourished beach. (Okay, Labor Day did fit that “laborious” part.) Now there’s more time to enjoy the results and given a favorable tide and a dearth of beach traffic you might even see some of them the following weekend. Get on the SCA’s email list to receive details, updates and reminders of its pending community events.
A civic reminder that the Fire Island Association’s Annual Meeting is set for Saturday, July 29, at the Community House in Ocean Beach. This year it’s at 1 p.m., not the old time of 11 a.m., in hopes of getting the lunch crowd and giving more people more time to make the journey. Speaking of lunch, a light repast will be served so you may more readily digest the not-necessarily-all-rosy information you’ll receive about the future of Fire Island from some important guest speakers. The water taxi ride might even be free and probably leaves Saltaire at 12:35, but call the taxi that morning at 631-665-8885 to check. Few people from the island’s westernmost outposts attend these things and it’s really not a bad idea to do so, besides which, as we noted last time, it’s a solid chance to visit the fleshpots of Ocean Beach, see some flesh and buy some pot. (I am referring to Farberware.)
We have some welcome news on the Saltaire Public Safety front. (I’m sorry, it’s still easier to say “Security” but we did pass a law changing it and to let all that effort go for naught would be, of course, naughty.) The news is in noting the most recent summer hirelings: Emily LaRotunda, Julia Tancredi, Michele Uriarte and our own Anna Kahler as the latest additions to the force…or I should say department, since we can’t use force, which frankly does limit the effectiveness of our planned invasion of Kismet on Sept. 15. Anyway, this has expanded the number of PS personnel available for tours and allows more frequent and wide spread patrolling of the village. If you have a problem, it’s always best to call for help first and let those trained to handle a situation do their job. For Public Safety, call 631-583-5572; for fire and ambulance emergencies, call 911 and ask for the Saltaire fire dispatcher. Quick, easy and hopefully not too dirty. Know your location too – you’d be surprised how many people don’t, or get it wrong. (Notice how you have to say “call” these days? Ever since phones went to push buttons. Faster and simpler but it does leave poor old “dial” in the dust; you don’t have much occasion to use the word anymore except when referring to a watch face or a bar of soap.)
The Club meanwhile chugs spectacularly along, crammed with events, the kitchen and bar running to standards that would make Gordon Ramsay and Jon Taffer proud instead of loud. Tennis tourneys and sailing races every weekend. Karaoke was last Saturday, and with Steve Trentacoste among the holders-forth it’s just as well we shut off the fire siren at night. On July 22 it’s Casino Night, and a chance to win back your membership dues.
We have to telegraph this furtive literature and future litter literally just before the onset of the Annual SVFC Parade on July 16. The photos we haven’t yet taken of the defile look spectacular, and the crowds loved every minute of food and every bite of the parade, so all will go splendidly if it hasn’t already done so. I saw a “Twilight Zone” like this once, where the Devil took a job on a small-town newspaper and wrote all sorts of catastrophic reports that came true later on in order to boost circulation. Kind of like Fox News but with more talent and fewer inaccuracies. But it does point up the innate hazards of any deadline. You’ll always miss something until next time, like that Kismet invasion thing I mentioned and which you should probably just forget about. I mean, come on – you didn’t really think we’d be spending that $2.6 million on a new Village Hall, now did you?

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